Ho Ho Hoh No: A Last Minute Shopper Holiday Gift Guide

Ahhh, the holidays! A time for family, friends, cheers, gluttonous eating, laughter, twinkling lights, magic, snow, elves...and truckloads of stress. Don't try to deny it. I see you...

I see the subtle twitching behind that ear-to-ear smile. I know you're not completely done with your holiday shopping yet.

...hey, but that's ok!

That's why I've compiled...

...for those who are panicked and need some ideas that aren't your typical giftcards. (Note: It seems like everyone I talk to appreciates giftcards the most. Myself included...probably because that fancy lampshade or artisanal chalkboard cheese plate won't mean a thing if you're starving because you can't buy your groceries - there I go, being dramatic again.)

So, yes, let's get to it, shall we? I decided to break my guide down by categorizing people using sweeping generalizations. I'm sure everyone you know will fall in there somewhere. I've also attempted to make all gifts as unisex as possible for easy gift-giving! Find links to each item in the captions!

Here we go!

Under $25: The Course to Creativity!

The Artist's Way Starter Kit ($15.77)

I find it incredibly interesting that this is the first thing on my list. To be totally honest with you, it was thanks to this book that I was able to start my blog along with the other projects I'm currently working on. I originally received this book from my older sister in my mid-20's and scoffed at it. (That's what young people do sometimes...they scoff at things. It's usually because they're afraid of change.) Fast forward 5 years...I decided to pick it up and try it out. This is, hands down, the perfect gift for the artist in your life who's getting in their own way. Just a warning though...this is a serious gift. Give it to someone who you truly care about who won't take offense, but will see that you're trying to help them take advantage of all their talents! Shout out to my sister!

$25 - $50: All-Access Anywhere, Anytime!

Evernote Large Squared Smart Notebook - 5 x 8.25 ($29.95)

Jeebus Crispix, this one's pretty intense! Be warned, this is for your tech-savvy artist friends. So, what's so special about this? Moleskin & Evernote have joined forces to create these great notebooks that allow you to link up what you jot/sketch to your Evernote account - allowing you to have access to your notes/sketches from any of your devices! Each notebook comes with a free 3 month Evernote Premium Account! Here's how it works...

Welcome to the future, artist friends. Budget-friendly swankiness achieved!

$50 - $100: Illuminate & Inspire!

A Museum Membership ($90)

I believe in gifts that keep giving and chances are your artist friend lives near some sort of museum...or perhaps there's a museum that you know they frequent. Most museums have great membership programs with different levels. The one I chose is for the LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.) Their "Active" membership includes unlimited free admission for a year, a New Member party, and more. Your artist friend will thank you for being so thoughtful. Maybe you can be their +1 at the next special exhibit.

Over $100: Claim to Frame!

Wyndham Frames (Prices Vary)
So, the other day, I bought a frame for myself and very quickly came to realize that this essential piece of home decor was what was missing from my life. Every artist may secretly feel the same way...or may not even realize it yet. Give your artist friends a way to showcase their own work or the work of others that they admire by getting them a set of two or three frames in varying sizes. Having one frame makes a difference, but having more than one that matches? That's a whole new level of interior design artistry. Give the gift of stylish showcasing. It beats taping pieces of paper to the wall!

Under $25: Happy Feet!

Happy Socks (3 Pack) (On - $21.50)

I'm obsessed with fancy socks. If you haven't noticed, I'm big on pant cuffs and one of the things that I always get bummed about in the winter months is not being able to cuff. No one wants cold ankles. Now, men & women can cuff to their heart's content thanks to these fun 3 packs! Expose those ankles with pride, people!

$25 - $50: Straighten Up with Style!

Coach Bleeker Legacy Leather Pencil Case ($48)

In a world where we lose everything from bobby pins to pens to lipstick to that receipt that you definitely needed to let your accountant know about in the vast and unforgiving void of our respective purses & murses (man purse, for those who are unaware), breathe easy in knowing that you might solve this problem for one of your lucky friends or family members. Coach makes beautiful leather goods at realistic prices and this little case is no exception. Get it for the fashionable friend who spends 5 to 10 minutes rummaging around their bag, looking for a pen to give that cute guy or gal their number.

$50 - $100: Sailor Meet Tailor!

Saint James® Unisex Meridien II Nautical Tee ($85)

If I had to choose one item of clothing to wear for the rest of my life, this would be it! Great quality and a classic design (we all know I'm a sucker for nautical anything) that looks good on everyone. Picasso, Lagerfeld, Warhol...they've all had one of these! This is the official fail-safe shirt for the fashion set...because trends may come and go, but this little number is here to stay.

Over $100: Saturated Satchel!

The Cambridge Satchel Company® Batchel (approx. $180 - get custom embossing for $30)

Everyone has a friend who just needs a pop of color, but fears color like it was the plague. You know who I'm talking about...the friend who wouldn't dare to adorn their body with anything but neutral colors, but is still fantastically put together. Give your fashionable friend an easy way to add a punch of brightness without the commitment. These satchels will stand the test of time sartorially and physically...and if your friend just can't handle it, you have every right to ask for it back and use it yourself.

Under $25: For Readers & Writers!

Postcards from Penguin ($25)

I have this...and I LOVE it! This is the perfect gift for the literary lover in your life. Not only does it cover 100 titles with 100 original covers, but it's also a set of postcards! Give the gift of quick correspondence using the written word to your favorite literati! Who doesn't love getting a postcard? You're going to make your friend the most popular person in town!

$25 - $50: Take the Literary Lead!

Top Three Books in the New York Times Best Sellers List (Prices Vary)

This is a great way to indulge your literati friends, assuming you know them well enough to understand what types of books they enjoy. So, the idea is this: With the knowledge you have of your bookish friend or family member, check the New York Times Best Sellers list, choose the category that best suits them and pick up the top 3 books of the week (assuming they don't own any of them.) Bundle them in wrapping paper & bows and get ready for them to be impressed by you. It's ok. You can say it was totally your idea.

$50 - $100: I Love New York(er)!

A Year's Subscription to the New Yorker ($69.99)

So, the literati in your life doesn't have a New Yorker subscription and they claim they're literati? That sounds like some poppycock to me...but, seriously, this is one of the best things you can get a voracious reader.  I've always been a huge fan of The New Yorker and this subscription not only gets your lucky literati a print subscription, but also a digital subscription and access to their online archives! My IQ's skyrocketing just thinking about this gift idea!

Over $100: A Beautifully Bookish Bundle!

Major Works of Charles Dickens ($130)

Yes, back to Penguin. So, I had originally fallen in love with these beautifully bound classics at Anthropologie a few years ago and then realized that there was a massive collection of them, brought to us by Penguin. (Insert enthusiastic clapping.) I love reading and I love beautiful aesthetics, so these books were about as close to perfect as you can get, books-wise. Gift your favorite literati with a beautiful box set like this one! Not a fan of Dickens? Then go ahead and choose your own collection from their other hardcover classics, customized just for your beloved bookworm...though it won't come in the box, it'll still be a beautiful set of books that any literati would be proud to display! Good job! You're an amazingly thoughtful friend!

Under $25: Pocket-sized Plugging!

AViiQ Quick Change 3 in 1 Cable (On - $22)

Every true Techie I know has had one of those moments where they go to plug something in just to realize that whatever they're working with either doesn't have the connection their looking for or the connection they need is already being taken up by something else. Ugh. Well, then say hello to this sleek beauty! Gives your favorite Techie access to three of the most commonly used connections in a flash! Small enough to throw in a pocket and stylish enough to clip to a pocket!

$25 - $50: Timeless Tech Toppers!

Jack Spade Booze Bag iPhone 4 Hard Case ($40)
Jack Spade Nylon Canvas iPad Sleeve ($48)

Ok, just because someone's a techie does not banish from the land of the fashionable. In fact, they just have more things that need carrying cases and accessories for. So, of course, I'm headed straight for two beautiful items that give the techie in your life the luxury they deserve! Depending on what their favorite mobile device is, you can plan accordingly. Jack Spade makes great accessories that are totally unisex! (Did I mention Husband Charles is totally using my old iPhone case with hearts all over it? Adorable.)

$50 - $100: Sensational Station!

AViiQ Portable Charging Station (On - $56)

AViiQ wins again with this mega-useful charging station! The more serious the techie, the more mobile devices they'll likely be packin' and this little guy will keep them from the most dreaded of events since the blue screen of death: A Dead Battery! So, keep your nearest & dearest techies safe from power-failure this holiday season!

Over $100: Adoring Audio!

Spotify Premium e-card (12 months - $119.88)

I know many a techie who is also an audiophile...and now, with Spotify, you have the ability to give them music wherever, whenever. So, why not give them an entire year of...

  • Unlimited music without ads
  • Spotify on your mobile
  • Offline mode for playlists
  • Take your music abroad
  • Enhanced sound quality
...because, in all honesty, I think all of us (techie or no techie) wishes their life had a soundtrack...all the time. Grant that wish for a friend by giving them this.

Under $25: Fashion Films!

Nothing says "homebody" quite like getting cozy on the couch with a good movie. So, why not encourage your homebody friends to get inspired and have fun while they veg? Fashion films are always fascinating, whether your friends will admit to it or not, so let them secretly indulge a little. These films won't disappoint! (click on the images to find out where to purchase them.)

$25 - $50: Pretty Poppin' Pots!

Color Pop Coffee Pot - Brews 6 Cups ($38)

There's a very good chance that aside from just being at home, your homebody friend or family member may also enjoy a cup o' home. So, why not introduce them to the wonder of a good ol' fashion coffee pot? This Italian-made beauty will add a dash of color and a little bit of meditative ritual to every morning. Not only that, but it's totally one of those items that you can have sitting on a counter and it's not an eyesore. Beats a regular coffee maker in the looks department, am I right?

$50 - $100: Fab Faux Fur!

Luxe Faux Fur Throw ($79)

This is one of those things that people rarely get for themselves, but secretly want very badly. There's nothing quite like wriggling around on a faux fur throw...I'm sure everyone's done it at least once at their interior decorator friend's apartment or house. What, you don't fantasize about rolling around on something soft and furry? Well, you should. These throws also make the perfect accent for leather & fabric seating. Gotta love mixing textures!

Over $100: Crystal Clear Connection!

iRetrofone by Freeland Studios (Starting at $200)

One of my big hang-up's when it comes to the holidays is getting people things they would never get for themselves. Things that are a bit out of the ordinary...great conversation pieces or design items. Which is why, of course, this little guy caught my eye! This takes Native Union's Pop Phone (I have the Gold High Gloss one) to another level. This is great for the home office homebody who doesn't have a land line (but, hopefully, gets solid reception at home.) I mean, who wouldn't want to have this guy on their desk? (iRetrofone also has other styles, so be sure to take a look!)

Under $25: Give Them Your 2 Scents (or 10)!

Penhaligon's Scent Library ($25)

Gift your hip(ster) friends with this to-die-for library of Penhaligon scents. The old timey case and discerning font will surely make even the most judgmental of them appreciate the art of smelling good. As a Penhaligon advocate, I plan on gifting several people with this. Friends don't let friends smell bland.

$25 - $50: Cheeky Charms!

In God We Trust Sweet Nothing Necklace 18" Brass ($40) 

I own two of these necklaces and have gifted my bestie with one as well. Not only is there an array of lovely phrases you can choose from like "Bless This Mess" & "Let's Make Out," but you also have the option to customize! I can't stress enough how great these are. A true homage to one of my favorite philosophies: "You're only young once...but you can be immature forever." (I consider this a unisex gift because most of the hip(ster) men I know are man enough to wear a heart-shaped necklace...and not ironically.)

$50 - $100: Pleasurable Publications!

Anyone who's every picked up a copy of Kinfolk magazine will tell you that there's magic between these pages. Everything from the color photographs to the thick, uncoated paper stock to the sheer heft of its 144 pages. This will give any crafty hip(ster) adult several good afternoons of dreamy sighs, inspiration and aesthetic indulgence...per issue! With 4 issues a year, you're gifting your friend a whole slew of dreamy, tea-laden, muted-color afternoons. They'll love it. Trust me.

Over $100: Big, Beautiful Books!

Gustav Klimt, The Complete Paintings ($200)

Now, really, I just happened to loooove Gustav Klimt, so this is why I nominated this book. However, what I'm really getting at is that you should consider getting your hip(ster) friend or family member a collectible and gorgeous coffee table book. My favorite ones are at Taschen. Now, that's something people rarely buy for themselves, but something they'll keep forever...and when they have guests over and said guests go on about what an amazing coffee table book it is and is it limited edition and where did it come from...well, your friend will have you thank!

Under $25: A Fun 5 Years to Fill!

One Line a Day: A Five Year Memory Book by Chronicle Books ($16.95)

Childhood memories can vanish so quickly, so why not give the young adults or children (w/ a little help) in your life a way to chronicle their thoughts over the course of 5 years? The best part about it is that they only really need to write a line or two each day...with diligence, your young friend will be able to see their life unfold right before their eyes! I, personally, have this book and have definitely had the "OMG, I can't believe that's what I was thinking a year ago today" moment on numerous occasions!

$25 - $50: Everlasting Education!

National Geographic Talking Planetarium ($49.95)

I recently stumbled upon a Nat Geo catalogue in the mail and fell in love with all the amazing things they had for kids. This, in particular, caught my eye. Kid-Nami spent many a night, staring up at her handful of glow-in-the-dark stars on her ceiling, wishing there was more. Now, you can give the children in your life stars to wish upon plus educational information. This magic machine will tell kids space stories and teach them about the heavenly bodies...wait. I kinda want this!

$50 - $100: Spectacular Shel!

The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein Box Set (from $74.98 - new)

Holy frijoles, let me tell youabout my love of Shel Silverstein! One of my all-time fav past times as a child was to read his poems out loud as quickly as I could. And now, as an aunt, I've had the pleasure of reading his fantastical poems to my nieces and nephews. The outcome is always that they want more! So, whether the kids in your life can read or if they need to be read to, this box is like a little package of goodness. They'll enjoy it. Promise!

Over $100: A Helluva Hideout!

Printed Canvas Play Tent (More Prints Available - $269)

I don't know about you, but when I was little, I was obsessed with hanging out in small spaces that would probably send me into some sort of claustrophobic fit now. I used to build intricate tents with my older brother out of sheets and string and poles. Needless to say, it took a lot of effort, though the results were always stellar. To think, we could have saved some time on building and used it towards playing had we had this beauty. If you have the budget, why not give the little ones in your life a secret hiding place all their own?


Aaaand, I think that covers it. Most of these items can be ordered online and shipped to the location of your choice. Do it now and you'll have plenty of time. Mega-convenient if you're like me and need to coast hop during the holidays. No need to stuff your suitcases full of holiday cheer. Using your socks as packing for fragile items is so 2011. Take advantage of holiday shipping deals and have your gifts meet you wherever you're going.

I know me hoping that this guide lessened your holiday stress is probably unrealistic, but if anything I hope you end up being that person who gives everyone the cool stuff. Being that person? Oh, that reputation will take you far. Trust me. Happy shopping! xo!

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