IMAGES BY SCOTT MURRY @HOTDOGTACO. RESEARCH AND CURATION BY DAN MCCARTHY, SCOTT MURRY, PAIGE KENNERY, KAREN CINPINSKI, AND KEVIN SMITH
You can hear it when you close your eyes.
In the last moments of consciousness before you drift off to sleep at night. And just as you wake up in the morning. The incessant ticking. And the tocking. The ticking and the tocking. It haunts your every move, bivouacked just outside every door leading to the portions of your brain that handle errands, tasks, and to-dos. It’s the din of the hourglass running out of time.
Luckily, you’ve gotten your hands on this issue, which is dedicated to the contact sport of shopping associated with this time of the year. And if we know you (and we like to think we do), that’s a chore that has been constantly put off in favor of doing, well, anything. Because holiday shopping sucks.
But it doesn’t have to, provided you have a Holiday Gift Guide like this one focused on novel gift ideas and local goods sourced from killer spots all around the Hub.
1. COCKTAIL CRATE CRAFT MIXER SPICED OLD FASHIONED
Ideal for that one person who, whenever they’ve had a bad day, says something like: “If only there were a place to land spiced old-fashioned craft mix, handmade in small batches in Queens, NY, so I can add whiskey.” Well, there you go. $15.
GET IT: Olives and Grace, 623 Tremont St., Boston.
2. HAND BLOWN HUNTER GLASS TIKI MUG
If you have that one cocktail-snob friend who’s always using the proper glassware, even to pour out two fingers of scotch while playing XBOX, these glass tiki mugs are hand-blown by a local bartender and only found at The Boston Shaker. Use it as an excuse to have them serve you something in it. $35.
GET IT: The Boston Shaker, 69 Holland St., Somerville.
3. TAZA CHOCOLATE SPIKED EGG NOG
Everyone’s favorite Somerville-ian Wonkaland pumping out certified organic, insanely good Oaxacan stone-milled dark chocolate has done a holiday double-down by creating this new spiked eggnog version, with organic rum extract and kosher salt. It’s important to keep things kosher when boozing up your dessert. $6.
GET IT: All over Boston, and at Taza Chocolate, 564 Windsor St., Somerville.
4. PHO JERKY
So there’s this guy. Call him Matt. Because that’s his name. He’s a former lawyer who loves beef jerky so much he ditched the courts to create wet-and-dry-aged killer jerky. The endeavor was funded on Kickstarter, and the latest one is cilantro, mint, basil, and jalapeno “pho” style. Give it to someone who loves Thai food. Or just jerky. $8.
GET IT: Olives and Grace, 623 Tremont St., Boston.
5. PUG! HANDMADE JATOBA MUDDLER
If there’s one thing that thwarts any mixology hobbyist (or that pro bartender cousin of yours) it’s when ergonomics interrupts genius. Well, these ergonomically designed, individually hand-turned Brazilian cherry wood muddlers can fix that. Good for anyone who enjoys pulverizing stuff in a glass with serious, quality bar tools. $48.
GET IT: The Boston Shaker,69 Holland St., Somerville.
1. GOODNIGHT BREW: A PARODY FOR BEER PEOPLE
This beery riff on the children’s classic Goodnight Moon has a similar vibe, but with a brewing-science primer at the back. A bear named Charlie and some other fuzzy creatures (see: hops wildebeest) prepare to close the brewery for the evening and say goodnight to the brew kettle, barley and yeast, hops and mash, saison, porter, IPA … you get the idea. $16.95.
GET IT: Porter Square Books, 25 White St., Cambridge.
2. PRETTY THINGS NEW HOODIE
Makers of what some have called a fantastic brew, and what others have called “an inferior product,” in the wake of the pay-to-play beer bar brouhaha, have nevertheless just released this great new hoodie. Great for those that like to keep warm, or just ignite pay-to-play scandals. $45.
3. ZESTY DOUBLE CHOCOLATE STOUT COOKIES
Zesty Cookie Co. out of Boxford, Mass, maker of 100-percent natural gourmet cookies with a kick of cayenne, collaborated with Newburyport Brewing Co. to incorporate its Joppa Stout, a milk chocolaty Irish stout, right into the batter of these boozy sweet treats. $6.99 for a pack of 10.
4. SLUMBREW CUSTOM PLASTIC CUP KOOZIE
Custom koozies from Slumbrew are going on sale with opening of Assembly Row spot, and they’re specifically designed to fit around 16oz plastic cups like the kind used for keg parties and Beirut. No, they won’t improve your aim. $2.
BEER BONUS: KETTLE BREW SESSION AT HOPSTERS BREW & BOARDS
Call it a self-gift between you and a group of beer-minded friends looking to split a full kettle to make up a batch of your chosen brew, which may wind up being the beginnings of the next great Boston brewery. Or just get you all good and tanked for a night after it’s ready. $150-$230.
GET IT: Hopsters Brew & Boards, 292 Centre St., Newton Corner.
BEER BONUS: NIGHT SHIFT BARREL SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP
Share the spoils of Night Shift Brewing’s expanded barrel room by granting your favorite beer junkie membership to their Barrel Society. Basically, it’s a priority club offering exclusive, rare barrel-aged suds that never go public, swag (see: glassware), and year-long beer perks (think: priority brewery purchasing). Starts at $150.
GET IT: Night Shift Brewing, 87 Santilli Highway, Everett.
1. VANS MID SKOOL MTE CA BOOT
It’s a sneaker. It’s a boot. It’s both. Fleece lining and a heat retention layer between, um, the other layers, and, because it’s a “mountain edition,” it uses aged full-grain leather uppers. Bonus: waffle tread and water resistant tongue, which is good if you’re trying to skateboard in two inches of snow. $110.
GET IT: Vans DQM General, 174 Newbury St., Boston.
2. ORCHARD BEANIE CAP
Like pizza and sex, beanies are always a welcome gift in the cold winter months. The ones at Orchard are simple and woven, and come with the brand logo and material in a range of colors. Warm and fun, and it can fit around your head. This isn’t complicated stuff, people. $14.99.
GET IT: Orchard Skateshop, 297 Newbury St., Boston or 156 Harvard Ave., Allston.
3. GUMLEAF NORSE GUMBOOT
Tested both in the east-of-England fields of Norfolk and to 10 degrees (Celcius) below zero (or your average Wednesday in the dead of New England winter), these handmade natural-rubber women’s Wellies are comfortable and rugged, and have deep-tred soles to avoid the scourge of slush-slippage. $190.
4. SALMAGUNDI KNITTED BERET
Because your Aunt Esmerelda’s head gets cold, you can get her this modified tweed beret courtesy of an artisan hat maker out of Japan. Its asymmetrical cut keeps it securely on the head, and it even has a little hand-sewn squirrel leather embroidered patch. Not even close to as weird as Japanese threads can get. $58.
GET IT: Salmagundi, 765 Centre St., Jamaica Plain.
WARMING GEAR BONUS: NEW BALANCE CUSTOM SHOE
Head to the New Balance headquarters in town, and you can design your very own customizable classic 574 series sneaker, which will be molded for your foot and sentt to you in two days. The design stays, so as long as your foot does, boom, custom kicks whenever. $159.95.
GET IT: At New Balance stores or online.
WARMING GEAR BONUS: SHAWMUT SHIRT COMPANY
Ah, Eastie. A changing neighborhood wrought with adventure. Sometimes that adventure involves Santarpio’s pizza. Other times it’s finding a dead body on your way to work. Either way, these are pullover and zip-up hoodies beaming with Jefferies Point pride. $40.
GET IT: Online at Shawmut Shirt Co.
1. IVY PREPSTER ANCHOR BAR TIE CLIP
You probably have at least one preppy friend. Maybe you have two. Hell, maybe you are one. For all of the above, the Mass-based Ivy Prepster people have a this nickel tie clip with a little anchor on it. Anchors are for preppies. And tattoos. And boats. Whatever. Tie clip. $39.
GET IT: Sault NE, 577 Tremont St., Boston.
2. DAVIS SQUARED HANDMADE APOLOGY CARDS
Apologies are hard. Especially when you’ve done things like puked in your friend’s tuba. And for those moments, or if it was your tuba, you can give someone these hand- printed and designed, one-of-a-kind blank cards on thick paper stock, made with colored pencils and a sharpie, in order to say what needs to be said. $5.
GET IT: Davis Squared, 409 Highland Ave., Somerville.
3. SOMERVILLE BABY ONSIE
Hipster babies are real. If they weren’t, there’d be no reason for this 100 percent organic cotton knit, hand silk-screened Somerville pride onesie. Next up: toddler mustaches. $24.
GET IT: Magpie, 416 Highland Ave., Somerville.
WARMNIG GEAR BONUS: HAVEN JP POP-UP
Take one super Scottish pub in JP. Then, throw in a bunch of different artisans and crafters hawking their wares, including Fort Point’s Templeton General Gift Store as well as some oyster shucking kit makers, and put them all in the bar. Add mulled wine and mince pies for those shopping. Boom.
GET THERE: The Haven JP’s Pop-Up Xmas event December 15, 5pm-8pm, 2 Perkins St., Jamaica Plain.
WARMING GEAR BONUS: DRESS CODE BOSTON POP-UP
It’s a known fact that the sartorially inclined absolutely have to go to a posh menswear event at a hair salon featuring Mass brands such as Randolph Engineering for shades and LTHR Made for handsome backpacks and wallets, as well as national brands including G-Star RAW and Skoah. Actually, that’s not a fact. But this event is really happening in SOWA, courtesy of the stylish fellas at Dress Code Boston.
GET THERE: December 18, starts at 6pm, PhillipoStyle Salon, 485 Harrison Ave.