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2018 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year! Are you excited? I am. Are you ready to window shop, actual shop, and live vicariously through pretty pictures and fun descriptions? I AM.

Every year I put together a holiday gift guide with the aim of featuring quality, interesting items at all price points, for a variety of giftees. From stocking stuffers to big gifts, from grandparent to baby, I hope you'll find a gift idea (or two) for everyone on your list. 

Previous gift guides still have lots of good choices, so don't miss them: 20142014 part 220152016, 2017.

Some affiliate links used, but none of these items are sponsored.

Don’t forget to sign up for Ebates so you can get cash back on your purchases. That’s my link, but it’s just good sense!

Happy browsing, happy shopping, happy everything!


1. For all the queen bees on your list, these adorable petite bee earrings. Because bees.

 Photo from papersource.com

Photo from papersource.com

2. A classic game. Made of handsome maple and comes apart for flat storage. There’s also one you can personalize, by making the holes letters.

 Photo from uncommongoods.com.

Photo from uncommongoods.com.

3. Can we please take a moment to admire these stripes? Cornishware is a British classic for all kinds of homewares in a variety of colors. Platters, pitchers, bowls, creamers, pick your poison. I don’t need any more mugs but I sure do want the big fat blue ones with the big comfy handle. Shipping direct from the UK to the US is pricey but you can find some things on Amazon or at other retailers.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

4. My husband and I are kind of obsessed with this Swedish military lip balm, which I can’t say is a sentence I ever expected to type. It’s so moisturizing and I notice the difference when I forget to put it on at night. (Not for vegans or people with nut allergies.)

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

5. I am really into these reclaimed root wood dishes that come in a variety of sizes at reasonable prices. Platters, snack bowls, ring dishes, or just about anything you can think of. It would make a lovely and unusual hostess gift.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

6. Honeysticks: natural, nontoxic crayons in various shapes and sizes. These chubby ones for toddlers are charming and also harder for grabby baby paws to snap. Excellent reviews, 100% pure beeswax salvaged from honey production. Environmentally friendly and apparently they smell great.

 Photo from Amazon.com.

Photo from Amazon.com.

7. Speaking of toddlers, this sweet coloring book uses simple line drawings to teach numbers, letters, and basics to early learners. Handwriting is proven to help us learn, and I love that this marries education and fun.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

8. OONTZ! A very affordable portable bluetooth speaker with excellent reviews and a name I wish I had thought of. Almost 30,000 reviews, 4.5 stars, $25. My husband has this and really likes it. For anyone, really, but it might be especially good for those who like to be outside, like music wherever they go, teach, do yoga, have a workshop or patio or garden or pool, exercise, or, well, you get the idea.

 Photo from Amazon.com.

Photo from Amazon.com.

9. A classic fruitcake. Wait, where are you going?! (I hear this one is actually good.) (It’s made by monks. This is true and not a thing I made up.)

 Photo from williamssonoma.com

Photo from williamssonoma.com

10. My husband swears by this space pen. (“Take the pen"!”) Writes in all conditions, like being cold, wet, or on the moon. So get it for your favorite camper, garage tinkerer, mechanic, purse carrier, or astronaut.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

11. Fidget blocks. About the size of a deck of cards, makes shapes from geometric to animals and just anything you can come up with. Good for the one on your list who can’t sit still, gets writer’s block, or is forever tearing their stress balls to shreds.

 Photo from uncommongoods.com

Photo from uncommongoods.com

12. Listen, there’s just probably going to be a blanket on this thing every year. Maybe you feel like you don’t need more blankets, and that’s fine, but my ideal world involves 17 cozy blankets on every piece of furniture, so this is happening. This year’s blanket is soft, affordable, offered in many colors, has excellent reviews, and comes personally recommended by my friend Elizabeth, the original queen of the gift guide. Thank you, E. I want this in ten shades of pale blue, soft cream, and light gray.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

13. Maybe they can do these crossword puzzles while using the blanket and look just like the picture on the cover.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

14. To complete the coziness, throw in one of these adorable macaron candles from one of my favorite candle brands, Voluspa. Your giftee can reuse the container for bits and bobs.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

15. Speaking of candles, this USB rechargeable flameless lighter will be handy for the eco-friendly candle lover, griller, or camper in your life.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

16. A kickball. Regulation adult or child sizes.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

17. And bases! They come in orange and white from various retailers for all your sporty backyard shenanigans.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

18. If you need a hostess gift, especially if it’s a party where everyone else will surely be bringing wine, can I recommend a festive hand soap? An upgrade to, or special version of, an everyday item makes a great gift, and everyone’s got to wash their hands (and if they don’t, you shouldn’t eat the food at that party anyway). Mrs. Meyer’s always has a good selection. The photo shows Iowa Pine, Orange Clove, and Peppermint but check your local stores for current scents and the best prices. And if you’re feeling a tidge fancier, Williams-Sonoma has got you covered. Slap a bow on a bottle and you’re good to go.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

19. A 4Ocean bracelet. Buying one bracelet made from recycled materials takes one pound of trash out of the ocean. Different colors for different causes, with new ones all the time. This clear and white version supports polar bear conservation.

 Photo from 4ocean.com.

Photo from 4ocean.com.

20. Vanilla powder from my favorite local coffee shop. Delicious, sweet, and creamy. They whisk it into espresso, pour it over ice, and call it the Best Drink Ever. They have named it correctly. I bet it would be aces in a cup of Earl Grey or hot chocolate, too, and you can order online.

 Image from betterbuzzcoffee.com.

Image from betterbuzzcoffee.com.

21. Allbirds. Made from recycled and sustainable materials, these comfy shoes in classic silhouettes are all the rage. Range of colors and styles for adults and kids. Take a run, ride the couch, or hit the grocery store in these bad boys.

 Photo from allbirds.com

Photo from allbirds.com

22. Bombas socks. Whether you choose athletic, casual, or dress styles, one pair is donated for every pair purchased. For adults and kids, lots of colors and styles.

bombas athletic socks

23. I am very fond of ban.do for many things, especially their fun notebooks, and you might be familiar with founder Jen Gotch. Jen has been very open about her mental health struggles, and now offers a line of necklaces in support of reducing stigmas around mental health, with proceeds going to a nonprofit. I think any from this line might be a particularly thoughtful gift for the right person in your life. I have the one that says “Anxiety”.

 Photo from ban.do.

Photo from ban.do.

24. While you’re there, check out one of my favorite notebooks.

 Photo from ban.do.

Photo from ban.do.

25. I’ve long admired this bay wreath from Williams-Sonoma. Gorgeous and classic, and the leaves can be used for cooking after its fresh beauty has been enjoyed. Make sure you order with plenty of time for your recipient to get it.

 Photo from williamssonoma.com

Photo from williamssonoma.com

26. Who knew you can buy a bike rack for your home?! Perfect for someone who’s always cursing while tripping over a bike.

 photo from amazon.com

photo from amazon.com

27. This cool little bike kit might be the perfect stocking stuffer for the casual cyclists and beach cruisers on your list, or for that swear stifler.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

28. This shawl-neck sweatercoat is very well made. It’s gorgeous in person, heavyweight, and an absolute classic. Designed and made in the USA.

 Photo from bestmade.com

Photo from bestmade.com

29. I would have died for this jump rope when I was 7.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

30. Throw in this book of rhymes for your favorite jumper and their friends! (And consider buying them two jump ropes in that case.)

jump rope rhymes

31. Nueske’s bacon sampler. I’m pretty sure I’ve shared this on a previous guide, and I’m not sorry. It’s the best bacon there is. Try their kielbasa, too.

 Photo from nueskes.com.

Photo from nueskes.com.

32. A beautiful handmade stoneware salad serving bowl from a sustainable, eco-conscious brand.

 Photo from theultimategreenstore.com

Photo from theultimategreenstore.com

 Photo from papersource.com

Photo from papersource.com

34. You really can’t go wrong with a Turkish towel. It can be used as a towel, picnic blanket, shawl, scarf, table cover, runner, light blanket, or about a million other things. Choose a neutral tone like this white and gray if you don’t know your recipient’s preference. Lots of choices out there, so shop around. For what it’s worth, I’m using this one as a table runner as we speak.

 Photo from nordstrom.com

Photo from nordstrom.com

35. A magnetic wristband for people who work with lots of little metal bits. On vehicles or boats, in a woodshop, around the house, or if you’re feeling jokey, for anyone who’s always losing their keys. This might be a good white elephant/Yankee swap/gift exchange choice. 500 reviews, 4.5 stars, $12.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

36. Maybe pair it with this lovely book, which has a forward by American treasure Nick Offerman.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

37. I love an ornament. How about this reindeer who’s gotten herself into a bit of a festive pickle?

 Photo from potterybarn.com

Photo from potterybarn.com

38. I am very into this softy-soft, chicy-chic cashmere beret, which is less than $30 at H&M.

 Photo from hm.com

Photo from hm.com

39. These very cool American Sign Language blocks. Uncle Goose makes lots of cool blocks for decor and learning, featuring languages, guitar chords, constellations, science, and more.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

40. Last year, I featured Formulary55’s gorgeous soaps. I didn’t realize they also had candles! This Tobacco & Tea candle was recently posted on their Instagram account and immediately went on my list. The packaging on all their products is just so beautiful, and is topped only by their lovely scents and excellent quality.

 Photo from formulary55.com.

Photo from formulary55.com.

41. These very fancy playing cards. Ideal for stockings, game lovers, magicians, and hard-to-shop-for people. At about $10, they're not that expensive for an item that feels like pure luxury. Theory11 makes some beautiful and interesting sets, and their collection is worth browsing. The SNL ones would make a fun gift for the right person, and the Product(RED) set would be a good choice too.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

43. I’m quite a big fan of Nordstrom’s Moonlight pajama line. Their sets are a favorite that have shown up in previous guides, and I really like this soft, menswear-inspired nightshirt. Recently though, their house brand has come out with a few versions of these incredibly soft nightshirts and they’re my new favorite. They have a little bit of detailing in the sleeve, but it’s hard to tell from the picture. So simple, so perfect.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

44. Maybe pair a pajama set with some of my favorite sheet masks. (I really like the age-defying one, but up to you whether that would be seen by your recipient as a subliminal message.)

 Photo from karuna.com.

Photo from karuna.com.

45. I hear these Scandinavian backpacks are all the rage with the youths which, again, is not a sentence I ever envisioned typing. I do love the clean design on this. Many colors, different sizes, offered by various retailers. Water resistant!

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

46. Maybe your house is multi-denominational, like mine, in which case this menorah Christmas tree ornament might be the perfect choice.

 Photo from potterybarn.com

Photo from potterybarn.com

47. Hand-dyed tenuguis: a traditional Japanese fabric square for your pocket, your wall, or your neck. Pick from a bunch of gorgeous patterns.

 Photo from bestmade.com

Photo from bestmade.com

48. I really like Glossier’s Cloud Paint blush. It layers beautifully, the colors are gorgeous, and the brand is young, hip, and fun. You can pick two for a discount, or keep an eye out for Black Friday deals on bigger multi-packs. Beam is my favorite color, with Dusk coming in second, but every color I’ve tried has looked good and their website does a good job showcasing the tints on a variety of skin tones. These would be a good stocking stuffer for a teen, gift for a friend, or maybe just something nice for yourself.

 Photo from glossier.com.

Photo from glossier.com.

49. One of the holiday gifts I remember best as a child was a mini Maglite. It was excellent for reading under the covers. Also good for campers, nighttime dog walkers, those with big yards, anyone with a workshop, or people with really deep linen cabinets they’re always losing things in. Don’t forget extra batteries!

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

50. Pair it with a childhood favorite book set. I read the Boxcar children for the first time this year, and when I shared my review, people went nuts in the comments about how much they and their children love these books. Do you need a better endorsement?

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

51. These charming tiny cards. For that thoughtful person on your list that’s always sunshine-ing their way around, leaving notes and lifting people up. Maybe fill out the first one for them, because they sound awesome. While you’re on Emily McDowell’s site, check out her other stuff too. It’s smart and fun.

 Photo from emilymcdowell.com.

Photo from emilymcdowell.com.

52. I think stationery in general makes a beautiful gift. It’s also a lovely stocking stuffer. I personally love receiving a gift that’s an upgrade to an everyday item—something I likely wouldn’t buy for myself. Stationery is a perfect way to do that. These fern postcards are quite soothing to look at.

 Photo from papersource.com.

Photo from papersource.com.

53. I am also partial to these charming floral llamas.

 Photo from papersource.com.

Photo from papersource.com.

54. And hey, how about this gorgeous letter opener?

 Photo from papyrus.com.

Photo from papyrus.com.

55. I love choosing a Papersource calendar every year, and their fun selections are excellent choices for white elephant/Yankee swap, secret Santas, and other gift exchanges.

For many years I had the paint chip calendar and this past year I’ve had this watercolor one. The floral frame one is also quite lovely.

 Photo from papersource.com.

Photo from papersource.com.

56. Spare parts trays. For your workspace, desk, workshop, dresser, or kitchen counter. Built in America.

 Photo from bestmade.com

Photo from bestmade.com

57. Very soft, very comfortable, very cute, very pricey unisex hoodies from Aviator Nation. Check various retailers. Once you put one on, you won’t want to take it off. Ever.

 Photo from trouva.com.

Photo from trouva.com.

58. Someone gave me beautiful geode bookends from this Etsy shop, and I can’t recommend them enough. They’re beautiful and functional.

 Photo from rockparadise Etsy shop.

Photo from rockparadise Etsy shop.

59. Someone on your list could probably use an upgrade to their toiletry bag. There are tons out there, but this hanging bag from L.L.Bean is a solid functional choice with tons of pockets and places to stash things. It comes in a bunch of colors, but I’m digging the buffalo check.

 Photo from llbean.com.

Photo from llbean.com.

60. While we’re at L.L.Bean, how about this jaunty anchor door knocker for the nautical person on your list who has it all? They have a lobster one too.

 Photo from llbean.com.

Photo from llbean.com.

61. Wait. I just can’t resist this wool buffalo check blanket. It’s washable! And comes in other plaids and checks too. What is it about buffalo check though? Sign me up for all of it.

 Photo from llbean.com.

Photo from llbean.com.

62. If you know someone who’s always looking for the time, this clock is classic perfection. I have one that used to live in my guest room and now it’s next to my living room TV. My husband and I look at it all the time. All the time! Maybe because we don’t have a cable box? Anyway, we use it way more often than you’d expect for people who always wear watches and generally have a phone somewhere nearby. I like the moonbeam alarm clock too. It has a USB port.

 Photo from llbean.com

Photo from llbean.com

63. Can you even handle this tin camper ornament, because I can’t.

 Photo from potterybarn.com

Photo from potterybarn.com

64. Someone on your list needs this collection of replacement backs and bits and bobs for their earrings. Couldn’t we always use some spares? This is a brilliant stocking stuffer, or would be a nice addition to a new pair of earrings for the best accessorized person on your list.

Kendra Scott earring back replacement collection

65. Okay, so while we’re looking at earrings you should also buy me I mean them these. Very Meghan Markle, no?

 Photo from kendrascott.com

Photo from kendrascott.com

66. Speaking of Meghan Markle, if you thought you were getting out of this gift guide without a reference to the royal wedding, I don’t know what to tell you.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

67. Chris Jackson is the royal photographer for Getty, and also one of my favorite Instagram follows. His new book, Modern Monarchy, looks wonderful. Some truly gorgeous shots from the last decade or so, and a must-have for your favorite royal watcher. (Ahem.)

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

68. Speaking of royal books, have you heard of this cookbook? Meghan Markle wrote a stunning forward for this book that she helped bring to life in support of victims of the Grenfell fire tragedy. A gorgeous, meaningful love letter for what food means, for what food and community can do for us. And proceeds go back to people who need them.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

69. Listen, we’re continuing with this theme. I was in a store recently, and they had these adorable mini cat card desk calendars. I just realized they have a corgi one! They’re only about the size of a deck of cards and you flip them to show a different card each month. There are lots of other animal choices like panda, French bulldog, Schnauzer, and hedgehog (!).

 Photo from papyrus.com.

Photo from papyrus.com.

70. This product is going to make you think I’ve moved on from this British theme and then you’re going to see that you’re wrong. My husband likes shaving and grooming products from Taylor of Old Bond Street, which is sold on Jermyn Street in London, which is where many royally appointed shoe, clothing, and fun stores are. Anyway, try the shaving cream.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

71. That shaving cream is sold, for instance, at Geo F. Trumper on Jermyn Street which also sells my husband’s favorite aftershave treatment. Great for sensitive skin. The small bottle is about $20 and can last about a year, as they’ll use just a few drops at a time.

geo f. trumper limes skin food

72. Next, we really need to talk about this Henry VIII and his wives ornament set, because I’ve been wanting to put it on a gift guide for years. Okay wait, it turns out I already did once. Oh well. This is put out by the Historic Royal Palaces organization, who are clearly not without that famed British sense of humor.

 Photo from historicroyalpalaces.com

Photo from historicroyalpalaces.com

73. Alternately, I have this Union Jack ornament, which I grabbed at the Tower of London on a trip several years back. Every year I pull it out and marvel over the quality. It’s a thick, cushion-y ornament with lots of fine detailing and beautiful fabric and thread. The photo doesn’t do it justice. Obviously shipping is pricey on orders shipped to the States, but it might be worth it. They’ve got lots of great stuff, including a whole section of merchandise dedicated to Shakespeare, and another for the crown jewels.

 Photo from historicroyalpalaces.com

Photo from historicroyalpalaces.com

74. I also got these gorgeous paper napkins on that trip, and finally had occasion to use them this May, 5 years later, when friends came over at 3 a.m. to watch the royal wedding. They are thoughtfully crafted specifically for the Historic Royal Palaces with elements from many of the properties. For the tea lover on your list or the royal watcher who has everything, pair them with some of their fancy tea and a tin of Walkers shortbread. Maybe make a date to watch The Crown while you’re at it.

 Photo from historicroyalapalaces.com

Photo from historicroyalapalaces.com

75. Walkers shortbread. I get it in my stocking every year. Perfect with a cuppa. You can’t go wrong with a classic, but I also love the mini Scottie dogs.

 Photo from target.com.

Photo from target.com.

76. Speaking of tea, do you have an electric kettle yet? For the tea lover, oatmeal maker, or (please god no) instant coffee drinker on your list. There are lots of choices out there, but I have this one and love that you can choose the temperature. My mint tea is the perfect temp every night.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

77. Char teas. My favorite British tea. Try the gorgeous Earl Grey Supreme. The smell alone will feel like a vacation. It’s luscious with flavor and dotted with striking blue cornflower petals—you won’t be sorry. Unless you hate Earl Grey.

 Photo from charteas.com.

Photo from charteas.com.

78. This pin. I mean, Harry Potter is British.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

79. Speaking of Harry Potter, this adorable accessories dress up kit.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

80. Merino wool hat. Also offered in lambswool and cashmere.

 Photo from bestmade.com

Photo from bestmade.com

81. Amazon’s STEM Club. Different levels for kids ages 3-13. $20 a month for science, technology, engineering, and math toys to be delivered to their doorstep.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

82. Pair the announcement of the gift with a wee lab coat and goggles!

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

83. Fluffy kitty ornament. A portion of the sale supports the ASPCA. Other animals here.

 Photo from westelm.com

Photo from westelm.com

84. I’ve been wanting a Humble Hilo bag for ages. Your purchase is made by a family in need of employment, and supports a project of your choice at checkout. Many pieces are made from special recycled garments, which you can read more about on the site.

 Photo from humblehilo.com.

Photo from humblehilo.com.

85. Puzzles are the new coloring books for adults, you heard it here first. The shapes of these pieces are mind-blowing and unusual. Artifact Puzzles also has some super unusual puzzles with intriguing piece shapes.

 Photo from uncommongoods.com.

Photo from uncommongoods.com.

86. This gift will die in something like 9 days if it’s not fed, so check the fine print, but if you time it right and have the right person on your list, this fresh sourdough starter could be a great gift. They also sell a kit that has both the starter and the exact right vessel that it needs to be stored in. A starter needs to be fed and it’s like having a plant or a weird pet, so do make sure the right person is getting this. But man, I really want someone to get this!

 Photo from kingarthurflour.com

Photo from kingarthurflour.com

87. You’ll want some fancy flour to round it out. And probably also a book.

 Photo from kingarthurflour.com

Photo from kingarthurflour.com

88. Speaking of the science of baking (weren’t we?), this book is excellent. I gave it to my Dad last year and he devoured it (not sure whether I intended that pun). It explains why salt, fat, acid, and heat are essential cooking elements and what they do to our food to make it taste so good. Perfect for the intersectional nerd and food lover and/or aspiring cook on your list.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

89. Speaking of cooking, a version of my favorite mixing bowl. They no longer make my version and if it ever breaks I will probably cry and then buy one of these.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

90. Um. This cutting board, with your grandma’s (or whomever’s) favorite recipe in their handwriting. Get the tissues. Various Etsy shops offer them, so poke around.

 Photo from 3dcarving shop on Etsy

Photo from 3dcarving shop on Etsy

91. My husband recently got and promptly fell in love with this wireless digital thermometer. Now he can monitor whatever is in the smoker while he does other stuff, like make me a cocktail.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

92. Give the gift of magic and wonder with a fairy garden starter kit. Begin with some wildflower seeds.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

95. “It’s the most wonderful time for a beer.” A set of 6-pack holders in seasonal print with a built-in card. Make custom sets of your favorite seasonal brews for a festive BROstess gift (sorry).

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

96. Beanies for babies. (And one for grown-ups too.)

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

97. I love toffee. This toffee is absolutely delicious, buttery crisp perfection—and nicely packaged. You can also order directly from their website for plenty of interesting toffee items and packaging choices.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

98. All My Friends Are Dead. Described as a “cute and dark…hilarious children’s book for adults”. I feel like you might have a sibling or a friend or a gift exchange this is good for.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

99. Speaking of dinosaurs, is Ross Geller on your list? Buy him this!

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

100. Not sure how we got on this dino theme, but while we’re at it, this set of toy dinos somehow has 4.5 stars with over 1,600 reviews. Comes with an informative book!

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

101. P.S. Here is a T-rex ornament.

 Photo form target.com.

Photo form target.com.

102. Marble laptop case. I had one for a work computer and it’s nice. It looks good, feels nice, and gets lots of compliments. Maybe you have a teen who wants this.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

103. Speaking of teens, maybe this wee kitty ring holder? It’s $8, not fancy, and a grown-up item that’s still fun and approachable.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

104. Cozy, grippy, fuzzy, Sherpa-lined, pom-pom slipper socks. Basically all my favorite buzzwords in one product. These festive ones also look promising.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

105. We’re not the only ones who need to be cozy. Here is a sweatshirt to carry your pet in and I will not apologize for it. P.S., it has ears on the hood.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

106. Beautiful, sustainably sourced, fair trade storage baskets made by a women’s collective. I want one of each.

 Photo from thecitizenry.com

Photo from thecitizenry.com

107. For your favorite library lover, this ornament that I am quite fond of. Sales support the New York Public Library.

 Photo from shop.nypl.org

Photo from shop.nypl.org

108. And this tote, which displays a sentiment I whole-heartedly agree with. Again, sales support the library.

 Photo from shop.nypl.org

Photo from shop.nypl.org

109. Let’s get practical for a few items. You probably have stockings to fill, and you probably have people on your list who have it all/are hard to shop for. You probably know someone who has tricky, sticky locks or windows or sliding doors. This graphite powder will do the unsticking trick. I have it on good authority that it’s a miracle worker against dirt, grime, and corrosion.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

110. You probably have a commuter on your list. I’ve tried a lot of commuter coffee mugs over the years, and these are by far my favorite. They seal well, keep it reasonably hot, and don’t leak. Various colors.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

111. Weather-proofing spray for your rain jacket, waterproof bag, hiking boots, or maybe even that cheapie umbrella from Target you got 12 years ago and can’t bear to part with. Anything that needs a refresher. It’s not sexy, but it will fit in a stocking. Probably.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

112. This weird, handy little scrubby brush set.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

113. A set of atomizers, for the traveler on your list who likes their smellgoods. Color-coded so they can travel with all their favorites.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

114. Also for the traveler on your list, toothbrush protectors. Keep your teeth clean and your teeth-cleaning tools clean too.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

115. Invisibobble hair ties. Various sizes and colors. They somehow hold your hair steady without hurting your scalp or leaving much of an elastic hair crease. Listen, I have naturally curly hair and when my friend Megan recommended these, I laughed in her face. She said she’d reimburse me if I had to cut one out of my hair, so I tried them, and I was sold. Give them a whirl

 Photo from ulta.com

Photo from ulta.com

116. Lens, glasses, screen, tablet, camera cleaners. Buy this giant box and split it up between the stockings you have to fill.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

117. Moving on to the practical but also gorg: moment of appreciation for this beautiful, classic weekender bag.

 Photo from nisolo.com

Photo from nisolo.com

118. And for this elegant and simple crossbody bag. You can also buy me these shoes while you’re at it.

 Photo from nisolo.com

Photo from nisolo.com

119. This ceramic succulent. I have it and looking at it makes me happy. It looks even better in person.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

120. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s affirming book to brighten the start of their day and soothe the end of it.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

121. Woodford Reserve spiced cherry bourbon barrel aged cocktail bitters. I have it on good authority that these are excellent. They also fit well in a stocking.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

122. Glass tumbler with lid and straw by Ello. I love mine and use them all the time. They're thick and the right weight and look nice and I can't believe they're only ten dollars or less. Several colors. Stuff a gift card to Starbucks or your local coffee shop into it, slap a bow on it, and call it a day.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

hanukkah mad libs
 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

125. I know I already mentioned Voluspa candles once in this Gift Guide, but this Gilt Pomander and Hinoki one will make you feel all your holiday feelings. It’s also gorgeous, the way the light comes through the dappled gold jar as it burns.

 Photo from nordstrom.com

Photo from nordstrom.com

126. Can I also interest you in a wick trimmer? Keep those candles from getting sooty without ruining the one good pair of scissors. (You know the ones. You weren’t allowed to use them when you were little and now you hide yours from your kids.) Stick them in the stocking of the candle lover on your list.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

127. A padded stadium seat for the person on your list who spends a lot of time trying to get comfortable on bleachers. Comes personally recommended from a friend but also has 1,100 reviews, 5 stars. That’s not a typo! Tons of colors, so pick one that matches their team!

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

128. Pretty recycled glass balloon vases in lots of colors.

 Photo from vivaterra.com

Photo from vivaterra.com

129. Sustainable wood ornaments from the same eco-friendly shop.

 Photo from vivaterra.com

Photo from vivaterra.com

130. And this beautiful olive wood pasta server.

 Photo from vivaterra.com

Photo from vivaterra.com

131. Maybe pair it with this fancy, exciting, and well-reviewed pasta, or something fancy and homemade from your local shop.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

132. A fancy salt thrown in never hurt anybody.

 Photo from surlatable.com

Photo from surlatable.com

133. Speaking of cooking, this cookbook for the person who likes to cook but wants some inspiration to freshen things up. Ottolenghi called it “familiar but fresh, approachable but exciting”, and that’s about as perfect as it gets when it comes to cooking dinner.

dinner changing the game cookbook

134. Also, if someone on your list likes to make ceasar salad, this anchovy paste might be a good stocking stuffer. It’s a snap to use and lasts forever. Also good for pastas, dipping oil for bread, or adding a little umami to soups.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

135. For something sweet, an actual Candy Land gingerbread house! For the kids in your life who are grown or otherwise. Pure nostalgia. Various retailers.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

136. Maybe combine it with the Candy Land game itself. This one is about $6 at Target.

 Photo from target.com

Photo from target.com

137. A cool micro-calico tie, handmade in New York. The Hill-Side and Hickoree’s has tons of great ties, bowties, pocket squares, scarves, and basically anything else you can think of that’s made of fabric. Check out their gorgeous and classic winter linen collection.

the hill side micro calico classic tie

138. Mountain and Sackett is another great place to get ties handmade in New York. Check back often for new patterns and materials and be sure to check out their regimental ties.

 Photo from mountainandsackett.com

Photo from mountainandsackett.com

139. I will never tire of a notepad. Give me all the notepads.

 Photo from papersoure.com

Photo from papersoure.com

140. Zojirushi travel food container for the person on your list who’s always bringing soup for lunch or oatmeal for breakfast. I use these for oatmeal every day: never spills, easy to clean, and keeps it hot, hot, hot.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

141. An ornament for my hometown team and our World Series champs!

 Photo from kurtadler.com

Photo from kurtadler.com

142. Someone please also buy these Boston bittahs to go with it. Bittermans makes good stuff, but the name alone is worth it.

 Photo from behindthebar.com

Photo from behindthebar.com

143. I really enjoy a festive cocktail napkin. These are pretty delightful and also mark the second appearance of llamas on this gift guide.

 Photo from worldmarket.com

Photo from worldmarket.com

144. I have a version of these and they make me happy every time I see them. It IS beginning to look a lot like cocktails.

 Photo from papersource.com

Photo from papersource.com

145. For your little adventurers or spies (or your big adventurers who are always going to the garage without a phone?), how about some good ole walkie-talkies?

 Photo from target.com

Photo from target.com

146. I think you should also throw in this Kevin McCallister classic: a voice-disguising recorder.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

147. And these mirrored spy glasses that let you look behind you. I’m imagining a lot of happy, giggly kids accidentally walking into walls.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

148. A sous vide machine they can stick on basically any pot and control from their phone. My husband just got one for his birthday and is obsessed.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

149. A bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

150. And a cool but affordable sharpener.

 Photo from dickblick.com

Photo from dickblick.com

151. These are excellent flannel pants for lounging, sleeping, or lazy Sunday-ing. They have pockets and come in Tall sizes. There are women’s versions, too.

 Photo from llbean.com

Photo from llbean.com

152. A kid in a bathrobe is adorable. These are cute too, and have a hood.

 Photo from llbean.com

Photo from llbean.com

153. This is pricey for a board game, but I’ve heard wonderful things. Over 1,500 reviews, 4.5 stars. There are various versions, but I’ve heard this one is best. I’m intrigued.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

154. How incredible are these long distance friendship touch lamps? One is for you, one is for your giftee. Light up their life across the country or around the world: when you think of them, touch the lamp and it lights up for both of you. You can also get a network going with various colors so siblings, cousins, and grandparents can all play along. Are you crying yet?

long distance friendship touch lamp

155. Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls. Bedtime stories about women who changed history.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

156. I am a big fan of a life-sized cardboard cutout. Who’s their favorite celebrity? Buy them a life-sized version. It’s so ridiculous and so fun. My friend sent me a Kate before I had a surgery. I sent a Buddy the Elf last year to my aunt and uncle because we always watched Elf at Christmas. I hear Buddy just helped them celebrate someone’s birthday, too. The gift that keeps on giving!

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

157. White hot chocolate! I didn’t even know this existed! Buy it for the people on your list who get mocked for liking white chocolate NOT THAT I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THAT.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

158. Magna-Tiles. The classic 3-D building toy. Various sets from various retailers.

 Photo from target.com

Photo from target.com

159. Cheese paper. A stocking stuffer for the cheese lover on your list. Preserves cheese better than plastic.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

160. A 12-pack of hula hoops. For a silent disco with friends or a loud Saturday with a bunch of kids or just a truly memorable Christmas morning. I can’t wait to see the box Amazon uses for these.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

161. A record player. Make sure they have speakers. This one is portable and has Bluetooth to connect to your Oontz.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

162. Make sure you get them their favorite record on vinyl. This is mine.

 Photo from amazon.com

Photo from amazon.com

 Photo from target.com

Photo from target.com

164. An experience is always a wonderful gift. A membership to a museum or park, tickets to a show, a mani/pedi or massage, or a date for lunch and shopping. If it’s useful, fun, or something your recipient wouldn’t buy themself, it’s usually a good bet.

red bow

165. I'll close with my annual commentary. When thinking of gifts, I love the old adage 'something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read'. I think 'need' is the only category I haven't truly covered here. Of course you can do your own research, but causes close to my heart include whatever local charity gives to kids who otherwise might not have a Christmas morning (like your local angel/giving tree), Toys for TotsFeeding Americahelping wildlife*, your local food bank, and your local blood & plasma bank. Maybe schedule an appointment to donate blood or plasma in January, if you want to give to someone not on your list. If you want to give in someone's name as a gift, you could certainly do that too.

***

Thanks for joining me and humoring me. I hope you've found some inspiration, and even if you haven't, this was a lot of fun for me to put together and I hope you enjoyed the ride as well! Wishing you and yours a truly happy, healthy, fun, delicious, and festive holiday season!

*Full disclosure: this is the organization I work for.

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Hello! Get a drink and settle in so we can get right to it. Every year I put together a holiday gift guide, with the aim of featuring quality, interesting items at all price points, for a variety of giftees. From stocking stuffers to big gifts, from grandparent to baby, I hope you'll find a gift idea (or two) for everyone on your list. 

Previous gift guides still have lots of good choices, so don't miss them: 2014, 2014 part 2, 2015, 2016.

(Like a lot of websites, I use affiliate links where possible, which means I get a small percentage if you click through and/or buy something. I still only choose items based on what I think is best, and none of these items are sponsored.) 

1. Let's start with a splurge: this candle smells divine, is beautifully packaged, and will go with any home décor.

 Photo from saksfifthavenue.com.

Photo from saksfifthavenue.com.

2. Stuffie bean bag, for the kid with way too many stuffies and not enough furniture.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

3. Solar phone charging case. Clips to a waist, bike, backpack, tent, or wherever else they need it. My friend Sarah says, "My mother-in-law saved the day with this thing, because it charged their Satellite phone on a 12 day hike!".

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

4. An extra non-solar charger is also a great choice. For the traveler, busy bee, forgetful Frank, or otherwise average human who sometimes needs some juice on the go (so, everyone). This will charge your phone something like 10 times (don't quote me on that). There are other versions with dual USB ports so you can charge more than one device at a time, if you wish. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

5. Kiehl's lip balm. My husband got this as a stocking stuffer and loves it. He says his usual Burt's Bees pales in comparison. A nice little upgrade for a daily item.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

6. Cherry Bombe, the cookbook, from Cherry Bombe magazine. More than 100 recipes from 100 female chefs, authors, foodies, and all around interesting people in the food world today.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

7. A cozy cableknit throw in a variety of classic and modern colors. (Cream might still be my favorite.)

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

8. Pop beads for making some seriously cool jewelry, because pop beads are way cooler now that they were when I was a kid. I still adored them, though, and I bet a kid on your list will adore these. 

 Photo from walmart.com.

Photo from walmart.com.

9. Photo Ark. National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore's lifelong project to document every species known to man. Conservation and protection begin with knowing. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

10. Cold brew starter kit. Chameleon makes great coffee, and now you can make it yourself at home! Fun and a relatively low price point at around $15.

 Photo from chameleoncoldbrew.com.

Photo from chameleoncoldbrew.com.

11. Herschel dopp kit. I love a good travel kit and I'd have a whole closet full of them if that were remotely reasonable on any level. I recently got a Herschel overnight bag, and I really like it. I will definitely consider one of these the next time I need a new dopp kit. Huge range of colors and some fun patterns, including birds and leopard print.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

12. I am digging these pretty, modern ornaments

two-toned metal tree ornaments.png

13. MoviePass! For just $9.95 a month, you, uh, or your giftee, can see one movie a day in participating theaters. No blackout dates and tons of participating theaters (I checked, and the major ones near me are included). This is less than the cost of seeing one movie! If you know someone who goes to the movies often (or wants to), see if major theaters near them participate and then sign them up for a few months. This would also be good for a white elephant gift, or someone you don't know terribly well.

 Photo from moviepass.com.

Photo from moviepass.com.

14. This soap smells lovely and the packaging is gorgeous. Go directly through the manufacturer and you can buy a soap of the month club. It would be a great choice for people who like surprises, pretty packaging, fancy every day items, and things that smell luxurious. 

 Photo from formulary55.com.

Photo from formulary55.com.

I love fun office supplies and I bet someone on your list does, too. Help them jazz up their desk with (15) pieces of flair:

15. Fun pushpin holders!

Sushi

Screen Shot 2017-05-07 at 1.06.46 PM.png

16. Kitty Post-It pop up. I have this on my desk and it makes me smile every time I grab a sticky.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

17. This gold stapler sits on my desk, too, and gets loads of compliments. Plus, I feel extremely fancy when I staple my TPS reports.

18. And listen, we all need a hand staying organized. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

19. I apologize for that joke. Owl make it up to you.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

20. I feel like I put a sleep mask on the gift guide every year, but I can't help myself. This one has nearly 9,000 reviews, 4.5 stars, and is $10. If you already have enough eye masks, maybe tuck one away for a White Elephant/Yankee Swap/Secret Santa/what have you.

sleep mask

21. A classic henley with fresh detailing. I really love the burgundy version, too. Layer it up or wear solo.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

22. What if Everybody Did That? Because the world always needs more good citizens.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

23. A portable firepit with folding legs and a carrying bag for easy storage. It's a grill, too! For the camper or campfire lover on your list. At about $50, the price is right. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

24. Throw in some color-coded, rotating marshmallow/hot dog sticks and the ingredients for s'mores.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

25. This camp cookware set would also be a great accompaniment to the fire pit, or stands beautifully on its own.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

26. Codenames. A fun game involving words and mystery and thinking. My family played last Christmas and it was so much fun.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

27. These little tiny baby travel pinch tins of Maldon sea salt (the best sea salt), for the campers, foodies, travelers, and other seasoned seasoners in your life. This 6-pack is reasonably priced and could stuff several stockings.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

28. This book, just because I think it looks cool. 

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 1.47.23 PM.png

29. If your recipient just tosses their watch(es) on the dresser at the end of the day, try this watch box. Makes any watch collection look impressive, even if it's a collection of plastic ones from the vending machine at the grocery store. Variety of colors. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

30. Stuff this julienne peeler (CAREFULLY!) into your favorite home cook's stocking. Maybe ask them to make you a carrot salad with it. Kuhn makes fantastic tools and this one is well-reviewed, and not too much more pricy than the OXO—though that one has nearly 5 stars, too. The Kuhn comes with a safety cover, if that helps you decide.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

31. Speaking of vegetables, get them everything they ever wanted to know about butchering them. A great resource for omnivores, vegans, and everyone in between.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

32. Speaking of cookbooks, Deb Perelman, the genius behind Smitten Kitchen, has a new cookbook out, and it's lovely. Her original cookbook is still a favorite as well.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

33. Maybe round off these cooking gifts with this taco ornament, because taco ornament.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

34. A good sturdy flashlight, perhaps. A good, all-purpose gift. Plus, this one is apparently tactical?

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

35. I'm sure you know someone who needs these socks.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

36. Speaking of wine, this stainless steel electric wine opener has more than 2,000 reviews on Amazon with a 4.5 star rating, and it's about $30. Seems like a great deal for the wine lover in your life. For the wine liker, even. It will tell you the temp, too.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

37. Maybe throw in something for your clumsy friends

 Photo from worldmarket.com.

Photo from worldmarket.com.

38. Melissa and Doug make fantastic toys. These Water Wow "coloring" pads are perfect for the budding artist in your life who hasn't quite mastered fine motor skills yet. Fill the "pen" with water and watch as they use it to magically colors the pages. When it dries, repeat! Great for cars, planes, the kitchen table, or using over Gramma's priceless Persian carpet. They come in a variety of themes, from animals to princesses to vehicles, and at about $5 you can easily stock up or stuff several stockings. This 3-pack of animals, alphabet, and numbers is a great deal.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

39. These Melissa & Doug Smartypants cards for preschoolers are also really well reviewed, and come in a various grade levels.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

40. It's hard to see in this picture, but the detail on this platter is beautiful. Pile high with your favorite cookies or slap on your favorite latke recipe or simply wrap in a box.

 Photo from potterybarn.com.

Photo from potterybarn.com.

41. Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment. The easiest way to take care of your lips and get a little color on them, too. Or not, if you choose the untinted version. My favorites are Petal, Ruby, and the universally flattering Rosé.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

42. Sugru moldable glue. Fix anything, including a stocking that needs stuffing. Comes in various colors.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

43. An illustrated book of untranslatable words for the word nerd on your list.

lost in translation untranslatable words

44. Bennington Potters makes gorgeous stuff, and I love this platter

bennington potters platter

45. A classic flask in a classic color. Affordable, sturdy, iconic.

 Photo from amazon.com. 

Photo from amazon.com. 

46. This card-sized multitool is probably a great stocking stuffer for someone on your list. Open a beer, open a box, measure stuff, screw or unscrew things. They can keep it in their wallet.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

47. This gym bag, for the workout junkie on your list. Highly rated and in a range of colors.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

48. Speaking of exercise, this book, by the guy behind The Oatmeal.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

49. Meats! This salami of the month club is supposed to be great. 

 Photo from olympiaprovisions.com.

Photo from olympiaprovisions.com.

50. These delightfully ridiculous macaron pill boxes for carrying medicine, jewelry, or whatever other tiny bits you can stuff in there. At $3 for 6, I think you need these for the stockings of tweens or fun-loving adults in your life.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

51. There's also a macaron earbud holder that's quite a steal.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

52. If you'd like to take a less whimsical route, this plain ole black earbud, USB, sim card carrying case is a great choice. I have one, and it's bigger than I expected, which is nice because it holds more than just earbuds but is still fairly small.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

53. While we're at it, you can never have too many earbuds. These are my favorites. They're affordable, comfortable, and come in a variety of colors. Maybe throw in a splitter for phones without a jack.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

54. Just look at this gorgeous farmhouse pitcher. Can't you just picture it chock-a-block with beautiful peonies, or on a brunch table, full of sangria?

 Photo from potterybarn.com.

Photo from potterybarn.com.

55. These are awfully pretty.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

56. This 1000 colors puzzle, for someone you really love or possibly really hate. 

 Photo uncommongoods.com.

Photo uncommongoods.com.

57. If you've got a puzzle lover who is also a reader, this slightly hokey-looking "Best Sellers" puzzle tickles me. It looks like something you'd find in your great uncle's lakeside cabin, next to some old candlesticks and paperbacks and a moldering, stuffed moose head.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

58. A ceramic paring knife is a great addition to any bar or kitchen. Include it with the gift of a cookbook, stuff (with caution!) in a stocking, tie it up with a bag of limes and a bottle of gin.

ceramic paring knife.png

59. I want this 5-year Q&A journal. There's a 3-year version for kids, too. Answer one question a day, repeat for five years, watch your answers change. This is a great gift for anyone, but especially someone starting a new chapter in their life. It's quick, fun, and doesn't take much commitment. Think recent grads, 20-somethings, new parents, kids, and anyone even slightly introspective or nostalgic. You can start it any time of the year.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

60. I really like this pretty frame a whole lot. It's modern yet classic, and the clean lines give it a universal appeal for an awful lot of people on your list. Stick in a favorite photo, or leave the quote ("These are your people, this is your year") in there, because it's pretty lovely as is.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

61. Wooden mixing bowl! This brand, Hape, makes such great toys.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

62. You guys. This Die Hard Christmas illustrated book, set to the rhyming cadence of Night Before Christmas. Someone on your list definitely needs this.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

63. Please include this Die Hard ornament in your gift, because nothing says festive like Hans Gruber's face on your Christmas tree.

 Photo from CastleMcQuade Etsy shop.

Photo from CastleMcQuade Etsy shop.

64. I mean, you could throw in actual Die Hard too. At about $5, it's a great stocking stuffer. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

65. The very best ice cream scoop

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

66. Which you can pair with the best ice cream bowls (also excellent for anything else you use bowls for).

 Photo from anthropologie.com.

Photo from anthropologie.com.

67. Exploding Kittens. Such a fun game. For all ages.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

68. Invisible ink pens! Kids definitely want these.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

69. And the adult version, sort of: an erasable, reusable notebook. Use the app to scan your writing and drawing and send to your various data-storing places (Google Drive, Dropbox, Slack, email.etc.), then erase, and start all over. 

everlast reusable notebook.png
 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

71. Pair it with this excellent mid-range bread knife (or a super fancy expensive bread knife, if you have the budget).

 Photo from surlatable.com.

Photo from surlatable.com.

72. And for the Great British Bake Off fan, round it out with Paul Hollywood's bread bible. So many cookbooks this year. I'm not sorry! There is one for every occasion.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

73. While we're at here, let's consider Mary Berry's Baking Bible as well.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

74. Consider going all out by throwing in this absurdly twee-lightful and utterly cosy British cottage-esque Union Jack mug. And maybe some Downton Abbey tea?

union jack mug.png

75. And then consider this pricey, cool apron. Alton Brown's favorite! I like the olive canvas version a lot, too. 

 Photo from hedleyandbennett.com.

Photo from hedleyandbennett.com.

76. This weird goo that I don't fully understand is supposed to sanitize and clean your keyboard. Hooray for stocking stuffers!

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

77. This sweet lil mouse ornament. Or this one.

 Photo from potterybarn.com.

Photo from potterybarn.com.

78. Completely unrelated, obviously, is this book. Bundle 'em up together for your favorite little reader. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

Treat Yo Self gift bags. I did this for two of my cousins last year, and they were a hit. Indulge in buying some fun items they probably wouldn't buy themselves. Go for one main item, a couple medium items, and some smaller ones. You can do this for any budget and lots of items on the guide work but let's look at a $50ish dollar budget. 

79. For a main item, you can hardly go wrong with some Kate Spade earrings. Especially when Nordstrom price matches, or Macy's has them on sale. 

I mean, how cute are these glitter studs? This is what I included in the bags last year.

kate spade glitter studs

80. I wear these black drop earrings to work multiple times a week. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

81. And there's room in every wardrobe for these sweet, classic knots.

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

82. For a medium item, I am a big fan of books. Go for the best thing you've read in the last year, or for a classic Christmas book, or straight up fluff. 

I really enjoyed this.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

Maybe a little holiday reading. A Christmas Carol won't steer you wrong, either.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

83. Face masks. Always face masks. There is no shortage of options, but I really like this rose eye mask from Sephora.

 Photo from sephora.com.

Photo from sephora.com.

84. Listen, if you're going to do a face mask you're going to want to throw in one of these. Winning the coveted annual Cheapest Item On The Gift Guide prize, this adorable kitty ear headband is sure to put a smile on your giftee's face while keeping their hair off of it. FOR 2 AMERICAN DOLLARS.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

85. Depending on your budget, this Fenty universal lip gloss is supposed to be the bee's knees. From Rihanna's fantastic, inclusive new makeup line, this is designed to look lovely on all skin tones, and I hear that it does. I'd love to get this in my stocking or a gift bag!

 Photo from sephora.com.

Photo from sephora.com.

86. Of course, you can always round it out with some of your favorite hot chocolate, or a split of champagne (as pricey or as budget-friendly as you please) that they don't have to share. Picture it: wearing new earrings, curled up reading a book while wearing a face mask and drinking some bubbly. Honestly, this is just a fantasy gift for yourself. 

 Photo from totalwine.com.

Photo from totalwine.com.

87. As part of the Treat Yo Self bags or simply for someone who likes to take care of her paws, any or all of the following items make a great package together or separately. 

The very best, my absolute favorite-ever hand cream which is too expensive to justify using every day and thus makes a great gift. (My affordable daily driver is a great choice, too.)

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

88. Essie apricot cuticle oil. Not greasy, absorbs quickly, works beautifully to keep nails and skin looking healthy and fresh, and to prolong a manicure. (Allure loves it, too.)

 Photo from allure.com.

Photo from allure.com.

89. Julep oxygen nail treatment. Keep nails healthy, keep nail color from staining. Allure loves this one too.

 Photo from ulta.com.

Photo from ulta.com.

90. Listen, I don't know about you, but I can never find a ruler when I need one. And I would have loved this in my stocking as a kid. MY VERY OWN RULER.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

91. Merriam-Webster is one of my favorite accounts to follow on Twitter, and they now have swag. Their simple #WordsMatter mug speaks to me most, but this is also fun.

 Photo from teepublic.com.

Photo from teepublic.com.

92. I have it on good authority that this card holder for little hands is a great stocking stuffer. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

93. This Echo Dot and Fire TV Stick combo. I have and use both items regularly and recommend them heartily.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

94. Throw in some smart plugs, so your giftee can control their lights from their phone or their new Dot or Echo.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

95. I have it on good authority that this candle is the best ever. Someone should buy it for me so that I can test out that claim. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

96. The candle would make a great hostess gift, and so would Christmas crackers, which are a British tradition I am quite fond of. You can find them in many different stores at many different prices. Check Marshall's and Homegoods, and maybe even Costco.

 Photo from williams-sonoma.com.

Photo from williams-sonoma.com.

97. Presented without comment. (Okay, one comment: this is an absurd price for a burrito ornament, do not buy this.)

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

98. Perhaps I can interest you in a more reasonably-priced avocado ornament?

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

99. I can think of about ten hard-to-shop-for people that this identity theft protection stamp would be good for. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

100. Pocket-sized SOS kit. Don't we all need this?

pocket SOS

101. BILIBO toy. Just add imagination. There are minis, too. 

 Photo from thetherapystore.com.

Photo from thetherapystore.com.

102. Tasty Science. Because tasty and science. What makes drinks fizz? Find out!

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

103. Balance board...thing. It reminds me of the Pogoball I had growing up and I feel like it would be good for someone who likes to workout or to keep your kid busy.

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

104. I like these personalized bookmarks for hard-to-shop-for people. Design them with photos of their favorite people or places, an inside joke, or a quote about reading.

 Photo from shutterfly.com.

Photo from shutterfly.com.

105. I am very strongly pro trinket tray, and I have one of these that says something else (Queen Bee, if you must know), and I sort of want to buy this teeny trinket tray for every female I know, even if they don't want to be CEO (which I don't). 

 Photo from nordstrom.com.

Photo from nordstrom.com.

106. Maybe you want to pair it with this inflatable crown, while you're at it. I bought this for an adult last year, and I think it's safe to say it is a delight for all ages. It's $3, so maybe just get one for everyone on your list. One inflatable crown to rule them all.

inflatable crown
 Photo from uncommongoods.com.

Photo from uncommongoods.com.

 Photo from uncommongoods.com.

Photo from uncommongoods.com.

 Photo from uncommongoods.com

Photo from uncommongoods.com

110. Battery tester. Useful, exciting for a kid, inexpensive. 

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

111. Show me something cuter than a kid in a robe, like a wee baby adult.

kid's robe
 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

113. A beaded NYC taxi ornament. I don't know why this charms me so, it just does. Beep!

 Photo from potterybarn.com.

Photo from potterybarn.com.

114. I'll close with my annual commentary. When thinking of gifts, I love the old adage 'something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read'. I think 'need' is the only category I haven't truly covered here. Of course you can do your own research, but causes close to my heart include whatever local charity gives to kids who otherwise might not have a Christmas morning (like your local angel/giving tree), Toys for TotsFeeding America, helping wildlife, your local food bank, and your local blood & plasma bank. Maybe schedule an appointment to donate blood or plasma in January, if you want to give to someone not on your list. If you want to give in someone's name as a gift, you could certainly do that too.

***

Thanks for joining me and humoring me. I hope you've found some inspiration, and even if you haven't, this was a lot of fun for me to put together and I hope you enjoyed the ride as well! Wishing you and yours a truly happy, healthy, fun, delicious, and festive holiday season!

The Trespasser, Tana French

 Photo from amazon.com.

Photo from amazon.com.

When I was little, and I'd managed to get my hands on some grape or orange Bubble Yum or Hubba Bubba, I'd have a pep talk with myself: "You can DO IT this time!"

It never worked. 

The flavor was always so concentrated and intense when I put a piece in my mouth that I both loved and couldn't handle it. I'd try and chew through the candy-like texture until it mellowed out and became actual gum. But it invariably overwhelmed me so much that I'd have to swallow it for some relief. 

This is basically the same way I've handled Tana French books—until now. It took all six books in this series, but I've finally cracked the code with The Trespasser:

1. Listen to the audiobooks so it's basically impossible to skip ahead and ruin the ending because it's too intense to handle. This way, your anxiety about the whodunnit can stay at bay while you enjoy the experience.
2. Enjoy the story as much as possible, because French can paint a mood like no other, and the wrap-up never quite lives up to the anticipation and atmosphere of the book. The experience is always better than the ending.
3. Pack your suspension of disbelief for the 20 pages of prose-etry dialogue from an ancillary character that will inevitably crack the case wide open 15% from the end.

With French, it's always worth the ride. 

 

PS - Come find me on Goodreads.