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For the FKK-envious
You know that person who absolutely never takes their clothes off at the lake? This calendar is for them. Photographer Lara Verheijden’s nude calendar shows Berliners’ bits in all sorts of locations across the city. It’s an ode to body-positivity and bottomless trips to the Späti – and about as Berlin as presents get. If not by June, the giftee is bound to be inspired to bare all at least by the end of swimming season.
- Order on thenudecalendarproject.com. €45.
For your Heizkosten-anxious German neighbour
Your sparsam neighbour can’t stop whining about the rising heating costs? Get them a bottle of Berliner Nacht Gin to warm up (and shut up). Distilled on the outskirts of the city using climate-neutral methods and organic ingredients, including locally grown Thai Basil and Lemongrass, this spirit comes in a bottle with a label evocative of Hauptstadt nights. Hopefully they’ll share it with you and use the money you’ve saved them on bills to buy the tonic!
- Order on berlindistillery.de. €37.90.
The gift that keeps giving, for everyone
Heard of the new Fat & Fab EXB? The Exberliner gift subscription delivers six issues of our brand-new, augmented and revamped mag, packed to the brim with culture tips, in-depth features and gripping reportages from Berlin directly to the presentee’s doorstep. To kindly spare you another surprise bill, the subscription ends automatically after one year – but the high-quality EXB tote bag that comes with it is forever.
- Order on shop.exberliner.com. €50.
For the feline-fan with an eye for interior design
Lo and behold, a cat scratcher with class! Using renewable energy, recycled cardboard is precision cut and bonded by hand with odourless, toxin-free vegan glue to create one-off pieces of stunning design. This is an alternative to the average kitty condo and will provide cats with a spot to scratch their claws that isn’t the couch – the perfect gift for that one friend whose apartment needs it. Cat-on.
- Browse the range of options or place your custom order on cat-on.com. €10-500.
For your friend who’s figuring things out
The future is bright – and buzzing! – with this tarot deck inspired by Berlin hipsters’ favourite drink. Designed by Berliner Jon Derman Harris as a present for a Club Mate-loving friend, the illustrated cards, based on the Rider Waite Smith deck, riff on the brand’s unmistakable colours. Printed sustainably in Austria, they are sold at mystical self-care store Kismet in Friedrichshain. The perfect gift for someone looking for answers to life’s big questions.
- Kismet Berlin. Seumestr. 8, Friedrichshain. Or order on kismetberlin.com. €39
For the fashion-conscious prepper
A handcrafted brolly from Berlin’s very last artisan Schirmmacher, Rolf Lippke. The perfect accessory to weather the climat emergency in style! Choose from a wide range of shapes and sizes or commission a bespoke piece (fabric, handle, mechanism; ready in four weeks). Not only do they keep the rain away, they also offerprotection from the sun – so the lucky receiver will be ready forwhatever’s to come – whether it’s a White Christmas or an Indian Summer.
- Schirmmacher Rolf Lippke. Kielerstr. 6, Steglitz. €95-150 for a commissioned umbrella, schirmmitcharme.de.
For the discerning summer Sportler
It’s never too early to prep for Berlin’s most popular summer activity. This table tennis set is not just nice to look at, it’s also made to last, with FSC-approved wood for the bats, high-quality plastic balls and recycled packaging. Toucan was launched by Anglo-German Dan Zell in Kreuzberg in October this year. And if Santa’s busy, Dan will hop on his bike and personally deliver your order, as long as the lucky giftee doesn’t live too far!
- Toucan. Order on toucan.tt. €70 for the set.
For that very dear Bubble Bobble-loving pal (if you have lots of money)
If you know someone who is into nice, unique fluff, this one’s for you! Up to 110 pompoms of fine merino wool go into the making of each MYK Pomp om cushion. Multi-coloured, white or with a bold neon yellow splash – the bobbles are knotted together at the front, whilst the back of the cushion is either knitted or crocheted by hand in the brand’s Bergmannkiez studio. They’re perfect for snuggling with over the chilly months. The price tag is ballsy, but the fuzziness will cushion the blow.
- MYK. Order on myk-berlin.com. Currently on sale at €1350.
For bold and dark tea lovers (if you don’t have lots of money)
Know someone who loves all things vegan, ethically-made and darkly delicious? This beverage made from cocoa nut shells is a highlight of this small Mitte bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturer. Original, thoroughly sustainable (it’s all bio, vegan and anti-waste) and ideally comforting for those cold Berlin winters, this bag of cocoa husk tea is the perfect budget gift for cash-strapped Santas…
- Belyzium 31 Grad. Lottumstr. 15, Mitte. €6 per bag.
For the die-hard Ostalgic upcycler
Been to the DDR museum, eaten a Jägerschnitzel, drank all the Rotkäppchen – but still feeling a little Ostalgic? Your friend can now carry a piece of the East wherever they go, thanks to Kreuzberg- based brand Renk’art’s Marion Broodthuis Gravier. The French designer takes wall-pecking to the next level, collecting bits of paint that have peeled off the Berliner Mauer and making colourful pieces of Wall jewellery out of them. Necklaces, rings or earrings – they’re lightweight, jagged pieces of wearable history.
- Renk’Art. Urbanstr. 101, Kreuzberg. Or order online at renkart.eu. €15-500.
For the floundering Deutsch-learner
Give an idle expat a creative kick up the arse with this cute tome by Mazen Kerbaj, a Lebanese artist who moved to the Hauptstadt in 2015. Learning Deutsch is a contemplative book containing a self-portrait for every day of the year, each illustrated with a German word (and its English and Arabic translations). It’s a diary of a fellow expat’s emotions as well as a bit of linguistic fun – a subtle hint for that Wahlberliner*in who still can’t book their own Anmeldung appointment.
- Order on etsy.com/shop/HeadacheComics. €20.
Three great books for new Berliners or just Berlin fans…
WTF Berlin! by Jacinta Nandi
EXB columnist, standup comedian and author Jacinta Nandi gives a personal, intimate take on surviving as an expat in Berlin, one great German concept at a time. How do you say “I love you” to Germans? What’s the difference between ‘cringe” and Fremdschämen? Sit back and let Jacinta ‘expatsplain’ your worries away.
- Satyr Verlag. Order on shoptyr.de. €17.
Revolutionary Berlin by Nathaniel Flakin
Comrades and history nuts, this one’s for you. With nine self-guided tours – from Rosa Luxemburg and the November Revolution to Berlin’s (anti)colonial past, queer and red histories – this book lets you walk in the footsteps of those rebels who shaped our unruly city. EXB columnist Nathaniel Flakin is your best guide on the topic!
- Pluto Books. Order on kulturkaufhaus.de. €19 (paperback).
Secret Berlin by Tom Wolf, Manuel Roy, Roberto Sassi
Think you know Berlin? This new book is out to prove you wrong. From forgotten Wall remains in Pankow to a street that closes at night to protect beavers, hundreds of hidden city gems to impress visitors.
- Jonglez Publishing. Order on zabriskie.de. €19.95.