My Ultimate Gift Guide: For Me (or Someone Like Me), For Brian (Him), And For the Kids
Here we go folks. My editorial team has been BEGGING for this for weeks, but choosing the 200 things that you generally love and want to give or receive is hard. Some are splurges, some great deals. Some myself (and the kids/Brian) already have while some I genuinely want. There are also a TON on our gift page that aren’t on here, so if you read through all this and still need more ideas, head over there.
So without further ado, here is my 2018 holiday gift guide.
1. Denim Apron, $25: I cook now—mostly soup—and I’m MESSY. All of a sudden, I understand the apron industry and I want this denim one because, well, chambray all day (although I love the Parachute/Hedley & Bennet collabParachute/Hedley & Bennet collab, too).
2. Chicwrap Dispenser, $25-$75: This is something I WANT but will not buy because it’s a little indulgent and borderline obnoxious. It’s a beautiful wooden/handcrafted holder for things like plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Again, if it landed under the tree, I would be so happy (I suppose that’s the purpose of a gift, right?)
3. Dutch Leather Oven Mitt, $92: It’s a great gift for a cook who likes to display her prettier things (me). It also comes as an apron, but my chambray apron and this mitt sound like the perfect EHD combo for my mulligatawny.
7. Tarot Reading by Dante, from $100+: Ladies, this is a SUPER fun gift and activity and this guy is meant to be GREAT. I’m going to get mine read in January (I did last year and it was so insightful and fun). Dante can do it over the phone or Skype, or if you are local to the New York area, you can get it done in person. He also does half sessions if you want to give it a try before committing to a full session, but you know this lady is going to try a full session out.
9. Linen Hardcover Photobook, from $59: I’ve said it before but I love everything this company does. The quality and craftsmanship are so beautiful and my phone is overflowing with photos that need to be uploaded into a book like this.
15. Black and White Thin Stripe Vase, $38: If you know someone into decor, this is the perfect vase to add style to a nightstand, bathroom, or entry for only $38. It has a bit of edge but isn’t crazy loud.
16. Pillar Candle, $35 each: Black candles are having a HUGE moment. Black sculptural candles are winning even harder right now.
17. Baye Large Hardcase Hat Box, $125: OBVIOUSLY. If you’ve run into me at the airport lately, you’ll see 2-3 hats on my head because I don’t want to crunch them in my suitcase. Enter the need for an actual hat box like a LADY.
18. Ambeur 20-Inch Rolling Spinner Carry-On, $135: I was recently on an editor trip with a lot of fancy editors and I had this piece of garbage 8-year-old carry-on that was black and ripped up. They were all carrying on these cool, more grown up pieces and I was legit embarassed.
19. Dance All Night Lanyard, $28: A purse just for your phone so you can have hands free to work, hang with kids at the park or apparently “dance all night.” It’s cute and practical.
23. Bottleneck Vase Set, $600: I love the proportions of these vases. I wish they broke them up and sold them separately because iI really just want the black one.
24. Cookbook & Tablet Stand, $45: It’s like I’m 21 and just got married and have to register for all these normal household items that anybody that has ever cooked has. I bought the Hearth & Hand one the other day because I needed a book stand ASAP, but I love this one and might be easier for tablets.
25. Personalized Ink Pet Portraits, from $35: It might be too late to get these, but I want to do some pet portraits of the cats and I like this artist’s sweet style.
26. Black Champaka Candle, $115: THE BEST SMELL IN THE WORLD. It will sell out, it’s hard to get your hands on it, but it’s mine and Brian’s FAVORITE smell in the world.
27. Sherpa Suede Trench, $2,100: Listen, it’s a great splurge that I want but will never have and actually would be bummed if someone spent that much of their money on it for me. BUT I LOVE IT.
28. Monogram Charm Bracelet, $29: I know this seems random but I want to start collecting charms almost like Christmas ornaments of special moments with the kids. I think charm bracelets should make a comeback for kids to collect. They are special and sentimental. I know that Charlie would love this too as both of them raid my jewelry.
29. Eden Carryall, $198: The bag I’ve carried for two years. It’s durable, can hold a laptop and wears beautifully.
30. Glow Tonic, $15: My friend introduced this to me and I LOVE IT. It gives me a glow and if you mix a bit with your foundation, you look dewy all day.
31. Rose Quartz Roller, $28: My hair/makeup artist in Portland used this on me and she claims it really helps keep your face taut. I’ll go for it.
45. Indigo Night Duster, $228: I’m nothing if not predictable. I practically only wear dusters in winter here and this one is right up there.
46. Clare V. Fanny Pack, $299: You may have seen me rocking this but I finally bought my first Clare V and it’s a fanny pack. I LOVE IT. I use it at the flea market or out shopping if I want easy access to phone and wallet. I get 1 million compliments.
48. Leather Beltbag, $79: For those of you who don’t want to spend $299 on a fanny pack (understandably), this is a great less expensive alternative.
49. Emma d’Orsay Oxford, $188: I just got these and I’ve worn them almost every day (and am wearing them right now). Nisolo is a company I LOVE, their shoes are beautifully and sustainably made. They care about the world, therefore I want them on my feet.
50. Asymmetrical Snap Popover, $68: Fleece pullovers are an actual thing right now, a trend that I did not predict but I want to get into it.
52. Royale Elité Walnut Handled Knives, from $110: The amount of vegetables I chop is insane right now. I need some better knives (I’m open to other suggestions, these are just pretty).
53. Still Life Pitcher, $120: I’ve wanted this for a couple of years. It’s so simple and classic, but done in a modern way.
54. Memory Foam Bath Pillow, $15: MOUNTAIN HOUSE SPA NIGHTS. omg. It’s all I can think about, taking a bath in my microbubble tub and listening to meditation or books on tape. I like how simple this one is and kinda disappears.
55. Electric Duke Faux Fur Throw, $70: My level of coziness that I desire can rarely be met in the winter. I don’t know why we stopped using electric blankets, but I want this for the mountain house.
56. Adventure Vacuum Crock 3 Quarts, $42: Listen, you might be done with me souping but I’m not and I want to be able to keep it warm outside in winter and summer to properly torture my friends/family.
These are things that I either know he would like or he already has and he loves.
1. Men’s Wool Jacket, $80: It’s a handsome coat for handsome man (at a price that he won’t be offended by).
2. Yeti Rambler, $25: I don’t know how Yeti managed to convince me that they are the best, but I hear they are the best and he deserves the best for his cold drinks in the summer.
3. Yeti Rambler Mug, $25: And in the winter, we are big on walks through the woods down to the lake with a hot coffee or hot toddy.
4. Yeti Tundra Wheeled Cooler, $400: He would never let me spend this for him but we need a good cooler. Ours is so old and gross, and I hear this is the best, so if you are on the market, I recommend it while it is quite the splurge.
6. Diagonal Zip Kit, $15: I stole his last dop kit, so I need to get him a new one and this one is simple.
7. Shearling RCMP Hat, $228: I love this hat and if he were someone who appreciated this vibe, spending this money might be something I’d do, but I don’t really think it’s his style (more mine…hmmm…so I guess put this on my list).
10. Men’s Puffer Vest, $30: He has this and LOVES it. It looks awesome on him and he brags about it all the time. He actually buys most of his clothes via Target’s Goodfellow & Co. line (it’s great).
11. UKEG 64oz Growler, $149: This is such a great gift that I’m not sure he’ll appreciate because LA doesn’t really have the growler beer culture that, say, Portland does, but it’s beautiful and if your person is into beer, I think this is a GREAT gift.
12. Canvas Travel Bag, $15: Whoops, I guess I really want him to have a new dop kit. I love this one, too.
13. Felted Coat, $195: I bought this for him last year and I highly recommend it. He loves it. It looks handsome and structured for a sweater.
14. NES Classic Edition, $60: He’s not huge into video games, but I know that he would love to relive some of his (and my) youth with the classic games at such a low investment.
15. 300pc Poker Set, $30: Poker night at the mountain house. I don’t know if he wants this but I just love the idea and it’s a nice looking set.
17. Navy Leather and Copper Basketball Hoop, $399: I think I’m the one that wants the mancave more than him mostly just to design one. I used that beautiful walnut basketball hoop in Portland and while it was even more expensive, this is a slightly more affordable option. I know Brian would love it, but is it worth the splurge?
18. Leather Head Navy Basketballs, from $150: I’m pretty sure this is something that I love more than him. But they are so pretty, which I know Brian really needs in his sporting goods.
19. Boom Box Bluetooth Stereo, $300: We have a golf cart (from the ’80s that is red with fringe on top) up at the cabin and it BEGS for this. It’s nostalgic, it’s fun, it will surely fulfill a fantasy.
22. Walnut Wood Domino Set, $80: We just started playing dominos with the kids. I don’t think that a fancy version is necessary but this one is really nice looking if you want to leave it out and have it easily accessible (like on your coffee table).
For My Kids:
Now for my children, who I SWEAR I will not spoil, but it’s so hard at the holidays.
1. Unicorn Body Pillow, $20: Birdie is in a MASSIVE unicorn phase (the zeitgeist doesn’t miss toddlers, by the way). We have the bear version of this in Charlie’s room and it’s so cozy and soft so Birdie needs her own.
2. Water-Based and Peelable Nail Polish, $14: Every time I get a manicure, Elliot says “your nails are so pretty” in the sweetest way, and last year I bought her baby polish that we ran out of. I haven’t used this brand before but I’m hoping that it peels off like it says it will.
3. Bees Book, $18: Charlie is OBSESSED with this book. If you have or know a kid who likes collecting facts, this is a great book (with awesome visuals).
4. Animalium Book, $28: ….Which brings me to buying this book, by the same publisher.
5. Crckt 18″ Kids’ Carry On Suitcase – Unicorn, $40: They both spotted other kids at the airport with their own luggage and asked for it for Christmas which I think is hilarious. Luggage? I’m trying to get them to ask Santa for it because I think it will be V. funny if they are on Santa’s lap and ask him for luggage. But it’s time, regardless.
9. Wobble Board, $169: This is one of those that they’ll be underwhelmed by at first but it has a million different uses and is great for both their physical development and their imagination.
10. Walkie Talkies With Built-In Flashlights, $25: Our mountain house backs up to 50 acres of protected university family camp (no cars, no bodies of water) so I’m very excited to be able to let them loose up there with walkie-talkies. They know their way around a bit, but having walkie-talkies will make me less nervous.
11. Custom House Watercolor, $90: This is obviously more for us than them. I have “portraits” of both our previous houses and it’s SO AWESOME to have.
12. LED Neon Rainbow Sign, $25: Birdie saw this at Target and LOVED it and when my kid asks for something decor related, I get V excited.
14. Girls’ Microsuede Boots, $27: I can’t spend real money on shoes for them yet because they trash them and grow too fast, but these are perfect for winter.
15. Wooden Piggy Bank, $15: How cute it this?? They are just starting chores and earning money so they need a place to put it.
16. Giant Jumbling Tower, $80: Our kids are extremely into Jenga and it’s so fun. When I told Charlie that there was a version as big as his head, his eyes got so big. He is SO excited about a large life-size version.
22. Ada Twist, Scientist Book, $18: One of our favorite books (and series of books). Charlie requests this all the time. YAY to a very good message.
23. Ladybug and Click Magazine Subscription, $60: Sara got this for both our kids last year and they LOVE it. They look forward to getting their magazine every month and we read them at dinner and breakfast. It’s so sweet, educational and special. (Thanks again, Sara.)
29. UNO Card Game, $6: We are starting to reach the age of family games which is taking having kids to another insanely enjoyable level. Our kids LOVE UNO. If you have kids around our kids ages (3 and 5) snag your family this classic game.
31. Magna-Tiles, $60: OBSESSED. They are OBSESSED with these. They have them at their preschool and my parents just got them these for Birdie’s bday so they pretty much play with these all day every day. Educational, colorful, fun…Magna-Tiles FTW.
32. Lite Brite, $15: Last year, we bought one of these for the mountain house, mostly to fulfill my childhood nostalgia but Charlie loved it and I can’t wait to pull it out of storage.
34. Dream Tree Foam Climbing Blocks, $150: OKAY. These are ugly (there are blue versions but always sold out) but our kids LOVE THEM. They play with them for hours and hours, making towers, climbing and jumping off them, creating forts. If you have the space, I highly recommend.
35. Gobs of Jobs Activity Chart, $79: While I’m sure I could find a cheaper job chart on Etsy, I do love this one and folks, it’s time. We’ve started doing some but we aren’t consistent enough and this will help (right?).
36. Giant Dominoes, $29: Our kids LOVE dominoes (but they make us set it up which is rather laborious), so obviously they’ll love the family giant version even more.
37. Kiwi Crate Subscription, from $20: This is a monthly craft subscription club that our friend’s kid gets that is awesome and our kids want it badly. YAY for gifts that keep giving. This is a great one from a grandparent so they can make something for them every month as the gift keeps giving.
Okay. I need to start shopping before these things sell out. If any of you has other family activities or games that you recommend please let me know. I’m always on the hunt.
If you’re eagerly awaiting the rest of our gift guides, we have one rolling out as a “second day” post every day this week and next, so be sure to come back in the afternoons (or check Instagram) to make sure you don’t miss a one (the team worked super hard on them and there are literally HUNDREDS of amazing gift ideas). PLUS, if you haven’t headed to our big Gift Guide landing page on the site, you’ll definitely want to check that out, which has EVEN MORE gifts in a super shoppable format.