Holiday Gift Guide 2015
Is it just me or does it seem like the holiday shopping deals started way earlier this year? Or am I just totally disorganized this year and feel like I’m already behind the game? Either way, holiday shopping season is upon us in full swing. I’m pretty sure Black Friday started on Tuesday last week, and who knows if Cyber Monday is even a thing anymore. None the less, there’s a lot of shopping to be done and lots of great deals to be had out there.
I’ve seen a lot of good deals this year already on some normally high-ticket items like Kitchenaid Mixers and Bose Headphones. And if you know me, you know I love a good deal (especially if it involves CVS ExtraBucks). But when I’m buying gifts for friends and family, I always like to get something a little unique and memorable that will usually bring a smile to someone’s face when they unwrap it … either because it’s sentimental or just plain ridiculous.
I’ve compiled a short holiday gift guide with some of my favorite gifts that I’ve recently given (and received) from a mix of different spots on the interwebs from very small local businesses to brands I just love.
So without further adieu, here are some of my favorite gifts to give, and receive!
- OXO Good Grips® Hand-Held Spiralizer – I’ve been a fan of spiralizing veggies for the past year or so, and as much as I love my big tabletop spiralizer for cranking out a bigger quantity of veggies, I know that kitchen counter space is precious to those of us enjoying city-living. I was able to test out the OXO Hand-Held spiralizer earlier this summer as part of a marketing campaign for OXO and I have been using it ever since. I love it because it’s easy to clean, fits nicely in my utensil drawer, and is super easy to use for my most-commonly spiralized veggies like zucchini or small potatoes. And for just $14.99 it is a small investment for a new kitchen contraption. Plus, if you buy it from Bed, Bath and Beyond you can use your 20% off coupon. Wahoo!
- Emily McDowell Mugs – So I have to admit, I own four of these mugs already and have probably gifted at least six of them in the past year. I have been a HUGE fan of Emily McDowell’s hilarious cards for a long time now, especially a lot of her awkward cards, so I was psyched when she came out with a hilarious mug line last year. My personal favorites are the It’s Too Early for You To Say Things and Everything Will Be Okay. At $18 a mug, it’s the perfect size and price for the final piece of your gift to that special someone who gets your sense of humor.
- Mistaken Lyrics Bags – I discovered the Mistaken Lyrics Coasters this summer in a shop down the Cape and stood in the store laughing hysterically to myself like a crazy person in public for at least 20 minutes. I bought my friend Allie the Shake it Like a Polar Bear Ninja tote bag which she used on our foodie adventure to Portland and I’ve since sent a bunch of the mistaken lyrics coasters to other friends. I love the 90s Mistaken Lyrics Coasters with songs like “don’t call jason waterfalls” by TLC. The coasters are priced at $25 and the tote bags are $22. The reactions you’ll get though are priceless.
- Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe Cookbook – The cookbook from my all-time favorite bakery in Boston – Flour Bakery. The book is worth every penny just for the homemade Oreo recipe that is to die for. Plus, Joanne Chang is my spirit animal and a former business consultant turned professional baker entrepreneur extraordinaire. I love giving a taste of Boston to friends and family through this cookbook, which you can snag on Amazon for around $25.
- Seawicks Candles – Move over Yankee Candle, there’s a new candle in New England. These soy candles made close by in Maine not only smell amazing, but they look great in your house whether they are burning or just hanging out as a decoration. My first and favorite candle is On the Pier, which just smells like summer on the beach. They also have lots of great seasonal scents like Tis the Season and The Lodge. The candles come in three sizes ranging from $15 to $22. If you sign up for the Seawicks newsletter they usually have good online specials every now and then.
- Old Try Prints – I love custom prints, especially ones that are a little unique and really special. Most of these prints are Southern-inspired, so I’ve given them as gifts to some of my friends who live down in North Carolina and this particular print to my sister-in-law who hails from Alabama. I used to work with Micah, one half of the husband-and-wife team behind The Old Try, and have loved watching the product line expand. I love this new line called Wee Try, which are all baby-inspired prints. Most of the basic prints seem to be under $40. In addition to the prints they have t-shirts and some other interesting art on the site that’s definitely worth checking out.
- CityPrints – CityPrints has a huge selection of custom print maps, from college campuses to sports stadiums to beaches, lakes, national parks and more. I first was introduced to CityPrints when my brother got me this map of the Boston College campus as my housewarming gift when I bought my condo a few years ago. This year I had a custom print of the lake my family lives on down the Cape made to sit next to my BC map in my family room. For Father’s day this year, we got my Dad a set of the wooden coasters with a mixture of sports stadiums, college campuses, cities and the custom print I had created. They are a great conversation piece and definitely a unique addition to your wall. The prints range from $49 to $200+ depending on if you get it framed, and the wooden coasters range between $39 and $59. It looks like they have a new line of glassware with custom rocks glasses. I hope my dad’s not reading this post, because he might be getting a pair this Christmas!
So those are just a few of my favorite things. I love that many of these are small local businesses, which are always great to support. And the best part is that all of these gifts are great year round, not just at the holidays. So bookmark this post for when you’re scrambling for a last minute Mother’s Day, birthday or Father’s day gift next year. A lot of the sites are running holiday specials, so check them out now to catch any good deals before they are gone. Happy shopping!