$3.25 at Babycakes, 248 Broome St. (betw. Orchard & Ludlow Sts.), 212-677-5047
This is a token I-don’t-know-anything-about-you-or-what-youmight-like gift for victims of the secret Santa grab bag. It’s cheap—$3.25—and because it’s dairy, egg and soy-free, it’s virtually resistant to any GI problems. The hefty sweets come in vanilla, carrot, chocolate and red velvet varieties with different frostings for each. Hell, even food-phobic celebs like Zooey Deschanel and Natalie Portman are said to be fans. Buy a box, bring ‘em to work and act like you really want to bring vegan joy into the life of the creepy dude in marketing.
$3 and up, La Sirena Mexican Folk Art, 27 E. 3rd St. (betw. 2nd Ave. & Bowery), 212-780-9113
Let’s face it, you have a lot to worry about. The global economy is in peril, meaning is ever elusive and your love life—my God, we’re not even going to go there.
Thankfully, La Sirena Mexican Folk Art offers an assortment of worry dolls to ease your pain or the pain of whomever you gift it to. Originating in the highland Indian villages of Guatemala, these dolls will take up the burdens that harass a weary mind. Just tell one worry to each doll and then cram them all under a pillow before going to sleep at night. When you wake up, you’ll be carefree. Of course, your actual problems don’t go away—you just stop worrying about them. It’s sort of like giving your nearest and dearest Prozac, except without having to steal prescriptions again.
Shot Glass Freezer Mold
$9.99 at Tiny Living, 125 E. 7th St. (betw. 1st Ave. & Ave. A), 212-228-2748 The best design ideas are elegant in their simplicity.
Why were we not already drinking out of ice? Just pour, freeze and inebriate with the shot-glass freezer molds. Your shots go down smooth, you can experiment with colorful juices and you feel like you’re in one of those crazy Nordic ice hotels. Sure, your fingers get numb; but a few vodkas in a cranberry juice chalice and you won’t know the difference.
$8.50 at Muji, 455 Broadway (betw. Grand & Howard Sts.), 212- 334-2002
Carrying a map in your pocket says tourist, and having the subway-system shower curtain says my first apartment, but the map handkerchief from Japanese cute emporium Muji is a delightful mix of functional and fashionable. Give it to Mom to wear around her neck during a very French lunch at Lucien and later pull off to find out how the hell to get back to the Holiday Inn. The open-minded designers even included parts of Brooklyn, Queens, Roosevelt Island and New Jersey in the map, letting folks know that life, and gift giving, is no longer Manhattan-centric.