Fun Christmas Ideas

I absolutely *love* to give gifts, so Christmas shopping is one of the highlights of my year.

Carefully selecting the right gift for the right person, scoring a killer deal whenever possible and even wrapping are all part of the fun.

Here are some of the things I have my eye on this year:

For kids:

  • Science kits are a high priority item. Mindware  has several options that appeal to all kinds of kids, but my favorite was this Lip Balm Lab.

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There are also Perfume, Slime, Soap and Volcano labs available. Most of these are for kids 10 and up.

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  • A game the whole family can play. I already mentioned this in my Thanksgiving recap post, but a favorite new find (via my friend A.) is Not Parent Approved, a family-friendlier version of Cards Against Humanity.

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For college-aged young adults:

  • Home Tees. These would be particularly good for homesick college students.

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  • Snacks. Last year I stocked up one nephew’s dorm room with Costco-sized versions of trail mix, Twizzlers, M&Ms, animal crackers, popcorn and other assorted junk foods that would be uniquely appreciated at 3 A.M. An excessive snack supply also seems like a good way to quickly turn your room into the go-to place on your floor. Score one for popularity.
  • Individual coffee makers, like a Keurig, with at least six boxes of coffee pods. Here’s the important second part of this gift: send yourself a reminder to send more pods again in March and May. The last thing you want to do is give a kid a space-hogging appliance that he can’t afford to use. 

For adults:

  • A case of wine. I’ve given this gift again and again for a variety of occasions, and it’s always well-appreciated (and usually gone before the end of January).
  • A magnum of wine. Magnums are the oversized wine bottles that are the equivalent of two regular bottles. If you choose something spectacular, like this Veuve Clicquot, you’ve got one impressive gift. If you buy a $6.99 1.5-liter bottle of Yellowtail Chardonnay, you’re going to be disowned.
  • A wheel of parmesan cheese. Ok, this is basically a fantasy gift given its $2250 price tag, but it looks so incredible.

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  • Coffee or beer from a local roaster/brewery. Or kill two birds with one stone with a growler of coffee stout.

Fun things I just love:

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  • These. Can you detect a theme? (Sadly, these are sold out).

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  • Artist socks. These are also sold out, but immensely fun. They are from Signals.

 

 

Jenni Kayne Seasonal Gift Box

I am so, so not in the market for this, but this Jenni Kayne holiday gift box feels thoughtfully curated and luxurious:

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Here’s a closer look at what’s inside:

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The box includes (description and images are screen shots from the eponymous website):

  • Over-the-Knee Socks
  • Santa Maria Novella Relax Candle
  • Sylvain Le Hen Barrette
  • Farmhouse Pottery Milk Bottle Match Striker
  • Stacy Nolan Rose Gold Earrings
  • Grown Alchemist Hand Cream
  • Small Jewelry Catch-all Dish

Ok, you know you’ve got everything when you own a match striker.

As I mentioned above, this feels quite tasteful to me. While I would never spend $295 for this (and if you are a friend or family member hoping to surprise me, please pass on this!), I love the look and feel of the box – which somehow manages to be rustic and cleanly modern at the same time – enough to try and perform my own (similar) curation but for significantly less expense.

 

 

 

 

 

Heath Ceramics, Part Deux

Yesterday I posted about visiting the Heath Ceramics outpost in the Ferry Building during a recent trip to San Francisco.

Even though the storefront is small, I spent a looooong the browsing.

The looking continued when I got home.

I love that everything Heath sells manages to be both rustic in materials and modern in design.

This picnic set would be such a wonderful wedding gift. I love that it comes with a Faribault recycled wool blanket!

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On a smaller scale, this mini serving set would also suffice:

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This tray is spectacular! It’s currently out of stock, though, which is probably a good thing.

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This unique tea candle set would make a perfect hostess gift:

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One more tray:

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And I am so, so susceptible to things like this and this:

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Pop Out San Francisco

Spouse’s sister S. has lived in San Francisco for about 15 years, and she sent this great gift to Trixie for her sixth birthday.

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It’s a sturdy cardboard playset of San Francisco landmarks that kids can assemble.

It’s adorable and reminds me of Muji’s New York in a Bag, one of the best and most affordable souvenirs ever.

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Only $18!

Construction only took about five minutes, but the fun went on and on.

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Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

My little daughter, Trixie (5), would love this Unicorn Horn bubble bar from LUSH.

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We haven’t tried them before, but the instructions are to crumble under running water to create a bubbly, fun mess.

At only $7.95, I think this is worth picking up this weekend as I buy gifts for her sixth birthday next week.

I hope our nearby LUSH store has them, because it looks like they’re out of stock online.

Another thing I plan to pick up is Tenzi, a dice game that seems easy to learn and adaptable to multiple players of different ages.

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The kids and I are going on a vacation with my sister next week, and this seems like it might be a fun way to spend some down time.

And, since it’s Trixie and I love her in a way that makes my thinking about money even more irrational than the usual state, I predict another painful trip to the American Girl store to spend my hard-earned dollars buying things like a $68 baking set. For dolls.