Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Presents for the People You Love: For the Fellas

{The Ultimate bigBANG Holiday Gift Guide, Part II}

For: Your beloved Uncle Angus, who, at the age of 60, is on his third wife, second knee replacement, and first stab at professional caber tossing.
What: Membership to the Heritage Breed Bacon of the Month Club. I know. It's amazing.
Because: Uncle Angus is a manly man, but he still likes to know where his meat comes from. Sign him up to receive super-gourmet, small-batch, home-smoked bacon from farm-raised heritage breeds of pigs, and expect front row seats to next summer's Highland Games.
The Damage: $149 for six months 'o bacon.

For: Your brother Abner, who is a total germaphobe and obsessed with modern design. 
What: A geometric ruckus print by Chad Hagen.
Because: Abs has supreme taste but a modest budget, what with his student loans from RISD. This will help start his collection of unique, affordable, original art.
The Damage: $50 for a 14 x 11 print (and be a sport; get it matted and framed)

For: Your papa, whose has a deep appreciation for form and function, and whose idea of a good Saturday afternoon is chopping and stacking firewood.
What: A genius wood and nail bottle opener with cap-catching magnet by Brendan Ravenhill.
Because: Made by P's childhood buddy in Islesford, Maine, we had the chance to use the original prototype last summer on the island. It's practical. It's handsome. It's rugged. Just like Mainers.
The Damage: $20

For: Your sister's new baby boy, Ephraim- the cutest little homefry you've ever laid eyes on.
What: Pendleton's classic Chief Joseph blanket in baby blanket proportions.
Because: It's sure to become a family heirloom. Pendletons last for generations and they never go out of style, and the soft wool is perfect for the swaddling and papoosing of winterthyme babes.
The Damage: $64

For: Your younger brother Sam, who got his degree in poetry from Swarthmore, and who is now retrofitting a 1967 F100 pickup to run on biofuel while he apprentices at a goat dairy in Vermont.
What: Blue Highways by William Least Heat-Moon.
Because: What Brideshead Revisited is to The Great Gatsby, Blue Highways is to On The Road. It's the thinking man's irreverent, rapturously-written road story, and it's one of my all-time favorite novels about America (Middlesex, East of Eden, and The Corrections are right up there).
The Damage: $11

For: Bailey, your best guy friend from college who took you and your kid sister to an Animal Collective show before they were cool. He's your go-to guy for good new music.
What: An original LP of Bruce Springsteen's 1982 low-fi folk album, Nebraska.
Because: Every audiophile should have this hauntingly beautiful album in their collection. It's unlike anything you've ever heard. Promise. While you're at it, go download the entire album from iTunes right now, but treat Bails to the vinyl, which is how The Boss intended us to hear it.
The Damage: Starting at $5 on eBay, but check your local record shop (if you still have one).

For: The huz.
What: L.L. Bean chamois cloth work shirt. The same one they've been making for eighty years.
Because: Your new apartment has a tiny yard and he's hankering to build a raised-bed vegetable garden. Think of this indestructible, handsome flannel as a Superman cape for yard work. My dad has worn one of these puppies every winter for the past thirty years. No one makes a work shirt like L.L. Bean. (And psst...it's super-soft, comes in great colors, and it looks a lot better untucked.)
The Damage: $34 

For: Your best friend's husband, who helped your bff get through a really tough year. Your bff who really, really wants chickens.
What: Three silver-laced wyandotte hens. And yes, you can order them online.
Because: Wyandottes are great layers, good table birds, and excellent pets. Their docile, doting nature make them an especially good choice for urban farmers. My favorite chicken growing up was an enormous 'dotte, but you don't have to take my word for it; just ask Beth, pictured below.
The Damage:  $2.78 per chick. Mail orders (yes, they ship through the US Postal Service) require a minimum of 25 chicks per box, so go in on it with some friends.

For: Your best gay guy friends Jack and Jørgen, who just bought a weekend getaway cabin in Joshua Tree. (Woot-woot!)
What: An owl and j-tree print from the talented Jamie Street at Cactus & Quail.
Because: It will go perfectly with their mid-century aesthetic, and it's absolutely adorable.
The Damage: $12.50

For: Nolan, your step-brother with great taste, who recently married a vegan pastry chef.
What: A heavenly multi-use Irish linen towel/blanket/throw from the good people at Deck Towel.
Because: It's durable, beautiful, and doesn't lock in dirt and odors like cotton towels, so it's just as perfect as a rugged Central Park picnic blanket as it is as a chic bedcover.
The Damage: $75 

For: The love of your life, who seems to have everything and want nothing (ok, besides that L.L. Bean work shirt). Money's tight and you've both vowed not to go overboard on pricey gifts this year.
What: A vintage pocket knife. Preferably with enamel or bone sides and steel blade.
Because: There is nothing more useful than a pocket knife, and there is nothing more charming than a vintage pocket knife with sterling shanks. Get it engraved with his name at your local jewelers for extra points. (Psst: I gave the one showed here to my sweetheart and it was a *hit.*)
The Damage: Around $20 on eBay, but you're bound to find the best ones in your local thrift shop.


  1. But, but, but....what's Uncle Arthur getting?!

  2. LP, he's getting BACON! Six months of BACON! Mkay, Ima edit this and make it clearer. <3

  3. OH WAIT YOU MEAN UNCLE *ARTHUR*! Not to be confused with Uncle Angus. Just like you said. So many uncles, so little bacon. What *IS* Uncle Arthur getting? Any suggestions? A collector's edition of Ladies in Lavender, staring Maggie Smith and Dame Judi? No, not cheeky enough. Help?

  4. I absolutely adore this blog. I've been reading it for a few months now & I just had to let it out! Consistently inspiring & always, always fascinating. Thanks ever so much! You've made me want to knuckle down & start blogging about my (mis)adventures in North Africa!

    happy non-denominational winter holiday! X

  5. Caber tossing. That's what I'll be doing on new year eve.
    Thanks .

    Bruce is timeless. And ageless.

  6. Gots me a little crush on Sam. (GOATS!)

  7. this made me laugh so hard......and then i bought everything on it. lol just kidding, but i want to. best damn gift guide i've seen so far, and i don't even like gift guides. Jack and Jorgen?!? Awesome.

  8. I am so loving these gift guides, girl. I wish I knew someone who would appreciate the bacon. I mean, won't someone get ME that?? That would probably be dangerous...

  9. Love that Bruce Springsteen album!!!

  10. niiiiiiice.

    and thank you!

    is it weird i want more stuff from the dudes list for ME?

  11. I am so getting that William Least Heat Moon for my son who wants to be a writer and loves Kerouac. But no chickens.

  12. this was a good list...except i would want the bacon subscription for myself...sorry uncle angus

  13. Bacon?! BACON? I'm getting that for myself...holy crap.

    Great list, again, Lily.

  14. So distracted by the bacon that I cannot think of anything else. Did you see that your membership comes with a complimentary coffee mug? I guess for sipping strong coffee while eating your heritage bacon.

  15. if only I knew someone who had space for 25 chickens...

  16. i want i want i want. i mean, want to give want to give want to give.

  17. I guess for Uncle Arthur I would think of a seer-sucker suit. I imagine him to be quite a dandy, and he needs something groovy and timeless to wear while lunching with Dame Judi. :)

  18. Blue Highways: A Journey into America - read excerpts online and bought for my nephew in germany -- THANKS :-)
    (love your blog!)

  19. these are adorable giftguides. I haven't been able to get that teeny Pendleton blanket out of my head since I first saw it weeks ago. Lucky you have a little one in your life to bestow it upon!



  20. your voice is fantastic. i seriously love you right now. wow. i'm so incredibly happy i stumbled upon your blog, because really, reading about your fantastic life made my day a bit better!


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