The Gifts the Strategist Editors Will Be Giving (and the Gifts They Want)

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To be a Strategist editor we have to be obsessive, exacting, and a little bit crazy when it comes to finding things to buy on the Internet — so you, the reader, don’t have to be. Which is why we thought that letting you in on gifts we’ll be giving (and the gifts we will be wanting) might be useful. Mom, dad, niece, roommate — please don’t read this.

Jessica Silvester, Strategist Senior Editor

The Gifts I’ll Be Gifting

For my 10-year-old niece who loves geode stones and also loves fun soaps: these hand-sculpted glycerin soaps that look like geode stones!

And another twofer gift: for my aunt who is partial to anything leopard or black-and-white, a scarf that is both leopard and black-and-white.

Monogram tumblers for my aunt who’s always saying, “Is this my scotch?”

I’m not giving Elena Ferrante’s terrifying new picture book to a child — it’s about a little girl’s doll who gets lost on the beach and is taunted by a man with a rake who tells her to “drink up the pee” — but my friend who loves Ferrante will appreciate it.

My brother-in-law recently got into meditating via the Headspace app. I wish I could afford to get him one of those Headspace meditation pods, but instead I might go in with another family member on this meditation teepee.

The Gifts I Want to Get

I thought of body wash as something only my dad uses, but I discovered this one by accident. I thought they were body lotion, because the texture is so silky and creamy, and because the labels are all written in French, which I don’t speak. Then I tried it and it made my skin so soft that I didn’t even need to put on moisturizer after my shower. And the best part is the sweet, gentle aroma it leaves — like you’re a newborn baby in a garden of the Loire Valley. I want one in every scent.

I want everything warm from Uniqlo: First and foremost, these fleece-lined hoodies — the inside is so velvety-soft, I would believe you if you told me it was mink. And also their latest “Extra Warm” Heattech under layers, which are supposedly 1.5 times even warmer than their regular Heattech.

People (and by people I mean Jennifer Aniston) swear by micro-current facials. The idea is you try to relax while someone runs an electrical stimulation device all over your face to supposedly boost circulation and collagen production and plump the skin back to where it was ten years ago. But they’re the type of facials you’re supposed to do all the time in order to see the best results, which can get insanely expensive. Now that there’s this well-reviewed at-home version (which over time is a lot more affordable than going to a spa), I would like to get in on the experience.

Mainly because I want to know what Hockney has to say about the seawater in Disney’s Pinocchio.

A milk frother: This one comes with a convenient little stand — so I can make endless cups of steaming, extra-foamy golden milk and live forever.

Lauren Schwartzberg, Strategist Associate Editor

The Gifts I’ll Be Giving

I used to think a candle was the most basic and uninspired gift idea, but then my roommate settled for a mini Feu de Bois because she didn’t want to spend over $60 on a candle for herself. That’s where I come in. I’m going to get her the big one this year.

For my mom, who read our entire print gift guide filled with 218 unusual, hard-to-find gifts from grass chairs to Versace slippers and texted me, “The best gifts are the Jo Malone bath oils!”

For my little sister in art school who knows nothing about soccer, but once saw someone cool wearing this Juventus with light-wash ripped jeans on Instagram and sent me the picture.

The Gifts I Want to Get

I am on an eternal quest to find the best looking, best sounding, most comfortable over-ear headphones that will also fold up and fit comfortably into whatever bag I’m using that day. I think these might finally be the one.

I’m all about the kimono around-the-house look, but the one I bought at Pearl River a few years ago isn’t real silk and it’s time for an upgrade. I’d like this one from Anthropologie.

There is nothing in the world I want more than a Yeezy shearling and when you think about it (which I have, over and over again) it’s actually the most normally priced Yeezy item available.

Jason Chen, Strategist Senior Editor

The Gifts I’ll Be Giving

I got this a few years ago from a coworker — the German-made bottle opener also functions as a resealer for unfinished beverages (it has fun diagrammatic instructions etched right on it). Perfect as an inexpensive stocking stuffer with some design bona fides.

In my apartment, it’s always a certain type of houseguest — well-moisturized friend’s mom, awash in cream and taupe — who will comment, “Yummy, what is that smell!” Most candles have that resinous and woodsy or else ecclesiastical-incense note, but this is bright, citrusy, and effervescent. A super mom present.

Apparently this was a craze that swept Facebook last year, but I hadn’t heard of it when my brother brought it out at Thanksgiving two weeks ago, when my tween cousin went bonkers over it. The game is basically Russian roulette with whipped cream in the face (it’s as dumb and unsophisticated as it sounds), but it’s also a bull’s-eye group activity when you’ve run out of ideas for small talk with various cousins’ girlfriends.

The Gifts I Want to Get

So much Illuminati merch is overly baroque, but this Kings of NY dad cap is nothing but a simple Eye of Providence on an equally chill six-panel dad cap. I’d wear the hell out of this with gray sweatshirts, white T-shirts, charcoal pants, black jeans — really just anything.

This talking clock speaks the time in Japanese (Shoshanna had one on Girls while living in Japan), and each different-colored version has its own distinct personality. Clockman doesn’t look like much in still photos, but in motion its expressions are eerily lifelike, the eyes and mouth moving with rapid-fire emotion. The reviews on Amazon are dismal because it doesn’t come with English instructions, but hey, that’s what (Japanese) friends are for.

Okay, $200 for a dopp kit is absurd, which is why it’s something I’d never buy myself, but this handsome black bag is almost more than a travel accessory. It’s an idea — of a more jet-setty, civilized me. Makes me want to toss out the Cetaphil and replace it with Tom Ford.

Alexis Swerdloff, Strategist Editor

The Gifts I’ll Be Giving

My friend Jon has one of these (and has gifted them frequently), and I think it’s just the handsomest key ring I’ve ever seen. It’ll be a good one for the people on my list I’m feeling a little stumped about.

My dad loves nothing more than trivia about the New York waterfront (if we’re driving on the BQE: “Did you know that the body of water to our right is called Buttermilk Channel?”). I read about this book in the Times last weekend, and think he’ll enjoy it.

“I want a pair of elastic-waist pants, that aren’t too tight at the bottom,” was my mother’s directive this year. She’ll be getting these L.L.Bean house pants that have over 2,000 glowing customer reviews, including the one that sold me: “They’re the perfect cross between a tight spandex pant and a loose sweat pant” because that is exactly what my mom was saying without literally saying.

I have seen a lot of stuffed bears in my life, but I can definitively say none as cute as this travel teddy. Chocolito has small magnets hidden inside, so it can dangle from a jungle gym, or fold over on itself across a seatbelt. It’s perfect for all the new babies in my life.

My friends and I have an annual Secret Santa swap, and while I don’t know who I’ll be getting yet, odds are one of them works or has worked in fashion, and this book, an autobiography of 1950s-era London designer Mary Quant seems like a real hoot. I’d get them a vintage hardback version.

The Gifts I Want to Get

Things I love: scalloped sheets and fancy T-shirts. I would never, ever spend this much on a T-shirt for myself … so …

It’s time for a new wallet (and I never like getting wallets for myself because they’re such a good gift — it’s like I’m depriving someone else of the joy of getting me an easy gift). I’ve heard good things about Everlane’s small leather goods — and this one is simple and elegant, and black with a gold zipper, which is my favorite wallet-color combination.

I’ve been coveting a pair of these high-waisted, flattering mom jeans that Amy Larocca wrote about since the first day she appeared in the office wearing them. As someone who sits right next to her, and sees her wear them several times a week, my covetousness has multiplied exponentially.

Another thing I want that I learned about on the job: This mattress topper that supposedly feels like you’re sleeping on a super-dense down comforter. Our mattress at home needs to be replaced, and I currently don’t have the strength to investigate which Leesa/Casper/Tuft & Needle to get, so for now, this fiber bed seems like a quick, luxurious fix.

It’s silly, but I’ve alway wanted to be that “together”-looking person who has Aesop hand soap in her bathroom (though I don’t think I could stomach spending $39 of my own money on it — which is why I’d like someone else to!)

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The Gifts the Strategist Editors Will Be Giving