For the Hostess with the Mostest: Who could resist the happy, psychedelic assault of French Bull’s vividly colored serving platters? Made from melamine, the platters are a generous 15-1/2 inches in diameter, shatterproof, and dishwasher-safe — stylish indoor/outdoor dinnerware that can take a lot of knocks. There are four different patterns to choose from. Team the platter with a solid color, two-tone bowl for a great chips-and-salsa set.
Mosaic Large Serving Platter: $21 (Orange and Pink Chip Bowl: $23). Givesimple.com
For the Teenage Boy (for real, or at heart): Fred Flare isn’t just a super-blogging shopping website, it’s not even just a terminally hip storefront in Brooklyn — it’s a way of life. If you ever miss Canal Street, just stroll through Fredflare.com’s endless stock of cheap kitsch: the Crazy Cat Lady action figure, Super Friends tees, and last year’s hit gift, Mr. T in Your Pocket. And almost everything on the site is under $25. Be sure to get someone on your list the celebrity censor-bar sunglasses. A perfect rectangle of black, wear these glasses and look just like your idols on COPS or Girls Gone Wild.
Celebrity censor-bar sunglasses: $12. Fredflare.com
For the Art Fart: With literally thousands of independent craftsters selling handmade art on the site, Etsy.com helps cut to the chase by offering several ways to search for items, including by color. A search on my favorite shade of green turned up a gorgeous, delicate, sterling-silver ring with a green Czech glass bead — for only $5. And prints are cheap here, so splurge on several. I chose a silkscreen of a bird’s silhouette — I’ll group a dozen on the wall and make my own homage to South Texas’s grackles.
“One of the flock” print by smallstump: $12. Etsy.com
Family Affair: T-shirts on Threadless.com are only $10 through mid-December, so why not get a complete set for the family? Imagine mom, dad, grandma, and the foreign-exchange student in matching “Facial Hair Club for Men” or “Goldilocks and the Three Beers” tees. Threadless.com’s designs are all submissions from the general public, so there are plenty of options to confuse or amuse.
“Haikus are easy/But sometimes they don’t make sense/Refrigerator” T-shirt: $10. Threadless.com
For that Dennis the Menace to Society: We childless are thrilled to be exempt from duking it out with other parents over the latest must-have toy each Christmas. But we may still need to buy a cool gift for the under-12 set. Clarity Miller’s updated stuffed animals are perfect. Her Socktopus is made of recycled sweaters — each one unique — and adorably soft and squishy. But if your little friend has any sense of hipster humor (So young! So jaded!) it’s the Sid & Nancy sock monkeys all the way. With anarchy T-shirt, Mohawk, and safety pins, these are not your grandma’s sock monkeys.
Punky Monkey: $25. Elsewares.com