2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Home, Living

I know, I know. Another 2018 holiday gift guide?

There are truly so many out there and so many of them have wonderful ideas.

Last year, I think I shopped for more than half of my list from my friend Nicole’s holiday gift guide and wanted to offer the same kind of thoughtful, personalized recommendations here.

Because a number of my friends told me that last year’s holiday gift guide actually did help them shop for their friends and family I wanted to do a 2018 Holiday Gift Guide — this time with more gift ideas and a new category!

PS: Some of the links below are affiliate, which means I’ll get a small commission if you purchase through my links (at no cost to you). 

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE HOME COOK

  1. Everyday Dorie: I’ve long since been a Dorie Greenspan fan. I think of her as the Julia Child of our generation and having had the pleasure of meeting her years ago at a blogging conference, am certain she is every bit as gracious, talented and passionate about her craft. Her latest book, Everyday Dorie, is a must on every cookbook shelf. $23.
  2. Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Here’s the hard, honest truth: there are few bloggers’ cookbooks that I will actually endorse. Many are recitations of what is on their blog or recipes that cater to fleeting culinary fads. I remember Deb’s blog from 2008 and her brand has remained very consistent (ha ha way more consistent than mine ha), as have the quality of her recipes. This lady knows her way around a kitchen and her newest book is a winner winner, easy weeknight dinner. $35.
  3. Electric Salt & Pepper Mills: Every home cook needs a great salt and pepper mill and this sleek set would look great in any kitchen. $40.
  4. Home Chef Gift Subscription: If you know someone whose New Years resolution every year is to cook at home more, give them a gift card to HomeChef. It’s our favorite meal delivery service and a great way to break out of a dinner rut. From $5o.
  5. Thomas Keller Master Class: If you know someone who wants to master more cooking basics, let them learn from one of the bests. In 36 lesson modules about cookware, ingredient selection, cooking eggs, cooking pasta and cooking vegetables, Keller will teach techniques like blanching, glazing, confit, and more. $90.
  6. Stoneware Baker with Platter Lid: This honestly has to be the best deal of the holiday season. $100 for what is essentially two pieces of Le Creuset goodness: a multi-purpose baking dish coupled with a matching lid that is also a serving platter. Mind blown. $100.
  7. Smart Garden Grow Kit: Give the aspiring gardener in your life a brand new lease on her green thumb. Simply plug in, water, and let Smart Garden technology do the rest (and if you need someone to taste test your first batch of pesto, I’ll volunteer as tribute). $100; $9.95 per seed refill kit.
  8. Paella Pan: For the slightly advanced home cook, invest in a sturdy paella pan by Le Creuset and expect the dinner party invitations to roll right in. $250.
  9. GreenPan Ceramic Cookware: I have a lot of cookware that I love, but my GreenPan is definitely topping the list right now. If you know someone who is starting a fresh kitchen and needs a set of quality, ceramic nonstick cookware, GreenPan is truly non-stick and so easy to clean that it almost takes the sting out of doing dishes. $500 for 11-piece set, $300 for 6-piece set, $130 for two skillets.
  10. Heritage Artisan Stand Mixer: It doesn’t feel right to make a holiday guide without something from KitchenAid, and this special edition retro-style stand mixer must be flying off shelves. Go big or go home, right? (…only if you have the counter space).  $500.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE CONSUMMATE HOSTESS

  1. Gold Stemless Champagne Flutes: If your sister or girlfriend loves to pop the bubbly,  you should consider adding a set of these champagne flutes to her collection. Next time she invites you over for wine and cheese, you’ll thank yourself. $20.
  2. Monogrammed Dish Towels: A personalized gift never goes out of style and any frequent entertainer knows you can never have enough kitchen towels. $36.
  3. Recipe Cocktail Shaker: Mix the perfect margarita or mojito with one twist of this chic and stylish classic cocktail shaker, adorned with recipes for popular cocktails. $40.
  4. A Pretty Pie Plate: Serve any kind of pie from this pretty dish from Anthropologie and it will definitely be a crowd-pleaser. $42.
  5. Marble Topped Cheese Board & Knives: When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a great cheese/serving board. I love the two-tone look of this one from Nordstrom Home and the size is perfect and practical. $49.
  6. Aromatherapy Diffuser: Cozy up at home to your favorite scent. Simply add water and an essential oil, and let ultrasonic vibrations turn the fragrant water into mist, dispersing it gracefully into the air. This model from Nordstrom Home has a timer, so you can literally set it and forget it. $70.
  7. Cheese of the Month Club: Anyone who loves entertaining loves a good wine and cheese night.  Murray’s Cheese has a the ultimate gift for foodies and wine lovers. On the first Thursday of every month, receive three cheeses right at your door step. From $75.
  8. Moscow Mule Gift Crate: You can’t mail a Moscow Mule, but this Moscow Mule gift crate from Williams-Sonoma is definitely the next best thing.  $110.
  9. Party Bucket: Based a timeless French champagne bucket, a classic party bucket is the perfect addition to any party — just add your favorite wine or beer. $150.
  10. Espresso & Coffee Machine: This compact machine creates a wonderful cup of coffee or espresso. My neighbors have the Illy Y5 coffee and espresso machine, and I’ve been stalking it to go on sale all year. It makes a great cup of coffee for a weekday morning, and the perfect espresso to sip with your Saturday brunch $300.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE HOMEBODY

  1. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave: Everyone loves Chip and Jo. In Joanna Gaines’ newest book, you can be your own home designer. I’d like a pool, a hot tub and heated floors in mine thanks. $24.
  2. Bath & Body Ritual Set: This trio of Herbivore Botanicals bath and body goodies is the definition of affordable luxury — we could all stand to do a little more self-care. $36.
  3. Holiday Pajamas: Cozy up in a cheeky pair of holiday pajamas by Make + Model from Nordstrom. And if you’re anything like my boyfriend, wear your seasonal duds all year-round. $60.
  4. Ainsley Wool Slippers: Last year, Brad’s mom bought everyone a pair of shoes for Christmas and gave me a pair of these Ainsley Wool slippers by Ugg. They’re incredibly cozy and comfortable and they stand up to the occasional dog walk, too. $100.
  5. Holiday Small Candles: Although this holiday small candle set from Diptyque is definitely a splurge, it will bring a lot of festive spirit to the recipient. They smell amazing and will burn for hours. These small sized candles are perfect for small spaces like a bathroom or powder room, or to tuck in a travel bag to create a homey space. $114.
  6. Birdies Slippers: These slippers rose to fame this year as a favorite of Meghan Markle. After Brad’s sister got them for Christmas last year, I quickly nabbed a pair — and later a second — and they’re seriously so comfortable.  Both of the pairs I have are discontinued, but I love The Songbird Slipper, The Starling Slipper and The Phoebe Slipper in Floral Jacquard if you’re looking for a fun print. Perfect for moms, sisters, aunts or any women who still want to be stylish while in her at-home comfies. $140.
  7. Sateen Sheet Set: You spend 1/3 of your life in bed, so it might as well be comfortable. Splurge on a luxe pair of sateen sheets from Parachute Home. $140.
  8. Cozy Throw: If you have someone on your list who just loves to be cozy, I have two words for you: Barefoot Dreams. I have the Coastal Hooded Cardigan from Barefoot Dreams and it is my favorite thing to wear around the house over my pajamas or yoga pants.  If you want to step it up a notch, this luxe throw is positively decadent and you should probably buy it for someone. $147.
  9. Sit in Lotus Wrap: Another cozy choice, this sweater from Lululemon could easily go from the yoga studio to the office — and it’s perfect for travel. $148.
  10. Washable Silk PJ Set: I’ve had my eye on this silk PJ set from Lunya for months. The luxe silk fabric is temperature controlled and washable — the perfect year-round gift for late sleepers and weekend loungers. $178.

 

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE WINE LOVER

  1. Wine Glass Clings: No holiday party is complete without these festive wine decals. $10.
  2. The New Wine Rules: A perfect stocking stuffer, this pocket-sized book is full of wine tips and tidbits that are super down to earth and not overtly pretentious. $15.
  3. Shower Wine Glass Holder: Is there a college student on your list? Here is the perfect stocking stuffer for the classiest gal you know. $18.
  4. Gold Wine Rack: Stash your favorite varietals in this geometric wine rack, the perfect addition to any countertop or wine cabinet. $50.
  5. Yeti Wine Tumblers: If you plan to spend time in a pool or backyard, or on your rooftop deck or balcony this year, then you’ll probably need a hardy set of wine glasses. The 10-ounce insulated Yeti Ramblers are ideal for outdoor imbibing at home. $50.
  6. Wine Cork Shadow Box: If you have a crafty friend who collects wine corks, then she needs this shadow box adorned with an outline of her favorite state. Clever and customizable. $60.
  7. Electric Wine Preserver: If you drink the fancy stuff — in moderation, of course, then a good wine preservation system should be a must on your wish list. $75.
  8. Date Night Wine Pack: Williams Sonoma has wine gifts for every occasion and this date night set from the Williams Sonoma Wine Club is perfect for a wine lover who also happens to be a homebody. Date optional, pajamas mandatory. $90.
  9. Electric Wine Aerator: Some of us don’t have time to let our wine breathe when we want a big glass right after work. The Aervana Electric Wine Aerator is the way around this, fitting perfectly atop the bottle and aerating wine at the press of a button. $90.
  10. Wine Chiller: Keep a bottle of bubbly perfectly chilled for hours in this sleek stainless steel canister. $90.

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR THE FASHION-Y TYPE

  1. Small Square Stud Earrings: When you have to buy something for a woman you don’t know well, I find that you can’t go wrong with simple stud earrings like this pretty pair from Kate Spade New York. $26.
  2. Lip Contour Kit: My name is Maris and I’m obsessed with Charlotte Tilbury (Hi Maris!). Charlotte Tilbury is a British makeup artist with a cosmetics line that is second to none my favorite out there. All of my skincare and cosmetics are Charlotte, and her lip contour kit is the perfect starter pack for anyone new to the brand. $45.
  3. Tartan Scarf: One of my favorite patterns for winter, a festive scarf from J. Crew adds a pop of color to the grayest winter day. $60.
  4. Gold Drop Earrings: Nothing says “the nice list” like gold — or rose gold or silver, in the case of these pretty drop earrings from Kendra Scott. $75.
  5. Silk Pillowcase: A pillowcase that claims to be anti-aging, anti-sleep crease, and anti-bed head? The slip for beauty does all three. $105.
  6. Sweater Blazer: One of the most versatile clothing items in my closet is the J.Crew open front sweater blazer. You can wear it year-round over skirts, slacks, or dresses and when paired with a cute camisole or tissue turtleneck, the wardrobe possibilities are endless. I have three and you should too. $140.
  7. Shearling Boots: As much as I love my Sorel Joan of Arc boots, sometimes it’s nice to be able to pull on a a low-key boot and still be protected from the elements. Great for a city girl on the go. $160.
  8. Classic Leather Tote: I just love this brand — it’s classy, elegant and timeless. The classic leather zipper tote by Cuyana is practical, versatile and may or may not be on my own list. They have bags, clothing and accessories at all price points but this tote in black, burgundy or stone is especially chic. $195.
  9. Oversized Cashmere Wrap: If your office is freezing 365 days a year, you probably need an oversized cashmere wrap from J. Crew like mine. Ideal for the office or for a traveler who takes frequent long flights. $198.
  10. Supersonic Hair Dryer: If you know a chronic over-sleeper (hi again) who relies on heat styling in the morning, then the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer is a splurge gift that she’ll love. $400.

THE BONUS GIFT

Henry + Friends: I might have buried the lede, but if you want to support a great cause (Alive Rescue animal rescue in Chicago) and be entertained all year round by the world’s smallest big dog, order yourself the Henry + Friends 2019 Calendar. I made it on Snapfish, it’s super cute, and once I break even I’ll donate the remainder of the proceeds to the rescue that saved my tiny bestie Henry from a high-kill shelter on the south side of Chicago. $25.

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