It's Giving Gift Guide
It’s here! The gift guide you never knew you needed: where seven personalities from Gay Twitter (who you probably follow but whose last names and professions you definitely don’t know) tell you what to brave the supply chain to buy.
Why add a Gay Twitter gift guide to the thousands of others out there? Like I said in last year’s inaugural edition, we’re subverting gifting guides’ most common trope, experts selecting gifts for a niche audience, by consulting a population that has lots of recommendations, but virtually no expertise. Let the loudest voices guide you!
In this year’s edition, contributors once again selected a gift - something that’s good for a significant other, for example - and a stocking stuffer. The less expensive stocking stuffer options are perfect for someone you’ve been on three to five dates with and are currently using as a placeholder for your New Year’s Eve kiss. Keep them warm while you see who else is out there.
This year’s most common theme was skincare, and as a card-carrying member of Gay Twitter, I support the investment. One of the great risks of living much of life online (especially through a pandemic) is that when someone meets you IRL for the first time, they expect you to look like the version of you that’s displayed in perfectly-lit selfies. So here’s my tip: check out the gift recommendations below for your loved ones, but give yourself sunscreen and wear it even through winter.
Austin Bingham | @Austin_n_Austin
I was late to the trend, but I recently jumped on the “wearing several necklaces of varying sizes and styles” bandwagon. I don’t know what took so long since I’m usually up for anything that brings attention to my chest. If you’re looking for unique, affordable, queer-owned jewelry for yourself, your man, or your sidepiece(s), check out the up-and-coming brand Haus of Garçon (Price Varies). I recently purchased their Jacob Nude Pearl Pendant in gold (I’m a huge fan of pearls and gold), and I’ve received compliments everywhere I’ve worn it--from music festivals to anniversary parties.
I’ve been in love with Maison Margiela’s Replica cologne since one of my favorite skincare and luxury goods Instagram influencers (Sean Garrett) recommended their Jazz Club scent (it’s totally understandable if you hate me after reading that sentence, I reread it and hate me too). Their fragrances are on the expensive side, so I’d suggest gifting the Replica Discovery set ($38) as a stocking stuffer. The set comes with 10 different scents so recipients can try them all and decide which they like from there. My personal top three are Jazz Club, Bubble Bath, and Fireplace.
Dylan Adler | @DylanAdler6
Subscription gifts keep on giving long after the holidays pass, and my favorite of the bunch is a subscription to Bokksu ($135 for three months). With Bokksu, you receive a box of PREMIUM snacks from Japan every month. And when I say it’s premium... Bitch. It. Is. Premium. We’re talking yuzu lemon flavored popcorn and persimmon flavored mochi, both of which were included in my last box. All of the treats and flavors are incredible and, to be quite honest, the best part of my month is receiving this box. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if the only thing that keeps me going is my Bokksu arriving on the 20th day of the month.
Who says stocking stuffers have to be stuffed into a literal stocking? I think the best gift for a friend living in a major city is Venmoing them $1.99 to cover downloading the Flush app (that’s for the Pro version; there’s a free version as well, but this is a gift guide). The app that tells you which bars, hotels, restaurants, etc. allow the general public to use their bathrooms. It points out disability access, bathrooms that require keys, and allows you to rate your experience. I just started an SSRI and it’s doing a number on my bowels; this app is invaluable to me but also to anyone who poops (everyone).
Frank Costa | @feistyfrank
If you have self-diagnosed short term memory loss like myself, then you need to invest in a Tile product immediately. Their tracking devices use Bluetooth to connect with an app on your phone. Personally, I never lose track of my keys, but I always misplace my wallet. Life is too much of an anxiety roller coaster right now to add a scavenger hunt to the list. If you’re new to Tile, I recommend buying a value pack like the Mate Essentials Pack ($80), which includes one sticker, two devices with keychain holes, and one slim model (which is my favorite). The slim model is built like a credit card so it slips right into your wallet. I may be losing my mind, but I won’t be losing my wallet.
Let’s talk about the husband, Mrs. Claus! I work for Bravo and consume a lot of Bravo, so of course I’m going to recommend you light up the night with The Eternal Flame’s Our Lady of Hunky Dory Prayer Candle ($25). I’ve always been someone who’s thought that lighting a candle and taking a bubble bath will suddenly fix all of my problems. But also Kathy Hilton is an icon. She’s a legend. And she is the moment. Kill two reindeer with one stone on Etsy and buy a Bravo-themed holiday card ($6.50) from my friend and HollabackCards creator Danielle Peterson. ‘Tis the season to be as messy as a reality TV star trying to get their contract renewed!
Gabe Bergado | @gabebergado
I recently had the pleasure of laying down on a friend's couch under his Brooklinen weighted throw blanket ($169) and unfortunately it was so comfortable that I now also want one. They come in four gorgeous colors and if nobody is blowing your back out this winter season, let this blanket do the job.
As a Virgo who loves to be practical and loves a deep clean, I highly recommend gifting the dishwasher-less in your life (and/or yourself) a pair of rubber dishwashing gloves. They'll protect delicate gay hands from scorching hot water, let you use your fingers to scrub out bits of food that sponges can't reach, and most importantly, make you look like the thicc mom from Dexter's Laboratory. You can also splurge even more and get a pair of the rubber gloves that are cotton lined ($6) – now that's luxury.
Jay Jurden | @JayJurden
A pair of New Balance sneakers make for a stylish gift, and you can’t go wrong with the XC-72s ($120), the 327s ($100), or the 990s ($185). But I also think great gifts should be a little outside the box, and so I’m recommending a hardcover copy of House of X/Powers of X ($54). It’s also a better option if you don’t know someone’s shoe size. The book is the starting point for the new X-Men era we’re in. It’s a great, ambitous story and it’s a queer story that covers everything from bigotry to polyamorous couples on the moon. It may be a book, but it’s got a lot of pictures for gay men who can’t pay attention. I’m very excited for Gay Twitter to move on from Elizabeth Oslen as Wanda Maximoff and start losing their shit about X-Men again.
Anything from Good Molecule, the affordable online skincare line, makes a great stocking stuffer. They have this amazing anti-blemish product - the BHA clarify gel cream - that’s only $10. While it’s super cheap, it’s super high quality. It’s one of the few things I’ve seen on Instagram and bought. And I still have a face!
Jonny Ramos | @SharkPizza
As someone who loses my wallet every time I step out, cross body bags have been a real lifesaver. The HAMMITT Levy Small Crossbody Bag ($87) is my favorite for any occasion, especially for my holiday travels. The bag is small enough to take anywhere, while still fitting everything I need (ID, credit card, keys, even chapstick). And in case you're bringing it to the beach or worried about tan lines when wearing it to a day party, the straps are removable and it can transition into a big wallet (just don't lose it).
It’s getting cold outside, even in Texas where I live. The cold, dry air means I have to keep my skin care routine on lock, even if I'm covering my body up a bit more than other seasons. I try to pay special attention to my face and the I'm From Honey Mask ($38), from South Korea, contains a healthy dose of real honey in order to make sure I’m moisturized and glowing for the holidays.
Matt Stopera | @mattstopera
I know, I know, unless you're anti-environment, you probably already have a water bottle. But listen, this one is elevated. I discovered the "Dopper" (€29.50) long, long ago in 2019 when we could freely travel and I was visiting Amsterdam. I noticed every Dutch person had this stylish ~European~ water bottle. I know Europe is a continent, but, like, this screamed EUROPEAN. I had to have one. It not only reminds me of something from an early 2000s futuristic music video, but it also doubles as a wine glass. Yes, the top screws off into a little wine cup. It's basically my picnic in the park party trick.
I'm one of those gays that has been dying to find a scent for himself for years, but it's just too stressful and commitment of all sorts is a *life* issue for me. That said, I’ve finally found my beard scent. I use Everyday Oil ($14) for my beard and it's not only good for moisturizing the skin under my beard (which I never thought about until my barber told me it was important), but it also smells SO good. Like it's one of the things I look forward to in the morning because it makes me feel nice and hot.