Coffee Chat Vol. 36 AKA All of the Christmas Gift Ideas

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oh great, another gift guide!

I know that Christmastime is when all of the bloggers start creating gift guides. I know - I’m guilty of it myself! I am sure that many of you guys are probably sick of seeing what you should get for your friends and family because you’ve seen it all, every year. I’m probably breaking a blogger taboo by saying this but… gift guides provide a money-making opportunity for many bloggers through the use of affiliate links. Clicking those links costs nothing to viewers but each click brings in cash for bloggers. I know that’s not the sole way most bloggers make money but that’s one part of the blog business.

whoa, too real.

Why am I telling you this? Because as much as I want to take advantage of those gift guides, I also don’t want to annoy you guys to death. While I’m pretty good at gifting small things like stocking stuffers (because those are small gifts that can be given while also keeping people at arms length - I have trouble getting close to people), I’m not always the best at giving big gifts. The kind of gifts I personally like to receive are the experience kind. My boyfriend gets me season tickets to go to the Shakespeare Theater every year for my birthday - gifting me several date nights throughout the year. That’s the kind of gift I like to give and to receive. So to sit here and write gift guides that I fill with just random stuff seems kind of hypocritical. Don’t get me wrong - I do like getting stuff to fill my closet and apartment with, but since those gifts aren’t always the items I’m the best at giving and since I don’t know every one of my readers’ budgets on gifts, I am going to attempt just one gift guide. I know it sounds wrong, especially considering what I just said about gift-giving, but I have found gift guides really helpful (especially when shopping for my dad and brother - why are men so hard to shop for??) I will also list a few “experience-gifts” for those of you looking to do something a bit different this year.

…so is it wrong to write gift guides?

As a caveat, I don’t think that bloggers who do many gift guides are doing anything wrong. In fact, I think every blogger knows their own audience better than I do. If you’re a blogger who loves writing gift guides, please don’t take this as a dig at you! Like I said, those gift guides are definitely helpful! I think that the affiliates programs exist for a reason and I can’t fault anyone for taking advantage of it. I use affiliate links myself and as long as you’re not hurting anyone and your readers love it, you should go for it! I just personally feel like I’m not really contributing anything new when I write a gift-guide and this is my bitter way of admitting I’m just not the best gift-giver (to be fair, I’m also not someone who feels like I need gifts during the holidays either. Gifts are nice but to me, kind of unnecessary. When I get them, I’m always super appreciative but I always feel a bit of pressure to make sure what I get someone is of equal or greater value. Life with social anxiety wins the day!)

So without further ado, here is my Holiday Gift Guide:

holiday gift guide

Holiday Gift Guide

For Mom

  • Recipe tin: I know I’m totally biased but my mom makes the BEST Korean food ever! I always try to get her to teach me her recipes but she’s more of an “eyeball it” kind of cook. I’m hoping that getting her a tin for recipes will nudge her in the direction of writing her ingredients down so perhaps I can learn from it someday! I’m sure most children think they have a great cook in their family and this would make a great gift for moms, grandmothers, or other maternal figures who have excellent recipes in their lives!

  • House fragrance: For my mom, at least, she doesn’t have the best sense of smell… which makes her paranoid about her home smelling. She always appreciates candles, room sprays or any fragrance that’ll alleviate her worry that there are smells in the house she can’t smell. I happen to have a scary good sense of smell and I appreciate home fragrances too so I know this’ll make a great gift for all kinds of moms.

  • Robe: Who wouldn’t love getting a comfy and cozy robe? It’ll be the perfect thing to open on Christmas morning and immediately put on!

  • Foreo Luna: I got the Foreo face washer and it was life changing! If you considered getting someone the Clarisonic, I would recommend you consider the Foreo products too because unlike with the Clarisonic, you don’t have to keep buying new brush heads!

For dad

  • Whiskey decanter set: If your dad likes a glass of something every once in a while, can I recommend this gorgeous decanter set? I love the potions-set look of this one!

  • Headphones: My dad is a music lover so he always appreciates getting a nice set of headphones!

  • Stainless steel mug: I’ve seen quite a few men in my office using this nice Yeti mug and I thought it’d make a great gift for dads or paternal coffee-drinkers in your life! These mugs are awesome - they keep your coffee hot for three hours!

  • Card case: I love having a chic case for all of my business cards, and chance are, your dad probably would too! I love this fancy one by Shinola. Best of all - it’s made in the USA!

For girlfriend

  • Stainless steel water bottle: I love stainless steel water bottles because they keep your water cooler for MUCH longer. I actually have the coffee mug version of this bottle and I LOVE it! Plus, the design is so pretty!

  • Quidditch jewelry holder: Do you have a Potterhead bff? She’ll so appreciate this quidditch hoop jewelry holder!! So chic, so nerdy, and perfectly Harry Potter!

  • Fujifilm Instax camera: These polaroid cameras have been popping up everywhere and they’re so fun! Perfect for capturing a moment and having the physical print right then and there!

  • Glossier Phase 1 set: I can’t think of a single woman in my life who doesn’t like Glossier. They’re popular for a reason! If you have a skincare aficionado in your life, they’d probably love getting this cleansing and moisturizing set from Glossier!

For boyfriend

  • Comfy sneakers: Gift the gift of comfortable feet this season! The sneakers I featured are from Allbird which are a great ethical and sustainable brand!

  • Stainless steel water bottle: Yeti is such a great brand! I have seen several people at yoga using this exact water bottle and it’d make a great gift for any thirsty people in your life (see what I did there?)

  • Beard balm: One thing I love about Brian is that he takes great care of his beard. He trims it often, he conditions it so it’s soft and not scratchy, and he even has a tiny comb to keep it from getting unkempt (it’s the cutest thing!) If you have a bearded man in your life, I’m sure he would appreciated a bit of beard balm to help tame that facial hair!

  • Portable charger: Chances are, if you have a phone, you’ve worried about it dying on you at some point. A portable charger is always a great gift for anyone. I love this cute old-school Gameboy-shaped charger. So cute!

experience gifts

a cooking class

I’ve taken a cooking class with a friend and it was the best ever! Not only do you get to spend time with a friend and get a delicious meal at the end of it, it’s a gift that keeps on giving! You can cook that meal again at some point and impress other friends and family!

tickets to see a play or musical

I mentioned Brian getting me tickets to the Shakespeare Theater shows every year and it’s seriously the best gift ever! I love the theater! Plus it’s a great excuse to dress up and go out!

A wine-tasting class

Wine tasting is always fun and going to a tasting class just seems so refined! I love learning about wines and the wine-making process. Going with a friend is even better!

a spa day

Taking a friend to a spa is the best - you get to relax and look good when you come out!

a photoshoot

I know a lot of you guys are handy with a camera so use that talent to take photos of your friends and family! A friend of mine recently had a baby and we offered to take family photos for her to share with her extended family as well!

DeborahShopping, Lifestyle