The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2018

Hands down, the most stressful part of the holidays for most people is figuring out the perfect presents to buy.  Today I have for you my annual Christmas Gift Guide to help those of you who are struggling.

The holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable. I know this because I watch Hallmark made-for-TV Christmas movies. According to those movies Christmas is also supposed to involve a handsome rancher who recently quit his job as a high powered lawyer to pursue his true passion, being rugged.

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2018


Handmade Stuff

Handmade gifts are always going to be unique because they’re made by hands not robot machinery.  Perfect for those people in your life who appreciate art, crafts and have an appreciation for things that aren’t mass produced.


1. Modern Bud Vase  – Handmade paint dipped ceramic bud vase. Comes in different colours.

2. Seedpod earrings cast in brass. – Cast from dried plantain lillies in brass.

3. Bentwood air plant vase sculpture – Modern art for the air plant. Comes in different shapes.

4. Orgonite pyramid – For that person who is into healing crystals. Comes in different colours and crystals.

5. Magnolia (artificial) wreath – A beautiful magnolia wreath that will never dry out, curl up and die.

6. Pretty fanny pack – THIS is the kind of purse I use when going to antique shows and sales.  Enough for cash, my phone and lets me be completely hands free for picking up and inspecting antiques.

7. Drippy Mug – Everyone likes a beautiful mug.


Pet Stuff

You have a pet. You want to buy something for your pet but you feel weird about it.   Don’t worry about it.  There are way weirder  things about you than that.


1. Banana Leaf Cat Bed – I’ve had my eye on modern-rustic cat bed forever.  Comes in 2 sizes.

2. Furbo treat thrower and camera – The Furbo is a video camera that also pops out pet treats when you’re not home.

3. I Could Pee on This – If I need to sell you on the brilliance of this, you’ve never owned a cat.

4. Small dog bandana – It’s just cute.  It’s just plain cute.

5. Studded Collar  – In my mind THIS is what a dog collar should look like.


Chicken Stuff

True, some of these gifts are for people who own chickens, but they’re also for people who just have an appreciation of them.  ;)



1. 5 lb bag of dried mealworms – Always good to have on hand for when the chickens need a protein kick.

2. Treadle feeder – Mice or squirrels getting into your feed?  A treadle feeder is the answer to your problem.

3. Martha Stewart designed boots for Aerosole – I LOVE THESE BOOTS!  JUST $95 U.S.

4. Classic chicken artwork – Comes in different sizes!

5. Boy smoking with chicken –  For the chicken lover who isn’t a fan of “farmhouse”.

6. Chicken Cookie jar – For the chicken lover who IS a fan of farmhouse.

7. Coop Door – The automatic coop door I use, love and recommend to anyone who has chickens.


Kitchen Stuff

Whether they like newfangled or old fashioned, this list of kitchen stuff covers everyone.


1. Skull Ice Cubes

2. Canning tools

3. Wood handled cutlery

4. Slow Cooker – I don’t know if you noticed, but this is a WONDER WOMAN slow cooker.

5. Blue & White pickling crock – Yet another thing I’ve had my eye on for months. Blue and White pickling crock for fermenting and pickling.6. Hedgehog egg timer

7. Keyboard Waffle Iron – Have a computer nerd/foodie on your list?

6. Hedgehog Timer – Cute. ‘Nuff said.

8. Merry Christmas tea towel – Wrap a gift with this gift!

9. Sous vide –  If you know someone who is a food nerd that doesn’t own this … BUY IT FOR THEM.

10. Food dehydrator – Yep. You guessed it.  On my list of “wants”.  Excalibur is the brand of choice for die hard food dehydrating people.


Random Stuff

For anyone who you a) don’t know what to buy b) is notoriously difficult to buy for c) already has everything.  Basically things I found and like that didn’t fit into other categories.



1. Album Carrying Case – Keeps albums neat, tidy and safe with old school style.

2. Fuji Mirrorless Camera –  If someone on your list wants a high end camera, buy them a “Mirrorless” camera. They are the future of cameras.

3. Macrame Wall Hanging – Because there are many people who like to hang macrame off their walls.

4. Marshall  bluetooth speaker – You know. To go with the album carrying case.  Bluetooth speaker.

5. I Garden so I don’t kill people tshirt – I think anyone who gardens would understand and appreciate this.

6. Crinkle bag vase Moma – From the Museum of Modern Art, white ceramic vase that looks like a white paper bag.  LOVE it.

7. Reuseable Gold Razor  – Also the way of the future – no more disposable razors.  Elegant shaving.

Stuff I Own and Love

These are all gifts I’ve received and LOVE to this day.


1. Nailpolish for LED lamp – My sister Fish Pedicure bought me this polish and the lamp that cures it.

2. LED nail lamp for shellac – THIS THING WORKS.  Cures Shellac nail polish so your manicure lasts for weeks and weeks. Here’s my review of it.

3. Flame Birch French Rolling Pin – A gift from Brenda at Cattails Woodwork years ago. In turn I ended up buying and giving these away to countless friends and relatives.  Beautiful, glowing, smooth  handmade rolling pin.

4. SEAM Technic Lotus (personal safety device) –  I met one of the team members from SEAM on an airplane a few years ago. We exchanged contact info and I’ve followed his career in wearable technology ever since.  This latest from them (which he sent me) is brilliant and beautiful. A safety device you clip onto yourself that RECORDS VIDEO AND AUDIO of wherever you are and transmits it to anyone you want. Your mother, husband, friend … whoever.  Perfect for anyone who goes out walking, running or wandering.

5. Rough Linen Natural tablecloth – A gift from Tricia at Rough Linen that I’ll love forever.  A Rough Linen tablecloth with a frayed raw edge big enough to completely drape over my dining room table.

6. Art balls – Just a circle of coloured balls that you can move and sculpt however you want but SO much fun and cool looking.  This I got from my friend Amos after I did a favour for him.

7. Maple Syrup Kit – O.K. This is a gift I bought for myself.  Old fashioned maple syrup buckets, spiles and bucket lids.  If you know anyone who has a maple tree that’s larger than 10″ across THIS is the perfect Christmas present. Most people have NO idea that they can tap their maple tree and make maple syrup.  Here’s my post on how to tap a tree.

8. Vitamix – What’s funny is I can’t remember if this is a gift I bought for my old boyfriend or if it was one he bought for me. Regardless – I own it now, lol.  The Vitamix is a really pricey blender but it’s worth it. It’ll do anything you want without complaint and it will not die. Before the Vitamix we were going through a blender a year.  This one is probably close to 10 years old and it’s still going strong.  It’s outlasted countless blocks of parmesan cheese, hundreds of soups, cashew milks and ice filled smoothies.  It even outlasted our relationship, lol.

Didn’t see anything inspiring?

Check out my Ultimate Gift Guide from 2017

Next week I’ll be bringing you a whole other guide including stocking stuffers, gifts for under $25 and more.

Until then, it’s back to that rugged lawyer turned rancher. I wonder if he has a Vitamix?

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The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide 2018


    • Karen says:

      Huh. Misery, pessimism, self-righteousness *AND* the ubiquitous Internet phenomenon, “I care more about everything than you do. mentality”. All the makings of a heartwarming holiday season. ~ karen!

  1. Tony says:

    Karen, you are super cool. If only you were a dog person.

  2. Tricia Rose says:

    I think this site might amuse you Karen:

    You have the BEST lists. Better than Oprah!

  3. Carrie says:

    Geez! Every time this list comes up I shop for myself.
    I NEED that crinkle bag vase but that t-shirt is a MUST for all us gardeners out there. Love it!!😀

  4. Paula says:

    I love this post and look forward to it every year. It is ‘almost’ as good as Oprah’s Favourite Things, in fact; probably better because it is affordable!

  5. Karen says:

    Thanks! A couple of ideas I’ll use

  6. Librarian Nancy says:

    With the Hallmark movies, don’t forget that the former lawyer/handsome rancher is also the billionaire crown prince of some minute European principality. Oh, wait, that’s part of the plot of most Harlequin romances (which should be classified as fantasy). Never mind. Love the keyboard waffle maker and the hedgehog timer – I think I need those. And yes, the Excalibur dehydrator is the best. I originally bought one to make dehydrated sweet potato treats for my dogs (they are outrageously expensive at the specialty pet supply store), but it’s great for other stuff, too – I made jerky one year for Christmas gifts.

  7. p says:

    That Lotus thing! I’m a-studying up on it..intrigued!

    I’m searching for a list of free things LOL but, really…
    I found a chair once someone had tossed…it was the most artsy gold painted old leathered thing…I brought it home and named it the Roll Over Beethoven chair.

  8. Jeri Bitney says:

    Re: dehydrator.

    If you are considering getting the five-shelf as pictured, I highly recommend spending a teensy bit more and getting the Excalibur with nine shelves. It is the best. It also held most of the ten-pound bag of potatoes which was starting to “turn” just before our month-long vacation. That would have been an awful stink to come home to.

    • Audrey says:


      What did you do with the dehydrated potatoes? Can you make chips if you slice them very thin?
      I was just wondering about this the other day. Thanks!

      • Jeri Bitney says:

        I stored them in a Ziplock freezer bag, and tossed them in soup or dehydrated them for scalloped potatoes.

        I also do this with celery or green onions which I think I might ignore. Yesterday I dehydrated mushrooms. They were on sale, and that usually does not end well for me. They smell nearly as bad as rotten potatoes when they “go”.

        • Paula says:

          You store them in a Ziplock bag ‘after’ you dehydrate them? Toss them in soups or dehydrate them again for scalloped potatoes? Sorry, I am a bit confused and I am interested in the idea so I want to know. My dh bought me a dehydrator for my birthday in September and I have yet to use it because I am not sure what to do. :)

  9. Jody says:

    I have a Cattails rolling pin that I won in a contest from you several years ago. I get so much pleasure using it and my family reaps the benefits of its use too. Thank you again.

  10. Kate says:

    I’ve never made a waffle and it’s been decades since I’ve last eaten one. Yet I’m oddly attracted to the keyboard waffle maker. I really want to make waffles in the shape of a keyboard.

  11. Sheri braaksma says:

    Always look forward to your list! Funny enough I own the boy smoking/chicken picture. I searched weird bird pics in Etsy at one point and this one was one of the treasures. I have a few more awesome ones. Bird lover and wanted something unique. Happy shopping!

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