Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Best High-Design Bongs

Sometimes the best high comes from taking a good old-fashioned bong hit — a true and well-deserved pleasure in the surreal holiday season of 2020. And no cannabis connoisseur’s collection is complete without a prized piece of glass (or ceramic). A bong, technically known as a water pipe, was first used (and named) centuries ago by the Hmong people in Laos and Thailand, as a natural filtration device made from bamboo for smoking tobacco, cannabis and other herbs. Today, bongs are more beautiful than ever with cannabis companies elevating over-the-top ornate offerings from traditional head shops into minimal, modern works of art. Here are eight high-design bongs to gift the cannabis purist on your list this year.

Long live bonging! 

Session Goods Bong

Founded by five friends in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a side hustle, Session set out in 2019 “to create moments of indulgence, thoughtfully expressed through permissible vices.” Its debut designer bong is made of borosilicate glass with a sleek, tapered shape and molded indent for an ergonomic grip. An intuitive silicone footer protects the glass from inevitable damage (and also hides unsightly dirty water). $120, 

GRAV Small Wide Base Water Pipe

From GRAV, the pioneer in scientific cannabis glass, comes its beloved Wide Base Water Pipe in an updated version, fabricated in translucent grey colorway with clear accents. This longtime favorite has all of the same features from the original like the wide conical fission percolator, which diffuses smoke through water and a narrow neck that prevents splash-back. $134.99,

Elevate Jane Mimi

Meet Mimi, a delicate minimalist pipe that delivers the most proper of highs from the contemporary smoke shop Elevate Jane. Founder Angela Mou commissions all of the Long Beach-based store’s custom pieces from a locally-based glassblower in Orange County. $149, 

K.Haring Water Pipe

Inspired by the late visionary Keith Haring, the K.Haring Water Pipe (center in the photo above) features the artist’s iconic artwork and signature on precision-crafted, thick borosilicate glass. Its removable, diffused downstem fits a spacious bowl with an airtight, ground glass connection, while a seven-slit showerhead percolator produces smaller bubbles to moisturize, clean and cool your smoke (there’s also a built-in ice-catcher). $160, 


“Made from the earth, by hand, in California,” Summerland’s uber-cool collection of opaque bongs (and other “stonerware”) stands out for its clean lines. Constructed in lead-free, food-safe glaze and ceramic, its silicone grommet ensures easy hits and airtight carbs every time. Choose from three designs (Pleasure Point, Chongo and Land Yacht) in three shades (Dust, Charcoal and Terracotta) — or go for the original in glossy white. From $165,

Marley Natural Water Pipe

Utility meets design in this classically shaped water pipe, which seamlessly blends sustainably sourced black walnut with hand-blown borosilicate glass. The flush-fit, five-hole downstem and ice pinch make for cool, smooth and slow draws. The wood smoke chamber that connects to the

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Gift Guide 2020 – Gift Ideas for the Austin-Loving Cinephile in Your Life: From the big and small screens to your giftee – Screens

I Luv Video T-Shirts

I Luv Video was an Austin institution. An integral part of our city’s film culture for nearly 40 years,
the indie movie rental store announced in September that it was closing its doors for good. If you’re like most of us, still broken up over the loss of this wonderful and weird establishment, why not help keep the memory of this special place alive through an I Luv Video T-shirt? Unisex and available in three styles, they’re a perfect gift for all your heartbroken movie-loving friends. May its memory bring us comfort. – Sara Hutchinson

S-4XL, $29-39.

Give A Gift, Get A Gift – Austin Film Society

Looking for a way to support your local Austin film community from the comfort of your own home? Search no further than Austin Film Society’s holiday membership drive – where this year, all gifted memberships will include two bonus months of the program and a physical thank-you gift. While the cinema is closed, all virtual membership benefits this year will include free online sneak previews, virtual events, discounts on the AFS streaming platform [email protected], and access to the AFS Discussion Club – plus, you can choose between an additional free AFS hat or AFS Cinema T-shirt branded with a new unique design. – Naomi Brady


Austin School of Film Gift Box

The nonprofit Austin School of Film has had quite the year. Faced with unprecedented challenges, they’ve hung on with inspiring grit and passion. Pivoting to remote classes and events with their Play at Home series, ASF continues to sustain and build our filmmaking and film-loving community. Cinephiles everywhere can show their support through Austin School of Film’s Holiday Box. The box comes with the best of ASF’s hip gear, including a T-shirt, tote, and bandanna. All proceeds go toward ASF’s community programs. Giving the gift of style while supporting a great cause? That’s a win-win. – S.H.


Mondo Poster Auction

Know a movie superfan, or have someone in your life who loves to collect movie
posters? For the first time ever, eMovie is hosting an online Mondo limited-edition print poster auction, running until December 13. In an effort to help support the Alamo Drafthouse during the pandemic, Alamo founder and Executive Chairman Tim League is selling nearly 2,000 limited-edition Mondo prints from his own personal stash, including out-of-print sets like the Tyler Stout and Olly Moss Star Wars Trilogies and highly coveted film posters by Aaron Horkey, Becky Cloonan, and Shepard Fairey. All proceeds will go toward supporting Alamo Drafthouse employees and COVID-closure expenses. – N.B.

Alright, Alright, Alright

Melissa Maerz gave our city a gift with her new book Alright, Alright, Alright: The Oral History of Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused. Maerz interviewed dozens of people for the project, including the film’s stars and many longtime Austinites. The book tells the story of the film’s infamous production and release, providing insights into Linklater’s conflict with studio executives, but

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Gift guide for cyclists: How to keep them on a roll

While it hasn’t been without its frustrations, the Great Bicycling Boom of 2020 definitely opens up some new prospects for Christmas-season gift-giving.

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in the spring, the bicycle industry experienced an unprecedented surge of demand: Local bike shops not only had difficulty keeping up with demand for new bikes, they were slammed with repair and maintenance work on bikes people already had. Phil Hooper, owner of Eastern Shore Cycles in Spanish Fort, said that some of that has changed, all these months later, and some hasn’t.

The long wait times for repairs are gone, as are the lines of customers waiting their turn, Hooper said Wednesday. “But it’s 9:30 a.m. and twice today we’ve already had that fun conversation twice,” he lamented. “‘Do you have any kids’ bikes?’ ‘Why not?’ ‘When will you have some?’”

Hooper does have dozens of bikes for sale, which wasn’t always the case earlier this year. But he’s hurting for some specific types: fitness hybrids, children’s bikes, entry- and mid-level mountain bikes. Another thing he’s had a hard time keeping in stock is stationary trainers that let a rider convert a roadgoing bike into an indoor exercise bike. They’ve always been a seasonal item, but this winter the demand is higher. “Those are like the toilet paper hoarding right now,” he said.

Bear in mind that because bike shops deal with different manufacturers and supply chains, circumstances will vary from store to store. It pays to shop around. And any local bike shop will have a selection of goodies that’ll help keep a new rider on the bike or help an intermediate rider progress. Here you’ll find a few suggestions, some of which involve bookstores rather than bike shops.

This guide assumes your rider already has a helmet, a decent headlight and a painfully bright blinky taillight. If they don’t, start there.

Eastern Shore Cycles in Spanish Fort, Ala.

Flat kits equip a rider to deal with the flat tire they’ll probably suffer sooner or later. From left is a Lezyne model that tucks gear under a bike’s water bottle cage ($50); an MSW all-in-one kit with a container that fits in a bottle cage ($40); and a Zefal tool case ($15) that fits a bottle cage.Lawrence Specker | [email protected]

Flat kit (various manufacturers and price points) — Any rider should have the tools to fix a flat. The basics are a spare tube, a couple of tire levers and a cartridge CO2 inflator or mini-pump. All-in-one kits are available, or the folks at any local bike shop can tell you how to assemble the pieces. “We like to do the a la carte method,” said Hooper. “That way we can get everybody exactly what they need.” You will need to know your recipient’s tire size. If you’re being stealthy and don’t want to ask them, you can get it off the sidewall of the tire. Look for something like “700C x 25” or “26 x 2.1,” and make sure to note if the valve is

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Holiday Gift Guide 2020: The Best Art Books

This holiday season, there are many books for the art-obsessed on your gift list to enjoy. From Andy Warhol drawings to Salvador Dalí paintings and DIY art projects to do at home, there’s something for everyone.

Judd (The Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The companion catalog to MoMA’s retrospective of American sculptor Donald Judd (on view through January 9)—the first in 30 years—is a stunning tribute to the late artist.

Dalí: The Impossible Collection (Assouline)

This tome spotlights 100 works by surrealist Spanish painter Salvador Dalí by exploring his myriad influences and inspirations from Old Masters to realism, Impressionism, to his obsessions with religion, science and stereoscopy.

B. Wurtz: Pan Paintings (Hunter’s Point Press)

Edited by artist and publisher Barney Kulok with an essay by art historian and curator Erica Cooke, this monograph centers on the work of New York-based artist B. Wurtz. The artist is famous for transforming nondescript disposable aluminum roasting pans and to-go containers into works of art by painting on them.

Open Studio (Phaidon)

At a time when we’re all stuck at home, this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at leading contemporary artists at work in their studios, with original art projects to recreate at home. Written by Sharon Coplan Hurowitz and Amanda Benchley, you’ll get an inside look into the art practices of John Currin, William Wegman, Rashid Johnson and George Condo.

Andy Warhol: Love, Sex, and Desire (Taschen)

We all know about Andy Warhol’s Pop Art paintings and sculptures but, long before he created those iconic works, he made many drawings celebrating the male form. Now 300 of these rarely seen risqué works on paper (done in pencil and ink) are showcased.

Mary Weatherford I’ve Seen Gray Whales Go By (Gagosian)

The catalog for Mary Weatherford’s recent painting show at Gagosian (her first solo exhibition with the gallery) features her masterful works of sponged paint on heavy linen canvases.

Helen Frankenthaler (Abrams)

Curator and historian John Elderfield writes about the work of abstract American painter Helen Frankenthaler in this beautiful book.

Cy Twombly: Making Past Present (MFA Publications, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

The catalog for the Museum of Fine Art, Boston exhibition this year features a selection of the American artist Cy Twombly’s paintings, drawings and sculptures alongside works of classical antiquity, including a number from his personal collection.

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The T List: Holiday Gift Guide, Part II

Welcome to the T List, a newsletter from the editors of T Magazine. For this week, we’ve turned it into the second installment of our holiday gift guide, with recommendations from T staffers on what we are coveting for ourselves this season, as well as the gifts we’re thinking of giving our friends and loved ones. Read the first edition here, and sign up here to find us in your inbox every Wednesday. And you can always reach us at [email protected].

The Beverly Hills chocolatier andSons was launched last year by the brothers Marc and Phil Covitz, who grew up watching their mother, Aviva, run the local outpost of the Swiss chocolate brand Teuscher. Hoping to create American chocolates as luxurious as those they ate as children, the pair — along with the esteemed pastry chef Kriss Harvey — debuted their own hand-painted bonbons (some filled with fruit-forward ganaches, others with rich house-made pralines and popping candies), which come in beautiful foil-stamped boxes that open from their center. No less covetable are the brand’s holiday specials, including its Eggnog Snowmen, with white chocolate shells and creamy centers that strike the perfect balance between sugar and spice.

In my fantasy kitchen there would be not much more than one big pot, a single perfect knife and a heat source, and all other unnecessary equipment would be banned. (No more apple corers or egg slicers.) But I would make an exception for this bread cloche, which is impressively effective: Made from mica-rich clay in England by the ceramist Isatu Hyde, it creates a steamy enclosure for your dough as it bakes in the oven, producing bread with a uniquely light texture and well-developed crust. It is also pretty enough to sit on your counter and double as a vessel in which to store your loaf.

There are few thrills greater than receiving an Hermès orange box, especially around the holidays. This year, I have my sights set on these painted wood bracelets, which can be worn individually,

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STEM Gift Guide 2020

What makes a great gift in 2020, the year that just wouldn’t let up? It needs to fill the endless time at home, feel nothing like remote learning, be pretty easy for kids to use on their own, bonus if it’s fun for grown-ups, and, um, let’s be real: We don’t want to pay a lot.

No sweat. [Insert wan smile.] In past years, this annual STEM gift guide has practically written itself (check out the 2018 and 2019 lists – there are evergreen gems in both). But this year, nothing seemed quite right. Which is why this article, which should have come out in time for Black Friday, and definitely by Cyber Monday, is coming out today.

I considered dozens of options before recommending these 12 STEM-inspired gifts. In this year of austerity, all the gifts do at least double duty: Not only will your kids love them, but they will either (a) be able to entertain themselves while you catch a minute to yourself or (b) promise to be fun for the grown-ups, too. Some are even designed so you can play together (virtually) at a distance. And for the first time since I started writing these gift guides, this year’s includes a practically effortless way to thank your teachers.

As in years past, hats off to the extensive research by the engineering team at INSPIRE at Perdue University. Their annual gift guide, in which dozens of toys and games are tested by engineering undergrads, never fails to delight, with ideas for cutting-edge, fun, educational gifts just waiting to make their way to a kid you love. And if that kid is you, #nojudgment. It’s been a long year.

Code Rocket

  • This year’s coding favorite is a tiny little gadget that promises so much fun that you might not even realize your kid is learning to code in C++. Code Rocket is an introduction to microprocessors. The beautiful project cards guide you to code the rocket to do something. Once you get the hang of it, you can debug and make your own code, all while things light up and make noise at your direction.

Robots, robots, robots! Robots for every age and budget

  • This one, by Learning Resources, is completely unplugged, is age-appropriate even for pre-schoolers, and is so adorable that my older kids gravitated to the computer to watch the teaser video with me. Its gears can be combined in countless ways, so, as a mother of three in a small NYC apartment, it checks the box of staying power.
  • Taking it up an age-notch, Botzees combines
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GIFT GUIDE 2020: Miss social events? Then donate to the organizations that host them

It’s probably a safe bet to say you miss going out. Even with the majority of the state reopened and capacity restrictions eased in restaurants and retailers, our lives are far from back to normal.

In this new era of social distancing, movie theaters and museums are open, but the days of gathering comfortably at concerts, massive outdoor festivals, and church services are still well beyond our reach as COVID cases continue to surge. This year, organizers of block parties and parades cancelled events, hoping to reschedule the festivities for next year– but, at this point, hopes of full scale revelry in 2021 are looking bleak.

The Central Alabama Caribbean American Organization, a Birmingham-area organization devoted to celebrating Caribbean culture– normally has a festival in June to commemorate Caribbean American Heritage month.

Nearly 5,000 people attended last year’s festival in Bessemer says CACAO’s founder and president, Pauline Caesar.

“We were all excited to do it even bigger this year. And then of course, COVID-19 set in. So, out of an abundance of caution, we just cancelled everything.”

Since so many people were looking forward to the festival, the group decided to host a day of digital festivities on June 13, streamed live on Facebook. For a little over four hours, DJs from Birmingham, Los Angeles, and Atlanta played reggae and soca music while officials from various tourism offices and Caribbean islands logged in to give viewers well wishes.

“We decided to do something virtual just to let people know that it was Caribbean Heritage Month, but we wanted to let people know that they were still here and still very much engaged,” said Caesar.

She says CACAO was able to raise about $1,200 from the June event. They split the money in half: Part of the funds went to the organization’s college scholarship fund for students with Caribbean heritage. The group donated the other half of the proceeds to the Equal Justice Initiative.

The pandemic also forced CACAO to cancel its biggest fundraiser of the year– it’s annual December gala. In a normal year, the dinner event helps the organization bring in about $8,000, a pool of money the group uses to fund events and it’s scholarship program.

CACAO has sponsors who have been with them for years, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Alabama Power. But aside from those donors, it’s up to the group to cover the cost of booking entertainers and the facilities for their events. CACAO also draws a percentage of its income from membership dues, which help cover expenses.

Aside from the virtual festival, the group hasn’t had any additional fundraising events since June. Looking toward next year, Caesar says it’s highly unlikely that the organization will host any large, in-person gatherings, including the festival.

“We definitely don’t think that we will be hosting the festival because the vaccine won’t be widely distributed enough by then for us to convene in any large numbers. So we don’t want to take that risk. Our largest fundraising

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Google’s new holiday gift guide is built to send users to Google Shopping results

Google’s new holiday gift guide is built to send users to Google Shopping results

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The GQ Cologne Gift Guide: The Best Fragrances to Give as a Gift

Every Christmas, I get to watch my brothers participate in a familiar ritual. Among the gifts they unwrap there will always be a men’s fragrance, selected for them by my mother or my sister, and usually purchased “as a set” at a department store. The set means they not only have their new fragrance as an eau de toilette, but also as a body lotion and an after-shave. And nearly every year, my brothers open the gift, sniff the cap, and mumble their gratitude.

I am positive that men all over the country are bound to participate in a similar ritual this holiday season. After all, fragrance is easily one of the biggest gift categories there is—right up there with candles and ties. But the bigger question is: Do any of you actually like what you’re unwrapping?

There has to be a better way. For more, I talked to Frédéric Malle, the founder of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, and a master of modern perfumery. His brand, now celebrating 20 years with a new book by Rizzoli, is famous for diverging from the industry’s norms around the holiday season. In two decades, Malle has never released a “special holiday scent,” nor has he created gift boxes complete with limited edition lotions or after-shaves for “added value.” Instead, he’s maintained that the scents in his collection speak for themselves. So I figured he was appropriately skeptical—exactly the right person to talk through this dilemma.  

First, know that giving a fragrance is risky business. You can still choose a less-fraught gift—it’s not too late! “A perfume says a lot about who you are, and it’s important to affirm your personality,” Malle says. The men who merely use what they are handed, he adds, are giving something up by not asserting their tastes in this department. “It’s like saying, ‘My wife dresses me.’”

If you’re dead-set, when thinking about buying a fragrance for someone else, he recommends thinking about scents as like adding to someone’s watch collection. “Sometimes you buy a sports watch, like a Rolex,” he says. “And you can wear it with a tuxedo, too. It’s not conventional, but it would show an aspect of your personality. There are certain perfumes just like that.”

To extend Malle’s analogy, let’s say you want to give the Rolex of fragrances. A Rolex is a luxury purchase, so you’re thinking of a guy who wants the finer things—but you don’t like your shit to be too precious. Maybe you want to stay old school and swing for a super classic OG scent, like Eau Sauvage by Christian Dior or Sisley’s Eau de Campagne. 

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Sisley Paris Eau de Campagne

Alternatively, you could go for a newer luxury scent, like Malle’s own Bigarade Concentrée, a gentlemanly mix of bitter orange and cedar. Either way, you’re probably staying in the fresh, aromatic woods and citrus category—meaning you can wear this to work or on date night, and it’s equally appropriate and sexy.

Image may contain: Cosmetics, Bottle, and Aftershave

Frédéric Malle Bigarade Concentrée

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Here’s Your Guide To All Of Cyber Monday’s Best Beauty Deals & Promo Codes

It’s official: The Earth has taken a lap around the sun and it is once again Cyber Monday. For some, this entails restocking their skincare fridge with splurge-worthy items (e.g. Sunday Riley, Tatcha, Kiehls, and more) at once-in-a-lifetime prices, while others spend their day snagging the most luxe presents for their most fabulous loved-ones. Whether your beauty haul this year is shipping directly to your doorstep or flying to a friend, we all know that today is the best day of the year to invest in all things beauty. 

Ahead, we curated a collection of limited-time sales teeming with vibrant eyeshadow palettes, rejuvenating collagen creams, high-tech hair dryers, and anything else that is guaranteed to make us feel ultra-luxe at half the price. Click away at this glitzy slideshow before these Cyber Monday deals disappear in the blink of a perfectly blended smokey eye.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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