We really, really wish that we had all the money in the world so that we could, well, do all sorts of things with it, frankly. But chief among those things is spread that wealth, at least in part by buying things for the people we love. So while, realistically, we will mostly be shopping from our $10 and under list this year, these are the things we would get for people if we had a little extra money to spend. And if you happen to have that kind of cash lying about? Well, then, read on: We’ve got some good ideas for you.
1) Membership to St. Ann’s Warehouse, $150: Supporting our local cultural institutions is a no-brainer, but you’d be extra smart to give someone a membership to St. Ann’s this Christmas because the beloved DUMBO institution will be moving into new digs in 2015, so your recipient will get to welcome in the inaugural season—and so will you if you wind up as the plus one!
2) 1890s Diamond Enamel Star Stud (Single), $350: That solitary star in its enamel midnight blue setting sure is in keeping with the spirit of this holiday, but even if it weren’t, it’s absolutely beautiful. And there’s something so decadent about getting someone just one earring. What will they do with it? How will they wear it? In what way will they make it their own? Well, there’s really only one way to find out. Buy it.
3) Moby Dick, a signed screenplay by Ray Bradbury, $300: Everyone’s read Moby Dick, right? Right! (Well, uh, no comment from us.) But so anyway, even if they’ve read Melville’s classic, they might not have read Ray Bradbury’s screenplay for John Huston’s 1956 film. But they should! Bradbury’s a genius (and was forced to share co-writing credits with John Huston, which, not cool, John Huston, not cool at all) and he made sure to keep the script’s ending as dismal as Melville’s.
4) Nightwood’s Edie Vanity, $1789: Ohmygod, we love this vanity so much. It’s made by one of our favorite furniture makers, Nightwood, and is such a spectacular blend of modern design and salvaged materials with a healthy dose of Art Deco. It would fit into any home’s decor, and is the perfect gift for the design-lover with exquisite taste.
5) Aesop Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream, $120: We started using Aesop products a few months ago, and we’re not exaggerating when we say it changed our life. Our skin has never been softer and clearer and we would buy every Aesop product available if we could afford it. We also feel strongly about giving the gift of really good skin to other people, which we can do by splurging and getting them the Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream. Usually we’re skeptical of anyone who uses the word “perfect,” but in this case? We’re totally believers.
6) Scosha Intricate Adjustable Bracelet in Gold, $285: We used to not really know how we felt about bracelets on men. Sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn’t, you know? We thought it really depended on the man. We don’t think that anymore. In fact, we know it pretty much only depends on the bracelet. And when that bracelet is this spare and simple little number by Scosha? Well, we think it works very, very well.
7) Dinner for two at Semilla, $150 (plus tip): This vegetable-forward, reservation-required, parties-of-no-bigger-than-four, tasting-menu-only restaurant from the husband-and-wife duo behind Chez José only just opened, but it’s already one of Brooklyn’s best dining out spots. Dinner for two for your favorite foodie will be much appreciated, and will also let you give yourself a little gift as well.
8) “Finds of the Fortnight” Jess, $395: While this is the only gift without a Brooklyn origin (Siglio Press is based in LA), we still think it’s absolutely worth the splurge, provenance be damned. First, we’re happy to bring attention to Siglio, because we’ve already done a bunch of our holiday shopping there, and second, this limited edition collection of collages by American artist Jess is captivating. Witty and playful, this collection of 35 collages is, as Siglio points out, a “visual as well as tactile joy.” So spread a little joy for the art-lover in your life. We can never have too much joy.
9) Electric Nest Knot Pillow, $250: We love this pillow. We would love to give this pillow to someone so that they could love it too. What would this pillow be good for? What wouldn’t this pillow be good for? You could sit on it, rest against it, play catch with it… the possibilities are endless. Each one is hand-made, so it takes 3-4 weeks for delivery, um, so, you know, order it yesterday.
10) Bklyn Larder Family Feast, $169: Here’s the thing: We love pretty much everything at Bklyn Larder, but we almost never shop there for ourselves. Why? Because it’s so expensive. The last time we went there we wound up spending $25 on a jar of cocktail cherries! Sure, they were the best cherries ever and made our manhattans perfect (Luxardo, you guys, it’s no joke), but still! We’re not made of money. And yet, guilty as we’d feel buying too much Larder-goodness for ourselves, we have no such problem when it’s a gift for a loved one. And anyone with taste buds will appreciate this bounty of Brooklyn food. And who knows? Maybe they’ll even be extra nice and share it with you! Fingers crossed.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen