UrbanDaddy's 2023 Style and Gear Gift Guide

Opulent Stash Boxes, Space-Aged Humidors, and Ninja Lessons In Japan

By Hadley Tomicki ·

Alright, let’s try this again.

Repeat after us: “Ho, ho… ”

Look, we understand it’s hard to keep a straight face when tapping into your inner Santa sometimes.

Maybe this is a better idea.

It’s UrbanDaddy’s 2023 Style and Gear Holiday Gift Guide, a handy compendium of the gifts you’ll give to the people you feel obligated to give gifts to during the month of December.

We know what the people want. Things like beautiful backgammon boards designed for the stoned, Wonka-inspired gobstoppers, designer stash boxes, James Bond-grade humidors, and ninja lessons in Japan. And a lot of other stuff. 

Now let's get gift-giving.

The online store for L.A.’s Academy Museum has something for every movie fan on your list, from your bond-trading buddy who doesn’t get the symbolism of the vintage Jaws poster hanging on his office wall, to that cool couple rocking a subtle ‘Rosebud’ sled ornament on their “winter solstice” tree.

While we sat twiddling our swizzle sticks at home during the pandemic, Public Enemy’s Chuck D was passing the time writing and illustrating three graphic novels about the state of the world. Now those are bound in an explosive trilogy called STEWdio that would make a great asset for the activists and music fans in your circle. Nothing against twiddling or anything.

New York cannabis brand Weekenders knows your stoned friends need something fun to do after getting high. So they collaborated with Wolfum on some rather stunning serving trays, coasters, domino sets, and backgammon boards, with patterns coordinated to their weed strains. Whoa.

The Birdsong Project is a talent-packed, five-volume collection of 242 songs, poems, and recordings by people including Beck, Karen O, Jeff Tweedy, Greta Gerwig, Tilda Swinton, Nick Cave, and Beach House that benefits the Audubon Society, comes with “birdoculars” made by Warby Parker, and has a new special edition with art by Shepard Fairey. Yes, it’s literally for the birds.

Vessel’s classically handsome Ember ashtray comes in a Rat Pack-y gold brass version or a more contemporary concrete style for the smokers in your life. Both have natural cork padding to protect furniture and both have a preternatural ability to catch and hold ashes.

California’s Grey Whale Gin also makes all-natural, clean-burning soy candles with essential oils, upcycling empty bottles and raising money for the ocean in the process. A win-win-win, since everyone loves getting candles as presents and seeing how short on cash the ocean seems.

SkullCandy’s Dime 3 Wireless earbuds are small, powerful, and resistant to water and sweat. With multipoint-pairing, 20 hours of battery life, and built-in finding technology. The only thing they don’t do? Windows, naturally.

The Doors Unhinged was written by the legendary band’s drummer, John Densmore, who details his fierce struggle and long-running court battle to maintain the band’s integrity by refusing to sell-out their catalog following Jim Morrison’s death. Saving us all from hearing Oedipal screams from “The End” in McDonald’s ads.

Untuckit’s Italian wool overshirt looks so damn good, you'll almost welcome the arrival of winter. Just so everyone can walk around looking ruggedly handsome, while being undeniably cozy at the same time. Finding balance was your big 2023 goal.

Ridwell is like the anti-Santa, quietly sneaking over to your place to take things instead of leave them. Specifically, they take and recycle all the trash that you normally aren't able to recycle like batteries, plastic wrappers, old clothes, light bulbs, and electronics. In other words, a subscription is perfect for that friend who begs, “Please don’t get me any more stuff!”

They don’t necessarily have to keep their stash in the Snugbox, a stylish lockbox with gold locks, velvet fabrics, and a charging panel made to discreetly and safely lock edibles and bud and whatever-must-be-hidden-away-from-kids and other sticky-fingered individuals. It was just designed for that.

France’s Opinel got together with France’s Monbento and decided to make this “On the Go Meal Kit” that neatly stows one of the former’s limited edition folding knives and picnic cutlery sets into one of the latter’s airtight lunch boxes. Instead of tying themselves up in knots pondering existentialism.

You’re convinced your mom loves her cat more than she loves you. Give her The Petcube Cam 360, which will let her know what Whiskers is up to when she’s not home. The camera uses night vision, 360 degree rotation, and 8x digital zoom so she can track its every moment of existence. Better Whiskers than you.

Nathan Masters’ Crooked is the book to give your friend who loves a historical scandal, allowing them to soak up a true page-turner about 1920’s murder, confidence games, torrid affairs, and impropriety surrounding the country’s most corrupt attorney general. Sounds like someone is about to get canceled.

Your giftee loves working out in the park. Sadly, they don’t tend to think of covering up their exposed traps and hulking arms in the face of winter’s cold. Give them YPB by Abercrombie’s Active Puffer, which will shield them from the rain, wind, and bitter cold beneath a light nylon shell. Without sacrificing one shred of their badassedness.

Who’s Your Founding Father? That’s not only what George Washington asked Martha in moments of intense intimacy. It’s also a great new volume of nonfiction from Hachette exploring the theory that Thomas Jefferson plagiarized an earlier document when writing the Declaration of Independence before proceeding to cover it up. Shady guy, that Jefferson. But a great rapper.

Two words: Ninja lessons. That’s just one of the many crazy, sexy, cool experiences from Black Tomato, which organizes solo and group trips to take you dining inside an Icelandic volcano, in the thick of private festivals, rafting on Incan rivers, and tracing Alice’s epic journey through Wonderland in rural Oxfordshire. And a lot of other crazy stuff, ninja-related and otherwise.

For the most Bond-like cigar collector you know, nothing compares to Cohiba’s Biometric Humidor. Finished with gorgeous red and black lacquer, it employs a scanner to read their fingerprints, unlocking a display of eight drawers filled with 106 of the grandest toro-sized cigars from Cohiba’s U.S. history, including the previously discontinued XV and Edición Diamante. There are only 130 in existence. Thus, procuring one shows precisely how much you care. Inquire here for availability.

You’re willing to spend whatever it takes to make them happy. Well, it takes just a little over $51,000 to purchase an Auroom Natura Outdoor Sauna, which was designed using sustainable natural woods in collaboration with Italian architect Luca Donazzolo. And it will definitely make them happy.

All-suites resort Zachari Dunes on Mandalay Beach puts your giftee straight onto the sands of one of Southern California's last unspoiled beaches in the agricultural bread basket of Oxnard. Where they'll eat Chef Damien Giliberti's oxtail bao and crab croquettes at the lauded Ox & Ocean restaurant, watch sunsets from their suite with their sweetheart, and try their hand at surfing steps from the resort. When not spending their vacation time thanking you profusely in their head, of course.

“I don’t want things, I want experiences.” You've heard them make that statement a lot this year as if they were the first. So now you’ve bought them a membership with Essentialist, granting them access to small, customized travel itineraries designed with input from travel writers and insider experts to focus on wellness, arts, gastronomical, and athletic adventures. So now they’ll go away for a little while.

Hadley Tomicki

Hadley Tomicki lives in Los Angeles. He is probably going nowhere on the 10 Freeway this very second.

Elsewhere on the Daddy

More Gear