Holiday Buyer’s Guide 2016

Holiday Buyer’s Guide 2016

Wednesday, 07 December 2016

Welcome to our yearly Holiday guide. If you’re short on ideas this year, don’t stress yourself out, because we’ve got you covered. Like we do every year, we’re going to fill that noggin of yours full of ideas for amazing gifts. As always our recommendations run the gamut in variety because we want to make sure you and your loved ones are happy with the holidays. So what are you still doing reading this? Let’s get to the real reason for the season. Buying stuff!




Now more than ever it’s important to invest in some good old fashioned journalism or to just donate to some charitable causes. We do this every year and we want to stress that it’s the time of giving and even though we’re featuring some pretty cool items here, it’s more important that you give to a good cause.

Like we said, journalism is a good way to start as any and considering how we got screwed by the mainstream news sources this year we strongly suggest you think about some more forward thinking news subscriptions this year. The Nation, The Progressive and Mother Jones are the bees knees when it comes to news, and are loaded with worthwhile and helpful pieces that serve to empower and enlighten. As far as music is concerned, Razorcake is just about the best damn music zine out there and a great place to find out what all the cool new bands are (they’re not better than Ground Control, of course!).

Finally, there are plenty of charities and organizations that need your help this year. You can do so on a local level like your local food bank, or more international organizations like the NRDC which is geared towards climate change reform. There are just a few ideas. Your money will be well spent in any of these places.




Not my President Shirt

Hey, guess what? The folks at Fat Wreck are back at their old antics from 16 years ago (Wow! I am old). Remember those Not My President George Bush shirts? Well, this is a new age with a new president. Or NOT a president.

Now look, of course we need to live in our current reality and accept that Donald Trump is going to be our president, but a little snotty dissent can take the edge off. What’s more, all the proceeds (ALL of them) will be donated to charities to combat Trump policies. Here’s hoping that involves environmental organizations. Whether it’s the clean or dirty version of this shirt, there’s no reason why we can’t be stylish dissenters. Long live the republic!




Descendant of Thieves

Look, we’re not going to bullshit you anymore. We love working with Descendant of Thieves because they have the best clothes in the business PERIOD. We stumbled upon them a few years ago and never looked back. Hell, WE’VE never looked better.

With Descendant of Thieves you’re getting stylish, unique clothing that are built to last. Just look through their catalog at those designs. And you know what? Descendant of Thieves takes their clothing up a couple notches to heretofore unknown levels. They even make us talk fancier! Their shirts have all kinds of added features like stitched collars and sleeves and extra buttons to customize your look. Their pants actually fit comfortably and look slick and cool, and they’ve even added some stretching material to their Run and Gun pants to make them the perfect pair in your collection. Really, you could just blindly pick Descendant of Thieves clothing and you’re guaranteed to look good. Have you seen shirt patterns like that? Of course you haven’t because Descendant of Thieves isn’t some crappy mall store. They take their clothing seriously!

No wardrobe is complete without Descendant of Thieves items.Take it from us, you’ll notice the difference right away and be a lifelong convert.




Dr. Squatch Soaps

Oh Dr. Squatch, why do we love smelling like you so much? Maybe because you make soap that’s refreshing and doesn’t smell like those synthetic brands out there. No, Dr. Squatch makes an all natural product with scents that you would find in nature. The good ones, like tar pine, lemon, sage, cedar and citrus. And what’s more, Dr. Squatch makes their soap in bar-form which I think is essential for that real-clean feeling.

And don’t be fooled by their “manly” scent persona: I can’t get my wife to stop using the stuff and I sure as hell don’t mind her stealing my soap when it makes her smell fresh and clean.

Dr. Squatch has been expanding their brand and offers shaving products as well and is even working on a shampoo and conditioner line which we’ve had the fortune of trying and give the thumbs up.

These guys make quality stuff at a reasonable price. At $7 per bar soap you just might have found the perfect stocking stuffer.




Lush Cosmetics

Lush figured out a long time ago that having fun in the shower is not just for kids anymore. If you’ve ever entered a Lush store you know you’re in for a wonderland of sensory overloads. That’s because Lush brings the fun to your dirtiest moments.

Where to even start with their wide array of bathing products? Oh, how about their amazing bath bombs which are thematic and an incredible experience for those moments when you just want to relax in the bath, light some candles, and lock your cats out of the bathroom?

But that’s not all, Lush has some of the most unique scents and soaps you’ll even find. Their shampoos give you that great lather and leave you with that clean feeling you need. Their shower gels look like a science experiment gone RIGHT. Really, with Lush products you’ll be the cleanest you’ve ever been in your life because you’ll want to take extra showers just so you can use the stuff.

You know you’re going to buy this stuff for your loved ones and sneak some in for yourself. So what are you waiting for?




Verameat Jewelry

Oh boy, every year we get very very excited to work with some new people, and this year our favorites are definitely Verameat.

What can we say, it’s fun to accessorize, and with Verameat the possibilities are endless. My wife told me that she didn’t marry a man who wears jewelry, but after looking at the Verameat catalog, she’s willing to make an exception. The thing is that these guys are so good at what they do that they have something for everyone. It’s easy to get lost in their massive selection of goods, like earrings, necklaces, rings, pins, and even dresses. They have things for Kinfolky people, for punks, for music fans, for book fans, or lumberjacks.You’re bound to spruce up your wardrobe with anything from their catalog, because Verameat knows the difference between cool and tacky. And as good ad their items look on the website they look even better in person. The attention to detail is truly amazing!

Verameat has redefined the saying that good things come in small packages. With them, those good things are definitely great.




Baxter of California

There is a reason we keep working with Baxter of California, and that’s because they make some of the coolest and slickest bath products around. We featured their soapier stuff in our B2S guide earlier this year but now we want to go back to the roots of what attracted us to them in the first place and that’s their shaving products.

Baxter of California is your one-stop shop for some of the coolest and fanciest shaving products around. They have you covered far and wide from shaving creams, lotions, and tonics, combs, to razors and blades. Their products feel good when you use them and look good on the shelf. We feel like a broken record, but it’s true: Baxter of California is basically the Ferrari of products.

Oh and while you’re at it, it’s good to know that they also have some killer candles in their store. Yeah, you no longer have to buy those embarrassingly scented candles from THAT company. Instead, check out some of Baxter’s candles like Sweet Ash and White Wood Three. Get your face looking good and have your place smelling good with Baxter of California.




Just Coffee

Here’s a dirty little secret, and that’s that I just cannot get my coffee dark enough. Yes, most of the time I get espressos and that’s all well and good, but all that acidity gets to me. When I get home from biking in the cold, I want a hot cup of coffee that kicks my ass. And that’s what Just Coffee Coop offers: coffee that packs a wallop.

Nevermind that they offer fair trade, shade grown, organic coffee. These guys know their business and you’re in good hands with whatever roast of theirs you prefer. Just Coffee Coop also offers the darkest most robusts roasts around. Seriously, nothing tastes quite like it and nothing perks me up like their WTF of Revolution blend.

Just Coffee has also started offering seasonal favorites in small batches, and that’s bound to excite anyone who likes their coffee subscription. That way you can have the tried and true beans delivered to you and occasionally try something new. Just Coffee Coop do not disappoint. Don’t just get them as a gift — get them for yourself!




Barrington Coffee

There’s a little coffee shop here in Boston that brews the best damn coffee I’ve ever had in my life. When I asked them what beans they brew they said Barrington. That’s all I needed to hear. I’ve tried Barrington coffee ever since and have never looked back.

Barrington Coffee are that big local coffee roaster you can’t help but love. Not just because they are serious about their coffee but because they offer so many varieties and roasts from so many sources. I myself gravitate towards the darker roasts and their French roast is some mighty fine business. That’s what you get with Barrington. No games, just damn fine coffee. The kind Special Agent Cooper would drink.

And what’s more, Barrington has a plethora of cool gear in their shop as well and holiday boxes that complement those great stocking stuffers you got for your family. Yes, the holidays are upon us and we’re going to be spending a lot of time with those family members we love and the ones that drive us insane. How are you going to pull this off without a decent cup of coffee in the morning?

Barrington will get you what you need and do it all day long!




Old Familiar Comb Company

Ooooh boy, you read that right. Every year we like to have an oddball out of left field entry into our Holiday guide and this year it’s none other than Old Familiar Comb Company.

I don’t know about you, but I have unruly hair. Sure, I brush it in the morning but by the time I bike to work, take off my helmet, wipe off the sweat and go about my day, my hair is starting to look like a wolverine laid a nest on top of my head. As much as I’d like, I can’t carry a brush with me wherever I go, so a comb comes in handier than you think. This is where the Old Familiar Comb Company comes along.

These combs are the good old fashioned kind. Thick and sturdy, they feel absolutely amazing in your hand. They give a smooth comb and get a mininal amount of stray hairs stuck in them. They just look so cool and are so great to handle, you’ll find yourself combing your hair more often and looking better than ever,. And they offer both hair and beard combs and you can customize them!

Old Familiar also leave their little trademark on their product as they offer a bottle opener comb and a beautiful leather sheath to keep your comb nice and clean for when you need it. We just love this product and know you will too.

Leave it to Old Familiar Comb Company to make the simple act of brushing your hair cool again.





Are you in that position where you feel like you have the right big gift ideas but you’re still way behind on your stocking stuffers? Well that means you haven’t looked what Kikkerland has to offer, because these guys are the absolute masters of the stocking stuffers.

But what I really love about Kikkerland is that they’re an absolute god-send when you’re trying to find something for that person who has everything. Kikkerland seriously has it all and I don’t say that lightly. With them you can find the perfect item for your kitchen, or your living room, or your bathroom, or your bedroom, or for outdoor activities. Who else do you know that offers such a variety of products?

And Kikkerland has cool designs in mind when you shop with them. Their windup toys are unique and bound to please adults and kids, their robots are innovative, their kitchen products are fun to use and will make you want to cook more, and their living room gear will perk up your house or apartment. I myself am also a fan of their outdoors gear and am rocking their bike accessories like their wireless speakers and phone holders which make biking to work fun for once.

We all have people that are hard to shop for and that’s why you need to check out Kikkerland. Your Christmas shopping isn’t complete without them.




Dr Martens

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Everyone needs a pair of Doc Martens in their shoe collection. It used to be that the best damn boots in the business were only made by Doc Martens but that has now changed. What am I talking about, you ask? Well these guys have completely expanded their catalog and Dr. Martens now offers a large variety of work, casual, and evening wear.

Of course they have the only pair of boots worth wearing. Especially when you’re dealing with New England winters like we do. Dr. Martens makes the kind of product that can resist the harshest weather and lasts. But then you look at their new shoes and you’ll think to yourself, how can they make casual wear also look so good?

Seriously, with their shoes, they’ve stuck with classic designs which don’t go out of style. So guess what? That pair you bought from them is going to look good and last for a very long time. I myself have slowly been introducing new Dr. Marten’s into my wardrobe because they keep making cool shoes and updating their style.

So, get that pair of Dr. Martens. You’re going to need them for the winter and all year long. And you’re going to look good while you’re at it.





Sennheiser has proven themselves time and time again as being absolute masters of audio equipment. Their mics are some of the best you’ll ever find and an absolute staple for recording equipment. But what we want to talk about is their earbuds.

The Momentum earbuds deliver the crisp sound you need from all your music and are incredibly versatile. The key is in their design and Momentum earbuds form such a snug fit in your ear that you’re able to hear every bell and whistle perfectly. Not only that, Sennheiser knows the importance of bass so there’s plenty of that here too.

And that’s not all. Say goodbye to flimsy earbuds, because the Momentums are built strong with thick wires which prevents them from ripping or from that strange phenomenon when only the left or right earbud dies out. None of that here.

The Sennheiser Momentum earbuds are, hands down, the best earbuds on the market. Wow, it seems like like only yesterday we were lowering our standards and listening to crappy over the ear headphones with blown out treble or those terrible earbuds that come packaged with our MP3 players. You know which ones I’m talking about. Now it’s become easier to get good reliable, high performing earbuds, and the Momentums are at the top of the heap.



Jlab Audio

I’ve been hunting for the perfect pair of earbuds all my life, and I think I found them with Jlab. Honestly, I don’t even know how I heard about them but I’m so glad I did. I’m not much of a headphone guy (although I do make exceptions), so I’m always on the lookout for earbuds that fit my needs, and that’s the Jlab J5.

For the money, hands down, there’s nothing better than Jlab’s earbuds. You see, Jlab understands that sometimes, you need a good amount of bass to really enjoy your music and they provide that and then some. Not that that’s all you’ll be to hear, because Jlab earbuds also give you the clearest sound. These guys are no dummies either because they don’t fall into the trap most audio companies fall into and that’s making their earbuds too big. You know what I’m talking about. Size matters, but not when it comes to earbuds. Here you need to go as small as possible without compromising sound. That’s what Jlab does with their flagship J5s, their wooden earbuds for the classy look, or their extra tiny headphones for the finicky listener. All have great sound and come with the Jlab lifetime warranty. Run into trouble with your earbuds? Simply put them in an envelope with a stamp and they send you a brand new pair. Now THAT’S a company you can count on.

Jlab has set the standard for quality earbuds.




Jabra Electronics

Ah, it’s a sad time for audio fans. Why? Because it seems like the cabled earbuds are going the way of the dodo. That’s right, how long until all the phone manufacturers follow the lead of Apple and refuse to put an audio jack in their phones? Are we going to rely on bluetooth for everything?

Fear not, because the folks at Jabra have you covered.

Jabra makes the ideal bluetooth wireless earphones for casual or sportswear.Their Halo Smart model is sturdy and fits around your neck. That means you can listen to music AND take your phone calls. At my work that’s an absolute must, because I have to volley all these phone calls while I’m listening to my tunes. I don’t want to listen to that copy machine go on all day!

But what about not-so-casual settings? The Jabra Sport Pulse earphones offer that over-the-top quality audio with a bluetooth earphone that actually stays in! They’re so comfortable. And it even has a heart monitor so you know you’ll get the most out of your workout. Not only that, but it’s water, shock, and dust resistance, so you know you can go the distance with them. Especially if you’re a gross gorilla at the gym like I am.

Jabra makes some of the slickest designs in the market and offer the eye-catchiest earbuds in the biz.





Look, if it’s one thing that makes exercise more fun it’s being able to listen to your own tunes while on the treadmill, or the weight room, or the elliptical, or the sit-up room. But you need earbuds that are reliable and deliver good sound, am I right? I know I am! Well, Yurbuds are a company that completely focuses on earbuds for an active lifestyle. They have wired or wireless, they have in ear or over the ear, they have a variety of colors, and are incredibly comfortable to wear. There’s a reason why Yurbuds are becoming a favorite for running enthusiasts.

The design in Yurbuds Inspire 400 are what really stands out. Look at the mold near the buds. You can bet that’s going to give you a close and tight fit, so you won’t lose risking a bud when you most need it. It’s completely ergonomic and completely dependable. It won’t be their fault that you’re not getting the most of your workout because Yurbuds don’t have cable bouncing noise so you won’t even notice they’re there!

Also, you won’t break the bank with Yurbuds as they offer a wide variety of styles and variety fit for every budget!





We’ve covered some great clothing companies before on this guide, but like we’ve said, sometimes you need to take things up a couple notches. Sometimes a T-shirt, a button down, or a polo won’t do. You don’t want your relatives to think you’ve been living in squalor all year do you?

Well you don’t have to worry, because for occasions that call for a little more formality, you’ve got Tiebar. Tiebar is your one stop shop for shirts, ties, cufflinks, scarves, belts, pocket squares, in short: everything you need to dress up a couple notches.

And these guys love what they do. You can use their online matching software to make sure you’re picking the right tie for your shirt, and if you’re like us, you let Tiebar do all the work and get one of their tie gift boxes. They come customized to your color palate and include ties, cufflinks, tie clips, and lapel flowers to make you into a red carpet diva. Their selection is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

At Tiebar there’s something for everyone.




TOKYObay Watches

You thought we were going to forget about TOKYObay? Well, you’re wrong. There’s no way we would forget about these guys because we need to tell you you’ve been living a lie. That’s right. Why are we even sticking up for watches, you say?

Ever since they were invented we thought that having our phones on us would help us keep track of time. WRONG. I myself have gone over to the watch camp and I’m so glad I did. I’m sorry, but there’s no other way to keep time and look stylish doing it than with a TOKYObay watch. Sure you can wear one of those digital watches but you don’t want to look like a douche, do you? Do you?!

TOKYObay has such a wide variety of watches of every style, material and color imaginable and will keep you looking stylish while wearing them. I know I love my TOKYObay and I get compliments on them all the time. Then I tell them what time it is.

So stop fiddling in your pocket or your bag trying to find your phone and wondering what time it is. Get a TOKYObay watch and live your life in real time.


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