Thursday, December 13, 2012

(some of) The BEST 'Itty Gifts' + Stocking Stuffers of 2012!

Ok so this was supposed to be finished and posted weeks ago... but it has been a wild ride the last few months. Accept this as a smaller version and next year I'll be sure to go all out!
John and I are going present-free this Christmas. We've asked our family to please refrain from purchasing any gifts (unless already purchased- my mom starts stopping December 26th...) and we won't be giving any presents to each other. We really want to experience the joy of Christmas without "getting" anything extra. We're so blessed, so very extremely blessed.
Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love everything about it, and presents are awesome! But we really want to see how Christmas will feel without getting any presents. We're hoping that it will be just as merry and bright.
HOWEVER- we're still Christmas shopping for others. We won't be over-the-top and we'd like to make most of our presents, but we still want to bless others. Especially our two nieces and two nephews who are at just the perfect age for Christmas to be completely magical. They'll definitely be getting something from their auntie and uncle :)
Christmas shopping can be really hard and extremely exhausting. Especially if you're like me. I stink at gift giving. My best friend? Amazing. She always seems to find the *perfect* most heartfelt and specially tailored gifts for the loved ones on her list each year. My husband? Extraordinary. He is a present genius! I was asking him questions from a "couples survey" recently just to prove how much better we knew each other than most married couples (I'm just a *little* convinced, like most people, that we love each other more than anyone has ever loved another person but whatev). Anyway... one question was, "What would you buy your significant other if money wasn't an object"... so I asked him, and I sat there thinking of what I would want. I was thinking of all these little things and then he gave the absolute, best-ever answer. It was literally the best gift ever and it never even occurred to me.
That's what I'm dealing with.
Anyway, I stink at present shopping. So I've been putting together a little list of things that I think are universally awesome for women/couples (read: I'd LOVE to get them myself!), small (so they can be stocking stuffers, presents for co-workers, whatever!) and affordable (because Christmas is expensive, yo!). Here's the first installment!
Daily Defense Lip Balm- Julep- This SPF 15 balm is perfect for anyone! People don't realize how important it is to put an SPF on lips- those bad boys *age* and wrinkle just like the rest of the face! The real seller, though, is the scent. It smells *just* like nonpareils -those little pastel mints people eat at Christmas and Easter. I love them, they're delicious. Mmm. Just buy the balm and thank me later.
Pine Cone Firestarters- Boulder Locavore. While they were intended to be place card holders as well, this FAB DIY is really great. I love it for several reasons- it's environmentally friendly AND it's useful AND it's free. If that wasn't enough, fires usually involve friends and happiness and general getting-togetherness. So I'd say it's a great one!
Handwarmers- - another fantastic DIY, I think that it would be fun to give or receive an entire set of these!
Maven Box- Julep. I've written about Julep so many times. They're my favorite (more) chemical-free polish. I definitely wouldn't call it chemical free, but they formulate without the four biggest toxins. A Maven Box is a selection of personality-based colors + products starting at 19.99 and would be a fantastic gift for the polish lover in your life! (They also have a fantastic rewards program- which I am part of!)
Sparq Stones- Odorless, tasteless and temperature controlling! Pop them in the fridge to keep drinks chilled OR in the microwave to keep drinks warm. I'm totally into these.
Burts Bees Tinted Lip Balm - 100% natural, 100% amazing. I love this stinking lip balm so much. My two favorite colors are Rose + Dahlia. I never, ever, ever leave home without one of those two shades. The tint is really very good. It's not nearly as useless sheer as most tinted lip balms, but it doesn't feel heavy or any different than my colorless balms. At $7, it's affordable and fantastic.
Touchscreen Gloves- forget buying these, make them yourself with THIS DIY. Just as effective for a fraction of the price. I'm sure there are many men would who would appreciate these!
Lace Stemware- I love these. They're pretty, festive, fun, cheap + useful. I don't know what more to ask for? Great, easy DIY.
You know what I'm really into? Experiences instead of presents. For example- my boss + I teamed up and are taking the two girls I nanny (the boys are staying home and getting physical presents from me) to the Nutcracker. Both girls recently started ballet lessons and are so excited. We considered zoo passes for my brother + his daughters. I got my best friend a date with me (which I can't share since she hasn't gotten it yet and is slightly self-serving). Maybe you'd like to consider something like that? Movie passes, museum tickets... whatever.
That's all for now! If you want to weigh in below with your favorite universal gift, please do! All the best and as always, thanks for reading!


  1. Butter mints are the little mints you are thinking of. I agree they are delish! I like to give handmade gifts too. I knit and when I give a scarf or blanket to someone who doesn't knit they know that gift was just for them.

    1. Butter mints are AMAZING! I looked it up, though, and the things I'm thinking of are called 'nonpareils' ... which is a horrible name! My cousin gave me a scarf she knitted and I still treasure it. She even had it custom dyed. I LOVE that you do that!!! THANKS for weighing in!

  2. Thanks for the mini roundup. I like affordable gift ideas that I can actually use!

    1. next year it'll hopefully be full sized, guess I'd better start now!!!


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