Thursday, 15 December 2011

My very own Christmas gift guide

One more year, it's almost Christmas/Hanukkah time. And one more year, as it's customary, media and multinational companies try to make us buy more things/eat more food than we can actually deal with. Every self-respecting magazine makes its very own, very complete "gift guide", filled with the most absurd gift ideas you could imagine. Among some of the gems I've seen this year are a diamond-encrusted usb key which costs several thousand euros, a golden mask- as in Carnival mask- at 500 euros, and an army of perfumes whose brands mysteriously are magazine advertisers (I won't even start discussing how inappropriate it is to offer someone a perfume bottle unless they know exactly what perfume that person likes- if someone gave me a Chanel Number 5 flask it would sit unopened in my bedroom shelves for centuries to come). Those expensive, corporate gifts have always seemed wrong to me. But this year, in the midst of this horrid recession and with so many people going through such hard times, to state that "this year's essential gift is a Mauboussin ring at 999 euros" is downright grotesque. Who can afford to blow thousands of bucks in boring, logo-ed gifts?
If you are anything like me, your family is composed of more than 70 persons (which, at their most civilized, look like an Ingmar Bergman family- at their least civilized they just look like one of those messy Woody Allen or Fellini scenes), you love them all dearly and wish to give each of them a little something which will make them happy. It's only natural! However, if you are like me, what you don't want is to get even more bankrupt than you already are, to contribute to today's pantagruelic and unsustainable capitalistic system by offering expensive objects that don't mean a thing, and to stress a lot over something which should be a pleasure for everybody. Honestly, if this crisis has taught us anything, it's that it is no tragedy to live with less things and that it's time to change our consumption ways... and to remember how enjoyable the simple pleasures of life can be!
So here it is: I have worked my very own gift guide, including only lovely, cute, sustainable objects produced by small manufacturers with prices ranging from 2 to 160 bucks. And because I know my readers come from everywhere around the world, all the objects in this guide can be purchased via internet! (just click over the names of the stores to get to their websites). These are only some ideas, but of course you could also exclusively buy things produced in your community, helping locally; or even work on DIY pressies. Your family and friends will appreciate it more than you think.

Home presents:

Book rest lamp, 40 pounds at Urban Outfitters.

Artist hand-painted totems, 90 $ at Partners & Spade.

Organic apothecary soap set, 19 $ at Izola.

Autumn leaf sticky notes, 4 pounds at V&A shop.

Stationery set, 40 $ at Thornwillow.

Blackbird pegs, 8 pounds at V&A Shop.

Multicoloured enamel bowls, 26 pounds at Objects of Use.

Candlesticks, 20 pounds at Another Country.

Cake stand, 120 pounds at House of Hackney.

Gin & Tonic ice tray, 8 $ at Neatoshop.

Framed butterfly, 28 pounds at Fox & Flyte.

Falcon enamel pie set, 45 pounds at SCP.

Mini scented candle, 22 euros at Diptyque.

Post it notes, 9 $ at Third Drawer Down.

Toile de Jouy notebook, 30 $ at Under Our Sky.

Wine glass, 15 $ at Terrain.

Wooden iPad station, 139 dollars at Ahalife.

Animal soap, 23 pounds at Aesop.

Courtyard urn, 18 $ at Terrain.

Sunflower seed mix, 2 pounds at V&A Shop.

Hanging Tillandsia gardens, 24 $ at Flora Grubb.

For ladies and gentlemen:

Carven shantung dress, 160 pounds at Browns.

LinkGaga's workshop temporary tattoos, 18 $ at Barneys.

Shell coin purse, 6 $ at Evolution.

Lori bracelet, 45 $ at Evrt.

Necklace, 155 pounds at Keko Hainswheeler.

Maribu hoop earrings, 50 pounds at House of Holland.

Holly Fulton bracelet, 140 pounds at Browns.

Champagne bubble bath, 14 $ at Touch of Europe.
Vintage 1911 baseball cap, 39 $ at Ebbets Field Flannels.

Whiskey shave soap, 20 $ at Terrain.

Christmas hamper, 55 pounds at Fortumn & Mason.

Organic maple syrup trio, 20 $ at Crown Maple Syrup.

Tea-flavoured candy, 8 euros at Mariage.


What Would Audrey Do?, 15 $ at Modcloth.

Dazed & Confused, Making it up as we go along, 65 $ at Rizzoli.

Ferrán Adriá's The Family Meal, 25 euros at Phaidon.

Andy Warhol's Making Money, 16$ at Rizzoli.


Design your own superhero kit, 35 pounds at V&A Shop.

Soapy pops for the bath, 8 $ at Soapylove.

Children's mini tea set, 42 $ at Catbird.

Lifesize cardboard house, 139 $ at Skitsch.

Harmonica, 10 pounds at Objects of Use.

Mouse in a box, 26 $ at Catbird.

Bath sponge with duck, 12 pounds at Objects of Use.