That’s right, everyone. It’s time for our second annual Sweet Iced Tea Christmas Gift Guide! We’ve got some great ideas for everyone on your list this year. So for any of you out there that are like me, and barely begun your holiday shopping, here’s hoping some of these great ideas get you jump started and into the spirit of giving!
For the man in your life…
And if you have a baseball lover, I like these old-school flannel jerseys. Warm for a cool winter’s day, even though baseball season is just over, there’s something a little more stylish about a baseball tee with jeans as opposed to a football jersey. You can pick your team, so your man can support his favorite franchise.
I love a man in cufflinks, so if you have a baseball lover in your life, nothing is cooler than these, made from authenticated game-used baseball stitches. A little whimsy to a fashionable man.
More choises for a snazzy dresser, try this men’s polo from a great company Southern Tide, with just a hint of Southern favorite, seersucker. Summer seems so far away, but he can wear this year around, with just that hint of a reminder that warmer temperatures are coming, and he can break out that seersucker suit for June weddings before we know it.
And for the formal event in his life, how hipster is this velvet bowtie? It’s no secret we here love bowties. Mr. SIT just might have to get one of these. (Hope he’s too busy Christmas shopping for me to read this week.)
Speaking of Mr. SIT, my history loving husband received the classic Ken Burns documentary Civil War series this year for his birthday, and we’ve throughly enjoyed learning more about our country’s history. They are beautifully narrated and illustrated, and the music is heartbreakingly unforgettable.
For your best friend, sister, or momma, Mamaw, or any other lady in your life…
I love these belts from Eliza B. While you can get them for men, women, kids, or even your pup, Eliza B. makes stylish and quality belts from leather, ribbon, metallics, you can even customize your own with embroidery or choose your favorite team colors. For the fashion lover, maybe choose the alligator or gold. For the preppy, get the grograin monogrammed. For the SEC sports fan, choose coordinating team fabrics. Practical and fun!
Does any lady really ever mind receiving jewelery for Christmas? Not anyone I know! Jane Pope has stores in North and South Carolina, as well as California, but thanks to the magic of the world wide web, you can purchase her wares at Balboa Jewelry. This stuff has been featured in the top magazines, and worn by celebrities, and it’s unique and gorgeous.
Headbands have enjoyed a resurgence in the last year or two (thanks to a scandalous little show called Gossip Girl), and I for one, am glad. The grown-up 12 year old in me things all hair types look cute in a headband. Let’s face it, in Southern humidity, sometimes you just need to hold those unruly bangs back with a cute accessory. Kiel James Patrick has the coolest stuff I think I’ve come across lately. I’m desperate for some of his bracelets, but what I’m really wishing for is one of these great preppy headbands. Surely the lady on your list will love these.
Sometimes as the layers pile on during the colder months of winter, I feel an urge to trade in breezy, preppy style that’s the signature of the South for an edgier, urban look. So if you’ve got a rock star in your life, perhaps she’d like this necklace. It appeals to the feminine with the glitz, and a little tomboy side as well, with its bowtie shape. This would be perfect with your LBD to a holiday cocktail party.
A light scent might be the perfect counterpart to the rich smells of Christmas. Peach perfume would be perfect for a young woman, just entering the foray into fragrance, or a grown lady just after that perfect Southern signature scent. I love honeysuckle for the summer, but nothing says sweet like the lingering floral fragrance of peach, available from the Body Shop. They have plenty of fragrances, so you can mix and match anything, depending on your loved ones preferences. You can also get a matching basket of candles, lotions, and bath gels.
For the kiddies…
Christmas just isn’t Christmas to me, unless you have a little one in your life to buy for. Nothing is as magical as seeing the light on the face of one who still believes in Santa. But you might just give Santa a run for his money if you present the child in your life with one of these. Is it just me, or are these gifts cooler than the stuff we used to get as kids?
The Memphian in me is obsessed with this Elvis Mr. Potato Head. I bet a Mr. Potato Head is on a lot of little ones wish list this year, after Toy Story released its final installment in Toy Story 3 (which made me cry… how about you?).
I remember my mom used to always make a quilt for every little baby that entered into our lives, but sorry mom, these are cool. A baby quilt, with an early lesson in geography. You can get the soft cotton quilts in a choice of your favorite of 20 plus cities, including some of our favorite Southern cities like Austin, Dallas, New Orleans, and even our nation’s capitol, Washington D.C.
If you’re traveling over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house by plane this year, perhaps you want to give the kiddos one present early, before they board. If they’re brave enough to look out the window, keep them occupied by finding objects with this Airplane Bingo, such as a farm, a bridge, clouds (that should be easy)! I sort of want to play this on my way!
I was introduced to this author this year, who happens to reside in my Cali neighborhood. He’s written a host of great books, many of them alphabet themed, and you can choose one based on your child’s interests. Got a sports fan? Choose one called “K is for Kick” (a soccer alphabet). Got a future traveler? “M is for Majestic,” the alphabet as through China or the National Parks. And… there’s one for about every state in the union. So your Southern son or daughter can learn why “P is for Peach,” or “T is for Tarheel.” Reading, geography, and learning letters, all in one book! Perfect.
With the release of Secretariat movie this year, many little boys and girls will renew their interest in horses. This beloved animal is never far from a child’s imagination. Perhaps the equine lover in your house would love this little stuffed version of the celebrated Secretariat. And since it’s an official Beanie Baby, any collectors in your life might appreciate it, young or old.
Anyone else but me like to all but hibernate in the winter months? After the busyness of Christmas, I tend to shut myself in with a book, roaring fire, and a cup of hot something. Perhaps all my kindred spirits might enjoy receiving something for their home to make those long winter’s days and nights a bit more cozy.
I love the name, and the store of Carolina Cottage on Etsy. A Southern handmade product seller, they offer wonderful products for the home and the holidays — everything from coasters, to mail trays, to votive candle holders, you can easily think of someone in your life who would love to have these dictionary word tea lights, a sewing pattern covered glass, or a mail tray with a map of your city on it… or coasters featuring the spot where you and your honey ‘mooned.
From the Grand Ol’ Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, I can just see these prints hanging in a rec room, or in your teen’s cave. The Hatch Brothers said that “advertising without posters” was like “fishing without worms.” Aren’t we lucky they thought this way?
Or perhaps your kitchen needs a bit of a spruce to modern the decor up? Southerners love butter, and I love this print, from Donald Brum at the Museum of Modern Art.
Oh, candles. You just can’t go wrong with a luxurious candle, in a gorgeous scent. Man, woman, young, old. Who can resist a beautiful candle? These from Low Country Luxe are exquisite. I’m obsessed with the fresh scent of High Cotton.
For the Foodie…
Everyone has at least one in their life. And hey, if you gift them with something delicious and special to eat, perhaps they’ll invite you over to sample? One can hope…
After Sweet Tea, I think my favorite drink is root beer. Much as I love a nice can of Mug from the vending machine, there’s nothing like an artisan root beer. More and more Southerners are getting into this art form these days, and boy am I glad for it. Abita Root Beers are sweetened with pure Louisiana cane sugar. Sweet, dark, rich. Root beer is about as close as a dessert as you can get in a soft drink.
Regular SIT readers will remember we obsessed about biscuits (well, all the time, but especially) in October. Callie’s Biscuit will ship to your friends or family to enjoy after everyone is tired of cooking. Biscuits, mix, honey, pimento cheese, even a biscuit of the month club! Homemade taste and none of the work. Delicious!
Ok, this is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. I want! I want! I want! But isn’t it better to give than to receive? Especially if you give this Wall Barbeque. It looks stylish, is compact, and cranks out delicious grilled meats and veggies. Summer’s just around the corner, y’all, but who will be able to wait until the weather warms to use this grill, installed right into the side of your own home.
I get so excited when the Harry & David catalogue comes into my mailbox. And I know those on your Christmas list will feel the same way when they receive a box of delicious gourmet fruit or other treats. May we recommend the Fruit of the Month Club? Healthy, decadent, and the gift that keeps on giving, all year long. Keep reading Sweet Iced Tea to find out what fruits are in season. We’ll keep you informed throughout the seasons.
Speaking of gifts that keep on giving, this rosemary tree is festive, and will be a kitchen staple, long after the red and green is put away. For any of those like me, who have space issues currently with a beautiful full-sized tree, this is a great concession. Then after Christmas, fresh rosemary for all your recipes for years to come!
We’re still in the heart of football season, so we’re sure all your football fans will appreciate a little easy game day entertaining with a colorful team platter from Sweet Mady’s. They have tons of cute products for great mealtime gifts, and colors, fonts, and initials can be personalized.
I must admit, while I love to eat fried chicken, I’m not great at making it. But with this Ad Hoc Fried Chicken Kit from Williams-Sonoma, with its all-natural ingredients, you can’t go wrong!
After Holiday Pampering…
When all the decorations are put away, the sequins dresses are tucked back into the back of the closet, and we’re all hitting the gym, sometimes it’s nice to give our faces a little pampering. After all, they’ve endured the cold of sleighing, the pounds of extra blush and lipstick for parties galore, and a few too many kisses under the mistletoe. This year, we’ve picked out a couple of gifts perfect for anyone you might just not know what to get for, both featuring our favorite product around here — tea. It’s not just for sipping!
Anyone on your list will love this Fresh Black Tea Face Mask. The scent is pleasant enough that you might even notice the guy in your life eyeing with envy. This just might be a gift you have to gift yourself.
When winter has just been a little too hard on sensitive lips, I love a great lip scrub, such as these from H.Wood. They come with a variety of additional scents and flavors such as gingergrass, vanilla, green apple, peppermint, and pomegranate-rose. Check out their coordinating lip balms too.
For the Bookworm…
Tuck away after the holidays with a good book or magazine, and give them away to those on your list to enjoy as well. Here are a couple of our favorite suggestions.
Give this to a dad in your life, or his kids — Handy Dad. It’s more than a book; it’s activities to bring them closer!
Or if a magazine is more up their alley, this literary magazine features the best of Southern Culture. Another gift that keeps on giving throughout the year, a subscription to the Oxford American comes out with a new edition quarterly.
With the invention of Etsy, Big Cartel, and sites like it, even those of us miles from the nearest craft fair or flea market can give thoughtful handmade gifts, and support small, local businesses in the process. Here are a couple of our favorite picks.
We’ve mentioned a dear friend, Kristie, and her Etsy business, DayJarView (get it… De Ja Vue?) before. And stay tuned next week for an Etsy profile right here on Sweet Iced Tea with one of our favorite Etsy sellers, but her jar of happies, quotes, and inspirational thoughts would be perfect for anyone on your list. I won’t say who, for family members out there reading, but at least two or three of you are getting one of these. A thought a day will bring a smile to their face, and thought of you, whenever they pull one of the tiny envelopes from a DayJarView Jar.
Keep in touch with “I Left My Heart in…” cards from Paper Pastries. You can choose from a multitude of cities including Atlanta, Memphis, Nashville, Austin, and New Orleans. Anyone who is great at correspondence through more than email will love these cute cards to send out to friends and fam throughout the year.
Sometimes, the loved one on your list just defies explanation. For those, we offer just a few more suggestions, for the boss, friend or family that just doesn’t fall into a category. We think just about anyone would love any one of these gifts.
My dear friend once gave her mother an Audio Heirloom for a birthday, and I don’t think any of us stopped crying for a good 45 minutes. This is a gift of words. And what could be better than telling someone you love them in this way. Many of us love the StoryCorps project on NPR and they create a similar experience as you share a story, letter, or any kind of tribute for your loved one to listen to over and over.
We’ve all got that crazy uncle or niece who enjoys a laugh. This hilarious bacon versus tofu game would be perfect for Christmas night, when all the gifts have been given, too much food has been feasted upon, and everyone just wants to spend some quality time together around the fire. In my family, it really would pit some carnivorous meat-candy lovers against a few vegetarians. I’m bringing this to the first White Elephant party I’m invited to this year!
Do you have a brother or cousin who fancies himself a literary? These fun t-shirts represent a nuance of his favorite book.
Got a green thumb in your family? Or even if not, I can’t see how anyone could go wrong with a Year of Seeds! Your favorite in-law could have a windowsill garden all year around!
Show your team spirit, even when you mail out bills and other mail. Fine Stationary offers a host of great gifts, but my favorite is the State School Embossers, featuring your favorite collegiate sports team. These are infinitely useful as you send out mail, so you might want to grab one of these for yourself before sending out all those Christmas cards!
Do you have a sailor in your bunch? The winter might have caused him to dock his boat, but they can still pick up their market essentials with this sailcloth tote, made from actual recycled sail cloths so they’re water resistant, and can be thrown easily in the wash. They come with stripes, anchors, sailboats — and in navy, silver, or pink.
And for my favorite item on my personal wish list, our favorite magazine here at Sweet Iced Tea is Garden & Gun. The magazine each month is the best of the South — with interesting stories and gorgeous photography. If you’ve got a little extra in your Christmas budget, any Southerner on your list would love to be gifted a membership to the Garden & Gun Club as well, I’m sure!
As a little disclaimer, Sweet Iced Tea has not been endorsed to advertise any of these products. These are genuinely things we’ve come across throughout the year, and loved. So you can be sure the things mentioned here are products Southerners love and enjoy.
And for a little laughter for this December day, this year’s SIT Gift Guide is brought to you by the Holiday Armadillo, Santa’s Representative for all the Southern States. My sister and I love this episode of Friends. So for those of you readers in Texas out there, thanks for sharing with us your Holiday Armadillo!