The Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Unless you have  no idea what you’re going to buy people, in which case it’s the most not wonderful time of the year.  The presents.  It’s always the presents.  You want something the receiver will actually want, maybe something they wouldn’t buy for themselves or even better something they didn’t even know existed.

And yet somehow there’s always someone who ends up getting a gift card.  I happen to like getting an iTunes gift card because I’m too cheap to buy music and apps with my own money but for the most part a gift card isn’t the best present.  While a “real” present, no matter how bad, says “I like you, I tried, I schlepped to the store and bought you this thing”.  A gift card on the other hand says “For real, I have no clue what to buy you. You bug me.  I hate you.  But I picked up this piece of plastic because it was literally right in front of my face, at eye level while waiting to check out at the grocery store with my box of kitty litter and bag of discount mushrooms”.  ~ love karen.

I try really hard to get good presents for people but the odd time even I end up spitting into a cup and muttering a voodoo curse on the hard to buy for.

I know there are more of me out there.  More people who have one or two REALLY hard to buy for people on their lists, so I came up with this Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide.  Presents for just about everyone on your list.










Salt & Pepper shakers

I discovered the artist who makes these at Toronto’s One of  Kind Show.


Custom rolling pin  for embossed cookies and pie dough. (have any design/wording you want)


Yup.  It’s a Bicycle Pizza Cutter.



Stainless Steel Soap! Removes garlic, onion, fish and other strong odours from hands.


The perfect pat of butter. This is both the stupidest and GREATEST thing I’ve ever seen.


Hedgehog toothpick holder




Himalayan salt, tequila shot glasses
.  No they don’t melt, yes they’re reusable, yes they’re great.


 Appropriately sized wine glass.


Whiskey on the rocks.  Soapstone cubes chill drinks without diluting your drink PLUS they look really cool.

Whiskey is the new wine.


Boobies beer glass  Ridiculous.  I know.


A leather beer caddy for the beer drinkin’, bicycle ridin’ person in your life.








 Druzy Ring 


Rusty Keys.


These delicate, you can barely see it,  mini necklaces are the thing right now.  The THING.

I noticed this one that Portia De Rossi wore on Ellen immediately and searched it out.



Gold Coin Purse



Vintage Russian Watch



Crystal necklace.  I think.

I’m not even sure what it is actually, but it’s pretty spectacular.






Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

The book that chronicles Barbara Kingsolver’s year long adventure in eating only food from her neighbourhood or that she grew/raised/butchered herself.





Ceramic bird feeder.


I Dig Gardening t-shirt





6 pack of similar gloves.


But really …. what I use the MOST in the garden and love are surgical gloves.

Worried about the environment?  Nitrile gloves do NOT decompose.

However, they are perfectly safe to burn believe it or not, and that’s the best way to dispose of them.


Canvas & leather workshop/gardening apron



 Wildflower Seedbombs and slingshot to “plant” them with.






 The Nest Thermostat is the best looking, smartest thermostat out there.



The JumPack is a portable battery pack the size of an iPhone with enough power to charge your phone or jump start a car!







Bluetooth Shower speaker


 The Google Chrome HDMI streaming media player.

Plug this into the HDMI port of your regular television to stream Netflix, Youtube,  movies, music, photos and more from your smartphone to your television.



Ringly. This Smart cocktail ring will vibrate when you get a call, text, tweet, have an appointment and myriad other things.

It also has a tiny discrete light on the side of it that will light up as an alert.

I WANT THIS I WANT THIS I WANT THIS I WANT THIS.  Seriously. More than anything I want this.

This item won’t ship by Christmas and is only available through pre-order so you’ll have to just wrap up a picture of it for me.






 Porcelain, footed coffee mug

Porcelain doll head mug.


Specialty Coffee Drinks illustration.  $23.50




The Classic Bialetti stovetop espresso maker. Makes really, REALLY good coffee. I love mine.



Coffee t-shirt




Don’t speak Coffee Mug.   (true dat)



Even WITH the invention of things like Etsy it’s still REALLY hard to browse through everything and find that certain something for someone, so I hope this list at least gets you started.  (on your present buying that is … not on the inevitable Christamas voodoo curse).

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  1. Nicole says:

    Go wild, Karen! Actually, I enjoy giving presents, too, but only when I see something that makes me think of someone in particular. Then I’ll buy it and give it to them just because I want to.

    Actually, I kind of lied. I am getting everyone their passports this year for Christmas but am not sure if that’s considered a traditional present. lol

  2. Nicole says:

    I’ve been doing this really cool thing for the last several years and it takes most of the stress out of the season. I don’t buy compulsory gifts. Ever. For anyone. Even the adorable granddaughters. Not for Christmas, birthdays, Easter . . . nothing, nada. And you know what? People really don’t mind. If my granddaughters ask about presents, I simply remind them that I spend tons of time with them and take them fun places and they are okay with that. Other family members are greatly relieved to not have to buy me a present either and, since I’m constantly downsizing, I’m relieved not to get any presents.
    Now, before I’m labeled The Grinch, we still do Christmas. We decorate the house, make cookies, eat good food and generally try and do something together as a family during the day. It’s still a work in progress since we’ve only been doing this for about 4 years but we’re getting the hang of it. This year, I do believe there’s a winter solstice party in our future and that should be a lot of fun. I do buy gifts for people but only when I feel like it and I have the extra money. It’s such a relief to go into the holiday season knowing that I won’t be spending a bunch of money that I don’t have buying things for people that they may or may not like. Give it a try – maybe it will work for you, too!

    • Karen says:

      Well I’d try, but the thing is I actually really like giving presents, lol. So I won’t be stopping any time soon. :) karen!

  3. Sharon says:

    Hi Karen,

    Love your list! It’s better than Oprah! What kind of coffee do you use in your Bialetti? I have been intrigued with them ever since I visited Eataly in Chicago and saw a huge display of them! Thanks!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sharon. I use Illy coffee in them but you can use any coffee you want as long as it’s ground fine enough to use in a stove top percolator like this one. (so if you buy beans just tell them you’re making your coffee in a stove top percolator and they’ll grind them to the appropriate coarseness/fineness). ~ karen!

  4. Sue says:

    Is it me? I don’t see a link for the jump starter.

    • Karen says:

      I just noticed that Sue! It should link to the item if you click on the picture too. In the meantime I’ll add in the text link. ~ karen!

  5. barbee says:

    Last year I thought I hit the jackpot with my hard to buy for husband with a GroPro camera. I have since been required to sit through hours of boring footage. I’m just saying-think it through.

  6. Elen Grey says:

    I didn’t want anything for Christmas….
    ….until I saw this post. Ermergherd. I don’t know whether I’m glad to know you or want to thwack you upside the head right now, Karen. LOL I’m just going to forward this post to the G-Man.

  7. Shauna says:

    OH MY GOSH I WANT THAT RINGLY!!!! I want it, I want it, I want it!

    • Karen says:

      I KNOW!!!! I was just telling Betty about how much I want it. ~ karen!

      • Eliza says:

        It’s a shame Ringly can’t get their act together. It’s a neat product, but if you look on their facebook page, people are complaining they haven’t received the rings they ordered back in June! I’m too afraid that if I buy one now I won’t receive it until Christmas 2015!

  8. Liz says:

    click click…pin pin! that was fun. So many great things! Pretty sure you sold that watch for them :)

  9. Kylie says:

    Yes please.

    But help me figure out what to get for my teenage stepsons (do I hear iTunes gift cards??? why yes! Yes I do!)

  10. LazySusan says:

    I can add a vote for the Chromecast or Chrome device. We usually had to restart any program on Netflix when viewing through our former streaming device, but since we got the Chromecast, that never happens anymore. You came up with some winners, Karen! Thank you!

  11. Kat says:

    For me it was the rusty old skeleton keys… $150.00 says I won’t buy them for myself but I sure like the looks of them. The wine glass/bottle was pretty snazzy also!

    • Lez says:

      Kat, here in South Africa I live in a tiny rural town far away from any big shops, so all gift shopping is limited! Unfortunately all our small towns now have Chinese shops opening up everywhere & although the prices are good, the quality is questionable! Do you have those in Canada? We do have one gift shop though, & guess what? I found a bunch of rusted keys for under $2! Guess the airfare for you would make up the difference though hey! Personally I would love the grow light kit or the bird feeder. I’m still trying to work out how the salt & pepper shakers work Karen! Surely the pepper part should have ground pepper in it?

      • Karen says:

        HI Lez. LOL, I asked the same question. As it turns out, the whole pepper is in there just or show. When you use them you do indeed need to put ground pepper in the glass. :) ~ karen!

  12. jainegayer says:

    Wow, what a GREAT list. Can’t wait to give the seed slingshot!

  13. Other Karen says:

    Hilariously perfect — I just ordered the Wildflower Seedbomb and Slingshot for a stocking stuffer for hubby! LOVE IT!!! Santa and I both thank you (yet again) for the great advice Karen!

  14. Corinna Mulligan says:

    The butter thing is the coolest thing EVER! But $15US to $37CDN is a bit mean. Mean amazon!! MEAN!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Very unique gift ideas Karen..but all I really need today is a snow shovel..

  16. wendy says:

    Umm. I love the doll head coffee mug. It’s so awful and so wonderful at the same time. There is nobody I could get that for . . . I’m the only one I know who would ever be happy with that. I’m a teacher and a mother . . . and I guess a closet goth or something.

    • Karen says:

      Wendy – I happen to LOVE that mug. I could buy it for you, you could buy it for me. Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, done and done. ~ karen!

  17. Sboo says:

    One of these may work for my brother, who is my hard-to-shop-for person, thanks Karen!

    For anybody unfamiliar, Barbara Kingsolver is a wonderful author. Check out her novel The Lacuna

  18. Tigersmom says:

    While it is ridiculous, I can’ t help but appreciate the realism of the nipples pointing slightly downward on the boobies beer mug.

    I have about ten pairs of earrings from Oh Kuol on my wish list and I still love my ring from them which I believe is the one in the above picture, no? And in true me fashion, when I went to the Smart ring link, I immediately zoned in on the emerald one which, for some reason, is way more expensive than all the others.

    Great list. Truly cool stuff. Thanks for all the leg work. Or should we call it butt work as it is performed while sitting on one’s ass in front of the computer? Either way, it’s still work.

  19. Cathy says:

    I want the shot glasses – but the link in broken!

    • Karen says:

      Here’s the link Cathy, but I”m not sure if they’re available in Canada. :( I couldn’t get them to come up on the Canadian Amazon site. ~ karen

  20. Scott says:

    Great Ideas, Thanks!

  21. maarilyn says:

    This is best list of unusual gifts I’ve seen and gonna buy that blue tooth speaker!

  22. Jamie H. says:

    WOW! This was really a great gift idea post! A lot of times you see gift ideas and Blah… but not this one! Yea!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Jamie H. It took a day and a half to search everything out and put it together so I’m very happy you liked it. :) ~ karen!

  23. Merrilee says:

    My life will not be complete until I have the hedgehog toothpick holder. To me, from me.

  24. lisa says:

    I think nitrile gloves can be incinerated, because they are commonly medical waste, but I don’t think you can just throw them into your fireplace to burn. Don’t they off gas something?

    I use them a lot for staining furniture!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa. Nope, they don’t off gas! At least as far as I researched them. They basically are made of water and give off water vapour and some carbon dioxide but nothing out of the ordinary. ~ karen!

  25. Kathy says:

    I like gift cards…

  26. Linda J Howes says:

    The Google Chrome HDMI streaming media player would have to be the Canadian version, correct??? I wouldn’t want to get the wrong one.

  27. calliek says:

    We have a Chromecast and it’s the best thing ever!

  28. Heather says:

    I need that coffee mug but the link doesn’t work. :(

  29. Kim S says:

    You’re right the gift giving part of Christmas is SO stressful. I did order the coffee pot…for my most difficult person, I thank you greatly for that! There is a super customer review of this product on Amazon. I LOVE the hedgehog….so cute and practical. And I will totally vouch for the pack of similar gloves. I have these and they are SUPER…LOVE,LOVE,LOVE!

  30. Jenny W says:

    At the risk of sounding like a 15 year old girl ~ O.M.G.!!
    Between this post of awesome stuff, that I did not know I needed, and your giveaway gifts, I have decided that you need your own web talk show!
    Then you can be like Oprah, and Ellen and give ALL of your viewing audience ALL of your Favourite Things, just for tuning in :)

  31. Abby says:

    My sister and I bought the Lee Valley grow light kit for our mom a couple of years ago and she loves it! I’m pretty sure it’s one of the most-used gifts that either of us has ever given her.

  32. mia pratt says:

    Himalayan salt shot glasses…gotta love that!

  33. Edith says:

    Hi Karen,

    The last few Christmases have been so relaxing and stress free for us because we decided to put a stop to the entire gift giving stress. As middle aged adults with no children in the family we have everything we need and more. Instead of buying each other stuff just for the sake of buying stuff we decided to support a charity. We love our new tradition.

  34. DanniS says:

    Omg i want that nest thermometer…then i saw the price, good lord! So i bought the shower speaker instead lol. I also went on cubits and bought a ton of seeds for my dad :)

  35. Mary Werner says:

    You missed the yodeling bacon strip from The Onion Store! I ordered 2 the minute I saw them and thanks to your suggestion 2 years ago, I find something each year for our pickle prize on Christmas morning.

  36. Jan In Waterdown says:

    OK so right now, you can get a little pouch of those whisky rocks FREE with a purchase of Glen Fiddich from the LCBO. I checked out that little gold pouch (gotta love the word pouch) purse thingie cuz it is so sweeeeet looking and it’s made out of “vegan leather”??? what the hell is vegan leather?! good grief . . . does that mean the leather while it was still on the hoof was fed only veggies? lol and we have that “nest” thermostat . . . very cool . . . and the combined smoke and CO2 alarms which have a night light that comes on in the middle of the night when I get up to pee and it scares the crap outta me every time! gotta get to bed and stop running off at the mouth, night night.

  37. sandra says:

    Great gift ideas. Thanks

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