Look, we love screens. We make things for screens every day. But, after a year of endless scrolling, dog/child/partner cameos in staff meetings, and high-volume news feed refresh clicks, we know when to say when.
To help (temporarily) de-screen yourself and others, look at all these great non-digital gift ideas!
Let’s be honest, sugar has become one of the 4 essential food groups of 2020 (along with alcohol, carbs, and caffeine). NY-based Levain Bakery is one of our favorite, and increasingly famous, sources to help balance a complete nutritional diet. They’re nice people who make a great product: big, chunky cookies for a big, chunky year. Gift packages are available.
Cookware can be like relationships. Some things are around for a season (looking at you, Spiralizer), others for a reason (slow cookers). Then, when you least expect it, perhaps in a WhatsApp chat or a small cafe, you find your Always Pan. A multipurpose tool for an affordable price, it claims to replace 8 items in your kitchen, but nothing can replace the feeling it brings to your heart.
Sunday, 3 PM, the edge of summer. You’re strolling through your preferred park when, off the path, you see what could be your life. Strapped between two trees is an ENO hammock nestling a person (or two) who, amidst climate, health, and electoral crisis, does not have a care in the world. For about $100 that life could be yours. Don’t wait for your new life to start.
After your 6th hour of Zoom calls on any given Wednesday, do you ever take a break and shop for travel gear that makes you dream of the trips you’re going to take when all this is over? We do. Like, all the time. This elegant, minimalist little jewelry case is a perfect stocking stuffer, designed for weekenders or, dare to dream, post-pandemic, trans-oceanic flights.
Small bookstores have made a welcome comeback, riffing off the old record store model as a community-centered business, mellow hangout destination, and source of recommendations. They’ve been hit hard by the pandemic, so Small Planet is supporting indie bookstores this holiday season. You should too, via gift cards, merch, and rewards for thy own self.
Ron & Leetal Arazi have so much fun bringing Sephardic and Middle Eastern Jewish cuisines to new audiences, you want to try literally everything offered by their artisanal food company New York Shuk. A good entry point is their spice collection, which will significantly up your seasoning game.
Puzzles hit a high note in sales this year, for good reason, and these delightfully quirky designs are an excellent analog activity to counterbalance digital overload. Plus they have a witty, old-school vibe about them that’s quite soothing (sample titles: Banana Hands, Champagne Problems, and Feeling Flushed).
Detroit-based Speedcult is a metal-working company that makes all kinds of things out of steel. But since they’re also a bunch of gonzo daredevils that love anything with wheels attached, they made a series of oversize cut-out metal logos of famous car brands. Excellent gifts for gearheads and typography nerds alike.
Is there anything dogs hate and humans love more than pet sweaters? Probably not, but Chilly Dog’s fair trade policy, 100% wool, plat dyes, moderate prices, and great patterns make both sides come together in the interests of fashion and warmth.
As the first writing and mentoring program for girls, Girls Write Now does amazing work that several Small Planeteers support. Proceeds go to the program, and there are some incredible pieces of writing spanning so many genres. These are welcome literary voices that will be heard, now and forever.
Let’s face it, we’re going to be socializing, and social distancing, outdoors this winter. That means we’ll need more gear for warmth, and this comfy, easily-transportable, machine-washable blanket should be high on that list. Also, doesn’t “Flannel Sherpa Buffalo Plaid” sound like the code to get into a secret underground Brooklyn party?
While we’re on the subject of new outdoor habits, it’s finally time to invest in a lightweight, foldable trail chair, and by “trail” REI also probably means park picnic, outdoor concert, and random gathering. Nice for car people to throw in the trunk, or the citified, carless masses with an eye on carrying capacity before heading out on Sunday afternoon.
Kids should learn about apex predators early, and there’s no more adorable way than Karl Zahn’s Croc Pile. Stackable fun meets cunning reptile in these charming sets of interlocking wood crocodiles, available in various colors. Good for adult-onset pandemic boredom too.
You’ve passed the Sodastreams in Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond and thought, “I really could be a SodaStream person. I could stop supporting LaCroix stakeholders, lugging multiple cases of Lime or Pamplemousse up the stairs every week. I could make my own bubbles, just like Snoop Dogg.” You know what, you can be that person. Starting now.
We’re big National Park fans, but we’re equally big fans of state parks, which often struggle to make improvements and keep services going in the best of times. These days, rising demand for fresh air and falling tax revenue isn’t helping the situation. Typically between $60-100 depending on the state, an annual pass gets you out for the day and helps support these essential spaces.
You yearn for the analog click-clack of word production, Qwerkywriter's mechanical keyboard will deliver the goods. It’s related to screens, but it’s just so neat we had to include it. You can pretend you’re a sassy newsroom reporter, or a whiskey-fueled beat poet, or a mystery writer who stumbles upon murder after murder in her quaint seaside town. Possibilities = endless.