Yeah, yeah...peace on earth, goodwill and all that stuff is first. But after all that is taken care of, here are the other things we want to lay our materialistic paws on.
Let's get this out of the way right off the bat. This cooler is $1,100. You heard me. I think I paid $75 for the first Coleman cooler I bought a thousand years ago (and you can still pick one up for not much over $100). Did that cooler keep things cold? Sort of. Could you sit on it? Yes. Did it spark joy when you loaded it the back of the truck? Not for a second. I was fishing in the interior this summer and someone had a V-series and there was actually a small crowd gathered around his cooler, as if it were a new Ferrari. So I guess in that context $1,100 is a bit of a deal? And if you want (ok, need) the rationalizations to continue, it will be the last cooler you ever have to buy so amortize over a few decades and you're laughing.—Neal McLennan, food editor
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I recently enrolled in a wheel-thrown pottery class, and, if I do say so myself, I am the very worst student of them all. But while I still haven't learned how to "pull up" the sides of a bowl (to quote my far-more-talented friend who is also in the class: "I don't understand what you're doing wrong"), I have at least learned to appreciate pottery on an even richer level. I've long been an admirer of a well-made mug, but knowing that creating one is basically a miracle of physics has only made me see these pieces as even more treasured. So, yeah, my list this year is just "ceramics I desperately wish I had made myself," including speckled bowls from Kristie Forwick, who mostly sells her goods on the Sunshine Coast but sometimes does surprise product drops out of her studio here in Vancouver. People buying me presents this year: follow her on Insta and wait for your opportunity. Snag me one of her matte, speckled bowls and I promise you I won't force you to take one of my own homemade monstrosities. And isn't that the greatest gift of them all? —Stacey McLachlan, editor at large
I picked up birding during the pandemic (along with a million other people), and I'm officially obsessed with each and every duck that shows up on the seawall and in the lagoon. I've got a trusty pair of vintage Bushnells that I picked up on Craigslist, but the vintage side is starting to show: they're currently being held together with twist ties, and the waterproofing is failing. The Pentax 8x42 Binoculars from MEC ($255) would get me through the rainy season and then some. They're the perfect birding magnification of 8x42 (not too heavy, but they'll go the distance), and I feel like this splurgey model will FINALLY get me to my goal bird: the Harlequin. —Anicka Quin, editorial director
Free Label's Andie Bra
My buddies and I have a lot in common (an affinity for chips, elaborate themed parties and secondhand gossip, for example) but body type is not one of those things. In fact, it's common practise for clothing ordered in the wrong size to be passed around from friend to friend—it always eventually finds the perfect owner. It's the like opposite of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants: nothing looks good on all of us. Except, apparently, for these reversible "bras" (they can definitely be worn as a shirt, your conservative aunt will never know) made locally by Free Label. I'm not exaggerating when I say everyone I know is getting one, and the only reason I haven't taken the plunge yet is because they are constantly selling out and also a bit on the pricey side ($89). Though you could buy 11 for the price of Neal's cooler. —Alyssa Hirose, assistant editor
I was recently gifted a pizza stone and paddle, ostensibly to save some money on the various fancy pizza places around town that are starting to know me by name. But let's, in the immortal words of Emeril, kick it up a notch. Look at this thing. Simple, crisp. It's like a mini oven except just for fancy pizza. So yeah, count me in. And if I can squeeze in a trip to the legendary Kerrisdale Lumber in the process, all the better. Yeah, it's $469. But look at this way: For that price, you've got gourmet pizza at your fingertips for life. Or you could spend more than double that on Neal's gift to keep things you've already spent money on cold. Your call.—Nathan Caddell, associate editor