Small Planet’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide
Tis the season for mittens, pajamas, and luxury axes.
Each year when we assemble our Holiday Gift Guide, we set our screens aside (for a moment) and focus on things that get us cooking, hiking, playing, learning, and making.
Everything in this year’s guide is a genuine recommendation from someone at Small Planet. There’s nothing too crazy on here price-wise, save for a few elegantly-designed fantasies. So, let there be light, and food, and warmth. And fanny packs.
Leather Fanny Pack
From suburban moms to festival-going stoners to urban cyclists, is there anything that appeals to so many disparate groups as the fanny pack? Celebrate the return of this society-unifying, unfairly-maligned accessory with a stylish staff favorite from superiorboundgoods. Not ready to feel it’s reassuring embrace around your hips? The included strap offers a credible over-the-shoulder option. Available in black and brown.
Best Made Axe
We know what you’re thinking: “Small Planet, I’m not a bearded, plaid-strewn, craft-beer swilling woodsman from Oregon or British Columbia or Bushwick. Only on rare occasions do I need to chop large things, so isn’t an expensive, beautiful axe a waste of money?” That’s fair. But did we mention that axes are cool?
Todd Snyder Timex Watch
Looking for ways to de-screen and bring some analog back into your life? A couple years back, Todd Snyder paired up with Timex to recreate some of their classic timepieces. The results were stylish, surprisingly-affordable watches that call back to a playful-yet-elegant era of accessory design.
Braun Multiquick Hand Blender
Hand blenders: the most important invention of the last 100 years. The Braun MQ505 Multiquick Hand Blender has a durable motor, is easy to clean, and doesn’t scratch stainless steel pan bottoms. $60 for Prime delivery makes it a nice last-minute pickup if your schedule or budget is tight.
DLF Lowell Pajama Set
Nothing says snuggly, safe winter comfort like Twin Peaks-inspired loungewear. 20% of the proceeds off this pine-printed pajama set go to the David Lynch Foundation for Transcendental Meditation, which we immediately clicked on after discovering there was a David Lynch Foundation for Transcendental Meditation.
LOOP Phone Strap
Pesky smartphones … always trying to escape your desperate, sweaty grasp. This universal cell strap is a stocking stuffer people will actually use. The LOOP strap fits on pretty much any smartphone case and is available in vivid designs such as “Bonbon,” “Polka,” “Meow,” and “Serge.”
A Velocity of Being
Stunning, breathtaking, essential. The subtitle to A Velocity of Being says it all: “Illustrated Letters to Children about Why We Read by 121 of the Most Inspiring Humans in Our World.” Ursula K. Le Guin, Neil Gaiman, Rebecca Solnit, Shonda Rhimes, Judy Blume, and other icons wrote letters accompanied by an original illustration by an artist.
Available online, or NYC residents/visitors can stop by the Fairy Lights Factory stall at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. You can pick your own colors, the balls are made of cotton thread, you can connect multiple strands, and they look way, way better than mass-produced knockoffs.
National Park A-Z Coloring Book
We’re huge fans of the parks system, and these days the NPS can use all the love and attention it can get. The National Park A-Z Coloring Book supports a great business, Parks Project, and their ongoing contribution and volunteer efforts in service of park conservancies all over the U.S.
Engaging in snappy newsroom banter? Stealing important religious artifacts? Investigating a shady missing persons case for an old friend? Then you need Brixton’s Messer Fedora. It’s practical, stylish, reasonably-priced, and available in several colors.
COS Quilted Leather Mittens
Some people go their entire lives without finding the right set of mittens. That’s not gonna be you. The crisp design and “butter soft” feel of these black Quilted Leather Mittens from COS put them on more than one wish list in our office.
Hedley & Bennett Apron
You’ve seen them out of the corner of your eye in Whole Foods or a fancy kitchen store, now’s the time to get one of these handmade aprons for yourself or that special someone. Great patterns, great material … it’s something you’ll hang on to for a while.
Throws and Blankets from Baloo, West Elm, and Paul Smith
Would you like to be buried under 20lbs of pure comfort for the next four months? The weighted blanket from Baloo Living is machine washable, tumble dry-friendly, and uses glass beads instead of plastic.
Searching for the rich feel of fur without the grisly, blood-splattered sacrifice of endangered animals? Check out West Elm’s delightful faux fur options.
Need a warmth that only haughty Englishness can provide? Paul Smith’s multi-colored, gradient-check, 100% lambswool blanket is here to lord over you (in style).
Utility Pocket Mirror
There was a time, not long ago, when common household items were dipped in rubber. Why? No one knows exactly, but it was glorious. Industrial design studio Visibility resurrects this ancient art through pocket-sized, stainless-steel mirrors accented with colorful, grip-friendly silicone.
Beartwo Solar Charger
It seems like there are roughly 2 billion types of solar chargers on the market, but we like the design and price of Beartwo’s compact offering. The last thing anybody wants on the trail (or on the road) is more weight to carry around, which is why the size and heft (5.5 inches and 7.4 ounces) are quite nice. Water-resistant, dust-resistant, and it has an emergency flashlight.
Jansen & Co. Salad Servers
Once you’ve committed to the $98 apron and the Braun mixer, there’s no turning back. You might as well round out your kitchen-themed present trifecta these salad servers available from the MoMA Design Store. They’re fun, festive, well-made, and budget-friendly.
Ok, yes, the customizable Scrambler is one of the pricier entries on our list. But the iconic design, 399cc L-Twin cylinder 41HP desmodromic air-cooled engine, Pirelli dual sport tires, black silencer, and Kayaba rear shock at least deserve a look, right? And let’s be honest, you had us at “desmodromic.”
Spoon Carving Kit from Melanie Abrantes
Want to make something out of wood, but not sure what? Bay Area woodworking genius and teacher Melanie Abrantes offers an accessible entry point: the ability to make your own spoonusing traditional Japanese tools. The kit is ok for children under direct supervision, but the Mikikicha carving knife probably requires direct supervision of your favorite adults too.
Des Moines-based Raygun is many things — independent clothing business, voice of the Midwest, truth-telling champion of democracy — and their shirts (and accessories) are perfect gift options for your “No Coast” friends and family.