>> home & hearth
CHAISE IT DOWN
Sometimes you just have to opt for cool in living rooms and Cantoni’s Fly Chaise Lounge delivers just that. The futuristic piece comes in black or red leather. The sleek lines make it versatile for both traditional and modern decors. Just prepare for those clamoring around it trying to hog all the cool comfort. The lounge is priced at $5,889.
Cantoni, 4800 Alpha Road
Perhaps the best gift is that which does away with housework. The looks of relief and happiness when you give the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner will make the holiday season worthwhile. The robotic floor cleaner will rid the linoleum and tile and wood of dirt and grime — and all on its own. By using Swifter and similar products, it will dust and wet mop those floors too and the built-in GPS unit keeps it on the go, never missing a spot. The item is priced at $199.
Available at Bed Bath and Beyond locations.
IT’S GONNA BE A LOVELY TRAY
Serving trays are often an afterthought, but this one will steal the show. In turquoise leather, Global Views makes these trays in large, shown, and small sizes. Think big for accenting items on display. Think small for doling out the fancy drinks. Well, perhaps there’s nothing wrong with loading up the cocktails on the larger one. Just don’t spill. The large tray is priced at $375, the smaller is priced at $225.
Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, 4519 McKinney Ave.
Whoever started the idea of ornament exchanges must have had one too many aluminum balls hanging from the tree. If the exchange comes up this year, the people of Jonathan Adler have it covered. Their line of handcrafted holiday ornaments in delightful animal shapes will trump any decoupaged tree decoration, but they are so cute that it might be hard to give it up. Prices range from $27.50 to $55.
NUVO, 3900 Cedar Springs Road.
STAR LIGHT STAR BRIGHT
These hand-crafted free trade Christmas ornaments will not only make a spectacular addition to the tree, but 100% of the proceeds from the purchase supports the Cathedral of Hope’s Child of Hope program. Hundreds of poor children near Reynosa, Mexico are able to attend school in one of the 11 school buildings built by Child of Hope, and receive at least one nutritious meal a day because of this program. Everything about this is feel-good for both you and your gift recipient. The ornaments are $5.
Sources of Hope Books and Gifts. 5910 Cedar Springs Road
Watching movies on DVD is so… so…. 2007. Ugh. Who does that anymore, what with Netflix, streaming and IMAX? No, DVDs today are all about watching full TV shows in one popcorn-stuffed weekend. No commercials. No waiting for “The Man” to decide when you’re ready to watch.
Three great, gay-popular series are now available, and perfect for your on-the-move pals. Current hits Modern Family and Glee have their first seasons on DVD, but the one that thrills us is the massive 6-season collection of the entire series Nip/Tuck. Loaded with gazillions of extras, it’s some kind of Holy Grail of guilty-pleasure fabulosity — and there’s enough footage to keep you occupied all through the holidays with your partner’s family. Trust us: We’ve been there, and elective unnecessary surgery is a salve to making small-talk with them.
Available at Borders Uptown, 3600 McKinney Ave. (in West Village)
214.219.0512 or online at Borders.com.
NO TEARS ON THESE PILLOWS
These Bholu pillows will add significant flair to any spot. The rich heritage they come with isn’t too easy to miss either. Each pillow is traditionally handmade and embroidered by skilled artisans in India. The super soft cushions are made from lush and plush Australian wool felt. The pillows are priced at $159.
Iota Gallery, 3107 Knox St.
A KINDER GENTLER ALARM
Bedside clocks can be charming gifts, but when the alarm blares a jarring buzz, then you might want to rethink. Step it up with the Duo-i Plus from Boston Acoustics. This machine comes loaded with an am/fm radio, a docking station for an iPod or iPhone, an easy-to-read display and BassTrac, which provides undistorted bass. But the clincher here is the 360-degree snooze bar which means touch it anywhere and its back to dreamland. Available in black and white and priced at $250.
Available at Best Buy locations.
>> barks & wags
RESERVATION FOR TWO
Spot’s love for you may be unconditional, but he’s gonna give you extra licks for this. The Elevated Double Bowl Diner Stand and Bowls by Platinum Pets USA will first relieve his aching back, it will also add some fancy décor to his eating experience. The bowls come in seven colors and in 24 ounce and 32 ounce sizes. The diner stands come in large and small sizes to fit the bowls. Prices start at $42.95.
Sold online at Amazon.com.
THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON SCOOPING
Dog owners will rejoice when you give them this stylish but practical present. The PoopPac remedies that problem of what to do when people have to, um, follow through on their dog’s actions on the grass. The Pac lets them put it out of site by providing a handy place to store those plastic bags until coming to a proper trash stop. The PoopPac comes in a variety of colors with an ultra-cute paw print. Plus, it can be clipped onto a belt or used as a backpack. Prices start at $29.95.
Sold online at PoopPac.com.
A TREAT FOR TREATS
Sometimes those big, bland plastic containers make dog and cat treats less of a treat. But these vibrant stainless steel canisters, also by Platinum Pets USA, will brighten any dog’s day. The clear lid lets you see just what type of treat Fido and Fluffy deserve — which is most likely all of them. Prices start at $14.25.
Sold online at Amazon.com.
>> body & soul
MAKE LUNCH MORE FUN
That inner child in everyone screams for an old-school lunch box. Give the gift of retro with these metal lunchboxes that recall elementary school cafeterias and peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches. The quirky gift can appeal to many types, with old TV shows, comic book heroes and even the king of rock ‘n’ roll. Maybe even throw in a can of soup for that Thermos inside. Prices start at $6.95.
Antiques Gallery, 3330 N. Galloway Road, Suite. 225, Mesquite.
THAT SMOOTH FEELING
Billy Jealousy makes skin care products for bad boys — and good ones too. This Men’s Skin and Shave Gift Set will not only battle the effects of daily skin damage from edgy living, but also gets that skin nice and smooth for the holiday season. Better yet, Billy Jealousy donates a portion of sales to nonprofits supporting the arts environment and social needs. This gift gives both ways. The set is priced at $200.
M Image Center, 3303 Lee Parkway, Suite 100.
What guy doesn’t like a new electric gadget? Braun’s Series 7 760CC shaver looks less like a grooming tool than a laser gun. Loaded with high-tech options like an automatic cleaner and charger, OptiFoil ergonomic design, flexing head for facial conformity and Pulsonic technology to zap that hair right out, the only thing it doesn’t do is open the garage door or turn on the TV. Series 7 shaver prices start at $229.
Available at Sears locations and Sears.com.
The classic diva Diana Ross is heading to Dallas, so why not consider giving seats to a once-in-a-lifetime concert? OK, she might be back again, but rarely has Big D seen Ross come this way. She brings her legendary R&B to the Majestic Theatre on March 2 as part of her Greatest Hits tour. Tickets are priced at $75–$135.
Tickets on sale Dec. 3 at Ticketmaster.com.
OUTSIDE THE BOX
Dude Sweet delivers chocolate like no other. Working with only dark chocolate, they mix it with any and all flavors for that perfect taste. In this artisans box of chocolates, they go savory, mixing with yellow curry and pineapple, and then sweet with coconut milk, lime and basil.They even get local, mixing it with roasted beets and Texas olive oil. Yeah, definitely chocolate out of a different box. Priced at $20.
Dude Sweet Chocolate, 408 W. 8th St.
THE PERFECT FIT
Astor and Black have become the premiere custom clothiers for men and offer suit packages with opulent quality. The clothiers will head to either home or office to work with clients on sizing him up and creating a suit perfect to fit. Their packages vary from bronze to platinum and come with custom made suits, shirts and silk ties. Prices begin at $2,200.
Visit AstorandBlack.com for more information.
JUST IN CASE
Leave it to the people at Diaper Dude, who make trendy diaper bags for parents, to hit up the electronics market. Their Digi Dude offshoot has come out with a new eco-friendly laptop bag that looks less like Neoprene luggage and more like a sturdy, rugged case with loads of pockets and inserts for handling business on the go. Their iPad case has easy access and closure with a microfleece interior for added protection. Perfect for that go-go gadget guy — or gal. The laptop bag is priced at $148; the iPad case is priced at $25.
Available at TheDigiDude.com.
GLAM FOR REAL
Purses aren’t just for drag queens. These bags by Bo’s Art will make any event special. From the Opera Collection, the purses are made with stainless steel wire mesh but give the appearance and feel of silk. Add to that the 24K gold plating, 23K gold leafs, copper or brass mesh color accents and this becomes on clutch no one will let go of. Prices range from $200 to $325.
NUVO, 3900 Cedar Springs Road
Alta Mere says it’s time to step away from the cigarette lighter output. For the person who has all that great music on their iPhone or iPod, but no way to play it in the car, consider this nifty gift. The USA Spec interface can be installed to turn that manufacturer’s stereo into a mp3 jukebox. The interface will also charge up the i-gadget and lets the driver control the songs via the original stereo. Prices start at $289 including installation for most vehicles.
Alta Mere, 4302 Lemmon Ave.
Bike riders might appreciate the style these Chrome cycling shoes will add to their adventures. They come in a variety of colors and could easily dress up any daily wear as well. Now that’s versatile. Prices start at $70.
Blitz Mopeds, 2924 Main St., Suite 102
BY THE HORNS
Wallets don’t get their proper attention and that’s because they are designed without much thought. Brighton doesn’t make that mistake with their Bull Wallet. Made of leather, it is available in five styles and colors with inlays. This checkbook wallet is durable enough to withstand pocket action and stylish enough to grab all the attention. Prices start at $46.
Union Jack, 3920 Cedar Springs Road.
What’s Christmas without a little bit of leather? Santa has that big belt and those boots, right? Indulge the leather man in your life with Leather Masters’ new uniform short sleeve shirt. Made of leather (of course), the shirt comes in a variety of piping for dramatic impacts. Available in red, blue, yellow and gray, the shirt is a must for any leather wardrobe and think how those beefy arms will look coming out of those sleeves. The shirt is priced at $185.95.
Leather Masters, 3000 Main St.
OFF THE CUFF
Express your feelings with these leather bracelets and cuffs by local artist Rebecca Ramos. Her per•so•na accessories come in different widths each with silver badges featuring different phrases, words or symbols. She will even create an original work for that one of a kind gift. Prices start at $38.
Available at ChickeeBoom.com.
Forgive us for presuming, but underwear makes, simply, the best-ever Christmas gift. Here’s why: You give it to your boyfriend — maybe a jock strap, maybe a package-defining bikini cut, maybe a silky, clingy pair of boxer briefs — and when he wears them for you, you get hot and can’t wait to pull them off. But you can also give them to yourself and it’s still a gift for him: Seeing you look hot and sexy is the ultimate turn-on. And with the selection of brands, styles, fits and sizes at Skivvies, it’s a gift that, literally, can keep on giving.
Skivvies, 4001 Cedar Springs Road
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 19, 2010.