I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus…


Last week was super busy for me.  Much of my work week was spent decorating, shopping, catering, and hosting a reception for 60, followed by a one-day 1000 mile drive to retrieve my son for the holidays.  Now that I’ve had a chance to relax and rest I’m ready to share my last guide with you – gift ideas for the real Santa (aka: Mom).  Most mom’s would rather spend time with their loved ones than receive a gift but it never hurts to have a present or two ready so you can stay on her nice list….

  1. Anthropolgie Tea Set for One
  2. Kew Crystal Collar Necklace
  3. Premiere Edition Scrabble
  4. Olive & Thistle Wreath
  5. Kate Spade Cameron Street Lottie Bag
  6. Kendra Scott Juniper Earrings
  7. Modern Sprout Garden Jar Herb Kit 
  8. Lincoln in the Bardo
  9. My Absolute Darling
  10. Dottie Honey Pot
  11. Ted Baker Issy Impressionist Cape Silk Scarf
  12. Floral: The Graphic Book of the Garden
  13. Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum
  14. Sourdough
  15. Dylan’s Candy Bar Signature Chocolate Wheel
  16. SpaFinder
  17. Oscar’s Bouquet Embroidery Pillow Kit
(In case you missed my other gift guides check out kids, tweens, young adults, and dads here)
*I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Amy Winehouse

Give love on Christmas Day…


A few weeks ago I listed some gift ideas for kids, teens, and young adults.  Having worked many a Black Friday in my younger years I try not to shop over the Thanksgiving holiday if I can help it.  Fast forward through a week spent working on a Program in Music, Mind & Society event and I am ready to get back into holiday shopping mode.  Next up, some gift ideas for the fathers in your life….

  1. Olive & Sinclair 8 Bar Box Set of Chocolates
  2. Classic Rock-n-Roll Art
  3. The Taking of K-129
  4. Easy 123 Art Paint-by-Numbers Miami Nice
  5. UGG Ascot Slippers
  6. Sticky Fingers : The Life of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone
  7. Kentucky Bourbon of the Month Club
  8. Ravensberger Neuschwanstein Castle Puzzle
  9. American Fire: Love, Arson and Life in a Vanishing Land
  10. Meyer the Hatter Dobbs Dayton Felt Fedora
  11. Atari Flashback Portable Player
  12. The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
  13. Pink Floyd 1972 Obfusc/ation
  14. DiBruno Brothers Beer & Bourbon Collection 
  15. SCTV Volume 1, 2, and 3,
*Give Love on Christmas Day – The Jackson 5

All my sisters, all my brothers…


It’s only 4 days until Turkey Day and the nation’s holiday shopping madness officially begins. I’ve already got gift ideas for the little ones and tweens in my life.  But what to get for the slightly harder-to-please grown-ups?  Here a few of the things I am considering – maybe you’ll find the perfect thing for your brother, sister, boyfriend, girlfriend, or bestie too…

  1. I’ll Be There necklace
  2. The More You Gnome Zen Garden
  3. 100 Albums Scratch Off Poster
  4. Game of Thrones: The Complete Seventh Season
  5. Many Moons Clutch
  6. Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook
  7. Swirling Leaves by Sophie Borsting (or any original Art)
  8. Christian Siriano’s Dresses to Dream About 
  9. Thistle Farms Bath Soak Trio
  10. One Pan, Two Plates
  11. Guitar Stands
  12. Soap Rocks
  13. Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel
  14. Frank Lloyd Wright Falling Water double-sided puzzle
  15. Baggu Leather Backpack
  16. Wooden USA Beer Cap Map
*Peace Brother Peace -The Righteous Brothers


Christmas is coming…


I have a real love/hate relationship with technology and try to avoid giving gifts with plugs.  That is especially hard to do when buying for anyone young (say between 10 and 20).  I find money always works, but if you are looking for something a little more personal to give your favorite tween or teen the following 18 ideas score high on the ‘cool’ scale and ‘low’ on electricity usage…

  1. MOMA colorful Backgammon set
  2. Beats by Dr. Dre Powerbeats 2 Wireless Headphones
  3. Music, movies and concert gift cards
  4. 1000 Record Covers
  5. Polaroid Zip Wireless Mobile Photo Printer
  6. Lewo Wooden 48-piece Stacking Game 
  7. Half Baked Harvest Cookbook
  8. Tretorn Andre 3000 HYLITEHIXAB2 Sneakers
  9. 642 Things to Draw
  10. Rosie Lush Basket
  11. Super Spirograph
  12. Secret Marvels of the World: 360 extraordinary places you never knew existed and where to find them
  13. MOMA Paper Watches
  14. The Kwik-E-Mart
  15. Sneakers
  16. This Book is a Planetarium
  17. Multi-masking Mania
  18. Ravensburger Sneaker: American Style
*Christmas is Coming – Vince Guaraldi Trio



Gave you what you wanted…


8 for 20

Over the next few weeks you will be able to see some of the gifts I’ll be giving this season (with tips on how you can easily purchase or make something similar).  Let’s begin with some Secret Santa gifts that set me back less than $20 total.

A bit of backstory: each year I participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange at work.  There are only two rules; you can’t spend more than $20, and you have to purchase an ornament out of that amount (which is used to reveal each Santa).  After choosing your person you receive a listing of their favorite candy, snack, non-alcoholic beverage (it is work), hobby, color, and the like.   Everyone hangs their stockings at the start of December so gifts can be deposited as often as Santa sees fit.  You can open your gift(s) at any time or all at once. Trying to guess who your Santa might be is highly encouraged.  With any luck, all of the Santa’s identities will remain a mystery until the ornament reveal happens at our holiday lunch.

This year I challenged myself to see how many nice things I could give my ‘secret’ while keeping within my $20 budget.  This person likes chocolate, golds and greens, coffee, and owls…here’s what I purchased or made and will be secretly delivering over the next 7 days…

  1. Ghiradelli Sea Salt Cashews ($3.80 from Amazon)
  2. Holographic Glittered Bronze Owl Ornament ($4.99 form Walmart)
  3. Golden Mechanical Pencil Assortment ($3.00 from Target’s Dollar Spot Christmas Collection)
  4. ‘Warm Hands Warm Heart’ Knit Gloves ($1.00 from JoAnn Fabrics)
  5. Aloe Plant in 6″ Clay Pot and Saucer ($1.00 plant from Lowe’s. I had the pot and saucer, acrylic paint and ribbon on hand. I cleaned and then painted the pot and saucer with 3 coats of acrylic paint, then  glued ribbon around the top of the pot, leaving enough extra ribbon to tie into a pretty bow.)
  6.  Starbucks Card (given to me and being re-gifted; a $5 value that technically cost me zero.)
  7. Infinity Scarf (I used this silky beaded charmeuse fabric which I had left over from another project, to make the scarf.  Search Pinterest for “how to make an infinity scarf”.  Even a novice seamstress can make an infinity scarf in less than an hour. And since I already had the fabric and thread on hand the scarf cost nada to make.)
  8. Golden Writing Case with Notes ($3.00 from Target’s Dollar Spot Christmas Collection)

…A little ingenuity combined with some re-gifting, material re-sourcing, and sweat equity, and I now have 7 days of gifts, plus and ornament, for $17!  Now all I need to do is deposit each gift unnoticed, hope the person likes what they’ve received, and can’t figure out I’m their Santa until I give them the owl!

How about you?  Will you participate in a Secret Santa or other type of gift exchange this year?  What sorts of gifts do you plan on giving (or making)? I’d love to know…