Holiday gift ideas mega-post

Note: I know that not everyone celebrates a holiday in December, or is into gift-giving, or has the time/money/energy to buy/make gifts. If you’re not looking for gift ideas for whatever reason, feel free to skip over this post.

But if you are looking for gift ideas, read on! I’ve got everything from charities to DIY ideas to pencil holders made out of floppy disks, TARDIS lunchboxes, and pizza pi cutters.

One of my favorite holiday past-times: finding things that say “Joy” and cutting off the J.

Charities

Donating to charity in someone’s name is always a good idea if 1.) they really care about a particular issue, 2.) they already have all the material things they want, or 3.) you just don’t know what else to give them.

Here are a few that I like. You can find more on this list of top-rated charities.

Kiva is especially cool, because it’s not a traditional charity–it’s a microlending site. You make a loan of $25 to an entrepreneur from the developing world, and almost always get back the entire loan. Which means, if you give a Kiva loan as a gift, the recipient first gets to help entrepreneur pull themselves out of poverty, and then later gets money, which they can either cash out or invest again. It’s pretty awesome.

Doctors Without Borders
Girls Write Now
Grameen Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
Heifter International
Modest Needs
Nature Conservancy
Oxfam
Seeds of Peace
Sierra Club
Survival International
This Star Won’t Go Out Foundation
Water.org
WriteGirl

This cupcake was actually not very tasty, but it was cute!

Holiday Gift Ideas List

I made this list on Amazon, with a bunch of things that I thought might make good presents–from Lego-shaped soaps to geeky music to knitted platypi.  There’s even a Dr. Horrible onesie for your tiny friends.

I’ve listed items from $1.70 to $72, and the majority are $20 or under. There’s plenty of pink and sparkly stuff, since that’s what I gravitate toward, but I’ve tried to include items that would appeal to people with different tastes and interests.

I’ve also made a separate list of fat-positive gift ideas for the rad fatties in your life!

DIY Gift Ideas

If you like hand-making presents, here are a few fun ideas:
Glitter skulls
Coffee filter roses
Candy wrapper votives
-Buy some candy, hot chocolate mix, or other noms, and then package them prettily — perhaps with a free printable candy box
Paint chip bookmarks
Pretty, lacy, and flowery craft ideas
Velvet bow tie
Glittery votive holders
Bunny jars – these could be made with any kind of animal, and then filled with candy, snacks, jam, etc.
Jewelry bust
Flower crown
How to turn a Barbie into a Weeping Angel
Feather peplum belt

Also, there’s always baking. Check out CakeSpy for far too many recipes and links to other dessert blogs, or just make something from a box. My favorite mix is Ghirardelli’s Double Chocolate brownies. Bake up a batch, put them in plastic bags tied with ribbons, and voila! You’ve got something pretty and tasty to give to all of your friends.

CakeSpy’s shop also has adorable cupcake-related goods, from a cupcake cannibal mug  (which I have and love!) to robots-cupcakes-and-unicorns socks.

I’m not Christian, but I do appreciate a good pink Christmas tree.

Other Ideas

Etsy now has gift cards!

Give a blast from the past by buying pogs, Lisa Frank school supplies, Popples, My Little Ponies, Care Bears, Polly Pockets, slap bracelets, or other nostalgic items on eBay or Etsy’s vintage section. If you’re really daring, maybe try Hanson or Spice Girls memorabilia. 😉

PiP Studio, based in the Netherlands, has absolutely gorgeous housewares, textiles, and paper goods.

Also gorgeous is the work of Sophie Adde, a French artist I found through the Papaya Blog. You can buy items featuring her designs here.

Dupenny has awesome burlesque, flapper, and fifties-themed housewares.

Local craft fairs, if your area has them, are a great way to find one-of-a-kind gifts while supporting local artisans.

Is there a trampoline park, hula hoop troop, or aerial acrobatics studio near you? If so, gift certificates to them could be an awesome present.

The area near the cash registers at Michael’s always has a great selection of cheap tchotchkes, from small ornate picture frames to glitter gift bags. The dollar section at Target can be good too, especially for childrens’ gifts.

Give the gift of experiences. This can be as simple as taking your friend out for ice skating and hot chocolate.

The holiday decorations in my town are always awesome.

My crafty friends

I can’t get through a post about gift ideas without giving a shout-out to my friends (and a few friends of friends) who sell crafts online. Check them out!

Ampersand XYZ: Handmade and Vintage
Coiled Coil Labs: Unique Earrings and Charms
Colors of My Garden: Organic Skin-Care Products
CoupCoup Designs: Small Feminine Luxuries for Moments of Bliss
Creatively Hobbit: Handmade Goods for Everyday Life
Embrant
Hieropice: Handmade, Nature, and Globally-Inspired Jewelry
Keep Creating: Imaginative Cartography and Inventive Jewelry
StressBeGON: G.et O.rganized N.ow

A few pricier options

If you’re either looking for something more expensive, or planning to split the cost of a gift with multiple people, here are a few options:

I’m in love with Bella Jewels‘ gorgeous jewelry. It’s not in my price range, but if it’s in yours, I highly recommend checking it out.

I’m also in love with Bluebellgray‘s housewares.

Do you know someone who loves delicious, healthful, locally grown food, but needs a break from cooking? Give them a week of a shared food program such as Once a Week. I got a share from them once, and it was wonderful. Cornbread blueberry muffins, potato pancakes, lamb stew, curry-flavored deviled eggs…so good. They make a different selection of creative dishes each week based on which ingredients are available locally.

Enjoy your holiday shopping!

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