On my Christmas list

Now that the Christmas shopping season is here, Daryn Daniels gives ten gift ideas for friends and family.


Below, Daryn suggests Salt and Straw Ice Cream as well as Stumptown Coffee as great gifts to give a friend this Christmas. | Courtesy of Daryn Daniels

Daryn Daniels, Writer

With Thanksgiving done and gone, we have now officially stepped into the thick of the holiday season. If you are like me, you cannot wait to bust out the ugly sweaters, eggnog and sparkly-everything. It seems like Andy Williams was right when he sang, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” While I fully agree, there is one thing that I dread a little bit every year — Christmas shopping. I get so excited about everything this time of year that it seems almost impossible to narrow down what I want to give to each person. To make it easier for both you and me, I decided I would take this week to give you a little holiday help and show you a few of my favorite things.

1. Diorskin Airflash – $62: This is by far my favorite makeup product on the face of the earth and I would venture to say in all of the galaxy, but who knows what goods they have on Mars? This aerosol makeup will give you a flawless, airbrushed look all the time. This is the perfect gift for that girl you know who is constantly searching for the best makeup.  I will warn you, the price is on the steep side and it might be breaking the bank, but it is oh so worth it — especially if it is for someone you can drop a little more on. Think: best friend, sister or mom.

2. Stones and Seams Jewelry – $14 and Up: This Etsy shop has become one of my favorites. In case you haven’t noticed by now, I absolutely love a statement necklace or a big ol’ ring. With these handcrafted pieces, you not only get to help support small business, but you also get to give a little glam for Christmas. Because these pieces are from an Etsy shop, the prices are hard to beat, with necklaces and rings from $15 and up. There is no way you can go wrong.

3. MAC Viva Glam 1 Lipstick – $15: Made by MAC, this dark burgundy color is my favorite lipstick for a night spent in a wintery wonderland. Dark lips have been in this year, and MAC got it right with this shade. This color is great for both the girl that has a little more edge and the one who is just starting to step out of her comfort zone.

4. Salt and Straw Ice Cream – $8 and Up: Hands down the best ice creamery on the West Coast, this Portland based company makes the most incredible and outrageous ice cream flavors I’ve ever had. With flavors like spiced eggnog, peppermint cocoa and bourbon pecan pie, you are sure to please friends with this sweet gift. If you live in Portland, you can drop in for a scoop or pick up a pint anytime your heart desires. On the chance that you are not lucky enough to live where this gem has taken stake, have no fear. You still can get your spoonful by ordering online. You choose your five flavorful favorites and the next day you can have them in the form of a pint on your doorstep. Have trouble choosing a flavor? May I recommend the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper or the freckled woodblock chocolate. Mmmm!

5. Stumptown Coffee – $14 and Up: Know a coffee snob or someone who wishes he or she was? Here is my absolute favorite cup of joe: Stumptown Coffee. Yet another Portland-based company, this coffee goes up against the best. Rich and yummy, it is the best in the West. You can get it served hot at the location off of Santa Fe in LA, or you can order a 12 oz bag online starting at $14.

6. Nike Legendary Tights – $90: You know that one girl who is simultaneously always looking for great workout pants and great leggings? Well these running tights are a great dual purpose gift for both running and relaxing. I own three pairs and wear them at least once a week in an actual outfit. They are comfy, they stay up and they aren’t see-through. What more could you ask for? While they are a bigger purchase, Nike’s quality tights will last for years.

7. Puffer Vest – $32: One thing on my Christmas list this year is a puffer vest. Perfect for someone a little more outdoorsy, these vests are not only cute, but also cozy. They are great for anyone who likes to stay stylish throughout the wintery weather.

8. Velvet Dress or Skirt – $24: Here is another item on my Christmas list. Not only is velvet coming back around, it is als0 the epitome of Christmas. I am pretty sure every one of my Christmas dresses until about four years ago included some sort of velvet, and honestly I am stoked to incorporate it again. The difference between now and then is the style. For example, here is a skater skirt made out of velvet. Pair it with a button up and blazer or a sweater and scarf. Spoil one of the glam gals in your life with this ultimate Christmas ensemble.

9. Gnome Salt and Pepper Shaker – Okay let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a cute little knick-knack every now and then? These gnome-shaped salt and pepper shakers are a wonderful gift for that quirky college kid who just got his own apartment or even as a hostess gift for your lovely friend who throws amazing holiday parties every year. I love this gift because it is not only practical, but it also has character and is practically a steal at $8 a set.

10. Printstagram – $10-40: It is the digital age and everybody knows somebody who is obsessed with Instagram. Hint: if you can’t think of anyone else, it’s probably you. I willingly admit that I play that role in my group of friends, and this is one gift that I would flip for. Through the Printstagram website you can make your Instagrams into real life photos. All you do is go online, choose photos from your Instagram account and select the print style you want. You can also get a 365 day Instagram calendar or a tiny photo flip book. This gift is thoughtful, unique and inexpensive making it a solid choice for your favorite “grammer.”
Hopefully by now you’ve got vision of good gift ideas dancing in your heads. Good luck braving the storm of people out there. Here is to hoping your holiday shopping is a little less scary and a little more merry. Non-alcoholic cheers to all!

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