For most of us, the path to holiday hell is paved with good intentions. It’s not like we don’t want to give thoughtful gifts to the special people in our lives, but between school and/or work, celebrating the Obama victory and finally getting our Wii fitness age down to an acceptable number, shopping somehow falls to the wayside. And because giving books of homemade coupons will only lead to disappointment, here are few gift ideas for those of you who still have some loved-ones to buy for.
“I Came to Dance” T-Shirt
$15; http://www.threadless.com Threadless always has a few good designs for the clothes horse on your list, but this shirt comes with the added bonus of having its own song. The track, which is downloadable from the Threadless website, opens up endless social-networking possibilities: “Hi, there. My shirt has a whole song written about it. Does your shirt?”
Mixtape USB Drive
$20; http://www.insound.com Before the advent of CD burners, the best way to share musical feelings with that special someone was to spend a few hours slaving over the tape deck putting together the perfect mix of songs. It's much easier to load music onto this 64MB USB drive, but it will still conjure up fond memories of Lloyd Dobler and hitting play and record together at just the right time.
EM’s 4 Kids
$21; http://www.gear4baby.com.au Nothing rocks less than having to stay home from the rock show because baby’s sensitive ears can’t take the decibels of an electric assault. The perfect solution for the family that rocks together is this set of earmuffs, which will protect those precious eardrums and, as an added bonus, make the junior generation look like an extra from Roll Bounce.
LP Snack Tray
$25; http://www.uncommongoods.com New York artist Jeff Davis makes a variety of products from recycled LPs, but this snazzy snack station is a perfect conversation piece and can hold any variety of chips, candy or even vegetables. For a few extra dollars, Davis will recycle a record from your personal collection.
Sterling Silver Guitar Pick
$36; http://www.etsy.com For the few left who play guitar rather than Guitar Hero, this silver pick would be the perfect gift. It comes stamped with a personal message, can be used to shred some massive solos and might finally take the sting off having missed the one Eddie Van Halen threw into the crowd oh so many years ago.
DIY Eco Speakers
$18; http://www.urbanoutfitters.com It wouldn’t be Christmas without a craft set, but this nifty pair of speakers is better than Shrinky-Dinks or a latch hook rug. The lucky recipients get the fun of constructing their speakers and decorating them to taste and the peace of mind that each set is made from 70 percent recycled materials.
Book of Custom Stickers
$10; http://www.moo.com For a measly Alexander Hamilton, the good folks at Moo will take your pictures and put them on high-quality vinyl stickers. For those who aren’t artistically inclined, the website also has a slew of very nice designs.
The LP CDR
$12; http://www.5inch.com Anybody can burn a CD, but few CDs have this kind of flair. The discs hold 700 MB of music or data, comes in a variety of colors and has the old-school credibility of the LP and record design. The LP CDR also comes in a variety pack with disco ball and cassette tape CDs.
Birds of Prey Belt Buckle
$20; http://www.fluffyco.com In some states, you can judge a person’s character by their belt buckle. This one, with a resin-coated digital print ranging from owl to eagle, will make the wearer the envy of everybody from Ryan Adams to Neil Young.
Lego iPod Speaker
$20; http://www.vat19.com There are few shapes more pleasing than the Lego brick, and this iPod speaker not only looks like one but also enables users to share their music. The brick is roughly the size of a standard Lego, doesn’t require batteries and comes equipped with an active bass system and volume controls.
Speedball Screenprinting Kit
$64; http://www.urbanoutfitters.com Nothing gets a band’s name out on the street faster than a sweet T-shirt, and this kit from Speedball makes silk screening easy even for beginners. The high-quality paints will allow budding designers to create a wide variety of vibrant, wearable images.
Lost in the Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook
$12; http://www.amazon.com Named for a song by the Clash, this tome collects favorite recipes from some of music’s most well-known stars. Chapters focusing on both special-event dishes and daily food showcase contributions from the likes of Mugison, Animal Collective and Elf Power.
Ticket Stub Diary
$13; http://www.chroniclebooks.com Rather than throwing stubs into a shoebox, keep them in this journal specifically designed for preserving and displaying all kinds of tickets. The lined margins provide plenty of room for notes, and the acid-free paper will keep stubs in tip-top shape for years to come.
Each year, four artists, writers, musicians or filmmakers are invited by editors Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan to create an everyday object that somehow incorporates text. This object will be reproduced and hand-wrapped and then mailed to the homes of the subscribers with the help of the United States Postal Service.
Sterling 45 RPM Record Adapter Pendant
$64; http://www.shoprockcandy.com This pendant not only says that you have a lot of style, but also that you remember the days when the apex of cool was kicking it to 45s of Cyndi Lauper and Michael Jackson. The necklace is nice, and the memories are priceless.