Thursday, December 04, 2008

Gift Guide

Did you know I love to give gifts? Finding the perfect gift for that hard to shop for person is one of my life's missions. I'm somewhat crazy and obsessive about finding THE PERFECT GIFT. I thought I would put together this little gift guide to help those of you who have difficult to buy for folks in your life. The only category I don't seem to have covered is teenage boys - go buy them a Best Buy gift card and move on with you life. They're impossible to please!! I also don't have kids. Toys. Moving on.

The Crafty Set

I don't know about you, but there are lots of crafty folk in my sphere. I myself am not crazy crafty (but remember that time I made the pillow for Bestest Friend?), but I like to think I can talk the talk.

The Small Object is one of my favorite places to go to buy unique, fun things for the people in my life who all too often just head to Hobby Lobby and accept whatever is on the shelves there as the entire catalog of available materials. And here's why!!

This collection of little woodland stamps is $18. Look how cute that little acorn is!!

You don't believe me? Look at her dirt stamps!! Dirt stamps!! Ingenious. One of them is lint. Can you guess which one?

Oh, my God, the man who has no hobbies and buys everything he could possibly want himself (also known as my father)

This one is tough, I'll grant you. Last year I ended up getting him a monkey Christmas ornament. He laughed, but I don't think he understood that I did it because there was nothing else I could buy him, short of a 1960s-era Mustang, which I could ill-afford!!

Oddly, my father is interested in family history. So, this book (available at amazon for about $26 - Super Saver Shipping!!) is perfect for him. It's part of the Our Name in History collection and the awesome part of the whole thing is it is personalized to your last name. Pretty cool.

Game Lovers

My mom and I are game lovers. I love Out of the Box Games because they create games that are unusual and interesting. I am considering buying this game, Backseat Drawing, for Christmas, and hoping I can convince two people other than my mother and myself to play with us!! Basically, it's trying to get someone else to draw something they can't see and guess what they're drawing. I bet it's hilarious and a good way to improve communication. It's $25 at their web site.

Next up we have a Balancing Tower. This is available from Hable Construction. This looks like Jenga, but way cooler. It's available now for $8. They also have a fabulous wooden domino set for $38. Go look! I'll wait. It's totally awesome and perfect for the gamer on your list.

Animal Lovers

Have you ever wondered if your dog had some artistic talent? Well, wonder no more!! Here is the perfect way to find out. Art-Casso has Pup-Casso and Kitty-Casso for you to see your pet in action!! $20 of non-toxic adventures to let your true crazy animal loving self out!! (And that dog on the box looks suspiciously like a white boxer I know personally... hmmm... Dexter, you may have some puppy modeling heading your way!)

A while ago, I entered a contest for free greeting cards from funnyernie's shop at Etsy. I won some pretty fantastic cards and then went back and made a purchase of a bunch of other cards, including the one below. $2 for a beautiful card with such a sweet print. I am going to be going back there again soon!! I am resisting from proselytizing too much about the wonders of Etsy on this gift guide, but if you haven't poked around that site, please go. You can get anything and everything there.

Writers and Dreamers

I have a friend who is so smart and creative that I always puzzle over what to give her. It's always books and this year there are THREE that I am having a tough time choosing among.

The first book is Once Again to Zelda, an in depth look at 50 dedications of popular and/or well-regarded works of literature. I'd say great works of literature, but Charlotte Bronte is on the list and gargh! No more! It's available on amazon for $11.53.

The second potential gift is Fortune-Telling Book of Dreams available at Chronicle Books ($9.95). For those of us who devour all the Nostradamus specials on the History Channel, this is highly important information. Can your dreams tell the future? Let's let this book tell us all about what our dreams are predicting! I think, if nothing more, this book would be a great way to spark story ideas and creative imaginations.

The last book is The Tales of Beedle the Bard. We are both Harry Potter fans and I think I'm going to get her this book no matter what. And I hope she gets it for me!! (Available everywhere. For less than $10. Go get if for your Harry Potter loving friends.

Moms (or me, really, if I'm being honest)

Moms are really just women and women are easy to buy for. Seriously, guys.

These Sweetest Things Earrings are spectacular. They are $10-15 here. You never knew stud earrings could be so cute, did you? (I want these.)

Every one's talking about the Doodlebook Frame. It's a picture frame, but it's made up of 80 pages that you can doodle on. Or your kids can color on. Make it personal, you know? It's pretty smart, if you ask me. Originally sold here for $16, but sold out. It's available on amazon for $14 if you really want it. I think moms of toddlers and little ones would really like as a stocking stuffer.

Not everyone is as crazy about the stationary and greeting cards as I am, but if you know anyone who still thinks that sending cards through the U. S. Postal Service is a patriotic duty, they will LOVE this paper suitcase set from one of my absolute favorite internet shops, Pink Loves Brown. For the bargain basement price of $38 you get a set of stationary (10 sheets), 6 blank cards, the suitcase that you can get personalized, and a bow. I am sold. I am actually not sold, but this was on my Christmas list last year and never materialized under my tree. I'm putting it on my Christmas list AGAIN this year. Oh, wait. I'm not a mom. I realize that I am putting all of my wants and desires on the mom list. Okay, whatever. Moms or twenty-somethings dreaming of puppies and garages.

I feel like if I were on The Price is Right, I'd say, "and how would you like A BRAND NEW BAG?" and the audience would ooh and aah over this bag. Goodmorning, morning! is another one of my faves online. This is labelled as a book bag on her site ($64), but I think it would be a perfect little diaper bag, too. With brown and orange. Yes, indeed. Perfect diaper bag.


Okay, whatever. You already know my obsession with Baby Gap. I won't talk too much about what to buy for babies because babies don't understand gifts or the holidays. They don't need much more than an empty box as far as I'm concerned.

But it never hurts to give cute clothes! The junk food onesies at Baby Gap appear to be on clearance now for $10, so run out and buy all those cute smiley faces!

Oh, yeah, and this book from Pipsqueak Boutique ($34 + $5 for a middle name) is a pretty good idea for a baby shower, a baptism, a birthday, or a holiday. You personalize it to spell out the child's name and you can even do your own dedication. It's pretty cool. I will say that I've ordered this book for several children in my life and it's beautiful, but the customer service at Pipsqueak Boutique leaves a lot to be desired. They don't respond to emails and there's not even an invoice in the package when it arrives. The quality of their goods is fantastic, but if you're a stickler for the service, this might not be the place for you.

Teenage Girls (or, if I'm still being honest, me)

A monkey keychain. Man, when I think about all the keychains I had on my keys when I first got my license, it's a wonder I didn't mess up the ignition in my truck. This is from One Good Bumblebee and I've always had wonderful luck there. At $5, this is the cutest little stocking stuffer ever!! That banana looks delicious.

Hee. An ice cream truck with lip balm in it. If your kid's not quite old enough to enjoy the wonders of Sephora, but is starting to get curious about makeup, this is an ideal in between. $16 here.

This is my favorite, I think. It's a charm bracelet, but perfectly lovely on its own, I think!! It can be purchased at Stella & Dot for $49, which is kind of a lot, but think of how classic this is. It will last forever. The charms are sold separately at that site, but I think you could get charms just about everywhere. Totally rockin' and classic, all at once.

Music Lovers

This Standing in the Shadow of Motown DVD is less than $5 at amazon. I happened to get the music teacher in the Secret Santa draw at work and I'm totally giving him this. It's all about the background musicians during the era of Motown and when we got it through Netflix, even I, the avowed movie hater, was riveted. Great DVD. Really cheap. Go buy it now!

The Dapper Gentleman

This pocket square is my friend. I want one in ten different colors for my husband. I'm not going to tell you how much it is because I want you to think of these as mostly "affordable" gifts.

For the dapperiest of men in your life, this wool and cable driving cap would be perfectly appropriate. Particularly if said man is not quite 30 years old, but aspires to wear head garments that a 70 year old man would wear. J Crew for $58, but some colors are on sale!! (Damn it, I just looked and it appears as if these have sold out since I started this about a week ago. Sorry, driving cap seeking folk. I'm sure you can find some other examples of find headwear elsewhere.)

Argyle socks!! You can get these and similar ones for relatively cheap ($14.50) at J Crew.

Or, if you're me, you'll buy that man in your life these cashmere socks from Brooks Brothers that cost $45 A PAIR. Oh, yes, my friends. I have spent that on socks before and I will again. For my husband. His toes deserve comfort.

And that's it for now. As I stumble upon awesome (or do I mean bawesome?) gift ideas, I'll try and post them for your retailing pleasure!


  1. That dog does look like my puppy (who is presently asleep on my feet)! We still need to get together soon before it becomes 2009.

  2. I have the exact same problem shopping for my dad. The man does not need ANYTHING!

    I keep seeing that doodle frame all over the place. Surely SOMEONE on my list would like one...

  3. Is it bad that I totally want the personalized name book for me? It's a wee bit tricky (read: impossible) to find personalized items with my name on them, and that just looks awesome to me. I was planning on going out shopping this weekend for the gifts I've not yet ordered, but now I can stay home and shop from here! Thanks!

  4. This list is awesome! I think I must have the doodle frame and my daughter is definitely going to need the lip balm ice cream truck! Off to Sephora to grab that today!


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