I love my girl Gwyneth Paltrow, I really do, but my God she doesn’t half make it hard for me at times. With every Goop newsletter* that drops into my inbox, a little bit of my adoration for the woman who taught me how to cook the shit out kale departs.
* You may mock me for being a subscriber, but I was one of the first to know about her split from Chris Martin thanks to her chirpy emails. There is no way I’m Consciously Uncoupling from her mailing list.
I don’t roll my eyes too much; of course a lifestyle blog, aimed at middle class ladies who brunch with too much time on their hands, is going to advocate things like steaming your fanny – bottomless mimosas can only last so long, they need to fill their day with something.
But it’s the Annual Goop Gift Guide that always gets up everyone’s back the most – with 18k Gold Dumbbells ($125 thousand dollars!) being touted as a stocking filler, Gwyn really plays into her haters’ hands. But, in my girl’s defence, it’s not all obscenely priced stuff – there’s the likes of a box set of True Detective, and basic bread bins from Amazon amongst all the gold-plated juicers and $45 packets of nuts.
As I boxed off all my Christmas shopping before November was even over, I had some extra time on my hands. I have spent that time wisely; being smug and also sifting through the Goop Gift Guide and finding cheaper alternatives for you. But I’ve mostly spent the time being smug to be honest.
Here are a few suggestions for your festive shopping this year; inspired by Ms Paltrow, made actually fucking realistic by me.
The Classic Duffle
Goop call this personalised duffle bag ‘a monogrammable classic’.With luxurious leather detailing the stylish canvas and leather carry on, no one is doubting the fact that this T.Anthony piece would be the perfect gift for the man in your life who likes to travel with class. But, with a $395 price tag, it’s not exactly the cheapest thing to add to your shopping list.
Look at this offering from ASOS and then tell me if you love any man enough to spend nearly 400 quid on a bag for him, when a copy cat is available for just £35? Granted, it won’t be as luxurious, but it certainly will be kinder to your credit card.
Tom Dixon London Copper Candle According their description, this candle is ‘blended to smell of red brick, London parks with crocuses and nettles and the salty smell of the Thames at Dagenham’. Look, I’ve been to London – without being too harsh on our nation’s capital, it does not smell of something I am willing to spend 80 dollars on.
If you really must buy someone a candle for Christmas (it just says ‘I don’t really know your personality that well – here’s some smelly wax’) then get your arses down to Home & Bargain. At this point, I should stress I am not paid to promote this glorious discount store – I just love it so much I talk about it an unhealthy amount. Whether it’s cleaning products, shampoo half the price of what Boots charge, or homeware, Home & Bargain has my back all year round. I’ve been onto their blag Yankee candles for a few years now; they smell just as, if not better, last for hours and are a snip at just £2.99 for the extra large ones. Yes, for less than three quid you’ve got yourself a scented stocking filler.
The Standard for Josephier Toiletries ($956) Want to feel poor? A pack of playing cards, that retail at almost a grand, are currently out of stock! The demand for this product has actually exceeded what the retailer expected. Rich people have far too much money.
Playing cards should be purchased when you’re in Benidorm, it’s raining and the only in-house entertainment is an ex pat pensioner running a group line dancing session. Yes, three euros on a deck of pornographic cards is the absolute maximum you should spend.
Here’s a stunning, creative alternative to a playing card based gift. This Personalised Family Name Framed Vintage Playing Card Wall Art (£17.95) from Ivy Joan. All the frames are on a hessian background with wooden people detailing; with the words made from original vintage playing cards.
Purple Dahlia Flower Dinner Plate Astier de Villatte $108.00 John Derian teamed up with Astier de Villatte to add his iconic imagery to their classic white tableware.
The perfect present for your lovely granny – as long as she’s been giving you 100 quid pocket-money for the past few months.
What your gran really wants is a plate filled with your selfies from the year; so she can be reminded of what beautiful genes she’s passed down generations. Giftsta make personalising your presents super easy; uploading images straight from Instagram (Gift..sta – get it?) to be transferred onto your choice of plates, mugs or coasters.
The Museum Membership
With membership starting at $2500 annually, Goop have quite rightly classed this pass to cut the line in their ‘Ridiculous (But Awesome)’ section of their guide. The Cultivist Museum Membership has two stages to the application and in general, it all seems like a lot of effort just to skip the queue.
What’s the point of being a VIP, wandering around galleries and vineyards, if you haven’t got a clue what it is you’re looking at? The Bluffer’s Guide books take a light hearted approach to many culture vulture topics and give you enough information that, by the end of the quick read, you’ll be an expert in your chosen field. Learn what makes a tipple palatable with their Bluffer’s Guide to Wine, or get up to speed on how to beat the bookie with the Bluffer’s Guide to Horse Racing; Arts & Culture, Food & Drink, Lifestyle and Hobbies – there’s something for everyone. Even a Guide to Sex if you’ve got your ex in the office Secret Santa and want to have a little dig at his bedroom skills.
The Toothpaste Squeezer
Okay, have I been on Goop too long or does this actually seem like a good idea? Even if I have gone over to the dark side, there’s absolutely no way I can spend £153 on something to squeeze the dregs out of my 99p Home & Bargain bought Colgate.
This clever chrome plated brass device by specialist manufacturers Cedes Milano ensures you get the most out of your toothpaste, every single time. Adding a touch of class to your bathroom, this stylish toothpaste squeezer.
Well, the obvious is pretty simple; if you’re looking after your oral hygiene but ballin’ on a budget, get acquainted with a pair of scissors to get the last out of your tube.
If you want to brighten up your bathroom, these absolutely adorable Creature Toothbrush Holders £8.00 available at Utility are the perfect little extra to add to your shopping list. Bagsy the green Dino.
The Glass Milk Carton Creamer
So much fancier than a paper cartoon, according to the Goop gift curators. To be fair, this glass milk cartoon creamer is only $12.95 so they must feel like they’re endorsing a pound shop product with this one.
I concede, you can have this one Gwyneth – it is Christmas after all. This isn’t the most ridiculously priced gift and I’ll be honest, It is kind of cute. Sure, I can’t be bothered to transfer my milk from one vessel to another for aesthetic reasons, but if you know someone whose breakfast routine is a little bit more civilised than eating last night’s curry whilst running out the door, this could be the perfect stocking filler for them.
See also: Christmas Gift Guide: Sex Toys