Hello friends, this is a 2014 gift guide. Before I get started, I wanted to quantify something that I find interesting, and which you, my dear reader, might find interesting too. Coming from New Zealand, which is one of the most secular countries in the developed world, we have Christmas, everybody celebrates it, and it has almost zero religious implications to the population at large.
But when I moved to New York and I started saying Merry Christmas to one and all (which is the normal greeting the moment December rolls around for the average Kiwi), I started getting odd looks from people. In the giant melting pot that is America, with its many and varied inhabitants of all creeds and faiths, you do not say Merry Christmas, you say Happy Holidays, lest ye offend the recipient of said greeting.
So to my American readers, this is a Holiday Gift Guide. To my New Zealand readers, it’s a Christmas Gift Guide. Everybody is welcome. World peace. Peruse it at will, and pick something up for your friends, your family, your partner-in-winter-hibernation, and most importantly, yourself, because as the saying goes, do unto others as you would do to you.
1. SWASH Express Clothing Care System — I’ve lived in six apartments in the three years since I moved to New York, and only two have come with laundry; the first, and best, had it inside the actual apartment, the second had it in the basement. My current apartment does not have laundry. It sucks. But I just got the new SWASH™ System — it’s a game-changing at-home clothing care machine. While it won’t take the place of having an actual washing machine in your apartment, it will dewrinkle, refresh and restore the fit of your clothes, in no longer than 10 minutes. It’s almost like having your very own personal dry cleaner, at half the price. But wait, there’s more! Starting on Black Friday, SWASH is offering a $50 rebate with purchase and launching a sweepstakes on Twitter, so follow them here, and look out for the #GiftYourself hashtag to participate.
2. Baxter of California Candles — as you might have noticed from that Instagram post last week, I have a pretty big thing for scented candles in general, and Baxter of California scented candles specifically. My favourite is the collaborative effort with Unionmade, which smells like a sweet burning wood fire. One caveat — the wicks on Baxter candles burn pretty hardcore, so I would suggest trimming them down to a very small size before each re-light to avoid smoking yourself out.
3. Master and Dynamic MH30 Headphones — Jenny Albright and I use Master and Dynamic’s larger, over-ear MH40 headphones when we’re DJing, but for personal use I’m obsessed with their slightly smaller on-ear MH30s in classic Darth Vader-esque black-on-black.
4. Triumph and Disaster Game Face Moisturiser and Suicide Face Scrub — these are the two skincare products I cannot live without; one is the greatest moisturiser I’ve ever used, the other is the best face scrub of all time. Best of all, they’re New Zealand made and manufactured, but available all around the world. GO THE KIWIS!
5. Burt’s Bees Peppermint Beeswax Lip Balm — some people are addicted to cigarettes, others to coffee, I’m addicted to Burt’s Bees. I’ve included it on every gift guide I’ve ever made, and even though it costs less than five bucks, I’m always extremely pleased to receive it as a gift (I mean if nothing else, it shows that my friends and family read my blog). And as an added bonus, if you are addicted to coffee and cigarettes, you can use Burt’s Bees after partaking, and the peppermint will disguise those unsightly smells. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
6. Vans Customized Sk8 His — I’ve had some good experiences with the Nike ID, and now same goes for Vans Customs. My pair are blue on blue on blue with white accents, and Jenny ordered some green on green on green with white accents so we can be twinsies when we’re out and about together. Plus they’re under $100, so if you do make them for somebody they’ll love you for the thought, and you’ll love yourself for not breaking the bank.
7. Kamakura Tokyo Fit Oxford Shirts — I have worn button-downs from just about every brand you can imagine, but Kamakura’s are the best of the lot. The collar has that perfect old-world Brooks Brothers roll, and the fit is second to none. I can’t recommend them more highly.
8. Maximum Henry Belts/Wallets — I wear the chestnut colour Workday belt every day of the week, and used to carry one of his wallets until I left it in a cab one night and never got it back. Dark days. All his products are made by hand in Williamsburg, Max is a cool young dude, and what’s more important than supporting cool young dudes who hand-make beautiful leatherwear in their hometowns? Not much.
9. Alex Mill Cashmere Beanie — cos it’s cold outside… when you coming home? It’s literally freezing in New York right now, so beanies are no longer an accessory, they’re a life-essential. This one in navy blue with the cream stripe is a damn good option.
10. Giorgio Armani Sunglasses — I stopped by a Sunglass Hut on my lunch break the other day and discovered Giorgio Armani’s eyewear for the first time and it is really, really good. This pair reminded me of a pair that Jean Reno might have worn in an early 90s film where he’s trying to rob a bank or something. And if it’s not abundantly clear, that’s a very good thing.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Swash.
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