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06 December 2010

Stumped by Christmas shopping I am low on festiveness and completely lack inspiration for Christmas gifts. Help please (said in Leeloo voice)[More:]
I am so out of ideas, I got my dad a tie. A tie. The rest of my family is just as bad to shop for. My sister owns a bookstore/comic/toy/music shop so all that is out. I'm down to thinking scarves and I really wish I could just buy some bunnies on Heifer for everyone but this will not do.
I know I should check out Etsy but I don't know where to start. Just throw some sites at me with randomness and something might stick. I know I need outside help at this point. Give me your coolest, weirdest, hippest, oddest picks, anything to get the ball rolling.
My favorite sites for goofy gadgets/unusual decorator items:
Think Geek
Uncommon Goods
Edmund Scientific
posted by JanetLand 06 December | 14:40
Skittles Vodka!! So-five-minutes-ago that it might actually even be trendy again!!

[i got nothin...]
posted by lonefrontranger 06 December | 14:41
Something from Shine Gallery
posted by Miko 06 December | 14:46
Tiny Showcase.
posted by box 06 December | 14:59
If they love coffee you could buy them this shirt
posted by apoch 06 December | 15:05
Today only, Threadless is having a $9 t-shirt sale.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 06 December | 15:09
O.M.G. Miko I love that site!

ethylene, I am so done with "stuff". The only gifts I want to get are food gifts that can be shared, enjoyed and then are gone. I don't want more things in my house. I would be so glad to receive a homemade food gift and this is the honest truth. A box of homemade cookies .. a bag of homemade Chex Mix, fixings for soup, or hot chocolate with marshmallows .. this would make me happiest. Unless it's from my sister-in-law, as I won't eat anything that comes out of her house.

Even if you don't want to make food gifts yourself, there are some great sites to choose stuff from .. maybe Hammonds for beautiful ribbon candy, or Zabar's for New York yumminess or Garrett's Popcorn. I have to run now but there are some other great sites for food treats that I'll come by and post later. Oooohh somebody sent me a big assortment from Father's Country Ham that I still dream about.
posted by Kangaroo 06 December | 15:21
Music box melody-making kit. For example uses, see .

Frame a picture for them.

Bike jewelry, like necklaces made from spoke nipples, and earrings from links of chain.

Large mason jars with the dry ingredients for a good of soup or cookie mix.

We usually have tons of holiday gifts at our local farmer's market.

Along the lines of buying bunnies on Heifer: Gift certificates to They can "microloan" (in quotes because I'm not sure the loans are small enough to actually be microloans, but I'm not an economist) and then when the money comes back, either reloan it or spend it on themselves.

A Christmas cactus. Apparently I got one for my mom when I was a kid, and she still had it last time I went to visit her. She said it blooms every year.

Loose-leaf tea, jar o' honey from the farmer's market, and a tea ball. This is nice because you can follow it up with small bags of loose-leaf tea when you send them mail throughout the year.

Fancy fair/direct trade chocolate. There are all sorts of crazy and delicious flavors that would be exotic enough for Christmas.
posted by aniola 06 December | 15:30
Asking for odd things has me just looking for me. I guess I need all around gifty things. Things that scream gift, I suppose.
I got a Threadless tshirt with a unicorn pooping marshmallows for my friend's kid, and I already know I'm getting my friend tarot cards of her choosing, but she would be fun to shop for.
I noticed some hand soap the other day, little soaps made like baby hands, and I just found out they were local, where I assumed they were from the inner reaches of the internet because that's where I saw them. I might have to get my sister the hand soap. I think Specklet or someone bought them some. And then going with the soap theme, I could get some of that great gold, frankincense, and myrrh soap that only comes out once a year from Soapy Hollow. I need to stock up on that stuff.
It's my mother who is the hardest to buy for. I only imagine her wanting very high ticket items like Chanel suits. I'd like to find her something nice but what I don't know. She wouldn't really respond to food, really, although I could offer to make a big dinner but I would still need a gift.
posted by ethylene 06 December | 15:34
Really, really good quality hand/body lotion? Like, not funky cool stuff, but a brand that I don't know bc I only buy cheap stuff?
posted by gaspode 06 December | 15:43
I like sites like Acorn, Smithsonian, Art Institute of Chicago, and (surprisingly) Borders and Barnes & Noble.

How about a subscription to a fantastic top end fashion magazine for your mom? Or some really gorgeous costume jewelry? Ann Taylor has some very cool jewelry available -- I love this necklace, for example.
posted by bearwife 06 December | 15:46
Mom buys her own high end cosmetics stuff and usually orders whatever she wants when she wants it. I'm tempted to get her that pearl and gold necklace on the Ann Taylor site but I doubt she'd ever wear it and it's not real. Mom is a stumper.

I just ordered a light up bubble gun for the brother, mainly because I want it. I think I'll pair it with a t shirt of some kind. I bet shipping is gonna kill me.
posted by ethylene 06 December | 16:24
If your mom prefers "real," check out the semiprecious jewelery at For example. It is beautiful stuff and affordable. I'm not crazy about the way they package it, so I'd suggest you order and re-package in a pretty box. If your mom's tastes are slightly more up to date I'll tell you this necklace from acorn is a stunner that goes with everything and very comfortable.
posted by bearwife 06 December | 16:36
I was nearly sold on the Pastel Pearl Illusion but it's out of stock. Foiled again.
posted by ethylene 06 December | 16:42
My wife's family sends each-other wish lists, but even those are getting thin as we get older and have fewer odd wants or interests that we haven't fulfilled ourselves.

Nut and Bee has adorable things, including stationary and stamps.

Music and movies are easy gifts, but you'll have to know if someone has something already, or would really like it.

Gift cards are a easy fall-back. For music, choose iTunes or; and there are the less picky Visa gift cards (like money in an envelope, but it may travel more easily).

Less exciting than sending bunnies, why not donate food or goods to a local food bank or similar service, then send a personal letter to the family member saying nice things about them, and say you decided to donate something on their behalf. If that feels odd, add a note that you'd be open to subtle hints for future gifts.
posted by filthy light thief 06 December | 16:46
OK, ethylene, since your mom seems very classic in her tastes, how about something that carries some sentiment? This necklace is "real" in the sense that it is sterling silver and real flowers, and it is pretty. Or this paperweight might do it, especially with a really nice card/letter from you about what she means to you.
posted by bearwife 06 December | 16:59
I've been gleefully perusing which I think someone mentioned on MeFi yesterday. Good toys.
posted by galadriel 06 December | 17:15
I got a catalog from Uncommon Goods this year and pretty much want to buy everything in it for myself or someone I know.

Does your mom have any mother's jewelry (with the birthstones of all her children)? I think very mom should have something.
posted by youngergirl44 06 December | 19:48
Here are some suggestions from etsy:
Artsyville-everything she makes is great.

Red Leaf has cosmetics for men and women. If you want advice about fragrances I can help.

raggedyowl has crochet and knit items, many organic.

I bet no-one on your list already has a Cup Cake in a Jar.

You could get almost anyone a personalized sign.

Know a tea drinker? A musician? A birder? A foodie?

Ever try Thai pants?

Kathryn Reichert makes gorgeous silver jewelry, reasonably priced.

Lastly, here are pretty wall graphics.

posted by toastedbeagle 07 December | 09:17
There are a few gifts I need to get for entire families. That's always hard. I decided this year to get them all Netflix gift memberships.
posted by toastedbeagle 07 December | 09:19
The Party's Over. . . || Speed Painting: Pixar Remix