Holiday music doesn’t have to suck, but for some reason it usually does. The worst of the lot in my opinion is any recording of “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” (vomit) and the wretchedly saccharine Paul McCartney original, “(Simply Having) A Wonderful Christmas Time.” That hurts to say because of how much I love Paul McCartney, but that song is water torture. And although it might be funny to build a spectacularly evil holiday playlist, they tell me that is not the spirit of things. Instead, let’s go ahead and talk about some amazingly good albums to spice up your annual holiday cocktail party.Now, you probably already have “Christmas with the Rat Pack” and “Live at Middletree - A Vince Guaraldi Christmas,” but if you don’t, you should. They make a perfect festive start for your evening. Slick Buble-esque vocal renditions of old holiday standards usually bore me, but when the vocalist in question is Ella Fitzgerald, it’s a whole different ballgame. Cue up a copy of “Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas” next. Late in the evening when you bust out the highball glasses and your David Niven impression, it’s time to give the 1966 jazz classic “Have Yourself a Soulful Little Christmas” by Kenny Burrell a spin. And when it’s finally last call, signal a quiet finish with the sophisticated and tasteful ivory ticklings of the late great Dave Brubeck and his solo classic, “A Dave Brubeck Christmas.” Bottoms up, everyone!
Alright, guys. You’re not going to procrastinate until the last possible minute this year and she’s well deserving of some super sexy jewelry on this go-round of gift giving. So, get her a pair of pendant earrings and the super chic Olympie Bracelet at Gas Bijoux on Mott, Bleecker, Columbus or their new shop on Elizabeth.Their earings come in tons of different dangly styles and the bracelet is adjustable so fits just about anyone. The prices at Gas Bijoux? Genius. If you’re less-than-confident in choosing the right fit for your lady, their stylish and friendly staff will help you pick something great.
Something about the holidays seems to encourage food and beverage makers to infuse so-called holiday tastes where they have no right being present. I personally don’t ever want my beer to taste like egg nog or sugar plums, but I will admit to wanting a stronger, darker beer as the weather gets colder and visits with relatives become more frequent. Enter a new beer from the tiny Oregon microbrewery Full Sail called Session Black. A “session” beer is so named because it’s deemed one a thirsty person can drink multiples of without feeling too full or saturated (as opposed to a Cranberry Spiced Pumpkin Ale.)Session Black manages to be easy drinking like a lager, but has a lot of the flavor profile you might find in a stout (roasty-toasty, chocolate and coffee notes.) So it manages to have wonderful richness and a full body without making you feel like you just ate an entire loaf of lard bread. And it comes in these sharply designed little grenade-sized brown bottles, which make it feel totally and erroneously innocuous to knock back half a dozen in a sitting. At least, uh, that’s what someone told me. Happy Holidays.
Leave the squint to Clint. How about a pair of kickass shades from Sol Moscot? This local family-owned business first began selling ready-made eyeglasses from a pushcart on Orchard Street back in 1899, and has been faithfully serving New Yorkers optical needs ever since.How many years have you walked past one of those huge Moscot signs without trying on their iconic frames? Your loved one deserves the gift of sight without glare, but don’t you dare go to Sunglass Hut. Moscot and represent.
On one thing we can all agree: cold heads suck. And since 1895, an original American-made cap from stylish hatter Goorin Bros. has been the perfect antidote to a chilly noggin. They have a huge variety for both men and women, and can even custom fit a hat on the spot for you using 200 year old milliner’s hat blocking tools and a steamer.Don’t be a Scrooge! Your loved one’s head deserves it. (Locations in both West Village & Park Slope.)
Our pal and Brooklyn filmmaker Kimberly Wetherell is one of those people that unfairly has like a half a dozen things she is able to do at the professional level. One of her many talents is baking, and we totally jump at any opportunity to score any of her mouthwatering cookies, cakes, or sticky buns.