Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Nordstrom’s insistence that holiday shopping shouldn’t take place till after Thanksgiving is so utterly out of date. I agree Thanksgiving should have it’s moment, but who wants to go to the mall or wait on shipping in december? Holiday shopping now starts in October with Amazon Prime Day. That’s when Amazon sheds it’s current inventory in order to make room for Black Friday and Cyber Monday products. I’ve compiled a holiday gift giving guide full of Amazon items with prime shipping. Categories include Food & Beverage, Bath & Beauty, Travel, For the Ladies, For the Gentlemen, STEM Gifts for Kids (of all ages), and Graphic Novels for Kids (6-12 age range, depending on reading level, that my daughter really loves). I am far enough removed from the baby phase and I am not really in the know with the teens these days either so I will refrain from making guesses. Everything is something I’ve given, bought, or want. There’s lots of items at various price points and I do get a small commission if you buy using my link. Happy shopping.
Food & Beverage
My husband gave me this last year and it is the bomb.com. I’ve never had a hiccup with a cork or struggled to put enough pressure into opening a bottle since we got this beautiful piece of technology.
This cheese board comes complete with knives, ceramic boards, slots for crackers, and bowls for sauces or nuts. It’s been on my radar for some time.
Champagne really is best served in a traditional champagne glass, but the coupe that was designed to represent Marie Antoinette’s breasts are just more fun. I recently acquired more because everyone fights over them at parties. You can serve other cocktails in them as well.
I purchased these because there are a few picky eaters in my house who don’t like food touching. They’re perfect for dipping your corn dog in ketchup or your spring roll in duck sauce. You might consider pairing them as a gift with an assortment of dipping sauces.
We didn’t buy an espresso machine for a long time because the automatic ones are extremely expensive. But after trying our brother in law’s $800 machine we realized we didn’t love how little control he had over the various components of making espresso we love. I won’t give an instruction manual, I’ll just say we own and love this one.
These beans are strong and are perfect for any lover of a dark roast.
Hot sauces get gifted around my whole family every year. These are everyone’s running favorites.
Pat gave me these for our anniversary a few years ago and while it seems a tad over the top, boy do they keep my rose cool out on the patio in the summer heat.
There are a whole series of these including Tequila a Mockingbird and Are You There God It’s Me, Margarita. They’re pretty good cocktail books with really fun titles that make great gifts.
Bath & Beauty
I adore my mini-fridge I keep in my bathroom that I put my eye cream, jade roller, aloe gel, and under eye patches in to keep them nice and cool and help depuff and refresh my skin. This exact one was my favorite gift from my sister last Christmas.
Welda Skin Food $19
This moisturizing cream can be used on your hands or face to give you a surge of moisture that is long lasting. As we wash our hands incessantly though this pandemic I can’t live without a tube of this at every sink, my car, and my purse.
This silicone brush will help you clean off your makeup and clear out your pores. It’s easy to use and to clean. Don’t let anyone convince you that you need a more expensive sonic cleaning brush. I have them both and it is not more effective.
I keep this organizer right next to my mini fridge and it has the perfect size drawers and slots for my cosmetics. Ok, most of my cosmetics.
My husband is 6’4”, a regular towel just won’t do. These huge bath sheets are his preference and they’ve got over 10,000 positive ratings, so clearly he’s not alone.
Since I have been giving myself my own pedicures since the pandemic began this has become my absolute favorite soaking salt for both my feet and my body. Smells great and leaves your skin feeling silky.
This is my husband’s favorite product to fight off razor burn. Since he shaves his head twice a week it’s an absolute must. It can be used on the face as well.
Another product you don’t need to spend $100 on. Pat and I both use these and will swear to them clearing up our complexion.
As Dr. Pimple Popper says, you really shouldn’t mess with your zits but you’re going to anyway so do it with the proper tools and don’t destroy your skin or spread bacteria with your fingers.
My husband told me packing cubes were stupid when I jumped on the bandwagon. Now he owns both a full size suitcase set and carry on. These have a great reputation and contain both sizes.
I love this wallet. It has easy access to two passports, boarding passes, slots for credit cards and driver's license and your phone. It’s RFDI blocking and has a wrist strap. I obviously own the pink one that matches my suitcases.
We take this every time we travel. It’s dual voltage, small and highly effective. Even Pat will steam out his polos if I've have it out, and I always do.
These are fabulous for international travel especially if you hit multiple countries with different outlets. It has USB adapters so you can charge items that can handle the voltage, we charge our ankers and then use those to charge items that can’t handle the voltage. You can also use them to plug in your duel devices (like the travel steamer).
These are the secret to carry-on only success. The silicone bottles and jars are so much better than the old plastic ones.
They range in price depending on color and how many you buy. Pat owns the 3 piece (20/24/28) in Brushed Anthracite. Scarlett and I both own different sets that only have 20 and 28 and we both wish we owned a 24 as well. These hard sided and expandable suitcases are really fantastic as far as fitting everything in, they’re fairly lightweight compared to my Nordstrom set and Scarlett’s Calpaks. They have held up with no real signs of wear.
For the Ladies
Oloray Winter Coat $150
This coat has been on fire for three years now. It will probably go on sale on black friday. It’s super warm, cute and comes in many colors. I own three.
Manio Cashmere Shawl $130
This is definitely on my wishlist and perfect for traveling or accompanying a dress on a chilly night.
Merokeety Leopard Cardigan $25-30
This became a huge competitor to the Barefoot Dreams cardigan this summer and I have to say I think this is both softer and more stylish.
Gold Paperclip Link Necklace $30-50
My most worn necklace these days is my dainty gold paperclip necklace. This is not the one I own, it’s not plated and from Saks, but this has 1,400+ great reviews and is a fabulous replica.
Ugg Fluff Yeah Slides $100-$150
They’re so fluffy!!! But seriously, I really love mine and wore them daily for all the months I could get away with it.
Get into the Emily in Paris spirit. This is at the top of my wish list!
These are my favorite budget friendly alternative to Zella leggings. These are my daily wear pair with pockets, but they make a fashion high waisted version with no pocket and a faux leather version that rivals the costly SPANX version.
I mean they're just so darn pretty! But this gift isn't for everyone, so know your audience.
For the Gentlemen
I have had such mixed results with women’s gloves for myself but this pair works well for my husband.
Maryland winters go from range from 50 degrees to 15. It’s very annoying and my husband really likes his North Face that gives him options. Yes it’s expensive. It’s not more expensive than having three different jackets.
Why isn’t this on my Food & Beverage list? Because in the past two years, three different male family members asked for this specific size because it fits in cup holders. Both your car cup holders and the ones at the gym can’t accommodate a bigger bottle. We’re anti Hydro Flask here because it’s so much harder to get ice in them and they don't stay cold as long as Yetis.
With so many people working from home, I have had several family members ask for a small beer/soda fridge for their makeshift basement offices. It’s a fun idea for our pandemic holiday.
Pat really loves this minimalist wallet that has a small clip for cash and easily stores his id and other cards. Low profile and fits in his pants nicely. He originally bought this for travel because it fits in his front pocket as opposed to that old trifold or bifold wallet that had to go in the less secure back pocket.
Women aren’t the only ones who like soft accessories in the winter. Pat thought it was ridiculous. I bought him a $90 scarf a few years ago, but yesterday he specifically told me to add it to this list.
What Do You Meme $30
This card game is hilarious. It's somewhere between Apples to Apples and Cards Against Humanity. Fun will be had by all.
STEM Toys for Kids
I have given these to so many kids and they are always a hit. From baseball games to bird watching they are highly entertaining.
First of all the narration is done by Bindi Irwin. How cool is that? It’s the perfect way to get kids excited about science and explore the details of the nature around them.
My 9 year old builds elaborate forts with these sticks and connectors. Come to think of it so does her 65 year old grandfather.
My aunt runs a preschool and always gave Scarlett the best toys. To this day, Scarlett whipps these things out and tries to build more and more complex arrangements. You can buy larger sets and upgrades as your child grows.
This is one of the absolute best toys to learn the basic methodology of coding, starting as early as preschool. Scarlett hardly uses the rest of the set any more but she takes out the mouse and programs him to do all sorts of things.
Snap Circuits have been around for awhile, I was teaching with them at least a decade ago. My two sense is that the junior version for younger children will entertain them for a very short period of time and they don’t really understand. As a stem teacher and mother, I recommend this larger kit for ages 8+ after they’ve got a basic grasp on electronics.
I gave this to my 4 year old nephew last year for Christmas and I was blown away with how quickly he realized programing was fun. Then his younger brother stole it and chaos ensued.
Graphic Novels for Kids
Some junior Star Wars fun with a little grade school drama thrown in. You can buy them individually and more have been released.
Amulet (1-8) $59
Part Anime, part sci-fi, full intrigue and fun. The artwork is simply stunning. You can also buy them individually.
Solve mysteries and learn to code with interactive elements. What more could you want? You can also buy them individually and more have been released.
Dragons at war in a fantasy series with more text then pictures as far as graphic novels go. You can buy them individually and there’s a second follow up set. You can also buy them individually and I would caution that there is some violence that some people are uncomfortable with for kids.