Everyone is versatile when it comes to the holidays . . . we all love to give and receive. Here are some clever gift ideas for those of you who aren’t sure what to get that special someone (or special numerous people) in your life. Sexy holidays to all!
NIKON D600 DIGITAL CAMERA
The next step in the evolution of digital photography, this camera is not only easy to use but has HD video capabilities, social media connectivity and an ergonomic design. The D600 is so flexible that we used it to take many of the photographs in this gift guide.
$2,750 Available at Henry’s, 119 Church St.
GREAT CANADIAN SCARVES
Blame Canada! Wear your favourite Canadians around your neck all winter long with North Star’s famous Canadian scarves. I see Pamela, Joni, Pierre, Margot, Geddy and Lorne . . . In red/black/white or black/grey/white.
$40 Available at the Drake General Store: 1144 Queen St W, 1011 Yonge St, 82A Bathurst St and northstarsportswear.ca.
GLORY HOLE DOUGHNUTS
For the holidays, Glory Hole (home of the Elvis and pretzel doughnuts) has added some delectable homemade goodies to their orgasmic baked selection. Salted caramels: $8, biscotti: $5.25, chocolate-bacon marshmallows: $6.
Glory Hole Doughnut gift certificates are available at $20, for half a dozen doughnuts, and $38 for a dozen.
1596 Queen St W.
POLAR PIECE ONESIES
Who doesn’t want to be cuddly, warm and fuckable during the holidays? Polar Piece onesies are made of thick combed fleece and have kangaroo pockets, a fully lined hood and most importantly . . . a YKK two-way zipper (for easy access to your naughty bits). Made in Canada.
30TH ANNIVERSARY CAGNEY & LACEY DELUXE EDITION DVD BOX SET
Sharon Gless in furs. Tyne Daly’s pained expressions. What’s not to love? Then throw in guns, provocative topics, women’s issues and “Harv,” and what we’ve got here is one of the great TV dramas of the 1980s. Sisters are doing it for themselves, bitches!
Kusmi Tea makes exclusive blends and high-quality traditional teas. The tins also look very pretty on one’s kitchen counter. Kusmi’s Christmas Tea is a blend of black teas flavoured with orange, almond, vanilla and spices. Humbug, you say? How about a Jasmine Green or Violet Tea? Bouquet of Flowers, a blend of black teas from China, Ceylon and India flavoured with bergamot, citrus and flowers, is to die for. Drink, pray, love.
$20 per tin Available at The Mercantile, 297 Roncesvalles Ave, or online at kusmi.ca
MAST BROTHERS CHOCOLATES
The Mast Brothers are two super-cute bearded brothers living in Brooklyn who make awesome handcrafted chocolate. The only store in Canada that carries it is the Drake General Store (and Mast doesn’t ship outside the US). These beautifully packaged bars are perfection. Available in dried cranberry, Brooklyn blend, almonds and sea salt.
$10 each. The Drake General Store: 1144 Queen St W, 1011 Yonge St and 82A Bathurst St.
QUEER-FRIENDLY SEX TOYS
Sex toys can be a great enhancement to any sexual relationship, but the problem for queer consumers is that many popular toys are designed to satisfy straights.
The good news: most sex toys, just like people, are versatile.
“At Venus Envy we don’t assume that someone with a vagina identifies as a woman or that someone with a penis identifies as a man,” says Lara Purvis, Venus Envy’s education coordinator.
Visit xtra.ca for more on queer sex toys and check out Venus Envy for all your sex toy needs, including workshops and toy parties. —Peter Berton
Available at Come As You Are, 493 Queen St W.
Rechargeable Fun Factory Delight
SULLY WONG MICRO TRAVElLER
Ideal for everyday and overnight adventures, the Sully Wong Micro Traveller is a roomy ballistic-nylon wonder. With comfortable vegan leather wrap and removable, adjustable shoulder strap.
PAINE’S BALSAM FIR INCENSE
There’s nothing lovelier than the smell of a roaring fire (in a controlled space, of course). But most of us don’t live in a rustic cabin in the Muskokas or a stunning Victorian in the city. Fear not! Paine’s balsam fir incense sticks bring that comforting scent to your bachelor apartment, penthouse or dorm.
$7 for 24 sticks with holder. Available at the Drake General Store: 1144 Queen St W, 1011 Yonge St and 82A Bathurst St.
CHRISTMAS IN TINSELTOWN
The hilarious writer Frank DeCaro has compiled genuine recipes of the stars with some campy pop-culture goodness thrown into the mix. Who doesn’t want to make Peggy Lee’s Holiday Halibut Casserole, John Lennon’s Hot Cocoa or Lucille Ball’s Brazil Nut Stuffing? I know I do!
$17.95 Available at Glad Day Bookshop, 598 Yonge St.
SAILOR JERRY SPICED RUM
There’s something altogether sexy about spiced rum named after a famous tattoo artist. And it smells like a fruitcake you actually want to devour. With its flavourful mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and rich vanilla, it’s sure to become a holiday staple.
$28.45 Various LCBO stores.
WRAP A GOAT
Giving a charitable gift is a great way to give back during the holidays and help a family or community in need. Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope include a goat ($75), a check-up for a newborn ($12), a mango tree ($15), classroom essentials for one child ($17) and clean water for a family ($75). Check out the clever gift-pairing ideas at plancanada.ca. Local queer and HIV/AIDS charities are also always happy to accept donations.
TRACEY THORN’S TINSEL AND LIGHTS
Tracey Thorn (Everything But the Girl) has released her first Christmas album, Tinsel and Lights (Merge Records). A delicate take on some holiday classics (“Hard Candy Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and wintery covers of Joni Mitchell’s “River” and Ron Sexsmith’s “Maybe This Christmas” make for a dreamy listen. Her self-penned title track is a new classic.
Cheaper than most Christmas cards and way more fun are Topps’ Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Funpaks. You get one sheet of tattoos, three picture cards, one sticker, one wiggle toy and one activity card in each pack. How can you resist Pterri, Mr Kite, Randy and Reba (the mail lady)? Well, you can’t.
$6 Original vintage packs from 1988.Available at Hot Hunt, 1140 Queen St W.
MoxyMaüs’s brightly coloured and boldly patterned socks will put a punch in your wardrobe. Throw on a pair of cartoony polka dots with your staid grey office suit. Crazy black-and-pink stripes will really show off those old Birkenstocks that you treasure so. Do it! You know you want to.
Grand Marnier is a holiday classic. The orange-flavoured liqueur was created in 1880 by Alexandre Marnier-Lapostolle and is made from a blend of cognac, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. It tastes divine by itself, mixed into festive cocktails, and added to homemade cranberry sauce, and it’s frequently a key ingredient in the French holiday dessert classic bûche de Noël.
$44.95 Available at all LCBO stores, it comes with a free glass until Jan 5.
SUFJAN STEVENS’ SILVER & GOLD
You have to love Sufjan Stevens’ obsessive-compulsive behaviour. He’s just released his second five-CD box set of Christmas tunes, Silver & Gold (Asthmatic Kitty Records). It’s an eclectic grab bag of Christmas classics (“We Three Kings,” “Silent Night,” “Ave Maria”) and Sufjan originals (“Happy Karma Christmas,” “X-Mas Spirit Catcher”). His crowning achievement has to be the 12-minute “Christmas Unicorn.”
HURRAW! LIP BALM
There’s going to be a lot of kissin’, rimmin’ and pussy eatin’ under the mistletoe, so you really should have soft and tasty lips. Hurraw! lip balm is certified organic, vegan and raw. The inventive flavours include Earl Grey, chai spice, grapefruit, root beer and vanilla bean. Not sweet, not too smelly and long-lasting.
$4.50 at The Mercantile, 297 Roncesvalles Ave.
BORN THIS WAY: REAL STORIES OF GROWING UP GAY
Author Paul Vitagliano’s popular Born This Way blog has been sharing stories (with accompanying childhood photos) for years. Reading memories of growing up queer from different eras, from all over the globe and seeing the subjects as kids is such a great, simple idea. Now in book form, it seems even more brilliant. It’s a perfect gift for those who don’t understand . . . and those who totally do.
$16.95 Available at Glad Day Bookshop, 598 Yonge St