Glowbox Gifting

Now that Thanksgiving's getting out of the way, let's move on to the next holiday. Even the word "Christmas" gives me anxiety—there's the good, sure, but until the actual day, I'm more caught up with avoiding the 5-mile radius surrounding South Coast Plaza, getting through my shopping list, baking enough cookies to go around, and keeping up with holiday print deadlines.

To help, especially with those picky gals on your lists, presenting my mini holiday gift guide.

A mostly U.K. tradition, Christmas crackers are those tubes of cardboard resembling oversized candies you see at specialty holiday shops—brightly decorated in some kind of Christmas-y, red/green/gold/snowflake/reindeer theme, the ends of the tube feature twists of paper. The idea is that two people each grab one end of the cracker and pull: A quiet bang signals the cracker popping open, and out fall small toys, paper party hats and jokes written on slips of paper.

Pretty boring, actually.

Luckily, longtime-favorite beauty line Lancôme has released its own special editions of the Christmas cracker—ones filled with tubes of lipstick, mascara and travel-sized bottles of its awesome serums, lotions and toners. The online storefront to the U.K.-based Selfridges is exclusively offering six crackers, all wrapped in Lancôme wrap, for $59.97 (or £38). In short, it's a good gift for that gal you have no idea how to shop for. Exclusively available at for international delivery by phone order: +44 113 369 8040.

You know what got me with this one? The sparkly, sparkly box.

Glowbox is a way to send updated, contemporary versions of the good ol' gift basket to your friends and family. Only this time, instead of apples, jars of nuts, jams and crackers, you'll be sending individually gift-wrapped items such as organic Belgium chocolate, Vera Bradley photo albums, gourmet cupcake mix and bottles of French lotions all tucked inside a glittery gift box.

The only problem? Glowbox just recently launched, and its website could use a little improvement (and maybe lose that DMB quote, dudes). As of publishing, you can't customize every item in each box. offers offers the too-simple option selections of price range ($50 to $10,000), occasion (with some head-scratchers, including "Gift for Later" and "Some in Need") and a couple of additional fields in which you can leave notes on what the gift is for, whom the gift is for and if there's anything else they can throw in there for you.

It's worth noting that there is a charitable component: Each order is matched with a donation to someone in need. And each sparkly box is topped with a tag that offers a unique tracking code that lets you see exactly to whom and what Glowbox donated on your behalf. Find more information at


This column appeared in print as "The Gift of Glowbox."


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