Olivia's Guide To Buying Gifts For The People Who Are Not Your Immediate Family

Publish date:
December 3, 2013
family, gift guide, Opening Ceremony, Nasty Gal, lomo, Nordstrom, michelle tea

Here is something you don't know about me. I love buying gifts for people. I always have. My mom used to give me like $50 and let me loose in the underground mall of the World Trade Center and I would go buckwild buying gifts for my family that just had to be perfect or else I would have felt like Christmas was ruined. Pretty cute, eh?

However, as I grow older and my animosity towards my parents begins to regain an almost teenage momentum, I am starting to look for gifts for friends that are super important, but not related, to me. Frankly, those are the people I see anyway. (I love my parents, they just left me alone this Thanksgiving and I'm still a little butthurt about it.) So, here is a little guide for gifts that you need to get for people, because you already know what you are getting the fam, I know I do.

For The Friend You See Every Day

I think this is the hardest. You have that one person you see all the time and you know the ins and outs of her life and you really wish you knew less but you can't unlearn all the dark secrets about your bestie. That is what is hard about them: You know TOO MUCH. Your gift getting vibes are totally clouded by that entire pizza you ate last weekend together and all you can come up with is "PizzaHut Gift Certificate?" Yeah, no.

That's why you can get her this super amazing DIY Bikini kit. This is fun because you can watch her try to make it and by the time she finishes it, it will be summer! Next, this Seletti Wears Toilet Paper plate, complete with fingers. Also, everybody loves a cute stuffed animal because like look at this little a-hole. He is beautiful and I love him.

For Your Partner, That You Can Also Enjoy Yourself

I usually think coffee table books are a pretty impersonal gift, but The Wes Anderson Collection is actually THE BOOK to buy this season. It is full of amazing behind-the-scenes ephemera from all of his movies. Even if you didn't enjoy every single one of them, I'm sure one of them made you think, laugh or cry. Frankly, even if you hate his movies, this book is just beautiful to look at over and over again.

The Aquafarm is the sweetest symbiotic gift you could buy. The fish clean the plants and the plants feed the fish, if not only a totally 2024 gift, it at least could be a not-so subtle metaphor of your relationship. If you are feeling very explicit, the Love Me Tender sweatshirt works too, because sometimes you've got to ask for it.

For The Tween In Your Life

Getting gifts for young people is tough because they are so strange. Right? Tweens are both insufferable and inspiring. But, you must love (or, tolerate at least) one of them in your life, RIGHT? Which is why Michelle Tea's new YA novel Mermaids In Chelsea Creek is one to get. Our very on Michelle Tea's newest fantastical novel about a young misfit girl and a foulmouthed mermaid is one that any awesome kid can actually read on their own time.

Also, kids are getting a little to accustomed to instant gratification, which is why the Lomo Diana Mini camera is key. Any of the cameras made my Lomo are actually a great gift that both teaches patience (which, indeed, needs to be taught these days) and encourages creativity and everybody knows that patience and creativity means BIG BUCKS in the long run, and you want to be there at the source.

Finally, kids (tweens, teens, whatever they are all essentically the same) love squishy cute things that are vaguely menacing. In fact, most kids are both of those things and because kids are inherently self absorbed, the Plush Domo backpack is a great gift.

For Your Long Distance Friend (A.K.A Things That Won't Cost a Million To Ship)

Shipping things over the holidays is a BUMMER, but we do it because just because you never see them doesn't mean you still don't love them to death. Can we talk about this AMAZING porcupine toothpick holder? My mom collects hedgehogs (wait, what's the difference between the two, can you help me out on this one commenters?) which is one of the reasons i love this. Not only is this guy cute as a bug, it is the kind of thing that if you had out at your dinner party, you kind of DEMAND respect. Dinner parties are all in the details.

Second, cashmere is always a good gift. It is expensive (WOOT!) and totally light. I actually really REALLY want these Catbird Undies for myself. So, if you are a big fan of me you can find the office address at the bottom of the homepage and deliver them there.

Finally, TEA. Tea is a great gift. Especially if you are not trying to spend. Everybody should drink tea and nobody really thinks about buying anything other than Lipton or Yogi tea. These teas are really nice and come in great packaging so no wrapping necessary. I'm sold.

For Your "Saturday Night Friend"

Let us not forget the friend you get wasted with. I mean, honestly you do need her/him. Even though you can't tell them your secrets for fear that they get too drunk and blab over dinner, there is a very special disco ball sized part of your heart for them. Maybe a not so subtle hint could be these totally amazing sparkly tart servers. These say "Maybe we should stay in and eat cake, but like, in a cool way."

If that's not really your friends bag, these perforated leggings from Helpsy are a great gift. They are great for interesting layering during the cold months and breezy cool in the summer. TWOFER. If you are just going to give in and keep going to the club with your weekend warrior, they cannot be without these metallic lips. I don't think I need to explain these. They are awesome. You go girl.

For Your On-Again/Off-Again Thing

So, buying a gift for someone you are casually sleeping with could be construed as crazy. Which is OK. Crazy is good and everybody knows crazy people are better in bed. But you still want to play it cool, which is why the "Serial Chiller" Tee is amazing, because it's funny and only slightly threatening.

If you don't want to make any sort of statement, a pizza pouch is really great, especially if your thing is into smoking weed (most people you can't date are.) If you are really trying to keep your distance, nothing says "I don't really care about you" like a blowup Dinosaur, in which case, this one at Fab.com is your best bet.

Aright, I'm out. I'm going to go shopping for all of my favorite people who I don't really know that well, but need to buy for regardless because the holidays are really about commerce.