Holiday gift guide— AND a giant fancy giveaway.
I hate getting presents.
It’s an extension of my fundamental hatred of surprises.
And if I want to extrapolate that to a deeper level of self-analysis: my hatred of surprises is actually a hatred of other people’s expectations.
I hate all surprises. At all times. From all people.
Unless you are giving me a kitten.
In which case, thank you. But I cannot accept it… I can only accept gifts of stray, elderly cats with medical issues.
However, since now is the time of year when we are socially obligated to participate in joyful gift-giving, and I am obligated by blogger code to speak of nothing but the holidays and how I graciously bring warmth and elegancy (not a word? Think again.) to every element… I decided to do a gift guide.
(If you’re only here for the shiny giveaway, you’d better just go ahead and scroll already.)
I sat down to write this imaginary-magical-list-of-brilliant-advice-to-simplify-your-holidays and I tried to steer STRAIGHT TOWARDS MY GOAL. But the Distraction Troll started typing about Gwyneth, and then randomly began googling vintage Christmas ads.
To get myself back on track, I crowdsourced you all for your best gift ideas… and I was overwhelmed at how great your responses were.
If you’re stuck for a suggestion, OR want a different perspective on what YOU think is a good gift, go read all the responses.
If you want a summary of the advice? Here it is:
THINK ABOUT THE GIFT FOR MORE THAN FIVE SECONDS.
Unfortunately, after reading your replies, it was clear to me that you do NOT need a gift guide… which I guess is why Gwyneth doesn’t ask her goop-readers for help… and also because NO ONE actually wants compote from berries harvested by monks in the outer reaches of the Mongolian Alps. (I made that up, and my grasp of world topography is pretty shaky so don’t make any vacation plans based on my theories.)
Anyway. I already started down this path, so here’s what I came up with before you all crushed my perception of myself as saving you from the gift-giving pit of despair.
For the cook. OR for anyone who has a refrigerator. OR for anyone who eats food:
- You use these silicone suction lid covers in place of plastic wrap. They create a seal with any bowl that has a normal rim. I use mine ALL the time. They are super practical, inexpensive, and I have never given them to anyone who already had a set… They also make a great housewarming gift.
For parents/family/loved ones:
- Digital photo frame loaded up with all of the pictures that you have on your computer.
- Transfer old home movies to digital… bonus if you make a Christmas morning highlight reel.
- A photo album/coffee table book. I made one in iPhoto a few years ago— it was fun to make and my parents LOVED it. (I made mine on my computer, but I know there are lots of places online… If you’ve used one that you are happy with, let us know in the comments?)
For a teacher:
- On behalf of all teachers everywhere, I IMPLORE you to put down the scented lotion/candles/mulling spices/Mason jar filled with bath salts.
Teachers do not need any more random crap.
- A gift card to Amazon will do just fine… I know it can feel weird to give a gift card because it places an actual dollar value on the gift, but please believe me when I tell you that your teacher would RATHER have 30, $5 gift cards RATHER than 30 mugs.
- Don’t give a gift card to one specific store…. not everyone loves Starbucks and Target.
GIVEAWAY– what? You thought I’d give you something practical?
When I saw these, I pretty much had a seizure… Like walking in on the final round of Iris Apfel and Diana Vreeland attempting to one-up each other in an earring contest adjudicated by Little Edie.
You really need to click through and see the giant fanciness that is Anna Davern’s mind… she is an Australian artist who makes all her designs by hand in her studio.
OBVIOUSLY I love the giant fanciness. But I also love the humor. And the general ridiculousness.
General ridiculousness is pretty much my fashion mantra.
Then I told myself– no. Don’t get excited. They cannot be that big.
BUT THEY ARE.
The earrings are super lightweight… and they go with EVERYTHING. There is no sweatpant that is not immediately improved by these.
So I emailed the glorious mind behind such a creation and I told her – I know these people? They are the best people on the Internet. Maybe you should give them earrings? In return I will tell them about your giant fancy designs… And she said yes.
So if you’d like these for yourself… or know someone inclined towards awesomeness, enter below. If you don’t win, or want a different pair, Anna is offering a 15% discount through Christmas if you enter code: VictoriaElizabeth.
November 25, 2014 @ 11:43 am
Victoria….you are WEARING chandelier crystals…..why?
November 25, 2014 @ 11:50 am
The image of a Iris Apfel and Diana Vreeland accessories duel will amuse me all day long.
The picture of you modeling the earrings reminds me of the Duchess of Windsor. The pictures of you and your brothers – not so much. You look like you are having so much fun in all of them.
November 25, 2014 @ 12:00 pm
Love the earrings! I just clicked over and order several sets of the silicone thingamabobs for my adult kids. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through your archives and seeing the beautiful restoration job you’ve accomplished.
Garden, Home and Party
November 25, 2014 @ 12:01 pm
Well, that eliminates the stone urn I was going to surprise you with! Too bad because it originates from Buckingham Palace and I just know you would have liked it, but I don’t want to irritate you with a pesky surprise. 🙂
I love the photo books and treasure the one’s I’ve gotten each year from our granddaughter’s parents…they are the ideal way to keep the best of the photographs of family and friends for the year.
You really pull those earrings off, they are so you…do you wear them with your fabulous pearls?
November 25, 2014 @ 12:04 pm
I love love love giving and making presents, and wrapping them and seeing the surprise on the faces of my friends and family when they receive them, and I try to run before they hand me anything. I’ve been told I am ingracious because I can’t receive gifts with the enthusiasm that I give gifts. Oh, well, at least you understand. Thanks for sharing all your adventures with us!
November 25, 2014 @ 12:16 pm
My brothers and I, ranging in age from 33-40yrs old, still email each other Christmas wish lists because we don’t want any surprise gifts we don’t want. I feel pathetic even typing this out…
Claire @ A Little Claireification
November 25, 2014 @ 12:26 pm
I big puffy heart those silicone lids. They are a great gift. And those earrings… I die.
November 25, 2014 @ 1:01 pm
I feel I must have these earrings!
November 25, 2014 @ 1:09 pm
I am slowly reading through each of your blog entries (some of them more than once because I am compulsive and needy). I’m in love. Also, I’ve learned that I am suffering from a terrible, life-threatening disease of having no giant gilded mirrors. So thanks. I love/hate you.
Lynne Rutter|the Ornamentalist
November 25, 2014 @ 1:16 pm
Surprises are highly over-rated. I love giving gifts but only when I am sure its a useful and beautiful thing, and I hate getting gifts because i am 98% of the time disappointed and that makes me feel guilty for not liking people in general. Those silicone lids are the best. They even have a cat food or tuna can size, also perfect for covering an unfinished drink, and they also work as hot pads and unlike other hot pads they won’t catch fire when you accidentally leave them on the stove!
November 25, 2014 @ 1:17 pm
Holy Smokes! Those are killer!
November 25, 2014 @ 1:27 pm
You could buy several pairs of them and embellish a chandelier with them. But, then you would match your room, and that is a bit gauche. I am wondering if my daughter’s dance company could use them in a dance competition?
November 25, 2014 @ 1:41 pm
I’m a teacher and yes, I’d rather have 30 $5 gift cards than 30 “made in china” mugs… In France, teachers don’t get gifts for Christmas, though. I’d like your giants earrings in real diamond, please, so I can buy with them the new windows my Cottage needs upstairs.
November 25, 2014 @ 1:44 pm
For the first few years of our marriage I would look online at the credit card statements to see where my husband went shopping.. He figured that out eventually due to the hints I would drop about how I would really want “xyz” from a certain store and not from another one.. My need to know because I hate surprises and gifts resulted one year in all my gifts literally shoved into the walls of our house during renovations because he thought I wouldn’t simply look there.. Silly boy… Now he goes shopping on Christmas Eve with cash… 🙂
November 25, 2014 @ 1:51 pm
STOP IT!! Those earrings are just….. I LOVE them!!
Thanks for sharing!!!
November 25, 2014 @ 2:58 pm
WOW! would go with any of those Christmas Sweaters!
November 25, 2014 @ 3:12 pm
No gift cards ever!!!!! Or if you must, American Express. I still have the JC Penny ones from last year, gave away the Olive Garden one, and misplaced the Nordstrom card. On the other hand, I had to pay out of my own pocket for the red, east Indian bench made from a donkey cart. Which I wouldn’t have had to do it the afore mentioned cards had each been from American Express.
Love the giant, fancy earrings! So fun.
November 25, 2014 @ 3:27 pm
I buy something I’ve been dying to have but can’t justify the expense, wrap it up in occasion appropriate paper, and sign with card ‘with love from (husbands name)’. I’m NEVER disappointed and we are both happy! My three sons are always amazed at how their dad can pick the perfect gift. Once a very long time ago he questioned the amount of money spent on my gift. I smiled and asked him if he would like to shop for my gift next time and it’s never come up again in all these years!
November 27, 2014 @ 9:06 am
November 25, 2014 @ 3:28 pm
Victoria, I love, most of the time, to read your blog and I can tell when it is tongue in cheek and outright hilarious. Today not so much. It is the time for gift giving and most people love gifts and surprises. If you do not enjoy surprises then I suppose Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, and such are a total holiday buster for you. How very sad for you and those who responded with similar comments as yours. I will take joy and surprises any day…..Sylvia
November 25, 2014 @ 3:43 pm
VEB ~ I wish you blogged more often ~ for completely selfish reasons. You make me smile, ALOT. Like pretty much constantly. Over the years I keep reading about “blog crushes” and I totally didn’t get it. Now I find myself yelling from the home office out into the family room where my husband is trying (emphasis on trying) to enjoy a tv program, so that I can share the adventures of Victoria, Paul & Elvis…..He’s annoyed that you blog. I’m THRILLED !!!! THANK YOU AGAIN ~Terri