Happy holidays. It’s that season again. That season where we are reminded that so many New Yorkers who call the city home are actually from somewhere else. Somewhere with yards and cars and houses.
But what can you bring back to the ‘burbs that is special and unique and, in this globalized world with all that Internet shopping, can’t be found in Peoria?
Well, Brooklyn is big right now. It’s the borough that makes stuff. Artisanal stuff. Have you heard? Yes, of course you have. You live there and you read trend stories aplenty. But you know who hasn’t heard? That’s right. Your family. So bring some Brooklyn home. Just make sure to note on your letterpress card the origins and use of the gift. It never hurts to add that the gift in question is “big in Brooklyn.”
What a great way to explain the Brooklyn aesthetic to beleaguered family members.
Reusable Mason Jar with Reusable Metal Straw, Drinking Situation ($24)
Look, Ma, it’s a mason jar with a metal straw! In Brooklyn, we use mason jars for everything. Even wine at restaurants. And it’s reusable!
Fancy Black Goat Milk Soap, Hudson Made NY ($16.50)
"Crisp green grass spreads over the rolling hills that our Nubian goats call home. Their fresh milk comprises almost a third of our Fancy Black soap, with the other two-thirds coming from extra light olive oil, mineral-rich volcanic clay, and essential oils," explains the website. Not unlike our overpriced Brooklyn brunch omelets.
Mast Chocolate Bars ($80 for a box of 10)
"Handcrafting the world's greatest chocolate" is Mast Brother's life's work. Make sure your family members realize that nice wrapping and single-estate, single-origin chocolate doesn't come cheap. It's not just another chocolate bar. It's a tastefully designed one...from Brooklyn.
DUDE No. 1 Beard Oil, MCMC Frangrances ($65)
Did you notice how your little brother had that dark shadow on his upper lip over Thanksgiving? Well, it's only a matter of time until he is ready for some beard oil. Go on, he'll love it.
Veggie Set, Imagination Kids ($19)
Kids really have terrible diets in the rest of the country, don't they. Well, why not show them that there is a different way. Get them playing farmer's market nice and early! Your sister-in-law will love it and not at all think it's a comment on the way she is raising her children. "From pretending to garden to having their own farmers market stand children are sure to love this set of a carrot, beet, pea pod, eggplant, and baby portobello mushroom," the website says. Oh yeah, and it's all local.
Brooklyn Bag, Bedford Cheese Shop ($80)
"Experience the hip streets of Brooklyn in your very own kitchen" with a jar of pickles, a pot of jam, a mustard, a sweet treat, and a handcrafted chocolate bar. Make sure to let it slip that it cost $80, because otherwise, it might just seem like you ran to the grocery store. But of course, you would never do that. Cheese is extra.
Billy Wolf Scarf Dog Bandanna ($32)
"Why shouldn't your little guy be just as stylish as you are?" Can't think of a reason, right? Well, then. Your dog might not care, but what owner wouldn't love a locally made bandanna? Make sure your parents' dog is the most popular pup in the subdivision.
Fall Mix Artisanal Mayonnaise, Empire Mayonnaise Co., $22
Don't people in the rest of the country love mayonnaise? Show your family that it doesn't have to be Hellman's, and it doesn't have to be cheap. The fall mix is "focused on warmth, simplicity and the flavors that reminded us of holidays and childhood." Those flavors are white cheddar, rosemary and vadouvan, of course.
Henry Ford Chop Wood Pillow, Old Hollywood ($35)
Some heartwarming, if labor intensive, advice. And the pillow is made out of muslin, filled with balsam needles. Perfect for an outdoorsy older brother. Nothing says "Brooklyn" like a vague statement about the outdoors--somewhere that you would totally go if you hadn't given up that Zip Car membership.
Beer Making Kit, Grapefruit Flavor, BrooklynBrewshop.com ($20)
"Oh, you usually just buy your beer at the 7-Eleven? In Brooklyn, we just make everything ourselves, you know, from cute kits. It really opens up the possibilities." Slate may not like grapefruit, but you do, right?
Terrarium, Sprout Home ($35 to $300)
Plants in a glass jar! With little, specially selected tchotchkes. A really thoughtful gift, don't you think, Mom? You are welcome.
Moonshine, King's County Distillery ($20)
"No, Dad, moonshine is NOT bathtub gin. It's untreated corn whiskey. Hey, anyone mind if we try some now."
DIY Brooklyn Quilt Kit, Haptic Lab ($38-$74)
Give the gift of crafts. Specifically, crafts to make Brooklyn products. The quilts are perfect for hanging on a wall or putting in a crib. No pressure, but maybe your mom could have it ready for when you give her grandchildren. Speaking of which....
N+1 Holiday Tote Set, N+1 website ($85)
Don't waste you precious family time (don't worry, it'll be over before you know it) explaining the "hipster." N+1 does it for you. Just tell your family to read about it. This tote bag includes: Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding, Marco Roth's The Scientists, all four n+1 books (including What Was the Hipster? and The Trouble is the Banks), both Paper Monument books (I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette and Draw It With Your Eyes Closed), n+1 issues 1 and 2 for history, Issues 14 and 15 for currency.