BIRTHDAY GIFTS FOR SISTER

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.

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.

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.

The Echo Look turns Alexa into their very own personal style assistant. The desktop camera connects with a smartphone and takes full body shots (and even short videos), allowing them to see what they look like from all angles. The Echo Look also uses machine learning to provide feedback based on body type and the recommendations of top designers. It’s like kidnapping a top fashion expert and tying them up in their bedroom, but way more ethical.

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.

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.

As the old saying goes, nobody wants to see how the sausage is made. It’s different with candy bars, because only good things go in them, instead of old leftover horse parts or whatever. Not that you can’t add horse parts to your candy bars - nobody’s going to stop you. The point is you don’t have to. And in case you’re wondering, most people stick to the classics like nuts, mint chips, and stuff like that. This is definitely the ultimate DIY junk food gift.

The last thing they need is more stuff, and at the end of it all it’s really the experiences that they will cherish the most. Help them create some new memories to look back on by finding a fun activity to do locally. Be adventurous and choose something they’ve near done before. It’s a gift that will enrich their life and yours too.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. So why would you try to force people into eating one kind of lasagna? That just seems brutal and barbaric. This three-part lasagna pan lets the family chef cater to everyone’s preferences — whether they're picky eaters, vegetarians, allergy sufferers, or just neurotic people with imaginary food sensitivities — helping to unite all eaters around a common dining table. Now that’s a cause we can get behind.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

For the frugal homemaker, there can never be too many ways to save space and eliminate unnecessary appliances, utensils, and the like. So a single stove-top skillet that allows you to fire up a full three-course meal in one go? You bet your sweet pork chop, corn, and baked beans that’s gonna find a place in lots of kitchens. And consider that it’s stain resistant, built to last, and safe for the oven and dishwasher, and it’s clear someone had their thinkin’ cap on at the old pots and pans factory.

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.

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.

If you’ve ever suspected that you can’t trust your tongue, here’s proof. Adding volatile scents to these specialized forks completely changes the experience of eating, as your brain processes much more information through your nose than your tastebuds. Give this as a gift and help them have the weirdest, most surreal dinner parties in the neighborhood.

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.

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.

There are lots of monthly and weekly meal subscriptions to choose from, but not so much for the people who like the meals in between meals the best. Look, grass-fed steak with organic heirloom carrots and Arabian saffron roasted potatoes is great, but some people would genuinely prefer a handful of edamame or a blueberry lemon oat bar instead. We’re not here to judge, and you shouldn’t be either. The Graze monthly snack subscription provides healthy alternatives that allow the recipient to indulge in their love of snacking without paying the junk food tax.

Since nobody seems to be interested enough to invent an ever-lasting battery, it looks like we’re all stuck charging our phones every day for the foreseeable future. But before you throw you hands up in disgust and ask how it could possibly get worse, there is some good news. The same lazy, inconsiderate tech “geniuses” who refuse to make forever batteries have at least found the decency to create a little pad that charges smartphones without having to plug them in. And really, it’s the least they could do.

Try as they might, those frozen cocktails they’re always making in the blender never quite come out right. It’s not because they got the recipe wrong (although by the fourth batch, that’s a good bet too) - it’s because the’ve been using the wrong tools. You wouldn’t let them try to cross a lake in their car, would you? So why are you letting them try to make frozen drinks in a blender? Making a proper beach cocktail first and foremost requires using the right contraption: a specialized frozen drink maker. It’s a small investment for the gallons of glorious delight it will produce.

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”.

The DJI Osmo Pocket takes handheld personal videos to a whole new level. Sure, smartphones have always included video capabilities. But in case you haven’t noticed, the videos are so terrible as to be basically unusable. The Osmo Pocket’s main feature is its revolutionary stabilizing system, which allows even the clumsiest, shakiest, or drunkest person to create professional-quality videos. The only drawback? Whoever you buy this for is definitely going to think they’re Steven Freaking Spielberg, so get ready.

Polaroids may be dead, but the people who like to use them aren’t. Not all of them anyway. There’s something especially gratifying about holding a tangible photograph, especially in a world dominated by virtual commodities where everything is becoming digital. Having an instant printer on hand means they don’t have to wait for a photo printing company to print their photos from the cloud and mail them by horseback or whatever. And we all know that nobody has time to wait for a horse these days. Oh, and we should also mention: these look way better than Polaroids.

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.

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.

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.

Happy couple decides to go on vacation, finds quaint lodging belonging to complete stranger for a price that seems too good to be true. In the movies, they get hacked to pieces. So here’s one way you can be happy that real life never ends up like the movies. In real life, they just have a great time and never stay in a hotel again.

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?

What other diversion affords the opportunity to let out both bloodcurdling screams and unrestrained giggling while indulging in sweet candy treats? Embrace the carefree silliness of youth and give them a little license to check out for a few hours. Responsibility can wait. Slap on that wristband and hop on the ride of a lifetime.

Legal in all 50 states, this herb garden smokes the competition! The aroma of fresh herbs will bring serenity and well-being to their home and some much needed flavor to their cooking. Rosemary, thyme, dill, sage, oregano, the options are limitless! Green thumbs not required for this low-maintenance nursery. Sprigs of yummy goodness direct from Mother Nature.

For the coffee and donut addicts of the world, it’s hard to believe that anything could improve this heavenly pairing. But that will make it all the more mind-blowing when they realize you have indeed given them something that will take the experience to another level. This truly ingenious piece of kitchen/office-ware provides the perfect platform on which the two elements meet to create the true breakfast of champions. Because if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.

Big ideas can change the world, but so do small acts. Not all of us can create the next Google or reinvent the energy industry, but we can all be better at being human. This international, online-integrated card game provides the ideas and the motivation to spread goodwill everywhere you go, one act at a time.

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..

The future of food is all about making weird shapes with your dinner. Or at least that’s what the modernist chefs will have you believe. And some of the things you can make with this molecular gastronomy kit are enough to make you feel like you’re eating with the Jetsons. Spheres, foams, and chocolate spaghetti are a few of the strange treasures that await inside this bizarre culinary kit.

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.

It can feel kind of strange to hand someone a notebook as a present, and be like, “Here, write in this.” But not when said notebook is an intricate and stunning piece of art like this wood-covered journal. Each one has either a natural image (plants, wildlife) or an uplifting message cut into the front cover. The unique and beautiful designs transform these from simple notebooks into works of art that the recipient adds to over time.

Look, we know that not everybody needs to have a giant five pound gummy bear, but not everybody technically needs pants, either. Having a giant gummy bear is like having a pair of pants: once you have one, it is hard to imagine life without it. The point is that need has nothing to do with it.

People weren’t joking when they said this coffee is the sh#t. The undeniably rich, full-bodied flavor produced by these rare beans has redefined the food chain and flipped the coffee industry on its head. Perhaps one of the most imaginative adaptations of the farm-to-table movement, this coffee product is redefining waste management.

For many people, donuts are the only reason to get up in the morning. Despite this, we’ve been told over and over how unhealthy they are, being fried balls of dough and all. Well, this donut pan will remove the final psychological barrier to full enjoyment, because it takes out the frying. Take that, food police. Oh, and it’s a lot cheaper too.

Air travel can be pretty uncomfortable, especially if you're crammed in an economy seat like most working folks. When the stress is mounting, the kid starts crying, and the pilot announces that they'll be arriving behind schedule, at least there is booze. These cocktail kits will help them find their happy place when they feel like popping that emergency exit and bailing out.

Grilling doesn’t have to be a seasonal pastime anymore. This creative addition to your barbeque repertoire will bring the oven to the patio and some deliciously baked goods to the chef’s outdoor menu. The irresistible flavor of brick-oven fare will redefine your backyard and inject some home-cooked aroma into the too often smoky, greasy smells of the charcoal circuit. Who knew cooking out could be so refined?

For some people, food is so much more satisfying when they make it themselves. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like a little help every once in a while. This electric tomato press, developed in Turin, Italy by kitchen supply manufacturer Tre Spade, makes it easy to make tomato puree. It even separates the puree from the seeds, pulp, and skins. This means they can make authentic pasta sauce out of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, but without having to worry about overworking their soft, dainty little hands.

When you were a kid, your mom probably told you not to sit so close to the TV — at least, if you were born way back before parents gave up on that sort of thing. Well, here is the Oculus Go, designed to be the ultimate in sticking it to your parents. It’s also the perfect gift for someone who loves big screen movies but hates sitting next to other people. Pretty much the most immersive personal entertainment system available, designed for people who want to be in the movie, not just watch it.

Spherical food is classy. And now you can turn just about any food into little caviar-like pearls by blending it with water and adding a gelification agent to the mix. Then place it inside this pepper grinder-looking thing and in a few minutes you’ll be shooting out little balls of food. And when you place little balls of food on other non-ball shaped food, everything looks a thousand times fancier, and fancy looking food always tastes better.

They may be the world record holder for moo goo gai pan take-out orders, but that doesn’t mean they can’t apply that same ambition to a more progressive enterprise on the culinary scene. These boxed meals feature fresh, nutritious ingredients that will inspire healthier eating and put a lid on that MSG consumption. Award their starved taste buds and support responsible land stewardship while you’re at it!

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.

Who has time for trial and error? Folks today demand fast-acting, proven solutions to their everyday conundrums. A modern stand-in for the tried and trusted Farmer’s Almanac, this back pocket companion is more reliable than your great-grandmother and more concise than an open-ended Google search. Believe it or not, some of the “smartest” solutions have been around for ages.

Along with abundance comes the responsibility not to bore the crap out of people by making the same silly casserole every night. The problem is that nobody wants to think that much about food. They just want to eat. Place the burden of creativity - and blame - on these ingenious foodie dice, and watch the possibilities multiply.

It’s amazing to think that giving someone a kit to take a sample of their own DNA, that will then be sent off and analyzed, resulting in a detailed personalized genetic analysis, would have seemed like total science fiction just a few decades ago. But here we are, and the kit makes a thought provoking gift. They could be related to Genghis Khan, Cleopatra, Chuck Norris, and Batman… Probably not that last one. But you can’t prove it. Now you can either both spend your lives wondering, or you can finally understand where that fixation with roundhouse kicks came from. The choice is yours.

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.

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?

Buy them a couple tickets to a great event or show as a little test. Will they give the extra ticket to you? You just gave them this very thoughtful gift, after all. Or do they keep them both. In which case, maybe they just get a box of chocolates from the drug store next time.

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.

Keeping practical supplies in the car in case of emergency is something we all should do – yet many people out there on the road haven't added so much as a band-aid to their car’s inventory. That’s right, in the event of a blizzard, those store receipts and empty fast food bags won’t save you. Shocking, we know. This Auto Survival Kit on the other hand…

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.

Back in the old days you were really rolling the dice when you chose a hotel. Either you called blindly after skimming the phone book or simply drove all night and hoped you saw a vacancy sign before you ran out of gas and got murdered by a vagrant. A hotels.com gift card is not just a way of picking up the tab for a night’s stay; it’s also the priceless gift of peace of mind.

Phones actually have more germs on them than a typical public restroom. This smart cleansing machine might not eliminate the dirty content sucking up the data on their phone, but it will be sure to return sterile swiping to their wired existence. Personal device hygiene should not be overlooked by today’s touch-screen fanatics. A high-tech disinfectant, this ingenuous accessory will decontaminate wireless communication and restore cleanliness to the digital age. Oh, and it also charges while it cleans!

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.

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.

Everyone, from Elon Musk to your next door neighbor, is straight-up terrified of the robot takeover, envisioning all kinds of post-apocalyptic horrors being visited upon us by our own creations. But then one of them offers to mow the lawn and everyone’s like, “Well, they can’t be that bad.” And it’s true - there might be a few bad apples coming down the assembly line, but you won’t find any in the lawn mower category. Just helpful, friendly, sort-of-intelligent mini landscapers who just want you to give them a place to lay low and recharge in between jobs. Nothing to be scared of here.

Don’t just give them one piece of art, build them a gallery. We’re not expecting you to go and build an actual gallery complete with gift shop but we think they’ll be just as impressed with this gift. A digital art museum lets them curate a unique art collection and makes the perfect gift for any art enthusiast. They can even upload their own artistic creations if they’re handy with a paintbrush themselves.

Just give it to them. Don’t make a big deal about it, or give them diet books or a lecture or anything like that. They know. They have figured out for themselves that their body is not quite the well-tuned machine that it once was. Just give the Fitbit, and leave the rest to them.

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.

Kombucha is the ancient art of making tea into something half the people who try it will love and the other half will vomit back onto your carpet. The people who love it are objectively correct, because it makes you live forever (almost). Anyone who has fallen head over heels for it will do the same for you if you buy them this homebrew kit.

Since the dawn of time, chaos, terror, and death have periodically rained down from the sky. Only the lucky were spared. But now we have weather radios, so you can go inside instead of dying. This one also conveniently charges your phone so the next hurricane doesn’t have to interrupt your game of angry birds.