15 Holiday Episodes To Re-Watch From Your Favorite Iconic TV Shows

Every holiday movie has the same plot: girl unexpectedly meets boy, boy falls in love with girl, something tragic happens, boy and girl profess their feelings, they kiss passionately against the backdrop of a professionally decorated Christmas tree with fake snow falling around them. Yawn. 

Although I usually put up with that cookie-cutter plot every year, I decided to try something a bit different (and way more entertaining) this December: re-watching the holiday episodes from my favorite TV shows. 

Given that basically every holiday party is canceled, in-person shopping is hardly a thing, and the gyms are closed (although let’s face it, I wouldn’t be going even if they were open), I had all the time in the world to cuddle up with a weighted blanket and a (spiked) hot drink and laugh, cry, and feel all sorts of emotion while watching classic shows like Parks and Recreation, Gilmore Girls, and 30 Rock

As my wonderful gift to you, I’ve listed the best holiday episodes from all our favorite shows so that you too can fill your time this December with something other than watching people’s annoying Instagram Stories and cringey attempts at creating Reels. Enjoy! 

‘New Girl’ – “LAXmas” Season 4 Episode 11

There is literally nothing more relatable in these COVID-19 times than having your holiday plans ruined, your vacation canceled, and you therefore not being able to post that thirst trap bikini pic in December. Call me a masochist, but that’s why I loved re-watching this episode of New Girl. I got to commiserate, emphasize, and shout “HA! You got screwed too!” at the TV when Jess, Nick, Winston, and Schmidt’s holiday flights were canceled. 

’30 Rock’ – “Ludachristmas” Season 2 Episode 9

It’s as if Tina Fey knew we needed something to prove that there are families out there more dysfunctional than our own when they created this episode. In the most hilarious way, we see the picture-perfect Lemon family break down after an outing with Jack and his mother, and the TGS crew have their party plans hijacked by Kenneth. Plus, I promise this is the exact Rockefeller-related holiday content you need to get that sad excuse for a tree they put up this year out of your mind.  

‘The O.C.’ – “The Best Chrismukkah Ever” Season 1 Episode 13

chrismukkah

Confession time: I completely forgot about The O.C. until I Googled “shows like Gossip Girl” this summer… and then promptly re-binged it with no regrets. And one of the most entertaining, dramatic, and heartwarming episodes happens to be a holiday one, where Seth introduces Ryan to the wonders of Chrismukkah and struggles in a love triangle between himself, Anna, and Summer. I have to admit, seeing a love triangle that didn’t involve me, my fridge, and Netflix was actually pretty refreshing. 

‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’ – “Christmas Chaos” Season 16 Episode 9

Being invited to the Kardashians’ annual Holiday Party is on my bucket list, Amazon wishlist, and in my letter to Santa every year. Is there anywhere else I can add it at this point? But while my invite is still lost in the mail, the next best thing is to watch the party unfold on TV. And I promise you, this is one of the most iconic holiday episodes ever. It’s the one where Kim is literally quoted saying, “This is so inappropriate. It is so so much money for one night.” Do I need to say more?

‘The Office’ – “A Benihana Christmas” Season 3 Episode 10 & 11

We’ve all been that psycho b*tch, but in this episode Michael takes crazy to a whole new level. How? By Photoshopping his face onto his girlfriend’s ex-husband’s body in one of their old family photos, and sending it out as his Christmas card. And, no spoilers, but this episode includes some major Pam vs. Angela drama and a classic Jim prank on Dwight that will make you forget about TikTok for, like, 20 minutes. 

‘Gilmore Girls’ – “Women of Questionable Morals” Season 5 Episode 11

Some things are just the f*cking worst until someone comes along and makes it special for you (like Valentine’s Day, for a totally random example). And that’s the case for Lorelai and her feelings toward snow in this episode, until Luke surprises her with a romantic snow-related gift that made even a Grinch like me say, “AWWWW!”. Beyond the snow drama, this episode also features the cutest little stray dog that brings Emily and Richard together in a true holiday miracle kind of way. 

‘Friends’ – “The One with Phoebe’s Dad” Season 2, Episode 9

happy christmas eve eve

You know that friend who waits until the last possible moment to buy their presents? Well, be prepared to watch Joey and Chandler do that exact thing… and be forced to buy their gifts at a place I only go into when I really need to pee during a road trip. And, as if that’s not enough comedy, what screams tradition more than some classic Ross and Rachel drama? Be prepared to get your fill of it this episode. 

‘Gossip Girl’ – “Roman Holiday” Season 1 Episode 11

I’ve watched this episode about 14 times, so at this point let’s just say it’s a holiday tradition. I swear, no matter how many times you see Blair come up with a conniving plan to break up her Dad and his boyfriend, the story is guaranteed to transport you from your burrito-stained sweats and unmade bed to the Upper East side within moments. It’s the exact escape you didn’t even know you needed. 

‘New Girl’  – “The 23rd” Season 1 Episode 9

Picture this: Schmidt shirtless, wearing just a Santa hat and Santa shorts. If that’s not enough to convince you to re-watch this episode, keep in mind that the theme is how dealing with new relationships around the holidays is stressful AF (relatable, right?). Like any New Girl episode, this one will have you laughing at the lovable, entertaining, and slightly inappropriate trouble the crew gets themselves into at Schmidt’s office party.

‘Fuller House’ – “Oh My Santa” Season 4 Episode 1

Even though the holidays may suck more than usual this year, just know that for the first and probably only time in your life, your holiday season is going better than Lori Loughlin’s. And speaking of which, this episode of Fuller House is sure to bring a smile to your face, despite how cheesy the plot is. The most relatable part? Tommy throwing a tantrum in the mall. Been there, done that (and over much less, if I may add). 

‘Parks and Recreation’ – “Citizen Knope” Season 4 Episode 10

Are you one of those people who re-gifts an old box of chocolate or nauseating-smelling candle to your co-workers every year? If you said “yes”, you seriously need to take notes during this episode. While Leslie is off work for two weeks, Ann rallies the Parks department to create a special holiday gift for Leslie. As cheesy as the gift is, it’s actually pretty sweet (pun intended) and will probably make you feel as warm and fuzzy inside as the spiked eggnog you’re sipping. 

‘Ally McBeal’ – “Silver Bells” Season 1 Episode 11

There’s something about watching Ally McBeal that brings back all sorts of early ‘00s nostalgia. And this episode gives us just that against the backdrop of a hectic office during the holidays (TBT to offices), and plots about Ally being her usual badass self and the romantic troubles the couples in the office are facing. I won’t reveal if there are any holiday miracles at the end of the episode, but I can safely say you’ll be feeling emotions far from the disappointment Kyle Richards felt when she realized bangs just weren’t her thing. 

‘Modern Family’ – “Undeck the Halls” Season 1 Episode 10

If you want to escape the stressful bullsh*t of your family’s holiday Zoom call by finding another family going through equally dramatic times, look no further. In a mix of both hilarious and feel-good storylines, you’ll get to emphasize with the Dunphy kids as their parents cancel Christmas until someone fesses up to ruining their sofa. Plus, you get to see what happens when Cam and Mitchell say something we’ve all thought at least once in our lives: “this mall Santa is just not jolly enough”.

Cougar Town – “Cry To Me” Season 2 Episode 14

If you’re the kind of person who gets pissed when people leave their holiday decor up way past December, this episode will make you feel more seen than ever. Now bear with me, because this episode is actually more about Valentine’s Day than Christmas, but it still delivers an accurate depiction of how crazy people get around any holiday. 

‘Brooklyn 99’ – “The Pontiac Bandit Returns” Season 2 Episode 10

Amy’s weird-yet-adorable admiration for Captain Holt is somehow one of the most entertaining things to watch (because who TF actually likes their boss?). And as odd as their relationship is, this episode delivers just the right amount of it, showing us Amy working hard (but hardly working on her actual work) to get around Holt’s “no gift” policy. And, to quote the queen of the holidays, Dorinda Medley, we see Jake “make it nice” with his nemesis/best friend Doug Judy in order to gather intel for Rosa. 

Images: Netflix; Giphy (12)

The Betches Winter 2020-2021 Reading List

I don’t care what the calendar says (I feel like all my book roundups start this way), it is winter. And you know what that means: a winter reading list, because it’s that time of year again where we just cozy up with a good book. Or at least, that’s what I do. In honor of that, I’ve compiled my winter reading list. Please note that this is not a comprehensive 2021 reading list, which will be coming ASAP. (In more realistic terms, probably like, January.) But for now, here are 14 books you can dive into, from spicy romance to twisty thrillers to poignant historical fiction. 

‘A Princess For Christmas’ by Jenny Holiday (October 13, 2020)

I could have included this in a fall roundup, but given that Christmas is in the title, it didn’t feel right. If you already watched The Princess Switch: Switched Again and all the other Christmas movies on Netflix but still need your holiday romance fix, pick up a copy of A Princess for Christmas. It’s basically got everything you loved from Princess Switch or Princess Diaries: a fictional kingdom called Eldovia, a princess who’s in way over her head, finding love in unexpected places. Leo, a cab driver in New York City, picks up Princess Marie of Eldovia and ends up with more than he bargained for—namely, a gig driving Princess Marie around for the remainder of her NYC trip. He doesn’t expect to fall for the princess, or that he will end up in Eldovia for Christmas.

‘Every Last Secret’ by A.R. Torre (December 1, 2020)

What would you do for the “perfect” life? That’s what Cat and Neena, two neighbors in Silicon Valley, are duking it out over. Cat Winthorpe seems to have it all: a beautiful house, social standing, and William, her dreamy husband. And that’s precisely what Neena Ryder wants: Cat’s husband. Neena tries to scheme her way into William’s life; meanwhile, Cat has a secret of her own that could blow up her charmed life. While the ending may not completely take you by surprise, Every Last Secret is a fun and fast ride.

‘Heiress Apparently’ by Diana Ma (December 1, 2020)

If you, like me, are still sad you finished Last Tang Standing, Diana Ma’s latest novel serves up a similar dose of fun, relatable, hot mess fiction, with a Lizzie McGuire Movie-esque twist. Really doesn’t get more fun than that. Gemma Huang disappointed her parents by foregoing college to pursue an acting career, which is how she finds herself living in LA with three roommates, barely scraping by. Things start looking up when she takes a gig in a production of M. Butterfly in Beijing, only to realize she apparently is the doppelgänger of one of Beijing’s most notorious socialites. And there might be a reason for that…

‘How To Catch A Queen’ by Alyssa Cole (December 1, 2020)

If the name Alyssa Cole sounds familiar, good—it should! I’ve been raving about her new thriller, When No One Is Watching, and she also has a romance novel coming out. And I can’t even figure out how to do my job plus one hobby and still have a somewhat normal sleep schedule. SMH, some people can really do it all. Anyway, How To Catch a Queen is the first book in the new Runaway Royals series. Shanti Mohapi weds the king of Njaza, and with it, her dreams of becoming a queen finally come true. What she hadn’t imagined since she was a little girl? Nobody in the kingdom respects her. The King is equally perplexed, since Shanti has all the answers to solve Njaza’s problems… except nobody will listen to her.

‘This Time Next Year’ by Sophie Cousens (December 1, 2020)

If you want Love, Actually but in book form, this is basically it. It’s about Minnie Cooper, whose New Year’s birthday has always been a source of woe in her life—especially because her mother missed out on winning the cash prize for giving birth to the first baby of the year born in London, thanks to a guy named Quinn Hamilton, who was born just moments earlier. Even worse, he stole her name! When Minnie runs into Quinn at, where else, a New Year’s party, she’s surprised to find herself wanting more.

‘White Feminism’ by Koa Beck (January 5, 2021)

We didn’t stop reading antiracist books in the summer, and Koa Beck, former Editor-in-Chief of Jezebel, has a new book out that is a necessary read. Beck explores how feminism has been commodified, and how it excludes women of color, from the suffragettes to corporate feminism, and how we can fix it for future generations.

‘You Have A Match’ by Emma Lord (January 5, 2021)

Protagonist Abby signs up for a DNA test and gets more than she bargained for: she finds out she has an older sister. But not just any sister: Savannah Tully, an Instagram model. Abby’s plan to find out how tf this happened? Meet up with Savannah at summer camp and find out the truth. But there are a few problems, or else this would be a sentence and not a book: Savannah is a total narc, so getting the truth isn’t as simple as it seems. Plus, Abby’s crush works at the camp. Oh, and Abby’s parents are hiding a secret that could blow everything up.

‘Lana’s War’ by Anita Abriel (January 12, 2021)

Ok, so. I think we’ve maybe reached a point where WWII fiction is an escape again and not a harbinger of things to come? Fingers crossed it stays that way. With that said, Lana’s War is set in 1943 Paris, where Lana Antanova witnesses her husband being executed by the Gestapo—right when she was about to tell him she was pregnant. A few months later, Lana is approached to join the resistance, putting her face to face with the man who killed her husband. Taking up residence with a wealthy Swiss industrialist in a villa, Lana helps Jews escape. Obviously, the Nazis want to stop her, and Lana has to try to protect herself, everything she’s worked for, and the people she’s beginning to love. 

‘The Perfect Guests’ by Emma Rous (January 12, 2021)

From the author of The Au Pair comes another suspenseful read set in a creepy Gothic manor. Raven Hall is a sprawling manor in a coastal plain in eastern England. In 1988, 14-year-old Beth Soames is taken there by her aunt to stay with the Averell family. Beth quickly becomes like one of the family, until the Averells ask her to play a twisted game, and nothing is the same after that. Cut to 2019, when Sadie Lawson, a struggling actress, shows up with a suitcase and a dossier of the role she’s meant to play: a weekend guest. Can’t be too hard, right? Right, except the house feels haunted, the party guests feel off, and the host is not what they seem.

‘Waiting For The Night Song’ by Julie Carrick Dalton (January 12, 2021)

Julie Carrick Dalton’s debut gives me serious Where The Crawdad Sings vibes. Its protagonist is forestry researcher Cadie Kessler, who’s on the verge of a breakthrough that could help prevent serious damage to the wilderness. But then she gets a message from her estranged childhood best friend, and the two have to face a dark secret that they’ve kept hidden for over 25 years. As drought, foreclosures, and wildfires spark tensions between locals and displaced migrant farm workers, Cadie has to decide how far she’ll go to protect herself and the forest she loves.

‘Your Corner Dark’ by Desmond Hall (January 19, 2021)

Hall’s debut tackles gang life in Jamaica and pushes the limits of how far a teen will go for his family. Frankie Green gets a coveted scholarship letter, which should be his ticket out. Until his father gets shot, and he finds himself joining his uncle’s gang to pay for his father’s medical bills. Is there such thing as a point of no return? And is it too late for Frankie to build the life he’s always wanted?

‘The Obsession’ by Jesse Q. Sutano (February 2, 2021)

Think of The Obsession like the YA book version of You. Instead of Joe, we have Logan. Instead of Beck, we have Delilah. Some might call Logan a stalker, but he just thinks he’s romantic. Besides, nobody likes Delilah like he does, and they’re meant to be together. All he needs is the right moment to convince her they’re meant to be. When Logan witnesses Delilah kill her abusive stepfather, she may not have much of a choice but to be with Logan.

‘Wild Rain’ by Beverly Jenkins (February 2, 2021)

A little bit of romance, a little bit of historical fiction, Wild Rain tackles women’s rights, suffrage, and Black American history in Reconstruction-Era Wyoming. Did you know Wyoming was a pioneer in women’s rights and women’s suffrage? I didn’t either, but its territorial legislature passed a law in 1869 that gave women the right to vote. So with that in mind, Spring Lee, a property-owning Black female rancher, moves to Paradise, Wyoming. She has one rule: she does not need a man. Until she meets Garrett McCray, a Washington reporter who escaped slavery. When a dark spot from Spring’s past comes back to light, her ranch, her safety, and her newfound love are all on the line.

First Comes Like’ by Alisha Rai (February 16, 2020)

The third book in Rai’s Modern Love series, First Comes Like is about Jia Ahmed, a 29-year-old beauty influencer who doesn’t have time for love. But when a Bollywood legend slides into her DMs… well, that only happens once in a lifetime. Meanwhile, Dev Dixit grew up as Bollywood royalty, but his world was rocked by his brother’s unexpected death, and Dev finds himself as the guardian for his teen niece. Unable to deal with the constant public scrutiny, Dev sets off for America, where, one night in Hollywood, he meets a beautiful Instagram influencer. He’s surprised that he’s intrigued by her, and all the more surprised to find out someone has been catfishing her, posing as Dev. Who tf is catfishing Jia? And is Jia and Dev’s relationship doomed from the start?

‘Honey Girl’ by Morgan Rogers (February 23, 2021)

Twentysomething Grace Porter is a straight-laced overachiever who just got her PhD. Which is why it’s totally out of character when she goes to Vegas, gets hammered, and gets married to a woman whose name she doesn’t even know. After that trip, Grace does yet another unexpected thing and goes to New York for the summer to spend time with her new wife. But you can’t run from your problems forever, and soon, Grace’s come knocking at her door.

Images: Sincerely Media / Unsplash; Bookshop

5 Hilariously Bad Tips For Having Sex When You’re Home For The Holidays

It’s that time of year again, friends. With the holidays approaching, you’re poised to buy gifts, head home, and barely tolerate spend time with loved ones for several days. If you’re bringing a significant other home with you, it can be challenging to find some alone time. And it definitely presents a dilemma. Do you get it on in your childhood bed? How many future holidays will you ruin if your parents happen to hear? Fortunately, our fellow publications have once again come through with some truly batsh*t sex advice, this time with a home for the holidays theme. Prepare to be bewildered.

 1. Have A Holly Jolly Playlist

The close quarters and proximity to relatives already makes home for the holidays sex a bit of a buzzkill (unless you’re an exhibitionist, I don’t know your kinks). But the good people of POPSUGAR managed to find a way to make things even more awkward by suggesting “you crank those holiday tunes a little bit louder” to drown out any suspicious, um, noise. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not personally a huge fan of sex playlists, but I understand that with a non-tool playing DJ under the right circumstances it can work. What I can’t abide is the thought of getting it on to songs like “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Little Drummer Boy.” Not only am I drying up at the thought, this idea makes absolutely no sense. You mean to tell me that two people in a romantic relationship who have left the larger group to hang out behind a closed door blasting Christmas tunes will evoke no suspicion whatsoever? If anything, you’re pretty much guaranteed to hear an unwanted pa rum pum pum pum at said door.

2. Baby, It’s F*cking Cold Outside

For those who don’t want to risk scarring disturbing their family, there’s always the option of taking things outside the bedroom you grew up in. I would have suggested maybe the shower, but the authors at Life by LaserAway advise readers to “try having sex in a car or some bushes outside.” The car suggestion isn’t my favorite, but I’ll leave it alone because at least that’s an enclosed space. What I’m really baffled by is the casual suggestion of “some bushes outside.” Unless you live in a fairly warm climate year-round, it’s likely to be cold as Santa’s balls during the holidays. Even if you’re cool with vaginal frostbite, there’s the issue of a potential bush-induced rash or other irritation. Call me neurotic, but I don’t think this is what Musique meant when they sang “Push, push in the bush.”

3. Carol Of The Basement

If, like me, you’d prefer to keep your bush away from an actual bush this holiday season, you’ll need to get a little creative in terms of locale. Our friends at Today have the following suggestion: “Basements were made for make-outs and even though you haven’t used one for that reason in decades, there’s no reason not to start now.” I wouldn’t say no reason. There’s no place less sexy in a house to bone in than a dank basement. It’s an assault on the senses: the musty smells, the endless eyesores consisting of your boyfriend’s middle school soccer trophies and his mom’s workout equipment from the 80s, and the rug burn you’re sure to get from trying to maneuver on moldy carpet that was put down when Jimmy Carter was in office. Just me?

 4. Rockin’ Around The Pantry

Rounding out the list of sh*tty places to bang when you’re desperate is this gem from the folks at Elite Daily: “This might sound crazy, but making out in the pantry is honestly really cute.” Cute isn’t quite the word I’d use, but sure. Unless you’re, I don’t know, Logan Roy, a pantry is barely going to fit a 4-year-old playing hide and seek, let alone two people f*cking. If we really want to get cute, we might as well add laundry hamper to the list! So adorable. I’m all for proximity to snacks, but the idea of a pantry pounding is just bonkers. Again, may I humbly suggest the shower?

5. Santa Claus Is Coming WHERE?!

And now, ladies and gentlemen, we have the jewel in the crown and the inspiration for this hard-hitting piece of journalism. Of course it comes from Cosmo, where sex tips are notorious for stretching the definition of “advice”: “If you are staying at someone’s house over the holidays and need to avoid certain seminal evidence, make the easiest masturbator ever by filling a plastic sandwich bag with lube. Put a sock around it for a better grip and stroke up and down your partner’s penis while they rub you. Afterward, seal it up then hide the living hell out of that baggie.” There are so many layers to this “tip,” and I mean literal layers. A plastic sandwich bag and a sock? What kind of f*cked up MacGyver sh*t is this? And if we’re gonna be this extra when it comes to the raw materials needed for this “masturbator,” where are the explicit instructions for disposal of this literal scumbag? Isn’t hiding it way riskier than throwing it out, because someone could find your cum-filled sock and sandwich bag? And you’re meant to hide it where, exactly—under the tree? This gives a whole new meaning to a gift from Santa’s sack.

Home for the holidays sex can be complicated, but there’s no need to be extra about it, unless frozen limbs and makeshift condoms are your thing. If so, godspeed. If not, just wait until everyone is asleep and keep quiet so as not to wake an unsuspecting relative. With that in mind, may your days be merry and your nights silent.

Images: Ian Schneider / Unsplash; Giphy (5)

How To Ask For Money Instead of Gifts This Holiday Season

If you’ve ever read a story by yours truly, you know that the holidays give me all the life I’ll ever need. Even now, as a 26-year-old jaded New Yorker who is impressed by nothing, I tear open a perfectly-wrapped gift with the same energy that most people save for fighting strangers at Target on Black Friday. However, sometimes I’ll rip off the wrapping paper, lift the cardboard lid, and find a disappointing gift. Honestly, the last time I got excited over a gift that came in a box was in 2004, and guess what was in the box? A puppy.

Unless you’re gifting someone the eternal happiness that comes with a dog, wrapped gifts just aren’t as exciting as they used to be. Maybe it’s just a downside of being an adult, but my favorite kind of gift is a monetary one. Like, want to give me a gift I’ll truly cherish? Pay for my gym membership for a month! Just kidding, but like, not really. If all you and your loved ones want for Christmas is some cheddar, listen up, because etiquette expert Elaine Swann will clue you in how to give money as a gift seeming like you put zero thought into your present, and on the flip side, how to ask for money without looking like an entitled douchecanoe.

The only time I’ve ever witnessed people asking for money instead of presents was at my brother and his wife’s wedding. Yes, you read that right. These two asked their guests to donate to a honeymoon fund instead of losing their sanity on a wedding registry. At first, I thought it was the tackiest thing I’d ever heard, but then I saw the photos of them gallivanting around the Ritz in Paris and realized they didn’t drop a damn cent on this. And that’s when I realized that asking for money in lieu of gifts is, honestly, the move.

So if you’re just looking to give cash this holiday season, Swann suggests, “Make sure you personalize this gift. Give some thought to how this person may use the money. Then, in the note, you can add in a line about something that is a hobby of theirs or something they may enjoy doing with the money.” So, for example, if you’re giving me money, tell me a little tale about a thirsty girl who’s strapped for cash and loves white wine. Cute, right?

If you’ve been raised to exhibit classiness in your day-to-day life and don’t want to stop now by asking for money, worry not because there are ways to do it without looking like Mona Lisa Saperstein.

Swann says, “Be honest! Let them know that you have your heart set on a ski trip, a spa treatment, paying off your student loans, or any other kind of experience you’re interested in. By stating this, you can encourage them to give the gift of money that can go toward this experience.” For an added bonus, she advises, “Keep it towards an experience that people can see and feel a part of when you share stories or photos through social media.” Because the only thing better than seeing the look on someone’s face when they open a gift is being publicly thanked (and tagged) on Instagram stories once they actually use your gift.

Look, if anyone is actually giving you a holiday gift, chances are they know you pretty well, so they’re not going to judge you for asking for money (they probably know you well enough to judge you for your choice in exes/Seamless orders/generally destructive life choices instead). 

If you do want money, don’t wring out your generous friends by asking for a fortune. That’s actually why putting this money towards something specific, like a trip or a facial, is the way to go, and it will actually give them an idea of how much they should give you without you having to awkwardly name a number. At the end of the day, everyone loves getting money as a present! I’ve never heard any of my rich friends who work in finance or advertising open an envelope of cash and be like, “Ugh, I wish it was bath salts!” So, if you love your friends and family, get them something they really want, like a crisp Benjamin. 

Images: NBC; Giphy (2)

The Betches 2019 Gift Guide: $150+

If the proliferation of Christmas music through my eardrums is any indication, it’s holiday season. That means it’s the one time of year when you have to think about other people and not just yourself (bummer). However, as a conceited person, I’ll say that there is no rush quite like the influx of praise you receive from buying someone the perfect gift. But that is hard to do, so I’ve rounded up some gifts that will get you those compliments you so badly need, organized by price point. Whether you’re ballin’ on a budget or straight ballin’ you can find something on this list.

On this list, you’ll find luxe gift options for all the people you really feel like you need to splurge on. For gifts that won’t hurt your wallet so badly, check out our other Gift Guides, with options under $50 and under $150.

Onepiece Holidays Are Coming Onesie, $160

F*ck an Ugly Christmas Sweater, an Ugly (but not actually ugly) Christmas Onesie is so much better. This has a hood, pockets (you know a bitch loves pockets), suede sleeve and elbow patches, and a two-way zipper closure (meaning, you don’t have to get completely naked to pee). This is the kind of gift that you get for your bf, but really, you get it so you can steal it… if he’ll let you once he feels how f*cking cozy it is.

Drinkworks® Home Bar by Keurig®, $199

The chances you actually want to leave your house to get a cocktail in the winter are basically slim to none. However, I know there is no shot in hell I’d be able to make myself a cocktail I actually would enjoy drinking at home so this is where I run into a problem. But we have found the solution to that with the Drinkworks® Home Bar by Keurig®, which is exactly what it sounds like. Now you can make cocktails from the comfort of your own home without knowing a thing about mixology. The liquid-filled pods that you put in the machine come with all the ingredients already in it so you just have to stick it in the machine and voilà – a craft cocktail!

La Mer The Replenishing Moisture Collection, $245

La Mer is the sh*t, and even though it’s pricy AF, it’s worth the money. This three-piece mini regimen includes the Replenishing Oil Exfoliator, Moisturizing Soft Cream, and Renewal Oil, plus a chic little carrying case that you can definitely use as your go-to travel beauty case once you’ve gone through all the La Mer products.

Apple AirPods Pro, $249

Yeah, we getting bougie bougie in this section. To be honest, these kind of look like the sh*tty Skull Candy in-ear headphones I used to buy from Sam Goody, only without cords. But we as a society have decided AirPods are aspirational, so here they are on this list. You can get these engraved for free, which really ups the gift factor.

George The Jeweler Custom Name Necklace in 14K Gold, $259.99

Nameplate necklaces, so hot right now. Don’t just get a crappy one from Forever21, get a real, 14K gold, customizable nameplate necklace from the Kardashians’ jeweler. You can get it in yellow, white, or the still-somehow-trendy rose gold. I have one of these, and it’s legit my favorite thing.

Hale Bob Unity Lace Dress, $274

I feel like this dress is something one of the witches in AHS Coven would have worn when they were testing to see who the next Supreme would be, and I mean that in the best way because I honestly want it rn. And if you haven’t heard of the designer yet, pay attention, because Hale Bob has been featured in the likes of Vogue and Elle (and now, Betches!) and been worn by celebs like Jenna Dewan and Cheryl Burke.

MZ Wallace Travel Jim, $295

This bag is perfect for holding all the sh*t you need to travel with, or take to the gym, but it’s still lightweight. It comes in a number of cute colors and patterns, including the oh-so-trendy camo. (It’s also important to note that it isn’t an obnoxious camo.) Anyway, I feel like everyone needs a solid weekend bag, and this one from MZ Wallace is that bag.

Connex Frequent Flyer Hardside, $299

Before you come at me for this one, let me just say that all the luggage I’ve ever owned in my life has been a gift from my mom. So, this holiday season, maybe return the favor? This luggage is made by the same people as Swiss Army Knives, and is seriously legit. It’s got built-in space-saving features, plus a USB port, SIM card replacement tool, ID tag, and pen. 

Harrys of London Grace Nappa Sneakers, $425

I’ve participated in enough wedding gift giving that the thought of giving my college friend a crock pot infuriates me. I helped that girl do her first keg stand and now I’m supposed to act as if she’s some delicate homemaker? Chances are she’s going to want a pair of fancy AF shoes to change into at her wedding and these sneakers are the perfect gift to give as a group. So hit up those other bridesmaids and split the cost of this pricey but comfortable sneaker. Give the gift early enough and she’ll have these for her bachelorette party too. And you know she’ll be living in these on her honeymoon.

 

 

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The Betches 2019 Gift Guide: $50-$150

If the proliferation of Christmas music through my eardrums is any indication, it’s holiday season. That means it’s the one time of year when you have to think about other people and not just yourself (bummer). However, as a conceited person, I’ll say that there is no rush quite like the influx of praise you receive from buying someone the perfect gift. But that is hard to do, so I’ve rounded up some gifts that will get you those compliments you so badly need, organized by price point. Whether you’re ballin’ on a budget or straight ballin’ you can find something on this list.

Here are our best picks this holiday season between $50 and $150. For gift ideas that are a little more expensive or a little less expensive, check out our other two 2019 Gift Guides.

Pottery Barn Black Marble Wine Cooler, $59

I feel like when you get a wine cooler, you’ll know you’ve made it. Like, yeah, I need to cool my $12 wine, what about it? It’s imported and made of 100% marble, which just sounds fancy af. There’s also a white marble version if you’re not into the black… but like, if you don’t prefer black, who tf are you?

Vineyard Vines Holiday Pajama Pants, $65

If your boyfriend is still going to sleep in boxers that have holes in them, get him a pair of decent pajama pants, for god’s sake. They’re super soft, made of cotton, and come in a couple of festive patterns. They also come in a simple dark blue and green plaid if the recipient in question is allergic to patterns that are not a neutral.

BFFS & BABES Pastel Party Tie-Dye Cotton Fleece Pullover Sweatshirt, $68

Because all the fads you loved in the 90s but have since thrown out are BACK, tie-dye is in, so get you and your BFF a matching custom tie-dye sweatshirt. All BFFS & BABES sweatshirts are hand dyed and made to order, so you won’t have to worry about any gift overlap.

as|if by Nassif #FRESHSTART Regimen, $89

Composed of a #getwoke exfoliating cleanser and mask, #areweclear skin refining essence, and #youfeelme hydrocream moisturizer, this kit will seriously improve skin—but the names are so cute, it won’t seem like a backhanded gift. Plus, this sh*t really works, and smells amazing.

Brooklinen Super-Plush Robe, from $98

It’s hermiting weather, and what piece of attire is more perfect for that than a super-plush robe made of Turkish cotton? What about a super-plush robe made of Turkish cotton WITH POCKETS for your snacks?! Ya love to see it.

Fitbit Inspire HR, $99.95

For those of you who might poo-poo this idea, I literally gave my mom a Fitbit years ago, and she’s worn it every day ever since. I feel like there’s nothing worse than spending money on a gift for someone, and having them never use it. 

The Ruffino Prosecco Holiday Six-Pack, $100

This collab between Italian wine producer Ruffino and Brooklyn-based fashion designer Stickybaby is billed as “the ultimate gift for the Prosecco lover in your life,” but I think you should cut out anyone you know who doesn’t like Prosecco. Included are six mini Prosecco bottles and a transparent glitter tote—clear bags, so hot right now. Between the bag and the Prosecco, it’s a two-in-one gift.

Slip BEAUTY SLEEP TO GO! PINK TRAVEL SET, $119

I’m a skeptic about most things in life, so please trust me when I say that using a silk pillowcase has actually changed my life. And by life, I mean skin and hair, mostly. You know when you get a blowout and you spend two hours trying to devise a way to sleep that won’t f*ck it up? Yeah, you don’t have to do that anymore if you have a silk pillowcase. This travel set comes with a pillowcase and a sleep mask, and it also comes in—you guessed it—black.

Olivia Burton Eco Vegan-Friendly Midi Dial Watch, $120

I am decidedly extra, hence why I’m obsessed with the rose gold. This water-resistant watch has a vegan leather strap that’s made from 100% recycled materials, so you can feel good about giving it to someone. You can also personalize the band to make it that much more special. 

Onzie Black Rib Yoga Set, $126

These leggings are so cute, so comfortable, and if you wanted to buy them individually and not as a set, the $72 price tag is not terrible. Plus, as someone with wide hips and no waist, the M/L fit perfectly—no muffin top, and they’re not sliding down either. 

Briogeo Rose Quartz Crystal Energy Comb, $128

Look, am I the type of person who would drop a Benjamin (and then some) on a comb? No, but I also don’t believe in crystals, and I feel like the same type of person would appreciate this gift. According to the Briogeo website, rose quartz is “is a symbol of loving energy that clears away negativity.” So if you detangle your locks with it, you can “Comb away the day’s stress and tension to rebalance and restore your scalp and hair harmony.” At the very least, it looks pretty.

Man Crates Whiskey Appreciation Crate, $129

Yeah yeah, it’s a little gender-normative, but you can give this crate to anyone who’s into whiskey, regardless of gender. The crate includes a personalized hand-made whiskey decanter, 2 personalized Heavy Bottom Rocks Glasses, 2 Ice Sphere Molds, 2 Slate Coasters, a Whiskey Drinking Journal (helpful), and some nuts. I’m a tequila girl, but that all sounds pretty f*cking legit.

ColourPop The Big Box of Lippie Stix, $150

I f*cking love ColourPop because it’s legit the same lipstick as Kylie Cosmetics but for like, $5. That was not a typo. While you could spend a million dollars (not an accurate figure) getting every Colourpop lipstick you think you’ll look good in, you could just get ColourPop’s Big Box of Lippie Stix, which includes 48 of their best-selling universally flattering shades, for the lipstick lover in your life. That’s a $240 value, if you can do math.

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The Best Black Friday And Cyber Monday Deals On Beauty

Like many millennials with jobs, my beauty look is pretty consistent day-to-day, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have 82 tinted moisturizers, 41 mascaras, and about a million different facial mists. I like to mix it up, what can I say? If you, too, are an out-and-proud beauty junkie, welcome. It is my personal belief that the best time to buy beauty products is around Thanksgiving, because not only is everything cheap af, but everything is sold in sets. Yes. Please. Give me a million eyeshadows that have just slightly different undertones. Honestly, I love this holiday so much because we spend the whole day being grateful for all of the sh*t we have, but only until midnight when we’ll fight each other to the f*cking death at Target to get that 30% off KitchenAid mixer. #America, right? So if you fully embrace this holiday as a day of gluttony, scoop up these beauty deals before your friends do. 

Ulta

Obviously, I have to start with the DSW of beauty because it just has so much stuff to basically give away this holiday season. Because they have about a thousand different sales going on during Thanksgiving weekend, I’m just going to name the few brands I’d personally recommend. Let’s start with 25% off Macadamia Professional hair masques. If you’ve ever been in a drugstore, you’ve seen this brand’s hair products. I have been using the Deep Repair Masque since high school, and it’s never disappointed me. It’s meant for people with damaged hair, but as a bitch with proudly virgin hair (hold applause), I love it because it takes my hair to the next level in softness. If you think delayed gratification is stupid, you’ll love this masque because you’ll feel its effects immediately. 

Macadamia Professional Nourishing Repair Masque

Next is the BECCA Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette, which is 40% off, aka it’s $27, aka it’s free. Honestly, I don’t really wear eyeshadow because I don’t know how to put it on without looking like a toddler in drag, but the colors in this palette are pretty wearable. So if you stan an eyeshadow moment, this palette is for you. 

BECCA Volcano Goddess Eyeshadow Palette

And lastly, Ulta is offering 25% off a Chi 1-inch Ceramic Hairstyling Iron. I don’t have the time or the skills to give myself Serena-van-der-Woodsen-circa-season-one waves, so I don’t even try. However, every now and then after sleeping on wet hair for no reason at all, I wake up with a really unfortunate situation on my head, and this little hero can fix it within 10 minutes. I don’t usually curl my whole head, but a few chunks of hair throughout gives me that tousled look that I’m really feeling these days. I know what you’re thinking: wtf are you talking about, this is a hair straightener? To you, I say the most natural-looking waves come from flat irons! Twist your hair around the iron and gently pull the iron down the twist. I’m telling you, it’s never failed me. 

Chi 1 inch straightener

Chi Original 1” Ceramic Hairstyling Iron

Glow Recipe

Not going to lie, I discovered Glow Recipe at Urban Outfitters, and have been obsessed ever since. The relatively new brand is offering 20% off every single product on their website, so if you haven’t already added a slew of skin care to your cart, you’re behind, girl. Anyway, if you are the kind of person who can be seduced into buying something simply because the packaging is irresistible, get ready to purchase literally every damn Glow Recipe product. I have the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and am truly obsessed—mostly because it serves as a skin savior and decor on my dresser. Cute appearance aside, the mask itself is actually really good. It’s really moisturizing, but has a gel-like quality to it, so it doesn’t leave you feeling greasy and oily when you wake up. That ain’t cute. 

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Tatcha

This Japanese skin care brand is in pretty much every natural or ethical beauty store in the world and from November 28 through December, you can “play for a chance to get either 20% off your $100 purchase, 15% off your $75 purchase, or two free gifts with orders of $50 or more.” All of their products are cute and purple, but one of their products is truly better than the rest. I’m talking about the Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Before you judge me for spending more than I’d like to admit on what you’d call water, hear me out. It’s made with botanical oils and humectants, which are responsible for the dew, and tbh it smells so damn good that I literally smile when I spray it, and I don’t even smile at puppies walking by.

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist

Also, I recently learned that your moisturizer absorbs way better when your skin is moist (get over it) than when it’s bone dry. Think about it this way: your skin is like a sponge, and sponges don’t work until they’re damp, right? Another cult favorite from this brand is the Dewy Skin Cream, which I haven’t had the pleasure of trying because I am low on funds, but maybe I’ll hit the jackpot on their annoying Thanksgiving game and be able to afford it! 

Kevyn Aucoin

Get ready for the most niche Black Friday sale literally ever: Get 25% off your order and receive a free Exotique Diamond Eye Gloss in “Galaxy” when you spend $75 on November 29. Like, really? Only on November 29? Honestly, I’m sure I’ll get an email on November 30 that says, “We’re so nice and extending our sale!” The only reason I’m down for this annoyingly specific sale is because I’m so in love with my Neo Blush and feel like she needs friends. I’ve been dying to try the Sensual Skin Enhancer Concealer because it’s a really thick cream (as opposed to a solid, like most concealers are) and comes in a cute little pot. Also, I feel like if I have this, I could just dab it where I need it (because it’s thicc af and does its job) and not have to wear foundation or tinted moisturizer. 

Kevyn Aucoin Neo Blush

Stila

Stila is offering 35% off site-wide plus free shipping on all orders of $50 or more from November 29 through December 1 with the promo code BF35. I own one product from Stila that has truly defined my going out look to a T, and it is the Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner. Executing the perfect cat eye is hard, but Stila’s liner is actually really easy to use because it’s just a long tapered pen. So all you have to do is angle it as you draw, so the line gets thinner, and that’s pretty much it. Easy peazy. Anyway, Stila also has a pretty legit price point for a mid-level brand, so I fully support this sale. Another product I had and loved until I broke it by accident was the Aqua Glow Serum Foundation, because it was pretty full coverage but had the consistency of water, so it didn’t feel heavy or caked. 

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Drybar

I am more in love with my six-year-old Buttercup hair dryer than I am with the guy I’m seeing. Seriously. I have a lot of thick hair, so making sure it dries without going rogue is very important to me, and that’s why I have the Drybar one, the famous Josh Harry one, and, don’t judge me, the Dyson Supersonic. Drybar is shining down on thee and giving you 20% off all products, tools, and kits from November 21 through December 1. The Buttercup was the cheapest and oldest of the three I have, but it’s my OG and I use it every damn day. It weighs like, a pound, is pretty quiet, and does an excellent job. Generally, expensive hair dryers are better than drugstore ones because they use more power than they do heat, so they are less damaging to your hair. Cheaper hairdryers work in the opposite way, using more heat than watts, so you’re essentially frying your hair for longer. I also have the Drybar heat protectant, which smells so good that I leave it on my hands for as long as I can before the New York City subway system forces me to wash them. Luckily, the smell lingers in my hair for the entire day. By the way, Harry Josh is also having a Dermstore sale for 30% all of his products with the promo code DSGIFT from November 28 through December 2. His hair dryer is def cuter than the Buttercup, so if that matters to you, you can get it for a little less this holiday season!

Drybar Buttercup Blow-Dryer

L’Occitane

L’Occitane (pronounced “lox- ee- tahn”—you’re welcome) is giving us 20% off all full-size items with promo code CYBER from December 1 through 4, because they know no one is dragging their hungover asses to a store to buy their favorite hand cream. Speaking of which, I didn’t realize this brand sold anything besides hand cream until my grandmother gave me a beautifully packaged perfume (technically an eau de toilette) that smells so good that I spray it on my pillow before I go to sleep. It’s the Verbena scent, which is generally pretty clean with a hint of green tea. No complaints. 

L’Occitane Verbena Eau de Toilette

Images: Ulta; Glow Recipe; Tatcha; Kevyn Acoin; Stila; Drybar’ L’Occitane; Eco Warrior Princess / Unsplash

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

What To Bring To Friendsgiving If You Don’t Know The First Thing About Cooking

Thanksgiving is the ideal holiday for people who actually know their way around a kitchen. The holidays are essentially a dragged out humble-brag for wholesome girls who “love to cook” and “just wanted to share their new banana bread recipe with the friends they love most!!”. 

Cut to me: a gal who falls dead on the other end of the spectrum. One time I tried to make a Vietnamese spring roll that simply required me to buy some noodles and vegetables and roll them up into a single rice paper sheet—couldn’t even do that. So, you get where I’m at in terms of cooking for others. I am, therefore, taking the liberty of crowning myself an expert in NOT cooking, which makes me the perfect person to share ideas on what to bring to Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving dinner if you don’t know how to cook. And no, I’m not just going to tell you to go to the store and pick up a pumpkin pie—that’s amateur hour.

Alcohol That Isn’t Wine

You can pretty much bet on the hosts having wine already, or another guest bringing wine as a gift. So, instead of bringing a basic $25 red wine (because you felt too guilty buying the cheapest $12 option so you took it one notch up), bring a bottle of something that the hosts will actually remember. Skinnygirl cocktails are always unexpected and yummy, but still as fancy as wine. My personal favorite is the original Margarita flavor. Loverboy is another fun, low-calorie drink, and the packaging will automatically let it be known that “party’s here!!!” Or, if all else fails, bring a variety pack of spiked seltzer, since we as a collective society are still not done making memes about it.

Thanksgiving-Inspired Chips

I recently braved the Union Square Trader Joe’s (if you don’t live in NYC, just know that this Trader Joe’s location is almost as crowded and difficult to get into as, like, LIV nightclub in Miami), and had the amazing pleasure of sampling their Turkey and Stuffing Seasoned Kettle Chips. Not to be lame and get too overly excited about a chip, but I literally walked away thinking, “this is a party in my mouth!!” Okay, that got lame. Whatever. The chip truly tasted like turkey and then stuffing—magic! Pringles also came out with a roasted turkey flavor, now available in retailers nationwide. But if you do go this route, get a dip too so you don’t seem like a total cheapskate.

Ready-To-Bake Cookies

cookies

I know, I know—you saw that word “bake” and immediately kept scrolling. Don’t! You can do this! Ready-to-bake cookies literally only involve putting the cookie dough rounds (that are already all evenly cut up for you) on a cookie sheet, and putting them into the oven. You do not need to be Paul Hollywood to pull this off—all you need to be able to do is set a timer. If you don’t know how to use the oven, take deep breaths and text your Mom. Pillsbury knows that you are useless and uneducated in the kitchen, and has turkey-shaped sugar cookies just for you that are on-theme, easy and delicious. *Chef’s kiss.*

A Salad

As someone whose cooking-incompetent mother has used this trick for years, I’m confident that people who don’t cook can still put together a really amazing and tasty salad. The ingredients don’t even have to be anything crazy. Simply find a unique dressing at one of those super expensive local health markets (like The Health Nuts), and people will rave about the salad. Trust me, I have seen the positive reactions with my own two eyes throughout many years of the same boring salad from my Mom (sorry, Mom)! 

Here are a few detailed options (with links to ingredients you may be overwhelmed by):

Wild rice salad: Arugula, tomatoes, wild rice, shaved almonds, sweet potatoes (optional, my mom always forgets to add the sweet potatoes, #shocker, and it still tastes great), and Greek vinaigrette
Asian salad: Chopped up cabbage, chopped up peanuts, sesame seeds, tofu/chicken (optional), and ginger dressing
Garden salad: Mixed greens, avocado, dried cranberries/cherries, croutons, sweet potatoes, hummus (optional), walnuts, and avocado vinaigrette 

Also, bring pita for extra brownie points. 

Cranberry Cocktail Ingredients

Note that I did NOT write “cranberry vodka.” That was intentional. This isn’t your college bar. Let’s rebrand the cranberry vodka to a more sophisticated, classy Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving cocktail with cranberry juice, seltzer, vodka or gin, and some actual, fresh cranberries and lime to float inside the drink. Maybe even bring champagne flutes to complete the “fancy cocktail” package. Do a sugar rim if you’re extra fancy.

Roasted Veggies

As my friend ingeniously told me over dinner the other night, the one thing everyone always forgets to bring to a Friendsgiving is veggies. I thought about it, and realized she was 100% right.  When it comes to friendsgivings, everyone’s falling over themselves to bring a pumpkin pie, mac ‘n cheese, mashed potatoes, etc., and you have nothing green at the table. But roasting veggies is so easy. Just buy a bunch of asparagus, onions, peppers, or literally whatever else you want. Toss them in olive oil, season with salt and pepper (and other spices if you’re fancy), put them all on a pan, and roast at 400 degrees. Check on it after like, 20 minutes to make sure you didn’t burn anything.

Banana Bread

To that girl in the office who ALWAYS brings banana bread in—we’re onto you. Banana bread is SO easy to make and requires very few ingredients. Just get:

You literally just have to mix up the bananas, sugar, egg, and butter. Then mix the flower, baking soda, and salt, and add the banana mix into that. Then you bake that whole thing at 325 degrees for about an hour in your new pan. So, watch out, designated office baker. 

To the non-cooking betches out there: stay confident in your gifts! No, bagged chips might not be the “homemade dish” that was technically requested on the invite, but they are equally as tasty—so who cares?

Images: Element5 Digital/ Unsplash; Christine Siracusa/ Unsplash; Jeff Siepman/ Unsplash; Jez Timms/Unsplash; Taylor Kiser/ Unsplash; Erol Ahmed/ Unsplash; Emiliano Vittoriosi/ Unsplash; Mae Mu/ Unsplash;