A Takeaway From GOOP: If Your Gift Guide Isn’t Polarizing, It’s Noncommittal

hi-i-keep-my-jellyfish-in-hereIt’s easy to create a gift guide of relatively universal people-pleasers. Cashmere? Chocolates? TV set? Latest gadget from Apple? OK, sure. But Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP lifestyle guide is generally anything but universally well-received, so naturally her gift guides are going to be relatively niche, too.

This year she’s even been a bit tongue-in-cheek about it, adding a section specifically labeled “Ridiculous (But Awesome)”.

And that’s pretty much what that section is. A truffle slicer – and, natch, the truffles to go with it; Bang Olufsen’s Beolab 90, $40K worth of auditory bliss; a vintage ball and chain; and a “Darwin Tank” for your jellyfish, jellyfish not included.

See? Polarizing. Jellyfish tanks? So pricey, frivolous, etc. But each radiates an understanding of the recipient’s lifestyle that’s a little bit deeper than oh-hey-another-box-from-van-cleef or whatever; it’s still “stuff” to be sure, but there’s personalization, differentiation and hell, even a slight risk that you might get it wrong if you haven’t been paying attention (maybe exercise particular caution if you’re thinking your significant other will have a sense of humor about that ball and chain there).

Even if these gifts aren’t at your price point, we urge you to think a little bit like GOOP this year. Push the envelope. Delight that one person (or all those people) on your list who like ridiculous shit, because why not.