Give the Gift of a Happy New Year
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
To decide what to get your nearest and dearest for Christmas, look ahead exactly one week.
By Fiona Zublin
Though Christmas gift-giving has totally overshadowed New Year’s gift-giving in the U.S. and many other places, you heard it here first: New Year’s gifts are a thing! Not only is it a traditional gift-giving day in several other countries, including Russia — which looked to New Year’s during the Soviet era as a secular alternative to Christmas — it gives you an extra few days to find presents for everyone.
Look, you could just get everybody socks. Seriously, everybody loves socks! Look at these puffin socks. Anyway, for those of you whose friends and family have enough socks (no such thing), here’s a pro tip when deciding what to get them: In just a few days, they’ll be celebrating New Year’s Eve … and you should get them something they can use. Of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all New Year’s, but OZY has you covered no matter what.
The One Who’s Going to a Rave
There are two rules about raving that one is liable to forget. One: You can never have enough neon. Two: It is absolutely essential to wear comfortable shoes. Since festive footwear is often uncomfortable footwear, you can help your raviest friend solve this problem with Bright LED Shoes, which have neon lights in the soles. They come in a variety of colors and styles (personally I recommend the shiny pink ones— $69.99) and should be easy to walk and dance in until 2019 rolls around.
The One Who Has Small Children
Not to indulge in dumb stereotypes about people with kids but look, odds are they aren’t going anywhere. So why not get them a project that they can do as a family, something lasting to remember the turn of the year? Jigsaw puzzles are too transient, but a sewing project like the Haptic Lab constellation quilt kit ($56) will allow kids who can be trusted to hold a needle to master basic sewing skills while learning about the night sky. Bonus: It’ll keep you warm later on. If these kids are more into geography than astronomy, the same company makes map quilt kits as well.
The One Who’ll Be Reading a Book at Home
January is the time to start weighty books you always meant to read, but Dec. 31 is the night to read for pure pleasure. Which, for most people you’d want to call your friends, means Dorothy Sayers. The Folio Society has just released beautiful new editions of many classic novels — and while you can always buy them Middlemarch for January, Sayers’ collection of short stories, Hangman’s Holiday ($53.95), is the perfect joyous, engaging read for the last night of the year.
The One Hosting a Fancy Soiree
Upscale house parties are always just a little uncomfortable — almost like people are playing at being grown-ups. But Rebekah Peppler’s new cookbook, Apéritif, strikes the perfect balance with party snacks and low-key cocktails that steer away from hard liquor and toward slightly exotic (for the U.S.) alcohols like byrrh and pastis. That way, everyone can just be themselves and have a good time. For New Year’s options, they can turn to the section of the book focused on the winter months — such as the Alfonso, a sleek and festive wine glass of bitters, Dubonnet Rouge, champagne, sugar and lemon named for noted alcohol connoisseur King Alfonso XIII of Spain. “The fact that the Alfonso has both royal cred and bubbles puts it directly in the festive category for me,” Peppler says. “If you can’t find Dubonnet Rouge, feel free to sub in another classic French apéritif like Byrrh or Lillet Rouge.”
The One Getting a Jump on Their New Year’s Resolutions
We all have friends like this. You just want to shake them by the shoulders and say, “You’re great the way you are! You don’t have to change!” But it’ll never happen. So enable their incessant self-improvement — sure to start bright and early on Jan. 1, 2019, with 50 pushups or something else overly energetic — in a positive and flexible way with this Whitelines notebook to keep notes on their progress. The Stockholm-based company has made some small improvement on the standard spiral-bound: The lines on the paper are white on light gray (instead of dark), which the company claims is less tiring to the eye. Since you know your friend will be manically taking and keeping notes, it’s probably a plus that Whitelines has an app that allows you to easily digitize whatever you put to paper.