Favorite Gifts

Holiday season is in full swing now, and every year during this time I find myself searching for little gifts to have on hand. I love finding the perfect gifts for people and one of my favorite activities to force on friends in any given year is a white elephant. Here are some of my favorite little gifts to give that I’ve found over the last several years, I hope you enjoy!

3-D cat playing cards. Seriously, how cool are these cards? They were a gift from my husband when we first started dating and it’s probably the first thing he ever bought me. I love playing cards and especially love any sort of crazy cat lady merchandise so these are totally up my alley. These are a great gift for anybody but especially animal lovers – and did you see, the jokers are dogs!

Diptyque candles. Yes I know they are hideously expensive and yes a tiny part of me keeps them on hand in case Anna Wintour ever finds herself in a “Trading Places” kind of situation which involves having to visit my apartment. But Diptyque honestly has some of the best scents out there, and whenever I light a few up before guests come over, they always notice and compliment the fragrances. Plus the packaging and the little glass candle jars ( I keep my empty ones for all kinds of little storage around the house) are beautiful and classic.

Ticket Stub Diary and Travel Stub Diary. I’m a daily journal writer and have kept one since I was young (if you ever want a good laugh and some guaranteed second hand embarrassment  just read one of my pre-teen angst poetry related entries). Shudder. Anyway, I’ve always loved keeping little mementos of all the events and travels I’ve attended and done, but unfortunately most of my little slips (airline stubs, museum passes, etc) end up floating away never to be seen again. Ever since I found these two little diaries though, all my stubs have found a nice place to live, all neatly organized. I can’t wait until I have full books, I think they’ll be so fun to look through!

Amazon Kindle. I’ve written about my Kindle before but seriously, I love it and take it everywhere. It’s the perfect gift for anybody who loves reading (including yourself!).  Mine goes with me everywhere and fits easily in most of my bags. What more can you ask for?

Botanical notebooks. Really, how pretty are these? SO pretty! Years ago I decided that I was only going to use pretty notepads for work (recently I’ve been lazy and have just been re-ordering the same red Moleskines). It’s a little frivolous but I love having some pretty to write in during meetings and they always look beautiful on my desk. I adore these and they are lined paper inside (so many of these pretty notebooks are blank instead of lined).


And there you have some of my favorite gifts to give! I love, love little unusual thoughtful gifts and hope this was helpful to some of you. Please feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

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  • Reply
    Ella Pretty Blog
    December 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

    Loved your suggestions – I’m getting a bit tired of the gift guides with just pictures and links – I want to know WHY these gifts are a great idea – and your descriptions are perfect

    The ticket stub journals look amazing (and I still plan on buying the 5-year journal you recommended ). And now I feel like I need a fancy candle too… Also LOVE your idea of using pretty notebooks for work – I remember how much I loved having pretty paper goods while studying – it really makes a huge difference 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 8:32 am

    These are such great suggestions, Katherine! I so need one of those ticket stub diaries because right now all of mine just get thrown in a box. Can I get them from one of those big box bookstores?

    I like giving gifts that are very personal and I collect ideas throughout the year based on things my friends might say in passing. I keep a running list on my iPhone so I don’t forget!

    xo, alison*elle

    • Reply
      December 7, 2012 at 8:46 am

      Hi Alison,

      I’d try Barnes or even better one of those smaller independent bookshops that has more eclectic selections – I hope you can find it! If you are near a Chronicle Books store that is even better 🙂

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 8:36 am

    The ‘Stub’ diaries look like they’re something I’d like; I always wish I could keep my ticket stubs and mementos but I haven’t had a good organization scheme to make it possible!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Such pretty notebooks!
    Have a fab weekend Hun xoxo

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Good morning:)
    I love reading through people’s favorite gifts list -such amusing reading! I think i’m going to use your floral notebook idea for a couple of my co workers, they might enjoy it. I’m always having the worst time trying to get something for girls at work since they’re so MANY of them:(
    What do you think about Jo Malone candles?

    • Reply
      December 7, 2012 at 10:11 am

      Irina you have lovely taste, I love Jo Malone candles! They are gorgeous and have some very unique scents!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 9:51 am

    I love the Diptyque makes wonderful products. I have about 7 of these candles. I also love the fragrances. I just bought some body oil, some fig, and two other fragances about two weeks ago. My family loves the candles. My mother knew they were expensive and wants one anyway. They are the best.

  • Reply
    DSK Steph
    December 7, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Dog joker cards..ha ha ha.. NOT!! lol

    I need Diptyque’s Baies candle in my life! I’ve noticed that’s a lot of girl’s go to scent on blog!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I love everything you suggested! Especially the 3-D cat cards and the beautiful notebooks. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    The stub journal is a stroke of brilliance! Same thing always happens to me, looks like I’ll be buying a few for friends now too! Out of curiousity, how long do the candles last? They have such pretty packaging too! Love the ideas!

    • Reply
      December 7, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I don’t usually light the same candles regularly so I’m not too sure about continued use – I light my large Diptyques though an hour or two each time and they barely go down at all – I’d say that the large are maybe 100 hours?

  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Katherine, I have a bunch of stubs from traveling (Like train tickets, museum passes, ect), would the travel stub be better? Is the ticket stub one more for like concert tickets? I am so glad you posted this !

    • Reply
      December 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      Hmm. Travel stub fits more like a plane boarding pass level width if that makes sense (though I still have to fold them in half). Ticket stub is like plane tickets, some train/museuem tickets, etc. Hope that helps!

  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 12:35 am

    Great gift ideas! Love the candles; must buy some of these next time I get the chance.


  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 7:00 am

    This is how you do a gift guide!
    I was getting so tired of most bloggers lame versions.
    Great ideas – thanks!

    • Reply
      December 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Aww thanks I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Great suggestions, Katherine! Love the colourful notebooks! Never crossed my mind I can gift a notebook but it seems like a pretty nice and thougtful gift!

  • Reply
    Marlene @ chocolatecookiesandcandies
    December 8, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I’m dying for some scented candles and reed diffusers. I love Geodesis which comes from Provence. Less than half the price but the scents are divine. I’m mad for journals. I desperately wanted a Kindle but then didn’t want to carry yet another gadget and bought a Samsung galaxy note phone instead.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    ohhh i love your list kat!! omgosh the dogs being the joker cards is so fun and playful i love that and the botanical books are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO pretty omgosh!! i love love the ticket stub notebooks.. i use to keep stubs for everything first date movie.. first concert.. first museum.. first whatever when my hubs and i were first dating.. and i sadly lost all of them too this would have been very handy to have had back then haha!

    i hope you have a fabulous time in barcelona kat! i love it there!!

  • Reply
    December 10, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Any suggestions on a great Christmas gift for a couple that has everything? We are heading to Hawaii to stay with friends over Christmas/NY and I’m terrible at buying couples gifts. They live in Hawaii during the winter, so they pretty much live a charmed life! They are big foodies and wine drinkers so I was thinking of something like a great local cookbook and something else? BTW, I have those notebooks and love everything Ana does. I really wanted her to do our wedding invitations a few years ago!

    • Reply
      December 10, 2012 at 11:33 am

      Stacey me too! I wish we had gone with Anna to be honest, at the time though she was really busy and couldn’t do the full custom invite we wanted – but in retrospect I really wish we had gone with her, I’m a huge fan. Who did you end up using?

      You know i’m normally not a “tour” person and have been to Hawaii quite a bit but went on this and LOVED it:

      My husband liked it too – I got to know the owners through it, seriously such a sweet couple!

      • Reply
        December 11, 2012 at 10:38 am

        Oh wow, what a coincidence – she was too busy to do ours too!! This was back in 2009 and she was busy working on her wedding suite. I was so disappointed – I had become so fixated on her design that I had a really hard time moving on. 🙂 I ended up using MaeMae Paperie as she had done our save-the-date (was going to be reminiscent of an old-school concert ticket with the intention of Anna creating an invite that would be reminiscent of a concert poster). We had to change our direction after the save-the-date and ended up highlighting the calligraphy and making it more like a movie poster (our two loves – music and movies – my husband went to film school). It ended up working out in the end, but as someone who loves design – especially print – I was most disappointed. Anyway, here are our invites –

        Thanks for the great idea for a gift!

        • Reply
          December 11, 2012 at 10:43 am

          GORGEOUS! I love your invites, they are beautiful! You have fabulous taste and now I’m going to bookmark MaeMae!

          Here is another paper designer we LOVED but she also was booked up:

  • Reply
    Holiday Gifts 2013 | Feather Factor
    December 13, 2013 at 8:07 am

    […] year I shared some of my favorite gifts, and my original goal was to do the same exactly one year later (I’m a few days late…). […]

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