Bey heard I love white trees.
Full disclosure: I am the absolute worst person in the world to buy gifts for. Not because I’m terribly picky, but because despite having 364 days in a year to think about what I want for Christmas, my response to friends/family every year is “I…have no idea. Maybe a card?”
I’m not sure when or why this happened, since my childhood lists were long and beautifully detailed, packed primarily with a horse, horse-related toys and Dear America books, and preferably in that order. (Spoiler alert: my parents started their shopping with items two and three.) Maybe it stems from the fact that if I truly want something, I’m likely to budget for and buy it for myself before Christmas rolls around; maybe it’s that I don’t need most of the things I want, or that my inability to choose a restaurant applies to all game-time decisions in my life.
Whatever it is, I am not the person you want to receive for Secret Santa. But in the interest of making life easier for anyone shopping for a similarly frustrating young lady, I present the complement to last week’s Guy Gift Guide:
1. ROOKIE YEARBOOK V.3: Tavi Gevinson is the coolest of the cool girls; Rookie’s third yearbook is a reflection of that. With contributions from Lorde, Sia and the Sisters Fanning, your lady doesn’t have to be a teen to enjoy this beautifully curated collection. (Also, her imaginary best friends Mindy Kaling and Lena Dunham love it, too.)
2. ALEX & ANI: Alex & Ani is that rare product that every woman loves, even if she insists she hates jewelry. From birthstones to sports teams to gorgeously beaded patterns, Alex & Ani literally has an option for everyone. My personal favorites are the Queen’s Crown and the Phoenix Wrap.
3. RAY-BAN WAYFARERS: If every man looks better in a Clubmaster, every lady is even lovelier in a Wayfarer. Perfect for every face type and the kind of sassy and bold that makes a gal want to wear a red lip, the Wayfarer is the gateway drug to building your lady a fantastic sunglasses collection. Protip? Go for the classic, in tortoise or black.
4. REBECCA MINKOFF MAC MINI: This one is a bit on the pricier end, but if there is a more versatile bag out there, no one tell me about it. Available in any color a gal could want, the Mini Mac is the perfect size for a night out or to store the essentials in an airplane carry-on. Have a little more to spend? Try the Michael Kors Selma bag, which may just be the world’s most perfect satchel.
5. PERFUME: While it may be a no-brainer, every lady has at one point or another received 1.7 – 3.3oz of something that smells like rosy roadkill. Gentlemen, you cannot go wrong with Stella McCartney’s Stella, Hermés Eau des Merveilles or Dior’s J’Adore. (And if you’re really feeling generous, try to hunt down the Naked2 palette.)
6. THE RED TENT: I’m not exaggerating when I say every woman to whom I have lent a copy of this book has stolen it from me. Regardless of your lady’s age, ethnicity or religion, she will laugh and cry and read this novel until it falls apart.
As always, I’m neither fancy nor important enough for affiliate links: all opinions are my own!
Image courtesy of Gawker Media.
Now, let me preface my Guy Gift Guide by stating that I am an absolutely terrible receiver of gifts (oh, hello, you judgmental, dusty, expensive pile of thank-you notes), but that I pride myself on being a good-to-great giver of gifts. While pulling together my own Christmas list tends to inspire cold sweats, I always look forward to devoting hours browsing my city’s beautifully decorated stores around the holidays in search of the gifts my brothers will promptly open, examine and fall asleep on/in/under.
But choosing gifts for my family has always been easy; it’s male friends or – gasp – the occasional suitor where I think every gal has a little bit of trouble. So without further ado, I present the handful of options for your fella that are (hopefully) guaranteed to get a smile.
(As always, none of these are affiliate links – a) I’m not that fancy and b) well, refer to “a.”)
- KOMONO WATCHES: Gorgeous, masculine and surprisingly affordable, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a Komono watch. From hipster florals to yacht club stripes with beautifully bezeled faces, there’s a surprisingly affordable option for every gentleman in your life.
- HERSCHEL BAGS: Duffels, messenger bags, laptop sleeves – you name it, Herschel has it, and likely in a fun throwback print. As durable as they are fun, Herschel is the very best option for letting a fellow know that it’s high time he start traveling more, and in style to boot.
- BAXTER OF CALIFORNIA GROOMING: Ever wonder why your moisturizer runs out so quickly? Even that $89 stuff the very nice lady at Sephora somehow talked you into buying? It’s probably because your dude is sneaking a little bit of it to calm his razor burn. Enter Baxter: from shaving tips and tricks to Dopp kits, this California company should be your gentleman’s go-to for grooming.
- RAY-BAN CLUBMASTERS: Every man looks 47% more handsome and mysterious in a pair of Clubmasters. This is a scientific fact.
- CRAFT-A-BREW BEERMAKING KITS: From ales to stouts and everything in between, your fella can relive the glorious day man first discovered the magic of hops, barley and water with Craft-a-Brews 1- or 3-gallon options.
- SIGNED NOVELS: Every adult should have a small collection of contemporary novels, if only so they’ll never run out of conversation topics at a party. Chuck Palahniuk being a perennial favorite, I’d suggest scouring eBay for authors your guy loves if you can’t make it out to a signing.
Happy holiday shopping!
Back in the halcyon days of my early twenties (remember those? When ramen noodles were an acceptable dinner and you looked so damn cute in your Forever 21 jackets?), I was installed at my very first grown-up desk.
Having previously only experienced the cramped joys of hot-desking at a work study job, I was thrilled at the prospect of having (and decorating) my very own slab of Ikea’s finest green lucite. I decided I’d always have fresh flowers and would dedicate a whole drawer to healthy snacks and supplements to share with the rest of the office. My plastic paradise would be immaculate!
Of course, three very important things happen when you’re a) the closest desk to the door and b) the most junior person on staff:
1. Your desk turns into an absolute garbage dump.
Stray packages, doggy chew toys, Palm Pilot chargers from 1999, scribbled-upon Post-Its, half-chewed pens, denatured plutonium – if you can name it, it will end up on your desk. And it will somehow asexually reproduce, leading you to believe that spontaneous generation is totally real.
2. Fingerprints, fingerprints, fingerprints.
Have a little pressed powder and a makeup brush you don’t care about? Great. Dust your desk for fingerprints. It’s fine to feel a little bit faint – normal even! Just put your head between your knees and breathe deeply until the bad thoughts go away.
3. You will hold Sharpies and Dry-Erase markers for ransom.
Everyone who has ever worked in an office has thieved one of these items. It is a rite of passage, and it is a fact. Keep your favorites in your purse.
Four years and five desks later, I’m slowly learning to accept the fact that unless I suddenly start working for Poppin (or Kate Spade’s office line) there’s a really good chance that my desk will never be the pristine space I’ve dreamed of.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped me from color-coordinating the hell out of everything on it and hoping for the best. So there’s that.