Despite my best efforts to embrace a less consumerist lifestyle (a constant work in progress).. I have a deep love for holiday gift guides and product recommendations posts from real people. I read them wherever I can find them. Maybe you like them, too?

None of these are affiliate links or sponsored in any way. Some of these things I have or have tried; others I haven't. I try to note which one it is when it seems like it matters!

# Home Goods

  • Virginia Sole-Smith put these mini stoneware bowls on her gift guide and I agree with her that they would make an awesome gift, though I do not have them myself.

  • These colorful baking dishes/pans - I don't have them and so have no idea how they'll hold up, but aren't they fun??

  • The Aura digital photo frames are pricy but SO NICE. My whole family has them basically, and so we can add pictures to all the family frames at once. (Well actually we use a Google Photos album for pics of my kid, that is connected to each frame, so for us it's even simpler!) It makes me so dang happy to see the pictures scroll by.

  • I am a sucker for anything Rifle Paper Co designs.

# Cool bags

  • These big funky totes. I am an admirer but don't have one, though I've had a few shirts from this brand!

  • This eggie toast bag for your quirky friend.

  • This duffel bag looks nice and sturdy.

  • Basically any bag Cotopaxi sells.

  • The Baggu duck bags are so nice and sturdy. Note they come in horizontal and vertical styles, with and without zippers. I do wish they came in more fun colors - see the other links for what usually draws my eye; if you clicked those and were horrified and wondering "where's the neutrals??", this might be the link for you.

# Cookbooks & Home-Books

  • Start Here by Sohla El-Waylly is a new one I'm really excited about (but haven't dug into yet).

  • I Dream of Dinner by Ali Slagle is the best new cookbook I've had in the last couple years. I love everything I've tried from it, and I love that the dinners are full of interesting flavor combinations but still feel pretty approachable (to my not-particularly-refined palate). And I especially love that there are lots of substitution suggestions so I can work with what I have on hand.

  • Snacking Cakes by Yossy Arefi IS SO GOOD. Simple, one-bowl cakes you can make in under an hour (including washing up!) Built around the thesis that cake is great and we should all be eating it more. I AGREE. This book has a slightly cult following for a reason, people!!

  • Safe and Sound: A Renter-Friendly Guide to Home Repair by Mercury Stardust is a great book that I've read basically cover-to-cover, though it's probably more commonly used as a reference for various projects. I learned a lot, and appreciated Mercury's little pep talks scattered throughout the book, as someone who's pretty nervous about home repair-type stuff.

  • How Your House Works: A Visual Guide to Understanding and Maintaining Your Home by Charlie Wing is a great housewarming gift for a new homeowner. It shows you how the various systems/appliances/etc in your house work, so you can be more empowered to seek repairs as needed or troubleshoot issues.

# For your activist/organizer friend

# For your friends who bike

  • A shock-absorbing bike cup holder which I don't have but I wish I did; I have a real gap right now in my ability to go get a tasty beverage somewhere and then bike to a new location with it! Alternately, a tight-sealing thermos of some kind.

  • The bike bags from Po Campo are nice and sturdy and don't need any special hardware or tools to attach.

# For your friend who really likes birds

# For your Nebraskan friend

# Clothes

# Queer Stuff (that's not already in another category)

# Kid Stuff

I should probably do a whole separate post on these but here's a few things! (Including more lists, sorry/notsorry)

  • "The Kids Should See This" has so many cool ideas, I want them all, but for me? For the kid I wish I had been?
  • I love, love, love the Busy Toddler Gift Guides and the ethos behind what gets included.
  • This "Be brave, curious, and kind" pennant
  • Maisonette sells a ton of really cool-seeming toys but especially has a really good selection of dress-up clothes & costumes.
  • Anything from for kid clothes. (Or the grown-up rainbow stripe tee shirt; I'm wearing mine now!)
  • I have seen 500 million discussions on whether one should buy a Yoto Player or a Toniebox for a young child and I will save you (but probably it's too late) from all the effort and just tell you I am leaning towards Yoto Mini for my kid.

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