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Holiday

As you bask in the afterglow, and shredded Christmas gift wrap (and enjoy your spoils like Ralphie here), you might find yourself in the mood for the time-honored pleasure of ye olde Xmas movie. While basic cable is at the ready with a multitude of traditional yuletide standards, leave it to our friends at Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF for short) to subvert expectations.

Keep reading for three new, interactive twists on Christmas flicks from SIFF—which include swashbuckling, olfactory stimulation and chinese food—each of which you can re-create at home.

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If your wife’s, girlfriend’s, mom’s or daughter’s stocking is still looking a tad light, an impeccable new timepiece will weigh it down (with positive Christmas karma) in no time. Especially if said timepiece is properly matched to her personality, a feat which our Women’s Watch Gift Guide accomplishes quite concisely—and with the help of nine stylish canines. Keep reading for tips on which watch (and which dog!) the woman on your gift list is most compatible with.

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Gentlemen, have you seen the holiday video above (which we’re proud to say our compatriots here at Nordstrom HQ recently filmed QUITE handily)? It might be the first romantic comedy in years that we’ve thoroughly enjoyed, in spite of the uncomfortable truth that it conveys: Women are better than us at nearly everything—including giving Christmas gifts.

Our male protagonist delivers knockout gift after knockout gift: boots, jewels, burgers. And yet, his better half still one-ups him in the end. It’s likely that your wife or girlfriend will win at Christmas this year as well—not that it’s a competition—but to minimize the thoughtfulness gap, we asked a cross-section of stylish, intelligent (and yes, picky) women at Nordstrom’s Seattle offices to share what’s on their own wish lists this year. Follow their advice, and you can at least take pride in being a good loser:

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With Christmas right around the corner, we asked three male colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ to share what’s on their gift radar this year. Last up is Danny Mankin, our Lead Men’s Stylist—a man whose sneaker collection we envy almost as much as his interior-design skills. If this sounds like someone on your own holiday shopping list, continue reading to find the perfect gift.

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Let’s be honest: Most of us men are probably just now getting around to Christmas shopping (hey, we have almost five whole days left!). And while there are innumerable fantastic holiday gifts available right here on Nordstrom.com—sometimes the best gifts come from somewhere else. Like the heart. Or the liquor store. For advice on thinking outside the gift box (and, hopefully, getting a reaction like the one above), we asked nine men with impeccable taste to answer one simple question: What’s the best gift you’ve ever given?

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With Christmas right around the corner, we asked three male colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ to share what’s on their gift radar this year. Today we have David Coyle from our Men’s Buying Team—a man who knows how to take a hit, and has a killer sock game (which includes knowing when to wear none, as seen above). If this sounds like someone on your own holiday shopping list, continue reading to find the perfect gift.

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With Christmas right around the corner, we asked three male colleagues here at Nordstrom HQ to share what’s on their gift radar this year. First up is Strath Shepard, our Creative Director for Custom Digital Content—a man who’s equally into outdoor excursions and obscure periodicals. If this sounds like someone on your own holiday shopping list, continue reading to find the perfect gift.

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Attention to anyone shopping for a male human this holiday season (wives, girlfriends, kids, mothers, life partners—we know you’re out there). One thing we men love is a practical solution to a pesky problem. And one problem we despise is disorganization—especially amidst the vital items we jam into our pockets on a daily basis.

Enter Bellroy, a leather-goods brand out of Australia with a passion for slimming down men’s everyday carry—and some genius ideas for how to get it done. Continue reading to watch six entertaining, informative stop-motion videos about each of the Bellroy wallet models we offer—and give the guy on your list a gift he’ll appreciate, quite literally, every single day.

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In the spirit of the holidays, we asked some of our favorite brands and designers a simple question with a rarely simple answer: What’s you favorite gift? Answers ranged from prized possessions they’ve received, to a signature item to give, to less-tangible ‘gifts’ that can’t be bought. Though they vary wildly, the answers below all have one thing in common: They give an unmistakable look into each brand’s ethos. Scroll down to get inside the minds of America’s best designers (and click the links to start deciding how to spend that Nordstrom Gift Card that Grandma gave you).


Heavy Medals from Legendary Friends. “My favorite gifts are from my friends Jimmy Page and Alice Cooper, who gave me their gold and platinum record awards, respectively. These are framed in my office and commemorate 500,000 and 1 million copies of albums sold—a phenomenal achievement that I get to hang on my wall and see every day.”  —John Varvatos
 


Bulls Tickets, 1989. “The best gift I ever received came from my sister: my niece Isabella. The second-best I got from my parents in 1989 for Christmas: Two tickets to see Michael Jordan play at Chicago Stadium with my dad. I was 10. Jordan scored 42 points against the Golden State Warriors; I’ll never forget how loud it was when they announced his entrance.”  —Andy Dunn of Bonobos
 


A Bronzed Artifact. “This is a gift I received from Michael Stipe after we collaborated on an art project of his. He took a Diana/Lomo camera (similar quality to lighting filters used on Instagram) and cast it in bronze. I love the idea of low/high art and technology. A low-tech, cheap plastic camera, immortalized in bronze. This gift I will have and appreciate forever.”  —Rogan Gregory of Rogan
 


A Family Tree. “My favorite thing about the holidays is the huge tree we do every year. My wife is a Christmas ornament freak, so we load it down with white lights and tons of ornaments. My favorites are the homemade ones the children make. We decorate with all-natural clippings of pine, cedar, boxwood, holly and magnolia—using fresh keeps things simple. Most important is to relax and enjoy the family and special time of year.” Billy Reid
 


Iowa’s Best-Kept Secret. “All of my friends and family get a bottle of Templeton Rye, a small-batch rye whiskey based on a Prohibition-era recipe that was made in Templeton, Iowa. Since I’m from Iowa, the connection is obvious—and there’s no better way to warm up a cold, holiday night than with a nice glass of Templeton.” Todd Snyder
 


The Original Hand-Held Device. “Does this really need any explanation as to why it’s my favorite? I was 10. It’s a Game Boy. Nuff said.” —Sam Shipley of Shipley & Halmos
 


Christmas in Jamaica. “Last week, my wife treated me to a one-week getaway in Jamaica as my early Xmas gift. We stayed at a gorgeous private villa (Round Hill) overlooking the sea and Montego Bay. The gift included tennis lessons—definitely the best gift ever. The only downside is that now I have to treat her to something even more special!” —Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie
 


Late-’80s Pentax 67 Medium Format with Super Takumar 75mm 1:4.5 Lens. “Growing up, the Pentax 6×7 or 67 was one of the cameras I always lusted after but was never able to afford. With the advent of digital, these cameras are now extremely good value as vintage, in comparison to their original prices. I had been watching this camera on eBay as a ‘buy now’ option for a while, but not biting the bullet on it, and obviously boring my wife to death about it—so much so, that without my knowledge, she bout it for me. So I ended up getting one of my favorite presents and fulfilling a childhood dream at the same time.” —Cuan Hanly of Jack Spade
 


One-of-a-Kind Artwork. [It's a tie. Left]: “White tiger…on a purple crystal…in fog…in space…on a collector’s plate…framed. The best part is the warning on the back that it ‘may poison food.’ I got it from a member of our creative team a few years ago—probably in an attempt to actually poison me.” [Right]: “The photo of a naked girl sitting in the woods with a unicorn is also in the running. Have you ever had a photo shoot with a unicorn? Those things never sit still. And they demand giant dressing rooms, and green M&Ms, and are total divas. They really just aren’t worth dealing with.” —Todd Masters of Toddland
 
 
 

[All photos shot by the designers/brands themselves, except Michael Jordan © Walter Iooss, Jr.]

Between month-long radio takeovers and the inescapable audio inside your office’s elevators, Christmas music can become one of the least-merry aspects of the holidays. As a personal gift from us to you, we combed the internet (and picked our office-mates’ brains) for under-the-radar Xmas gems to put you in the holiday spirit this weekend. Pour some eggnog, hit play—and take a well-deserved break from The Chipmunks and Zooey Deschanel.


Bon Jovi. While there’s lots to be said for this Bon Jovi White House performance from Xmas ’98 (sharp tuxes, quasi-lecherous Whoopi Goldberg intro, Special Olympics fundraiser), it’s just not possible to one-up the video above, co-starring Herb Ritts muse and Pepsi pusher Cindy Crawford.


Run DMC. Remember when rap was almost wholesome? Here, the guys save Christmas and praise Mom’s homecooking, all with signature attention to detail (note the Cadillac logo on Santa’s sleigh). Extra style shout-outs for DMC’s dapper DB coat and Run’s Portland Trailblazers jacket.


Wham! As unlikely as it seems—for a Christmas song, a Wham! song, and especially a Wham! Christmas song—a small, completely unscientific poll in our office found very little to be annoyed about by this song. It’s kind of catchy, but not cloyingly so. Oddly soothing. Do you agree, or have we had too much fruitcake?


Boyz II Men. Remember that time on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air when Will ruined Christmas by not getting the world’s favorite ’90s R&B group to sing a capella at baby Nicky’s christening? Us neither, because it never happened. Miracles are real! Especially on sitcoms.


Band Aid. OK, this one might qualify as over-played this time of year. And has some truly mood-dampening lyrics if you listen closely (everyone, please do something charitable this yuletide). And ranks high on the A.V. Club’s list of most-hated holiday tunes. BUT: It’s worth watching just for the all-star ’80s lineup’s throwback hair stylings. Subtitled en español for a feliz Navidad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fulrewj6Noo
David Bowie x Bing Crosby. The Thin White Duke has done more than a couple surprising collaborations over the years, but…come on. Worlds collide, minds blown. Are we the last to know about this? Click to about 1:48 if you prefer to skip the stilted banter—not that you should, it’s TV Christmas-special solid gold.


Dogs. To the uninitiated, this kitschy Christmas classic probably comes off as just another entry in the vast canon of cute cat videos, baby sloths, bunnies riding goats, and hamsters on pianos that now saturate the internet. But get this: The original recording was created by a Danish ornithologist in the 1950s, and was one of the first examples of modern-day pitch manipulation and audio splicing. We chose to show the “cover version” above because it looks like dogs are actually performing it live (they’re probably all computer-animated robots, who knows)—but to hear the original ’50s version, click here.