Bottle Bitches Gift Guide: for every character in your life

 
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Compiled by the editors of the Bottle Magazine, we've created a gift guide for every kind of person in your life.

Politics

For the Trump-voting relative:

We (almost) all love someone who loves Trump. It's tough, but it's true. So in addition to some honest conversation, here's what you can get for the Trumper in your life this Holiday Season.

  • Some subtweety wall art! Try this scratch-off map to suggest that they, you know, broaden their horizons a little bit. Or how about this epic rendering of the Declaration of Independence, because—apparently—they need a visual reminder of the principles on which this country was founded. My personal favorite, because the proceeds benefit pro-choice activism, are these mini-posters from the Repeal Hyde Art Project. The best—F*cking. Love. Yourself.—is a universal message worth gifting to anybody you love.
  • Distractions! Because if there's one thing we learned at Thanksgiving, it's that silence is deadly. Keep your Trumper happy and distracted with this mechanical music box set—and you can demonstrate how it works for them by punching in "Fight Song." Alternatively, you could try a board game that will keep the whole family busy and thinking about the importance of international cooperation. Pandemic and Diplomacy are long-time favorites, Twilight Struggle is the ideal two-player game, and Scythe is the hottest new game of the year. Lastly, for that inevitable lull in conversation, stock up on some Table Topics. You'll never have an excuse for talking politics again!
  • Reading material! Give them some general reading on great civilizations and their collapse: Try the eminently readable Collapse, the more environmentally-oriented The Long Summer, or the classic The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. If you don't trust your Trumper to catch such subtle hints, go for the jugular with some reading material on America's history with race. Stamped from the Beginning won this year's National Book Award for Nonfiction, and it deserved it. Another National Book Award Winner, Congressman John Lewis's memoir of the Civil Rights Era March, has the benefit of being a graphic novel—which makes it much harder for your relative to claim they "don't have time to read." And if you want to really push the point, White Rage focuses on the history of the white pushback to black civil rights. Lastly, if you're afraid of offending your relative with non-fiction, hide your intentions with fiction. Try Colton Whitehead's much-acclaimed The Underground Railroad, Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Cristina Henriquez's The Book of Unknown Americans, or a beautiful new edition of George Orwell's classic 1984.

For the newly politicized:

Trump is scary. And that fact is waking up a lot of previously ambivalent people to the importance of activism and being politically engaged. Support your friend's quest to dive deeper.

For the woke friend:

It's a hard time to be #woke. The more you pay attention, the more everything sucks. So help the woke folks in your life pamper themselves this holiday season.

 

Lifestyle

For the makeup lover:

The holidays are upon us: stress from finals, seeing your family (and more political arguments at the dinner table) and, of course, gift shopping. Luckily, I can help with one of those things. I can guarantee that in your group of friends you have at least one (or four) that would love a new addition to their makeup bag.

Here are the holiday gift must-haves:

  • Lips
    • How is it that NYX always ends up on my recommendations? Oh that’s right, because they’re awesome. These lippies have a matte finish and have a color to match everyone’s ugly sweater. Price: $50
    • One of my favorite brands and one of my favorite cream lipsticks sets. These lipstick and lip gloss duos go on like butter and smell like vanilla. Considering that a single lipstick is $24 on its own, this is one of the best values I’ve seen this season. (Available exclusively at Ulta) Price: $34
    • My favorite liquid lipstick has a cute little gift set. In just one pack, there are eight minis of Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid lipstick. (Availably exclusively at Sephora) Price: $49
    • Spoiler alert! More liquid lippies! These sets are fairly new and come in four different editions; Pink, brown, nude and red. Each set comes with four different colors. (Brand can be found at Sephora, set is found online) Price: $33
  • Eyes
    • What’s a great way to find out which mascara is your favorite? Try all of them. This might seem unrealistic, I know, but sets like this make it easier to try more than one without going broke. This set comes with three minis Tarte mascaras, just enough for you to try the product and decide if you want to buy a full size of any of them, and trust me, you’ll want to. Price:$18
    • Maybe you have a favorite mascara, like this Smashbox mascara. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a full size mascara, and a mini version of it, as well as mascara primer, all for the same price as just the full size? Well thankfully Smashbox is making that possible. Seriously, this is too good of a deal to pass up. I’ll take five boxes. Price: $22
    • When did we as a generation decide that good brows make for a successful face? Who knows? But if you’re on the same boat then Benefit is the brand for you. They have cute sets that will go with your soft natural brows or your bold and noticeable brows. Price: $34 each
    • The great thing about these gift sets is they would be great for one lucky person, or can be split up into a few really cute stocking stuffers for all of your friends. Make sure to keep an eye out for exclusive items, coupons and gifts with purchases (GWPs). A lot of times the GWPs can be given out to someone you may have forgotten about (let’ss be honest there is always one or two) or you can keep it for the most important Bottle bitch in your life: you. Holidays are stressful, so don’t forget to treat yourself.

For the fashion lover:

As a desert rat who now lives in sunny California, I can say that the only good thing that comes out of winter weather is an excuse to wear cute wintery clothes. When it comes to holiday shopping for your (fashionable) loved ones, here are some winter wardrobe staples you can’t miss:

  • Scarf - A scarf is a perfect gift for the Bottle bitch who seeks comfort and style. A bright scarf like this Good Cloth one adds a pop of color to an outfit, while also supporting ethical fashion. Versatile from day to night, a scarf is a safe go-to for anyone on your shopping list.
  • Hat - There is just something so appealing about a beanie, especially during the winter months — the warmth, minimal effort to fix bad hair days, while also looking sporty and cute. The person on your shopping list can pair one of these rad feminist beanies from Etsy with boots, a flannel and a jacket for a casual winter look. Get yourself a beanie, too, and you both can be matching fashionable badass feminists.
  • Sweater - A solid sweater like this one from My Sister is cozy and stylish, while also making a statement. I can’t imagine a better gift for your feminist recipient. While rocking a badass sweater, you are also taking a stance against sexual exploitation, an issue that My Sister is combating by helping survivors.

For the traveler:

Have a friend hoping to backpack through Europe this summer? Know people who spend more time in the air than on land? Here are some thoughtful (and useful) gifts for the wanderer in your life. Travelers are pretty good at making sure they have their basic necessities so don’t worry about buying them hiking boots or even travel journals. These are the items they will wish they had brought once they’re already abroad.

  • A neck travel pillow - This is a must-have for anyone wishing to travel for extended periods of time. I’ve spent most of 2016 in Peru, and I’ve taken countless overnight bus rides from city to city. The pillow makes uncomfortable travel situations bearable, and better sleep means better experiences. Give the gift of sleep, and your recipient will be grateful- even if they don’t know it yet. I recommend a pillow that snaps or ties on the end so that it can easily attach to a backpack. Neck pillows vary a lot in terms of style and cost, so you can customize your selection to your loved one’s tastes- or your budget! My pillow is a cheap, basic model and filled with beads, but nicer models include memory foam and even sleeves for phones or iPods. Choose a fun color or pattern to make the present cute in addition to practical. Amazon prime has a wide selection here and Bed, Bath, and Beyond also has a ton of options.
  • A passport case - This is basically like the more unique, thoughtful version of a wallet or purse. Plus,  after keeping my passport in a ziplock bag for the better part of this year, I now know with firsthand experience that a passport case makes a great gift. Travelers are more likely to spend their money on necessities. They won’t purchase this for themselves, and that’s where you come in!  Kate Spade has some super cute cases, but you can also find budget-friendly items at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target. Some cases even come with additional pockets for credit cards and money, which is convenient for backpackers wanting to keep all of their valuables on them at all times. The cases come in all different kinds of materials, colors and prints, so be sure to choose one that matches your gift receiver’s personality.  Show that you understand your person’s personal style, encourage their desire to travel and help protect their legal documents all in one gift.
  • Portable charger - I always tend to think that electronic gifts are a little impersonal, but again, this is an extremely helpful item that your globe trotting friend probably won’t remember to purchase. Getting stuck in a foreign city with a dead phone is annoying at best and a safety hazard at worst. I’ve made many pilgrimages searching in vain for outlets while traveling, and they were frustrating wastes of my time. They could have been avoided if I’d had a portable charger ready to go. Help keep your friend’s battery charged, and if things go South, they’ll be able to contact Liam Neeson after all. Remember to stick to small chargers since larger versions can be cumbersome, especially for people wanting to carry minimal items. The lipstick-size charger is on my wish list, but there are other awesome choices too. Go to town!
  • Remember to include a personalized note with your presents. I have several cards and notes from my friends with me, and they help me beat homesickness when I’m feeling down.

 

Culture

For the fandom obsessed:

  • Fandom Embroidery: I’ve been an overly excited fan of the cross stitch trend since it re-popularized a few years ago. There’s nothing funnier to me than a solid quote cross stitched on a hoop that I can hang in my room. Head to Etsy to find most of these. Some of my favorites include these My Favorite Murder embroideries, this other worldly love poem, and if you’re looking to get more personal, you can also buy patterns or kits and make them yourself!
  • Fandom stickers: I put stickers on everything. Water bottle? Check. Laptop? Covered. Work notebook? Absolutely. For me, stickers are small tokens from old friends and to new friends about what I love. It’s a good entry point for conversation, and also shows that you know what your friends love enough to broadcast it to the world!
    • Bonus: if you use sites like Society6 and RedBubble (or purchase direct from artist stores!), you get to support independent artists. In the words of my hero, Jillian Holtzmann, boo-yah, emphasis on the ‘boo’.
  • Netflix Gift Card: Did you know you can buy your friend a month or a year of Netflix?? This is life changing. If I had known that this was a thing, I would have given it to everybody I know. This is great for your friend who’s just getting into fandom and wants to binge on 7 seasons of The X-Files. Also great for you newly adulting friend who might be kicked off of the family Netflix account at some point. (Note to my mom: this is NOT a suggestion.)

For the musician:

  • Music-themed jewelry: Y’all, this stuff looks so cool. You can get a pick necklace, sheet music jewelry, bracelets from guitar strings and more. Pick your receiver’s favorite song or instrument and run with it!
  • Concert tickets: This may seem obvious, but there’s pretty much no better way to win the heart of someone and prove that you know them than to get concert tickets. You can use this as a one-time gift or, take a tip from my family, make it an annual gift. Perks for you and for the recipient!