You have to give it to Gwyneth Paltrow’s 2019 Goop Holiday Gift Guide editors. This year, they’ve come up with a surprisingly digestible list of ideas, with enough items sparking a “Hey, that’s cool” response to help you power past those “What the actual what” offerings.
The list breaks down into sub-categories for wellness junkies, hosts and hostesses, cooks, lovers, travelers, kids and men. There are also lower-end gifts (as in, below $100) and gifts for the person who has everything and therefore needs a “ridiculous but awesome” present or two, depending on how your hedge fund has been doing this week.
Here are some things we love and hate, plus a few things that fall in between.
Things we love
Surprisingly, there was much to love on the Goop list, even after you took out the not-quite-sleazy sexual accoutrements sprinkled throughout.
• Misfits Market’s misshapen-produce delivery service, $22 a month. This is the Hallmark Christmas Movies version of a fresh fruits and veggies subscription. It’s like rescue puppies you can eat. Unattractive produce gets a second chance at love with recipients who can judge it based on how it tastes, now how it looks. Much like in Hollywood, however, even the ugly veggies are pretty decent-looking.
• Brass fire extinguisher, $250. Because it’s cool, that’s why. Plus, in a pinch, it can double as a weapon.
• Salami subscription from Portland’s Olympia Provisions, $13 a month. There’s something slightly hilarious in knowing that a friend will get a monthly salami in their mailbox and, well, they’ll think of you.
Things we hate
Have we simply been living in Los Angeles too long, and “weird” doesn’t seem all that weird anymore? Very few suggestions fueled our rage, which is a disappointment. But here are a few items that induced at least some anger.
• Codi the Storytelling Robot, $125. A click through to the Pillar Learning website reveals that Codi’s been marked down 20%, probably because too many people saw the Miley Cyrus episode of “Black Mirror” and were as freaked out as we were by the notion of a storytelling robot that has “super cute outfits.” Put Netflix on pause and read the kid a stinkin’ book, for Pete’s sake.
• American Heirloom walnut base cake stand, $90. When was the last time anyone used a cake stand? It’s time to stop bringing cake stands into the world, where they procreate and make even more cake stands that nobody will ever pull out of the cabinet. Eat that cake on a level playing field, people.
• Dehydrated Calvisius caviar bar, from $99. There is just too big a chance of this “delicacy” accidentally being mistaken for a chocolate bar. Way too big. Nonstarter.
Things that make us go “hmm”
Here’s where Goop goes crazy. These are but a few of the items that at first glance sound almost cool — until their excess grosses you out.
• Ember travel mug, $180. It’s a travel mug. That’s all it is. And it’s only 12 ounces. And it’s nearly $200. But it does keep your coffee warmer than a $10 insulated Contigo mug, so if “having your coffee to-go turn tepid while you’re in the throes of enjoying every sip” makes you very, very sad, perhaps this would be more cost effective than, say, medication or a therapist. Then again, it might be time to simply get over yourself and drink your coffee faster.
• That Book by photographers Eszter+David, from $75,000. Think nobody wants to look at your vacation photos now? Wait until you tell them you spent $75,000 to have two people with cameras follow you around on your vacation, documenting your every move, then had a custom-made luxury album made of your adventure. Sure, “every book is its very own bespoke work of art,” the makers say, but that’s cold comfort when you have absolutely no friends left.
• Lunar Rock Edition of Norman Mailer’s book “MoonFire,” meteorite included, $275,000. It’s hard to out-and-out hate anything to do with books or the moon or astronauts, but this collector’s item — only 12 available, one for each astronaut who walked on the moon! — seems dreadfully overdone. Get the book for $15.70 new on Amazon, or upgrade to $30.49 for the 50th-anniversary edition of Mailer’s story of the Apollo 11 missions. Forget the box that looks like the lunar excursion module, with a lid that looks like the lunar surface, because you’ll never use it for anything, anywhere.
And the thing that costs more than $1 million
• The Journey to Nature’s Edge Expedition from Momentum Adventure, $1.3 million. It’s a dozen trips focused on endangered species, to be taken a month at a time or all at once, depending on how much paid time off you have. A better move, if you have already paid L.A. rent and still have $1.3 million to spare? Give the money to take care of endangered species instead of spending it to go look at ‘em.
We’re thinking elephants this year.