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Welcome to InsideHook’s Staff Picks, a compendium of what our editors are digging recently. This week, we asked the staff for their ideal under-$30 stocking stuffer.
Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition
Ben Schott is a New York Times columnist who moonlights as a writer of really excellent toilet books — aka books made up of pithy lists and page-long sections that are perfect for reading whilst on the john. These books also tend to have the virtue of being stocking-sized. Schottenfreude is my favorite: a dictionary of imaginary German words that describe complex and relatable human conditions, such as Schmutzwortsuche, or “looking up rude words in the dictionary.” — Walker Loetscher, Editor in Chief
Harbinger Thick Bar Grips
I have a bad habit of shifting my grip while I’m lifting. I’ll get that first rep up on the bench, then maneuver my right hand just so. Sometimes it’s the naturally stronger right half of my body trying to take more weight, other times it means my grip wasn’t set properly, and I’m trying to compensate mid-set. Whatever it is, it isn’t ideal. Solutions? I could buy a pair of lifting gloves, and literally never look at myself again (super hard at the heavily-mirrored gym) or I could, and will, ask for a pair of Harbinger grips in my stocking. Thick bar grips encourage stability, along with engaging additional muscle groups, and this pick from Harbinger slips over your bar of choice nice ‘n easy. Thanks, Santa. — Tanner Garrity, Associate Editor
La Colombe Peppermint Mocha Draft Latte or Sampler Gift Box
I like my stocking stuffers to be instantly actionable — burly wool socks because it’s snowing outside, an orange because you need fresh fruit before the fruitcake, and coffee because you were up till 4 a.m. wrapping presents. Thankfully, my favorite local purveyor ships perfectly sock-able java across the country, whether you prefer it hot or cold. If you’ve never had their famous draft latte, this canned holiday edition is a perfect introduction (and is fine sitting out overnight, just pour over ice), and the variety gift box includes six tubes of coffee beans to split up between the family. — Alex Lauer, Senior Editor
Not the most elegant solution to stolen power cords, but a fairly efficient one. Create your initials with the enclosed insert sheets, place ’em in the mini transparent capsules, and snap ’em around your various Apple product cables. At the very least, you’ll know who took off with your charger or headphones — and forget the initials, the red on the back of the capsules adds a nice pop of color that will certainly visually alert you to the office perp. — Kirk Miller, Nation Editor/Managing Editor
Magpul DAKA Weatherproof Pouch
I want to preface this Staff Pick by stating that on account of my Semitic heritage, I have never actually “stuffed” a stocking, so my experience is lacking … but I’ll be damned if I let my ancestors reach out from their gravesites and hold me back from recommending a great product to you, dear reader. This dry pouch is a great stocking stuffer for a few reasons (I speculate): it’s probably something the recipient wouldn’t buy themselves, but definitely something they will use. It’s malleable, so can easily fit amongst other stuffed gifts. And it’s only $23, so you won’t break the bank. Plus, it’s waterproof, and I’m pretty sure no religion likes getting their things wet. — Eli London, Director of Partnerships and User Acquisition
Universal Travel Adapter by HUANO
I’m gonna go on record stating that this could be the best stocking stuffer of all time. Inexpensive, perfect stocking size, super useful, and, most importantly, not a thing that most people realize they need — that is, until they’re already packing and it’s too late. So give ’em the gift of every foreign plug a passport-stamp-collectin’ jet setter could ever need, plus four USB outlets so he/she can (game changer alert) charge multiple devices on the same outlet. — Danny Agnew, Creative Director
THE BEST THING WE DRANK THIS WEEK
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A ruby red cocoa/cherry/clove/cinnamon delight, Troegs The Mad Elf Holiday Ale is a strong, 11% ABV sipper perfect for enjoying near a fireplace.
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