BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR GIRLFRIEND

A particularly good gift if you live far away and aren’t going to be seeing them in person to hand over that homemade cake you would otherwise have lovingly prepared (read, bought from the store at the last minute). If you’re feeling generous, how about giving them a monthly cupcake subscription?

So you’ve decided to get her a bomb kit? Scour the internet and you’ll find instructions for making the worst kind of gift imaginable. But instead of making one that blows up, why don’t you teach her how to make a bath bomb? No costly medical bills or long, drawn out criminal trials. Just an explosion of peace and relaxation.

In classier quarters this might be called a “decanter.” But the built-in stupidity of a decanter is that it’s really just a big glass you’re not allowed to drink out of. You see, in the genteel world of wine, “classy” consists of adding unnecessary steps to what should be a simple process. Of course, bourgeois society has attached all kinds of stigma to drinking straight from the bottle, so some kind of compromise is necessary. And that compromise is right here.

Anyone who tells you that you can’t look classy drinking straight out of the bottle simply lacks imagination. And they clearly haven’t seen one of these. The best thing about using the Guzzle Buddy is the total lack of pretension. This is the perfect gift for that person who always talks about having ONE glass but never seems to achieve that level of self-control. This is a great way to say, “You don’t have to pretend. We want you to be who you are. We just want you to look better doing it.”

Flowers are a classic gift, but they’ve got one fatal flaw: no matter how beautiful, they tend to wilt too soon. But you’re smarter than that - you like to play the long game. The Flower of the Month Club lets you automatically replenish those flowers at regular intervals so that there’s always a fresh collection in the recipient’s house. Even if you’re not a hippy, you can always employ a little “flower power” to make someone feel loved and appreciated.

If you’re following the same sequences every day, sometimes yoga practice can be a little repetitive. But making up your own sequence as you go can involve too much thinking, which messes up your flow. Every once in a while it’s nice to have some randomized guidance. Just roll these wooden yoga dice and let the universe decide which way you should bend yourself. The perfect gift for the yoga enthusiast (or beginner) who’s looking for a way to shake up their practice.

These king-sized treats just might be the perfect gift to match their insatiable sweet tooth. This level of candy debauchery might be frowned upon by overeaters anonymous, but life is too short for sugar shaming. No need to wrap these monstrous munchies, the wrapper alone is half the fun and can be used later on as one-of-a-kind wall art to commemorate their gastronomical feat.

In our crazy modern world, who has the patience to wait more than a day for their online purchases, or to watch one episode a week of their favorite series, instead of a 10-hour binge? If they don’t already have a subscription to Amazon Prime, it’s your duty to bring them out of the dark ages. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and you can get it for them right now. They’ll get free shipping on tons of great stuff from Amazon as well as access to a bizillion movies for free. Whatever their addiction, they can feed it on Amazon. Help them feed it faster and better.

Nothing beats the comfort of lounging around the house, enveloped in something much larger than yourself, unless that something is a giant snake, the crushing anxiety of an ever-uncertain future, or a sense of guilt for that awful thing you said at last year’s family picnic. A giant knit blanket helps to smother any of these undesirable feelings, leaving one with a sense of warmth and security.

Back in the days before society and political correctness and cell phones went and made everyone soft, you would smash an insect, rodent, or other small intruder with your bare hands, and if you were poor enough, you’d add it to whatever you were making for dinner, because it’s cheaper than buying fancy store seasonings. But that’s pretty old school, and we understand that most people have gotten off that bus. It’s a lot easier just to vacuum stuff up and be done with it.

The hoarder’s dream diary, this hardcover or ring-bound (it’s your choice) historical record-keeper finally allows them to organize and maintain their paid entertainment history. No more tossing them in a box or in the nearest convenient empty drawer. Now they’re sorted and annotated, and everything is easy to find in case of emergency or if the IRS decides to audit their entertainment history. Some people will tell you that memories are the lifeblood of existence, but we all know how unreliable those are. Better to have the hard copy.

Knowledge is the lifeblood of commerce, and sharing knowledge is how the human race continues its noble march toward destruction. But these days, people would just as soon carry a stone tablet as a paperback. An Amazon Kindle is the best way to look smart in public without seeming like a relic.

Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.

Generally speaking, the last person in the room who needs more wine is the person who’s already gone feet up. But as long as that posture signals relaxation and not unconsciousness, it’s probably fine. There may be a moral grey area, but that’s not your problem. This is the perfect gift for the most shameless wino you know.

Here’s some art that really grows on you. A hanging garden that can be placed on any wall in the house, it can add a bit of unexpected life to an interior space. The frame comes decked out with easy-to-care-for succulents, so you don’t have to worry about giving this to someone with a brown thumb.

The last thing anyone wants to do after a long day is wrack their brains trying to figure out what to drown their sorrows with. That’s really the last straw. With this beautiful, handcrafted set of drunk dice, the possibilities are endless—and so are the regrets. But hey, a party isn’t complete until things get a little dicey..

Sure, it will be strange when you have to get that cheek swab from them without them knowing what you’re up to, but it will all make sense when you reveal this custom portrait that showcases their unique DNA. Or you could just give them the DNA collection kit as the gift if that’s easier. Or just swab your dog. They’ll never know the difference.

Spilled alcohol and broken glass simply don’t fit with the luxury life. Let the lowbrows balance their stemware on the wet, glossy surface of the tub like the hapless fools they are. Your friends and loved ones deserve better. Bring some peace of mind to their relaxation hour.

For the true art connoisseur, sometimes a poster reproduction of a famous work just isn’t enough. And no, you’re not going to fool them with a “really nice” giclée print off Amazon. These are real, one-of-a-kind, straight from the hand of the artist genuine pieces. Whether it’s a canvas painting, a piece of modernist furniture, or an $18,000 metal balloon dog, there’s something for everyone here (and, believe it or not, for any budget if you’re willing to dig a little).

Some might consider it the ultimate display of human privilege to begin claiming faraway stars just because we have a few extra dollars in our pockets. But once you realize that the universe is far bigger than you think it is, you’ll cool off a little. There’s more than enough to go around for everybody. Several billion times over. So go ahead and give someone a little piece of the cosmic pie. Nothing to get all riled up about.

If procrastination is winning the gift shopping battle, you can emerge victorious by running down to your local art, science, or history museum to grab a gift membership. It will seem like something that you put a lot of thought into, finding a gift that enriches their lives, exposes them to new cultures, and all that junk.

A trip to the spa promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and contributes to their general wellbeing. It also gets them off your back for a few hours. This is what people call a win-win situation. Ship them off to a place of rest and rejuvenation. You’ll both be glad you did.

They may know the best recipe for every major Northern Italian, French, and Thai dish ever invented and be able to whip up a soufflé blindfolded, but can they cut a tennis ball in half in mid-air? The truth is, these knives do all the work for you. Or so we’re told. They certainly look better than that Walmart set.

Symbolic furniture is all the rage. Champagne lovers will feel tipsy when they see this decorative and functional living room table that pays homage to their favorite beverage. Then maybe you can buy them that dining room table shaped like a cow. Or that butt-shaped toilet seat cover. So many choices in this category.

Save them from trekking all the way down to the local ice cream chain store and waiting in line for some 16 year old who hates everything about them to shovel a handful of mass-produced ice cream into a paper cup and then charge them eight dollars while rolling his eyes. Life is so much more pleasant when you can do things yourself, isn’t it?

Chocolates used to (and perhaps still do) come from factories run by shady recluses and populated by obese midget slaves. Or at least that’s what the video evidence suggests. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Stick it to big business by giving someone this home chocolate making kit and help them join the artisan revolution. A whole new way to make chocolate “guilt free”.

It’s never too early to spread the love. And with this heart-shaped waffle maker, all they have to do is spread the batter, and all the love symbolism comes popping out by itself, like magic. Alas, these delicious creations are destined to be just as fleeting.

The good life is all about quality over quantity. Or maybe it’s about quality and quantity. We’re not here to argue. If they still want to swill down cheap rotgut wine by the box, nobody’s going to stop them. It’s their life, not yours. But here’s a great way to broaden their horizons once a month by introducing them to the stuff that’s popular with the people who don’t mix their chardonnay with diet sprite.

Tea has been renowned for its health and healing abilities since ancient times. Of course, so has bloodletting. But don’t worry - unlike cutting someone open, feeding them tea actually works. Most teas are packed with antioxidants and other important nutrients and fancy-sounding compounds that we’ve learned about from Dr. Oz, and many have genuine medicinal applications. And many teas also have flavor and aroma profiles that promote relaxation and relieve stress. It almost sounds too good to be true. But it’s not. Nature is a genius, and here’s her medicine.

It’s nice to have the option to get an endless massage from somebody whose hands never get tired. And you don’t have to worry about being a captive audience to some godawful boring story or suffer through ten minutes of vomit-inducing garlic breath. Machines do it better.

Life is all about redefining your vices as positive qualities. In fact, that’s how you become President, if you have the drive to take it that far. But most people prefer to start small, like reframing their nightly glass of wine as something worthy of a prescription. And really, who can argue? It’s a lot cheaper, has fewer side effects, and is actually fun to ingest. And it has culture. Don’t forget about culture.

Many scientists consider smell to be the strongest of the human senses, tied up so intimately as it is with emotions and memories. It’s also sometimes the most neglected aspect of the home. You know who we’re talking about. Help that person craft a more sensuous and pleasing atmosphere for everyone who steps inside.

In a couple of generations, nobody’s even going to know what the hell a book is. Have you seen a teenager try to figure out how to use one of their parents’ audio cassettes? But for those of us in the know, books are the real source of pure knowledge and wisdom, untainted by the runoff of digital culture. Like a cold, clear mountain stream, but with words.

Great art doesn’t always take the form you’re expecting. Twitter gives everyone with a phone and an opinion to spare the chance to reach millions of people with a single ill-conceived utterance. With all that verbal garbage coursing through the airwaves, bizarre gems are certain to arise. Lest they drift away and go to waste, someone had the brilliant idea to start framing them. Move over Picasso, it’s time to make room for the real modern art.

Are you being watched as you read this? Is your every move being documented for later use against you in the form of blackmail or worse? Probably. And that paranoid friend who’s always going on and on about being watched? They’re most likely right too. But now there’s something they can do about it. With a hidden camera detector, they can foil the plans of even the most ingenious spies, rapscallions, government agents, and other invaders of privacy. A necessary weapon in the modern digital jungle.

Take a friend back to their glory days on the streets of Hong Kong with this authentic bubble waffle maker. All they have to do is fill this bad boy with their favorite waffle batter, close the lid, and within a few minutes they’ve got their very own homemade version of one of the world’s most iconic street foods. Add in a stockpile of cheap batter and a few cases of whipped cream, and this could literally keep them alive for years.

A book is more than just a collection of words and ideas. It’s a frozen piece of time — the intersection of one person’s (or sometimes multiple peoples’) thoughts and experiences with the moment in which they were recorded. So sometimes a 50th reprint of To Kill a Mockingbird just doesn’t seem to carry the same weight that it should. Serious book lovers love first editions, because they’re a tangible piece of cultural history.

It has been prophesied that the apocalypse will not come via comet or nuclear war, it will come when the world’s caffeine sources dry up. But that’s not for another 15 or 20 years. Until then, it should be approached with a complete lack of self-control. Give them a leg up with a buzz you should need a prescription for.

For all of the earth’s majestic wonders, nowhere will you find a geyser that spits melted chocolate. That’s why fountains were invented. This one may not have the impressive horsepower of Old Faithful, but what comes out of it tastes a whole lot better than sulfurous water. A chocolate fountain, in fact, can even transform the dull bounty of the earth (vegetables, we’re looking at you) into something that people will get excited about eating.

The senses of smell and taste are highly correlated. Of course, smelling books is highly correlated with general weirdness, but in this case it’s alright, because that’s what this book was made for. A great introduction to what you’re supposed to be noticing on the way to inebriation, perfect for a wine beginner, or for someone who’s trying to make the tough leap from the box to the bottle.

Give the gift of beautiful views, bucket-list achievements, and especially if they’re afraid of heights, hours of entertainment for you. It veers away from cruel since it’s completely safe, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth watching them rotate between admiring the splendor and clutching the basket while praying in four languages. Especially since they only speak one.

Having to get out of bed to retrieve your favorite stuff is the deepest kind of bummer. And since not everyone has the money to afford a full-time servant, many people are forced to suffer the indignity of placing their bare feet upon the cold, hard floor. This bedside shelf is an ingenious answer to that problem, especially for top bunk dwellers and anyone else for whom a bedside table is not an option. An attractive, eco-friendly, and minimalist way to make sure they have all of their doo-dads, gadgets, and consumables within arm’s reach the moment they wake up.

If you’re looking for a truly one of a kind gift, you might consider commissioning a local artist to create a unique piece of jewelry. It will not only be cherished by the lucky recipient, but it’s also a gift to the starving artist, so it will mean a lot to everyone. Remember to plan in advance for this one, custom made artwork is not created overnight.

As much as we hate to mention, and we don’t advise you do, they’re not spring chickens anymore and Ben and Jerry probably aren’t the best of people for them to be around. They’ve probably realized this already, so give them a helping hand with their new healthy lifestyle with this marvelous little yogurt maker which will let them create some delicious and nutritious snacks to help make that break up a little easier.

Flowers don’t just look nice and fill the air with pleasant aromas, they also carry various levels of symbolism. Much like the zodiac, each month has its own flower variety, reflecting the character of everyone born therein. Or at least, that’s what someone decided a long time ago. And it sure is a nice idea. Regardless of whether the person you’re buying for really is a carnation at heart, or whether they’re more of a Venus fly trap, these earrings are going to look great on them.

People say they love camping, but are we 100% sure they don’t just love to eat s’mores? Why not buy them this S’mores Machine so they can enjoy the good parts of roughing it without needing to sleep in a leaky tent afterwards.

Musical genius is not a prerequisite for this delightful sound machine. Whether it’s cranking out an original score or “Born to Be Wild,” the sweet melodies of this tabletop hurdy gurdy will capture the ears and lighten the hearts of all those who gather ’round for a listen. Add this customizable heirloom to the instrument collection and inspire a newfound appreciation for all things classic.

Back when old people were kids, shadow puppeteering was accepted as a legitimate skill. That meant holding your hands in front of a light to create rudimentary animal shapes on the wall, because there was no internet. These candleholders are a serious step up. Just try making a mature cedar with your hands. Ok, stop. It’s not going to happen.

Look, soap is great. Nobody’s denying that. But you have to realize that while it does make you clean, it doesn’t accomplish the one thing that so many people wish it did: cover them in chocolate. For obvious reasons, however, being covered in chocolate is a somewhat dubious goal. After all, they would have to wash it off right away to avoid getting it on the furniture. This chocolate soap is the perfect compromise: they get to cover themselves in chocolate and somehow get cleaner at the same time. And wow, it really smells good too.

The classic party game where everyone either reveals reputation-demolishing secrets about their past or shamelessly lies to save face. Depending on the temperament of the various participants, it can make for an hour or so of good-natured ribbing, or it can devolve into closet doors being flung open to reveal hideous skeletons beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. In other words, it’s rip-roaring fun. But depending on your own personal history, you may want to sit this one out.

Just as flowers bend toward the sunlight, the Mirthful Sommelier’s Monogrammed Wine Glasses incline toward the lucky mouths of the thirsty wretches who covet their contents. These playful and unique glasses are also the perfect stemware to break out when your gathering gets a little too uptight. After all, if even the glassware is chill enough to slouch, the humans drinking out of it can surely pull the rod out of their butts for a few minutes.

Insomniacs often say they’ve tried everything in order to get to sleep. But in reality, how many insomniacs have ever tried hypnotizing themselves with a pulsating blue light? Well, here’s your chance to call bullsh*t on them. Making use of an age-old meditative technique, the insomniac sleep inducer helps people enter the land of a thousand winks by synchronizing and slowly lowering the frequency of their breathing. After that, it’s nothing but hours of the old snoozy-woozy.