For our annual Friends and Family issue, we asked some of our favorite creative clans, couples, siblings, and collaborators to share what they’re gifting (and getting) this holiday season. This year feels extra special, given the fact that it marks the first time in many months that people can gather safely with their loved ones to participate in traditions old and new. Click the links below to read about each group, and to see their unique, thoughtful gift ideas.
For the sisters Haim—Este, 35; Danielle, 32; and Alana, 29—buying gifts for one another isn’t an entirely selfless act, given that they know that those items will end up in another sister’s closet. “We all steal each other’s stuff,” explains Alana. Finding the right presents for Mom and Dad is a more rewarding endeavor. “We love that we can spoil our parents, because now we have jobs,” she adds. Read more about their Hanukkah traditions, and the presents they’re planning on sharing this year.
Emily Ratajkowski and Sylvester Apollo Bear
This year, Emily Ratajkowski and her husband, the ator and producer Sebastian Bear-McClard, are having a New York City Christmas, their first with their son, Sylvester (affectionately referred to by his nickname, Sly). “I’ve had a few Christmases in New York,” she says, “but this one is obviously going to be very special, because it’s our first one with a little person.” See all of Ratajkowski’s baby gift ideas, and read about how she’s planning on spoiling their dog, Colombo.
The Platform Team
Lucas Zwirner, Marlene Zwirner, Bettina Huang, Alec Smyth, and Sharon Gong have been hard at work this year envisioning a collaborative, accessible future for the art market. The result is Platform, a new website where you can click to buy work from independent galleries around the world, with a new batch of paintings, drawings, and sculptures appearing each month. Read more about the team’s art-centric approach to gift-giving, and their legendary office dance parties.
The Cucinelli Family
“I was born in a small village, and I live in a small village,” says Brunello Cucinelli. “It would be difficult for me to imagine Christmas anywhere else.” The Italian designer known for his luxurious cashmere knits and slow, philosophical approach to fashion describes the holiday season in Solomeo, the hamlet where he lives and runs his company, as storybook perfect: a log in the fireplace so gigantic that it burns all night long; a small juniper tree decorated with tangerines; a miniature crèche in every window. Read about the recipes the Cucinelli family makes for Christmas lunch, and the vinyl records the designer is hoping to receive this year.
The House of Avalon
“People say ‘team,’ but I call them my family,” says Symone, the drag queen and model, of the House of Avalon, the friend group turned queer style and culture incubator. Symone, the stylist and creative consultant Marko Monroe, performer Grant Vanderbilt, videographer Caleb Feeney, and Hunter Crenshaw, who handles much of the scheduling and keeps everyone else in line, usually spend the holidays at one another’s homes. (“I usually bring the plates and the cups, because I don’t know how to cook,” Symone says.) Read about how they’re planning to celebrate, and why a Sonic gift card is always a great present.
Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello
Paul W. Downs and Lucia Aniello, the husband-and-wife team behind the hit comedy Hacks, are knee-deep in preparation for the show’s second season (“We’re going nuts over here,” Aniello says), but their first holiday season as newlyweds is on the horizon. For gifts this year, the pair is keeping things practical, functional, and ecologically friendly. Read more about the socks they buy in bulk, and the recycled travel mug that makes coffee taste great.
“It’s annoying when Jews compete with Christmas; Hanukkah is not a huge holiday,” says Jack Antonoff, the musician and producer. Holidays with his sister, the fashion designer Rachel Antonoff, and their parents, Rick and Shira Antonoff, are usually pretty low-key affairs. Nonetheless, they shared some inspired gift ideas, including a fruit-of-the-month club membership, tap dancing lessons, and an adopt-an-elephant program. Read about the time their menorah almost burned the house down, and Rachel’s most outré gag gift.