Christmas is my favorite time of year. It is an excuse to spoil the people in your life that you love. It is also of course about Jesus and I look forward to going to late night Christmas Eve services every year. It is also a special memory because my hair caught on fire twice at Christmas Eve services, different years, but both included the same smell of long curly hair on fire from the candles. No one can say my life hasn’t been interesting.
Onto the gifts. Since I am still waking up around 4 AM (9 AM London time), I have compiled a few of my favorite gifts to give. None of these break the bank, other than the Dyson, and I have given all of these as gifts.
Remember that nothing is better than a handwritten card. It is not about the amount of money you spend. I have shoe boxes full of letters from over the years and they are irreplaceable.
Also, the gift of your time is the best gift of all. Plan a special trip or a fun day together. Write a list of your favorite memories with someone and give it to them. Schedule a photo session with your parents. As I get older, these are the keepsakes that I treasure.
For the ACADEMIC:
- Book inspired candles. Christmas at Hogwarts is my favorite, but I also have her Pride and Prejudice and Game of Thrones inspired candles. They come in a cute little mason jar. Etsy $11 each or 4 for $40
- Also, search Etsy for first editions and autographed copies of your friends’ favorite books.
For the BEER LOVER:
- Pottery Barn personalized beer mug. I have bought these for several friends and mine says, ‘LIBBY’S BEER.’ $18.
For the WRITER:
- I love stationary. In fact, if I ever get married, I will still have hundreds of pieces of stationary with Libby Simmons written at the top. I get stationary every year from my mom from the Monogram Shop in Fort Wayne. It comes in a gold box, set of 50, wrapped in tissue paper with a tiny gold sticker. There are also endless stationary options on Etsy for under $20 a set.
For the ANIMAL LOVER:
- Adopt an elephant and send the gift to a friend! For $50 you can adopt an elephant for a year to support the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. This is the perfect gift for anyone and your friend will receive periodic updates via email about their elephant.
For the INSPIRATIONAL, AWESOME, SUPPORTIVE FRIEND:
- These banners from Paper Source are so much fun and I can think of several of my friends that would love these. Choose from ‘Be Awesome,’ ‘Get Shit Done’, or my personal favorite, ‘Everyday I’m Hustlin.’ Paper Source $8
For the CRAFTY FRIEND:
- Calligraphy by Kim Shrack! KIm’s calligraphy is incredible and she takes custom orders, so shoot her a message. I have the Indiana University Sample Gates print framed in my kitchen. Her work also made an appearance on the Kelly and Michael show this morning, so she is kind of a big deal. Manayunk Calligraphy via Etsy – prices vary.
For the TYPE A:
- I got a Dyson last year from my parents for my birthday and it is life changing. If you are Type A, this will make you look forward to sweeping. This is also a great price. Bloomingdales $300
For the GIRLY GIRL:
- I love Jo Malone perfume. I do not like anything that is too overwhelming and a lot of perfumes make me nauseous. In college I wore Chanel and now I switch back and forth between Jo Malone and Fresh (available at Sephora). Jo Malone $65-125 depending on the size.
For the MIDWESTERN COOL KID:
- The Normal Brand is based in St Louis and their designs are perfect for the adventurous, outdoorsy, Midwestern kid. Start with a baseball hat, but all of their attire is well made and durable. I wear my baseball hat everywhere and so many people ask me about it. $27
For the WINE LOVER:
- Who doesn’t like wine? This cute Kate Spade wine carrier is a great price to gift to your favorite wino. Kate Spade $20
For the TRAVELER:
- Vintage maps are the perfect gift. I collect them and try to buy them at flea markets, but Etsy is a little more convenient. Etsy – price varies
For the SPIRITUAL GANGSTER:
- I have this journaling bible and I love it. Amazon $29
For your MOM:
- Philosophy is one of my favorite brands. I have been using Purity to wash my face since high school and I buy the fun sets of bath washes to give as gifts every year. Sephora $25 for three
For the PATRIOT:
- A classic needlepoint ‘Merica hat! Waiting on Martha $32
For your DAD:
- One of my dad’s favorite gifts from me was a personalized silver money clip with our special saying inscribed. Etsy $25
For the COFFEE LOVER:
- You cannot go wrong with a coffee press. Mine is from TJ Maxx, but there are a lot of options on Amazon depending on how much you want to spend. Add some finely ground espresso from Starbucks. Amazon $31
- I have a friend that swears by the AeroPress, so I am also adding this to my list to check out! Amazon $30
For the FRIEND THAT IS NEVER ON TIME:
- I have a very nice watch that I received for my golden birthday, but sometimes I want to wear a more casual watch. I really like Daniel Wellington watches and you can switch out the bands. Amazon $102
For the YOGI:
- A fun water bottle and class passes to your local yoga place. A great gift is also your time. Offer to tag along with someone to ensure that you both go! Amazon $8 for the water bottle
For your PUP:
- Winston loves this food contraption toy and it provides at least twenty minutes of uninterrupted entertainment. It is also a toy that he will not destroy. I found mine at Pet People in Cleveland, but it is cheaper on Amazon. $11
For the ADVENTUROUS FOODIE:
- Try the World is a fun way to treat a friend to a box of surprises from around the world. A country is selected every two months and you can choose a one-time purchase or a subscription for the year. $39 for two boxes.
For the LITTLE ONE:
- I have given Jellycats to most of my friends with kids. They are the softest toys and best of all – they do not make any noise! Nordstrom $22
For the COOK:
- An apple pie pan with cover. This is adorable and on sale. I don’t know any foodie that would not appreciate this. Williams Sonoma $30
- I would love to have these monogrammed kitchen towels. Mark and Graham $29 for two kitchen towels.
OTHER LIBBY FAVORITES:
- Underwear. Yep, I went there. It is one of those things I hate to buy and pay for, so I subtly hint to my mom to help re-stock my supply. I swear by Cosabellas. They are no show and the most comfortable I have found. They are one size and these fit petite ladies better than the Hanky Panky brand. So, now you know my preferred underwear and whatever you do, do not call them panties.
- Longchamp bag. I have several and never thought much of them until I went to London last week. I packed it in my carry on and then used it every day while we explored the city. It held all of my necessities: a sweater, scarf, mittens, passport, money, map, souvenirs, umbrella, etc. I got my first one in college and they hold up well – You can even wash them in the washer and air dry. Nordstrom – $145