With just two days until the 25th, chances are you’re either wrapping gifts or racking your brain to figure out why you still have gifts to find. While fast shipping is still an option (for a cost), the next step is good old-fashioned brick-and-mortar stores. Rather than browsing our favorite little boutiques for obscure goods, we have found winning products from shops that can be found all over the country—from NYC to Nashville, San Francisco to Seattle. Whether rushing to an Apple Store in your local mall to delighting in all the books at Barnes & Noble, you will find a gift for almost everybody in our Brick and Mortar gift guide, but if you’re still looking online, check out our BUY section. Most importantly, if you’re giving gifts, donating to charity or volunteering your services this holiday season, make sure to spend plenty of time with the humans (and animals) you love the most.
Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Bang & Olufsen’s Beoplay A1 Portable Bluetooth Speaker ($250) boasts up to 24 hours of battery life. When it’s laid flat on a surface and secure, the A1 is an entertaining whiz thanks to strong sound (unbelievably loud, not even at its maximum) and unblemished sound quality.
Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala
Salvador Dalí and Gala, his wife and muse, would host extravagant dinner parties that became legendary. This reprint of Dalí’s 1973 book “Les Diners de Gala” ($38) gives us a little insight into what they were like. Not just a cook book with 136 recipes, it’s a work of art, with special illustrations and artworks by Dalí. (Of course, there are some lobster recipes inside.)
“Avid Explorer” Body Care Set
Especially enjoyable during the colder seasons, Aesop’s products are rich, hydrating, gentle and smell delicious. Their gift kits come in sophisticated packaging with lovely illustrations and a great story to match—each one honors a beloved naturalist (their essays, art, and inspiring and never-ending curiosity). Our favorite is Maria Sibylla Merian’s “Avid Explorer” set ($112) which comes with Resurrection Aromatique hand wash, Resurrection Aromatique hand balm, A Rose By Any Other Name body cleanser and Rejuvenate Intensive body balm. Explore their other kits for more delightful discoveries.
Levi’s 501 Skinny
Available in several colorways for men and women, Levi’s new 501 skinny jeans ($80) are just slim enough, without appearing spray-on. Taking the famous 501 style—with a button fly and classic five-pocket design—the brand has simply slimmed the leg for a slightly neater, sleeker silhouette.
I-1 Analog Instant Camera
Since the Polaroid factory closed back in 2008—much to the dismay of fans all over the world—the The Impossible Project has endeavored to keep the magic of instant cameras alive—from refurbishing cameras to salvaging Polaroid film. Now, the company has created the I-1 Analog Instant Camera ($299): the first instant camera to be released in 20 years for the original instant format. An easy-to-use point-and-shoot, the I-1 also boasts a unique ring flash that is great for portraits and can even be connected to your iPhone’s camera in order to play around with different techniques for interesting, artistic results.
Compost Cookie Mix
Make Milk Bar’s famous Compost cookies ($5) at home with their salty but sweet and foolproof mix. With chocolate, coffee, butterscotch and oats, all you need to add is butter, an egg and your choice of potato chips or pretzels—or just about anything else you can think up. Each can makes about 12 cookies (or perhaps one giant one?) and all their other flavors—including Blueberry and Cream, Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow, Confetti, and Corn—are available online too.
Animals Are Delicious
By Dave Ladd and Stephanie Anderson, “Animals Are Delicious” ($18) isn’t as brutal as one might think. In fact, the kids’ book explains three of the longest food chains within the animal kingdom—in a bright and playful way. Each food chain (terrestrial, avian and aquatic—our favorite is the underwater iteration) is given its own tactile foldout, so kids can exercise several senses at once.
For Her Eau de Toilette
Dark, floral and with woody undertones, Narciso Rodriguez’s classic fragrance ($80), which launched back in 2003, might be a crowd-pleaser but it’s still sophisticated. With hints of amber, this scent is subtle, elegant and altogether lush. The black glass bottle also means the perfume lasts longer, with less disturbance from sunlight.
Made in Italy, this navy silk bandana ($70) is a versatile accessory for all genders. Wear it as a neckerchief, pocket square, tie you hair up in it or go for a Punky Brewster look—if you’re feeling particularly nostalgic.
Wooden Yard Dice Game Set
This jumbo wooden dice set ($60) includes five dice and is great for kids and adults alike. Whether playing indoors on carpet or outside when the sun’s out, there are games aplenty and these beechwood dice come with a carry-bag and instructions for four different games.
Images courtesy of respective brands