Tsk the Season

Oh, holidays. Sometimes you’re so good to us, yet sometimes so bad. Nary a season goes by without roller-coaster ups and downs, bumps and bruises, awesomeness and awkwardness. Thus, we turn to our nearest and dearest for heelarious stories of holidays past. Who could ask for a better present?…

Cathy Horyn (Fashion Critic, New York Times)

The best gift I ever got was… a pair of cowboy boots and a cowboy hat (black with white details and a braided cord) when I was five. Even to a little girl in Ohio it signaled: “Outta here!”
The best gift I ever gave was… 333 daffodil bulbs in Central Park to my boyfriend. It’s a lucky number for him.
The worst gift I ever gave was… the inevitable (but sometimes so necessary!) regift.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… potentially the worst holiday moment. I had to fly to Japan on Christmas Day for an assignment. That was a bit depressing—but then the woman next to me, from North Carolina, told me that she’s going to meet the Japanese relatives of the woman who had given her up for adoption some 40 years earlier. That was an inspiring journey.

Viktor & Rolf (Designers)

The worst gift I ever gave was… wardrobe deodorant.
The best gift I ever got was… something involving diamonds.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… more.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… publishing our own book of fairytales.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… spent waiting under the mistletoe.

Michel Gaubert (Sound Designer)

The worst gift I ever gave was… a computer to my mother and I still regret it to this day. She thinks my phone number is a helpline.
The best gift I ever got was… a rhino biscuit from Manufaktur Nymphenburg.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… him to take his robe off first.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… when the bells got jingled.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… when I got so drunk stuffing the turkey that I was asleep before midnight.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… I never wore one. I’m more into elves, reindeer or bears.
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… I really did roast chestnuts on an open fire.
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… I felt like dancing.

Sonia Rykiel (Designer)

The best gift I ever gave was… a Giacometti sculpture.
The worst gift I ever gave was… There are no bad gifts. They are all a loving gesture!
The best gift I ever got was… a diamond in a chocolate croissant.
The worst gift I ever got was… Again, there are no bad gifts.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… dinner at the Grand Vefour and a night at the Crillon with him.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… a road trip through Colorado with an Italian director.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… at a beautiful hotel in the French countryside. I closed the door behind me by accident and found myself half-naked in the hall, waiting for someone to let me back into my room!

Stephen Jones (Milliner)

The best gift I ever gave was… a holiday in Vegas.
The worst gift I ever gave was… that same holiday in Vegas.
The best gift I ever got was… going up in a hot-air balloon.
The worst gift I ever got was… plastic cufflinks.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… the pattern of that cute hat.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… going to see Derek Jarman’s amazing objet trouvés garden in Dungeness on Christmas day.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… in 1965, having Velcro on my new wallet in church on Christmas morning. Whilst removing a coin for the collection I deafened the entire congregation.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… I go-go danced in my shop window at our Christmas party.
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… Actually, Leigh Bowery put acid in it, and when I was trying to drive home the road started going very wavy and flowers appeared everywhere.

Lorenzo Martone (Co-Founder, ARC Talent Agency)

The best gift I ever gave was… to Marc, a rabbit sculpture by these Swiss artists called Andres. It has long ears and the inside is solid silver. Marc had taken me to the gallery De Vera to see it probably four times and always commented on how much he liked it. So for his 45th birthday I surprised him. I bought it and had it delivered at home when I knew he’d be there to answer the door. It made him so happy. We named “her” Rita the Rabbit.
The worst gift I ever gave was… when Sonia Rykiel came out with those chic sex toys. I gave one of them, a rabbit vibrator, to a friend of mine in front of his friends who were not aware he was gay. DA RA MA! (I guess rabbits are a theme for my gifts.)
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… only spiritual matters, like good health and happiness. But now that we’re moving away from Soho, a car would make me very happy. Please, Santa, a new Audi or BMW would be great.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… when I was in this fabulous house for Christmas Eve dinner with lots of cool people. We’re all eating and being happy, but by the end of dinner I had this piece of lettuce or some sort of salad bit hanging from my beard—and no one told me. I only found out when we looked at the pictures, and there was me with a green beard. Not cute.
Another embarrassing holiday moment was… when I was a kid. Santa arrived very late, but I was waiting, half asleep. He jumped through the window and I got so scared I pissed my pants. It was quite memorable.

Katie Grand (Editor-in-Chief, LOVE Magazine)

If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask… to wake up and look like Daria.

Mandi Lennard (Publicist)

The best gift I ever gave was… My neighbour Mavi had a farewell dinner for friends on Saturday as she just went home to Italy for the holidays, and I gave her a Barbie x Jeremy Scott trench coat, which she was flipping over. Artist Matthew Stone cooked the vegetables, i-D beauty editor Hanna Hanra made the chicken, and stylist Matthew Josephs made a massive apple crumble.
The worst gift I ever gave was… I bought most friends metallic pan scourers with faces on them from the store Tokyo Hands. So far they’re going down very well, considering they were £2 each.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… an Hermès Constance handbag.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… going to Salts Mill for the first time in Saltaire village, a David Hockney gallery and arts space founded by the wonderful Jonathan Silver in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… leaving a present at home and having to buy flowers from a petrol station.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… I just got back from Tokyo where I bought an Elmo all-in-one from Kiddieland. I guess that’s the nearest I’d ever get to that. And why would I ever want to wear a Santa suit anyway?
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… There was lots of mistletoe at St Tropez CEO Michelle Feeney’s party at her house in St John’s Wood last weekend. No one was snogging, but it was big fun hanging out with Kim Sion, Todd Lynn, Zandra Rhodes, Roksanda Ilincic and Marios Schwab.

Nadine Johnson (Publicist)

The best gift I ever gave was… cashmere socks to a man who already had everything.
The worst gift I ever got was… purple polyester underwear from Youknowwho.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… peace of mind.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… a night in Guatemala with my 12-year-old son.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… falling asleep jetlagged at the dinner table with the family in Brussels.

Michael Musto (Village Voice columnist and author of the upcoming book Fork on the Left, Knife in the Back)

The best gift I ever gave was… Michael Jackson paper dolls.
The worst gift I ever gave was… a nutcracker in the shape of a gold squirrel. You place the nut in its mouth, then it chomps down. The person I gave it to (two days ago) said, “What is it?”
The best gift I ever got was… a chemistry set when I was a teen.
The best gift I ever got was… a coffee table book too heavy to bring to the Strand.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… some lube.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… finding that the Chinese buffet we go to was 10% off.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… buying Snuggies for the whole family. I bought them in November and dutifully wrapped them up, but then a friend came over for Thanksgiving and gave everyone…Snuggies! My gift was upstaged, but I gave it anyway.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… it fit! Horrible!
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… I almost kissed a woman!
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… Ditto!

Hilary Alexander (Fashion Director, Daily Telegraph)

The worst gift I ever got was… an ant farm (just add earth and ants).
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… Pre-Raphaelite hair!
My most inspiring holiday moment was… on the Isle of Skye, camping in a tent with an ex-boyfriend, listening to Rachmaninoff, cooking steaks on a tiny gas camping stove, drinking red wine and looking at the stars.

Richard Buckley

The best gift I have ever got was… and is, Tom’s dedicating A Single Man to me.
The worst gift I ever got was… a carousel horse figurine from my father. It was beyond queer, and I am sure he thought that because I am gay that I’d like it. It is the only gift I ever refused to accept.

Douglas Keeve (Director of Unzipped, Seamless, Hotel Gramercy Park)

The best gift I ever gave was… a crate of horse-meat sausage (delicious, by the way) for my mother that I had schlepped from Italy. She thanked me and, after I left, threw it in the trash.
The worst gift I ever gave was… for my mother again. One year I gave her extravagant gifts. She cried and said I ruined her Christmas. Sometimes you just can’t win.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… a singing role on Glee.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… a cheap hotel in Kerala, India, for Christmas 1989—curry, mosquito bites and crabs.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… at a Christmas party in Brentwood. I stepped back and fell into a pool with a plateful of chicken wings. They float.


Waris Ahluwalia (Jewelry Designer, Actor)

The best gift I ever got was… a brick of baby gouda and a baguette as I headed off to Prague by train all by myself at the age of 20. Baby gouda goes a long way.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… a 1968 Dodge Charger, black with a black vinyl top. Not the matchbox version.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… This was the first time I was in a Santa suit (see picture). The next time will be when I have a white beard.

Kurt Andersen (Novelist and host of public radio’s Studio 360)

The best gift I ever gave was… a softball-sized glass sphere containing 25 loose, sizable pearls set on a bed of 10,000 loose, teeny, granular pearls—the three components of which I purchased separately.
The worst gift I ever got was… a tie—that is, not a necktie but two different gifts on two different Christmases: a broken (hideous) mug and a string of (ugly) ceramic beads, both from the same former in-law.
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… my hot blonde third grade teacher, Miss Welch, grabbed my face in both her hands and kissed me, thereby creating both intense embarrassment and my earliest sexual memory.

Alexandre Herchcovitch (Designer)

The best gift I ever gave was… I always give good gifts, but once I gave the same Tiffany key ring to the same person.
The best gift I ever got was… People always say that it is so difficult to buy me gifts. I hate that sentence. It is an excuse. I am easy—chocolate or flowers.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… Some free days on the beach before Sao Paulo Fashion Week.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… Honeymoon in Bahia at the Vila Naia, the best hotel ever.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… ten hours driving from Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo after New Year’s Eve in bad traffic with three dogs and no air conditioner.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… I never did that! Not enough of a belly yet!
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… Actually we do not have it in Brazil. I tried it at Starbucks once and I loved it so much that I had it five times a day every day after that, one after the other.

Jeremy Scott (Designer)

The best gift I ever got was… the giant Helmut Newton “Sumo” book for Christmas. (Thanks, Karl!)
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… a custom-made white leather harness and matching biker boots.

Threeasfour (Designers)

The best gift I ever gave was… Threeasfour all over, head to toe.
The best gift I ever got was… love.
The worst gift I ever got was… promises.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… tips!
My most inspiring holiday moment was… friends and spirits.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… sitting on Santa’s lap.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer tried to pick me up.
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… Santa stepped on my toe.

Jean Charles de Castelbajac (Designer)

The best gift I ever gave was… a long bow made in England by a descendant of an Azincourt archer.
The worst gift I ever gave was… a baby crocodile.
The best gift I ever got was… a black 1956 vintage Willys jeep I named the Bat Mobile.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask… to see more of my grandson Balthazar, but I would never sit on a man’s lap.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… white fireworks in the snow.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… when the tree caught fire with all the presents!
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… I never wear red.
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… I prefer Bullshot at the Cresta Club in Gstaad.
One time… I designed the [holiday interior of] BHV department store. It was an electro Christmas, very modern with no Santa Claus.
One time, when I was young… I had no christmas.

Christopher Owens (Singer-songwriter of the band GIRLS)

The best gift I ever gave was… My heart. Silly me, people want material things.
The best gift I ever got was… a fat holiday bonus from my boss.
The worst gift I ever got was… a tree that someone planted in my name.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask… him to let me off. I don’t like that character one bit.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… smashing pumpkins. It’s hella fun.
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… singing god-damned Christmas carols at an old folks home. What a bunch of drug addicts.
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… I got fat.
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… I got lucky. People are suckers for that mistletoe mumbo jumbo.

Cody Critcheloe (aka SSION)

The worst gift I ever gave was… a 6-foot-tall bong to my roommate who happened to declare two days earlier that she wasn’t gonna smoke pot anymore.
The best gift I ever got was… a BB gun when I was in the first grade. I still have it and use it.
If I could sit on Santa’s lap, I’d ask for… a new body and a hot Latino boyfriend who’s really good at math and hates fashion. I’d also like some new shoes, a laptop and a $500 gift card to Walmart.
My most inspiring holiday moment was… getting stoned with my cousin while driving around in his pickup truck talking about life—srsly!
My most embarrassing holiday moment was… getting read by my aunt and grandmother for wearing too much mascara.
One time, when I wore a Santa suit… Never have, but I totally would. I’m embarrassed that I haven’t.
One time, when I drank spiked egg nog… I love egg nog, but I hate booze. I’d rather smoke a joint and then drink a gallon of egg nog.
One time, when I stood under the mistletoe… nothing happened.

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