Amazon Echo. At first I did not understand what this thing did. Now that I know, I want one for my kitchen. It’s a voice-controlled hub for audiobooks, music, news, weather…you name it, and it plays music from all your favorite sources like Pandora and iHeartRadio. Personally, I want it to read recipes to me while I’m cooking. And tell me I’m pretty.
Picture Keeper. I am constantly running out of space on my phone and computer and need a space to keep my photos, and I know I’m not alone here. This device makes the process simple and easy, and backs up 8,000 photos. Merry Christmas – now your phone will actually function properly, picture hoarder!
Don’t Even Think About It Coffee Mug. Everyone knows this person. (I AM this person on some days.) Help those around her (or him) tread lightly with a literal guide to when it’s OK to approach.
Zero Fox Given. While we’re on the topic of mugs, this one is a MUST – and a motto for 2016.
Vintage Books Pendant. The reader on your list will go BANANAS for this pendant. It’s adorable, vintage, and comes in a box with a quote from Ernest Hemingway. I. WANT. (These are great teacher gifts!)
Alice in Wonderland Bookmark. OK, now we’re really taking gifts for book lovers to the next level. LOOK AT THIS. If Alice in Wonderland’s feet sticking outside of a book isn’t enough of an invitation to sit down and read something magical, I don’t know what is. And wait until you see the others: Star Wars, Game of Thrones…even Louboutan. (Penelope is obsessed with the Yoda feet bookmark.)
BOSE Quiet Comfort Noise Cancelling Headphones. There is just too much noise today. It’s hard to tune things out and get work done, but these headphones will help you do just that. I think I might get myself a pair and sit in my closet wearing them while hiding from my toddler. I mean, “I think I will use them for work purposes”.
The MoGuard Mustache Guard. I present to you the MoGuard. This thing goes on top of your drink to protect your mustache from the elements. I’m not sure what else to say about this because I don’t have a mustache (thankfully), but maybe you or someone on your list has one and this sort of thing is a real problem for them.
Hoverboard. I’m not really sure who wouldn’t want a hoverboard. I have no use for this thing and I can tell you, I would find a use for it because it looks like a crap ton of fun.
PRO Wine Aerator. Because I always want the taste of quality wine, but I never want to wait for it. Now, instant aeration.
I Can’t Adult Today Spoon. Because most days, I just can’t. And I want to know I’m not alone as I stir my coffee with this spoon.
Audrey Rocks Art Print. Ummmm, does this one even need a description? She simply f*cking rocks. End of story.
Clip-On iPhone Camera Lens, set of 3. You know your friend taking all of those artsy Instagram photos will love this gift. These are clip-on, super easy to use and tote around, and will help them take better photos with macro, wide angle and fish-eye lenses. iPhone photos have never looked so good.
Corked: The Party Game for the Entertainment Connoisseur. The ultimate hostess gift.
You’ll Eat it and Like it Napkins. Help your hostess let everyone know what’s up in her kitchen with these handmade napkins.
Copper Embossed Handmade Pepper Mill. The chef on your list knows that the meal is so much more than the end result; it’s the engagement of all the senses in cooking, the love they put into each meal, and how they feel when they prepare it. This beautiful pepper mill is something special for the kitchen, and will make them enjoy cooking even more.
Custom Walnut Cutting Board. You can select from many different styles of these personalized walnut cutting boards, but I’m showing you the one I’m kind of obsessed with. Awesome for a hostess gift, or for that couple that just got engaged or purchased a new home.
BigMouth Inc The Grill Sergeant BBQ Apron. This thing holds everything you would need while grilling, including an entire six pack of beer.
Cigar Punch from Specialty Wood Designs. I don’t know much about cigars, but I do know that this will impress the cigar lover on your list. They are made from exotic woods with beautiful grains and polish, and when you open the end cap and you’ll find a circular cutter that is razor sharp. Each one comes with a spare cutting head.
Personalized Men’s Leather Cuff. Pick your favorite phrase, add the dates of your kids’ births or the date you met, or simply have his name engraved. (I don’t know why this stupid photo says “ELF FOREVER”, but it’s the only picture they had available. Try to imagine an important date or phrase on it that means something to your man, and customize this for him.)
Hoodie Footie Pajamas. There’s not one adult I know whose day wouldn’t get better when they put these on after coming home. Buy a set for your and your hubbs and get cozy.
Let Her Sleep Linen Quote Pillow. I have a soft spot for pillows like this; they make adorable decorative accents for a baby’s nursery, and they are neutral enough to work with any colors. You can also customize these! Great gift for new parents from an auntie or uncle. (And hopefully it will encourage the little one to actually sleep.)
State Shape Pillow. Speaking of pillows, these are SO cute, and can work for lots of people on your list: the college-bound nephew, to bring a little bit of “home” to a dorm; the young couple who recently relocated; or simply the person who is proud of their state.
Crochet Knit Scarf, 2 Styles in 1. I love this scarf because you can wear it two ways: straight, or as an infinity (as shown). They come in a ton of colors. (The red is my favorite, in case you’re asking.)
Zigabob Electric Shoe Shine Kit. Shoes are important and they must be cared for appropriately. The shoe lover on your list knows this. My dad says everyone needs one of these because too many people neglect their shoes, and I think he’s right.
Guitar for Dummies Acoustic Guitar Starter Pack. You know that person on your list who is always saying how much they’d love to learn to play guitar? Give them a jump-start with this set. It’s got everything they’d need, and won’t have them spending money on private lessons.
Squatty Potty. Give the gift of regularity this holiday season. In this age of over-sharing, you already know who needs it most.
OH, and don’t forget your Dude Wipes.
Money Maze for a Fun Twist on Giving. If you are someone who has a small gift to give, or who likes to give money, but wants to make it a bit more fun, this item is for you. The money or whatever small object goes inside, then the recipient has to figure out how to get to the gift. Honestly, the first thought I had for this one was an engagement ring.
French Press Coffee and Tea Maker Set. We recently purchased a French press and it was fairly life-changing. The coffee tastes so much better, and I love how sleek it looks on our counter. This one even brews tea and comes with a book of “barista tips” which, in my opinion, would make this a nice little gift for the caffeine lover on your list.
Lay n’ Go cosmetic bag. Greg got this for me last year and honestly, I was like, “Huh? This is a gift?” But resisted the urge to slap him upside the head because I quickly realized it is one of the most useful things he ever bought for me. I haven’t had to dig through a makeup bag for over a year and it is GLORIOUS. And when my toddler comes running, I just pull that little string and WHAM! all my makeup is put away, just like that.
Handmade Sapphire and Pink Pearls 24K Ring. Nothing says “I love you” more than something handmade, and one-of-a-kind. I’m mildly obsessed with this gorgeous ring which is weird, because I normally don’t like pink or pearls. Which goes to show you how powerful jewelry can be. (Are you listening, Greg?!) Ahem.
These cozy Mukluk slippers. I have a pair of Mukluk slippers that I live in. If I am home, they are on me, and when I get in the door the first thing I do is put them on. These are faux fur and have cute buttons going up the back (not pictured). I’m convinced every woman on your list needs a pair of these.
Boob-B Warmer Organic Cotton Maternity Nursing Sweatshirt. You might be all like, “You want me to buy her an expensive sweatshirt?!” but trust me when I tell you that stuff like this is GOLD to a new mom. She will use it. She will love it. She will LIVE in the thing, because it just might make her life that much easier.
Baby Monthly Stickers. I have a set like this and I love that they remind me to take monthly photos. These stickers encourage new moms to do just that. Tell them to sit the baby in the same chair each month, so they can really see how fast their little one grows.
Ostrich Pillow. Speaking of making mommy’s life easier, I’ll bet she could use this “napping” ostrich pillow. Tell her to train the kids not to bother her when she’s inside her little nap nest. They say it increases productivity by 34%, but I’m just like “let’s play hide and seek so I can decrease my productivity today”. To each their own.
Fire Kids Edition with Blue Kid-Proof Case. This one comes loaded with unlimited, free access to 10,000 kid-friendly books, movies, TV shows, educational apps, and more, and puts parents in the driver’s seat with controls to manage usage limits and content access. They had me at Daniel Tiger.
Personalized Kid’s Treasure Chest. How stinkin’ adorable is this?! It is a gift that truly keeps on giving, because it is a keepsake. Personalize the font, the name, even the stain of the wood. Bonus points if you fill it with goodies!
Melissa & Doug Suspend. I have a soft spot for Melissa & Doug toys, and I LOVE toys that don’t need batteries. They’ve done it again with their “Suspend” game – it’s fun for the whole family, is excellent for building hand-eye coordination, and is something that can be played independently. I am getting one for Penelope (shh, don’t tell her) because it will be a nice break from her Lego set.
Lionel Polar Express Train Set. Forget Thomas. This train set is bad ass, with a highly-detailed G-Gauge steam locomotive, authentic train sounds, including bell and whistle, working headlight, and much more for your tiny conductor.
Robot Crayons with Coloring Book and Gift Box. A fun take on the classic favorite gift of crayons and a coloring book. And the gift wrap is adorable!
VTech 3-in-1 Learning Zebra Scooter. Penelope has had this for a long time now, and it is still one of her favorites. The red part can be locked into 3 different positions — walker, rider, and scooter — so your child can continue to learn as they grow. (It is geared toward ages 1 – 3.)
Kids Therapeutic “Nightmare Snatcher” Journal. If your little one is going through a period of being scared at nighttime, this insanely cute little journal might offer them all the reassurance they need to keep the monsters away.
KaZAM No Pedal Balance Bike. You might recognize this one if you are a Shark Tank junkie, as it was seen once on the show. And for good reasons: it helps kids find their center of gravity and is designed to teach kids how to ride without ever needing training wheels. You don’t even need to ever put air in the tires. Another one of Penelope’s favorites, given to her by her Uncle Marc (although she still hasn’t fully grown into it yet, so we have to help her a lot). For ages 3 and up.
VTech Touch and Learn Activity Desk. We got this for Penelope for her 2nd birthday and it’s hands-down one of the best gifts we’ve given her. It’s an interactive desktop with four double-sided cards that introduce numbers, letters, animals, music, people and more. It comes with 160+ vocab words, 30+ learning activities, and 20+ popular melodies; 9 colorful touch pages each with 4 learning modes. And it’s currently the only thing in our home that can get Penelope to sit still for more than 30 seconds.
Makita XT211M 18V LXT Lithium-Ion 2-Pc. Cordless Combo Kit with 2 Batteries. I have no idea what those letters and numbers mean after “Makita”, but I do know that this is an insane deal on some power tools – it originally cost over $700!
Man Crates. Think of a beautiful gift basket – only they are rugged, and for men. Hence “man crates”. There are several different crates you can choose from, like the “Whiskey Appreciation” crate, the “Exotic Meats” crate, and “Pipe Smoker” crate. Featured below is the “Retro Gamer” crate, perfect for the old school video game lover on your list.
Just Dance 2016. This one is fun for everyone in the family. Music that will get you moving, karaoke mode, and even a “sweat mode” that tracks your calories and gives personalized workouts.
Cacoon Hanging Chair. If you’re looking for a sweet gift for the outdoorsy one on your list, this is it. Like, THIS. IS. IT. You can fold it up and unfold it quickly and easily, and it gives a whole new meaning to the term “hanging out”. It’s on the higher end in terms of gifts, but you can’t put a price on hanging around the great outdoors.
Ikea Ekorre Swing. If you love the idea of swinging around but camping is not for you, get this adorable and MUCH more reasonably priced alternative from good ol’ Ikea. (I’m a sucker for an indoor swinging chair, and there is one in Penelope’s room.)
Redneck Plunger. I don’t know who it is, but SOMEONE on your list needs this redneck plunger. And it’s THE perfect gift to bring with you to one of those “Dirty Santa” parties. (You could also leave it in your bathroom to provide instant entertainment for your holiday guests.)
Parking Tickets. Greg doesn’t have road rage, but what he DOES have is parking rage. He has no tolerance for people who take up multiple spots, so I bought these for him one year. It’s almost scary the joy that handing out one of these “parking tickets” brings him. It’s like instant therapy. Let the road rager in your life have joy this season, too. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer.
Kendra Scott “Signature 2015” Elisa Pendant Necklace. I love the simplicity of this necklace. I am also currently into layering necklaces, and this seems like the perfect accent to pair with another necklace or two. My favorite part is that the chain comes with a 3-inch extender, so your lady can get it to just the right length she needs.
Bath Bombs Gift Set. Husbands, please read the following carefully: Give these to your wife. Take the baby. Pour her a glass of wine (preferably in the “My Therapy” wine glass, below). Run her a bath, drop one of these suckers in there, then give her an hour’s worth of time where she can unwind and not think about sleep schedules, pumping, or what to make for breakfast tomorrow. (We all know she’ll be thinking about it anyway, but at least she can relax for a bit.) Or even better, drop the kids off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and get in there with her.
“My Therapy” Wine Glass. Finally, a glass that states the obvious. This one comes already gift-wrapped, so all you need to do is pair it with a nice bottle of wine to make the wino on your list happy. Boom. Done.
Komono Watch, Winston, Black Wood. You know what they say: “time is but made of wood”. Actually, nobody really says that. But this modern, simplistic watch will have the man in your life happy to show off how he knows what time it is.
Tarot Card Reading. Want to know what’s in store for you in the new year? Have a friend who is looking for direction and just wish someone could give her a sign? Gift her a reading from an expert tarot instructor and reader. Lisa of Tarot by Lisa will enlighten you and inspire your direction in all things life and love. Also a great idea for holiday parties, ladies nights, and more.
Jambu boots. Greg bought these boots for me for our anniversary this year, because he followed that list that tells you what the gift theme of each year should be and this year it was wool – which he knows I don’t like. (I’m not vegan, but am not a fan of wool.) I am IN LOVE with these boots! They are the perfect stylish, cozy, cruelty-free fashion statement for the crunchy one on your list. Bonus points for how tough they are – you could hike in these bad boys.
Miswak Club Chemical-Free Whitening Toothbrush. You know when you need a stocking stuffer, but your recipient is a crunchy hippie who will not tolerate plastic crap made in China? Get them this. It’s a “toothbrush” that supposedly whitens teeth, freshens breath, and doesn’t require water or toothpaste. At the very least, it will make them feel good that they are cleaning their teeth with sticks.
Candles from Crossbone Candle Company. These candles from Crossbone Candle Company are a collection of some of the most interesting scents I’ve ever heard of in a candle: Chocolate cake, Vermont Maple, Whiskey, and even more masculine scents like Sawdust, Clove and Tobacco. The candles are hand blended and hand poured into an old fashioned repurposable/recyclable glass, and made with 100% Soy Wax from non GMO and pesticide free soybeans grown in the United States. I don’t think you could find a cleaner candle on the market. They are also at a great price point, so you can stock up on these and keep them on hand for things like teacher and hostess gifts.
Crossbone Candle Company, Whiskey Scent (and more)
Furiously Happy, by Jenny Lawson. Jenny is a genius wordsmith who will make you laugh until you shoot your hot toddy right out of your nose. Also, she is relatable to the point that you will want to both hug her and wonder if she’s walking around inside your head because you know you’ve had at least some of these thoughts. Buy this for yourself, and also for the person on your list who needs a mental pick-me-up this holiday season.
Furiously Happy, Jenny Lawson.
The Real-Deal Bridal Bible. The newly-engaged person on your list needs to know about the REAL stuff that goes on with wedding planning, not the predictable. This book will help her with everything from choosing a dress to dealing with crazy family to negotiating with vendors, and much much more. Plus, it’s written by someone really cool, who has been there, done that, and helped many others do the same. Ahem.
Handmade “I Do, Me Too” Wedding Forks. Speaking of wedding gifts, this is a sweet little set for that adorable couple planning their wedding.
It’s Really Ten Months: Special Delivery. Yours truly has an essay in here, but I really want you to gift this book to the pregnant mama on your list for the collection of other authors who tell their stories, because OHMYGOD, these are the things a pregnant woman and first time mom-to-be needs to know. Let everyone else tell her the surface stuff; you give her the real-deal with this book.
It’s Really Ten Months: Special Delivery, Natalie Guenther, Kim Schenkelberg, Celeste Snodgrass
OH, and there is a temporary sale going on with the e-book version! Grab that, here:
Vegibag Organic Cotton Reusable Eco-Friendly Vegetable Preservation Fresh Crisper Bags. That’s a mouthful to say. Maybe that’s because, with these vejibags, you will have MOUTHFULS to eat since none of your food will go bad anymore! These bags are 100% organic, American-made, and specially designed to keep food fresh much longer. You can even use it for herbs. GENIUS.
Umbrit Hangit Photo Display. This one is perfect for the college kid on your list, and will (hopefully) encourage them to actually print out some of those selfies.
Singer stylish award-winning computerized sewing machine. If someone on your list is showing a love for fashion or crafting lately, it might be time to help their efforts.
Oxycatin Catnip Pellets. Stop giving your felines low-grade catnip; it’s time to step up your game and give them the quality script they deserve.
Best Cat Dad Ever Mug. Because they are dads, too, and they take care of their babies.
Best Dog Mom Ever Water Bottle. Let’s not forget moms and dogs.
Window Bird Feeder. Now you can see these beauties up close and in detail, thanks to the clear design and window suction. This is great for bird lovers and kids, and apartment dwellers!
Relaxation Music for Pets and Pet Lovers. When I first saw this I was like, huh? But then I read the description and it’s actually really sweet. It is a disc full of gentle, calm music that keeps the sensitivity of dogs and cats in mind (and is peaceful to human ears, too). With all the chaos of the holidays, it’s nice to come home to a calm atmosphere and happy pets.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! And don’t forget to see my past gift guides for even more gift ideas!