All posts tagged: Holiday

Midlife Mixtape: Albums, Books and Other Music-Inspired Gifts

O Holy Night, it’s already end of November and I’ve done zero holiday shopping so far this year – whoops. Normally all that’s left for me buy by December 1 are the tangerines for the toe of the Christmas stocking (that go uneaten in favor of the chocolate, but at least I try for the healthy option.) Not this year –  2016 kept knocking me down every time I got up. Suck it, 2016. No tangerine for you. I do, however, have lots of ideas for Christmahannakwaanzukah gifts for the music lovers, book readers, and sense of humor-havers in your lives. Some caveats: I believe in paying creative people for their work, so I still buy albums and print books (for which the musician/author gets a much higher royalty percentage.) I encourage you to shop locally. And this year in particular, I’m trying to find products that are made in parts of our country where manufacturing jobs have been lost. Maybe if people weren’t so disaffected and hopeless about the economy, they wouldn’t have been …

8 Seriously Cool Subscription Services to Give This Year

In 2015, as Facebook algorithms remind us to ping each other with birthday e-cards and Amazon gets closer to making deliveries by drone, the idea of gifting someone a jelly of the month — an anything of the month — feels quaintly retro. Strike that: It feels right. Send your favorite humans some good-old-fashioned, curated-and-dispatched-by-real-people, recurring snail-mail love. (It doesn’t have to be jelly.) 1. Vinyl Me, Please The “best damn record club today” kicks off your recipient’s new bespoke music library with one of their special-edition color LPs (think Wilco’s AM in swirling marigold, or a limited-edition clear pressing of Father John Misty’s I Love You, Honeybear). Each month thereafter, they’ll send a new album, a 12”x12” art print inspired by the album and a custom cocktail recipe pairing. Starts at $99 for 3 months + 1 bonus album, vinylmeplease.com   2. One Story Your favorite bookworm might now prefer an e-reader to full-sized tomes — I get it, I nearly dislocated my shoulder trying to read War and Peace on the subway a few years ago …

tuenight gift guide holiday land dupont outdoorsman

6 Gifts for Your Urban Outdoorsman

Does your man like to hit the trail, or just to look like he does? These gifts range from practical to elegant, inexpensive to extravagant, but each would get real use in either the mountains or the city.   1. The Cinder Cone Some books are better as hard copies. Designer and surfer Foster Huntington, best known for his A Restless Transplant hit-the-road project, documented the building of a treehouse and skate park complex located in the mountains of Washington State. The Kickstarter-funded book shows that the 1970’s luxury hippy aesthetic lives on. $35 A Restless Transplant Store 2. Backcountry Navigation with Map and Compass Class GPS batteries die and cell phone signals fade, so knowing how to read a map with a compass might help your guy get back on the trail. REI offers a range of orienteering and backcountry navigation classes at locations across the US. $50–80 REI 3. Light Up Dog Collar There is no motivation like a dog to go hiking, whether it’s on the trail or through city streets and …

Margit’s Note: Let’s Go Shopping!

It’s our third annual, two-week extravaganza called the TueNight Gift Guide! Hard to believe we’ve hit year three. Whee! As per usual, our quirky little gift guide is different in that it’s personality-driven. Our contributors select the gifts of a particular type (books, home, beauty) or for a finicky recipient (the urban outdoorsman and even well, um, a few passive aggressive suggestions). We know how to please. Speaking of giving, today, December 1, is still #GivingTuesday. Consider this your friendly evening reminder that there’s still time to give to the charities that are important to you — and maybe even break a world record for gratitude. Here are just a handful of our favorite charities. You could: Save the lives of refugees at sea [Moas.eu] Plant a virtual tree in Paris [1heart1tree.org] Support girls’ education in Sierra Leone [ShesTheFirst.org] Help NYC students become better writers [826NYC.org] Feed children, the homeless and seniors [FoodBankNYC.org] Help fight for laws and policies to protect women’s rights and health [PlannedParenthood.org] There are so many ways to help — think …

Holiday Events Collage

The TueDo List: Movies, Shopping and Holiday Cheer

Hanukkah is happening. Christmas is nearly here. And the crush is almost over — as well as the chance to order anything in time for, well, anything. I’m not sure I can take one more bold type e-mail from a retailer, telling me that “THERE’S STILL TIME,” which of course implies the opposite. (There is still time for stocking stuffers, and there are some fun ones all day today on Amazon Prime.) Here’s how to catch up on some last-minute odds and ends for the people in your life. You can buy most of them from home, so you’ll also have time to relax and enjoy the weekend, holiday-style. Movies and TV I already told you I love my Roku, and I can’t stop talking about it. I’ve already got a Netflix membership, but I only have Hulu free for three months, so I’d love to get that picked up for me by someone who loves me. Sometimes, it’s the coolest thing to have someone else spring for a relatively small splurge item like that. If someone cares about my media, they care …

Margit’s Note: Ho Ho Hectic

At the risk of sounding Scrooge, I too, would love to ban “busy” — the holiday kind of busy. Not so much the word, but the whole concept. Lately, I feel like I’ve lost my mind in crazy-making holiday tasks. Up at 2 a.m. trying to get Picmonkey-fancy with my holiday card; crafting a collaborative spreadsheet with my husband where we can track gifts, cards, tips for folks like Johnny, the UPS guy who leaves a note every year reminding us. (This comprehensive tipping guide, while amazing, had me in a panic.) And hey, the holiday spirit is meant to be about family, cherishing loved ones, giving, and drinking too much glug, right? So I hereby announce that we’re taking one week of chill. The TueNight crew will be off next week, celebrating with the aforementioned loved ones, and we’ll resume our regularly scheduled editions on December 30. (It’s a goodie, too.) But this week we’ve got our 2nd Gift Guide — which ideally should save you some time and headache. Great picks herein: Tamara …

A Chef Shares Her Favorite Food Gifts

Are you inundated with Gift Guides? Yeah, probably. But are you inundated with gift ideas that follow my golden rule: “Give the gift that you would most like to receive?” Probably not. Well, this is that guide. For the chef, home cook, food aficionado, or just plain eater in your life. I would be completely happy to receive any and/or all of these gifts. So you know they are for real. 1. Spices from La Boite Tucked behind a nondescript storefront way over on Eleventh Avenue in NYC is the magical land of La Boite Epices. Chef, owner, and spice blender Lior Lev Sercarz is an absolute alchemist, and the magic he creates in his beautifully packaged spice blends will blow you away. They make all other spice blends I have ever seen seem amateur. Rub a simple roast chicken with his Vadouvan mix and it becomes crispy, lightly curried skin with a hint of Herbs de Provence. His Ararat No. 35 is a smoky blend of Urfa Pepper, Smoked Paprika, and aromatic Fenugreek. His …

Merry and Bright: 5 Colorfully Chic Gifts

As I write this, it’s 27 degrees out and the sky is as grey as the sidewalk, and I’m feeling like it’s going to be a very long winter indeed. One way I try and combat the seasonal gloom is to surround myself with bright colors and prints. The effect they have — on an outfit, a room, a stinky mood — can be truly transformative. For the holidays, I’m choosing only items that promise a happy pop of bright for the recipient.   1. Aurelie Bidermann Cotton and Gold-plated Cuff Aurelie Bidermann’s jewelry is an obsession of mine; this gold-plated and cotton number is such a chic, grown-up version of a friendship bracelet. $120, net-a-porter.com   2. Tatsuro Kiuchi’s “Tunnel” This print is pure sunshine on paper. It makes me think of old Pan-Am and TWA travel posters from the 40s and 50s — so bold and saturated and graphic. $60, 20×200.com   3. Comme des Garcons Embossed French Wallet It is possible that over the years, I’ve given more Comme des Garcons pouches …

5 Gifts For Kids That They Don’t Already Have

Gift giving for children gets harder and harder as kids get more and more sophisticated. Outwit the little ones this year with presents they could never find on a TV screen or through an app. Warning: You may have to reach into your own past…   1. “Vintage” Star Wars belt buckle You DID watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, right? Episode VII of the series? No…? That’s OK, I’ll wait while you check it out. From now until December 2015, you’ll need to know enough about the movie to talk to any kid over the age of 8. Impress them (and their folks) with an eBay original that might just remind you of your own days of yore. $35, eBay.com   2. The Drawing Robot Speaking of R2D2, check out this super cute robot. Your DIY-loving kid can put it together using cardboard, tape, a little wiring and a battery. Add pens and turn it on, and this is a mini marvel. Include another robot and tape on a couple of …

Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Coffee can become a big part of your life when you quit drinking. It certainly has for me and many of my sober friends. Surely you, too, have coffee lovers in your life. Here, I’ve rounded up some snazzy gifts for them, from a monogrammed mug to an amazing body scrub to a fancy-schmancy French press, there’s no shortage of goods for the caffeine-inclined. 1. Death Wish Coffee For the seriously addicted. Behold: the world’s strongest coffee. $20, deathwishcoffee.com   2. Monogrammed Travel Mug This sturdy, stainless steel mug is perfect for those who take their coffee on the road. The monogrammed top adds a nice personalized touch. $30, gifttree.com   3. Starbucks Home for the Holidays Gift Basket Give that Starbucks-obsessed best friend a huge holiday treat with three blends that can be enjoyed at home. It’s also packed with gingerbread biscotti, a caramel wafer, hot cocoa and more. $50, ftd.com   4. The World’s Finest Collection of Coffee Beverages Poster A really cool poster that’s perfect for the kitchen (it includes quick recipes!). $25, etsy.com   5. Cool Beans …

Books to Give Your Trickiest Recipients

Like I said last year — there are certain folks that are always tough to shop for. This year I changed up my trickiest recipients list. I’m guessing each of us has one of these types in our life, so hopefully at least one of these suggestions will be helpful. If you can check one item of your list because of my advice, then I’ll have checked one item off of my list, too. Everybody wins!   1. For the Extreme Foodie: Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton You may have seen reviews of Hamilton’s book, some of which were critical and/or puzzled: She doesn’t provide all of the steps for all of the recipes! Who makes capon broth? Etc. Listen, Hamilton can do anything she likes, especially after writing her extraordinary memoir Blood, Bones, and Butter. Only she could get a publisher to make her cookbook look like a giant hot-pink Moleskine (complete with elastic closure) and include restaurant measurements written on strips of masking tape. $45, randomhouse.com   2. For the Long-Married: Kama Sutra Connect-the-Dots by Eland …

Gifts For Discerning Dog Owner

  Janey, my dog, is an amazing beast who has discerning taste. It doesn’t help that her mom has a certain penchant for fabulousness, as well — I always seek out the best of products for the best of friends. I buy Janey gifts so often that she goes nuts when the UPS person comes to the door. Here, I present some of our favorite shipments, which Santa or Hanukkah Harry may deliver if pup isn’t on the naughty list.   1. Tattooed-Inspired Dog Sweater I never thought I’d own a dog who sported outfits. Seemed dumb. But once I moved to New York City and got a little, lean pup with scant hair, I learned that clothing is not optional: It’s essential. Add to that the fact that I like to think that someday I will get a tattoo, and maybe Janey thinks she will, too. So here’s our intermediary endeavor: a comfy and warm sweater with an old-school, tat-inspired logo. Janey shows the world how much she loves her mom, and I share …

6 Hand-Crafted Gifts From GREAT.LY

Editor’s Note: We asked Flora Lels of GREAT.LY for her holiday gift picks from her shop’s amazing collections. She chose a few things that are great for the person who’s got it all… We’ve all found ourselves wracking our brains, trying to think of something extra special for the person who already has everything. I like to surprise that person with a handmade gift they’ll find unique. And bonus points for a present that has a personalized touch. 1. Customized Word Bracelet This beautiful 14K-gold charm bracelet makes the perfect gift for girlfriends, sisters, aunts or coworkers. You can customize it with any word you’d like. ‘ have fun with it and choose a short, meaningful nickname or phrase. My friends and I are getting these made with the zip code of a small Italian village where we all vacationed together. $55, great.ly.com   2. Willow Speaker The days of the CD are going by the wayside, so what do you get the music lover? Here is a speaker system that is gorgeous and eco-friendly …

5 Timeless Gifts For The Classic Man

Ask a guy what he wants for a present and he will often deflect the question with, “surprise me.” Can you blame him? Gifts for men are often either welcome-but-overplayed (single malt scotch) or nice-but-rarely-used (fun cuff links.) This year, don’t ask, but choose from these handsome, utilitarian objects that have stood the test of time. 1. Model 9090 Espresso Maker 1978, Richard Sapper The first espresso maker released by famed Italian manufacturer Alessi, the 9090 has been in continuous production for almost 40 years and, like most of designer Richard Sapper’s work, looks like it has arrived from the near future. Made of chromed steel and cast iron, it is glossy and satisfyingly heavy. Recently updated to work with energy-efficient induction cooktops, the 9090 is available in a range of sizes. The seven-inch size is probably the best choice, perfect for making Sunday morning coffee for two.  From $193, alessi.com 2. Akari Lamp 1951, Isamu Noguchi In the late 1940s, sculptor Isamu Noguchi traveled to Japan where he first saw traditional fisherman’s mulberry paper …

Gifts For the Multi-Cultural-Minded Foodie

Mash-Up Americans love food. Really, really, really love food. It’s how we explore and express our identities. It’s how we bring our families and friends together. So what better way to celebrate the Holidays than with a guide from our Mash-Up Kitchen to Yours. Here’s a list of absolute must-haves! 1. Micom Rice Cooker and Warmer Rice is the staple of many cuisines. Also, it’s so delicious and we eat it at every meal. A rice cooker makes perfect rice and needs no tending to. Arroz for all! $139, amazon.com 2. Wei Kitchen Shallot Oil & Amber Vinegar  This wonderful new company is creating artisan Vietnamese-inspired products. They’ve started with the Amber Vinegar & Shallot Oil that Vietnamese-Chinese-Jewish-American Founder Debbie grew up making at home. You know that vinegar that comes when you order bun? Who wouldn’t love to pour that on everything? $32 for a gift set, $10 for a sample pack, weikitchen.com 3. Stainless Steal Spoon (Sudgarak) and Chopsticks It’s just better to eat with the long handled spoon and the stainless steel chopsticks that …

10 Gifts for the World Traveler and the Day Tripper

Whether you’re shopping for a Wild-inspired backpacker or a globe-trotter who considers a two-star hotel “slumming it,” these gifts will work for just about any kind of traveler. And best of all, they might inspire you to book a last-minute flight and head off on your very own adventure. 1. Flight 001 Mondo Travel Alarm When you’re switching between time zones and still need to be sure you don’t miss that early morning wakeup call, this cute, lightweight alarm can help. It’s small — not even a full three inches across —so you can justify packing it, and just like your alarm at home, comes equipped with a snooze button. $25, flight001.com   2. Cath Kidston Mini Ticket Holder One major travel challenge is keeping all those pieces of paper together: boarding passes, train tickets, printed-out hotel confirmations and the like. This organizer is small, flat and easily stashes all your paperwork. Plus the London bus design gives it a sense of whimsy. $10, cathkidston.com 3. Trakdot Luggage Tracker We’ve all had that sense of …

What to Get the Cat Lady Who Has Everything

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a woman in possession of a good cat must be in want of a bunch of cat-related holiday gifts. That said, all cat-related gifts are not created equal, and no one deserves a third copy of the Jingle Cats’ Meowy Christmas album. Celebrate the feline enthusiasts in your life with gifts that say, “I realize that if you’re interested in a bunch of Grumpy Cat stuff, you’ve probably already bought it yourself.” 1. Anatomical Heart Cat Toy These organic catnip toys are handmade in England from recycled wool and velvet. If Kate and William ever add a cat to the royal family, I’m guessing they’ll head to London’s Cheshire & Wain for supplies. Semi-realistic organs don’t strike your fancy? The company also sells toys shaped like gingerbread men, lobsters and turkeys — but c’mon, what’s cuter than a cat trotting around with a heart in its mouth? $14, cheshireandwain.com  2. KitNipBox Subscription Each month, the team at KitNipBox sends out a seasonally-themed assortment of handcrafted toys, all-natural treats …

50 Shades of Sexy X-Mas Gifts

Whether shopping for a friend, a lover or yourself, these fun gifts are both sweet (sometimes literally) and sexy, plus they work for anyone who could use a little pampering (or paddling). 1. Fantasy Fondue How better to indulge than with edible chocolate fondue? This tantalizing treat comes with a mini paintbrush so you can turn yourself (or the object of your affection) into dessert. It’s “virtually fat-free,” but when you’re licking chocolate off someone’s skin, does that really matter? $18, bootyparlor.com 2. Whip Me Stockings You won’t have to say a word to signal that you’re in the mood while wearing these. Emblazoned with “whip me, bite me, eat me, tease me” down the leg, these seamed stockings leave nothing to the imagination. Kink up your next date or be the talk of the holiday party. $70, agentprovocateur.com 3. Bettie Page Paddle I’ve always enjoyed paddles that offer a smile with their sting, and classic kinky pinup Bettie Page can offer inspiration to the spanker and spankee with this quilted paddle. Available in round …

5 Gifts For Your Resolution-Ready Friends

It’s natural that the indulgence and celebration of the holiday years precedes the asceticism and vows to do better of the new year. If you have a friend who’s already figuring out how she’s going to make big changes once the clock strikes midnight on January 1, these five gifts will show her your unwavering support for her mission. The best part? You can buy them for yourself — all in the name of self-improvement. 1. Mary J. Blige, The London Sessions The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, as she’s known, actually released two albums this year; the Think Like A Man Too soundtrack wasn’t officially dubbed as such, but she sang all the R&B jams on that album. For her just-released The London Sessions, though, she packed up and headed to the UK, where she reflected on getting sober and collaborated with of-the-moment songwriters and producers like the soppy Sam Smith and the glitchy duo Disclosure. The result is an album that’s very 2014, with Blige’s undeniable pipes pulling her collaborators’ sounds even further into …

Thanksgiving Leftovers Sandwich

The TueDo List: Enjoy Your Leftovers, Shop Small Businesses and Indulge in Holiday Films

My goal for this weekend is to do as little as possible. And I’m grateful that I have an opportunity to lapse into inertia. Here are a few other things going on this weekend that I’m thankful for (and you may be too). Happy holidays, my friends. It’s on. Leftovers I could not be less interested in the mall this weekend, but I’m all about leftovers and television. As for the remains of your dinner, Food Network, Martha Stewart, Southern Living and Cooking Light all have recipes for Thanksgiving leftovers — and many of them not the typical turkey-stuffing-cranberry-sauce sandwich variety. Weekend TV guides from Mashable, Daily Beast and Indiewire can help with the glowy box entertainment. Indiewire’s guide is my favorite — they’ recommend watching The Leftovers tomorrow on HBO Signature, calling it a bleak but must-watch drama. Shop Small Amid the Black Friday and Cyber Monday chaos lies Small Business Saturday. It’s an excellent opportunity to remind myself to do most, if not all, of my holiday shopping in my community. This event is (somewhat ironically) sponsored by American Express, which provides a map of local …

Music Collage

The TueDo List: Turkey Trotting, Lost in Music and Getting (and Giving) Help

This weekend will be frenetic for most of the United States, with Thanksgiving travel plans and Black Friday looming on the horizon. And if you’re like me, you’re settling into that time-honored tradition of complaining about the cold. As an alternative, let’s look at some of the fun things this weekend has in store. Lost in Music Shh, don’t tell — I actually like One Direction, so let’s just call that an homage to my lost childhood. The boys have a new album out, which is named Four because it’s their fourth release. I’m also into Wilco’s four-disc Alpha Mike Foxtrot set. It’s a collection of rare and non-LP recordings that would make a great a holiday gift for a fan on your list. My favorite music news of the week was the bizarre invitation sent to former Drive By Trucker’s frontman Jason Isbell to audition for The Voice. He was a good sport and accepted, promising to wear a bikini while he performs. I’m on my umpteenth listen to his 2013 solo release Southeastern.  Losing Thanksgiving Calories The fondly named (for everyone but the bird in question) turkey trots …