Christmas is 23 days away and Hanukkah starts two weeks from today, so let’s get on with this year’s Dear Wendy Holiday Gift Guides, shall we? Since most of you reading this are probably women, shopping for other females may not prove as difficult as shopping for da men, but it’s always good to have ideas, especially suggestions that are appropriate for the various relationships you have with the ladies you know (plus, when people ask what you want for Christmas, you can just send a link to this post and call it a day!). Keep reading for some of my favorite gifts for women in 2014.
Sister/ Like a Sister … or, let’s be honest: YOU
Whether she’s blood-related or might as well be, this woman is there for you through bad relationships and bad haircuts. She’s who you celebrate the victories with and the person you call when you need to vent. Here are a few ideas to bring her a little holiday cheer this year.
If she likes makeup and soft stuff and feeling all luxurious and stuff: Too Faced Teddy Bear Hair Professional 5 Piece Brush Set
DW reader Morgan recommended these in her reader rec earlier this year, saying: “I discovered these Teddy Bear brushes this past December while making impulse purchases at Sephora, and I will never ever use anything else on my face again. They are as soft as a chinchilla, and I’m running out of adjectives to describe how wonderful these are. I’m obsessed.”
She’s been talking about taking up a new hobby since she quit smoking/drinking/sleeping with her co-worker three months ago but still hasn’t done anything about it: Harrisville Designs Lap Loom
Called a great weaving loom for a beginner, this lap loom is big enough to create a small tapestry, but also small and portable enough to work with on the sofa in front of the TV or on a plane to somewhere exotic. Weaving is enjoying a resurgence in popularity, with classes filling up and finished tapestries being sold for buttloads.
If she never lets go of her iPhone and she likes to keep her hands warm in the winter: Isotoner Womens Green & Blue Stripes Convertible Flip Top Fingerless Gloves
These are warm, stylish, and are totally practical if you’re like I am and always pulling out your iPhone for one thing or another — texting, checking the time, Google mapping the nearest dive bar. You can just pull the mitten flap back and set your fingers free.
If she meets you out for sinner at a hip little vegan spot carrying the same backpack she had in college: Fold-over leather clutch
Made of vegan leather in tan and black, this clutch fits most women’s crap, like a wallet, iPhone, keys, and lip gloss. Plus, pretty!
Continuing with the vegan theme: if she’s a vegan and proud of it (or just enjoys occasional vegan fare) and likes to cook real fucking food and is also on a budget and hates pretension : Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
Book description: “Thug Kitchen lives in the real world. In their first cookbook, they’re throwing down more than 100 recipes for their best-loved meals, snacks, and sides for beginning cooks to home chefs. (Roasted Beer and Lime Cauliflower Tacos? Pumpkin Chili? Grilled Peach Salsa? Believe that sh*t.) Plus they’re going to arm you with all the info and techniques you need to shop on a budget and go and kick a bunch of ass on your own. No more avoiding the produce corner of the supermarket. Sh*t is about to get real.” Aw, yeah.
If she’s dreading spending a whole week with her in-laws over the holidays, but otherwise has a great sense of humor:“Coloring for Grown-Ups Holiday Fun Book”
It’s an activity/ coloring book sure to brighten all the family time she’s going to be forced to endure. Also, booze helps, too.
If she’s a sleeping beauty: Field of Sweet Dreams Pajamas
They’re pretty, cozy, comfy, feminine and a hell of a lot better than the tattered pair of leggings she sports every time she comes to visit.
If she’s got like a millions pairs of boots and likes to keep her legs warm under them without getting that bunched-up feeling around her feet and she also likes looking cute:Knee High Crochet Lace Knitted Footed Leg Warmers Boot Socks
They’re leg warmers, they’re boot socks, they’re freakin’ adorable.
Wife or Girlfriend (of the non-platonic variety)
Whether you’re one of our lovely male readers or you’re representin’ the lady-love pool, here are some great suggestions for your girlfriend/wife.
If she’s been talking about juicing for ages and still hasn’t done anything about it: Vitamix 1782 TurboBlend
This is the Mercedes of juicers and what all the cool kids recommend. It’s pricey, but the feeling of listening to your wife or girlfriend go on and on and on about her awesome juices and how you really need to start juicing too is… priceless.
If she’s just got good taste: lapis and gold hoop earrings.
Because they’re almost as beautiful as she is. Almost.
If she enjoys luxury and already has just about everything (or would love just one item that is top of the line): Mason Pearson Popular Mixture Hair Brush
Dudes, it’s a $200 brush (marked down to $127.95), so. Basically, I think the brush magically turns every user into Rapunzel after 100 strokes.
If you don’t want her to get cold feet: Sorel Joan of Arctic Boots
I keep including these on winter gift guides because these boots are seriously awesome. I could not have survived the polar vortexes of last year without these. If you love your woman and you live somewhere col, get her these. She will thank you a million times.
If she’s got city pride: An artful Jim Datz city series poster.
These posters not only look super cool, they “combine several of our loves – typography, vibrant color, 50’s inspired illustrations, and urban signage. Prints are hand screen-printed seven colors (including gold metallic) on thick 100% Recycled acid-free 100# soft white paper stock.” I’m partial to the Brooklyn one, naturally.
If she likes looking at pictures of her loved ones AND playing board games with them at the same time: A personalized photo memory game.
From Pinhole Press, this classic memory game can be personalized with 12 of her favorite photos for hours of family fun while all of you are cooped up this winter.
If she’s got a bike and likes to ride to farmers’ markets and picnics in the park and to the bakery for fresh baguettes: Schwinn Wicker Handlebar Basket.
Because, so cute.
If she’s got a foot fetish: A collection of fun and fabulous socks
I love fun socks and Sock it to Me is my favorite brand not just because of the designs, but because they are seriously the most comfortable, soft, and warm socks I own. And they don’t wear out! I’ve had a few pairs for going on three years that still look new (and I wear them almost weekly from November to April)!
If she’s got cool style and a cold neck: Anthropologie Ladder Fringe Scarf
Pretty and warm, just like she is!
She gave you life and guided you through the trauma of adolescence. She deserves a medal, for sure, but, for now, these gift ideas should do.
If she likes pasta but not the calories and has been talking about needing to eat more veggies and “get healthy”:GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer
It turns long veggies like carrots and zucchini into pasta-like strands that can be topped with marinara sauce and a sprinkling of cheese for a delicious and healthy dinner. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.
If she’s always cold and also glamorous: Faux Fur Thro Throw Blanket
I’ve tried several faux fur throw blankets over the years until I finally found the perfect one: the Thro blanket. It’s the perfect weight (heavy enough to feel significant and warm without pinning you down), super soft and warm-but-not-too-hot. Plus, it’s totally reasonably priced, and it comes in an assortment of colors and patterns.
If she likes drinking beverages and can’t stop talking about her trip to Italy earlier this year (or five years ago): Floral Italian Wine Glasses Gift Box of 6
The collection will remind her of the romance of Italy while she sips her sparkling lemonade by the bay window watching and admires her (Italian-inspired) garden.
If she gets cold hands and likes the finer things: Italian cashmere lined leather gloves
Because she deserves an item of pure luxury. This is another holdover from last year’s gift guide because they are such a hit. I got these for my mom two years ago and she loved them, by the way.
Wine Glass Tumblers to Go
Had to include one more item from last year’s gift guide because it was voted Most Popular and also Most Useful and also Most Valuable Player.
Roommate/ Favorite Officemate
Whether it’s at work or at home, you share your space — and probably more personal information than you’d like to admit — with her. So show your appreciation and a token of friendship with any of these gifts.
If she brings her lunch to work every day and complains about how nasty the break room microwave is: Crock-Pot Lunch Crock Food Warmer
It keeps food warm enough for long enough that she won’t need to use that gross microwave anymore. You should probably get yourself one, too.
If you play Words With Friends all the time: Scrabble Refrigerator Fridge Magnets
If she’s a crazy cat lady: I Could Pee on This 2015 Wall Calendar
Oh My God.
Your kids’ teacher/ babysitter
She puts up with your kid, doesn’t get paid a lot to do it, and always comes back for more. Where would you be without her? (Tip: if she’s a babysitter or nanny, it’s customary — and always appreciated — to give a cash bonus that is at least equivalent to one week’s pay. These are nice gifts that your kid can give in addition.).
If she writes a lot of notes in the margins and she likes her environment and gardening and stuff: Sprout Pencil: Herb Pack
When the pencil wear down to a stub, you plant that shit and grow stuff, like basil, cilantro, dill, mint, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme! If that’s not cool, I don’t know what is.
If she loves sweets: An assorted box of Milis Caramels
My good friend, Mary, makes these handcrafted caramels and they are divine. Divine! The 12-piece assorted box comes with three pieces each of her Chocolate Malt, Vanilla Toffee, Espresso and S’ Mores.
If she’s human: Voluspa candles
Always a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason. These are so pretty and they smell delish too.
STOCKING STUFFERS! (You may recognize some of these from past reader recs)
Burt’s Bees Comfrey Comfort Salve
Beautiful Bath Salt Vials
Silver full moon/crescent moon post earrings
Essie Good as Gold Nail Polish
Wine and Beverage Bottle Stoppers
Pacifica Perfume Roll on Indian Coconut Nectar
Royal Apothic Chelsea Garden Club Bath Bubbles
iPhone stand up dock
Benefit They’re Real Mascara
Lush bath bombs
Portable External Phone Battery Charger
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion Tube
For more gift ideas, you can also re-visit my 2012 and 2013 gift guides for women.
ktfran December 2, 2014, 2:17 pm
I totally want the loom, the leg warmers and the coloring book.
That’s all. Well, I want a lot more and I already sent my mom my list, but I might do a little shopping for myself….
csp December 2, 2014, 2:31 pm
Just bought myself the cookbook. I love my own thoughtfulness.
honeybeenicki December 2, 2014, 3:48 pm
Will you be wrapping it up and surprising yourself with it?
Kate December 2, 2014, 2:43 pm
I have 2 pairs of Sorel boots, the Joan of Arctic and the one that’s not as tall and has sheepskin instead of fur. They’re heavy, but damn, there is no chance whatsoever that your feet will get cold in those things. If not for them, and my almost ankle-length down coat with hood, I could not get through the winter anymore. I am so into these boots, I bought the male version for my husband, and he is glad to have them! They are a lot warmer than his Tims and don’t get wet through like those do.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 4:39 pm
I went out to get Sorel boots but ended up liking a pair of Pajar ones better. They. Are. Insane. I’m someone who’s always cold, and those boots are almost too hot for me. Like, in the middle of winter, in Canada, I’m considering if I should take my coat off. Anyway, they’re so awesome for the cold days. And also for long car rides. I always freeze in the car, even with heated seats. Not with these babies!
Kate December 2, 2014, 2:55 pm
Some other things I love are:
Philosophy the Microdelivery Peel. It’s a 2-step thing that you use weekly to make your skin look amazing. DW’er Lianne was worried her skin didn’t look radiant enough for her wedding (this Saturday!!!) and was going to get a facial. But she started using the peel and was so amazed with how her skin looked she decided she didn’t even need a facial. It helps with pores, fine lines, dark spots, etc. too.
Fur scarves and collars. They usually have inexpensive ones at H&M, and I got one at Nordstrom this year. They can really dress up a top for going out, make your sweaters look great for work, make an old coat look new, light up your face, and of course they’re warm.
The “Fireside” PJ’s from Victoria’s Secret, the ones that are like long johns but 2-piece, with cute patterns. I think Pink has them too. They’re very cute, you can throw boots on with them to walk the dog, wear the tops and bottoms with other things, and if you have to go to a ski house or something you’ll look chic.
Cashmere sweaters on super discount from Macy’s etc. (Or give Uniqlo cashmere a try).
Elizabeth and James Nirvana perfume, the black kind, in a rollerball. It’s great for travel or in your clutch at night, and I love the smell.
Benefit primers – I wear That Gal for radiance, the Pore-fessional for smoothing out my pores, and also Stay Don’t Stray to keep eye shadow in place.
Naked Palettes, duh.
Rebecca Minkoff Mini Mac cross-body bag that doubles as a clutch.
Oribe Gold Lust oil for your hair.
Dear Wendy December 2, 2014, 3:06 pm
You have good taste!
Lyra December 2, 2014, 3:25 pm
Kate has the best recommendations for beauty and fashion stuff! She helped me figure out EVERYTHING for my first Navy Ball this past October!
Kate December 2, 2014, 3:33 pm
Awww, you did all the work and looked fabulous!
mylaray December 2, 2014, 3:20 pm
I was given a Mason Pearson brush as a gift over 12 years ago and it’s still the best hairbrush ever. I bought another one for my husband because he kept using mine. I think I need to try out many of these gift ideas for myself, and my friends.
Kate December 2, 2014, 3:24 pm
I’ve always wanted a Mason Pearson brush! But I have the kind of hair you can’t brush, so I haven’t been able to justify it.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 5:02 pm
What do you like so much about it that makes it worth the money? I don’t brush my hair all that much except when blowdrying, and I use a round brush for that. Does it make your hair feel softer or something?
mylaray December 2, 2014, 6:41 pm
I don’t brush my hair much either actually. I use this mostly after I wash my hair the first day and then also the last day (I go like 6 days between washing and the brush helps me go longer). It makes the hair much softer and lighter and distributes the oils down and keeps the volume. My hair is very thick and can be kind of coarse without the brush. My hair is fairly curly so it helps with detangling without causing any pain. I usually style my hair the first day I wash it when I brush it a ton and then I don’t brush it much or do really anything to it until the last day or two. My hair feels healthier and bouncier, which helps because I’m not the best at keeping up wth trimming my hair. They make different brushes for the different hair types too.
I know I thought it was ridiculous to pay that much for a hairbrush but brushes would only last me a few years before and they never really had any benefits for my hair.
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 7:03 pm
Hmmm. It might be worth it for me for the oil factor alone. I tend to have an oily scalp and I’d like a brush that does a good job redistributing it. My hair is also weird after having my baby; it’s coarser or frizzier or something. I always had straight, fine hair and now it’s just all over the place. That brush is over $200 here though, so I probably won’t be getting it any time soon. 🙂
RedroverRedrover December 2, 2014, 4:13 pm
I don’t like that that clutch is called a “leather clutch”. I mean, I know the description says vegan leather, but the name of it is leather clutch. It’s very misleading. You can’t just say leather unless it’s actually leather. /nitpick over
othy December 2, 2014, 8:25 pm
I’ve never heard of vegan leather, and I’m curious what it is even made out of.
kaluu December 3, 2014, 1:21 am
It just means it’s supposed to look or feel like leather. I’m pretty sure it’s usually a petroleum/plastic product.
sarolabelle December 15, 2014, 5:37 pm
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