Christmas gifts 2016: art, books, and homemade cookies are among the classics
All good things come in twos: Veronika, Ori, and Julia Fricke already got us started by compiling their own unique gift ideas, and now here’s the next installment from the rest of the team. Here’s what they have to say – presenting the next round of ideas from Junior Editor Catie Teles, new team member Franziska Steinle from the coordination department, and boss No. 2, Julia Knolle.
Julia Knolle (Co-Founder & Editor-in-chief)
It’s already been years – I think it’s already over nine – since I stopped celebrating Christmas. That’s no reason to be sad, though, and rather something to be happy about. You really get a few days to be completely alone, save yourself the stress of holiday travel, and do your fellow human beings the big favor of not running all over the place in a state of mindless consumer pressure without stopping to think for a minute why you’re acting like a remote-controlled lemming doing laps on a wheel. And in any case, family visits also work out during the course of the year, and tokens of attention can be given then as the thought arises, and not just because the calendar dictates it.
A few suggestions for when you don’t want to leave the gifts behind, however, would be these: At Women for Women, you can do something good and help directly with a donation that goes towards doctor visits, school costs, or clean and available water; the annual edition by Isa Genzken if you become a member of the Kölnischen Kunstverein; Jonathan Safran Foer has written a new book (and probably one worth reading) called Here I Am; the best sweater for cold days I’ve seen in a long time by Gabriela Hirst (don’t look at the price); smokers will be happy about a decorative kaleidoscope in ashtray form; and there’s a dandelion hidden inside this paperweight, which you can buy at Süper Store in Berlin – symbolically, the perfect opportunity to say goodbye to the last 12 months with a breath of air.
Franziska Steinle (Sales Manager)
I’ve answered my mother’s recurring question of what I would like for Christmas for some time now by declining with a simple response of: “nothing!” Of course larger and smaller surprises always land under the Christmas tree, like the annual addition to my Wendt & Kühn angel collection (over which she’s probably the most excited), a Moleskin calendar for the coming year (like always: soft cover, 13cm x 21cm), or a piece of jewelry that my father personally designed.
And like a well-functioning squad, it also works the other way around – routine, skipping any big experiments. Never change a winning team, right? As a literature and history fanatic – and a true outdoorsman – my father is always happy about books, like the first edition of his favorite, The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa or Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, which is full of illustrations by the renowned zoologist and collector Albertus Seba.
My mother, who has been blessed with young-looking skin (praying hands for those good genes!), is happy about cosmetics (a selection from Aesop last year was a total hit) and a candle, like this one from Astier de Villatte with the wonderful scent Palais de Tokyo. And for my little sister, whose street cred is undisputed looking at her absurdly large collection of extravagant sneakers, a new pair by Common Projects is a perfect choice.
And my own wish list of things like a pair of nice wide pants from J.Crew (which in the cold Berlin winter is certainly a good purchase), bridge cards for my comfy new apartment, the Epos sunglasses that I’ve had my eye on for a while now, like these earrings by Gucci and this cognac bag by Simon Miller…those I’ll take care of myself little by little.
Catarina Teles (Junior Editor)
Normally, I always spend Christmas at home with my family. Here in Germany. This year, however, is going to be different: Canada is the name of our destination, and I’m preparing myself mentally and physically for the cold that lies ahead of us. The trick is looking fashionable and not altogether too functional. It’s a tough mission, but one that this scarf by Folkdays or this cashmere sweater by our favorite label to watch, Reformation, can definitely fullfil! Ideal against frostbite.
What I’m finding the most difficult, however, is what to give my parents. I always try to find things for my mother that she maybe hasn’t seen or discovered yet, like for example the Coppa Tota Vase by Aytm and a spa gift certificate for two – because you know all too well that you’re also getting something for yourself, in order to spend a little mother-daughter-time over a manicure or such. For my father, it can always be something small like the Jack Puzzle by Craighill, which is modern and in some way functional, or also golf accessories. But for those, however, I always have to wait until shortly before Christmas to make sure I’m not getting him duplicates – otherwise, he always takes care of those things for himself.
Aside from that, I always have things on my list that are really timeless: the really chic salad servers by Ferm Living, decorative jars of French Île de Ré Fleur de Sel from Stories+Objects, or the Kay Bojesen wooden monkey, which I would like the most to have for myself!
And last but not least, I round out all of my gifts every year with something I made myself. My all-time classic is homemade fortune cookies filled with personal messages.