It seems that every year people push back the time at which they focus on gift buying a bit further. If gift panic is descending upon you, What to get? Will they like it? Is it the right message? We are here to help.
Our feeling is that when selecting a gift, you are asking permission for the giftee to introduce something into their life. Thus we recommend that unless you are very sure, or the gift is particularly special, to keep in mind the footprint the gift will take up. Most of us are at an age or temperament where “big stuff” has lost its appeal. Keep it special, keep it thoughtful, and keep in mind the commitment you are asking of the other person in their receiving it.
Tickets to a play or concert. Not sure which one to give or someone’s schedule? Not a problem. TicketMaster as well as most venues have gift cards.
Tom Ford bronzer brush. In the category of: buy it once and buy it right. The best bronzer-applying brush ever. The people who own it swear by it, even though it is spendy. ($115)
Le Creuset dutch oven. These have gotten rather pricey lately, but if someone is a cook, they will love you for this forever. Le Creuset only looks better with age, it performs wonderfully, and there is no worry of ingesting unwanted Teflon with your dinner. ($350)
Dinner for 2. There is an epidemic of loneliness out there, so how about a dinner invite for the two of you at a place your friend may not normally go to? ($100)
Ceramics from a local artisan. The medium has undergone a huge renaissance recently, and the locally-made one-of-a-kind modern bowl, cup or vase is always appreciated. ($40)
New Balance 990v4 sneakers. The ugly dad sneaker is in, and you could go wild for a Balenciaga Triple S for $850, or you could go to the original, New Balance. $180
Bariani olive oil. It’s our in-house favorite, delicious on salads, California-made quality. ($25)
News subscription. Good, reliable information is not free and it doesn’t come from social media. Whatever your persuasion, be it The NYTimes, The Wall Street Journal, Quartz Premium, The Financial Times, giving knowledge is giving love.
Holiday music mix. One of the most thoughtful, most memorable gifts I ever received was a CD music mix. To do it well takes time and considerable thought, but your giftee will remember it for years to come. Bust out of genre — classical to Elvis to contemporary; surprise and delight. (Free)
Gabriela Artigas Jewelry. We are big fans of her work. A pair of earrings is one of those small-footprint gifts that says you are paying attention. ($300)
Race car driving lessons. The Bondurant Racing School is one of several places where one can be taught how to actually drive a race car. They provide the car, the instruction and the track. Fantasy fulfilled. ($800)
Pilates series. The more we do Pilates the more respect we have for it as a life-enhancing and life-extending practice. It is one of those things though, that some people won’t do for themselves, so help them out. In Los Angeles, The Bridge, but most towns and cities have great studios now. ($100)
Stendig Helvetica Wall Calendar. Big, bold 3ft x 4ft for the modernist in your life who has a lot of empty wall space. ($38)
Wine club subscription. Know someone who loves wine? How about a monthly sampler? Our favorite is Helen’s Wines, but there are many out there.
Or perhaps a good book. See our best reads of 2019 here.
Or perhaps a charitable donation in someone’s name? See our recommends here.
Or perhaps a fantastic bottle of bubbly? See our expert list here.