The 2016 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide
We’re still in the first week of December, but I feel like I am oh-so-very behind on Christmas shopping already! Where are you at in the process? If you’re still trying to find the perfect gift for your husband, wife, mom, sister or best friend, I have tons of ideas for you, all gathered up in this ULTIMATE holiday gift guide.
I’ve gathered up some of my very favorite products here for you and broken them up into the following holiday gift guides: a foodie gift guide, cookbook gift guide, home gift guide, tech gift guide and a kids gift guide. They include a wide variety of price points, so it’s quite possible that you’ll find a little something for everyone. Happy browsing and good luck shopping!
The Foodie Gift Guide
Jeni’s Ice Cream or Graeter’s Ice Cream / Toaster Oven / Thermapen / Butcher Box / Dutch Oven / Wusthof Bread Knife / Treatsie / Scrub Daddy / KitchenAid Mixer / Cast Iron Skillet / David’s Tea / Kitchen Scale / Nudo Adopt an Olive Tree / Instant Pot / Spiralizer / Blendec or Vitamix
My Top 5 Picks:
- Breville Smart Oven – I hadn’t ever used a toaster oven before my husband and I moved in together, and now I have no idea how I ever survived without one! We use it multiple times a day, for everything from plain old toast, to reheating leftover pizza, broiling hoagies, and everything in between.
- Wusthof 10-inch Bread Knife – I’m a big advocate of investing in a good set of knives, as I think it makes a huge difference when preparing food, and this bread knife is my absolute favorite. It slices every kind of bread easily and cleanly for perfect slices every single time.
- Scrub Daddy – My aunt just turned me on to these over the summer, and I’ve admittedly never been a sponge person, but they’ve converted me. You need very little soap, they rinse super clean and dry quickly. I love these!
- David’s Tea – I actually don’t drink tea, but my mom loves it, and I bought her a gift set from David’s Tea about five years ago and she totally fell in love with it. I now gift her new flavors each year!
- OXO Kitchen Scale – I am such a proponent of weighing ingredients when you bake, so a kitchen scale is an absolute must in my book, and this is the one I use in my kitchen. It can hold up to 22 pounds, so it’s incredibly versatile.
The Cookbook Gift Guide
Alton Brown: EveryDayCook /Dorie’s Cookies / The King Arthur Flour’s Baking Companion / The Baked series: Baked, Baked Explorations, Baked Elements, and Baked Occasions /Vintage Cakes / Bouchon Bakery / How to Bake Everything /DIY Cookbook / Cooking for Jeffrey / Skinnytaste Fast and Slow / The Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book / The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
My Top 5 Picks:
- The Baked Cookbooks – I absolutely, positively adore all of the Baked cookbooks. I have them all and have never made anything less than stellar from them (see: Baked brownie, Coconut Bundt Cake with White Chocolate-Coconut Glaze, Salted Caramel Apple Cake, Sweet and Salty Brownies, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling).
- DIY Cookbook – This is another fantastic book from America’s Test Kitchen – I doggy-eared nearly every single page!
- Cooking for Jeffrey – Because everything that Ina Garten does is fabulous. The end. :)
- Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book – This is the updated version of Baking Illustrated – both have been staples in my kitchen for over 10 years. A great basic baking book!
- The Bread Baker’s Apprentice – If you love baking bread or want to start, this is a perfect book to keep on hand. Peter Reinhart breaks down each recipe with a long introduction so you understand the background of the recipe, and most importantly – the results are amazing!
The Home Gift Guide
Curling Wand / Wool Dryer Balls / Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment / Beauty Blender / Adult Coloring Books / Stila Eyeliner / JR Watkins Foaming Hand Soap / StitchFix / Jord watches / My Pillow / Marc Jacobs Cross-Body Bag / Kenra Blow Dry Spray
My Top 5 Picks:
- Wool Dryer Balls – My mom bought these for us last Christmas, and we haven’t used fabric softener or dryer sheets since. They’re fantastic!
- Beauty Blender – I don’t wear foundation often, but when I do, these little sponges make for the most even, natural coverage. I’ll never use a brush again.
- Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner – I found this eyeliner a year or so ago and haven’t used another kind since. The application is super precise and, most importantly, it never smudges!
- My Pillow – Earlier this year I was having tons of headaches and neck pain, but never thought it could have been the pillow I was sleeping on until my in-laws bought me a My Pillow for my birthday. The headaches and neck pain went away and never came back! I’m such a huge fan girl of these pillows!
- Marc Jacobs New Q Natasha Cross-Body Bag – I bought this bag about a year and a half ago once I realized that with a baby-soon-to-be-toddler, I needed to be hands-free at all times. I wanted a cross-body bag, but one that was big enough to hold everything I needed, but not huge. This was absolutely perfect. It’s pricey, but I’ve used it literally every single day since then and it still looks brand new.
The Tech Gift Guide
My Top 5 Picks:
- PS4 – This is really my husband’s toy, but it’s awesome to have easy access to Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and a ton of other streaming services.
- Sonos – I’ve talked about this before, but we use the Sonos bridge to connect Sonos 1 and Sonos 3 speakers, as well as a built-in speaker system, throughout our home. You can play music from any computer, wireless devices, Pandora, SiriusXM, local radio stations, and tons of other streaming media. We love it!
- Roku Streaming Stick – We bought this for my mom a couple of years ago so she could easily access Netflix on her TV, and it was a huge hit. A great option for someone who wants to use streaming services but doesn’t have a device with it built-in.
- Canon Rebel T6i dSLR – The Canon Rebel was the first dSLR camera I bought and it’s a fantastic entry-level camera. It creates amazing photos, whether you plan to use it for food, sports, candids, etc. – it’s a great investment if you’re interested in photography.
- Canon 50mm 1.8 lens – And this was the first lens that I ever bought… it’s a phenomenal bang for your buck and is the perfect photo length for pretty much any everyday-type of photos you’ll want to take.
The Kids Guide
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes / The Little Blue Truck / PlanetBox / MAM Pacifiers / Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker / Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cups / VTech Alphabet Train / Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo / Ultra-Clean Washable Crayons / HALO SleepSack Swaddle
My Top 5 Picks:
- Little Blue Truck book – This has been Joseph’s favorite book since he was only a few months old. The edges are tattered, it’s been chewed on and spit up on, but we still read it every night! We’ve since added Little Blue Truck Leads the Way and Little Blue Truck’s Christmas to our collection :)
- MAM pacifiers – Joseph used pacifiers very sparingly his first few months; Dominic uses them a little more, and the MAM brand is by far the best we found. They are the only ones that easily stay in the mouth and actually appear to soothe.
- Munchkin Miracle 360 Sippy Cups – After reading about spoutless sippy cups are recommended by pediatric dentists, I found these sippy cups, and Joseph has been using them exclusively since he stopped using a bottle. They don’t leak at all (unless your toddler throws them, AHEM) and it’ll make the transition to a regular cup seamless.
- Fisher-Price Dance & Move BeatBo – Oh my gosh, this dancing robot! My sister bought this for Joseph for Christmas last year and he was enthralled with it for MONTHS. He will still pull it out of his toy box every few days and dance with it :)
- HALO SleepSack Swaddle – Joseph hated swaddles, but Dominic only sleeps well if he’s wrapped like a burrito, and these are awesome. They make it so easy to get a nice, tight swaddle and the velcro keeps it in place and ensures that the baby’s mouth and/or nose won’t get covered up by a loose blanket.
Now that your shopping is done, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the rest of the month without a worry.
If you’re anything like me, you’re looking forward to a quiet evening with Elf on the TV, a mug of hot chocolate, and piles of gifts and wrapping paper just waiting to be wrapped up ?
‘Tis the season!
(This post contains affiliate links)