It’s the holiday season again - the time of year where everyone is spending irresponsibly.
If you’re anything like me, you’re stressed out because you’ve acquired gifts for no one on your list, but already spent your entire holiday budget on yourself.
Oh? That’s just me? Okay, sorry.
Well, regardless…here’s the deal. We’re going to find something for EVERYONE on your list. every. single. person. I got you. I promise.
I put a lot of thought into this guide and carefully selected only products that I’ve loved this year. Every gift mentioned I personally use, and genuinely think other people would like.
This year, pretty much every gift can be ordered online. Booyah.
Happy holidays everyone! Thanks for another awesome year 💞What is your favorite gift for the 2018 holiday season? Help a sister out and leave it in the comments below!
25 Foolproof Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List:
1. Brydge iPad Keyboard
Before I got this keyboard, my iPad Mini sat untouched on my desk for months. Now I use it every day.
The nature of my job means needing to type/write on the go. I love my laptop, but it’s too cumbersome to carry around all day. I’ve also been reluctant to get a MacBook Air (too many dongles and not enough memory space).
An iPad Mini with a keyboard is the perfect compromise. It fits in my purse, is lightweight, and allows me to do just enough work without being distracted.
I really like my specific keyboard. Get it online.
2. Rifle Paper Co. Planner
I had so many planners before I purchased the Rifle Paper Co planner in 2016. Now I’ll never go back. This is it. I’ve found my planner soul mate.
Idk, man. It’s something about the size and layout. It just works for me. I even wrote an entire blog post on exactly how I use this planner structure my tasks/goals.
If this planner ain’t for you (your loss), I still recommend checking out the entire Rifle Paper Co. website. They have top-notch products. You’ll find something!
3. Sony Digital Camera with Zoom
For the most part, smartphones have advanced to a point where they can replace point-and-shoot cameras. However, they have one major downfall - the zoom.
I’m a big fan of Sony cameras. For their size, they take incredible pictures. For example, look at this picture I took (by zooming in) in Downtown Pittsburgh yesterday:
Do yourself a favor and get a camera with a proper optical zoom. My camera of choice is the Sony DSCWX500. It has a 30x zoom and a flip-around screen that's great for vlogging (let’s get real -it's 2018).
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m very embarrassed to admit that I love my AirPods.
I’ve basically made fun of Airpods since they were announced in 2016. For years I sniggered at anyone wearing them. Well, as it turns out, I’m a huge hypocrite.
I'll be honest. Most of the negative things I said about them are true. They are easy to lose. They do look stupid. But damn. I feel like I’m in an iPod commercial every time I wear them.
They are just so convenient. They work seamlessly with the iPhone (for the most part), which is a huge time saver. I also touch my phone less when I’m using them. And, they stay in my ears a lot better than I imagined. I’ve run 5+ miles with them and had limited issues.
Am I going to lose them one day? ABSOLUTELY! But until then, we’ll have a nice run.
5. What Do You Meme
I put this game after the AirPods on purpose.
This is another situation where I poked fun of something…. and then actually loved it.
6. Brush Lettering Markers
Everyone needs a hobby.
A few years ago I started practicing calligraphy. While I’m no great shakes at it (it depends on the day), it’s fun doing something with my hands that isn’t typing/scrolling.
After gifting these markers, encourage the recipient to go on Pinterest, where there are approximately 3 million tutorials on how to brush letter.
7. AllBirds Wool Runners
Allbirds straight up changed my LIFE. The hype for these shoes is real. I’ve conquered cities in my in Allbirds. They are soooo comfortable. And reasonably supported. And low key enough that I can wear them with…. well, anything. I’ll wear my Allbirds with dresses. Skirts. Leggings. Slacks. Overalls. You name it!
Give the gift of comfortable and supportive footwear this holiday season. I personally prefer the wool runners.
8. Aerie Clothing
Let’s get real. The world of athleisure clothing is fickle. We all know that LuluLemon and Athleta are overpriced. Even ~trendy~ brands like Outdoor Voices are extremely expensive.
I’m DONE buying into the designer leggings trend. Enter: Aerie. This brand offers quality leggings, pants, tops, bras, ect. for a fraction of the cost. Plus, everything is super cute and comfortable. I would be stoked to find some Aerie sweats under the tree.
Aerie always has some sort of sale going on, so keep an eye on their website.
9. Donut Sticker (yes, this is my own merch)
I only have one item of “merch,” but it’s a good one! (I’m bias.) Behold: the donut sticker I made with my friend @YEAHYELHSA.
Wow! What an excellent stocking stuffer, if I do say so myself. Get one for the the foodie/donut lover in your life! And, while you’re there, be sure to shop the rest of YEAHYELHSA’s Etsy. Everything she makes is faboosh.
10. Handcrafted Ceramics
And, if you get a vase, how about some flowers to go with it? I personally love gifting dried flowers because they last so much longer and can be a statement piece in a room for years to come.
(Yes, those flowers above are dried - not freshly cut!)
12. Bon Bon Bons Chocolate
These adorable chocolates are the perfect gift for the quirky sweet lover in your life (a.k.a. me, fam).
Talk about combining art and chocolate! Bon Bon Bon has crazy unique flavors like creme brulee, strawberry & balsamic, lemon bar none, nog, maple chestnut, and many more.
13. A519 Chocolates
Speaking of beautiful chocolates, I obviously have to recommend my friends at A519.
This Pittsburgh-based confectionery company makes chocolate truffles that are truly works of art. They are almost too pretty to eat (almost). I don’t know how they cram so much flavor into one little truffle… but they have mastered the art.
These chocolates can be found around Pittsburgh, or ordered online. I personally recommend the winter caramel collection. ALSO they have just started offering a CHOCOLATE SUBSCRIPTION! YIKES! What a gift!
14. Nathan Miller Chocolate
annnnnd more chocolate! I also enjoy Philly-based Nathan Miller Chocolate. They sell far-out chocolate bars. Think camel milk, buttermilk, and matcha. They also offer chocolates from unique countries.
My favorite is the “Gingerbread bar.” It’s great for the holidays!
15. Jeni’s Ice Cream
Nothing says “I care about you” quite like a box of ice cream delivered to your front door. That’s exactly what you get when you order from Jenis.
This quirky company is dedicated to quality, and truly has a flavor for everyone on your list. Think: Boozy Eggnog, Cognac with Gingerbread, Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallows, Brown Butter Almond Brittle, and so many more!
I’ve been a fan of Jeni’s for a lonnnnnnggg time, and I love introducing new people to their products. This is especially great for out-of-town loved ones that you won’t see this season. Just order & pay online, and Jeni’s will handle the rest!
16. Ultra Matcha
Listen, nothing will ever replace my love of coffee, but I’ve discovered there is room in my heart for both coffee and matcha. Some mornings (usually ones that start with yoga and candle burning) I’m in the mood for tea instead of coffee.
The ritual of making matcha is very relaxing, and I do feel better (see: less jittery) when I pick green tea over coffee.
Worst case scenario, it will make a damn fine instagram picture!
I suggest purchasing from Pittsburgh’s boutique matcha company - Ultra Matcha!
Bonus: pair it with a Matcha Whisk
17. Simple Sugars Scrubs
I care a lot about my skin, which is why I love Simple Sugars. It’s a completely natural scrub formulated specifically for sensitive skin.
Gentle enough to use every day, Simple Sugars exfoliates, removes dead skin, and leaves skin silky smooth - really! Plus, it smells amazing. I avoid perfumes because I’ve had reactions in the past, but these products are formulated for sensitive skin, and I feel comfortable trying a wide range of scents.
For the heck of it, I’m going to share a few makeup items that I’ve been using obsessively this year. I like makeup. I always have. I’ve spent wayyyyy too many hours of my life watching YouTube makeup tutorials to give up this hobby. However, I’m definitely a creature of habit. When I find a product I like, I use it until I’m scraping the pan.
A few products I’ve used nonstop this year:
- Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette
- Kylie Jenner Highlighter (never in my life have I received more compliments on a single piece of makeup)
- Make Up For Ever Contour Power
- NARS Laguna Bronzer
- Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lipstick
- Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey
- Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream
Still can’t find anything?
Your backup should ~ALWAYS~ be Framed Art and/or a Book.
19. Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew
This book is perfect for every millennial that has ever asked, "What the fuck am I doing with my life?" (That's all of us.)
Instagram "sensation" Mari Andrew is known for her quirky illustraions/musings on life. Her debut book is no different, and is filled with introspective, philosophical, and poetic comments on life & love (especially for those in their 20s & 30s).
Here is one of my favorite pages in the book:
Highly reccomend! Grab a copy online.
20. Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You by Lin-Manuel Miranda
Oh my! I LOVE Lin-Manuel Miranda! He's such a brilliant, kind soul.... and so is his new book of "pep talk" poems. This book features a collection of Miranda's "goodmorning" and "goodnight" motivational poems (made famous via his twitter). They are exceedingly clever and the perfect way to start (or end) your day.
One of my favorites is below.
Gnight.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 23, 2018
You are made of
Good song but
Carbon Steel? Is that...is that a thing?
You're stronger than you think
and you're stronger than you know.
Order Gmorning, Gnight! online.
21. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
Another book from another hero of mine: Elizabeth Gilbert! I unabashedly adore Eat, Pray, Love (and pretty much everything Gilbert writes). She is such an eloquent, introspective human, and everyone can benefit from reading her words. Okay. #basic rant over.
In this book, Gilbert tackles the idea of creativity. Why we create. Why we feel the impulse. Why we fight the impulse. Where do ideas come from? Why do they leave us?
As a #writer, I basically cried the entire book becasue I felt so....heard. Great book for anyone and everyone... especially creative types! (*hinthint* that's everyone)
Shop Big Magic online.
22. Paul Hollywood’s Bread
GBBO fans anyone? I sure hope so!
If you're more of a Mary Berry person (who isn't), yes, maybe you should get Mary Berry's Baking Bible instead. However, I think bread making is a GREAT hobby to gift someone. (Everyone needs a hobby!) This book features bread tips and recipes from the bread man himself - Paul Hollywood.
Give someone this book and some fancy flour. Voila!
Shop Paul Hollywood's Bread online.
23. Kalamata’s Kitchen, a children’s book
I didn’t forget children!
This is one of my favorite gifts in the entire guide because it combines so many things I love: books, food, and Pittsburgh!
Kalamata’s Kitchen is a new children’s brand that aims to encourage families to embrace new food adventures, whether it’s trying new foods at local restaurants, or visiting a new bakery.
The second book in the Kalamata’s Kitchen series features local Pittsburgh chef, Chef Trevett, who shares his own food adventures with Kalamata and her trusty “Taste Bud” friends. (!!!!) See a picture of Trevett in the book below….
The book can be purchased at Brambler Boutique (Lawrenceville) and at Chef Trevett’s restaurant Pie for Breakfast (Oakland).
24. Around the World in 80 Cocktails
25. Framed Art
Listen up: framed art should always be your backup gift… ALWAYS.
I don’t care who you’re gifting to… your mother, your teacher, your favorite librarian…. everyone always needs a new piece of framed art.
The keyword here is framed. Don’t give someone more work by giving them a print that still needs to be framed. The gift is solving that problem for them. Don’t know where to go? Funny - I wrote an entire guide to getting art framed in Pittsburgh.
A few of my favorite local artists are listed below.
Another idea is to print (and frame!) a picture they took on their favorite vacation.
Still need more?
Happy holidays, yinz! What’s your favorite gift this year? Leave it in the comments below!
Click to read: My Favorite Pittsburgh Coffee Shops For Remote Working
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