Holiday Gift Guide for What Your Friends and Family Really Want

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Wrapped gifts under a holiday tree image from Pexels stock photos

As the holidays approach, our thoughts turn to gift-giving, even during a pandemic when most of our shopping will probably be online. This is the year to break out of the rut and get your friends something they really want. With so many of our small, independent shops in trouble, it is extra important this year to gift something thoughtful and unique, hopefully sourced locally. Scroll through and find your person 🙂

  • An air plant I cannot kill to green up my writing nook. I buy mine from The Salt Shed, but your local nursery will have them as well.
  • The chocolate tea sampler from Adagio Teas for those stressful moments
  • Because today is what it is, a nice literary-themed face mask would be much appreciated so I can represent when out interviewing.
  • A chunky blanket from The Savvy Stitchess, one of my former students 🙂
  • A new book or gift card from my favorite independent bookshop, Sundog Books. You could of course purchase from your local bookstore or from where they financially support indie bookstores.

As a writer I get a journal for every holiday and sometimes just because. I have a closet full of unmarked journals, but what I would love to get as a gift is one of these lovelies!

  • Saran wrap that actually sticks from Chic Tools. Never struggle with tearing, stretching, generally frustrating wraps again 🙂
  • An old-fashioned citrus reamer. We don’t need those fancy juicers that take the arm strength of a sumo wrestler.
  • A microplane for the love of god!
  • A gift certificate to a local bookshop that sells the latest Ina Garten cookbook.
  • An apron from Hedley & Bennett…because they are the best…end of conversation.

Many of your home areas have independent kitchen supply stores you can support with these purchases. Epicurious did a nice round-up of independent cookware shops across the country if you are looking for inspiration.

  • Don’t get your dad another coffee mug. He really wants a countertop composter so he doesn’t have to take out the trash so often.
  • Don’t buy your mom another piece of jewelry she won’t wear. Get her one of these face sheet masks so she can relax for fifteen minutes of complete bliss.
  • Don’t buy your kids the latest gadget. Get your adult kids a grocery or wine subscription. They will thank you.
  • Embrace the nerdy stereotype and buy your younger kids, nieces and nephews gift cards to your local bookstore. Are you sensing a theme here ;)?

When in doubt, I LOVE The Art of Simple in Seaside. It is a store for “Curiosities and Necessities” and is chocked full of fun stuff!

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Image of coffee pink coffee mug from The Art of Simple

Originally published at on November 5, 2020.

Freelance writer who loves eating messy food, drinking spicy tempranillos, and finding the next great dive bar.

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