At this point, if you haven't got your big, juicy gifts figured out, you're likely a little behind. Because now? Now is the time for the really fun stuff - the little, fun, often silly and preferably candy-based gifts you use to flesh out your giving...the stocking stuffers!
And if you're looking to break out of the M&M candy cane and new toothbrush tradition,
Like Bit-O-Honey around Halloween and Peeps on Easter, egg nog is the polarizing treat of the winter holiday season. People that like it like it, but people that hate it...well, hate it.
And for the first twenty-seven years of my life, I was one of 'em. A most hating of haters. Even the smell of egg nog was enough to shrink my Christmas spirits to three sizes too small.
But then I realized:
My friend Brittni maintains an amazing handmade marketplace and blog called papernstitch, and while I regularly appreciate her updates and the amazing artisinal objects, the picks are unabashedly, well, girly.
Except for this week, where Brittni's prepared a great collection of handmade and independently produce gifts for guys.
Dear friends -
Last holiday season (ManMade's first Christmas!), I created a mix of some of my favorite "alternative" Christmas songs, and it was a decidely huge hit with readers. The emails asking for another this year began in October, so seeing as it's the season for giving, my gift to you: the ManMade 2011 Modern Rock Holiday Mixtape!
Over the past few years, I've sorta developed an obsessive hobby of trying to find non-Andy Williams or Nat King Cole Christmas songs to soundtrack the kind of holiday that I've come to love as an adult.
Buying gifts for food people and home chefs can be a, uh, double-edged fork. On the one hand, there are endless kitchen gadgets and tools our there to play with, but on the other, passionate home cooks are likely to already have lots of the standards.
So, with that in mind, the brilliant food minds of America's Test Kitchen offer this great list of essentials, perfect for stocking gifts, as they all clock in at under $50.
The holiday season is full of awesome seasonal sounds - Phil Spector/The Ronette's perfect version of Sleigh Ride, plenty of Darlene Love, and the whole of ManMade's modern holiday mixtape. (2011 edition coming this week!)
But it also means the less-desirable holiday music...the schmaltz, the breathy vocals, the Josh Groban.
Design überblog Core77 are sharing their holiday shopping recommendations, featuring, not what else?, seventy-seven creative tools and design gifts for makers and artists.
Last season, artist Chris McVeigh offered plans for a very fine LEGO Death Star ornament, and this year, he continues the cheer with the Millenium Falcon!
Heads up, cool kids: Math is way hip. Particularly, geometry, facets, and gem shapes have been everywhere designy for the last two years, and there's no reason the holidays shouldn't be included in the trend.
Case in point: this geometric garland. It looks nice and handmade, is holiday-neutral, and the colors are winter-y enough that you could leave it up through February.
Every holiday season, there are some things you can always count on: Santa Claus will always wrap up the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, some adult contemporary crooner will release another album full of the same ten songs, and the windows of Midtown's historic department stores will be decked out like the best of 'em.
If don't find yourself in NYC this December, the New York Times has some excellent photographs from Barney's, Sak's, Bergdorf's
When I was a kid, my sister always battled to be the one to put the angel on top of the tree, but my favorite part was always finding where our family had boxed up the bright red nutcracker, and place him somewhere where he could guard our presents against any potential evil mouse kings.
Any the best part? Our nutcracker could actually crack nuts. Nowadays, a functioning nutcracker is nearly impossible to find, and the ones availble in craft stores are kinda junky, poorly assembled, and not something that would fit in any sort of contemporary decor.
So, I decided to give that classic shape a clean and contemporary makeover. And you can too!
I've been thinking about it all morning, and I think I can safely say: I've never sent a Christmas card. Sure, I think about people I wanna connect to around the holidays, and have reached out to them in many ways, but as far as an assembly line of adding "Dear ____" to the top and "Season's Greetings! Love, Chris" to the bottom of a box of cards (which I'd then have to address!)?
Never done it.
Not that I wouldn't, of course. I'd just need to come accross the right holiday greeting cards. So, for help, I asked my buddy and stationery expert Carina Murray, of Crow + Canary, to help me pick out some of the best manly and guy-friendly holiday cards this year. And, boy, did she ever...
I couldn't even begin to assemble a comprehensive "ManMade Holiday Gift Guide for Guys," as I've found there's simply too much diversity among men to capture everything.
However, I always find it fascinating to see what other (read: female) craft bloggers imagine what guys will like under their tree, and I'm happy to pass them along.
Print Workshop: Hand-Printing Techniques & Truly Original Projects
By Christine Schmidt [$13.59]
One of my favorite things about the holidays is having a few lazy days where my only real responsibilities are eating cookies, possibly shoveling some snow, and curling up in a chair with a good book. Granted, my idyllic view of Christmas vacations to-come may not be as carefree as I hope (someone needs to fix my parents computer after all!) but I definitely intend on catching up on my reading list.
After paring down my own reading wish-list, cross-referencing it with recommendations from Chris, and peaking at the bookshelves of all my creative friends, I've compiled a roundup of 10 inspiring books that will get your creative juices flowing and put you in the mood to start some new projects in the new year.
Perhaps it might even give you a few ideas to reply to that incessant question, "What would you like me to get you for Christmas this year?"
There's nothing like giving somebody something awesome that also helps streamline their life, help them be more productive, or enjoy what they have just a little bit more...and those, friends, are (say it with me) tech gifts!
Of course, most standard issue popular technology - your smartphones, laptops, iPods, Xboxes, etc - are often pricey, and more than you want to spend on the average gift recipient.
Enter this great roundup - thirty tech gifts under $50!
Get Poor Quick by RAYGUN $19.00
In case you haven't started yet, let this be a gentle reminder to begin working on your holiday wish list, unless you want to end up receiving another ugly necktie and a gift certificate to a gas station.
T-shirts are always a great item to put on your own list or to stick in someone else's stocking. Personally, I'm a huge fan of graphic tees…I just can't get enough of them (technically speaking, I could get enough, but there's still plenty of room in my closet for now). So I've compiled this round up of 10 funny and cool t-shirts that will hopefully give you some ideas for holiday gifts this year.