Alright, it’s December 8. If you are like me, it has (once again) snuck up on you.
I blame the unseasonably warm weather for lulling me into false security. It’s pretty hard to think about Christmas when you still have the A/C on! But now the temperature has finally dropped, seemingly overnight, and I woke up this morning feeling uncomfortably behind my usual schedule and slightly panicked.
A few times in the past I have done a “holiday shopping” guide that a lot of people loved, and I intended to do that again this year. But, life. And warm weather. And procrastination. So.
Now it’s getting too late to wait much longer since everything is ordered online…so I’m doing ALL TWELVE today. Bam.
Ready? Get out your payment info…you can thank me later!
If you know someone who is a dedicated list-maker, goal-setter, and chaos-tamer then this gift is perfect for them. If you know someone who is scattered, overwhelmed, and over-extended then this gift is perfect for them too! There are tons of planners out there, but I found this one to be great for just about anyone. Not only does it help you get control of all of your busy life tasks like budget, meal planning and grocery shopping, organizing schedules – but it also help in planning for your personal goals and dreams. You know, the ones that get lost in the everyday chaos survival mode. Pick up one for yourself, too! Price range about $25-50.
2. Love Your Melon hats
On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. After achieving the original goal of donating 45,000 hats— one for every child battling cancer in America — Love Your Melon set a new goal of donating one million dollars to pediatric cancer research and providing immediate support to children and their families. Fifty Percent (50%) of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products are donated to Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer. Our partners work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer. To date, they have donated over 1.5 million dollars and over 80,000 hats. Perfect gift for teens and young adults – these are often sold out because they are so popular!
3. Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot is a seven-in-one multi-cooker that works as an electric pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, warmer, and sauté pan all in one. It cooks meals faster, and offers the option for a delayed programmable start time. The Instant Pot has a lot of functionality for one appliance, and at a decent price point. It’s sort of like a crock pot but faster, and food is less likely to dry out. It’s also durable and easy to clean. Perfect for days that you want to do a lot of cooking at once for the week, or for days where you forgot to plan anything…you can put frozen things right in it. VERY popular gift right now, and lots of online groups and recipes available to help you learn to use it. I have one, and am loving it! Anywhere from 80-150 dollars depending on features, size, and sales. Can find them anywhere.
4. Humans of New York
Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010, when photographer Brandon Stanton set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in an attempt to capture New Yorkers and their stories. The result of these efforts was a vibrant blog he called “Humans of New York,” in which his photos were featured alongside quotes and anecdotes. The blog has steadily grown, now boasting millions of devoted followers. Humans of New York is the book inspired by the blog. With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York. His new book, Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor. Absolutely fascinating and will be sure to be loved by all who receive it! About $20 each. Find it here.
5. One Good Deed Bracelet and Journal
Mary Fisher—artist, author, advocate—spent a decade partnering with vulnerable women in Africa, designing jewelry made by the women to earn
a dignified livelihood. She had just released her memoir, Messenger, a story of discovering joy in service, when she met Thomas Morgan, filmmaker and father, who created the 100 Good Deeds game with his family.
The rules of the game: A “good deed” means we’ve gone out of our way to help someone and only counts if the deed remains anonymous.
Thomas shared the game with Mary who responded by creating the 100 Good Deeds bracelet. The bracelet is both a call to do good deeds and a strategy to empower women. Bracelets are made by vulnerable women, many HIV+, who’ve been trained for this work in Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Rwanda & Haiti, Bali, India and New York. 100% of proceeds from sales are reinvested in the 100 Good Deeds Program.
Each time you do a good deed, move the ring one bead closer to the button…not to announce to others what you’ve done, but to remind yourself to be mindful and look for the everyday opportunities to do simple daily acts of kindness. Bracelets come in many colors and are about $30, but you can also send a gift card to let them choose their own. There’s also a companion journal called “One Good Deed A Day”, suggesting 365 seemingly simple actions that have the power to ignite a chain reaction of compassion. Each brightly illustrated page features an inspiring prompt (“tell a friend why she means the world to you,” “pay for the car behind you at the toll booth,” “say a blessing for one thing you’re grateful for today”) encouraging people to make meaningful connections with loved ones, build community, spread cheer to strangers, or prioritize their own happiness. This chunky gift book also offers space to journal so that, upon reflection, readers will be motivated to complete another good deed the next day, and the next, for a year’s worth of extraordinary impact.
6. World Travel Map
Know someone who LOVES to travel? Young or old, this is the perfect fun gift for those who are always on the go! This scratch-off world map poster is just like a scratch-off lottery-ticket; you scratch-off the different parts of the world you visited and every time you scratch off a piece of the map, it changes colors. I’m thinking newlyweds, retired folks, and of course all millennials would love to have this under the tree! About $20 here.
7. Ring Wifi Audio/Video Doorbell
When we built our home, we installed a normal doorbell that rings on our main floor. This quickly became a problem because we were often poolside on our lower level patio or in our media room and could not hear it ring. Jim was NOT anxious to rewire additional speakers as you can imagine. Enter Ring – it lets you answer the door from anywhere. Whether you’re halfway across the world, or just too busy to walk to the door, Ring lets you see, hear and speak to visitors from the comfort of your smartphone, tablet or PC. Wifi enabled, it doesn’t even need to be hard wired if you don’t want to. Problem solved! About $150.
8. Yinzer Power
“Pittsburghese” is a dialect of unparalleled delight, filled with bizarre phrases, awkward, nearly unintelligible pronunciation, and a tendency to confuse…and quite charming to those of us from the area. But of all the idiomatic words and expressions, the one that most exemplifies “Pittsburghese” is that notorious version of “you,” usually spelled and pronounced “yinz” by the current generation of self-described “yinzers.” Do your part to help pass down our deep Yinz traditions and select something from Etsy. Everything from ornaments, posters, tee shirts, mugs, and bumper stickers to charm anyone with Pittsburgh roots!
9. Things We Love About You
Do you know someone who absolutely has everything? Well, here is one thing no one can have too much of – being told by others how important and loved they are. Special reminders of the fun (and sometimes zany) times spent together. A list of reasons why they are special and loved. You can find many versions here, and you will have created an heirloom piece sure to touch their heart! Perfect for grandparents.
10. Auto Roadside Emergency Kit
Know someone who is new to adulting? You know, fresh out into the world and on their own trying to be responsible? Yep, it sucks for them to actually have to SPEND MONEY on responsible things so you should do it for them. For example, this auto emergency kit. $50 worth of peace of mind is priceless! Throw in a fire extinguisher for their first apartment and you’ll all sleep easier.
11. Binge-Watching Survival Kit
I can confidently say that pretty much EVERYONE is looking forward to some holiday relaxation that means a day spent in pajamas doing nothing but de-stressing watching Netflix. N amasté on the couch all weekend long with the Binge-Watching Survival Kit from Pinch Provisions. Spoiler alert! This kit contains 18 marathon essentials including coasters, emergency socks, snack clip, face cleansing towelettes, and a sofa yoga guide. $20
12. Personal Photo Gifts
Lastly – my favorite gifts – anything personalized with the images that I created for you this year!!! Print and frame them, make mugs and mousepads, ornaments or calendars! Mpix is easy to use and good quality. Every year these gifts will become more and more precious, especially in this day and age where all too often pictures get stuck on cell phones buried away from our everyday enjoyment. Order something for a gift, and something for you too!