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It’s the holiday season… and that means it’s gift buying season. It may seem too early for a gift guide but think about it – this time next week is Black Friday. Might as well get started now! As a blogger, this time of year is my busiest so I started holiday shopping right after Labor Day and because of that I've had an early start on finding cool things for my gift guides (I promise you, no gift guides with $500 throws or $200 candles but plenty of things for the stylish as well as non-fashionistas in your life!).
Some folks are easy to shop for (Emerson? Art supplies and American Girl accessories) and some are not (my husband Karl is a good example). What do you buy for the friend who wants for nothing? The relative you don’t know well enough to buy a gift? A gift guide for the hard to shop for – hopefully this can help you this holiday season!
1. Hometown Map Jigsaw Puzzle
Whether it’s where they were born, where they grew up, where they currently reside, this is a fun gift for folks of all ages. Can be created for any US address and the home is represented by a house-shaped puzzle piece. $44.95 and free shipping from LL Bean.
2. Smartphone Instant Photo Lab
The Uncommon Goods catalog came in the mail and Karl was flipping through it. He saw this and said, “This would be a great gift for… for almost everyone we know!” And it’s true. From your aunt who can’t figure how to get the photos from her phone to her computer to your nephew in college whose friends would have a blast with this at a party, it’s a fun way to instantly have prints. $169.00 from Uncommon Goods.
3. Sock Panda
Who doesn’t love socks? Sock Panda is a sock subscription and they have subscriptions for men, women, tweens, and kids. For $12-$16 a month depending on the plan you choose, your recipient will receive two fabulous pairs of socks in the mail. You can choose the kind of socks (gender, more traditional prints, wacky prints, or a combo) and they arrive adorably packaged to your loved one each month. For the kids’ subscription, the two pairs of socks come with other fun goodies like stickers and games, and the socks snap together so you don’t lose one.
The company donates socks to those in need for every subscription purchased. As of October 2015 the company has donated nearly 50,000 socks to homeless shelters, low income senior centers, and under-privileged classrooms throughout the country. Sock Panda partnered with Indutexa S.A., the top sock manufacturer in Lima, Peru because it is a family run enterprise that treats its workers well and uses high quality materials. And yes, for a small shipping fee, this program is available internationally! Prices vary, from Sock Panda.
4. 60 Hour Candle
I got this for Karl last year for Christmas. He’s a bit of a prepper, he likes to have practical gifts and this fits the bill without making it look as though REI exploded in our home. Not only that, every time people come over they remark on it and ask where we got it. A few friends have bought their own after seeing ours. It’s attractive, easy to use, fragrance-free, and practical. $25.88 and free Prime shipping via Amazon.
5. Jumping Point Calendar
I’m a bit biased as I have this calendar in my home. We have it at the top of the stairs and each day we tear off the disc for that day and a rainbow emerges. It’s a great way for kids to understand length of time and become familiar with days and dates. You can remove the disc for a special day ahead of time and have a colorful way to count down to it. It’s a bright and cheery way to decorate a room in a practical way. MoMA sells this every year so you may be starting a new family tradition with your gift! $39.95 via the MoMA Design Store.
6. U.S. State Tea Towel
A great holiday, hostess, or housewarming gift. These retro-inspired tea towels will add color and interest to any kitchen. All 50 states plus the District of Columbia available. $20.00 via Sundance.
7. Click & Grow Indoor Smart Herb Garden
Even if your friend doesn’t have a green thumb, he or she can successfully grow fresh herbs at home with this gadget. Everything is included, it doesn’t take a lot of energy or space, and it’s reusable (you can buy refills for a variety of different plants or generic cartridges to grow the plant of your choice). $59.99 and free Prime shipping via Amazon.
8. ThermoPeanut Smart Wireless Bluetooth Thermometer
ThermoPeanut is a Smart Wireless Thermometer that measures temperature and sends it to your phone via the free SensePeanut App available on iOS and Android. If it's too hot or too cold, ThermoPeanut can ring and send notifications to your phone. If you have a Nest thermostat, Peanut will work with it to adjust the temperature to what you desire. While this has practical uses, it’s also a cool gadget for the gadget-lover and a neat resource for a new parent, camping enthusiast, or most anyone. $29.99 and free Prime shipping from Amazon.
9. Kiehl’s Crème de Corps
At the time of year when so many people are receiving bath and body gift sets scented like pine and cranberries, stand out with a cult favorite from a brand that’s been around since 1851. No strong fragrance, this is a cult favorite for its ability to deeply hydrate skin with a silky, not sticky finish. Pamper the friend who doesn’t like fragrance, impress the beauty guru in your family, treat your mom who always takes care of everyone before herself. Available in four sizes; can be a great token gift or a decadent treat (the largest size comes with a convenient pump). Prices vary, free shipping via Nordstrom.
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