Well, we made it through to another holiday season, and I don't know about you, but I am ready to have this one be veeeeery different from last year's. Don't get me wrong, I am deeply grateful that to this point, no one in my inner circle of family has had covid or been adversely affected financially due to its presence (and that is a BIG thing). However, sitting together 6 feet apart and masked up while opening gifts wasn't really my dream holiday situation. Nor was having Thanksgiving dinner sitting far away from each other all over the living and dining room area. We made it work, just like all the rest of you did, but... well, enough said, right?
So, back to this year's holiday season. We are all vaccinated and ready to share space together in a way that brings warmth and joy to our home. With that said, I spent some time thinking about some of the things that I love both for the home and my life, and have compiled a list of items I think would make excellent gifts for your loved ones… or for yourself. I mean, we all gotta treat ourselves after all we have been through. I hope you find inspiration in these ideas, and please share in the comments if you have items that you think deserve to be mentioned. I love discovering new things!
For the cook or foodie in your life.
That would be my ENTIRE family — if they don't cook, they sure can eat.
With the colder days quickly approaching, this is a fantastic item to have in your cooking arsenal. It can be used on the cooktop or in the oven, is excellent for those slow braises that make the house smell incredible, and come in various fun colors. Though, if you are like me, that would be a matte black with the custom "add on" handle in satin brass…. so sexy. My mom is more likely to get a bright blue or green one. The point is, this dutch oven is practical AND good-looking — a rare but coveted combination. Have I mentioned I have three? A small, medium, and large 😇 Click here to get yours!
Speaking of good-looking — I am newly obsessed with Finex cast iron cookware produced in the USA. Portland, OR, to be exact!
A prolific cook and fellow lover of beautiful things, Great AKA @chezlucolette, hipped me to these stunning and hard-working pieces. I mean, that brass handle? Drool-worthy. And I love the unique shape too. These pieces were designed by designers AND cooks to ensure that both form and function were considered. I think they hit it out of the park. You will surely be the genius gift-giver extraordinaire if you treat someone to this beauty. Visit the Finex website to learn more!
More of an experience gift giver? Well, fear not, I have that covered too. Why not give the gift of a cooking class? There are so many great options out there, and most cities have local places that are really fantastic. But when in doubt, Sur La Table has a great lineup of classes for all ages and skill levels. And in this age of remote, well, EVERYTHING, they have both in-person and online options to make anyone feel comfortable. My son and I have done the steak night class a few times and really loved it — and the results our class produced… aka dinner! Reserve your spot online.
And what to wear while taking said cooking class? An apron, of course. I love the website www.food52.com for loads of cook's tools, including this apron.
Perhaps give the apron as the teaser for a cooking class on the day that you exchange your gifts. I like to add a little note with the gift declaring what the apron will be used for.
Now that you have all those stunning cookware pieces and the apron to keep tidy while cooking those fantastic meals you learned to make in your class, it is time to set the table. This is where my absolute favorite item comes into play: so much so that I wrote an entire blog post about it!
It took me 4 years to buy a complete set of dishes for 12, and I have never regretted it. Each holiday season, someone always gives me a serving piece that goes with the dishes, and every time I pull those out, I feel happy. My 13-year-old son has already declared that he will be inheriting those dishes someday. A properly trained child of an interior designer.
For the writer or journal keeper in your life.
A good pencil really does make one want to write more. At least that's my experience. And there is no better pencil than Blackwing Pencils. Stay with me for a minute. This is not an ordinary pencil. First, there is the story behind the pencil. This is from their site:
"Legendary Grammy, Emmy, Pulitzer, and Academy Award winners have created with the Blackwing 602 pencil. The list of known users includes John Steinbeck, Looney Tunes creator Chuck Jones, and Disney animator Shamus Culhane who, according to animation historian Charles Soloman, asked to be buried with his Blackwing.
Blackwing's roots go back to the 1930's when the 602 model was first introduced by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company. Over the years, the pencil with the unique rectangular eraser became synonymous with quality. Then, in 1998, after several corporate acquisitions, it was discontinued but not forgotten. In fact, fans began paying as much as $40 on eBay for a single Blackwing pencil."
Then there are all the Limited Editions, one more stunning than the next. And finally, many of those Limited Editions offer a charitable donation made in honor of the organization the pencil was designed for. I mean…
And if that same writer is an organizer groupie like me, then Golden Coil is where it is at, folks! I am old enough to still love a thing written on paper, and Golden Coil planners offer that and so much more. You can customize them from the cover to the types of pages. Calendars, meetings notes, graph paper for those late-night ideas that need to be sketched up, the list goes on. I love mine and can't wait to order one for 2022. Because let's face it, 2022 HAS to be a better year! Visit Golden Coil to build yours.
Most of us have not had any kind of vacation since this whole pandemic hit us, and I don't know about you, but I am a bit bitter about it. And worn out, but hey, this is about FUN stuff, right?
Whenever I need to pretend I am on a tropical vacation, I pull out my very special jar of Bum Bum cream. Yep, you read that right — Brazilian Bum Bum cream is the most decadent lotion I have ever bought and worth every penny. It literally smells like a sunny vacation. Since so many of us don't like to waste our precious dollars on something like fancy lotion, this is the perfect gift to give. Make them feel special, and for a fraction of the cost of an actual vacation. Shop here!
And finally….for when the Bum Bum cream just really isn't enough, and your wanderlust loved one just HAS to get away — set them up with these good-looking and practical toiletry containers. You can create custom labels on their website, from vitamins to shampoo to... bum bum cream! Build your own here.
Ok, folks, I think this should get your mind going and your creative gift-giving juices flowing — see what I did there?
I hope you head into the holidays filled with gratitude, hope, and time with family, whatever that may look like. And I hope that you find these ideas helpful.