It’s 4am and you and your spouse/partner have wrapped the last present. He/She looks lovingly, and tiredly, into your eyes and suddenly you feel a wave rush over you and your own eyes widen. Not in lust or recognition of the joyful seasonal tidings, but in panic. You forgot to buy them a gift!
It’s early evening on Christmas day, you hear a car pull up in the driveway. You look out the window, it’s (insert name of friends who aren’t really close friends, who you see at parties occasionally when they corner you in the living room and talk about their boring job, kid, spouse, latest nauseating achievement), they are carrying gifts for you. “Shit” you curse under your breath, you gave the last bottle of good wine from the case you had the store pull together for you for the ‘in case you got me something and I didn’t get you something’ gift, to the neighbor you didn’t expect to see.
It’s dinner time and the cousin who you didn’t expect to be released from jail so soon shows up. No one told you, you didn’t them a gift and it’s Christmas day, no stores are open!
Enter this list. Forget about the ‘best of’ most thoughtful gift items list all those other magazines and lifestyle sites are putting out there for you. That’s for the organized and well put together among us. This list below, my friends, is for the gift giver in all of us – who just plain forgot someone or who just didn’t have time to shop and you’re past the delivery time, even for online.
This list is a gift giver’s dream. It can all be done in 15mins and goes wider and deeper than homogenized Starbucks gift cards or a box of Harry & David chocolates. With this list, they’ll think you’re creative, unique AND kind. Chocolates and wine are so yesterday! (Champagne is not, however)
For the Music Lover:
If you have a version of Itunes that is not the latest 11.0, I believe you can gift an entire playlist. If you have the latest update, you can no longer gift a playlist but you can gift an entire album (which I am big proponent of).
Simply go to your Itunes store, on the right sidebar menu you will see a list and there will be a link to “Buy Itunes Gifts”. From here there will be instructions to gift what you like. You’ll have to know your recipients details of course.
I love getting new music, and especially from people whose music collection I admire. I’d rather receive music I hadn’t heard of before – this adds to the element of surprise and delight.
Spotify is free. However, for $10 a month you can give the premium version which allows the listener access to Spotify from anywhere, including their mobile devise and have it commercial free. If you had a hard time gifting a playlist through Itunes, you can give a spotify subscription and create personalized playlists for your friends/family which they can listen to from the subscription you purchase.
As soon as you buy the subscription, your recipient will get access to their online magazine and access to all the back issues. A few weeks later, the next edition will show up in the mail. I love when my magazine comes in.
Public radio is invaluable to our community culture. It’s where so many artists are discovered, the ones that the big commercial radio stations scoop up and play the crap out of – way after public radio has been gently singing their praises. It’s where you get good reporting and honest, commercial free content. A membership to a public radio station often has great perks like access to secret shows and meet and greets with some of the artists. You get merchandise and access to their CD of the month club. If you didn’t want to pay full membership, they often have other tiers of gifting. It’s a gift that keeps on giving!
I’ve linked to ticket master here but I would definitely suggest finding the link to your local venue and purchasing directly. Perhaps gift a gig of an artist they have never heard of, but you love. I love these kind of offers since, again, it opens up more possibility.
FOR THE FOODIE
Heather is the queen of fast food done healthy! Her ‘go feed yourself’ cook book is one of the best resources to whip up your healthy eating to match your lifestyle. Not only does she provide great recipes but there are “how-to videos”, a complete shopping list for every recipe and she even plans out your weeks of eating for you! I love how easy and delicious her recipes are. They are effortless, realistic and healthy. Great for busy people – whoever you are. And, in an even better show of efficiency – it’s delivered right to your computer immediately.
Sarah Wilson is the Australian darling of the healthy lifestyle movement. Suffering from an auto-immune disease she’s been documenting her discoveries along her personal journey of health for years now. Until more recently however, she was a successful journalist with top magazines in Australia but has now dedicated her life full-time to writing about the good life, with a healthier twist. She went off sugar a few years ago and how now put all her information in her successful book “I quit sugar”. With recipes and helpful tips, this is a great resource in the kitchen for when you crave a little sweet but you’ve overloaded on the white stuff.
CSA delivery (community supported agriculture)
Who wouldn’t want groceries delivered to their front door? Or put together and ready for pick up? And, who wouldn’t want it to be either local, farm fresh, organic or all?? (probably the same people who still want their right to carry a gun right? … sorry, had to slip in a little politics).
A CSA delivery is an excellent way to offer the gift of food in a really creative and practical way.
This little family owned oyster hatchery is a small, boutique operation here in Darien, CT. When you place your order of oysters, they are handpicked and shipped that day in a custom, temperature controlled bag. If you don’t have a shucking knife, you’ll have to order one of those. But, c’mon? Oysters at your door? I’ll bring the Champagne!
T’is the season of magic and resolutions…….
Online yoga classes:
As a yoga teacher, I hear a lot of people claim that they want more yoga but can’t always get to a class. So, I have a few resources for you:
A popular site with commercially popular teachers.
Some popluar teachers, great classes.
An actual yoga studio in L.A – live classes and some kick arse teachers.
The name says it all! A few different subscription levels. Meal plans and work-out regimes. All from the convenience of you computer.
I think a lot of what Danielle LaPorte has to say is relevant to the ambitious in us today. She speaks directly to the center of what it is we need to utilize to succeed today. She has a few different online programs/books that are for purchase. Highly recommended.
I’m not going to lie, he has a bed of hair that’s 80’s glam and a slightly slick cheesiness to his delivery. But – and I mean that very decidedly – BUT his insights are revolutionary. I love what he has to say, I follow a lot of his precepts when come to finances and business building. Very straight forward, no bullshit kind of nudging that we all need. Great for business and relationship building.
Founded by Louise L Hay the self-help darling of our century. Hay is the author of the classic “You can heal your life” – which everyone should have on their shelf. But, her publishing house hosts hundreds of other prolific self-help authors of today. Great gift for that life change you see your loved one struggling with (probably excellent for the fresh out of prison relative!).
A great resource for the more spiritual/philosopher person in your life.
Astrology Session on the phone
I recently had a 90 minute session with Marga and can attest to her incredible wisdom, insight and articulation in the art of Vedic astrology. A very personal gift for someone special in your life.
Letters in the Mail by The Rumpus
Almost every week, three to four times a month, you’ll receive a letter, in the mail. In the first three months letters went out from Stephen Elliott, Margaret Cho, Marie Calloway, Dean Haspeil, Lorelei Lee, Matthew Specktor, Rick Moody, Aimee Bender, Padma Viswanathan, Sari Botton, and Matthew Zapruder. Some of the letters were typed, others handwritten. Some included illustrations, one was a comic, all were signed. We then photo-copy the letter and send it to you.
Letters to kids by The Rumpus
Letters For Kids is just like Letters In The Mail, except intended for subscribers six years and older. We’re helping people appreciate the post office at a younger age.
You or your child will get two letters a month written by middle-grade and young adult authors like Lemony Snicket/Daniel Handler, Adam Rex, Kerry Madden, Natalie Standiford, Susan Patron, Rebecca Stead, Cecil Castellucci, and more.
Some of the letters will be illustrated. Some will be written by hand. Some will be in color, some will be in black and white. It’s hard to say! We’ll copy the letters, fold them, put them in an envelope, put a first class stamp on the envelope, and send the letters to you (or your child, it’s up to you who to put in the shipping address).
If you have an aspiring writer in your midst, support them with an online (or you can go to the classes if you’re in New York City) writing class. There are so many to choose from here and they have a great reputation.
A short story delivered every month to your door. Written by up and coming writers, and established writers alike – this is such a treat for the busy reader, the traveler who doesn’t always have space to carry big books and the busy parent who can only manage a short story sometimes.
Brain, Child magazine – for the mother in your life.
Founded in 2000, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers is the largest literary magazine devoted to motherhood. Each issue contains personal essays, fiction, poetry, news, debate, book reviews and an in-depth feature story. Often referred to as “The New Yorker for Mothers,” Brain, Child brings together the many voices of women from different backgrounds and circumstance in a way that provides readers with insight and perspective into today’s issues.
I think Dwell magazine is one of the best home design magazine on the shelves these days. Contemporary, compelling, interesting and intelligent design and beautiful pictures.
I know I know, it didn’t look like I was going to be suggesting gift cards but this is an exception. I think etsy is one of the most creative and relevant websites out there today, in regards to style and design. All product are made by the artists themselves. You support so many by purchasing goods from an etsy store. This is the place where community and design come together.
I’m a big fan of good photography. Of photography that captures your personality in the the subtle, surprising way – not in a forced studio kind of way. I am a big fan of New York based photographer; Anna Moller. But, there are so many talented photographers out there and probably in your home town. Talk to someone whose photos you love, a beautiful portrait is a life time gift to someone special to you.
Now you’re armed – Go out and make some last minute magic happen. And, feel free to comment below about the gifts you bought or share this list out and hint around for yourself…….Happy Holidays!