Gift guides are a funny thing. On the one hand, I think they promote materialism in a way that I’m not very comfortable with during a time of year when I (maybe naively) think the focus should be on spending time with friends and family. And the really cynical part of me thinks that they’re a way for advertisers and the not-so-ethical bloggers out there to make money via affiliate links and sponsored posts. (There are, of course, plenty of responsible bloggers who create sponsored posts and use affiliate links and are transparent about all of it, and they’re absolutely excluded from that statement.)
But on the other hand, I really love picking out treats for people I love, and as I’ve been clicking through my favorite online shops and websites these days, I’ve found myself mentally cataloging items that would make perfect gifts for specific friends and family members. So I thought I’d share that catalog with you here today, as promised. The following 11 items are things I’d buy in two shakes of a lamb’s tail for the people on my shopping list, and I hope you enjoy reading about what I picked. And hey, if gift guides aren’t your thing, come back tomorrow, when we’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming.
1. For the baker in your life, who makes chocolate chip cookies until the wee hours of the morning and says that measuring sugar and sifting flour is therapeutic. Anthropologie hedgie measuring cups, which have just the right amount of whimsy. (These are also totally on my own wish list.) ($36)
2. For your favorite green thumb, who loves nothing more than spending hours in the garden clipping herbs and planting flowers. These amazingly awesome head vases from Floral Art L.A. that are perfect for spiny succulents or a spray of bright blooms. (I’ve been lusting after these ever since I saw them on Oh Joy! years ago.) ($150 each)
3. For your sweet boyfriend’s overnighters at your place. Everlane’s weekender duffel in gray. Style meets function in a won’t-ever-go-out-of-style shape. ($95)
4. For the perfect host/hostess, who whips up amazing roast chicken and who always makes you feel welcome. A batik fork and spatula set from Leif—functional enough for serving salad, pretty enough to keep on display in the kitchen all the time. ($32)
5. For your nieces or nephews, who love stuffed animals more than anything, just like you did when you were their age. Sweet Eleanor the Bunny from Walnut Animal Society, Lauren Bradshaw’s adorable stuffed animal company. They’ll cherish her (or any of the Society members) forever. ($98)
6. For your younger brother, who joined the Marine Corps but still maintains his too-cool-for-school edge. Makr’s gorgeous leather iPad case in oxblood, which has an old-school, traditional feel that’s fun to juxtapose with a high-tech item. ($192)
7. For your fashionista best friend, who has the coolest clothes and shoes of anyone you know. This super-cool 14K gold bee necklace from Sarasota-based Juno & Jove. ($215)
8. For your favorite aunt, who has an entire room in her house devoted to her books. Persephone Books, a wonderful British publishing house that prints “mainly neglected fiction by women and for women…that are guaranteed to be readable, thought-provoking and hard to forget,” offers a book subscription for either six or 12 months; I can’t imagine a lovelier present for a book lover. (I own Persephone books myself and was reminded of them thanks to this post by Hila.) (£60-£120)
9. For your dad, whose emotional blueprint is exactly the same as yours. The John Lennon Letters, a catalog of correspondence from the man himself. ($20)
10. For your mom, who never screens your calls, is always happy to see you, saves magazines she thinks you’ll like and reassures you about your ghost ailments, even though you’re 29 years old. The coziest cotton pajamas (in a pretty print) to keep her warm (even in mild Florida winters), because that’s exactly what she is herself: warm. ($85) (Some shearling slippers would be nice, too.)
11. For your favorite paper lover, who still believes in the power of the handwritten note and who never forgets to send a birthday card. Anything from Rifle Paper Co., but particularly these sweet French lady cards. ($18)
Quick note: In case it’s not clear from the first two paragraphs, all items are linked directly to their sources, and this is not a sponsored post.