Low-Temperature Luxuries: Winter Survival Gift Ideas

published Dec 4, 2014
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(Image credit: Restoration Hardware)

Here in the land of the Polar Vortex, the hot gift on everyone’s list is a remote car starter. Is there anything more luxurious than getting into a pre-warmed car? Here are some luxuries large and small that will get you through the winter:

If you know someone who’s shivering away the winter, warm their heart with one of these gifts— things they probably would never buy for themselves. And if someone asks what you’d like this holiday, just point a chilly finger this way.

1. Mini Hand Warmer, Restoration Hardware, $6.99
If you manage to find pyjamas with pockets, stick one of these in each pocket and let the warmth flow through you.

2. Electric Kettle, Alessi, on sale for $167.20
All of my friends who have lived any amount of time in Europe swear by electric kettles— and this Alessi version is the most stylish one I’ve seen.

3. Humidifier, Japan Trend Shop, $92
Replace bulky, unsightly humidifiers with these elegant, glowing versions.

4. Aroma Diffuser, MUJI, $69.50
And replace dry, stuffy air with fresh essential oil-scented mist!

5. Smartwool Socks, Smartwool, various prices
I have only ever heard Smartwool socks discussed in awestruck, fervent tones- and I wear mine every other day, or as often as I can get them washed.

6. Derm’Rescue, Essences & Legendes, various prices
My best friend swears by this winterproof hair/skin/lip balm that she found at a farmers’ market in Paris— and since she’s a Canadian living in Vermont, she knows what she’s talking about.

7. Heated Insoles, Cabela’s, on sale for $99
Where were these when I was waiting in the freezing Chicago cold for buses that never seemed to come?!?

8. Towel Warmer, Lowe’s, $134.60
I once took a shower in a 16th-century Italian villa in which the hot water pipes doubled as towel racks and it was the greatest thing ever. Perhaps this gadget can recreate the magic.

9. Heated Steering Wheel Cover, Amazon, $24.99
Fifteen-year-old pickups don’t seem to come with heated steering wheels, so maybe this cover would save me from attempting to drive with frozen claws.

10. Remote Car Starter, Amazon, $114.03
Finally, the coveted remote starter. There are a million different models available, so I just chose the one with the best reviews on Amazon. Much like Castle Grayskull, there’s some assembly required.