In lieu of making any lists of things I loved this year (and you know I love me my lists), I'm just gonna shed a little light on loved ones who ought to be on someone's list.
If you are looking for a Holiday Party, go to Chip Kidd's band's performance at Dixon Place on the 29th. I know you're thinking Chip doesn't need any more attention than he already gets, but this is different because it's a paid admission concert. But go. Just go.
You get to listen to ArtBreak, which is actually pretty good, and hear Chip's jokes, which are even better. You might even get to see Dash Shaw, and who doesn't want to do that? My "eyes" water every time I see him...
If you are looking for Gifts, I can think of nothing better than a subscription to Cabinet Magazine, which is something of a publishing mystery: people love it but not enough people know about it. If you want to give something a little less pretentious, you could also get Hanakuma's Tokyo Zombie: One of the funniest things I've ever been grossed out by. Translated by ill iterate's own boy-toy Ryan "Electric Ant" Sands.
Speaking of unpretentious trannies, you should also be buying volumes of Museyon Guides and Detroit Metal City and Missin. [It's not shameless self-promotion if I'm not ashamed.]
But if you are seeking a lifetime of gratitude and joy from someone, you will get them...
My working a bit with the Digital Harinezumi-maker, Powershovel, notwithstanding (but there's your full disclosure), in terms of gadgets, this little video-camera has brought me more joy, more whimsy, more happiness, than my first tape deck, CD player, digital camera and three iPhones did... combined. I've been doing my daily Tromso video journal with this thing and love everything it's produced. It would make genital herpes look good.
If you need better reasons to explore Brooklyn south of the BQE and east of the Gowanus, Light Industry has it. Some really interesting film curation going on in this Sunset Park-based venue/organization, and one of the only email newsletters I look forward to getting. For something less pretentious and closer to the G train: New Sound Karaoke. Gender-banging "not in a K-box" sort-of-completely-queer karaoke.
If you need a reason to leave the country, Couchsurfing might be it. I've just learned about this organization in Norway, but it's basically global hitchhiking in the digital age and actually works.