Holiday Gift Guide

stocking stuffers

Although it may be seventy degrees outside, my calendar indicates that the holidays are just around the corner. I’ve been wishing for an excuse to share some of my favorite things, so I decided to round them up into a holiday gift guide. Almost all of the items are under $30 and would make great stocking stuffers. A few are handmade, so order soon. I hope you find some good ideas in here, and hey, I wouldn’t blame you for adding a few of these to your own wish list. Stay tuned for a cookbook gift guide and a fun DIY gift project (pancakes! pancakes!) next week.

Home Alone on DVD: Every year, I find a friend to watch Home Alone with me around Christmas time. I suggest you do the same.

Hand-knit Cowl in Charcoal by The Fauxmartha: My lovely friend Melissa makes these cowls out of super-soft marled yarn. Last year, I convinced her to start making them in this charcoal gray color and it’s been my favorite scarf ever since.

Custom-made iPad Covers by Pencil Shavings: Apparently I have talented friends, because my OKC friend Rachel designs these beautiful and functional iPad covers. I’m tempted to buy an iPad just so I can cover it in one of the watercolor designs. She makes iPhone covers and other goodies, too. Order by December 10th.

The Feast Merlot by Cultivate Wines: I’ve poured myself quite a few glasses of this great red. Cultivate Wines donates the first ten cents of every dollar made to non-profits supporting education and basic human needs. Check out their blog for recipe pairing suggestions.

Make Your Own Cookbooks with Blurb: Drag and drop your recipes and photos into Blurb’s cookbook layouts and have them printed at a reasonable price. This would be such a cool way to share family recipes.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder by Lake Champlain Chocolates: Organic, fair trade, vegan cocoa powder that makes exceptionally dark and rich hot chocolate. Order online and they’ll ship it to you from Vermont, or look for it at the nearest Whole Foods (find locations here).

Olive Oil by California Olive Ranch: Fantastic, sustainably grown olive oil from the West coast. They bottle the oil within hours of harvesting, which probably explains why their oil is full of complex, rich olive flavor. It’s affordable, too.

Custom 1/2-inch Leather Dog Collar by Crayne Creates (shown with this nickel-plated tag): I may have named my blog after my dog, but I don’t buy Cookie Christmas presents. She’s a dog! I will say, however, that she looks pretty snazzy in her handmade, red leather collar and shiny new ID tag. They are still looking good after a few months’ wear and I think they will last for a long time.

Sweet and Spicy Jams by Primo: Jams and jellies are usually a little too sweet for my liking. Primo’s small batch jams, which are made by a four-member team in Denver, pack just enough heat to balance the fruity flavor. I can’t decide which is my favorite: raspberry habañero, boysenberry guajillo or blackberry serrano. Shop online or check the nearest Whole Foods if you live in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico or Kansas.

Tinted Lip Balm by Burt’s Bees: Lipstick makes me nervous. I’m always afraid that I’ll end up lipstick on my teeth and no one will tell me. I don’t have to worry about that with this tinted chapstick, which provides some color and sheen but doesn’t require a mirror for application. My favorite color is rose. You can find it at Target or buy a set of two using the link provided.

City Block Sunscreen SPF 25 by Clinique: Ok, maybe getting sunscreen for Christmas is as bad as getting a lump of coal, but this stuff is so great that I had to tell you about it. After listening to Nora Ephron’s hilarious pleas to young women to wear sunscreen in I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, I decided to quit making excuses. This chemical-free sunscreen doesn’t irritate my skin or have that terrible sunscreen smell. It also comes recommended by my dermatologist. Clinique is offering free shipping now, too.

Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer from Kaufmann Mercantile: This vintage-looking bottle opener snaps off bottle caps with a satisfying flick of the wrist. Coolest part? You can slide the bottle opener back over the bottle of beer and save the rest for tomorrow night. This feature comes in handy when you want to open up a giant bottle of craft beer that you can’t possibly polish off in one night. (And by you, I mean my single self.)

King Cube Ice Trays by Tovolo: Without fail, every time a guy sees these gigantic 2-inch ice cubes in his drink, he thinks I’m the coolest girl ever. It’s on par with when he finds out that I drive a standard. (I don’t get it.)

Nail Polish in Chick Flick Cherry by OPI: I got my first real manicure a couple of months ago. I’ve been keeping my nails short and polished ever since. I don’t know anything about nail polish trends, but this deep, cranberry-ish red is my favorite color so far. It’s classy, right?

Shields by Grizzly Bear: I can’t stop listening to this album. If your indie music-loving friend somehow hasn’t gotten ahold of a copy of this yet, he needs one.

Spatula by GIR: GIR is short for Get It Right and their designers really got it right with this spatula. I thought all spatulas were created equally, but this one is exceptional. It’s the perfect shape for scooping out every last bit of scrambled eggs from my cast iron pans. I’d bop you on the head with it if you tried to take it away from me.

Disclaimer: some of these links (like to amazon) are affiliate links. That means I’ll get a small percentage of the sale if you click over and make a purchase, which would be much appreciated during this season of gift giving. That said, I’ve tried to link to the best source of the products and have only included products that I really truly love (as always). Happy shopping!


  1. says

    Props on the Grizzly Bear rec! I’ve been perpetually going back to it since it came out. In the car, in the kitchen, walking in town.. it feels constantly appropriate. Lurve them. Hope they tour on back to Canada in 2013 way too bad.

  2. says

    seriously, what is up with this weather? i’m not complaining…i don’t love when it gets so cold that i cry on the way out to my car every morning. i’m sure we will get plenty of that come january!

    i would normally wait to watch most of my christmas favorites on tv, but since i no longer have cable i’m in the process of making a list of all the ones i must own now. home alone is definitely on the list! :)

    • says

      As long as it’s cold enough to wear boots, I’m happy. I’m nervous about my first KC winter. Surely it will get cold eventually, right?

  3. says

    I love this! I’m totally obsessed with my cowl from Melissa, and I actually bought that ice cube tray for Matt – his whiskeys have never been the same ;) Happy holidays, friend! xo

  4. says

    I think I’m going to buy some of my friends Home Alone on DVD now…it just dawned me that the world probably has it only on VHS and who really has a VCR nowadays anymore?? Great idea!! Thank you!!!

    • says

      Keep the change, ya filthy animal! Sorry, quoting the movie here. I think we’re watching it at girls’ night next Wednesday. Yesss. Now I just need to hunt down a copy of Home Alone 2.

  5. says

    What a holiday gift guide! I’m loving the handmade cowl, chick flick cherry polish, and the iPad cover. Burt’s Bees is my go-to lip balm, currently into Pomegranate but you know, one can never have enough balms.

  6. says

    Ms. Kate,

    I love your gift list. Especially those large ice cube trays. Chick Flick Cherry is a good one… Check out “I’m not really a waitress” by OPI as well. It’s been my tried and true favorite for many years.

    Happy Holidays!


  7. says

    Thank you so very much, Kate, for the kind mention of our olive oil! You are so dear to think of us during the holidays!

    A healthy and delicious holiday season to you and your readers!

    California Olive Ranch

    • Joanne says

      Hello Kate,

      The more I listen to Shields by Grizzly Bear, the more I think… if you never heard of the band “Elbow” you might like them. I’d recommend the album “Leaders of the Free Word”

      If you are interested, I noticed this link. It was the first song, “Station Approach” that grabbed me.

      • says

        I’m glad you’re enjoying Grizzly Bear, Joanne. Thanks so much for the recommendation. I’ll be listening to “Leaders of the Free World” while I work today.

  8. says

    Love the Hermetus bottle opener/resealer! It took a while to find a vendor that would ship within Europe (outside of Germany, of course, where there are plenty of options) without excessive shipping fees, but finally came across them on I ordered 2 – one for my husband & one for his brother. Thanks for the great idea!

    • says

      I’m so glad you found an affordable seller of the bottle opener, Liz. Thanks for sharing the link. I hope your husband and his brother love their gifts. Happy holidays!

  9. says

    I just bought the two pack of the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm and while I like it, I am still super jealous of Dulcie and her ability to wear bright lipstick with confidence & style! I share your fear of lipstick on teeth and also my own personal fear of coming off as a crazy middle aged person trying to look 20. Even though 32 is not REALLY middle aged, right? That’d be more like 40 :)

    • says

      You’re nowhere near middle aged! I’m approaching my late twenties and I don’t think I’ll ever pull off bright lipstick. Even if I did, I’d suffer from lipstick-on-teeth paranoia the whole time.

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