We sincerely hope someone loves you so much they’ll buy you a $9,000 foosball table or $6,000 road bike. But let’s face it: the odds of another person splurging that much on you are slim to none. Some gifts are so magnificent that you’ve just got to buy them for yourself. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Nobody can judge you, except maybe us — and we say you deserve it.
So here they are! The season’s best gifts for you and yours. (But mostly you.)
Handle With Care
Foosball outgrows the last of its frat boy trappings with this handsome showpiece by Brussels designer Alain Gilles. A thermoformed acrylic glass shell and chromed steel handles elevate the beloved game into a pastime that won’t interfere with the rest of your minimalist Scandinavian decor.
$8,990 USD / debuchybytoulet.com
Any office job is bound to feel high-adrenalin with Poltrona Frau’s Cockpit desk chair. Envisioned by the design team at Ferrari to mimic the streamlined silhouette of a race car seat, the hydraulic chair offers a stylish way to take some much-deserved credit for driving up last quarter’s profits.
€10,000 / poltronafrau.com
Take a close listen to the year’s best albums with these wireless, noise-cancelling earphones by Bowers & Wilkins. Integrated sensors automatically pause music when you lift of the leather headset, while high-tech filters cut out airplane engines, appliance hums, and other ambient distractions.
$400 USD / bowers-wilkins.net
Keep favourite back issues of Sharp within easy reach in Umbra Shift’s metal stand. The sculptural frame holds a healthy stack of magazines — or, for those who have been stocking up on vintage Tom Petty albums, up to 24 records — at an easy-to-peruse angle.
$60 / umbrashift.com
Bring to Light
Accented with a rubber bezel, Toronto-based Good Thing’s dodecagonal, solid-milled aluminum Signal flashlight could pass for a futuristic ghost-busting device — making it the perfect tool for anyone who is still just a little bit afraid of the dark. And not for nothing: it just looks cool.
$125 / garmentory.com
Into the Woods
A cabin retreat is the ultimate luxury. To design and build your own, look to BONE Structure, the Quebec firm that specializes in steel frame construction with reduced waste, heightened energy efficiency, and sustainable materials. Dreams, meet reality.
Price upon request / bonestructure.ca
You’re into small-batch whisky. How about a small batch blanket? What sets Amherst Island’s Topsy Farms apart from the mass-production players is the little guys’ use of a traditional woollen mill — no harsh chemicals added. That means a softer blanket that has all the warmth, rugged durability, and modern cabin style of its peers, with none of the itchiness.
$120 / holtrenfrew.com
In the Bag
No matter where you’re headed, a polished duffel bag makes the journey feel less like an ordeal and more like a sophisticated adventure. Case in point: this tobacco suede number from newly launched Vancouver-based brand Taikan.
$530 / taikaneverything.com
Line of Fire
Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere channelled the simplicity of Shaker furniture and Japanese chefs’ knives to envision this trio of hardwood, leather, and brass fire tools for Toronto design boutique Mjölk. The sophisticated set is comprised of a poker, a shovel, and a brush that rest on a T-shaped bar above a circular basin designed to catch stray ash residue.
$1,595 / mjolk.ca
Game, Set, Match
The magic of the Louis Vuitton monogram is its ability to turn ordinary items into objects of desire. No exception to that alchemy, these paddles turned art objects are, forgive the cliché, truly for the guy who has everything.
$2,759 / ca.louisvuitton.com
Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue Pour Homme blends citrus notes, rosemary, and a base of musk and incense. It’s reminiscent of the Mediterranean — or any other sunny spot you wish you were in right now.
$101 / dolcegabbana.com
When Cervélo’s R-Series road bike debuted at the 2017 Giro d’Italia after more than 30 months of development and testing, it was proof that the Toronto company makes some of the best bikes in the world. With one of the brand’s stiffest and lightest frames, it’s designed to help you go faster for longer. One thing’s certain: you won’t be able to blame your equipment for a bad ride anymore.
From $6,700 / cervelo.com
Let There Be Lights
Mishca Couvrette’s design studio, Hollis + Morris, gets its name from an intersection in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and his pieces are inspired by the materials and production techniques he’s found across the country. His lighting series — including these custom shapes — is handmade from solid wood, LED, and nickel-plated hardware.
Price upon request / hollismorris.com
Inspired by cephalopods, marine chronometers, and James Cameron’s The Abyss, the Octopod is the latest eccentric clock-art collaboration by Swiss designers MB&F and master craftsmen L’Epée 1839. Made from stainless steel, nickel, and palladium-plated brass, it’s an eight-legged, eight-day clock that displays hours and minutes inside its spherical glass head — right before it tears your face off.
$35,000 USD / mbandf.com
Designed by architect Will Alsop, Alessi’s brawny spice mill adds flavour to food and style to dinner tables. The grinder element sits atop the unit, rather than at its base, ensuring stray pepper grains don’t spill out onto the table after use.
$125 / alessi.com
A handsome game set is one part home accessory, one part good old-fashioned fun. Tiffany’s walnut and sterling silver dominoes are ideal for entertaining (and impressing) guests over post-dinner cocktails, and their beautiful storage box means you can — and should — keep them in plain sight.
$2,050 / tiffany.ca
One of our favourite new scents of the year, YSL’s Y is the brand’s first new men’s fragrance in 11 years, and it was worth the wait. Modeled on a classic fougere, the scent is warm and masculine, with base notes of wood and leather offset by lighter notes like citrus and geranium.
$118 / yslbeauty.ca
Breaking the Mould
Styling products are the perfect gift: easy, useful, and always appreciated. American Crew’s roster can’t be beat, especially the incredibly versatile molding clay, which offers a strong hold, a refreshing scent, and natural ingredients like beeswax, kaolin, and essential oils. Santa deserves a big, fat kiss if he stuffs one of these little discs in your stocking this year.
$22 / americancrew.com
King of bling Swarovski enlisted furniture designer Barbara Barry to envision Lumen, a new home collection of crystal candle holders and vases that evoke precious gemstones. Produced in brassy topaz and gunmetal blue, the faceted designs catch and refract light to cast dramatic shadows on nearby surfaces.
From €480 / atelierswarovski.com
You rarely need all the tools in a Swiss Army knife. Which is why the Victorinox Wine Master is dedicated exclusively to uncorking bottles, cutting cheese, and otherwise being the hero of your next picnic (or any wine-related emergency).
$230 / victorinox.com