The SplatF Slacker Gift Guide
It is December 22, so if you are still not finished with your Christmas shopping, you are officially a slacker. But that’s okay! I had originally planned a much more elaborate, serialized, e-commerce-enabled gifting product, and then I got sidetracked. So here I am, same as you, better late than never.
Most of these are products that I own and love. Some of them are products I’ve been trying out and love. Others are products that I wish I owned. But nothing here should suck. (And if it’s not for you, I understand.)
1) The Patagonia down sweater for men or women ($200). Lightweight and attractive, this thing keeps me cozy anywhere in the 55 to 35 degree temperature range. Below that, you’ll want a shell, or some more insulation, and especially a hat. I love this year’s green “fennel” color. (Btw, Patagonia’s R1 is my favorite fancy sweatshirt fabric, if you want something else.) They’re offering free 2-day shipping right now, but you can also probably find this offline at your local outdoor gear store.
2) Dieter Rams: As Little Design As Possible (hardcover, $57 at Amazon, $90 retail). A big, heavy, beautiful book about Braun’s design genius, including a foreword by Apple design head Jonathan Ive, who’s been deeply inspired by Rams. For the design person / Apple fan / coffee table-foot-rester in your life.
3) Aerobie AeroPress coffee maker ($26 at Amazon, $30 retail). I learned about this thing from Marco Arment sometime this past summer and haven’t touched my old coffee and espresso makers since. It’s inexpensive, fun and easy to use, and makes an amazing cup of coffee. (I use it to make a triple-shot iced latte every morning.) It’s not good if you prepare coffee for two or more people on a regular basis — kind of inefficient and repetitive — but for the mostly-solo drinker, it’s super. Consider pairing with a coffee-of-the-month subscription from Craft Coffee, starting at $20/month.
4) Kikkerland plastic grass charging station ($25 at ThinkGeek, $24 at Amazon when in stock). I bought one a few months ago to liven up the SplatF workplace. In theory, it’s a gadget charging station, but I just like the way it adds some green to my desk.
5) For the ladies! Rodin Olio Lusso face oil, Chanel nail polish trio, and Ten underwear (not pictured). According to my plugged-into-the-fashion-world wife, these three items will make your female companion very happy with you. They are available online, to varying degrees, but a trip to your local high-end department store or boutique may be easier.
6) Nedrelow sleeve for the iPad, MacBook Air, or Kindle (on sale for $20-$49). Handmade from beautiful, luxurious wool felt. I have one of these for each of our iPads and MacBook Airs, and after a year of regular use, they’re still in great shape. (And don’t miss my interview with creator Scott Nedrelow.) Btw, if you’re up for spending the money, you’ll probably make someone very happy giving them an iPad 2. If it were me, I’d want the 32GB wifi model in black ($599), but you might want to ask first.
7) Jambox portable speaker by Jawbone ($149 at Amazon in various colors). Life is too short to use crappy headphones and speakers. I’ve been testing this one — mostly to listen to podcasts in the kitchen — and have been happy with the sound quality, volume, and battery life, especially for its size. If you’re looking for headphones, I recommend the Etymotic HF3 earbuds.
8) Field Notes notepad subscription ($97 for one year) including the new wintry “Northerly” edition. If you’re not writing it down, you’re forgetting it. This happens to be what my wife got me this year, and I’m excited about it. My favorite pens are the Pilot V-Ball, $16 for a dozen.
9) Momofuku cookbook (hardcover, $23 at Amazon, $40 retail). For the food fanatic in your life. (Though you might want to check if they already have this, as it’s been a hot item.) Chef David Chang’s pork buns will blow your mind, so you might as well learn how to make them. And cool stories, too. Another book where the physical copy is important because the e-book just won’t be as good.
Check out my new site: The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.