It’s the week before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring except… your computer mouse.

You’ve put off buying that one perfect gift for the hard-to-buy-for one on your list – we get it. But if you made it past the opening pun then you’ll sail through the last throes of shopping season. We’re here to whimsically guide you through all the built-to-last items you can still grab in good time for Christmas. These gifts are all one-day or two-day delivery last minute giftsRHA’s neat little earphones, and AIAIAI’s modular beauties.

For the audiophile, there’s still time to pick up bits from our burgeoning collection of gadgets and gizmos. RHA Earphones pack a punch on warranty – their 3-year offering is the best around when it comes to high-fidelity earphones. For something a bit more adventurous, check out AIAIAI, the Danish headphone pioneers that think modularity is the way forward. Should any bit or piece break, just pick up the spare part and fix it at home. The HD 25 from Sennheiser is similar in that fixable regard, but with the trademark Sennheiser spin. Being that the sound quality is higher, the build quality is greater and the design is amiably stuck in the 80s.

Meanwhile, socks are always a perfect last-minute steal. Chances are that even your impossible-to-buy-for-dad has a pair of feet. Darn Tough turns a run-of-the-mill impulse gift into a heartfelt present and conversation starter to boot. Any curmudgeonly uncle will jump at the chance to pick apart the frankly ludicrous lifetime guarantee offered by the Vermont-based sock maker. Yes, it is an unconditional warranty. Yes, it does cover overgrown-toenail damage. And yes, Uncle Derrick, it is a sustainable business model.

The eternal Le Creuset’s 9-Quart Dutch Oven, and T&G’s tasty spice grinder.

There’s still time to get your mitts on a whole load of long-life high-quality kitchen equipment as well. Le Creuset ship most of their lifetime-warrantied collection through Amazon these days, and you can pick up an 8.4 litre behemoth for £269. The sizes scale all the way down to the tiny 250ml, which ain’t much use for cooking, but serves as an attractive container for starters and dips. From Derbyshire’s Denby Pottery, a set of 10-year guaranteed nesting bowls are a tidy companion. Complete the table with a lifetime guaranteed flourish: T&G’s top-notch Salt and Pepper Mill Set.

For the coffee lover we’ve got a pretty formidable collection of unbreakable goods, all Amazon ready for prompt packaging. The Bialetti stove-top may be a throwback, but its gorgeous waste-free design is enough to make you wonder: “Why did I ever make coffee any other way?”. Its partner-in-crime is the Hario Coffee grinder. An out-of-date, artefact of antiquity? Perhaps. But maybe that’s what we should be looking for in our coffee grinders; unlike an electric version, this thing will never break down.

The Stovetop Espresso Maker from Bialetti, sat next to the beautiful and sustainable KeepCup.

The neat little KeepCup is the best way to kill off the throwaway barista cup, and it’s the perfect size to fling in your bag in the morning. If you’re feeling super generous it could even fit in a stocking, but the elegant KeepCup has the built-to-last credentials to stand alone as a centrepiece gift. The Seraphina’s Kitchen straw set would make a fine ally, perfect for someone sick of throwing away plastic straw after plastic straw. Fed up with cling film too? Bee’s Wrap has the answer, and their beeswax infused sheets make a neat little present for those that like to be prepared.

If you know a little about your giftee’s taste, nothing beats a good book. Our book section is jam-packed with titles that complement our humble worldview (wouldn’t it be nice if we bought less). Evan Zislis’ ClutterFree Revolution is a long-time office fave, while Stuffocation by James Wallman takes you and your possessions on a trip through psychology, economics and culture. For the renegade, “advertising doesn’t work on me” type, check out Kit Yarrow’s page-turning Decoding the New Consumer Mind. It cogently explains how and why we’re encouraged to buy, buy, buy, so you can work out how to guard against it. You can buy her book here. Buy it now.

No, none of the books come with a lifetime guarantee.


December 19, 2017 — James Bates-Prince