Angie's Gift Guide 2017
Updated: Nov 7, 2019
It's that time of year: gift/anxiety time. To ease a little bit of that, I've put together a gift guide with some midwest modern style to it. So, relax, grab a glass of your favorite nog or grog and I'll walk you through my picks....
Booze and/or food. It's really just that simple. Let's face it, adults typically have everything they want and/or need. (I do have some non edible picks coming up though if you have to have a "thing") First up: booze. You know those liquor gift sets that all the party stores have? The box with a bottle of Jack Daniels and 2 drinking glasses. It's pretty genius. To give it a little bit more thought than slapping a bow on a bottle of wine or a six pack (either of which are perfectly acceptable gifts in my world), get some monogrammed glasses (cliche or classic, I'm not sure) or fun vintage drinking glasses to go with your giftee's preferred beverage. Try to coordinate the glass with the beverage; pint glass/beer, wine glass/wine, etc. *From top left to bottom right*
1 & 2 - Vintage glasses are by far my favorite. SO many fantastic designs. You could go with holiday glasses, patterns or solid colored glass. Double check the sizes of vintage glasses, if ordering online. There are tons of great juice glasses (3-4" tall) that really aren't cocktail size. I suggest a glass that is at least 5" tall.
3- For new, whimsical glasses, these Charley Harper designs from West Elm are my favorite. LOVE Charley Harper illustrations. To me, they have that perfect mix of vintage style but completely modern.
4- West Elm also carries my favorite stemware. I love the squared off based; sophisticated & modern.
Next up: food! I love anything that can be put out with a charcuterie plate and isn't instantly perishable. Stashes of treats and snacks are never a bad thing around the holidays. If it's produced locally- even better!
1 - Gus and Grey jams. So many flavors that are perfect for savory or sweet eats. The Notorious FIG (Brandied Fig Jam) and Smoked Cranberry Whole Grain Mustard are my top picks. Made in Michigan!
2- Dave's Sweet Tooth Toffee. LOVE this stuff. My favorite is the dark chocolate but there are always season flavors and gift packs. It is perfectly sized chunks for the "dessert" portion of any meat/cheese/fruit/cracker spread. Made in Michigan!
3- Not made in Michigan, but in Canada (close enough really). Honeycup Mustard is awesome. Sweet yet uniquely sharp (says so on the label!). I can find it at most higher end grocery stores. If you can't find it locally, you can find it here: Plum Market (in the link above).
Ok, non-edible time. Chunky knit blankets. I know these are, and have been, everywhere but DAMN they look cozy. And that texture! There are even tons of tutorials out there to DIY your own. I watched one the other day and thought, "Hmmm, I could probably actually do that!" Not saying I will, but if you're interested you can find the video here. If you want to get straight to it, here are a couple of my picks. I love Etsy sellers because they are small business owners and they are eager and willing to do custom orders. Prices can vary wildly so make sure to check the size of the blanket before ordering. Something in the 50"x50" range is a good throw size for one person cuddling up in a chair. Also, check locality of the seller. Some of the better prices are overseas sellers but they may have extended shipping times.
1- Classic cream. Can't go wrong.
2- Sea blue. Classic color pop. This seller has a very large range of colors. The peppermint and teal colors are dreamy. Ships from the UK in 5-7 days (not bad!). Shipping cost is higher but overall is still very competitive with other sellers.
This one is food related but it's so great. For a long time I thought, "Who needs cookbooks, every recipe you could ever want is online?". I don't read cookbooks. I'm sure i'm missing out because some of them are beautifully written. Anyways, my point is that I'm picking this cookbook out of pure recipe quality. I've come to love most Taste of Home recipes. Not to talk at you from my mahogany library filled with leather bound books, but I can cook Bon Apetit and Epicurious and Martha Stewart very well, but Taste of Home recipes tend to have much simpler prep without everything being canned or frozen. It's simple, practical and delicious. Very midwest modern ;) Yes, you can find a million recipes online, but I am recently finding myself wishing all my recipes were in a cookbook instead of me trying to remember where I found a recipe since I forgot to pin it or searching for some ratty printout.
1- Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes. A great collection with tons of keepers. A keeper in my book is something I love enough to make again. Not just like, LOVE!
Because of the age ranges, this is a tricky one. My picks this year are divided by just 2 age groups: 6mo-3 years and 6 and up. Sorry, 4 & 5 year old children. Give them the classics (keep reading!). Besides my picks, here are some valuable tips when shopping for kids:
--Unless specifically asked, avoid electronics. That means anything that requires a battery. That being said, if you have to buy a battery operated noise maker, buy batteries too. Many products do not come with batteries and it's just inconsiderate to buy a gift that requires the receiver to buy something in addition.
--The classics are classics for a reason. Play-Doh, Uno, board games, legos, books. These are all universally appreciated. Many of the board games have issued vintage editions that most kids haven't seen and get a kick out of. These are also good gifts because you can play them right away with whoever gets them. And as I'm writing this, my 9 year old comes in and educates me to the fact that "No one wants books, Mom." We'll just call that proof of a smaller brain and disregard his opinion;)
Age 6mo - 3 years- A series of boxes within a box stuffed with tissue paper. Kids are more interested in packaging for what seems like forever. Or cups or anything stackable. These cups from Ikea are PERFECT. Recyclable and no BPA. bright colors, great for the tub, the beach or everyday.
Age 6+- The game of spoons: 2 decks of cards and some spoons. (game rules here) It's so easy, fast paced and great for bigger groups (4-8 people) aka Christmas/family gatherings. To make it a little more special, get some "fancy" playing cards, a box of fun colored, plastic spoons and a printout of the rules. Here are my card picks:
4- Space Invaders. Retro hipster cool, because all kids love that ;)
6- X-ray cards
Of course I have to say it because no Midwesterner worth a cheese curd would not: handmade gifts are always the best. But we all actually live life and sometimes you want to buy something and are just looking for a few ideas. Happy shopping!
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