Even if Black Friday is still a week away, it is never too soon to start planning for your holiday season gift shopping. Aiming to give you gift suggestions for a variety of ages, backgrounds and price-points, below are 18 early gift suggestions for Hanukkah.
1) CasusGrill’s Instant Biodegradable Grill
As curated by the consistently-resourceful retailer known as The Grommet, CasusGrill’s Instant Biodegradable Grill is ideal for tail-gating or any sort of make-shift cooking. Its cardboard frame, bamboo grill grates, and lava stone lining quickly assemble and heat up in about five minutes, ultimately staying hot for around an hour. When you’re done cooking, you can toss the CasusGrill into a campfire or in a trash bin knowing it will naturally decompose. With its lightweight and user-friendly design, CasusGrill is sure to make your cookout a huge success.
2) My Shoe Bae
My Shoe Bae is the only accessory made especially for holding high heels. It is designed to hang discreetly from your purse, clutch, belt loop or dress sash while complementing any outfit. It is specifically for people who want the option to wear their heels all night long, or just long enough to make a good first impression.
3) Le Parfait French Jars
Iconic French brand Le Parfait is well-known for its jars. As preserving ready-to-eat products in jars is very popular these days, it pays to have jars on-hand that you can depend upon for long-term usage. Le Parfait offers a variety of jars to meet all of your preserving needs, including its Super Jars, Screw-Top Jars, Jam Jars and Terrines. Product shopping aside, the company’s website also offers up a variety of appealing recipes, from meat and fish, to soups and chutneys.
4) TW’s Lunch Tote
The TW Lunch Tote speaks to your average professional. Its vegan leather, two-compartment design allows for you to proudly carry your lunch in a way that ought to match your personal style. Hand-sewn, the tote allows for you to carry both hot and cold items in its insulated sections. As an added bonus, its handle is durable to hold a full day’s worth of meals.
5) “Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked” by Greg Prato
Prolific New York-based author Greg Prato has written the definitive book for fans of the rock band KISS’ 1980s and 1990s output. Prato’s book is the product of interviews with dozens of fans and experts — including former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick — who help tell the story of KISS from 1983 forward. As an added bonus, famed wrestler, musician and podcaster Chris Jericho wrote the foreword to Prato’s latest masterpiece; fans of Soundgarden ought to rejoice that Prato’s next release is slated to be about Chris Cornell and crew.
6) Rumpl Blankets’ NanoLoft
The leader in technical blankets, Rumpl’s new blankets are garbage. Yes, literally. Every blanket uses 60 plastic bottles, which by the end of this year, will save 3 million plastic bottles from being dumped into landfills. These Rumpl blankets look good, feel good and do good. Its newest blanket is the NanoLoft, while its OG Puffy model was recently redesigned.
7) Solo New York’s Downtown Travel Collection
Solo New York is a leading, urban-inspired designer of backpacks, totes, duffels, briefs, and sleeves. Recently it unveiled the new Downtown Travel Collection, a sharp new collection that’s designed for the busy traveler looking for a weekend escape. Based on the success of the brand’s Duane Hybrid backpack/briefcase— the top-selling laptop bag in the U.S., per the NPD Group— Solo New York has expanded its Downtown Collection to include a unique collection of five travel-ready bags, including three new duffels, a backpack and an accessory kit. The styles, features and approachable price points make the Downtown Travel Collection a perfect choice for those looking to get out of the office for weekend getaway. I personally have taken Solo bags on my few 2 and 3-night trips and have been able to fit all of my essentials and plenty more each time.
As “created by barbers, used by gentlemen,” Reuzel aims to bring the world’s finest pomades and men’s grooming essentials to the market. Its roots come from Schorem, a classic men-only barbershop in Rotterdam, which has long been frequented by greasers, rockers, bikers, psychobillys, ruffians and other cool-looking folks. And if you’re follically-challenged like I am, you still ought to enjoy Reuzel’s beard and shaving-related wares.
9) “Up For The Down Stroke” & “Chocolate City” by Parliament
Universal Music Enterprises label Urban Legends recently reissued 2 classic Parliament albums on black vinyl and in limited special vinyl editions: “Chocolate City” and “Up For The Down Stroke.” 1974’s “Up For The Down Stroke” notably marked the return of bassist and co-songwriter Bootsy Collins after a two-year hiatus, while its title track reached No. 10 on Billboard’s R&B Singles chart. 1975’s “Chocolate City” reached No. 18 on Billboard’s R&B Albums chart, thanks to its Parliament’s signature up-tempo funk and the classic vocal harmonies by doo-wop group The Parliaments.
Also recently released by UME, which ought to appeal to Parliament fans, is James Brown’s “Live At Home With His Bad Self.” The 50th anniversary of Brown’s October 1, 1969 homecoming concert in Augusta, Georgia is celebrated with this first-time release of the complete show, which includes 7 never-before-issued performances. It is available within the CD, 2LP vinyl and digital audio formats.
10) “Chakra Crystals: Promote Balance & Self-Healing Through Crystal Meditations” by Dr. Kate Tomas
Dr. Kate Tomas is one of the world’s leading crystal therapists. Within “Chakra Crystals,” she presents her remarkable meditation-based healing techniques for personal empowerment. Working with a particular crystal for each chakra, you will discover powerful visualizations to enable you to connect with crystal resonance and create the right conditions for self-healing. Among the crystals included are: Black Obsidian (Base chakra), Carnelian (Sacral chakra), Yellow Jasper (Solar Plexus chakra) and Green Quartz (Heart chakra).
The same person who hipped me to this interesting new title from Dr. Kate Tomas also hipped me to “Tom Waits” by Matt Mahurin. A collection of wildly inventive portraits of musician Tom Waits, this book is the result of a 30-year collaboration between Waits and photographer and illustrator Matt Mahurin. Expect 175 color photographs within its 240 captivating pages, in addition to a foreword by Waits himself.
11) “Shaft – Music From The Soundtrack” Album
Craft Recordings is home to one of the largest and most prestigious collections of master recordings and compositions in the world. Its rich and storied repertoire includes legendary artists such as Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Vince Guaraldi, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Nine Inch Nails, Thelonious Monk, Otis Redding, R.E.M. and Traveling Wilburys, to name just a few. Over the summer, Craft Recordings released a limited-edition 2CD collection which featuring the newly-remastered yet classic soundtrack of “Shaft”; not everyone realizes that the music from the film and the original soundtrack release do not include the same exact music. The title also includes in-depth liner notes from Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson.
If movie soundtracks are your thing, also recently released were “Scream” and “Scream 2” soundtracks on LP— both albums together on a single red vinyl record— and a 2LP set of “The Goodnies” soundtrack on “Willy’s Gold” colored vinyl. Also available from Varèse Vinyl within the film space are the “Barbarella” (which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year) and “Christine” (composed by John Carpenter) soundtracks.
Billed as “first aid that moves with you,” Welly offers fabric bandages and ointments in handy tins that ought to fit in your pocket. In other words, first aid kits that not only come in handy but are also stylish to the point that you won’t mind taking them with you. All of the models I have seen in-person easily fit into a purse and/or loose pants pocket.
Physician-designed and clinically-tested, Skinuva makes scar-oriented cream using highly-selective growth factors. In turn, proper usage of Skinuva cream is reportedly likely to improve the appearance of scars nearly two-times better when compared to regular silicone creamer. It is available for direct sale via its official website to consumers and physicians alike.
14) “If You Don’t Know Me” by Teddy Pendergrass
One of the focal points of the Shep Gordon documentary titled “Supermensch,” Teddy Pendergrass is still viewed as one of the greatest R&B singers of all-time. Unfortunately tragedy took its toll on Pendergrass, keeping him from reaching his full long-term commercial potential. “If You Don’t Know Me” is a documentary telling the full story of the Philadelphia native, offering many previously-little-known details and little-seen archival video clips. The 106-minute documentary is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and VOD.
Also available from the MVD Entertainment Group is “Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am?,” a new documentary about “The Big Man” Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. Featuring interviews with President Bill Clinton, Joe Walsh, Nils Lofgren, Jake Clemons, and former bandmates, friends, and close family members, “Who Do I Think I Am?” highlights Clemons’ life as musician and member of the E Street Band while also presenting another side of the man not many knew when he was away from bright stage lights.
15) “Abbey Road” (Super Deluxe) by The Beatles
One of the seminal albums of the last 50 years, 1969’s “Abbey Road” was the last album recorded by The Beatles as a proper band in the studio. Now presented in a deluxe format, the album’s 17 original tracks have been paired with 23 session recordings and demos, most of which are previously unreleased for this 2019 release. To create Abbey Road’s new stereo, 5.1 surround, and Dolby Atmos mixes, Giles Martin and Sam Okell worked with an expert team of engineers and audio restoration specialists at Abbey Road Studios.
Like last year’s “White Album” deluxe issuing and the prior year’s expanded “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” reissue, all of the new “Abbey Road” releases – available in CD, LP, multi-disc and limited-edition formats— feature the new stereo album mix, sourced directly from the original eight-track session tapes. To produce these mixes, Giles Martin was notably guided by the album’s original stereo mix supervised by his father, George Martin.
There is a plethora of brands out there making activewear leggings, but few make products comparable to Ivysister. Ivysister’s leggings are not see-through as they are completely opaque yet feel like a second skin. The high-rise slimming silhouette holds everything in place and the power mesh waistband is comfortable. Yet these leggings are chic enough that you could pair them with booties and a jean jacket and hit the town. They are currently available in 3 styles; Chicago, Georgia and Brooklyn.
17) Pluginz’s Fender Jackrack
PLUGINZ’s newly-licensed Fender Jack Rack is an interesting addition to its popular series of wall-mountable key holders. This one comes with a sleek finish comprising of real Fender Amplifier materials, including as an engraved Fender “F” logo. It comes equipped with all mounting hardware needed to “Hang Your Keys Like a Rockstar!” with 4 input spaces included. The Fender Jackrack also has a built-in amp handle and realistic amp texture to it. Notably lightweight, its shipping weight is under one pound.
18) Arcopedico’s Luana Bootie
Made by the Portuguese brand Arcopedico, the Luana Bootie is an extremely comfortable shoe which can be worn for hours on end. They provide excellent support with Arcopedico’s patented twin arch system, while featuring a slight wedge for both fashionability and functionality. The Luana comes in a multitude of colors, which helps makes them multi-seasonal, beyond began vegan. Available both online through the Arcopedico website and through brick and mortar stores around the States.