Mindy Kaling, our patron saint of shopping and blogging, wrote about holiday gift ideas in her latest post. I really wanted to make her line, "To be even be considered a tastemaker in any small sense is a great compliment to a vapid person whose priorities are all wrong" my officer status in the Mindy Kaling Facebook group, but it was too long. So I had to settle for making it my FB status, but then I got called a douche by one of my roommates. He interpreted the quote as me criticizing vapid people whose priorities are all wrong, when I am OBVIOUSLY one of those vapid people whose priorities are all wrong, and proud of it. So, in conclusion, I'm sharing some of my picks for great holiday gifts in hopes that someone will consider me a tastemaker.
I'm a huge advocate of giving books as gifts, and not only because my future livelihood depends on the continuing relevance of the publishing industry. Besides that, giving books to friends and loved ones makes both the giver and receiver feel smart, like you're feeding their mind in addition to their insatiable desire for free shit.
If I was participating in an office Secret Santa or Yankee Swap, I'd get Malcolm Gladwell's new book, Outliers: The Story of Success, $15.39 on Amazon. Blink and The Tipping Point were phenomenons, and this book, which examines why some people become successful while others never reach their full potential, will undoubtedly be a bestseller as well. Outliers is one of those books that you could give to just about anyone over the age of 25 (who graduated from college and has a job, probably) and they'll say, "Oh, I've heard about this book! Thanks!" It's a great generic present for someone you don't know very well, or dads who are practically impossible to shop for.
For the younger or hipper person on your Christmas list, I'd recommend John Roston's Sleeveface, $11.16. This really cool book features photos of people holding record covers over their faces and trying to recreate the world of the album with their clothes, pose, and surroundings. I guarantee, give this to someone and everyone else will ask, "Can I see it for a second?" and then spend the next thirty minutes flipping through each page.
This next book is a tie-in of How I Met Your Mother, but I swear it's hilarious even if the giftee has never seen the show (maybe you should give them DVDs of the first and second season as well!). The Bro Code, by Barney Stinson, lists the rules all Bros must live their lives by, such as "Should a Bro pick up a guitar at a party and commence playing, another Bro shall point out that he is a tool" and "A Bro must always post bail for another Bro, unless it's out of state or, like, crazy expensive: Crazy expensive bail >(Years You've Been Bros) x $100." A Bro gave this to me for my birthday, and I make sure to study it every day to ensure that my status as a female bro isn't revoked by doing something laughing when a guy gets hit in the groin (exception: if I don't know the guy). Also: "A Bro is under no obligation to open a door for anyone. If women insist on having their own professional basketball league, then they can open their own doors. Honestly, they're not that heavy."
If you're giving gifts to anyone who has their life together to have matching dishware, then disregard this next suggestion. If you're giving gifts to a young person who is no longer living with their parents but has yet to experience the bliss of a wedding gift registry, then they'll undoubtedly be thrilled to receive some cool plates or glasses. Check out these hyper-classy InsideOut Champagne Flutes, $60, from Charles & Marie. No more drinking champagne out of paper cups! Perfect present for whoever is hosting your New Year's Eve party. There are also martini and liqueur versions that are equally badass.
If you take a more irreverent view of drinking, try these Slang Pint Glasses from Urban Outfitters, $8 each. Both the "Hot Mess" and "Lush" glasses would be particularly appropriate if you're wondering what to get me for Crunk-mas.
And if you really wanted to give a theme gift, throw in this Garter and Flask set, $28 and ring bottle opener, $8.
Plates are fantastic gifts for college students as well, because it allows them to put off doing the dishes. These UO 8 inch porcelain plates feature artsy prints and patterns, and for $6 a piece I'm tempted to get all seven designs.
I'm not sure why, but I'm sort of obsessed with passport covers. I really wish I had gotten one for myself before I studied abroad, because now if I get one for myself I'll just get depressed at how local my life is. But if you have a friend with a big trip in her future and an appreciation for M.I.A., give her the Paper Airplane Passport Wallet, $16 at Fred Flare.
More gift ideas to come in the next few days! Stay tuned.