Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide 2012

Holiday Gift Guide is here to help with all those people in your life who either "have everything" or are simply hard to shop for during the gift giving season. I love holiday shopping. No, I'm not one of those. You know the people that make a mad dash to the local mall a week before Christmas with only hurried presents and little thought about the recipients. Well, maybe I shouldn't judge what most people do. The very thought of going to a mall during the holiday season makes me want to put a fork in my eye. I started my shopping the first of October. Obnoxious, I know. 
Wooden Tree and Ornament Set
Fall season is when I start listening to my friends & family. The rest of the year I usually stare at people blankly while nodding my head pretending to listen. If say a friend mentions a sweater she wants I write it down. If I hear, "I love this__ but I can't buy this right now," I know I'll buy it. 

Then there are times I'm shopping for myself in a store or online and while I don't find anything for myself, I find the perfect gift for a close friend. Never a mention of this particular item in our conversations but know that it is the perfect gift.
So many gifts are not. Unless you really know someone, I would stay away from an array of things while shopping for someone. What to stay away from?  Perfumes, scented creams or any body product for that matter. That is unless you know the person well enough to know their taste in scents. For example, my friend Brooke has known me for twenty-six years and knows that if she buys me lemon, gardenia, or rose-scented anything, I'd love it. I have to add that there are a few scented products that are the exception, as you will see from the below list. The scented products I've recommended are light and heavenly. I dare anyone to disagree. 

I was reminded of why one needs to be careful when shopping for scented products earlier in the day while testing products. I received a sample of scented organic banana cream. I opened the lid to smell and just as I suspected it smelled awful. I was haunted by the smell of artificial bananas for the next ten minutes. I smiled and thought, "If anyone were to ever buy me this, then I would know they don't know me." I rolled my eyes at the jar of cream when I read, "organic." As if I'm to say, "yea organic cream!" No, I could care less. Also, I love the smell of banana bread baking in the oven. I just don't want to smell like something edible. Stay away from such creams for someone as a holiday gift unless you know them well enough to know that they want to smell of artificial flavoring.

Think about the recipient's personality when shopping for a gift, the colors and decor of their home, their personal style, and products or items they already own. Sometimes you can go with an item they already own and expand on it. For instance, if you are shopping for someone who loves cooking and they have a Le Creuset dutch oven, perhaps buy them a set of mini cocottes. They are great for individual servings. If you don't know what cocottes are, you will. 

Now are you ready for The Pretend Goddess' 2012 Gift Guide? Good, because I just watched Oprah's Favorite Things and I was quite disappointed. Yawn. 

Keep in mind these are items I feel make great gifts for any occasion, not just for the holiday season. 

Gift ideas for any of the categories below are endless. If these specific items do not fit your budget, then similar gifts can be found at different price points at any department or specialty store.  

Click on the name of product for ordering and product information. 
Home, Office, & Kitchen

Lucite Trays at iomoi

Glass Coasters by iomoi

Enamel Picture Frames by C. Wonder
Colored Glass Votives by C. Wonder

Shopping Charm Notecards by C. Wonder
Shoe Correspondence Cards by Smythson

Gift Receipt Card by Bella Muse

2013 Calendar Gift Box with Silver Easel

Gold Wishbone by Jayson Home
Six "Marseilles" Flutes
Mice Cheese Board by C. Wonder

Mini Cupcake Maker by C. Wonder

Mini Cocottes by Le Creuset

Peace & Love Coasters by Jonathan Adler
Flowers in a Can by Fred Flare
Carriere Freres Candle                    
The Vynbar Classic Stainless Steel Vertical Wine Rack

"Bacon is Meat Candy" Bacon of the Month Club
Tasting Room Wine of the Month
The Gospel According to Coco Chanel


Polka Dot Vase by Kelly Wearstler
Vitamix Professional Series 500 Blender
The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook 

Pajamas, Robes, & Lounge Wear

Lorient Short Pajama Set
Lorient Long Robe by Marigot
Classic Long Cable Sweater by Marigot
Flannel PJ Set by Gap
40 Blinks Ultralight Sleep Mask by Bucky
Vintage Short-Sleeve Pajama Set

Dot Slippers by Gap
Sweater Robe by Victoria's Secret

Jewelry, Beauty, Fashion & Miscellaneous

The Essential Scarf by Everlane
Monogram Jewelry Box by C. Wonder

NARS Andy Warhol Edie Set

Clarisonic (1 speed) Mia

Tech Touch Gloves
Wrenz Birdie Speakers

Arrow Bangle

Frederic Fekkai Creme Luxueuse

Hasbro Electronic Catch Phrase
Best of Lips Palette by NARS

Strummer Sunglasses by Oliver Peoples

Body Milk by Santa Maria Novella

Pop Phone Handset by C. Wonder

Metal Water Bottle

Metallic Python Embossed Reversible Belt
Bomb Coin Wrap Bracelet 


  1. I often find so many items I dislike in gift guides, but I think you've amassed a great collection.

  2. wow... thanks for the additional ideas... i needed some new ones...

    1. the body milk ... hhhmmmm... gotta check that one out for me...lol...

    2. The body milk is a luxurious splurge. It's a product I only treat myself once a year. There are only two other lotions that come close and are not as expensive. Not quite as good but will do. I will send you the links.
      Glad you are enjoying the Spa Giveaway! And thank you for spreading the word about my blog. Appreciate it!

    3. sure thing... i so will be looking to get the long sweater... the flutes are nice gifts as well.. there are so many i would like to put on my list of gifts to give... still looking thru them.

  3. All great ideas!! I found a couple of things to add as well.
    Stone Frames
    Hand Creams
    Himalayan Salt Tequila Glasses

    1. Thank you. All great recommendations! Creative. And thank you for introducing me to the last website.

  4. Pretend Goddess, these are great ideas but perhaps you could help me narrow it down for a specific situation? My book club Christmas party is coming up, which will include a white elephant exchange. The parameters are to bring one of my favorite things under $20. Naturally, I wish my gift to be spectacular and the most stolen of the game. Any hints for this?

    1. Hmm. $20 that's tough. Now, typically white elephant gifts are to serve no purpose or real use but fun where the receiver wants to keep it with hopes it doesn't get traded.
      My friend Chrystal suggested this site and I have to say it covers all white elephant rules and has some useless yet fun gifts.
      Also, Fred Flare is a fun site where I find a lot of stocking stuffers and is great for white elephants. If you're in a hurry, you better express ship!
      From Fred Flare, I'm fond of the Dorothy Ruby Slipper Socks ($12) http://www.fredflare.com/gift-guide-STOCKING-STUFFERS/Dorothy-Ruby-Slipper-Socks/
      The Lipstick Flask ($14) http://www.fredflare.com/gift-guide-STOCKING-STUFFERS/Lipstick-Flask/
      Positive Energy Breath Spray ($6) http://www.fredflare.com/gift-guide-STOCKING-STUFFERS/Positive-Energy-Breath-Spray/
      *I suggest if the site interests you to buy a few items and put together in a holiday goody bag. If traded, must be traded as one. I really could have provided much more from the site such as: cupcake floss, flowers in a can, cupcake shower cap.....
      Order now!!!
      Let me know what you think. If you have zero time for shipping, I'll start from the drawing board.

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