The best small businesses to support this holiday season

I love shopping local and small. I grew up in a small business family, and every customer helped put food on our table. Every customer helped me go to college. Every customer helped pay for my and my siblings’ school supplies and sports uniforms, camps, and fees. Shopping local and supporting small businesses is supporting the lifeblood of our country.

I still shop at big-name stores and brands. I prefer sustainable companies that pay decent wages and do good, but I’ll be the first to admit that I also shop on Amazon (that’s an affiliate link, and if you use it to do some of your Amazon shopping, this small-time writer might make a few pennies of commission for sharing the link with you, and it costs you nothing to do it. Do with that what you will) when I need the convenience or they have something I need. But I love supporting smaller shops.

The thing about small businesses, is that you’re getting more than just a product. You’re building relationships. You’re getting handwritten notes thanking you for your purchase. Some of my favorite businesses are even doing free local deliveries to help customers avoiding markets and stores in this weird pandemic life we’re living.

So I made a gift guide with some of my favorite small businesses to a little something for everyone this year. Many of these shops are local to me, but ship nationwide. I know some of these business owners solely because I purchase their products regularly. Some have been my friends since before they opened their businesses. And some I don’t know at all, but I am obsessed with their shops and products. A few of the links may be affiliate links, but most are just plain ole links to websites that house my favorite things. Go browse these shops. Follow them on social media (and engage with them to help boost their visibility!). Order gifts and some goodies for yourself too. And drop links in the comments to some of your favorite small businesses and shops.

25+ gift ideas from small businesses
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Foodie faves

Wanderlust sea salt: I love these Norwegian sea salt blends that come in a variety of herbs and spices. They’re always at my local farmer’s market, but you can buy them online because they ship nationwide! My favorite flavors are Wanderlust, Double Onion and Garlic, and Purple Haze. Don’t forget to snag the free samples that are available as well!

Gindo’s Spice of Life hot sauce: Another favorite of mine and Brian’s from the farmer’s market, these fresh made hot sauces include a huge selection of limited edition flavors. Brian goes through a Honey Habanero every other month and I love the Jalapeno Poblano and the Truffle Parmesan.

Carr Valley Cheese: If you didn’t expect a cheese suggestion from me, you haven’t been paying attention. Because driving to Wisconsin to get my cheese fix is currently out of the question, I’ve been ordering from my favorite cheese producer. They ship (though shipping doesn’t come cheap if you’re outside the midwest), and it is so worth it for the delicious magic that arrives on your doorstep. Current favorites include Black Sheep Truffle, Bread Cheese, Marisa, and Vanilla Cardona (which tastes a little bit like marshmallows and is SO GOOD as a low-carb dessert replacement).

Beauty essentials, clothing, jewelry and accessories

The Little Blue Hippo: I obsess over these amazing-smelling, gentle soaps (and even have a couple named after Brian and me — Nemesis is a beer soap and Brian’s fave and Quirky Lilac was a custom design and scent that I gave to the ladies of my wedding party!). Until Covid pushed me to return to pump soaps in the downstairs guest bathroom, we were exclusively using these beautiful bar soaps in all of our spaces. We still use them daily in our upstairs bathrooms.

Fintastic Configuration: I am mildly obsessed with this whimsical jewelry collection with nods to Disney and other magic. I can speak to the quality of each piece because I have 4 necklaces and a bracelet. The jewelry collection bags are also incredible. I know there’s a restock of items scheduled for this Friday at 7 pm EST in case you wanted to set a reminder like I do.

Oh Sew Exciting: These are my favorite cloth face masks! The ear loops are adjustable and they have easy flaps for re-looping if you ever need to. They’re also larger than a lot of masks, which is great for people like me who have big mouths and need a little more space. You can also order matching knotted bow headbands. (This is an order through Instagram DM shop, but I have ordered about a dozen or more masks this way!)

Once Upon a Tee Shirt: I love these Disney and Harry Potter graphic tee shirts with vibrant, colorful and unique designs. The magnets and stickers are also amazing! I love the character art and the selection of brightly colored shirts.

Miscellaneous magic

Art, stationary, cards, stickers, and more

Elly Lonon: This beautiful writer, satirist, and artist has cards, stickers, art prints, and more to fuel your punny, feminist, liberal, and quirky flames. I love everything about this shop from the colors to the creator. You should shop here too. While you’re at it, pick up her graphic novel, Amongst the Liberal Elite, based on her popular McSweeney’s column.

Self-Love Tool Chest: Body-positive messaging that focuses on self-love and mental health awareness in art prints, stickers, cards, and enamel pins. I am in love with the use of color and the incredible messaging.

Pew Pew Lasercraft: The woodworking brilliance of these pieces makes me so happy. They are nerdy and clever and fun. You can find incredible hand-made ornaments, home decor, photo frames, earrings, coasters, pencils and more.

Alaska Wild and Free: This beautiful shop is chock full of art, cards, coloring books, clothing, and more features the beauty and inspiration of Alaskan wildlife. Gorgeous colors and patterns adorn everything from mugs and sweatshirts to greeting cards, stickers, and wrapping paper.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Excited about our Christmas tree: You can’t rush art

I started putting up my first Christmas tree over a week ago. I just about finished it this morning. Obviously, it still needs a tree skirt — I haven’t found it among all the boxes yet. There are a few ornaments remaining (I’m waiting for the glue to set on the ornaments that broke during storage — again — and the ones that broke while putting them up and subsequently dropping them on our newly hard floors — I never thought I’d miss having carpet quite so quickly).

9-foot Christmas tree decorated with white and colored lights and ornaments
This is still a work in progress. The entire Christmas transformation will take several weeks before it’s completely ready. And then it will stay up until at least February. There are no rules when it comes to Christmas joy. (Also, hey peep our new floors!)

On the first night, I did just the lights. This tree has built-in white lights, but I added about 1000 colored lights for good measure. I’ve needed the bright and colorful warm glow of Christmas since the clocks turned back, and it started getting dark at 5 pm. I let that glow blossom over several days before I hauled up my giant box of ornaments from the basement. Hi, my name is Chrissy, and I’m a Hallmark ornament addict.

It took me three consecutive nights to unpack each individual box and wrapped ornament, taking the time to reminisce upon the purchase day or gift-giver of every ornament on our family tree before finding just the right spot for it. If you know anything about me and Christmas trees, you know there will be more than just this one, but this is the one with the MOST memories.

Some years, I have a separate tree just for travel ornaments (my preferred souvenir when we travel), and some years they join the family tree (the one with all the Hallmark ornaments, the wedding gifts that have our wedding date or names or both, the homemade ornaments, the memories from my childhood, the ornaments representing the year we got our first apartment and the year we bought our house, the ornaments for Nia, the ornaments I’ve yoinked from my mom’s Christmas tree, and the ornaments that once belonged to Brian’s mom. I love this Christmas tree because it is filled with memories of people and places and important moments in our life.

I turn the lights on every morning, and I turn them off every night. This one 9-foot beacon stands tall in our front room, and as I sit here with a gentle glisten of tears in my eyes and hope in my heart, I think about how this Christmas will be different. There’s no doubt that this is going to be one of the more unusual Christmases we’ve ever had, but it will be filled with love and memories, just like our tree.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

10 therapeutic gift suggestions for the ones you love

I know some of you are probably like wait, how is it Christmas already? Especially when March was an eternity, April was a lifetime, May was pretty extensive too, and then Junlyaugtober just flew by faster than you could say “Happy Halloween.” Christmas brings me joy and I want joy and you need joy so let’s bring on the holiday cheer!

Odds are you love someone who lives with pain. Chronic pain comes in many forms, illnesses, and disorders. And the thing you really want to give them for Christmas is relief. I know because I’ve been on both sides of the coin. I’ve been living with back pain for the better part of the last five years (this is not even getting into the loosey-goosey ligaments and tendons that cover most of my joints). I also have many friends and family members who live with much more severe pain, both emotional and physical, than I can even imagine.

The thing about pain though, is that it’s not measurable. You can’t put a number on it and it’s not the same for everyone or anyone. Pain sucks. Sometimes it’s not even a physical pain, which is even harder to quantify. And the only experiences we truly know, through and through, are our own. So even when we want to take the pain away from those we love, odds are, we cannot. But we can give them gifts to help ease some of the anguish. And here are some of my top therapeutic gift suggestions for the ones you love.

Images of gift ideas listed in the post

Please note any links that follow may or may not be affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase by clicking through to these sites, I may earn a small commission on your order. It costs you nothing, but it helps me pay the fees to host this here blog.

Hot Cherry Pillows ($23-$68)

Available on Hot Cherry Pillows (code: Use code XMAS20 for 20% off) and Amazon

Moist heat is far superior to electric heat for a number of reasons — not the least of which is the ability to severely burn yourself in the shape of an electric coil and then have an allergic reaction to the medical tape you used to cover up the popped blister — not that I’m speaking from experience or anything.

I’m not a doctor or researcher, so take what I have to say here with a grain of salt, but my general doctor, PT, and massage therapist all agree that moist heat works deeper into the muscles. I’ve dabbled in a number of options, from hydrocollator hot packs and matching covers to microwavable stuffed sloths that smell like lavender to suede pillows filled with cherry pits that can be heated a variety of ways.

While I think they all have a place in my life, if you’re looking for a gift that offers convenience, capability, quality, and safety, I would suggest the Hot Cherry Pillow, which I did receive as a gift from the company to share my experience with you. (And hey! Double bonus, if you follow me on Instagram, there’s a giveaway going on this week too!)

Please ignore (or laugh at) the dog toys placed between my thighs because the dog wanted to comfort me. Before the heat cooled on the pillow, I believe there were three or four toys on my legs.
Therapeutic dog not included.

This therapeutic lifesaver isn’t just for bad backs like mine, either. While I received the double square pillow for my back, they also have single and triple squares depending on the area you need to heat. There are neck pillows and eye pillows and even cherry ice pillows for a moist ice pack. They may provide some relief for migraines, tight neck muscles, tired and sore feet, cramps, and more. My favorite way to use it when I’m not heating my back, though, has been to warm up my bed as the temperatures started dropping last month in Chicago.

In addition to being a woman-owned business, my absolute favorite part about Hot Cherry Pillows is their dedication to sustainability. Every pillow is filled with rescued cherry pits (cleaned and dried without chemicals) from Michigan tart cherries that would otherwise end up in landfills. And I am 100% here for keeping things out of landfills. The packaging is minimal, recycled, recyclable, and/or reusable.

And how does the pillow compare to those other moist heat options? It stores easily without needing to be frozen, completely dried out, or sitting in water like the hydrocollator. The heat gets warmer and the surface area lays better than the Warmies. As with all moist heat, the temperature eventually drops unlike that of an electric heating pad (so that if you fall asleep with it, you aren’t quite as likely to burn yourself). Plus it comes gift-ready in a recyclable gift box, tied with a ribbon and gift tag. I’m only a little obsessed.

Weighted Blanket ($47+)

Available all over these days, but I included an affiliate link to Amazon if that makes your life easier

I am a huge advocate of the weighted blanket. Brian got me one a few years ago for my birthday, and it’s literally like sleeping under a hug. Mine is 25 pounds, but you can get them as light as 5 pounds for tiny humans. I don’t tend to sleep with mine in the summer because it’s pretty heavy, but winter is the perfect time to snuggle securely under a tightly woven hug.

Brian ordered mine from Amazon, but it’s no longer available, so the link above is something similar. I also know you can find them on Bed Bath and Beyond (personally, my favorite is this 4.5-pound dinosaur Jurassic World blanket), where you can use one of those beloved coupons that I just KNOW you save the way I save — in a reusable plastic baggie filled to the brim with expired coupons that are still valid in store…no? Just me?

Anyways…

Before I started sleeping with a C-Pap, I used to be a constant mover and shaker in bed. I would roll back and forth (and promptly steal all of the blankets from Brian). This was not only bad for my sleep cycles, but also my back, neck, and shoulder. The weighted blanket actually helped me train myself to sleep on my back (it’s not super easy to roll all over the place when you’re snug as a bug in a 25-pound rug) so that I could sleep in a natural position that adequately supported my back. It also made it hella easier to sleep with the C-pap.

Other people I know have found the weighted blanket helps reduce anxiety and restlessness as well as insomnia. I cannot fully speak to those, but I figured I’d mention it in case you wanted to research further.

My weighted blanket has a removable, reversible cover that is a cool cotton on one side and a plush microfiber on the other side. Some come with covers and some don’t so you have a lot of options.

Scalp massager (Under $5)

Available just about anywhere random stuff is sold, but hey here’s another Amazon link if you want to Prime it

Sometimes, a gentle head massage can help dull the pain whether it’s physical or emotional. Not always, clearly, but sometimes it helps. And dudes. This head massager thingy that kind of looks like it belongs in the kitchen, but obviously doesn’t is one of my most beloved random things in my house.

Now, these are useful for self-massaging, but the real gold is when your partner or child or parent or whoever does it for you. Don’t ask me why, but when Brian pulls this bad boy out and starts messing up my hair with it, I feel like the dog tapping her hind leg repeatedly. It’s one of those things that just warms your whole body.

I got my first one of these many years ago at a baby shower (my favorite thing about baby showers is gift opening bingo, in which prizes are given out THE ENTIRE TIME so the gift-opening part is way less awkward and much more competitive). Man. Remember baby showers? Showers in general? Group gatherings? 2020 is weird.

It’s small and inexpensive, and could easily hang out in a stocking on the mantle or whatever, but I’m going to throw this one out there as a necessary gift for anyone and everyone who needs a little therapeutic care.

Quick summary of therapeutic gift ideas

Because I talk too much

Wow. I’m rambling again. Let me make this easier for you.

Hot Cherry Pillows: Sustainable, women-owned business selling moist heat and ice packs. Use code XMAS20 for 20% off!

Hydrocollator hot packs and matching covers: Alternative moist heat option

Microwavable stuffed sloths: Cuddle-able moist heat option

Other microwavable stuffed creatures: Just in case sloths aren’t your jammies

Weighted blanket: Helps with sleep, anxiety, and more

Jurassic World weighted blanket: Light-weight, probably for kids, but OMG dinosaurs

Scalp Massager: Small metal-tined device that sends shivers down your spine (the good kind)

You Are Here, Jenny Lawson: Mental health coloring book. I literally give this as a gift to anyone I know who needs a mental health boost.

Grown Alchemist Hand Cream: Moisturizing hand cream that smells good and actually helps keep my hands from cracking. I’m mildly obsessed with this hand cream I got in a past FabFitFun box.

Cookie baskets: The best individually wrapped cookies in all the land (go for the funky flavored buttercream frosted cookies, and you won’t regret it). Send some to yourself for good measure.

Hope this helped you find some gift ideas that can help everyone finish out 2020 with a little more strength, and maybe a little less pain. If that wasn’t enough on the gift suggestion front, I’ve got oodles of past gift guides that I think are still completely relevant (mostly). Go check ’em out because I spend a lot of time curating fun gifts (and trying not to buy the ones I don’t already have)!

10 stocking stuffers
Gamer Gift Guide Travel friendly games
geek girl gift guide
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Geek girl gift guide

As a self-proclaimed geek girl, I wanted to put together a list of gift ideas for geek girls of all ages to fit a wide variety of budgets. Some of these are items I already own and others are probably on my wishlist. Either way, I think they’re all super cool.

As a reminder, any purchases you make through links on my site may result in a small commission that helps me keep this site running. This commission costs you nothing, but it can make a difference for me. Additionally, some brands occasionally send me gifts to tell you about them. I only share things I think are cool, useful, or otherwise beneficial.

Without further ado, I present the second magical gift guide for 25 days of Chrissymas (and make sure you’re following #25daysofChrissymas on the social media because completely random giveaways are happening in stories and posts all month long).

Geekwear

The Child sleeveless top

$23

The Child (baby Yoda) sleeveless tee

Because we won’t be seeing the rest of the Lil Green merch until next spring at the earliest, the clothing and accessory options on ShopDisney will have to satiate our need to rep this sassy little buddy from The Mandalorian on Disney+.

Doctor Who — The Thirteenth Doctor’s Coat

$30-$60

Doctor Who Thirteenth doctor coat

When I build a cosplay outfit or a Disneybound, I buy it piece by piece. Sometimes I thrift, sometimes I find a really good look-alike piece, and sometimes, I just buy the branded item. I am obsessed with Thirteen’s entire wardrobe. I already have the rainbow-striped tee, a blue skirt (instead of blue trousers, because I’m a skirt girl), and yellow suspenders, so the next thing on my wish list is this coat. Sonic screwdriver is also a must. The coat price seems to be in constant flux on both Torrid’s website and Hot Topic’s. It’s cheaper on Torrid right now, if you’re wondering.

Geeky accessories

Bluetooth earbuds headset

$20

Pink cordless bluetooth earbuds headset

Hello, dream earbuds. Geek girls are listening to audiobooks and podcasts and Broadway soundtracks and Disney music, so these earbuds are the perfect gift for a geek girl who loves the color pink. (Because THIS geek girl loves pink, and I’m the one making this guide, obvi).

Handbook for the Recently Deceased Kindle cover

$50

Handbook for the Recently Deceased kindle cover

I stumbled upon this…somehow. I don’t even know how, honestly, but it made me laugh so hard. If someone in your life is a Beetlejuice fan (or even mildly entertained by Beetlejuice), this is an awesome gift. My Kindle totally wants one.

Aguamenti Harry Potter water bottle

$19

Aguamenti reusable water bottle

I had to Google what a VSCO girl was, but apparently, if you add a scrunchie and a travel-friendly straw to this water bottle, you can be one? I don’t know. I just like this water bottle, and I think any Harry Potter fan would too.

Geeky puzzles and games

Hunt A Killer subscription box

$34 for one month or 165 for six months

Hunt A Killer mystery subscription box

This subscription box takes you on a mysterious, puzzle-solving, true-crime journey. We received a full season from Hunt A Killer to share the details with you and I can’t wait to tell you about it over the next several months! This is definitely a gift I would love to receive, and so, too, will puzzle-minded geek girls (and boys) in your life. A single month is one part of a full six-box story, but it’s a good way to experience the puzzles and clues to determine whether you want to continue the story for the full season.

And also grown-up geek girls who are anything like me.

Harry Potter Spellcasters

$16

Harry Potter Spellcasters: Charades with a Harry Potter kick

Practice your wand work and spellcasting to prepare for your letter to Hogwarts. This party game marries charades with the Harry Potter spells you know and love. It comes with a wand that you’ll use to trace spells and card with tasks/actions that make the spells trickier. I received this from my friends at Goliath Games, and it’s perfect for playing with my Potter-fiend nieces.

5-Minute Marvel

$18

5-minute marvel game

I’ve never played the Marvel version of this game, but I have played the classic dungeon version. It’s fast-paced, high-energy, and super fun. If you’ve got a friend who likes hectic games that really lift up your activity level, this is the game for them.

Disney Geek Out

$20

Geek Out Disney trivia game

I loved the original Geek Out so so so much, but it may have been too geeky for my fam to play with me. This version, they’re all in. It’s a wagering game of “how many can you name?” You have to prove how many you can name whether it’s characters in a certain movie or movies that have talking animals or other random questions. I just received this as a gift, from a secret Santa and am super excited about it.

Geeky toys for grown-up geek girls

Geeky magnetic poetry

$13

Magnetic poetry kit for geeks

Who doesn’t love a little fun with magnets? When you’ve got magnetic poetry on your fridge, you never know what your friends are going to create.

Iron Man infinity gauntlet

$100

Iron Man electronic infinity gauntlet

It feels like a lifetime ago that we found out what happened post-snap with Avengers Endgame, but it was less than a year ago. This electronic gauntlet is insanely cool and I’m pretty sure you can snap snap snap to your heart’s content.

I am Iron Man.

Geek girl books

Geekerella

$6 paperback

Geekerella book

I loved reading this book this year. I also read the sequel, The Princess and the Fangirl. The Once Upon a Con books were both utterly delightful and adorable stories about a fictional fandom and the con that brings them all together. Loosely based on the fairytale world, but set in a modern nerddom, this series is light and full of magic for any geek girl.

Leather-Bound Classics: Grimm’s Complete Fairy Tales

$22 hardcover

Grimm Fairy Tales

So, I may have mentioned this before, but I’m writing a novel based on fairy tales. Which is how I stumbled upon this amazing collection of translated fairy tales. The book itself is beautiful, and I love reading the stories in their original iterations (other than translated into a language I can read). I also have the Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales in the same Leather-Bound Classics book series. I’m obsessed, and I’m sure any other geek girl would be too.

Is there someone on your list who would love one of these gifts? Let me know in the comments who you would get one or more of these gifts for!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Gamer gift guide: Travel-friendly games

This past summer, Brian and I spent two weeks in Ireland. Our first week, we were almost entirely on our own, traipsing through Counties Dublin, Offaly, and Galway. The second week was spent with family for an Irish wedding in County Kerry.

During that first week, we spent a lot of time in bars and restaurants as well as hotel lobbies (don’t judge our vacation style!). And as much as we love talking to each other, when you’re spending every second together, you don’t have many extra talking points outside of shared experiences. As Brian and I are gamers to the core, we decided to fill some of our drinking time with a little healthy competition. Our constant companions for the week became the games we could easily throw in our pockets, backpack, or purse.

Chrissy plays games in Ireland

And this leads me to the best stocking stuffer idea I’ve ever had! Pocket games! (Don’t tell Brian, but there may or may not be a few of these games in his stocking this year.)

Now, your mileage may vary depending on the type of gamer you are, as some games are definitely more strategic and detailed than others. But I’ve tried to provide a variety of options whether you’re a party game addict or a strategic game wizard.

In full-disclosure, any purchases made from these affiliate links may result in a tiny commission that help support my board game addiction. It doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Tiny games for international/carry-on travel

Pocket-sized travel-friendly games

When luggage space is tight, size matters. These games are perfect for carry-on luggage, international travel when every ounce makes a difference. These games are also really great to throw in your purse or pocket when you’re going somewhere with a long wait or hanging out in a bar or microbrewery.

Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction

$15. 1-5 Players

Manhattan Project Chain Reaction Card Game

This game is the condensed version of the larger, Manhattan Project, which, in full disclosure, I’ve never played. But Chain Reaction is a favorite of ours, and it plays well with two, three, and four players. It’s a pretty easy resource management card game with a strong randomized luck component, but it plays quickly and enjoyably. Basically, you create uranium using yellow cake and the appropriate workers; then turn that uranium into bombs to earn points.

GEM

$6. 2-4 players

Gem pocket-sized gum pack games pack-o-games

There are sixteen different Pack O Games — small card games in a box no bigger than a classic pack of gum, and I love the concept of these games more than anything else. They’re so tiny, they even fit in those piddly barely-a-pocket pockets that they have started adding to women’s clothing. And GEM is so fun. It’s an auction-style game in which you are bidding on gems in order to have the most valuable collection at the end of the game. Finally, a game I can beat Brian at!

Ultra Tiny Epic Kingdoms

$15. 1-5 players

Ultra Tiny Epic Kingdoms travel game

There is a series of games, known as Tiny Epic Games, by Gamelyn Games. These games pack a full-size strategy game into a relatively small box. But our first adventure with the Tiny Epic brand was their Ultra edition, which we received in a Board Game Bento Box (no longer available, but absolutely one of the best wedding gifts we were given!). This itty bitty game comes in a small box similar to that of Manhattan Project: Chain Reaction, but has a fully functional worker placement game inside. We love it. Brian especially loves it, because he usually wins. Whatever. It’s a fantastic game. We first played Ultra Tiny Epic Kingdoms at a bar at Gen Con, because of its travel-friendly size, and now it goes on every vacation with us.

Fun fact: There may or may not be a second Ultra Tiny Epic game coming out this month. So keep your eyes peeled for Galaxies!

Treasures and Traps

$13. 2-6 players

Treasures and Traps The Adventure Card Game

I played this game at Chicago Toy and Game Fair this year, and it was super fun. It’s a dice rolling game with some nerdy gamer strategy. The art is awesome, which is one of the big things I look at when buying a game. The primary reason I got this one was that it comes with a storytelling element in the expansion pack, The Adventure Story Game. But I also love that the Random Encounters expansion box is big enough to house all of the cards in each expansion (which is pictured below in the Domestic/local travel because it’s a little bit bigger than pocket-sized).

Love Letter

$16. 2-4 players

Love Letter Card Game

This is one of the social deduction games that I really enjoy. We have a slightly different version with Asian-inspired art. The goal is to send a love letter to the princess through one of the many messengers that are closest to her. Of course, you’ll have to pay attention to your opponents because the cards can change the course of the game and your opponents are watching your actions to beat you. It’s a fast game that’s relatively easy to learn if you have played deduction games before. It also comes with a convenient inner velvet bag that you can use to travel even lighter.

Saboteur

$9. 3-10 players

Saboteur game

There are several things I love about this game, not the least of which is that it plays up to 10 players, and the expansion, Saboteur 2 makes that 12 players, which is awesome if your game group gets a little too big for a 4-player game. I also think the concept is fun. Everyone is digging their way to the treasure, but one sneaky saboteur is trying to thwart the squad. Find the saboteur and prevent them from dominating to win.

We Didn’t Playtest This at All

$13. 2-10 players

We didn't playtest this at all game

This might be the silliest game on the list. The rules are simple: Read the cards. Follow the rules. Change the rules. Win the game. Basically, any card can change the rules of the game, create end conditions and win conditions. And other cards can thwart your attempts at winning. It’s a super fast-paced silly game.

Games for domestic/local travel

These games will fit into a tote, duffel bag, or suitcase, especially if you fly Southwest and bags fly free. Some of them are card games that can be repackaged in a smaller container, but all of these games should easily slide into your luggage.

Travel-friendly games

May Cause Side Effects

$25. 4+ players

May Cause Side Effects by Games Adults Play (Goliath Games)

This party game was gifted to me from my friends at Goliath Games is super great for a group of friends looking for an amped-up version of Taboo meets charades. The bottle is hilarious. The game is super fun, especially if you have a larger group of players. You play in teams and compete in a typical game of Taboo (providing clues to guess a word), with one exception. The player is experiencing side effects. So in addition to giving clues for the word, you’ll also have to perform two physical actions, traits, or body movements. For example, you might have to pretend to be a ballerina while whispering to guess the word owl. You have 40 seconds to get your teammates to guess as many words as possible.

Shit Happens

$12. 2+ players

Shit Happens by Games Adults Play (Goliath Games)

This is one of my best friend’s favorite games. She slays at it every single time. It’s super easy to learn and play, and really crazy. This game was also gifted to me by Goliath Games. It plays an unlimited number of players (though I wouldn’t recommend more than 10) Basically, you place the cards in the order you think they belong in based on the misery index one at a time. Each of the 200 cards have been pre-ranked based on surveys and research. Cards include shitty things like root canals, $115 parking ticket, smelling like a fart for the rest of your life, and darker, dirtier things like a ketchup bottle stuck up your ass. (I’m sort of looking forward to the Google searches that lead people here).

Side note: If the darker, dirtier part turned you off…good news! There are PG versions of the game: Stuff Happens and parenting Stuff Happens.

Shifty-Eyed Spies

$16. 4-8 players

Shifty-eyed spies game

I love this silly game. Each player is a spy trying to deliver and receive packages. The goal is to wink at the player to whom you need to deliver a package without anyone noticing. Then that player must tell you where to meet them. The game is super easy to play, and the winking aspect is hilarious.

Okey Dokey

$13. 1-5 players

Okey Dokey game

Okay, so this was on last year’s Tabletop gift guide, but I couldn’t help myself from putting it in again because it’s a nice pocket-sized game! This game is silly and amazing and I love it. Brian hates it. It’s very polarizing. You can play it by yourself in sort of a solitaire type game, or you can work together with your teammates to organize and order the cards properly…without saying a word. I’ve played it by myself and with others, and I really enjoy playing it.

Cthulhu Realms

$18. 2-4 players

Cthulhu Realms game

This is a big game in a little package. It’s one of the smallest boxes for deck builders that I’ve seen, but it’s got more to it than just deckbuilding. It’s an elimination game, and your goal is to make your opponents go insane before you do using the cards in your hand. Because it’s small, I sometimes forget it’s there, but when we play it, it’s always a good time.

LOOT

$12. 2-8 players

Loot Card Game

I randomly found this game at a thrift store years ago, but it is always fun to play. You’re collecting coins from pirate ships by one-upping each other as the bigger better pirate. This is another easy-to-learn game that has lots of replayability. Plus, again with the large player count! Just know that another over 5 is a partnership game, where teams of two compete with each other.

I hope you found this gift guide useful and interesting. Which of these games would you most like to play? Let me know in the comments below! I have a few more coming next week, but if you’re itching for more gift ideas, feel free to check out some of my guides from last year.

Tabletop gaming gift guide
2018 quirky holiday gift guide
Unique holiday gift guide for kids, pets, and grown ups
Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Ways to get into the holiday spirit

Happy December, friendos! Because I’m feeling especially festive this year, I’ve got a lot of plans for the holidays here in the quirkyverse. Starting yesterday (on the gram), we’ll be celebrating with 25 days of holiday joy! There will be a few giveaways sprinkled throughout the month over on Instagram (and there’s one live right now!). Festive ideas. Gift guides to help you shop or make your own wishlist. And brightly colored happiness wrapped up in a bow.

To start the month off properly, I’m giving you some easy ideas for jollying up your life this month. You know I’m festive AF every year, so here are some of the ways I get started.

Holiday wearables

“Ugly” Christmas sweaters

Remember when people actually wore ugly Christmas sweaters unironically? And then when other people started thrifting said sweaters and wearing them because it was funny?

Yeah, those days are so gone. If you’re going to wear an “ugly” Christmas sweater, I say make it a super cute one like this Grinchy sweater.

Grinch ugly Christmas sweater

Or a hilarious one, like this National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation sweater.

Shitter's Full ugly Christmas sweater

Or marry the two ideas with this amazing 3D plush dinosaur sweater.

3D plush dinosaur ugly Christmas sweater

My friends at UglyChristmasSweater.com sent me the coolest, funniest, cutest dinosaur holiday sweater to share with you, and I absolutely love it! I sized down on this one to an XL, and I was super glad I did. It fits perfectly for all of my Christmas sweater needs. The dinosaur has velcro to stay on the sweater, and it comes with some industrial sized safety pins to keep him safely secured to your back and torso. The sweater is super cozy too!

I haven’t named my dinosweater yet, and I’m hoping you can help! Leave a comment below with your name idea. Because this dino and I are going to be besties for life.

If you want to try your luck this week, I’ve partnered with UglyChristmasSweater.com, and we’re giving one of these sweaters away over on Instagram.

Festive accessories

I love holiday headbands and slippers and Santa hats. Necklaces and bracelets and ribbons in my hair. I wear them all month long for a festive flair. Jingle all the way, that’s what I always say! Most of my accessories are older or thrifted, but if you’re looking to add to your collection, here are a few items I’ve seen recently that I love.

Christmas fascinator
If you’re crafty, you can probably make your own, but if you’re not, this holiday fascinator is under $15 on Amazon.
Christmas elf slippers
If I didn’t already have a pair of holiday jingle slippers, these Joe Boxer elf slippers would so be on my Christmas list.
Christmas bow necklace set
I may have just ordered this gift bow necklace set for myself. Wanna be twins?

Holiday colors

Want to be festive without the extra flourishes? Pair fun combinations of red and green for super holiday fun. I’m a big fan of color blocking and mixing/matching solid-colored pieces like this green dress, red top, and red leggings (technically, they are paprika, but whatever).

Pro-tip: When I wear a blouse over a dress, I usually tie it in the back with a hair tie so that it cinches my waist.

Chrissy in front of a pink Christmas tree wearing red and green
The top is thrifted, the dress is almost a decade old, and the leggings are from Fabletics, which is where 90% of my colored leggings come from.

You can use accessories to make colors pop if you don’t want to be too bold with the color blocking – like a green belt and scarf with a red t-shirt dress (I wore it over skinny jeans because winter). You can switch up your accessories to be a little less extra, but I always recommend the extra.

Chrissy in front of a Christmas tree wearing red and green
Both the scarf and belt are thrifted and the shirt dress I’ve had for a few years. I tend to buy solid colored belts and scarves when I see them because they make the best Disneybounds and color-blocking.

Decorations

Trim a tree

I have had my Christmas trees up since mid-November. They make me happy. I always have at least one themed Christmas tree and one hodgepodge, family-ornament Christmas tree. This year, I also have a fancy tree (but make it Chrissy).

Mickey Mouse Christmas tree
This is the Mickey and Minnie Mouse tree. I only decorate the top half, because it’s behind the couch.
Pink Christmas tree
This is my obsession. I forgot I bought these ornaments last year for this tree, but omg I am obsessed.

Wintery atmosphere

Garland is key when decorating our house. Whether it’s lighted garland on the banisters or super flowy strings of faux pine needles and holly leaves hanging all over the house, we have garland everywhere. And it looks awesome.

Chrissy wearing maroon and dark green in front of pre-lit garland
This photo is from two years ago (blonde hair), but the garland behind me remains the same. I just haven’t put the garland up yet. (But hey, here’s another way to mix and match some more holiday colors. A maroon dress and a deep green cardigan.

Twinkle lights are also a necessary component. Christmas comes when the nights are longest, and what better way to brighten a room than with twinkle lights everywhere?

Tablescape

I have Christmas dishes. Of course, I have Christmas dishes. When Brian and I moved into our first (and only, actually) apartment together, my mom bought me a few pieces of Pfaltzgraff Winterberry as a housewarming gift. And from there, it’s become an obsession.

Pfaltzgraff tablescape with Christmas dishes and Kate Spade tablecloths
A holiday meal fit for kings. This was a Hello Fresh Spanish one-pan chicken, and it was happiness.

I also went through a Rae Dunn obsessive phase, and I used some of those dishes to make another fun set up for afternoon tea (and cocoa). Rae Dunn can be found at your local TJ Maxx/Marshall’s/Homegoods or on sites like Mercari and Poshmark (if you say quirkychrissy referred you, we each get $5).

Rae Dunn Christmas tablescape with Kate Spade tablecloths
You can do this with any plain dishes too! Colorful tablecloths like this Kate Spade tablecloth and Kate Spade runner complete the look. I couldn’t easily find the green cloth and red runner to share with you, but I was able to find a green runner and a red tablecloth if you’re interested in this color blocking dining tablescape.

So there you have it, friends. Chrissy guide to celebratory holiday fun! Dress festive and decorate festively to enjoy every second of the holiday season. How do you get into the Christmas spirit? Let me know in the comments!

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

20 Last-minute gifts for your quirky wife

Yep, I see you. Waiting until the last minute to buy those Christmas gifts for your wife. I see you, because I live with you…HUSBAND. Brian is infamous for waiting until the eleventh hour to buy Christmas gifts (even though he is RIDICULOUS with ordering birthday gifts so early that I have to restrain myself from investigating and playing 20 questions).

That being said, here are some gifts that should (hopefully) arrive in time for Christmas. And make sure you fill a stocking for her. She’s already got one for you, so you should probably return the favor. (And if you’re the wife in this relationship, add these puppies to your wish list so he knows what to get you!) Full disclosure: product links may be affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a few pennies from any purchase you make. All of the products mentioned either live in my home already or are on my current wishlist.

Last-minute gift guide for your quirky wife

Order online — pick up in store

My new favorite thing to do? Buy something online and then go pick it up in the store. I know it’s in stock (instead of racing to three different Targets looking for something and not succeeding) and will be in my greedy little hands immediately. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Barnes & Noble are on my list of favorite places to do so.

Cozy essentials

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ cozy essentials (1)

I know I need some downtime with the mass amount of energy I exude, and these are a few gifts that can help your favorite lady chill the fuck out. There’s something warm and cool (I know. At the same time) about a salt lamp. We have one in our front room, and it’s a favorite piece of decor to be sure. These elf slippers are perfect for the holidays…and pretending you live in the North Pole with Santa Claus year round.

And the most important accessory for any cozy evening: BOOKS. Now, I’ve had a Nook (GlowLight) and I currently have a Kindle (Paperwhite). And I miss my Nook like you wouldn’t believe. Sure I can get books on Amazon now. But I miss the design and style of the Nook. It was at least a pound lighter, which makes a big difference when your e-reader has a tendency to fall on your face with more frequency than you’d like…But you know…both e-readers do the job. So order one or get some books to add to the one she already has.

Order online — fast delivery

Prime shipping. I don’t have to tell you, I’m sure. But Prime one day? If you spend $35 or more, you can get your gift TOMORROW. You can even have that shit wrapped up. And who doesn’t love those pretty (and reusable) Amazon bags?

Quirky style

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ style essentials

Y’all may know I’m something of a self-proclaimed style maven. And let me tell you, there’s so much more to style than traditional wardrobe essentials. It’s the add-ons that really make you stand out. The year Brian got me a light-up skirt for Christmas was seriously hard to top. Here are a few Chrissy-approved ideas for your wishlist or gift list.

I love holiday sweaters, especially this slothy sweater I wear every year. I also highly recommend a pair of butterfly wings, because you never know when they’re going to become useful. Nerd con events? Renaissance faires? Vacations? Costume parties? Wings are a staple, people.  And of course, what’s a mermaid without her tail? This mermaid skirt is the best!

Kwirky party game

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ party games

What better to give to a quirky lady than a party game with her name on it! With this Goliath Games gem, Kwirky, the possibilities (and laughs!) are endless. It’s a fast-paced quiz game where the answers don’t matter nearly as much as your conviction! It’s fabulous for improv lovers and anyone who enjoys friendly banter!

Adult coloring books

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ coloring books

Listen, people. We love us some coloring books. You Are Here, from Jenny Lawson, is especially magical. Not only does it have incredible art to color, but it also has blurbs and affirmations from The Bloggess, queen of the quirky wives. This is a great gift for anyone who suffers from anxiety, depression, or even just boredom. It’s full of positive vibes and magic. I love my copy, and I’ve given it as a gift a number of times. It never fails me. Other coloring books I recommend? Calm the Fuck Down and Sloth are two that really get me.

Colored pencils

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ colored pencils

While you’re getting her some coloring books, make sure she’s got a good set of colored pencils. Personally, I prefer Faber Castell to Prismacolor, but to each their own. I have friends who swear by the Prismacolor though I think the tips break too easily. For the less expensive route, you can always go with the trusty Crayola pencils (in a fancy new box for “grown ups”).

Quirky stocking stuffers under $10

Last-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ stocking stuffers under $10

I love stockings. I love little things. I used to make my brother play a game I called little things. The art of filling a stocking with as much little stuff as possible makes my heart happy in a really weird way. But these gift ideas also make my heart happy. I own two of the three, and I want the third. Can you guess which is which?

Aqua notes are incredible for writing in the shower, by the pool, or wherever. You can leave love notes for your best friend who stays at your house with some frequency or you can jot down ideas for your next Instagram post. I am obsessed. Taco Socks? Yes please. Also bring me tacos. Always. Octopod wine stopper? Cork your wine with pizazz, kids!

Email delivery

Happy gift cardsLast-minutes gifts for quirky wife_ gift cards

Okay, let’s be honest here. The easiest gift you can get her is a gift card. And she’s probably okay with picking out her own goodies…assuming you know the right store to include in the gift card. These Happy cards, though…they bring something even better to the table. OPTIONS.

The Happy Lady gift card can be redeemed at:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th
  • Panera Bread
  • Sephora
  • Spafinder
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Lord & Taylor

And if she’s more of a foodie, consider the Happy Dining gift card which she can use at:

  • The Cheesecake Factory
  • McCormick & Schmick’s
  • Red Lobster
  • Bravo
  • Texas de Brazil
  • Brio

Personally, I would be ecstatic with the Happy Teen gift card, which includes (books books books!):

  • Regal Cinemas
  • Sephora
  • Dave & Buster’s
  • Nike
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Jamba Juice
  • American Eagle

Need more gift ideas for everyone else on your list? Consider some of these other guides I’ve created:

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guideUncommon Goods Gift GuideUnique holiday gift guide for kids, pets, and grown ups

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Unique holiday gift guide to impress everyone

“Auntie Chrissy gives the best presents,” my godson tells his little sister and brother. I love giving presents to my family. I adore spending the time to find something each one will appreciate (that they don’t already have) and then taking it home to wrap it in some crazy mess I call a gift-wrapping space. Wrapping presents is part of the joy in providing a gift they’ll love. Sometimes, I’m sneaky (because I was a gift opener as a teen). And sometimes, I just really enjoy making a pretty package to store under my tree. But I always try to fill the package with something that brings the receiver joy.

I don’t know about you, but I get tired of seeing the same things on gift guides year after year. So I’ve come up with some more creative gifts for you to wrap up for your loved ones if the classics just aren’t going to cut it. And this year, because it’s my first with puppysaurus rex, I’ve included gifts for your furbaby. Because I’m definitely getting Lady Nymeria all sorts of gifts! Some, if not all, links are affiliate links, and any purchases you make may earn me a small commission (and costs you absolutely nothing).

2018 Gift Guide - Unique gifts to impress everyone

For the kiddos

Highlights™ for Children magazine subscription 

gifts for tiny humans, magazine subscription: Highlights, High Five, and Hello $30

When I was a kid, there were few things more exciting than getting mail. Okay, fine. Even now, there are few things more exciting than getting mail that isn’t a bill. But I LOVED when the Highlights™ mag hit the mailbox. I would read the entire thing from front to back, play all of the games, solve all of the puzzles, and then wait patiently for the next issue. It was magic. Gifting a subscription to the kids in your life is simple and sure to bring 12 glorious months of joy to any kid. Highlights™ is perfect for kids 6-12, and if you have a younger tiny human to surprise, they also have High Five™ (ages 2-6) and the tear-resistant Hello (ages 0-2) magazines available.

Puzzlemania® book club subscription

gifts for tiny humans, puzzle books - Puzzlemania $14

I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’m kind of into puzzles. And I can say with perfect clarity that it probably started with Puzzlemania®. I loved solving logic puzzles, answering riddles, finding hidden pictures, catching the mistakes. You name it, I loved it. I also know that I have an 8-year-old niece who seems to think a lot like me – loves reading and writing and creating. I’m pretty sure a subscription to Puzzlemania®, with two full-color puzzle books a month, would totally be a hit with her. Want a mathier version? Consider a Mathmania™ subscription instead.

Let’s Grow™ Play & Learn Boxes

Gifts for tiny humans Let's Grow Play and learn Box $25

A good subscription box is a good subscription box. And this one, for the tiniest of humans (ages 0-2), comes with two books, a fun toy, and activities that parents (or Auntie Chrissys) can do with their toddlers and babies. Right now, you even get a free fancy tote bag with your first month’s subscription. I’m definitely signing the baby up for this one!

For the grown ups

MacGyver: The Escape Room Game

Gifts for "grown ups" MacGyver The Escape Room Game $30

This game from Pressman Toy is only available at Target and offers a fun MacGyver theme with a room escape in a box. You get five one-time, one-hour missions that will test your thinking and puzzle-solving abilities. This is the perfect gift for any gamer or puzzle solver in your life. I love Pressman and their family of brands. They have some really fantastic games for kids and “grown ups” of all ages, which you’ll see next week with my board game gift guide.

Sloth neck pillow

Gifts for "grown ups" sloth neck pillow - $38

Traveling in style is something I pride myself in. With this sweet hoodie and neck pillow, anyone can be the coolest kid on the plane, train, or automobile. Not going to lie, guys, this one is at the top of my own wish list (cough Brian cough). So if you’re looking for something silly for your favorite kid at heart, I recommend this slothy magic.

Mermaid-tail blanket

Gifts for _grown ups_ mermaid tail blanket $18Who doesn’t love cozying up on the couch with a blanket and hot chocolate in the winter? Add a little whimsy to someone’s snuggle with this sweet mermaid-tail blanket. Anyone who loves magic and mermaids will totally appreciate this fun gift of comfort. Plus this one comes with a bonus mermaid necklace (which you can gift to the same person or someone else. I’m not judging. I’d do it!).

Sixteenth-century Italian globe bar

Gifts for grown ups sixteenth-century Italian old world globe bar $150

As the priciest gift on this list, I know what you’re thinking. Chrissy, this isn’t Goop. What the Gwyneth Paltrow are you thinking? $150 is a lot of cash. But GUYS. This is a full-size bar cart. On wheels. In a globe! And also, I own one of them and think everyone should have one. It was probably one of Brian and my favorite gifts from our wedding showers. We put it on the registry for fun, because it was so freakin’ cool, and luckily we have some family that thought, “let’s get them the craziest thing on their registry!” And so I present to you the best gift for someone you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks on. Even if that someone is you. You’re welcome.

For the pupper

Outward Hound puzzle brick toygifts for furbabies: puzzle toys $20

Like dog mom like dogter. My little pup loves puzzles, especially puzzles with a food prize. This Outward Hound (one of our favorite brands) toy is the perfect thing to add to her puzzle collection (and keep that crazy pup just a smidgen occupied when someone is trying to get some work done around here!).

Bark Felt Toy Bin

gifts for furbabies: toy storage $30

The thing about gifts for puppies is that they are also gifts for dog moms. And this toy basket seems like the perfect thing to store Nia’s ever-growing selection of toys so that they aren’t always scattered all around the house (and trying to kill me—one of these days, I’m going to twist my ankle/knee/hip/back by tripping on one of her toys in the middle of the kitchen!).

Twistleton Twerp chew toy

Gifts for furbabies Twistleton Twerp $10My dog LOVES toys with rope. She also loves plushies. And chew toys with ribs and bumps and grooves. She just loves toys. It’s actually pretty rare that she destroys a plushy, but we’re finding that because of the sharpness of her teeth (a result of the distemper that stunted the growth of enamel on them), she does eventually puncture her beloved toys. So this guy has a little bit of everything, and I know that I’ll be waiting patiently to see her get into this guy because there’s a fun toy surprise inside the toy!

So there you have it, gang. My 2018 gift guide for everyone! Which of these gifts would you give to someone? Which of them are you adding to your wishlist? Let me know in the comments below!

And if that wasn’t enough gifting for ya, consider some of these other guides I’ve created over the years:

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guideUncommon Goods Gift Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Hunting for Thanksgiving turkey leg(g)s

Brian has started talking in his almost sleep or still kinda asleep stages. This is something I’m personally quite familiar with, as I’m known for talking in my sleep. I’ve even gotten into fights in my sleep. But this is new for Brian. And I fucking love it.

For example, the other morning, Brian woke up and told me how adorable it was.

“What’s adorable, Brian?”

I was waiting for him to say, “You are, Chrissy,” because I was all curled up in a sleepy Chrissy ball. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting.

“The sun. It’s so cute.”

Now I KNOW he was dreaming because:

  1. Brian hates the sun.

And

  1. It was barely shining through the curtains.

My assumption was that it was because the light was so dim, it felt like just a little sun, but who even knows. I just love that Brian dreams about the sun being adorable.

So, last night, as we were falling asleep, Brian said, “There should be a Turkey egg hunt on Thanksgiving.”

And I wholeheartedly agree. And then my mind started whizzing with ideas. How could we make this happen? I love the Easter egg hunt. (Yes, I am an adult, and my mommy still hides eggs for my cousins and me.)

I kept thinking and told Brian it could be a turkey LEG hunt instead.

He was markedly opposed to this for being half asleep.

“That would get very messy, Chrissy.”

But it could be PLASTIC turkey legs. And they could open with snacks and toys inside.

I haven’t worked out all the logistics yet, but I think I’m on to something.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! May your day be full of feasting and family. And if you’re like me, and have 3 hours of backseat (shotgun) driving ahead of you, lots of online shopping.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Quirky holiday gift guide

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I love Christmas. To kick off the holiday shopping season, I’ve taken the liberty of curating a super fun list of quirky Christmas gifts from one of my favorite online stores, UncommonGoods. It was hard to narrow it down to ten items, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you.

BTW, I love it when a store I’m obsessed with is kind enough to sponsor a post like this by allowing me to choose a few items from my wishlist to keep! While I may have received free products to write this post, all opinions are my own. 

Quirky Gift Guide - 10 items from UncommonGoods that everyone should have

Gifts for foodies (and cheese lovers)

Gifts for foodies: Boska Portable Cheese Melt Utensil $25

Guys. GUYS. YOU GUYS. This cheese melty raclette device has been on my wishlist since I saw them in a gif last year or the year before. I can’t be trusted to remember these things. Anyways, Brian was too busy buying me a Le Creuset and a magic sparkle skirt last year to pick one of these up for Christmas, but now I have one, and it is everything! Melty cheese for everyone!

Gifts for foodies: serving palette with bowls $35

I also love throwing shindigs. And when I saw this fun palette platter, I knew it had to be mine. Think of all the tiny things you can put in the little bowls! Olives, fig jam, tapenades, fruit spreads, butter, CREAM CHEESE, dips, cheese spreads. God. The possibilities are endless for a kitchen artiste like me — or you, for that matter.

Gifts for foodies: molecular gastronomy kit $49

Another foodie gift on my list from last year, I have been dying to try this molecular gastronomy kit since I saw it on the suggested wishlist items from Draw Names. It comes with 4 different food additives (5 of each) that you can play with to make creative foodie dishes that will at the very least impress your husband because SCIENCE! I can’t wait to show you what I make with it!

Gifts to stock the bar

seven deadly sins glasses $72

I LOVE these glasses. I don’t own them yet, but (ahem, Brian) they are on my Christmas list. The seven deadly sins on rock glasses with fun little cartoon devils. I don’t know why I love these so much, but I do. They’re the most expensive item on this list, but glassware is expensive, you guys. And these are too fun! They also have matching pilsner glasses. Or personalizable sin glasses.

gifts to stock the bar: woven wine tote and glass holder $40

So this summer, my bestie Ally and I went to an Alannis Morissette concert at a park. The park allows you to bring your own food, drinks, etc. It’s like a magical concert picnic of joy. People get super swanky and bring candelabras and stuff. The biggest problem we encountered, though? Not having anything to hold our wine glasses! Which is where this picnic saver comes in handy. Six wine glasses in a caddy that holds your bottle of wine and your glasses. Like magic.

gifts to stock the bar: beer caddy with bottle opener $45

This is on the list of things I’m going to get Brian. He likes to bring a collection of rando ciders when we go to parties, but he never has a six-pack holder to carry them. This super nice wooden crate is perfect for those occasions, and — bonus — it comes with a bottle opener!

Fun gifts and stocking stuffers

UncommonGoods also has a number of super bragworthy smaller gifts perfect for filling stockings or rounding out bigger gifts.

fun gift ideas: balloon dog nightlight $25

These balloon dog nightlights probably won’t fit in a stocking, but they are SO FUN LOOKING. I would love to have or two of these hanging around my house. Because unlike real balloon animals, these will never deflate on you!

fun gift ideas: f bomb paperweight $45

 

This f-bomb paperweight is sure to weigh down someone’s stocking, but you know it’ll be worth it. Come on…you know you want to drop an f-bomb in someone’s stocking. It even looks a little like coal for a double whammy of fun. Fun fact: They also have an A-hole paperweight. You know. For the matched set.

gifts for bookworms: pride and prejudice scarf $48

Scarves are also on my list of things you can never have too many of…especially when they have text from your all-time-favorite novel! I am so thrilled to have this magical Pride and Prejudice scarf in my life, you guys. Anyone who loves a good book and a cozy scarf will probably love one of these too!

stocking stuffers: yogi joes $25

My personal favorite stocking stuffers (hint, hint Brian) are these adorable yoga Joes. Forget tiny army dudes, these yogis are all the rage.

A couple of other fun tidbits about shopping with UncommonGoods: Their mission is to provide a space for artists and creative designers to showcase their products. Half of the items they sell are handmade and 1/3 of the items are created with recycled and/or upcycled materials. Their customer service is top-notch — they’ve received awards for it for the last ten years. Customer service is SO important to me that I will quit a brand I love if their CS isn’t up to snuff when I need it.

So go take a gander at UncommonGoods, and let me know what else is on your list!

Looking for more gift list ideas? Consider one of these bad boys.

Adult Holiday Gift GuideGifts for everyone on your list a holiday gift guideChrissy's quirky wish list gift guide

Unique holiday gift guide for kids, pets, and grown ups2018 quirky holiday gift guide

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!