Every year when I’m putting together my annual holiday gift guide, it’s more a compilation of my own wishlist—as well as gifts I’ve purchased for my loved ones. (Loved ones, look away! You might spoil the surprise.) No $2000 items or things like a Peloton that you’d never actually buy someone, just things I’ve got on my own wishlist or have mentally bookmarked for my family.
Quick side note: I don’t know why it took me so long to sign up for eBates! I always thought it was a sham, but it’s most definitely not. If you shop online a lot like I do and install the plugin on your web browser, you’ll get an automatic notification when an online store offers cash back; the stores I regularly shop at offer anywhere from 2 to 15 percent back, which is refunded to me every couple of months via Paypal. I pretty much only shop online as I hate going into stores and have gotten $500 refunded to me this year alone. You can sign up here, which I highly recommend before doing any Christmas shopping!
With that said, here are many things I’m loving this year:
FOR A FANCY STOCKING STUFFER: SOCK FANCY
Remember how as a child you’d roll your eyes anytime you received a piece of clothing as a gift, then somewhere around your teens or early 20s, you only hoped someone would give you a present like underwear or socks? Socks have become a routine staple for me: I get them for my mom, sister and SVV every single year, and spent hours searching online for the perfect prints. SVV, you may be surprised to know, is a bit of a sock connoisseur and the crazier the print, the more likely he is to wear it. So when I learned of Sock Fancy, an Atlanta-based sock delivery service, I was more than thrilled that someone was going to take that time searching for the perfect prints off my hands. Best of all, you can customize your subscription—men’s or women’s; all crew, all low-cut or a mix of both; one, two or six pairs per month (I’m going with six given that my washing machine eats socks like no other!)—in a commitment of three-, six-, nine- or 12-month subscriptions. Shipping is free, and if you don’t like something? You can make unlimited swaps. How’s that for satisfaction-guaranteed? You can also get 20% off with the code BF2018.
Price: from $11/month (purchase here)
FOR THE AT-HOME CHEF: RAW SPICE BAR
Born from the desire for better quality sourcing of raw spices, RawSpiceBar is built to control the entire process of ground spice production here in the United States. We’ve been using their products for a few years to make Indian chicken, Italian food, Asian-inspired tacos and so many other yummy dishes. SVV gravitates towards the blended ingredients like tandoori masala or the Persian advieh and absolutely loves the extended recipe section of their website for dinner inspiration. I’m not complaining! If you’re like me and can’t choose, RawSpiceBar offers a subscription model that will kick your kitchen up a notch and it’s customized to how you cook and what kind of dishes you typically like. Genius! We’ve now been subscribers for three years, and not only do we get brand new spices we’ve never before tried sent to us on the regular, but now we can also log onto RawSpiceBar’s online shop and order bigger portions of the spices we love. Note: You can get 12% cash back through eBates with this one.
Price: from $9/month (purchase here)
FOR YOUR PRODUCT-JUNKIE WIFE: GURU POUCH
We all have that person in their lives, who opens up her purse and an entire makeup counter spills out. And if you don’t have that person, it’s probably you (spoken from experience, ha)! The Guru Pouch is a drawstring makeup bag that opens into a 20-inch flat surface. Not only can you can see everything at once, which is my big frustration packing all my stuff into a tiny makeup bag when I travel, but when you’re done, you just pull the strings and everything is tucked inside. Best of all, you don’t need to pack and repack when you’re traveling, as you can use this method at home instead of taking it all out of your makeup drawer and messing up your counter; instead, just set the products back down on the open bag and cinch them all inside when you’re done. Voila!
Price: $12 (purchase here)
FOR YOUR TOY-LOVING HUSBAND: DJI MAVIC AIR QUAD
The best gift I ever gave SVV was the DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone a year-and-a-half ago. We use that thing all the time, and it’s become an important component in our photography kit. That said, if you’re just a hobbyist, you don’t need a $2000 drone; the DJI Mavic Air will work just fine (we actually produce videos for tourism boards so need the higher-end model). DJI almost never puts their gear on sale, but for this Christmas, they have the Mavic Air bundle—which includes the remote controller, a spare battery and a hard case, all expensive accessories on their own—on sale for $749. If you’ve ever wanted a drone, now’s your time. If you (or your husband) are in the production industry, I highly recommend the DJI Phantom 4 Pro, which is on sale in a bundle with a ton of accessories for $1800. And if you’re not ready to commit to the real thing just yet, SVV spent a year learning to fly on this $60 BLADE Nano before launching a $2000 piece of equipment into the air. (I much endorse this method! Too many rookie drone pilots out there ruining it for the rest of us.)
Price: $749 (purchase here)
FOR YOUR COLOR-LOVING SISTER: 3D EARRINGS
MonsteRawr was one of my first ever blog friends, so when she launched MonsteRawr Makes earlier this year, I was one of her first clients. Stephanie, who has a long history of working in theater production, uses a 3D printer to make amazing wearable art in the form of earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Her style really speaks to my geometry-loving, former math-major heart, and I absolutely love how she incorporates asymmetrical prints and circles in her pieces. You can pretty much order any color you like—her products come in pink, yellow, purple, blue, green—and Stephanie has generously offered all C&C readers 20% off their order through Dec. 31 with the promo code CAMELSGORAWR.
Price: starts at $17 a piece (purchase here)
FOR YOUR FRIEND ON THE GO: A PORTABLE POWER BANK
SVV and I got a couple of these handy charging stations by Lynktec last year, and boy have they saved our lives ever since upgrading our phones and coming to terms with the harsh reality that Mophie doesn’t make a charging case for the iPhone X. Instead, we each keep one of these charging stations in our laptop bags or purses at all times and pretty much use them daily when outside the home, whether out and about in Nashville or traveling for work. Each one gives you four full charges before you need to plug it into the wall and recharge it, plus they come with mini-USB ports as well as an Apple mFi connection, so you can charge iPhones and Droids. Can you say lifesaver?
Price: $60 (purchase here)
FOR YOUR INQUISITIVE KID: LITTLE PASSPORTS
I bookmarked this kids’ subscription box company when I found them almost a year ago as a gift idea for my five-year-old niece Lucy. She’s a precocious kid and always eager to learn new facts and skills. So I ordered her a one-year subscription to Little Passports for this Christmas. Little Passports makes subscriptions toy boxes for kids ranging from 3 to 12 years old with each box designed to take kids on an adventure where they discover more about the world. Even better: The boxes are put together with the help of scientists, educators with PhD and Masters degrees, and award-winning writers and designers. Kids learn by touching and doing, not just memorizing facts. I reached out to Little Passports and they kindly extended a 15% off offer to C&C readers with the code PR8N2F through 12/31/18. They also have some Black Friday sales happening now, plus eBates is another 6% cash back in your pocket.
Price: $12.99/month (purchase here)
FOR THE PHILANTHROPIST: ST. JUDE
Y’all know of my love for my home state non-profit, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, by now. There’s no company I’d rather donate my money and my time to, so when they reached out to tell me about their #ThisShirtSavesLives campaign, I was more than happy to share the good word. For the second year, they asked dozens of celebrities (and a few bloggers like yours truly!) come into the studio and get our photos snapped wearing the newest iteration of the #ThisShirtSavesLives. If you commit to donate $20 a month alongside us, you’ll get the new shirt sent to you—and rest easy knowing that you’re helping St. Jude give children with cancer free access to treatment, lodging and so much more. (In case you didn’t know, St. Jude’s entire ethos is that no family should have to worry about expenses while they’re focusing on their child’s life.)
FOR THE BROADWAY FAN: THE GREATEST SHOWMAN REIMAGINED
Has it really been only a year since The Greatest Showman catapulted into our lives (and our sound systems), forever changing them for the better? I don’t know about you, but I memorized the entire soundtrack in, oh, about 1.5 days, so when I heard The Greatest Showman Reimagined was coming out just in time for the holidays with covers of the popular tracks by some of my favorite pop artists including Kelly Clarkson, Pink and Kesha, I immediately bookmarked it to download in my Amazon Music account. (Side note: Don’t have Amazon Music? We pay $7.99 a month for it, but I just saw that it’s on sale for $.99 a month right now!) If you don’t have a streaming account, you can buy this amazing soundtrack via Amazon as a CD or audio download.
Price: $13.49 (purchase here)
FOR YOUR WOMAN ABOUT TOWN: ALL THE BODEN
I absolutely love buying my clohting from Boden, usually dresses and tunics that transition easily from day wear to night. Typically, Boden pieces are a bit more than I tend to spend on clothing (think: $150 for a dress, which isn’t bad), but Boden frequently has sales. Things I’m lusting after: this jacket with toggles, this green jersey dress, this lilac dress, this fun yellow sweater, this color-block dress.
FOR YOUR STYLISH LITTLE: ALL THE CUTEST CLOTHES
My niece is now eight months old, and I’ve had the best time outfitting her in the cutest little girl clothes throughout the year. A few of my favorite resources are Gap Baby, Mini Boden, Cat & Jack from Target and Nordstrom (I’m obsessed with Tucker + Tate—they even have adorable little boys’ clothing, which I find is rare). Below you’ll find several of the outfits I bought her this fall and winter. I’ve been stock-piling clothes for her, but have already had to give her a few of her 1-year birthday presents as she’s 8 months but already wearing 12-18 months! That kid is not small.
FOR YOUR FRIEND ON THE GO: TOMS
A couple years ago, I swapped out all of my designer footwear in favor of everything TOMS, no matter the season (I often buy them via Zappos, FYI, as Zappos always seems to be running deals). They’re just so dang comfortable, they’re affordable and they have regular sales, not to mention I love their give-back philosophy, donating a pair of shoes to kids in need for every pair sold. I absolutely love their booties and have no fewer than seven pairs in my closet, with more on the way. My favorites are the Ella booties (no surprise there), but I also love the Kala Wedge Booties. BONUS: TOMS just launched an amazing initiative called “End Gun Violence Together” where they’ve pledged to commit $5 million to gun reform, plus will send a letter to your Congress person on your behalf asking for more thorough background checks of gun owners and it only takes 30 seconds, so go to their homepage and do just that. As if I couldn’t love them any more! Plus, they currently are offering 30% off site-wide with the code THANKFUL. And you get another 10% cash back in your pocket with eBates.
Price: starting at $89 (purchase here with the code MADHOUSE for 20% off)
FOR YOUR PUP: THIS CLOUD-LIKE BED
A friend posted this Best Friends by Sheri dog bed that I immediately snatched up for Ella, who has a bed in every house but only seems to be placated by sleeping on my blanket that looks very similar to this. Here’s to hoping our fur child is finally comfortable (ha)! There are four different size options of this donut-shaped bed depending on how big your pup is.
Price: $35 (purchase here)
FOR YOUR GROWN DAUGHTER: ATHLEISURE
Ahem, are you listening, Mom? Honestly, at this point in life, all I care about are leggings, tunics and puffy vests. My go-to shops are Gap, LOFT and Athleta—particularly as all of those have frequent sales (I also stock up on Zella leggings during the holidays or Nordstrom’s annual sale). Since I work from home and don’t often need dressy garb, the majority of my wardrobe is some form of athleisure that can transition from home office to errands to home office again—or be worn on planes or on road trips. I have an entire wardrobe comprising just leggings, and let me tell you I wear them all; the best leggings brands in my mind are Gap or Hue, though I’ve had success with the Vera Wang and Lauren Conrad brands that Kohl’s carries, as well. Here are a few items I’ve either purchased for myself lately or put on my own wishlist. Gap currently is offering 50% off everything with the code BLKFRIDAY (plus 10% in cash back on eBates), which makes my favorite leggings just $15 a pair. These are seriously all I wear in winter months under a tunic, and they tuck in great to boots!
FOR YOUR CHILD STARTING HIS/HER OWN BUSINESS: GETTING NAKED
SVV recently bought this book by Patrick Lencioni as we continue to evolve our own business model into more consulting in the coming year and show more vulnerability as business owners. It’s a helpful look at entrepreneurship, no matter what field you’re in, as well as a quick read. He also has a number of other business books that are more targeted to specific industries.
Price: $15.99 (purchase here)
FOR THE STAY-AT-HOME MOM: BAREFOOT DREAMS
OK, let’s widen this net to say “anyone who is at home the majority of the time,” including but not limited to stay-at-home moms and grandmoms, creatives, freelancers, remote employees, anyone for whom comfort is key. Barefoot Dreams makes the coziest of the cozy cardigans and wraps that are legitimately like being wrapped up in a big hug. I originally had some bookmarked via Nordstrom, but they all sold out, so randomly I found them on QVC for much cheaper; they’re also having a major sale on everything through Nov. 26 making them even cheaper. They also make these amazing throws that I’m wanting for my home office.
Price: from $75 if you buy via QVC (purchase here)
As always, I’m giving away a holiday bundle, a selection of my favorite things, some from this list and some which may be surprises, so enter below to win my annual C&C giveaway:
All you have to tell me is this: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
Note: A few of these products are from our partners or are affiliate links, meaning I’ll receive a small commission for any purchases made. The majority are things I bought for loved ones this holiday season (hope my loved ones aren’t reading this list!). All items featured are 100% endorsed by me.