Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mini-Gift Guide 2010

Ok.  So the gifts aren't mini, but this should be a fairly concise guide to finding something for most people on your list, most under $20.  Tah der.  Remember to buy locally when possible, too, but these are some ideas for those with limited options and/or time.  Please bear with me and read on until the end.  It's worth it!  Promise.

Oh, and the rules I gift-shop by. 
1. Shop year-round.  (Whoops.  Well, this guide is a great place to start, if you're a little behind.  And you'll know for next year.)  This strategy allows you to constantly browse for items on sale or out of season that could be useful later.  Think birthdays as well.

2. Only buy it if you're sure it's something the person will use, read, display, eat, play with, or wear (this can be the trickiest one--see #4).

3. Is this something you'd rather have for yourself?  If you answered yes, then get a duplicate.  You'll only come to resent your loved one.

4. Consider the person's lifestyle.  Are they trying to watch their weight?  Well, stay away from Godiva.  If she's a T-shirt and jeans person, avoid fancy jewelry or sweaters.  She will not wear them.  I had to learn this lesson from some of my family members.

5. Only give a gift card if it's a last resort or you just want to help them purchase something they've mentioned that you do not want to spring for.  Hehe.  Is the person just impossible to buy for?  Do they already have everything they could possibly want?  Have they dropped no hints throughout the year?  You can always donate to a charity in their name.  I like St. Jude and Gilda's Club.  The organization will usually mail a card to the "in honor of" person, and your donation should be tax deductible.  It's a win-win.

Without further ado, here are some ideas that should be crowd pleasers.

2011 Planner from Dozi on Etsy.  Confession: I ripped these right off of Freck.  She won't mind.  They're great and a steal at $11.50 each.

Silver bowls from Jamali Garden.  Ina would approve.  These are $12 each, and you could present one as-is or fill it with candy.  Ghirardelli squares, anyone?!
 Aveda's Shampure Candle.  This is my new favorite thing.  The candle with recycled/reusable glass container is $32 and burns for about 50 hours.  The refill candle is $22.  It's an earthy scent, so girls and guys should dig this.

 Stationery from Rifle Paper Co.  I feel that paper is always a good gift.  This set would be ideal for dog lovers, but Rifle has an excellent selection for other people in your life.  The price is $16 for a set of 8.  That's only $2 per card (with envelope), which is not too shabby.  For a licensed character at Hallmark, you'll spend twice this.  Also consider something like this for children.  It's never too early to teach good manners (like sending thank you cards) in this day and age.

How to Be Popular at FredFlare.  You cannot go wrong with cheeky books.  The cover alone is worth the $13.95. 

 iPod case from Byrd & Belle.  Yes, I blogged about these before, but they warrant a second look.  Angie, the designer, makes cases for just about any Apple product your techie's heart could desire.  This one is $26, and it will be unlike anything s/he will see in stores.

Hopefully this guide has given you some good ideas.  I don't have a promo code or a giveaway or anything except a thank you for taking time out of your day to visit Specs Appeal, throw a little comment love my way, and share part of your lives with me.  I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.


  1. OMG! These are great, and I definitely don't mind :) I wish Jess LC had something masculine - how terrible am I?! You are one of my favorite blog friends of all time! I mean, we've even Skyped! Holy moly. I'm so sorry friend :/

    I hope your week is going well :)

  2. Great tips, Tommy!
    And I want that ipod case.

  3. I LOVE this list and your tips! Thank you thank you thank you! I'm going to check out the journals, the bowls, and the stationery. Charge it!

    One of my students wrote an article for the school paper, and her topic was what NOT to buy someone for Christmas. None of the items on her list are on your list. Great job!

  4. I love your gift guide and the rule to giving... I've never smelled that candle before, but I bet it smells amazing!!

  5. These are fab ideas Tommy! I'm definitely getting one of those cases for a friend who juuuuust got an iPod touch. She still uses a flip phone, so its a step in the right direction. :)

  6. Fab tips!
    ps: I also need to smile more like the girl on cover of that book! I bet I'll be more pop*


  7. You forgot rule #6. Do not share enviable items on auction at ebay until said auction closes and you have won the item. See also, awesome stamps with holder. :)

  8. I'm with Jason - that iPod case is grand. Great trips, buddy!

  9. Those planners are so cute! Great gift guide!

  10. Rule #3 cracked me up. Great post!

  11. This is one of my favorite posts to date! You are awesome, Tommy! Thanks for sharing!

  12. those planners are beautiful! thanks for stopping by the blog...

  13. Hey Tommy! Sorry, just saw this! Great lineup and I heart your Rules to Give By... Hearts, K