2016 Holiday Gift Guide

Happy Thanksgiving dear friends! Since we are now officially only a month and a day away from Christmas and Hanukkah and just a little over a month away from New Year’s, I thought it was time to share my 2016 Holiday Gift Guide. My gift guide for travel lovers also went live a couple of week ago and if you missed it you can find it here.

I am a person who loves organized lists therefore I am going to do this for you, my dear readers, and sort the list into categories. A lot of research has been put into this list as someone that loves giving gifts but only if they are good gifts. I honestly feel kind of bad every time I give someone a gift card because that shows I did not put as much thought into the gift as I probably could have although I know some people truly prefer gift cards and I myself would sometimes rather receive a gift card then get a gift I do not really want. After that long run on sentence, it’s time to begin the list:


If you have been following my blog for a while, you already know that I am a big fan of subscriptions. My Battle of the Subscription Boxes is still one of my most read posts to date which shows that I am not the only one that is showing interest in this category. I do think subscriptions make a great gift because in a way, they’re a gift that keeps giving. Even giving someone a 3 month subscription to something is extending your gift among 3 months and makes the person appreciate it a little more; at least that’s how I look at it.

For the beauty lovers:

Ipsy is my favorite of the subscription services and giving that as a gift to a make-up lover or to someone that you’ve heard say they want to start getting more into make-up ( for whatever reason, I’ve heard this phrase at least 4-5 times over the last month from different people). It only costs $10/month and you can give someone a one, three or twelve month subscription for this service. I think this makes a great gift as there is a ton of variety and the Ipsy bags are personalized to the person’s preference.

For the readers:

Book of the Month Club is a subscription service where you pay $15/month to choose a book that gets sent to you out of carefully picked highly rated books. You can choose to get someone a one, three or twelve month subscription again. They can also choose to pay $10 on a certain month and get one additional book in the package if they would like (which is not a bad deal for a new book as books can be pretty pricey when they first come out). They current have a Black Friday deal going on that if you buy a gift for someone, you get 50% off a 3 month subscription plus an additional book for yourself.

For the foodie:

Love With Food sends you about 8 new snacks to try each month. The snacks they send are organic and all natural and they even have gluten free options available. The best part about this subscription box is that for each box sold, they donate 1 meal to hungry children. They are currently running deals for $7 boxes but they usually run about $9/box.

For the music lover:

Pandora – Most of us know or use Pandora already but we all know that the ads on Pandora can really kill the vibe whether it’s at the gym or if you’re listening at home. So a great gift for someone that uses Pandora would be to buy them a full year without ads. It will run you about $60 ($54 right now as a Black Friday deal). The link is directly for the gift page.


This is one of the categories I’m obviously most excited to write about. There are so many things to buy in this category but it can be the trickiest in my opinion since you don’t always know what people will want or won’t want to wear. I am making this list based on things that I think I would like to receive as well as my friends so if you have similar taste in clothes, you’ll get a lot out of this list. If not, skip this category and let’s keep going.

Blanket Scarves – This is one of the biggest staples of fall and winter of the last two years and you can pretty much find these anywhere at this point. My favorite blanket scarves are ones from ILY Mix as they are super soft and there are so many to choose from. You can use my code “styleprn20” to get 20% off your purchase and if you are thinking of getting these for Christmas, I wouldn’t hesitate to place that order as it does take at least 2 weeks for the items to come in. They also have adorable beanies (and ones with pom poms) that make a cute little gift as well. Sophie & Trey has some great blanket scarves as well.

Pajamas – I used to HATE getting pajamas as a gift because my mom would buy them for me every year for New Year’s ( I am Russian therefore I get my gifts on New Year’s and not Christmas. If you are interested in the background of this tradition stay tuned, as a post on Russian holiday traditions is in the works). As a little kid pajamas are not the most exciting gift. Now as an adult, I get super excited about getting pajamas. Victoria’s Secret has some of my favorite pajamas for the holidays as they have a variety of the warm flannel ones that are perfect for cold weather and the silky ones that are perfect if you still want to look cute and not just cozy when you sleep. Adore Me has a huge selection of cute sleepwear as well if you are a member.

Floppy Hats – We all have that one friend that would look amazing in a floppy hat yet refuses to buy one because she doesn’t think that she can pull it off. This is where you come in and buy her one for Christmas/New Year’s/Hanukkah so now she has no choice but to wear that gorgeous floppy hat you bought her 🙂 I got mine at Nordstrom Rack as they have a HUGE selection of floppy hats and I know TjMaxx has a fair amount as well if you don’t want to drop too much money on these but still want to get one that is good quality.

Lace Up Sweaters – Lace up anything has been on trend in the last year and the way to keep it going for winter is to get it in sweater form. I have been seeing a lot of these sweaters recently and my favorite ones can be found here (white Forever 21 lace up cotton sweater), here (Express and under $15 right now!) and here (Nordstrom).


“Build Your Own Birchbox” – Pretty much all of my friends at this point have received this at some point from me. This particular BYOB means taking an actual Birchbox (or any container, make up bag, whatever you own) and filling it with little or full size versions of your favorite make up or make up that you think your friends would like. It’s a cute way to get your friends to try new make-up that you personally love and I think it makes for a creative gift. As far as I know, all my friends that have received this from me have liked getting this so I am going to proclaim this as a successful gift idea.

Pamper Basket – I used this as a bridal shower gift idea for a friend this year but I think it would make for a great holiday gift as well. What I did was buy a basket (you can get those at your local Michael’s or any craft store) and fill it with bath bombs (my favorite are the ones from Lush but there are so many different brands out now that make these), body lotion (I prefer the ones from Soap & Glory and Dioni’s ), a loofa and/or exfoliator sponge,  a face mask (or 3-4 sheet masks as you can buy those individually at places like Ulta) and some candles. This would encourage your friends to have a little spa/pamper night that we all deserve once in a while.


This sounds like it’ll be a more expensive category since technology is typically on the pricier side but I have some picks here that are very reasonably priced that would make great gifts for a variety of people.

For Parents or Grandparents:

Digital frames are a great gift for parents and grandparents as we all know they love looking at pictures of their kids and grandkids and having something that is continuously displaying and changing those pictures would make them pretty happy. I do recommend opening this particular gift up ahead of time and taking the time to set it up and chose the pictures since sometimes, that is a bit too advanced of a task to handle for some of the elderly folks that don’t usually deal with technology too much. This one here is a top seller on Amazon and also comes with a clock and calendar function.

For the music lover:

Bluetooth Speakers: This is a great portable device to have for someone that likes to have music playing around them at all times. This is perfect for taking to the beach, to get ready at a friend’s house, etc. There are so many uses for this and I definitely think it’s worth getting.

For the gym lover:

iPhones and Androids keep changing in size and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them and adjust all your other gadgets ( or phone cases, etc) to fit. Most people I know, including myself, can’t work out without music therefore, it’s pretty convenient to have one of these arm bands that you can put your music in so that you don’t have to carry your phone/iPod around in your hands if you wear workout clothes without pockets.


Break Out/Escape the Room Challenges – Last year for my fiancé’s Christmas gift, I organized a group of friends to go do the Break Out Room challenge and definitely recommend doing this if you haven’t already. I know these challenges have gained a lot of popularity and a lot of people have tried these out already but if you know someone that hasn’t, I definitely recommend checking this out. It’s definitely something way different to do with your friends and ends up being a lot of fun. It’s only an hour commitment and you can go grab food/drinks afterwards to either celebrate how smart you are for getting out in time or drink to forget the fact that you were unsuccessful.

Ice Skating – This is available at this time of year in most places and if your city has an outdoor ice skating rink that is decorated for the holidays, I recommend taking your significant other or going with your friends. You do not have to be an expert ice skater to have fun with this activity and it forces you to spend time outside and be active which is also a win-win.


For Coffee Lovers – To go along with the pamper basket idea, you can also do a coffee lovers basket. Buy some different creamers (especially holiday-esque ones like hazelnut and peppermint), K-cups for someone that has a Keurig or some Starbucks blends for those who don’t, some hot chocolate mix and some cute coffee mugs. I prefer my coffee mugs to be big (at least 16oz) so that’s what I would go for. As a big coffee lover, I know this is a gift I would personally love. Starbucks has awesome mugs around the holidays and places like TjMaxx can also be a great source for fun mugs. You can also make your own mugs by purchasing plain white mugs at any place like Wal-Mart or Target, buy some oil sharpies (find them here) , decorate or write on the mugs, stick them in the oven for a little while and voila, you got customized coffee mugs that are better than anything you could buy at a store. I made one last year for myself that said “Pills pay my bills” which I thought was pretty creative since I’m going to be a pharmacist and all.


Please let me know what is on your Christmas list and what other ideas you have for the upcoming holidays! Also, please please please let me know if you end up using any of these ideas as that will make me so happy!


*ILY Mix promo code is an affiliate code

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Sonia says:

    Do you have any suggestions for couple gifts?


  2. Mack says:

    I’ve been thinking about Ipsy for a while! I can’t wait to try. This has convinced me.

    Liked by 1 person

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