Who it’s for: Your pre-Internet-savvy 5-year-old nephew, the soon-to-be-feminist cousin that shuns the plastic kitchen set—and your kids, so you can read it, too.
Where to get it: Giovanni’s Room, 345 S. 12th St. 215.923.2960. giovannisroom.com (J.P.)
Cute Retro Womenswear
What it is: A fabulous fashion flashback to the time of pin-up chicks with red lips and voluptuous curves that made Playboy the classiest magazine around. The greatest collection of A-line dresses that will transform any girl into the woman she has always admired in those old time movies.
Who it’s for: The old souls on your list and your sassy fiancé who can’t seem to get away from those vintage shops.
Where to get it: Bettie Page Boutique, 1605 Walnut St. 866.4.BETTIE. bettiepageclothing.com (J.P.)
Hand-Made Hand Candy
What it is: Gorgeous, rustic jewelry inspired by the beautiful hardness of stalactites and the rigid edges of broken crystals. The hand-crafted rings are a bold statement of strength that will last as long as the caves they were modeled after.
Who it’s for: The strong-willed women on your list who aren’t afraid to replace dainty with tough every now and then.
Where to get it: Concrete Polish, 716 N. Third St. 267.324.5201. concretepolishjewels.com (J.P.)
What it is: The perfect solution for painless, tidy brewing of a single cup of loose tea, the Floatea does away with the inevitable wet messiness of an infuser ball by turning it into a floating buoy! Kudos to Premium Steap for offering it as a $25 holiday gift pack along with two 2-ounce packages of the tea of your choice—especially because Premium Steap has the most consistently delicious selection of loose tea in Philly. Try the gingerbread or toasted almond rooibos, the cinnamon-spiced pumpkin-pie black tea or the licorice/lemongrass/peppermint blend.
Who it’s for: College students, moms, aunts, teachers, anyone trying to cut back on coffee.
Where to get it: Premium Steap, 111 S. 18th St. 215.568.2920. premiumsteap.com (S.H.S.)
Vintage Grandmother-Button Rings
What it is: Two-tiered vintage rings, each one uniquely handcrafted out of brass, antique metal, marcasite, vintage plastic, pearl, or art deco glass and wood buttons dating back to as early as 1880 and as late as 1950.
Who it’s for: These brass rings are adjustable to fit any finger, so if you’re planning to pop the question this holiday, and your granny doesn’t want to relinquish any of her jewels just yet, you’re in business. No one can say no to these antique button babies, as they’ve got all the mystique of a family heirloom, but won’t break the bank. Save your hard-earned dollars for the wedding.
Where to get it: Art, design and fashion meet and mesh on Pine Street at J. Lamancuso’s semi-new store, Industry. 1020 Pine St. 215.733.0208. shopindustryphilly.com (J.F.)
A Light That Never Goes Out:
The Enduring Saga of The Smiths
By Tony Fletcher (Crown Archetype)
What it is: The first major Smiths book in two decades. Despite being the classic “I’ve-been-liking-them-longer-than-you” band, the architects of jangle pop have had surprisingly little exploration with any depth. One could obviously argue that this cloak of mystery has been crucial in allowing them to remain so iconic, but there isn’t a single soul out there who doesn’t want to know what records Morrissey and Marr listened to during their first meeting.
Who it’s for: People who understand there’s more to life than books, but not much more.
Where to get it: Joseph Fox Bookshop, 1724 Sansom St. 215.563.4184. foxbookshop.com (A.T.)
Couture Hoodie Dress
What it is: A super-cute, wear-anywhere kind of dress, perfect all alone or layered. And hey, they’re calling it “couture,” so we will too.
Who it’s for: Your daughter, who is convinced a sensible sweater will squash her self-expression. Boutique owner/designer Abby Kessler has designed the ideal hoodie sweatshirt dress: a mix of French terrycloth, cotton and spandex. The actual hood is discreetly framed with soft ruffles. From afar, the frock resembles a sleek, appropriate-for-any-occasion black dress; up-close, the ruffled-details will make the most serious young woman flip like she’s five again.
Where to get it: Head down to Old City to Kessler’s and Katie Loftus’ adorably chic Smak Parlour, the pink dollhouse boutique. 219 Market St. 215.625.4551. smakparlour.com (J.F.)
Education, the arts, disaster relief, counseling services, retail charity: These are just a few worthy local causes to donate to this season.
Geek Invasion 2013