The Holly Jolly Guide: Creative Gifts For Everyone On Your List

//via pinterest//

It’s time. Time for the dazzle of lights and sequins, party dresses, punch glasses, balsam and fir livening up the drabbest corners, holly spangled everywhere. It’s time for comings and goings and meetings and celebrations. It is, in fact, Christmas time! And one of my favorite parts of Christmas has to do with giving gifts to friends! There is really nothing as fun as choosing the ideal gifts for all the many, many fantastic people in my life. I love having only a vague idea of what I want to get someone and then finding just the right thing. Since my best friend lives a high-profile life near Atlanta, I don’t get to see her often. Not infrequent packages fly to her throughout the year and I’m always excited to meet the challenge of making this one the best yet. Most times I have no idea what I’m going to send her until I see one item, and then another, and pretty soon a theme for the box has built itself around the individual pieces. Every Christmas I wait anxiously till I receive her text:
“Got it!” with about a million smiley-faces attached. Then I wait as she opens it, holding my phone, checking my notifications every few seconds until the capslock burst of excitement and “THIS IS SO PERFECT! OH MY GOODNESS” comes through. Then I grin like a fool and listen to her spazz out and generally feel like the Ghost of Christmas Present (no, that wasn’t a pun.). Sufficient statement: I like giving gifts. So to celebrate the kick-off of this splendid season, Carmel and I have written sister-posts with gift ideas for any sort of person in your life. Hoping this helps you along!

For your foodie:
The Forest Feast Cookbook. by Erin Gleeson – a gift from my boss for Christmas last year, this cookbook holds a very special place on my shelf. Erin Gleeson beautifully illustrates her cookbook with colorful watercolors, combining photography, art, and food in a way that only a truly understanding soul can. The recipes are practical, vibrantly healthy, and delicious and shy away both from boredom and pretension. Highly recommended.
A subscription to a food magazine – what can I say? My boss gives insanely specific and perfect gifts. For my last birthday, she spoiled me with four magazine subscriptions. I eagerly, eagerly haunt the mailbox each month waiting for the latest issue of drool-worthy, glossy publications. If your foodie is more into useable, inspiring recipes and fun food-spot highlights, I recommend Bon Appetit. If he/she more enjoys the heart/stories/passion behind food, I recommend Saveur Magazine.

For your traveler:
Places To Go, People To See by Kate SpadeThis beautiful, hard-bound book is a celebration of travel and makes a person want to pack up and GO immediately. I know because I bought this book for my best friend’s birthday and read it cover to cover before I sent it to her. Best friend privileges and all.
A travel journal – We’ve discussed the importance and pleasure of keeping a travel journal, so if you know that one of your loved ones has a big trip planned for the coming year, why not buy them a journal to write in? Look for one that is unlined, small enough to fit in a cross-body bag or small backpack, and that fastens closed. A favorite place to find a broad selection is Barnes & Noble, though many good options can be found online.

For your artist:
A new creative outlet – As an amateur artist myself, I can speak to the importance of stretching myself creatively and artistically. I love messing around in a new media, whether it’s a different variety of paint, pencil-sketching, pottery-painting, or paper-art. Try getting a gift certificate to a pottery studio, or graphite pencils and a sketchbook, or something of that nature.
Pieces of their favorite artists – I like making gifts person-specific. Nose about and discover who your artist friend counts among their favorite artists. Buy and frame one of that artist’s prints or, if the artist is currently at work (like some of my favorite fashion illustrators, Inslee Farris and Kerrie Hess), buy them a phone-case, stationery, or wall calendar from the artist! Bonus points for supporting industry!

For your fashionista:
A Hannah Everly skirt: This girl is a fairly new find for me, but I am such a huge fan of her perky designs. The fact that she is so young and successful excites me and I am thrilled with my plans to feature her on the blog in the near future. That being said, check out her shop and take special note of my favorites of her skirts:
A unique gift-card: I realized gift-cards are kind of a cop-out, but let me defend this choice: if you buy a gift card to a company the person loves but cannot ordinarily afford (Kate Spade, Boden, Anthropologie, J.Crew) you are helping them be able to more reasonably splurge on an item that they will love viciously. It is really quite an exciting gift when you raise your head above the $25 mass-chain cards you can buy at Walmart. Take that amount of money and apply it to a brand that will thrill instead of bore your loved one.

For your barista:
Locally-roasted coffee beans – One of my sisters, while not an actual barista, loves to make espresso and coffee drinks and when she gets a bag of good beans will guard them with her life. My favorite roasting place locally is Rogue Elephant Roasting Company. I first encountered their beans at a coffee-enthusiast-friend’s wedding that had a great coffee-bar. I was hooked and whenever I’ve gotten a chance to have another cup, I do so.
Coffee-jewelry – so this borders on tacky, but do we really care? Some Mondays just call for Starbucks earrings in addition to the daily cup. Here are some cute ideas:

Merry Christmas shopping to you, and don’t forget to head to CARMEL for more ideas in more categories!


  1. Hurrah for Christmas + presents! Thanks for joining me on this fun endeavor. <3

  2. "The Ghost of Christmas Present"--HAHAHAHAHAHA.

    You're so right--gift giving is SO much fun! One of my personal favorite gifts to pick out is religious jewelry, since there are soooooooooooo many nice options and you can find "just the right thing" for whoever it is.

  3. The barista, travel, and foodie gift ideas are all gift ideas that will promptly be added to my Christmas list. ;) Love this! Y'all should put together a men's Christmas gift ideas list! I have trouble with that every year. ;)