Bitch in a Box: Gift Guide for Winter Hibernators

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This month, we're posting a series of gift guides to highlight the work of our favorite artists and groups, plus to offer ideas for finding presents for the people you love. This edition of Bitch in a Box is a gift guide for winter hibernators. 

A bear hides its face in its paws
Hey, bear, have you seen ESPN's Nine for IX documentary series? You'll be riveted, I promise.

We all know one. Some of us are one. The winter hibernator may not be the most seasonally sociable of your friends, family members, or other loved ones, but they are among the most rewarding to buy stuff for. As long as it's a present that doesn't require them to set foot outside during the long, cold winter months, they'll most likely love it.


a selection of vegetables from a CSA boxa stack of nine different kinds of cheese

If there's a winter hibernator in your life, they know to take tips from the pros (the pros = bears) and stock up on food for the cold months. To that end, you can't go wrong giving a something-of-the-month club to this person. Are they super into tea? Tea-of-the-month club. Are they ready to make like all four Golden Girls with dessert? Cheesecake-of-the-month club. Beer? Cheese? Boom and boom. A weekly or biweekly CSA box is also a great way to say, “I get your whole winter thing, but please don't forget to eat vegetables.”


two people wearing swants and striking poses
Swants: They're just that exciting!

Comfort is key for the winter hibernator; if you're going to curl up for the entire season, do you really want to do so in skinny jeans and a wide belt? Me neither. To that end, my fellow homebodies and I are all over the new hotness that are swants. Swants are pants either made from sweaters or made from sweater-ish material, and they are as delicious as they are ridiculous to say. I bought mine at Target, but if you want to make a serious swant statement with your gift, there are some great tutorials out there with instructions on converting existing sweaters to these wonder pants. (If you want to give the best present ever, there's only one word: cashmere.) Either way, don't expect your winter hibernator to take these babies off until April at the earliest.


a woman wearing an orange Napsack, hands over her head

An ecstatic Napsack owner.

In other comfortwear ideas: I don't own a Poler Napsack myself, but former Bitch Media art director Briar Levit does, and hasn't stopped either wearing it or talking about it since Thanksgiving. If you're unfamiliar with the Napsack,  it's basically a wearable lightweight sleeping bag with a hood and a convertible bottom, meaning you can wear it full-length or roll it up around your waist and cinch it like a jacket. Though it was originally designed for camping, winter hibernators like Briar and Girls's Hannah Horvath have adopted it for indoor use. If you're planning to stay under a blanket as much as possible through the chilly winter months, the Napsack's functional design and somewhat retro colors make it both more practical and cooler-looking than a Snuggie. It also comes in kids' sizes for your mini hibernator.


the James Dean box set of filmsMary Poppins anniversary edition 

Many winter hibernators are also, conveniently enough, pop culture obsessives. For them, you've got a great deal of choice in the realm of gifts whose entire point is that leaving the house is for suckers. The hibernating film completist on your list will love The Complete James Dean Collection, a box set of the actor's iconic films Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, and East of Eden, or the 50th-anniversary re-release of Mary Poppins on Blu-ray and DVD, which includes a “Mary-oke” feature for those folks who know every song by heart. Hibernating sports fans will love ESPN's collection Nine for IX, a wonderful set of films about female athletes inspired by the 40th anniversary of Title IX and directed by such rising stars as Ava DuVernay.


THE CHINA BEACH BOX SETAbsolutely Fabulous box set

The TV lover with a flair for binge-watching, meanwhile, will tuck into new sets like Absolutely Fabulous: Absolutely All of It, the Dexter collection (its DVD or Blu-ray discs are housed in a collectible blood-slide box!), or the first-time ever release of ladycentric war drama China Beach.


An image of cats in fancy period costumes  brightly illustrated cover of Thrill Murray

If there are hibernating readers on your list, there's tons to choose from: Photo books like Humans of New York, based on the popular blog, will get your winter hibernator vaguely excited about leaving the house (eventually). Collections like The Most of Nora Ephron or The Best of McSweeney's will have them doubling down on blankets. Humorous takes on pop culture like Downton Tabby pretty much speak for themselves. And for a nostalgic, kidlike thrill, pair a brand-new box of crayons with Thrill Murray, the Bill Murray coloring book you never knew you or anyone else needed.



It has to be said that not all winter hibernation is the hibernator's choice; for many, seasonal affective disorder plays a role in their temperament and habits this time of year. For those folks, you might consider a light-therapy box, which mimics the sunshine and for many people can ease the effects of SAD. Full-spectrum lights come in different forms—an adjustable desk lamp may be a good choice for someone who'll be using the lamp when writing, drawing, or doing homework, while a floor lamp is great for readers, crafters, and TV watchers. There are even portable models for the winter hibernator who's grudgingly traveling.

So happy gifting! And to my fellow winter hibernators, see you in the spring!

Read more of Bitch's gift guides here.

by Andi Zeisler
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Andi Zeisler is the cofounder of Bitch Media and the author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. You can find her on Twitter.

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