Merry Christmas, Mary

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Snap up some of these amazing items and make this Holiday Season the most unique yet! 

With Thanksgiving wrapping up, it is officially time for us all to start pounding the pavement. Let’s shop for that “perfect” holiday gift. Yes we all know, gift certificates are practical, yet impersonal, and don’t even think about any of those homemade “coupons” for something! I have compiled some unique, interesting and most buzzed about gifts this year that will be welcomed by anyone under your tree!

Collusion - the game
Collusion – the game
Collusion — The Game 

We all know it is virtually impossible to get through a holiday without hearing Aunt Bea or Uncle Eddie somehow manage to jam politics into the family conversation, even when you’re just trying to pass the cranberry sauce. If you’re going to have to delve into the conversation of why the person currently occupying the White House is an absolute nightmare to our democracy… shouldn’t we at least make it interesting? Collusion The Game is the brainchild of Asbury Park resident Jon Biondo.

Collusion is a five hundred trivia question game crafted to help you answer questions (based on the score level you choose) about our current political climate, White House players, and those trying to save our democracy. Scoring is simple; one point questions are the easiest, five point questions are the most difficult. There are some Coffee Cards and some Collusion Cards sprinkled in throughout that will totally throw your game for a loop! If you’re looking to break the ice with a family member who is sporting an unfortunate red hat, this just may be the gift for you to snatch up now.

RuPaul book "GURU"
RuPaul’s new book “GURU”

There simply could be no better title for RuPaul’s latest tome other than GURU.  While previous literary offerings from Ru were autobiographical (Lettin’ It All Hang Out) and fashion, beauty and style (Workin’ It) GURU is the perfect bookend of sorts to Ru’s literary career (so far. I am convinced there will be a children’s book someday; you heard it here first).

Between getting a star on The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, filming several television shows, and snagging a handful of Emmy’s (along with World Of Wonder) for RuPaul’s Drag Race, RuPaul has crafted a seemingly perfect package of advice that every single one of us can use. Heavy on the wisdom and the glam, each page is filled with eye popping shots of the self proclaimed Glamazon in some of her favorite incarnations, GURU gives us the centering each of us can use in the beyond polarizing times we are living in. Sure, Ru may share some cheeky tips about the positive aspects of having a fat ass, and refusing to let the world flatten your weave, while at the same time, we get to have a sneak peek at some of her favorite looks, including the true story of how she has come up with her signature and world renowned style that we all have come to know and love.

There are pieces in this book that will also stop you completely in your tracks, and you can almost feel Ru reach up and put a hand on your shoulder, almost as if to say “baby this page is totally for you”! Whether looking back at her humble and gender f**k beginnings to looking forward at what life will look like when the cameras finally go down, Ru is honest, forthright, and shares the path she took, which in turn may help the readers pave their very own way. An added treat is the last three pages of the book; RuPaul has compiled a list of essential movies, books and albums, in an effort for us each to work towards becoming our own guru. Make yourself a playlist, visit your local Barnes & Noble; this is crucial information to have.

Asbury Park Fun House products from Shelter Home
Asbury Park Fun House products from Shelter Home
Asbury Park Fun House 

Asbury Park is always filled with interesting, and one of kind items to purchase at the multitude of shops up and down the Asbury Park boardwalk. Asbury Park Fun House though, has cornered the market on unique pieces for true Asbury Park-ites. You may be able to grab some amazing Tillie themed items (the official mascot of all things Asbury Park) or snatch up one of the amazing beach towels or hand towels specifically imprinted with some of the amazing Wooden Walls artistry that is featured all over Asbury Park, courtesy of various visionary artists. From a vintage-esque Tillie pillow to pictures of Asbury Park gone by, Asbury Park Fun House is a trip into the best of Asbury Park and is one of the best ways to share it.

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DMart Gear 

There is absolutely nothing like tossing on a great one of a kind t-shirt as the summer morphs into fall, or grabbing your favorite cozy sweatshirt as the air cools. From bear themed t-shirts to some fun and unique holiday items, dMart Gear is your go to place for all things unique. The brainchild of New Jersey based graphic designer Danny Martinez and entrepreneur Chuck Migliore, dMart is becoming the go-to spot for unique and one of a kind artistry. From cheeky disco ball themed eggplants to a Team Shady design, the boys at dMart have something for all of us. They are also releasing baseball caps and drawstring gym bags, with more items coming soon. Best of all, they have been commissioned numerous times by some high profile New Jersey/ New York personalities for some unique items, making themselves available to collaborate with you on some true one of a kind gift ideas for the holidays!

The best gift of all is a donation to Garden State Equality
The best gift of all is a donation to Garden State Equality
Garden State Equality 

There is no better gift this year (and every year) than some good old fashioned donation to an amazing cause. In New Jersey, Garden State Equality is consistently pounding the pavement and advocating for the entire LGBT community in New Jersey. Led by Executive Director Christian Fuscarino, from health to political activism, to anti bullying, GSE is at the forefront of all of the issues that are important to the community. Donations of any size help their employees, their mission, and most of all, our community as a whole. Consider a donation to Garden State Equality as one of the most meaningful and important gifts you can give this holiday season.