DC on Heels Staff Gift Suggestions
‘Twas the week before Christmas and all over town, not a shopper was smiling, all had a frown. With President Obama headed to Hawaii and Mayor Gray on the stump, DC on Heels staffers put together a gift guide with no lump (of coal).
There’s only a few days until Christmas, and time to buy gifts for all of your family and friends is running out. As our holiday gift to you, the staff of DC on Heels has each picked their favorite gift recommendations for 2013. We hope these ideas help you fill all the stockings in your life.
‘Tis the season to be jolly and give gifts! BUT it can be sooooo hard picking out a good thoughtful gift for a loved one. So forget the impersonal gift card — how about creating and giving a gift filled with tons of memories?!
I’m such a fan of photo collages and sharing memories — that’s why this gift is so perfect! I know many of us may have loved ones far away (especially those with military spouses/partners) which is what makes this gift so awesome.
Drum roll please. Introducing Stichtagram. Design pillows and bags with photos from Instagram or your computer. They are made by hand in Washington, D.C. The pillows come in several size options. Get the original throw pillow for $68 at 15×15 inches or you can snag the the mini pillow which will run you about $41. And for an even more personal touch, spray some of your favorite perfume or cologne on it. What a sensory gift sensation! OK Stichgram away, create your pillow with lots of love and Happy Holidays!
Almost everyone loves chocolate, and D.C. neighborhoods are so rich in history and culture. My gift suggestion combines the two — a chocolate tour of U Street, Dupont Circle or Georgetown. The gift recipient will explore the city with a personable guide and delectable chocolate samples.
A $65 chocolate tour led by a licensed D.C. tour guide with a wide knowledge of the city and also of chocolate includes visits to restaurants, chocolate boutiques and other unique destinations. Participants learn the rich history behind chocolate delights while strolling along some of the most famous streets in the world. They’ll enjoy tastings at a minimum of six chocolate hot-spots during their tour. It’s a fun way to discover, and sample, some of the best chocolate stops in the nation’s capital.
Prepare to uncover the sweeter side of Washington with this delicious and fun chocolate walking tour. No matter how much the recipient already loves chocolate, they’ll appreciate it more than ever after indulging in this one-of-a-kind chocolate walking tour
This Christmas I want something that will last a little longer than holiday cheer and taste just as good year round. For the discerning beer drinker on your list, consider a subscription to The Rare Beer Club. This beer of the month club delivers to the sophisticated inebriate choice selections of rare beers, celebrity beers and promising newcomers.
This a great gift for an old college friend or that drinking buddy you only kind of know, but want to become closer with in the New Year. The U.S. Microbrew Club and the U.S. and International Variety Club includes three bottles of four different brews. International Beer Club members get six bottles of two different brews monthly, while the Rare Beer Club comes in 2-, 4- or 6-bottle subscriptions. This year give the gift that keeps on sipping because nothing says I love you like beer in the mail.
I’ll admit, I cheated! My must have fitness gift for the holidays is actually two things, but hear me out. While other health writers will try and sell you on Fitbies and other expensive gadgets that swear to get you in shape, I take the opposite approach. Incorporate health and fitness into your everyday life by keeping it close at hand — in your home. Get your stretching in by using your laptop on the floor or pop a chin up bar in a doorway to work your arms while you wait for your coffee to brew. These two items, totaling under $40 online, are a great start to a home gym for you or a friend.
A trainer I sometimes work with popped this bad boy out during our post-aerials stretching one day, and I gasped like I’d seen Santa. The Gold’s Gym Stretch Assist Strap is a strong nylon strap manufactured by Gold’s Gym. Available on Walmart.com for under $10, it is the perfect tool to work on your flexibility. Even if you’re not a circus freak like me, flexibility is so important for overall health! This nylon strap has handles and holes for your hands and feet to offer up dozens of perfect stretch assists. Could you just use a belt or scarf? You could, but as someone that’s tried both, this strap takes the cake. Pop it in your car or suitcase during your holiday travel and stay limber all winter long!
There aren’t a lot “as seen on TV” things I’d recommend, but the Iron Gym Total Upper Body Workout Bar and the Snuggie are the only two I can think of. This is a great item. Though it works on clever leverage and doesn’t require any installation, mine never leaves a doorway in my home. Working up to a pull up is a great basic fitness skill, and negatives, chin ups and kipping pull ups are great practice if you’re not there yet. Not only for arm and back strength, the Iron Gym is great for working your abs and legs with knee raises and hanging leg lifts. Hang out this holiday with the Iron Gym, or give the gift of pull ups to your favorite workout buddy.
Everyone has at least one inseparable couple on their holiday gift list. It can be a daunting task to pick something that both halves of the whole will enjoy. No worries, I’ve got you covered. Literally. One of this season’s must-have items for those glued at the hip couples is a two-person umbrella.
Personally, I hate sharing an umbrella with my boyfriend (or anyone for that matter) because I’m much shorter than he is, which means the he has to hold it, and I end up soaked before reaching our destination. This umbrella is just two umbrellas that end on one handle so that you can walk and stay dry together. Opulent Items has this wonderful invention available for $50 in black or red. A two person umbrella may sound crazy, but this gift will make any Brangelina or TomKat on your list extremely happy. The shorter of the two will forever thank you. Trust me on that.
My first thought about what makes the perfect gift for someone who loves the kitchen was to think practical. Which tool in the kitchen do I value most? And that is always an easy question: my Lodge cast iron skillet. It is my absolute go-to gift for brides to be, newly-weds, a newbie in the kitchen. This sturdy, oven-friendly skillet works for nearly any dish, and it’s rare that I make a meal without it. I happen to love it’s even temperature control, versatility from stovetop to oven, and it’s cast iron, so no funny chemicals.
The cast iron, however, doesn’t have the allure of a new, hot product in the food world. It has, of course, been around since 1896. So for those looking for a kitchen gift a bit more with the times, I’m going to recommend picking up a copy of Comida Latina, an illustrated cookbook that is potentially more appealing to the eyes than the stomach — each page guiding you through beautiful portraits of South American dishes with vivid colors and illustrations. It’s difficult to not rip the pages out and frame them on your kitchen walls. AND, what’s best about this? You’ll be supporting a young, D.C. self-published author, Marcella Kriebel. Pick it up at Salt & Sundry at Union Market or here on Etsy.
Bleu de Chanel cologne is perfect for that man who has great taste in fashion and knows how to have a good time. A man who wears this cologne doesn’t live life on a schedule, he likes the unexpected. Ladies can’t get their hands off of him. He is mysterious and hard to resist.
If you’re like me and enjoy collecting and wearing one-of-a-kind colognes, this is for you. This is on my wishlist, and hopefully I’ll get it because if you’re a fan of Chanel you knew that Chanel colognes are known to look and smell great. If you are concerned that the price might be pricey, have no fear because you can purchase this cologne for only $62 here.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, where giving is better than receiving. If you’re like me and have family all over the globe than you will need some kind of entertainment traveling on the airplane. I can’t go a day without listening to music. That’s why I feel like Beats Pill by Dre is the perfect gift for your music junkie relative. Not only is this gadget small and lightweight to hold in your hand, but the sound system is so loud people will think you’re throwing a party. This will make that teen who always in her or his room blasting music one happy camper.
I love the fact that the Beats Pill by Dre comes in five different colors (black, red, white, grey and pink). The Beats Pill is 100 percent wireless. You can change songs from your phone and even take a call with the built-in microphone. Head phones won’t be necessary. This cool gift costs $199.95 on Beats Entertainment website. Now I know what you’re thinking — this is a little pricey for my budget. Well don’t be discouraged because I’m sure it will be on sale for the holidays. Happy Holiday and enjoy bumping to Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke on your Beats Pill by Dre.
You can’t go wrong with a great pair of gloves! I love these chic Marzipan Leather Gloves from Anthropologie for $98. They are sand-colored leather with a cashmere lining. The jeweled detail adds a festive touch that’s perfect for the holidays.
I also love scarves. You can never have too many. If you’re like me, you wear one every day in the winter months, and it’s nice to have a large collection to match your outfits. It’s also a pretty fool-proof gift for anyone on your list. Bonus for scarf/hat/glove combos.
If you’re seeking a gift for your favorite perfumista who’s perhaps a bit jaded by the endless parade of mass-produced scents that bedeck department store shelves and counters, look no further than a subscription to Olfactif. A purveyor of exquisite, hard-to-find niche fragrances, Olfactif delivers a selection of three scent samples a month in generously-sized (2.25 ml) spray vials enclosed in a fabulously chic black box.
Created as individual works of olfactory art that express a perfumer’s distinctive vision, niche perfumes offer the chance to truly appreciate perfume as an art form. The perfumers showcased in Olfactif’s collection are not constrained by current trends (or a cosmetic company’s marketing department and focus groups, etc.) and have the freedom to create truly original fragrances that will captivate and challenge your senses. I’m impressed by this superbly curated collection — my favorite niche perfumers are well-represented along with others who are new to me. Make haste and purchase a subscription to Olfactif for that lucky recipient — you’ll not find a better gift for the perfume aficionado of discerning tastes.
Subscriptions to Olfactif are $18/month on a monthly basis, but are also available in three, six and 12-month packages (discounted accordingly, of course). Subscribers also get an $18 credit each month to put toward a full-sized bottle of their choice.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.