Holiday Gift Guide for Hedonists & Shedonists
By Julianne Clancy
I love this season—the lights, the music, the glittering trees—but finding the perfect holiday gift for every person on my shopping list can make this wonderful time of year stressful and overwhelming. Luckily, we here at Hedonist Shedonist have done some of the legwork to create a Holiday Gift Guide, with a fantastic array of fun, creative presents that will entertain and impress everyone on your list.
For the sweet tooth:
As a general rule for a holiday gift guide, you can never go wrong with giving someone sweets (diabetics excluded)—especially when the treat in question is an award-winning pie from a renowned Texas bakery. Lucky for us, Three Brothers Bakery, located in Houston, Texas, ships their fabulous pecan pie ($23) nationwide. I’m generally not a big pecan pie fan, but this irresistible delicacy was incredibly nutty with rich bourbony notes and not too much sugar, which is the downfall of most pecan pies. Plus, it’s elegantly prepared making it beautiful holiday gift and a feast for both the eyes and the stomach.
For the gadget geek:
Ever find yourself about to dash out of the house and realize that your phone is almost dead? For me, this is almost a daily occurrence—which is why the GOPUCK 5x ($80) is my new favorite toy. This portable recharger is lightweight, powerful, and easy to slip into my bag. In about two hours, my phone goes from completely, turned-off dead to fully charged, and the GOPUCK still has enough power to charge more devices. Plus, for the real technophile, you can buy an active mount ($20) that will attach to their GoPro, to keep them charged and on the move for hours.
For the free-baller:
Love shorts? Hate underwear? Always lamented the fact that you have to wear both in order to be “decent”? Fret no more! Birddogs creates shorts ($55) that are perfect for the man who wants his clothing to be just that much simpler. These super comfortable and stylish shorts with built-in underwear are fun, fashionable, and incredible pleasant to wear. No more do you have to be restrained by boxers riding up or briefs pinching. Now you can just put these on and go, relishing in the freedom.
For the classy boozehound:
When I first heard about Alice and the Magician’s edible scents, I was confused, intrigued, and slightly skeptical. But after tasting, I am completely hooked. Yes, these are like perfumes for cocktails ($18 for individual scents), and yes, they actually work. Each one added a subtle yet noticeable flavor to our drinks, from the smokiness of the Charred Bourbon Barrel, to the orange taste of the Citrus Blossom, to the slight spice of the Ginger. If you go for one of the gift sets ($55), the stainless steel shot measurer and stirring spoon are fabulous additions to any bar set. These are a great holiday gift for anyone who likes mixed drinks, both for the flavor and for the fun conversations they’ll create.
For the creative inner child:
If you haven’t spent some time coloring since you were a kid, I highly recommend picking up a crayon or pencil and diving in because it might be even more fun and relaxing as an adult—especially when you have gorgeous, grown-up books to work with. Doodling for Tree Huggers and Nature Lovers and Color Me Calm ($17 each) are fantastic activity books to feed your inner artist. While Doodling offers creative prompts, how-tos for drawing, and fun nature facts (perfect to take on a camping trip and enjoy around a fire), Color Me Calm has stunning black and white pieces of art to meticulously imbue with vibrant hues. Both are easy to get lost in, and well worth the time spent doing so.
For the organic obsessive:
According to Organic India, Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a naturally stress-relieving herb. I can’t 100% vouch for that, but I can say that it is both beautiful smelling and delicious. The essential Tulsi oil ($21) has a spicy, herbacious scent, perfect for putting in an oil infuser or to just dabbing on your wrists. Organic India also offers a variety of teas ($6), ranging from a classic breakfast tea to a refreshing mint to a sweet pomegranate to a zesty lemon ginger, all suffused with the gentle green taste of basil. I’m picky when it comes to my teas, and these blends boasted tasty natural flavors without any bitterness or harsh aftertastes. The fact that they’re all organic, fair trade, and GMO-free makes them not only a delectable holiday gift but a globally conscious one as well.
For the incessant snacker:
Those midday cravings at the office are always a problem. On the one hand, you want something to keep you going through long afternoon meetings; on the other, you don’t want to blow your daily calorie allotment by snagging a Twinkie from the vending machine. Fla-ver candies (email for pricing) are the perfect solution to the workplace munching dilemma and a fabulous coworker gift. These sweets are low calorie, filled with natural flavors, and satisfyingly crunchy. Plus, they come in interesting flavors like pineapple jalapeno, lime chipotle, and one of the tastiest peppermints I’ve had in a long time. Snag some samples to find your favorite flavor and then stock up for the New Year.
For craft beer craver:
What’s better than snacks and beer? Snacks made with beer. Boardwalk Food Company has brought together two of my favorite things in one easy-to-make, fun-to-use package. This ingenious company has created mixes ($8 a box) for both poppers (which are fluffy bites somewhere between a muffin and a roll) and soft pretzels, both of which only require the addition of your favorite beer (or another carbonated beverage) and twenty minutes in the oven to turn into delicious, semi-homemade treats. The salty, sweet pretzels really won over my heart, though those did need a little extra work: a bit of kneading and a quick dunk in boiling water before baking. The poppers were the ultimate in ease and deliciousness, requiring only a few quick stir with a spatula before they were ready to go. Both make a fun gift for your friend who constantly is seeking out the latest in craft brews—especially as I think drinking a beer while the goodies bake is practically a requirement.
For the on-the-go health guru:
Being constantly on the move can make it hard to also find time to take care of ourselves, even if it’s doing something as easy as taking a daily vitamin. Understanding the need to fuel up on the go is what led the creators of Wojo Nutrition to make their convenient, drinkable dietary supplements. This tiny tabs of liquid ($20 for a holiday sampler) can be squeezed into any beverage to give it a powerful punch of B vitamins without any aftertaste. Coming in a multitude of varieties intended to suit any need, such as one that will boost your energy and another that will increase your calm, these are a perfect gift for that friend who is always looking to make their lifestyle a bit healthier without a lot of fuss.
For the clumsy techie:
Technology has made our world a more fascinating, fast-moving, interactive place, but it’s also made all of our valuables that much more breakable, from crackable phone screens to thin, vulnerable tablets. Any serious tech user knows that a proper, heavy-duty case ($80 for the iPad Pro case above) is key to protecting your assets, and Urban Armor Gear has perfected the art of keeping our gadgets safe. Made from military grade materials, these super light-weight cases almost look to thin to do the job right, but they are much stronger than they seem. Plus, with a handy features like a stand for the iPad pro case and a slot to fit a stylus in and a sleek, sharp design, your device will not only be protected but will look good. Featuring versions for nearly every high-class gizmo on the market, this is a great gift folks who use their technology often and hard.
For the Culinary Connoisseur:
While most people consider olive oil something to keep on the counter for cooking, the world of oils is actually much more interesting and vibrant than that. Enter Olive Oil Lovers, a company that celebrates the subtle nuances and decadent flavors that this everyday ingredient can boast. Their Olive Oil Tasting Kit ($25) features six luxurious oils with surprisingly different tasting notes, and instructions on how to conduct your own olive oil tasting. By entering your results into their website, you’ll discover your own personal flavor profile and get a wealth of suggestions of new oils to try. This is a gift that is not only delicious but a fun activity to share with family, friends, and fellow foodies.
For the FitBit fanatic:
We all have that one friend who is obsessed with making sure they get their steps in—and finding the perfect gift for someone who only thinks about walking can prove to be a chore. Which is why Ridgemont’s Monty footwear ($95 for the Lo, $99 for the Hi) make the perfect present for anyone determined to get those miles under their belt. These cute, lightweight shoes are part sneaker, part hiking boot, and perfect for any occasion. Casual and flexible enough for an afternoon stroll and sturdy enough to make it through icy winter mornings (Winter Storm Jonas approved!) and uneven terrain, these are an all-purpose shoe that will keep your walker trekking in all types of weather or circumstances.
For gifts that keep on giving:
Amidst the carols and trees, lights and presents, parties and celebrations, its sometimes easy to forget that not everyone is as lucky as we are—which is what makes the gifts-that-give-back in the World Vision Gift Catalog such a wonderful present for anyone on your list. Filled with gorgeous handmade items like jewelry, scarves, ornaments, and bags; great stocking stuffers like high-class coffee and cinnamon; and fabulous ways to donate to families in need (giving water, shelter, or even animals), every item in this catalog helps to provide for charitable programs, giving those less fortunate a happy holiday season as well. The tote pictured above ($125) is a colorful fashion statement while still being super useful—lightweight with tons of space and a hidden zipper pocket for valuables. The intricate and delicate snowflake ornament shines in the lights of a Christmas tree with an elegant beauty. With how well-made and attractive each of these items are, it’s a no-brainer: you get a stunning, unique, and memorable present for someone on your list and you help out someone who needs it. The World Vision Gift Catalog should definitely be a shopping destination for anyone playing Santa this year.
Hope you have enjoyed our Holiday Gift Guide. Have a very merry, delish, and boozy holiday season, filled with smiles, laughter, and abundance.
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