Trying to think of some fun gifts for this holiday season?  Here are some of my favorite ideas!

For Family and Friends...


Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board 
A new way of serving cheese to give to that hostess with the most-ess in your life (from Uncommon Goods)
Kate Spade mittens
I saw these at her store in SoHo Thanksgiving weekend and couldn't leave the store without getting a pair.  I opted for the "pow" one because everyone needs superhero gloves.  Hi 5 MittensTaxi Mittens, or POW POW Mittens




A bottle of Frog's Leap wine 

I was so happy when I got to tour this winery in October while visiting Napa. The property was gorgeous, and how can you not love a winemaker whose motto is "Time's fun when you're having flies!"?








Scratch-off Map
A perfect gift to give to your world traveling friends as a fun way to keep a visual log of their adventures (from Uncommon Goods)

Vintage Book iPhone Charging Station
For the tech-savvy book lover or home decorating enthusiast... who also hasn't upgraded to an iPhone 5 (from Anthropologie)
Wish Ball Ornament
Every year, have your family or friends write a wish for the next year on a small piece of paper, then place it in the ornament.  Next year, when Christmas comes around again, gather everyone to open and read the wishes to see if they came true. (from Red Envelope)
DSLR Photography Classes for the photography lover
If you know someone who finds the non-point and shoot cameras to be intimidating and won't make the leap, tell them it's not that hard!  They need to go out and buy a camera - new or Craigslist - and start benefiting from living a better life with fabulous photos of great memories.  In order to make sure they get those photos, I highly recommend giving that person a gift certificate for a workshop with an amazing instructor - Okello Dunkley of DSLR Workshops.  He travels all over the country, and even internationally, to teach "Take Your Camera Off Program Mode" Parts 1 and 2, plus workshops on Adobe Lightroom processing software.  His instruction is very easy to follow and as a person he's so genuine and approachable.  I've taken four workshops from him, including his Holiday Manual Mode Cram Session this week, and he has given private instruction to my mom while she's in town.
State Quote Art to remember your state pride
From the Mandipity Etsy store, order prints for your friends of their home states with their state mottos in fancy typography and present it to them in a cute frame.
A Super Awesome Tote Bag
Check out this Pamela Fugate designed tote bag.  If you're going to be a bookworm, you may as well be a hilarious one and let people know it!

Speaking of books, how about one of my favorite books of the year...

For Others

Donate to a Great Cause
For yourself or on behalf of someone else as a gift, it's never a bad time to donate.  One of my favorite organizations is Donor's Choose, where teachers submit projects or classroom needs, and you get to contribute or purchase the entire need outright.  I always try to support local classrooms in Washington D.C. and seek out science and music projects, as these are always the first to get cut when funding is tight.  

Another great cause is an organization that raises funds to support children of deployed servicemen and women by providing funding for their childrens' extra-curricular activities, Our Military Kids.  Gabby Douglas, Olympic gold medalist in the 2012 women's gymnastics all-around and member of the gold-medal women's gymnastics team (the "Fab Five"), was a recipient of a grant from this organization.
If you're interested in having a personal impact on our deployed military, consider adopting a soldier through Adopt a U.S. Soldier.  They have new applicants coming in every day that need to be matched.  I've actually adopted three and was able to successfully send them some goodies from home while they were in combat zones.  

And don't forget....for YOU!

Massage Envy Membership
It may take a few times to find the right massage therapist for you, but it's worth it.  You can't beat the prices at this franchise or the lasting benefits of regular massage!  Besides the prices, it's also great that you can roll over your monthly massage, in case you're busy or if you want to build up a few for a future event (like a half marathon you don't train for...but I, of course, wouldn't know anything about that!)  

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