Let’s face it: gift-giving can be rough. We know. Who hasn’t been on the wrong end of a well-intentioned romantic gift that fizzled? Or done the last-minute present grab through the store aisles on Christmas Eve? We put on our Santa hats and did some legwork that we hope will keep the stockings coal-free this year. Here are our favorite gifts made by local artisans perfect for those [annoying] I-already-own-everything-in-the-world folks. Hey, maybe we can actually enjoy the holiday season this year.
For that friend who won’t shut up about how amazing his semester abroad was and how it, like, changed his life
We’ve heard that same story about the time he stayed up until the wee hours of the morning drinking grappa in a discotheque more times than we’d like to admit, but just know we’re doomed to hear it again on our next tapas date. We plan to pretend to care with this beautiful wooden ornament—shaped like that foreign country he won’t shut up about—from Neighborwoods.
For that chick in the office Secret Santa who’s obsessed with Susan Miller’s Astrology Zone and won’t even return an email without consulting her horoscope
She won’t make any important decisions while the moon is in retrograde (or whatever), but it was all worth it when she read that generosity would be in her favor and brought in donuts for the team. We plan to show her how compatible our signs are with a personalized zodiac bracelet from Leigh Luna. Don’t worry—we figured out her symbol with a quick Facebook birthday check and Google search.
For that guy who always knows what to order off the wine list, and even manages to not butcher the pronunciation
Sure, we could buy him a bottle, but for the friend that can actually name the wine-producing regions of France, we don’t want to risk a vino faux-pas. Instead: a wall-mounted wine rack handmade from upcycled cedar planks, from Schneider Architectural Works. Or as we like to call it: the perfect way for him to show off those bottles he’s never going to let us drink.
For the brother’s new girlfriend, who’s definitely giving a gift— so we best get her one
We don’t want to overshadow brother’s present, so we’re playing it safe with a small-something that still says ‘effort.’ That’s right – we’re steering clear of jewelry aisle (that’s your aisle, bro) and opting for a printed scarf by Artlab. The cotton gauze is good for winter or spring and will last several seasons, the perfect symbol for their relationship – hopefully.
For the guy with the rolled up pant leg and helmet-smashed hair, who wouldn’t be caught dead biking the Brooklyn Bridge during tourist season
He never takes the subway…ever, so we’re helping him haul his stuff around on two wheels without looking totally tacky. A wooden bike crate from Surname Cycling Goods Co. lends any biker major street cred, and he can definitely get his local produce and growler full of small-batch beer back in one piece.
For the woman who gave birth to us, got us through college and still lets us sneak sips from her booze stash when we’re home for the holidays (a homemade picture frame won’t cut it anymore)
Much simpler than a tattoo, a luxe relaxation kit is the perfect way to thank mom for putting up all of our teenage (and, ahem, adult) hijinks. Give her permission to take the day off and relax with this five-piece kit from Brooklyn-based Mullein and Sparrow. The bottles are so handsome, she’s bound to keep them as a reminder of that one time you absolutely nailed holiday gift giving.
For the guy with the requisite curly mustache and throws around terms like “bourbon barrel–aged” and “peaty,” but you’re not quite convinced his skills with the cocktail shaker have caught up to his lingo
It’s hard to mess up a gin and tonic or a bourbon on the rocks, but when he “gets creative” by mixing up something more complicated, it’s a struggle to convincingly sip it with a smile. We’re helping along his bartender aspirations with syrup set from Poor Man's Kitchen and hoping that combos such as chamomile and cardamom or clove and root beer take the guesswork out of his flavor pairings.