Gift Guide 2012
Stephan Horbelt

The holiday shopping season has officially begun. Here’s our annual round-up of great gifts for all your dear ones—from the traveler to the trendsetter to the couch potato—and once your gift-giving is done, maybe even yourself! 


Don’t even think about arriving to that holiday party without something in-hand for the host! Booze or a nice bottle of wine is always thoughtful, but feel free to get creative.

1. Belvedere Red It’s the same vodka you love in a special edition bottle, and the company gives 50 percent of its profits to the global fund to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa. Every bottle you buy helps the fight! $29.99, belvederevodka.com

2. Diane Von Furstenberg Home The Calypso Stemware line could be the perfect thoughtful gift for the party host of a certain discerning style. $90 each, dvf.com/home

3. Moët & Chandon Gold Jeroboam This 14k gold-leafed Jeroboam (3 liters) was handcrafted and dressed with a red wax seal and floating black tie. It also comes with a pen that allows you to personalize the bottle with a message to commemorate the party! $995, moet.com

4. Grand Marnier Cherry This brand-new spirit is a limited release only available this Fall/Winter 2012. Made from fine aged French cognac, tropical oranges and European cherries, it’s highly mixable and makes a great party gift. $41.99, grandmarnier.com

5. Malin+Goetz Candle Collection A perfect gift, the eight scented candles in this collection are modern interpretations of traditional perfumery concepts. Each comes in a 9 oz. reusable glass cocktail tumbler. $52, malinandgoetz.com

6. Corkcicle The Corkcicle ensures perfectly chilled wine every time you open a new bottle, keeping it at just the right temperature for an hour. $24.95, corkcicle.com

7. Sushumna Chocolat This unique line of artisanal chakra-based chocolates contains seven flavor profiles, each artfully crafted with special foods and spices honoring the corresponding chakra point. ‘Sensual’ contains cardamom, cinnamon and chai with milk chocolate. Various gift sets available, sushumnachocolat.com

8. Le Bon Garcon Caramels Give your party host delicious gourmet caramels made in the French tradition with only the finest, all-natural ingredents—and yes, these little babies made it onto Oprah’s list of favorite things. $6-27, lebongarcon.com

9. Brazos Bottom Pecan Pie Goode Company specializes in authentic texas products, including this top-seller, its famous family recipe. The nine-inch pie is delivered in a branded wooden box, perfect for gifting. $31.95, goodecompany.com

10. Dom Pérignon by David Lynch The ultimate luxury brand teamed up with world-renowned director David Lynch for this limited edition champagne, also available in rosé. The stunning bottle and gift box are signed by Lynch. $169, domperignon.com



Illume Starlet Ceramics 
Luxurious and beautiful, this Hollywood Regency-inspired ceramic candle features a gold lid and is available in five scents, including ‘Woodfire.’ $20, illumecandles.com 

Sunset Boulevard Perfect for a holiday movie night, this cinematic masterpiece has been restored to its original glory, now on Blu-ray, and contains tons of bonus materials. $24.99

911 Eye Gel Chances are your party host is in for a long, wild night, but this eye gel from Menaji is the go-to solution for ridding him of puffy, tired eyes the next morning! $36, menaji.com

Kappa Pisco Try something new with this luxury white spirit. Chilean Pisco is made from the double distillation of wine, much like cognac, this one in Chile’s Elqui Valley. $34, kappapisco.com

Consider the Fork Perfect for the party host who loves spending time in the kitchen, this book blends history, science and personal anecdotes to reveal curiosities of the kitchen—all from an acclaimed food historian. $26.99 hardcover, considerthefork.com


These gifts are perfect for that friend or loved one who’s always on the go, whether he traverses the globe or loves a road trip to Vegas.

1. Bedol Water Clock You don’t need batteries or electricity for this alarm clock to wake you up in the morning—just fill it with water! It’s convenient and easily packed. $26, bedolwhatsnext.com

2. Harmonia Macrocosmica Never lose your way with Taschen’s gorgeous reprint of the celestial maps of Dutch-German cosmographer Andreas Cellarius, first published in 1660. A truly stunning piece of publishing. $59.99, taschen.com

3. CarMD The CarMD is like having a mechanic in your glovebox—it detects hidden engine problems, indicates whether the vehicle is ready to pass an emissions test and more. Never overpay for auto repairs again. $159.80, carmd.com

4. eFlow E3 Nitro Perfect for commuters and other riders, this bike has a battery pack integrated into the bike’s seatpost and a powerful motor capable of powering the bike up to 20mph. Available Jan. 2013. $3,995, eflowebike.com

5. Extreme Hydro Sleeve Keep your iPad safe from impact and water damage with this sleek black sleeve that slides easily into and out of backpacks and suitcases. $49.99, g-form.com

6. ShaveTech Portable Shaver Save space while traveling—and the aggravation of finding a free electrical outlet—by plugging this shaver directly into your computer’s USB port. The charge holds for 30 minutes of shaving. $39.99, shavetech.com

7. Booq Mamba Daypack In addition to being über-stylish, this old school-style backpack is made of natural fiber and is water resistant, which means it keeps your valuables safe. Your computer fits perfectly in the padded, lined laptop compartment. $99.95, booqbags.com

8. Turo Skin Gift Set You can pack light with this gift set, which includes shave cream, moisturizer and a 3-in-1 shower cleanser that’s perfect for your face, body and hair. $80, turoskin.com

9. Sena Motorcycle Bluetooth Headset Designed specifically for motorcycles, this headset lets you call handsfree on your mobile phone, listen to voice GPS instructions or have intercom conversations with a passenger or fellow rider. $209, senabluetooth.com


Song of Achilles The perfect travel read, Madeline Miller beautifully writes of the same-sex relationship between Greek hero Achilles and his lover Patroclus. Even JK Rowling called it her favorite book of the year. $14.99

Rowenta Travel Iron
 Perfect for last-minute touch-ups or getting rid of wrinkles while on the road, this compact iron/garment steamer fits into any size suitcase and keeps you looking your best. $39.99, rowentausa.com

Bracketron Stone Battery Juice up your mobile phone while on the go with this pocket-sized portable power supply. Comes in models for the iPhone and Android. $34.95-39.95, bracketron.com 

Travalo Touch Bring your favorite cologne onto a plane—or anywhere—with this refillable atomizer made of durable aluminum. It refills in seconds and wont spill your favorite scent. $25, us.travalo.com  

ECBC Harpoon Daypack All laptop backpacks are not created equal, and this stylish pack may look compact but houses enough room for your laptop (or important documents), external hard drives, cables and a litany of additional smaller items. Most importantly, the pack is chic and sleek. $99.99, ec-bc.com

Everyone has that one couch potato friend whose life doesn’t extend far from the living room. Discourage—or encourage—his love of the couch with one of these gifts, which are really great for friends of all types.

1. Rock Bottom This latest book of photography by Justin Monroe focuses on some of the hottest butts to ever be photographed—with corresponding front views, of course. $ , monroe-land.com

2. Evo Fitness Bike Get the authentic feel of a road bike while engaging your full body. This bike is the first to not have a belt, chain or external flywheel, meaning little or no maintenance. $1,299, relayfitness.com

3. Wireless Smartphone Photo Printer Print vibrant color photos straight from your smartphone, all while never leaving the couch. The printer uses your home wi-fi network and a free app. $219.95, hammacher.com/82590

4. Homeland Season One Watch this critically acclaimed series’ first season again or for the first time. With a cast including Claire Danes, Damian Lewis and Mandy Patinkin, you’re guaranteed superb performances all around. $34.98

5. Friends: The Complete Series Keep him on the couch for good with all 10 seasons of Friends, available on Blu-ray for the first time ever. There’s over 110 hours of content, plus 20 hours of special features. $279.98

6. Street by 50 Headphones The new line of headphones by rapper 50 Cent is stylish and shatterproof—and thanks to a recent partnership with Feeding America, each purchase provides 250 meals to hungry Americans. Also available in wireless styles. $249.95 (style pictured), smsaudio.com

7. Anatomy of Stretching Discover how to get limber—and get the most out of a workout—without paying for a personal trainer. Craig Ramsay takes you through a series of stretches step by step to develop a pre-workout regimen that’s best for you. $20, craigramsayfitness.com


Tie Society Get him off the couch and into the office with the perfect tie around his neck. With a business model similar to Netflix, choose a tie you like, keep it as long as you want and then exchange it—all with free round-trip shipping. It’s your own online closet! tiesociety.com

Hisense ‘Pulse’ Google TV Any TV in any room can be turned into a Google TV with the wi-fi-enabled Pulse and an internet connection. Watch live TV, stream content from YouTube, enjoy your own music and movie libraries, and access on-demand services. $99.99, amazon.com

One Morning Toothbrush Perfect for the design-conscious, these uniquely designed toothbrushes come in a variety of contemporary colors and shapes. $7.99, kookik.com

Smile Sciences Teeth Whitening Pen He may not get off the couch, but he can keep his teeth pearly white with this too-easy-to-use whitening method. Using it twice daily will ensure whiter teeth in one week. $78, smilesciences.com 


Keep your friend or loved one ahead of the trends with any one of these stylish gifts.

1. Phosphor Appear Watch Using ‘M3D’ technology, this watch uses miniature rotors adorned with Swarovski crystals that revolve to elegantly reveal the time. $199-225, phosphorwatches.com

2. Hartford York Headwear Keep your head warm and in style with the Scala Cashmere Watch Cap (right, style HYL18) or the JB Stetson Newsboy (Style STW85). Both are perfect for work or play. $95 each, hartfordyork.com

3. Urbanears Tweed Headphones These stylish headphones are enveloped in hand-woven Harris Tweed and made from 100 percent virgin wool. $80, urbanears.com

4. Swissvoice Corded Handset Connect this headset to the audio jack of your phone or computer to improve voice quality and talk hands-free. As a bonus, it also directs radiation away from your head. $49.99, swissvoice.net

5. Global Face Serum This all-natural, unisex blend of 11 essential oils will restore elasticity to your face, improve your complexion and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. $85, linahanson.com

6. GlassesUSA.com Give the gift of sight with this website, the premier online retailer of glasses, with prices starting at just $38. Avoid the ridiculously high prices and hassles of getting the perfect prescription glasses or sunglasses. glassesUSA.com

7. 2(x)ist Vivid Stay on-trend down below with the latest line of underwear from 2(x)ist, featuring vibrant, high-gloss silicone printed on microfiber waistbands. 2xist.com

8. Christ Scapular Made of finely crafted silver, an image of Rio de Janeiro’s most famous monument, Christ the Redeemer, adorns this silver chain. $169.95, cariocawear.com

9. Guide for the Modern Bear Discover bear-friendly attractions in cities around the world with this charming lifestyle/travel book, a must-have for cheeky members of the ‘bear’ community and its various subsets. $19.99

10. Woof Monkey This brand-new line of apparel is perfect for the urban jungle—fun, sexy and comfortable—at the gym or on the street. Find it at Rough Trade, 3915 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. woofmonkey.com

11. Glam Monster This ‘poison couture’ fragrance has hints of white grapefruit, casablanca lily and bittersweet chocolate. $185, glammonster.com

12. Titanium Cross Bangle Adorn your wrist and turn heads with this titanium cross bangle. $76, allaboutyoumenswear.com


St. Germain Bicycle This quirky, limited edition bicycle is inspired by the elderflower liqueur and is reminiscent of the French country bikes of the ‘50s and ‘60s. $1,000, stgermaincollection.com

The Biographical Dictionary of Popular Music Stay on top of music trends by keeping up with the past—check out this compendium of critic Dylan Jones’ thoughts on more than 350 artists alive and dead. $25

QuNeo DJ Pad This iPad-sized multi-touch DJ controller replaces the traditional, expensive mixer/turntable setup. Perfect for DJs and the DJ-curious. $199, keithmcmillen.com 

LOGIC E-Cigarette Be done with the damaging effects of cigarettes and cigarette smoke with this e-cigarette, whose only byproduct is odorless water vapor. Perfect for the smoker who may be trying to quit. $10.95, logicecig.com  

Erase Hate Pendant Co-designed by Judy & Dennis Shepard, the Matthew Shepard Erase Hate Pendant’s proceeds go directly to his namesake foundation. $59, loveandpride.com

Bliss Triple Oxygen Starter Kit Recreate a spa facial with this at-home treatment, which includes introductory sizes of Bliss Spa’s top glow-getting formulas. $46, blissworld.com 

Dermablend Quick-Fix Concealer Available in 10 shades to perfectly match anyone’s tone, cover up any blemishes and imperfections with this formula that will leave your skin soft and comfortable. $23, available at Macy’s.



Who’s to say you have to act your age? These gifts are perfect for a younger loved one or a friend who still appreciates the less serious things in life.

1. MP3 DJ Doorbell Welcome guests in style by replacing that boring doorbell chime with your favorite song, courtesy of this wireless customizable doorbell. $49.99, swann.com

2. Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection This 31-disc giftbox collection is the largest ever for Harry Potter fans, featuring five hours of never-before-seen exclusive material plus the entire film series on Blu-ray, DVD and UltraViolet. $499

3. Batmobile: The Complete History Get in the driver’s seat of the Dark Knight’s iconic ride with this book, which explores each of the crime-fighting vehicle’s evolutions and incarnations. $35

4. Marshall Hanwell Amp Speaker This is the very first home audio product to bear Marshall’s legendary script logo, moving the company’s heritage of big stage performance out of the arena and into your home. Warn the neighbors. $800, marshallheadphones.com

5. Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control Change channels, control time and save the world with this universal remote control, a high-quality metal replica of the Sonic Screwdriver used by the 11th doctor in Doctor Who. $29.99 thinkgeek.com

6. Turtle Shell Boombox This bluetooth boombox is built for rugged action—it’s water and dust-resistant, wireless and can even be strapped to your bike with a separate mounting kit. $149.95, outdoortechnology.com

7. Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay Based on DJ Paul V.’s Born This Way blog, this charming and empowering book features 100 growing-up-gay stories and photos, with notable inclusions from Barney Frank, Andy Bell, Jackie Beat and Sia. Get your copy signed at Weho’s Book Soup on Dec. 5. $14.95

8. Korg PitchClip Perfect for the guitar player or music enthusiast in your life, this pitch clip comes in every color imaginable and has a vivid LED display. $19.99, korg.com


Looney Tunes Platinum Collection This second volume of the best and most enduring Looney Tunes shorts comes with a Blu-ray disc devoted entirely to special content and rarities from the vault. $44.99

The Princess Bride: 25th Anniversary Edition Relive your childhood by watching this hilarious romantic fable, and make new memories with this edition’s litany of special features. $19.99 

ReadyCase This MacGyver-like gadget conceals seven handy tools in a case less than 3mm thick. Forget other iPhone cases—this one’s actually useful! $40, indiegogo.co

Apogee MiC Start a podcast or capture your best vocal take with this studio-rate microphone with incredible quality. $199, apogeedigital.com

Killerspin Revolution Table Not your basement-staple table tennis setup, this is a state-of-the-art furniture piece that encourages friendly competition and physical activity. $1,999-3,499, killerspin.com


These gifts are perfect for that pet owner on your gifting list.

1. Skedouche Dog Sweater Even Fido wants to be festive, and now he can be! With dozens of styles to choose from, your pet will be stylish throughout the holiday season. $18.99-31.99, skedouche.com

2. Urban Weather Station Monitor the quality of your macro and micro living environments by tracking weather, pollution levels and more. Don’t walk the dog without it. $179, netatmo.com

3. PupLight 2 This adjustable, reflective collar has three ultra-bright LEDs attached to it so dog walkers can see 30 feet ahead in the dark, keeping both pet and owner safe. $24.95, puplight.com

4. Funhouse Mouse Cat Toy This cleverly designed tube contains a white felt, catnip-filled mouse that will provide your cat with hours of fun—and you with some low-cost laughs. Comes in six different characters. $12 for 3-pack, moodypet.com

New homeowners—and there are plenty here in SoCal at the moment—typically need some help making their house a home. Help them along with any of these welcoming gifts.

1. The Only Omelet and Waffle Maker Cook a perfectly golden Belgian waffle and an omelet simultaneously, creating the true breakfast of champions! $119.95, hammacher.com

2. Alfred Hitchcock: The Masterpiece Collection Skip the movie theater and cuddle up with any one of these 15 acclaimed films by the legendary director, on Blu-ray for the first time. You’ve never seen the Master of Suspense’s work quite like this. $299.98

3. Bitplay BANG Lamp Perfect for the wannabe-007, there’s no need to get up and turn off the lights—just point your remote-controlled pistol at the lamp and off the lights go! $299, dynamism.com

4. BROllow When L.A. artist Toban Nichols unveiled his own line of pillows, he wanted to present a more masculine design aesthetic than what was already on the market. $98, tobannichols.com

5. Luludi Living Frames Luludi creates custom-made frames with live plants that are simply  beautiful in their simplicity. Prices vary, luludi.net

6. SPARQ Home Griddle This double-sided soapstone griddle turns your cooktop into an indoor grill, or use it outdoors to allow for even heat distribution on your grill. $100, sparqusa.com

7. The Carol Burnett Show: The Ultimate Collection Treat anyone to an ear-tugging good time with 50 episodes hand-picked by Burnett herself, plus over 20 hours of incredible extras. $199.95, carolondvd.com

8. Samsung Canister Vacuum Three new canister vacuums from Samsung are now available, with reduced noise levels and innovative design—anyone who has to clean would love one of these! $449, samsung.com

9. Tyent Home Water Ionizer This kitchen upgrade increases the aesthetic and healthy value of one’s kitchen, providing pH-balanced, highly oxygenated water. $2,995, tyentUSA.com

10. Tivo Stream New for this holiday season, this box lets you deliver content stored on any TiVo box to mobile screens like iPads and iPhones. Stream up to four shows at once to four devices. $129.99, tivo.com



Geneva Speaker Box This speaker may be small at 6” high, but it provides full-sized high fidelity in use with your iPod or its digital radio. Available in four colors. $299.95, genevalab.com

Wahl Story This coffee table book tells the behind-the-scenes story of world-renowned graffiti artist and entrepreneur Erik Wahl. $79.99, theartofvision.com

5001 Nights at the Movies For the new homeowner who loves the silver screen, this definitive guide to cinema thus far is the perfect gift. $35

Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip Relive SoCal history with photographer Robert Landau’s look back at a time when music, politics and art merged to influence mainstream culture. $50

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