Are you shopping for gifts this weekend? The Internet is exploding with ideas, which can be helpful when we’re feeling frazzled with the season and just need a little inspiration. You can find guides “for him” or “for her” all the way to the more creative “for the jetsetter” or “for the beauty guru.”
Because we all need to band together and help each other find the perfect gifts for our loved ones, here are just a few ideas from eleventh floor view. (Not in gallery form, because I am adamantly opposed to Internet galleries!) As you can expect, these are mostly food-related. At the end of this post, you’ll find a hearty list of other gift guides that hopefully will helpful as well.
1. Homemade Gift #1: Bon Appétit’s Chocolate-Almond Bark with Sea Salt
Yes, we may all eating be lot this holiday season, but these bark pieces are decadent, beautiful, and quite a treat. I like them especially for group gifts–for coworkers, bible study friends, your book club, etc.
2. Homemade Gift #2: Wine Cork Ornaments
One of my friends made everyone in our bible study wine cork ornaments for Christmas last year. It was such a cute idea! We save all of our wine corks, but never know what to do with them. Pinterest has a lot of great ideas.
3. Beautiful Cookbook Gift: The Yellow Table: A Celebration of Everyday Gatherings
I am totally inspired by Anna Watson Carl at The Yellow Table and her philosophy of gathering people together around a table to share food and life. I had the opportunity to test a few recipes for this cookbook and have shared about many of her recipes on eleventh floor view. This is a gorgeous cookbook, with photos by Signe Birck, full of simple, elegant, and healthy recipes!
4. Quirky Cookbook Gift: The Portlandia Cookbook: Cook Like a Local
For fans of Portlandia, this gift is a no brainer. I must admit, I’m sharing the book without even having opened it yet. However, it’s on my personal wish list and I’m sure it will inspire some laughs (and hopefully some good eats too!). Check out Bon Appétit’s interview with Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein to get a taste.
5. Unique Liqueur Gift #1: Skinos Mastiha Liqueur
We discovered this fantastic liqueur during our recent trip to Greece! Mastiha is also delicious on its own as an after dinner digestif. I still need to write an entry on Mastiha cocktails, but in the meantime, here is a recipe for Tears of Chios, our favorite one that we tried at a rooftop bar in Athens. We recently created this drink for a cocktail contest with a group of friends and it won! Mastiha is an ingredient harvested from the sap of a tree in the pistachio family. Specifically, this special tree that can only be found on the islands of Chios (where my great-grandfather is from!). Anyway, you should definitely give it a try. Buy it at Potomac Wines and Spirits‘ online store, or at their Georgetown location.
6. Unique Liqueur Gift #2: SNAP Organic Liqueur by Art in the Age
Here is something else that I am endorsing, but have not tried yet! I was completely drawn in by Joy the Baker’s Apple Snap Cocktails post a few weeks ago. SNAP apparently tasted like ginger snaps, with a flavor combination of molasses, ginger, vanilla, nutmeg, brown sugar, and more. You can combine it with all kinds of things, but especially bourbon and fresh apples! It sounds like a drink that might bring Chris and I’s cocktail tastes together. I am dying to try it. Buy SNAP at various online stores like Drink Up NY, or at Potomac Wines and Spirits. PS – Art in the Age makes a few other organic liqueurs too, like one called SAGE!
7. Charming Ceramic Gifts: Annapolis Pottery
I fell in love with the hand-crafted ceramics at Annapolis Pottery on our most recent trip to Annapolis. Make it an excuse to spend a weekend afternoon in this adorable town, or if you’re pressed for time, check out their online store. You’ll find lovely bowls, serving pieces, salt & pepper shakers, vases, casserole dishes, and more!
8. Pampering Gifts: LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
My mom can be hard to buy for, but I decided to see what she thought about LUSH’s organic bath and body products for her birthday this summer. It seemed like a hit, and one of my sisters became obsessed with LUSH in the process! I first discovered LUSH back in 2007 in Dublin, then was excited to learn that they are also in Tysons Corner and Georgeotwn. Plus, you can order their products online. I personally am hooked by their Enzymion face lotion. For gifts, LUSH’s vast array of bath soaps, bath bombs, and face masks always make good gifts!
9. Experience Gift: Cooking Class at Sur La Table
My friend Rachel and I recently took a homemade pasta-making cooking class together thanks to our husbands’ gifts to us last Christmas. It was a lot of fun and there are many options for different kinds of classes, from knife skills to sushi-making to seasonal cooking! There are local locations in both Arlington (Pentagon Row) and Alexandria (King Street). Go here to learn more. This can be a great gift to give a couple too!
10. Wine-Lover Gift: Screwtop Wine Bar’s Wine Club Membership
Maybe one of my favorite Christmas gifts from Chris! He gave me a three month membership a few years ago, which we later reinstated to be ongoing! Screwtop Wine Bar in Clarendon offers memberships in three month, six month, and one year increments. You get two great wines per month plus a cheese pairing. You also get invited to wine club pickup parties and exclusive wine events. Finally, there are discounts at the bar, at the store, and on wine classes.
11. Whimsical Art Gifts: The Hungry Fox Illustrations and Screen Prints
Shop at my friend Mikaela’s lovely Etsy shop for a vast array of stationary and screen prints. She also makes invitations, posters, and fine art! I especially love her Running Horses and Chicken Flowers in Field prints. Check her out!
12. Hipster Gift: Tiny Beard Ornaments
For the extremely bearded men in your life. I saw this photo on the Twitter page of The Cut (by New York Magazine) this week — and could not stop laughing!
13. Fashionista Gift: Rent the Runway Gift Certificate
With New Year’s Eve approaching and the various occasions that 2015 holds, give your mom, sister, or girlfriend a gift certificate to Rent the Runway! Particularly with the new store in Georgetown now open, it will be so fun for her to spend your money renting trendy items for all of her glamorous upcoming events. Now, if only it was possible to give Unlimited for Christmas (wait list only right now) — that would be at the top of my wish list!
14. Gift with an Impact: Donation to International Justice Mission
This Christmas, put funds towards a cause that truly makes a difference and one that I personally am very passionate about. International Justice Mission, headquartered in the D.C. area, works around the world to rescue victims of slavery, bring justice to their perpetrators, and reform judicial systems. As I wrote in a previous post, it is clear in Scripture that God has a special place in his heart for the oppressed and overlooked (Isaiah 1:17; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:10; Matthew 23:23). Working to save others from injustice is directly in line with the mission of His heart!
Finally, there is no shortage of gift guides on other blogs and websites this time of year! I’ve been keeping track of some of my favorites, which you’ll find listed here. Happy shopping!
- Food52’s Extensive Gift Guide
- Young and Hungry’s Local Food and Drink Gift Guide
- Pinterest’s Holiday Gift Ideas
- Paste Magazine’s Gift Guide for Style Lovers
- The Huffington Post’s 9 Green Gift Ideas
- The Everygirl’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Lifehacker’s Gift Guides (Organization, Better Gadgets, etc.)
- Cookie + Kate’s Holiday Entertaining Gift Guide
- Gift Ideas from GAP
- Joy the Baker’s Gift Guide
- Bitches Who Brunch Gift Guides: For the Foodie, For the Men, For the Gals, For the Hostess
- NY Times’ Holiday Gift Guide
- Cupcakes and Cashmere Gift Guides: Under $100 & Men’s Gift Guide
- 12 Gifts for Your Hipster Mixologist by the Kitchn
- Lauren Conrad’s Gift Guide for the Beauty Guru
- Tasting Table’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Kendi Everyday’s Gift Guides: For the Bestie, Guy’s Edition, Fancy Edition
- Nordstrom Holiday Gift Guide
- 9 Great Gifts for Small Space Dwellers by Apartment Therapy
- Bon Appétit’s Holiday Gift Guide
- Northern Virginia Magazine Gift Guide
- 12 Gifts to Surprise and Delight a Coffee Addict
- Food Babe’s Holiday Gift Specials
- Love and Lemons’ Gift Guides: Kitchen Essentials & Cookbook Gift Guide