The Best Holiday Gift Guide Ever


Looking for some useful, affordable, thoughtful, unique gift ideas this year? I’ve got ’em right here for you. And know this: I was not paid to write any of this, these are all items I truly, genuinely love. And most of them I’ve already purchased for myself.

Hope you enjoy all these wonderful things as much as I do!

A little luxury

At first I bought these gorgeous, handmade, designer-printed cloths for my kids’ bathtime. And then I realised that with their soft terry and simply stunning prints, they’re perfect for me! And if they’re perfect for me, they’re absolutely a great gift for someone else.

Kiokko Bebe is a Canadian company run by a woman with a heart the size of… well, of Canada, actually. Cindy is a generous, talented, wonderful woman who happens to be “Mommy” to the cutest little girl ever. (Ok, second-cutest… my daughter must take first place.) Her line of eco-washcloths are a huge hit with my kids but also with my Mom, to whom I gifted a set of the mini washcloths last Christmas. The minis are the perfect size for travel (and for diaper bags!) and the regular size cloths are large, super-soft and feel like a little bit of pampering every single time I wash my face.

A little bit ‘o’ whimsy

There’s no nicer touch than a personal stamp, I think. Not a label, not a sticker, but a good old fashioned personalised rubber stamp. Stamps make envelopes look beautiful and really, who doesn’t love something personalised? The Penny Paper Company is the home of so many wonderful, beautiful products (especially for a stationary addict such as myself!). We’ve got one of their custom return address stamps, and I’ll be ordering a custom logo stamp for my business, too. 
Also, my kids each have their own names on stamps, and love decorating with them.

And how adorable is this alphabet set? I love it!

Here’s a major bonus, you’ll get 
20% off custom stamps with the code CLIPPO.

A little sparkle goes a long way

Once upon a time I wore nothing but black shirts and jeans. A uniform of sorts, it made dressing easy because everything matched! It was rather boring, though, and that’s when my delightful, fashion-savvy friend Colleen taught me that even the drabbest wardrobe can be spiced up with some gorgeous sparkly jewellery! 

Colleen is a Stella & Dot rep, and I’m now the proud owner of a vast collection of beautiful pieces that I wear almost daily. I pair gorgeous statement piece necklaces with a plain t-shirt and am ready for a fun evening out, or throw on these earrings just to make myself feel happy when I’m heading out the door. (Seriously, aren’t these gorgeous? Next up on my list is the matching bracelet.)
You can find something for any woman on your list at Stella & Dot (for great prices, too!), including the littlest fashionistas. (My five-year-old daughter loves her Allie Pearl set, which is now on crazy sale… I better stock up for other girls on our list this year!)

Handmade, usable art

I met Steve Kubien on Twitter, and boy am I ever glad I did. He’s a woodturner of remarkable skill, and the creations in his Etsy shop are absolutely stunning. Greenleaf Wood salad bowls are on my Most Coveted List. The contours and detailing on the side of this bowl is just incredible. What a gorgeous gift this would be!

note: I’m not sure Greenleaf Wood is filling holiday orders, but since I had added Steve’s shop to my list weeks ago, I wanted to keep it here for you all to see his gorgeous work.

The gift of relaxation

I’m a coffee snob, have I mentioned that? I’m extremely particular about the brew, the strength, the smell of coffee and I drink a lot of it. A lot. I pretty much run on coffee alone. But recently my lovely husband gifted me with a DAVIDsTea steeping mug and a selection of the most mind-blowingly delicious teas that I’ve become an afternoon convert to tea. 

I can’t even describe how amazing these teas are; they’re like nothing I’ve ever had. The smell, the taste, the flavours are so perfect, I look forward to at least three cups of tea every afternoon now. I’m planning a trip to a DAVIDsTea store just so I can spend time sniffing all the tea. I kid you not. The steeping mug is affordable, gorgeous and well-used around here. I plan on giving them to everyone I know this year. So I hope everyone avoids reading my blog.

The gift of comfort

If I could realistically wear pajamas all day every day, I would. I used to own a pair of hot pink, fleece pants that were the most comfortable things on the planet, but totally turned off my poor husband. Sadly (for me, definitely not for him), I wore those marshmallow pants till they disintegrated, and have been pining for cozy comfort ever since.

Imagine my delight when I found out about Snugabye women’s loungewear! The kids look so comfy in their one-piece Convert-a-Foot® jammies, and now they’re available in adult sizes. I’ve got the navy blue ones, but I’m absolutely getting this meow-riffic leopard-print one, too.

Laugh if you will, but for under $40, you can gift the gift of warm feet and a cozy outfit. Nothing better, I say.

Indulgence is the best gift of all!

Now, baked goods are a hot item these days, and many of them are adorable, but there is nothing I’ve found that comes even remotely close to the works of art created by Cat of Sugar Baking.  What Cat does with fondant is so unbelievable, it’s almost a shame to eat her creations. She made this amazing cake for my daughter’s fifth birthday party:

And these nautical-themed cupcakes for Father’s Day for my sailing father-in-law:
And these adorable cupcakes for my daughter’s teacher:

Her Flickr gallery is like eye-candy, and the best part is that her creations are also the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten. What’s more, her vegan cupcakes are safe for my dairy-and-egg-allergic son, and don’t taste like the regular cardboard vegan baked goods.

But if you want to order from Cat for the holidays, do it now! She’s extremely busy baking her own bun right now, and will soon not have time for holiday orders!

Stay tuned for my kids’ gift guide edition, coming soon!
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9 thoughts on “The Best Holiday Gift Guide Ever

  1. >Oh Alex ~ Thank you so very much for including KIOKKO in your awesome Holiday Gift Guide! I feel so special to be chosen to be among such amazing companies! You know I heart you. A whole lot. xo

  2. >Thanks a lot, Alex. Now I have to go shopping. Argh.


    Awesome guide! Spectacular finds.


  3. >I love this – I'm bookmarking all these sites for shopping at home. But now it'll be hard to get any work done daydreaming about shopping. Thanks Alex and keep them coming! PS – I got my order yesterday – yay!!!

  4. >I drink tea in the afternoons now too…even though I'm a huge coffee drinker. And I have that mug from David's Tea. LOVE. LOVE.

  5. >I am fairly sure I could fill at least a full week of blog posts with just my favourite things.

    Shame I'm not Oprah.

  6. >Hey you! Ya know, you really do say the nicest things and for that, my heart swells.
    Because you mentioned it, YES, I am thrilled to take orders and ship in time for Christmas morning. Custom work may be difficult before 2012 but the I suppose, since each piece I do is one-of-a-kind, it's all custom work!

    Thanks Alex. You are a gem.

  7. >I bought Penny Paper Co. address stamps for my mom, mom in law, grandma & aunt this year! So amazing!!

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