Here at Scouted, we try to give you the best of internet shopping, while the Daily Beast gives you the best of the news. What happens when the powers combine? A whole gift guide for what our writers and editors are buying for the holidays, and some they’d like to receive.
My New Year’s resolution four years ago was to make my own coffee to save money, so I bought this French press for self-motivation. While I did not end up following through with that plan (who ACTUALLY follows through with their NYE resolutions?), I do admittedly use this press a lot. It is the easiest thing in the world to use and it’s perfect for making a cup or two for one person. Plus, it’s pretty. —Pilar Melendez, Reporter
The sound effect machines from NPW are my favorite holiday stocking stuffer for kids of all ages—and slightly immature adults. The classic model has 16 sounds ranging from applause to a glass breaking to a drumroll. I used to keep one on my desk, and when a particularly high-strung colleague would start to lose it, I would press the button for the boing of a tightly coiled spring to make everyone laugh. The company regularly rolls out limited edition variations—I’m still sad someone swiped my beloved cartoon sound effects model—with themes like pirates, sports or divas. One on my shopping list this year, for adults only, seems especially suited for our times. It’s the F*** Box, with 16 very expressive profanities. You can’t watch cable news without it. —Tracy Connor, Executive Editor
Pinbox 3000 is the damn future, damnit. It is a pinball game, made of cardboard, that you make with no tools at all and it works and it is beautiful. Made by the cardboard pinball nerds of the Cardboard Teck Instantute who love this enough that, after selling it to you at a very fair price, also have bumpers and ramps and everything else awesome that you can just cut out of a damn cereal box for no charge at all. It is damn fun to build, and impossibly engrossing to play. Each set comes with two game boards (and you can make more out of cardboard!!!) and you can set two Pinboxes back to back so that balls fly from one side to the other, and it turns out 2018 is bearable after all. Damn: They made multiball great again. —Harry Siegel, Senior Editor
Who needs a star or angel as a Christmas-tree topper when you can have this charming, wee crown? It feels both ancient—like it should be hanging off the branches of the very first recorded Christmas tree, raised in Strasbourg Cathedral on the edge of the Black Forest in the mid-1500’s—and oh so modern (appropriate for fangirls of Meghan Markle and Claire Foy). It calls to mind holiday cheer at Buckingham Palace, where the Queen dolled up her fir trees this year with crowns and carriages, or—more darkly—The Nutcracker's dancing Mouse King. Charlemagne may have hated Yuletide trees for their pagan symbolism but his crown would have looked mighty regal atop one—as will this royal decoration, glittering merrily in the firelight of our coldest nights. —Katie Baker, Managing Editor
Shopping for food on the internet can be a minefield. Here are a few jars that are staples in our pantry: I grew up eating achaar, an Indian pickle, but Brooklyn Delhi has given a 21st century twist to this ancient condiment with flavors that include tomato (you’re new favorite ketchup) to roasted garlic, which my wife and I loved so much it was on every table at our wedding to pair with brisket. Sesame paste is the new peanut butter, but with Soon tahini you realize not all sesame paste is created equal. Bonus, they also have a chocolate version that is akin to Nutella. Finally, shameless plug for my wife, there’s Anarchy In A Jar: jam mashups that include my personal favorite, grapefruit and smoked salt. Pro tip: Jam is not just for toast anymore. Think folded into scrambled eggs, glazed on roast chicken or shaken into a cocktail. —Pervaiz Shallwani, Senior Editor
My new favorite gift for friends is a waterproof, roll-up park blanket. I got my own from this San Francisco brand called Alite. They have super cute colors and prints, are very light and durable, and easy to throw in a backpack. I use it all the time—for park hangs with my friends, for concerts outside, the works. —Malia Griggs, Director of Social Media
I once swam near a baby manatee in a crystal-clear Florida river, its mottled gray skin seeming to emanate an aura of calm and understanding. Below the surface of the water, I could hear the gentle creature chomping down on the sea grass, the echoes of each bite delayed by the current. For one perfect moment, we were the only two beings on earth. I’m not saying that a stuffed manatee from BigStuffed—or any of the other adorable water-dwelling creatures they have on offer—can be a substitute for that experience, but they are amazing gifts. These are stuffed animals for kids and grown-ups alike. The quality is outrageously high without sacrificing softness. Mine is the best gift I received all year—a mandatory cuddle friend. —Samantha Allen, Senior Reporter
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