Holiday Giving: More Favorite Things

adorable mugs

We’re heading into the holiday home stretch here, friends. Tonight is the midway point of Hanukkah, the winter solstice is a week from Friday and, as they say, there are just 12 shopping/cooking/crafting/making days before Christmas. The gifting season is upon us. If you’re still stumped for ideas, here are a few more things I like (I’ll have a fresh good gifting recipe up tomorrow as well).

Since first discovering them, I’ve been entirely charmed by these mugs. The one with the knit print is double walled, so that you can hold it even when its filled with steaming liquid. The one on the right is from a line called Mugtails and is available in rabbit, cat, and fawn styles in addition to the squirrel one pictured above.

coffee and tea

For morning caffeination efforts, I regular turn towards two tools. A hand-cranked coffee grinder that fits onto a wide mouth mason jar (I like having to work a little for coffee) and a Teastick (fill with loose leaf tea and swish through a mug of hot water. It’s perfect for a quick cup). My particular model is currently sold out, but I hear good things about this one, too.


I’ve long been obsessed with wooden tools and since last year, Earlywood Design has been my favorite purveyor of all things useful, handmade, and satisfyingly tactile. I particularly like their slant-edged scraper, but I’m slowly amassing a well-rounded collection of their utensils (next on my personal list of wants from Earlywood is their short server). They also have awesome customer service. One of the scrapers I bought started to split along the grain and they were happy to replace it. Many thanks to Nici of Dig This Chick for turning me on to them.

jar shaker

You’re all familiar with my inability to resist any mason jar accessory. Well, from the moment I saw the Mason Shaker, I knew I had to have it. I’m not a huge cocktail drinker (simply because I have a lousy tolerance for booze), but I love this shaker lid for batches of homemade lemonade. Must like the Teastick above, it appears to be sold out. However, I spotted a bunch at my local West Elm about a week ago, so check your bricks and mortar stores if you want to get one before the holidays.

petty knife

Last February I visited Korin, a store in New York that specializes in fine knives and tableware and they gave me a Petty knife to use and review. I rapidly shot up my list of favorite kitchen tools. Having a knife that exists in the space between a small paring knife and a larger chef’s knife is a boon for tasks like quartering apples, cutting carrots into sticks, and opening avocados (things I do a whole heck of a lot). It would make a really great gift for a cutlery lover.

All good gift guides come with a giveaway and this one is no different. Thanks for Korin, I have the mugs pictured at the top of this post and the petty knife pictured just above to give away to one lucky winner.

Here’s how to get in on the giveaway:

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me one thing you’re hoping to get done before the new year.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm on Saturday, December 15, 2012. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Sunday.
  3. Giveaway open US residents only.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post. I cannot accept submissions via email.
Disclosure: Korin has provided the mugs and knife for this giveaway. They did not pay for placement. All opinions remain mine. 

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470 responses to “Holiday Giving: More Favorite Things”

  1. I’m hoping to get the rest of my new house organized. Moving December 1st was not the best idea for getting things done! I’ve just been in survival mode so far but I would love to get things all organized in their new home.

  2. I hoping to get those Christmas cards and holiday prizes out the door to loved ones before the New Year arrives (I seem so far behind this year that I figured New Year’s, rather than Christmas is a more reasonable goal ;)) Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. I’m hoping to successfully finish the fundraiser we’ve got going to get our son the new iPad Mini (he is on the Autism Spectrum and is mostly non-verbal without an augmentative communication device). We’re betting it will allow him to communicate even better!

  4. I’m hoping to make some homemade marshmallows before the new year. I’ve got all the ingredients for chipotle chocolate cinnamon marshmallows. Now I just need to find the time…

  5. I really want to find a home. This under-employed and homeless, living with family gig is a nice way to count your blessings, but stifling and starting to feel epic.
    Here is to finding our next home before 2013 and the “dream” job.

  6. I would love to get a big batch of meyer lemon marmalade put up before the new year, using all the lovely fruits from my trees!

  7. I would love those mugs, they are so cute! I am hoping to rearrange my kids bedrooms, put the girls together and the boys together, and throw out some toys 🙂

  8. I plan to: make everyone homemade holiday gifts (including but not limited to: caramels, truffles, jams, alcohol infusions, hard cider and macaroons!), clean my entire apartment so it’s presentable for upcoming guests this holiday season, make a lot of soup to freeze, and write new songs!

  9. Oh man, I have so many things on my ToDo list! I’d have to say finishing up my final grant paperwork/turning in receipts so that I can let out a huge exhale and enjoy my daughter’s first Christmas & New Year’s Day without any little niggling thoughts and the back if my mind.
    I’m crossing my fingers for the petty knife, I’ve been on the hunt for a great knife!

  10. Clean, purge and organize my girls bedroom and move our almost five year old out of her toddler bed and on to a big girl bed!

  11. oh goodness, after i finish this first semester of grad school and the beginning of the new year, i hope to spend some time playing with new recipes in the kitchen, catching up on all my tv shows whilst wrapping presents, and visiting with friends i don’t get to see often enough. would love to catch-up with my pals over a cup of tea in those sweet little mugs!

  12. I have my entire house torn up for a screwy foundation, so I am mostly hoping to have my kitchen back in place in time for 1.1.13 🙂

  13. I need to can more soups I’ve been a little timid with the pressure canner. And make a pound cake the old way b/c well why not.

  14. I’m actually going to be moving before the end of the year, so I’ve been paring down on all of my outworn things, so that after I get settled down again (I’m moving two states away), I can start to replenish with good quality rather than the stuff I’ve had since college.

  15. I have a few gifts to buy, and a few gifts to make. But mostly I want to be able to have time to really ENJOY and take in the holidays with those I love. The end of the year has snuck up on me much faster than usual, and I want to be ready for it so I can actually enjoy it.

  16. I hope to make your pickled asparagus recipe! I know that sounds simple, but I just gave birth to my first child in November so getting to WholeFoods and finding time in the kitchen are a bit of a challenge!

  17. going to paint the kitchen sunshine yellow and make that closet on the other side of the kitchen wall reversed into a pantry so i can stash all my stuff.

  18. OK, so technically this is something I want/need to get done by tomorrow night at 8PM (eep!) but I can’t wait to be done with the last of my final exams! Beyond that I’m very excited to build gingerbread houses with my neighbor’s 8 year old daughter.

  19. Just finished ordering my garden seeds for next year. It is nice being able to grow so much of what ends up in my jars, even in a tiny yard.

  20. A friend gave me some quinces on the first day of Hannukah. I would really like to make my first batch of quince marmalade by the end of the year.

  21. I’m making recipe books for my sisters with all our family hits then some! I hope I finish them and get them in the mail in time!

  22. I hope to get my homemade christmas cards done (10) more to go!
    And send them off BEFORE christmas!

    Also another batch of garlic pickles.

  23. For Christmas (or at least by the end of the year) I’d like to finish cleaning, organizing, and redecorating my son’s room, suitable for a five-year-old boy.

  24. I’m hoping to clean out my basement closets. My MIL packed every childhood item of my husband’s and brought it over when we first bought our house.

  25. I love that knit print mug!

    I need to make bourbon caramel sauce and chocolate truffle sauce before the end of the year…actually before Christmas. And I need to finish knitting a lacy scarf by then, too.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  26. My sister is giving birth to my second niece in the middle of January so I’m desperately hoping to have a little pink baby blanket crocheted by then. I’m about 1/3 of the way finished so I think it’s plausible but the holidays are so time consuming.

  27. Me? I’m going to attempt (mind you: attempt) to get all Christmas packages & cards out in the mail BY Christmas Eve. Audacious request? Yes. Possible? Let’s see.

  28. I want to have my blanket at least a quarter if the way completed. It would be awesome to be able to use it this winter can’t wait to get started.

  29. Im hope to get done before the new year is our living room area, we are in the middle of replacing the walls, floors, and the ceiling etc. Happy Holidays everyone……

  30. Still have hopes to get 6 batches of biscotti made and packaged to go with my apple butter as Christmas presents. Finally settled on orange/cranberry/hazelnut recipe

  31. I placed an order for seed potatoes and hope to place my seed order before the end of the year. I even did a little winter sowing. Normally, I am baking up a storm and writing out Christmas cards, but this year, the garden seems to be calling to me more.

  32. As always I wait til the last minute, so here is the short list:
    finish making 3 shirts
    knit a shawl (hopefully this will get almost done traveling 12 hours by car)
    make caramel corn
    make Santa Claus Cookies
    make brown sugar cookies
    make sugar scrubs for bath
    finish shopping for gifts
    and get all my end of the month work done before Christmas!

  33. Before the new year? I need to make more jam!! My cupboard was over flowing this summer with canned goodness. So much so, that I had to box some up and stow it elsewhere in my tiny apartment. However, after making up Hanukkah and Christmas gift bags for all my lovely friends I have only 5 precious jars left! I see a lot of jam sessions in my future…and the next one I’m going to attempt is your Creamsicle recipe!

  34. We are having some home repairs done today, so I am hoping to get everything cleaned up and back in order before the relatives come for the holidays.

  35. I hope to process the 2 cases of tangerines I have in cold storage. Also, it would be truly wonderful if I can get all the end of year paperwork cleared from my desk.

    Happy Holidays.

  36. Before the new year I’m hoping to give away all of the caramels I made this month (4 batches!). They were so easy to make and now I have three cases of half pint mason jars full of caramels to distribute!

  37. Hunt down a gift for a couple who has EVERYTHING and is impossible to buy for. And try not to stuff myself with holiday cookies 🙂

  38. I’m restoring a quilt my husband’s grandmother made him that is his favorite blanket ever. I’m hoping to get that done by the end of the year. It involves removing thousands of tiny, tight little stitches so that I can remove the back and restore the front.

  39. Boy that’s a tough one. Finish Christmas Shopping would be high on my list! But finishing my website would/should be as well.

  40. I’d love to finish pouring the foundation on a new structure on our place. We got the footer poured before it got too cold, but have had to wait on the actual foundation. We’re just at a latitude that gets variable winter weather, so maybe we’ll see a week of warm in which to pour. Or maybe not.

  41. One thing? Out of the amazingly long list of things I have to do? Hard decision to pick one so I’m going to say the hardest one. I’ve got to move all the stuff in my craft room to one side, out of the path from the Piano to the door. My son has decided that sense he has started his own family and has his own home he would like to have his Piano. Something I am all for since it will give me more space for book shelves, but the process is daunting. A hoarder would be proud of that room. Can I get it done by new years, I can only hope, and work my you know what off, lol.

  42. Just one thing?? Managing to get all my Christmas presents bought and shipped where they need to be by Christmas Day – I haven’t really started shopping yet… :/

  43. I have a couple of recipes hanging on the fridge that are my goal to complete by the end of the year. One butter, one jam. : ) Both cranberry based and perfect for them while they are in season.

  44. The list is endless!! I need to clean out the storage unit, buy presents, mail presents but up decorations (yep, I still have halloween stuff up!), etc. etc. etc. I hate being sick!

  45. Having an even larger pout that usual that this is a US only giveaway. To a knitter, that mug is beyond gorgeous (and double-walled!) Love!

  46. I have a few more Christmas presents to finish, but the biggest thing I hope to accomplish before the year is out is motherhood. I’m due with our first child on Dec. 17th.

  47. I want to (finally) paint our Master Bedroom! We’ve been living in builder’s beige for 7 long years and it’s time to get it done!

  48. I’m making small batch liquor for my friends/family this year. The limoncello and cherry bounce (seperately) have been melding together for months now. I can’t wait to bottle them and finally choose a label for the present. I hope it all gets done by Christmas but we could ring in the new year with it. 🙂

  49. I am hoping to work on making more mugs over by Christmas holiday. They won’t be done in time but people should get them before Valentine’s day. Sometimes handmade takes more time then you think. Or maybe ’cause I start late. 😉

  50. I’m going to knock out my list of homemade Christmas gifts! It’s a long one, but I’m planning on setting up Santa’s Sweatshop at home on Saturday and working my fingers to the bone. That’s what the holiday season is all about (for me).

  51. I bought some really pretty bowls that I’m hoping to fill with holiday snack mix for gifts for some of my oldest and dearest friends.

  52. I’m going to spend as much time as possible with my family. Their schedules this year will allow them to all be home. I’m so looking forward to it.

  53. The thing I’m hoping to get done before the new year isn’t kitcheny or crafty, but I have had a few job interviews recently and I’m hoping to have a new job lined up by the end of the year. So hooray for that.

  54. I hope to find the hardware to put the guest bedframe together, so my family has a place to sleep when they come visit in just over a week!
    Incidentally, I’m not too worried about getting Christmas shopping done, because last night I went “shopping” for just about everyone on my list from the canned goods in my pantry and the knitted wearables in my crafts closet!

  55. I know this has really nothing to do with the holidays, but we are deep into a bathroom remodel that has been going on way too long. It looks like we may be able to finish it by the end of the year. Holiday cheer has been running a little low, but hopefully we’ll have time to fit some baking and crafting in.

  56. We just got a grandson yesterday and every thing will have to come to a halt for a while. We need as much time with him as we can possibly get before having to go back home. Thankfully we did most of our shopping before we got here.

  57. I’ve got a whole list to work through just in the next few days-but the first thing is definitely to clean my apartment. After, that is, I finish making my gingerbread house. I can’t clean the kitchen until that’s done, right?

  58. Just one thing? I’m really hoping to have my new countertops ordered by the new year; it’s been bothersome working on plywood in the kitchen, especially now that I’m canning and baking for the holidays. I’d also like to get my house organized, but I know that’s not going to happen before the new year!

  59. I’m hoping to get a couple of gifts finished and mailed out. Had some family stuff happening right around Thanksgiving and have been off kilter ever since.

  60. I work out of my home and the office needs a good cleaning! I am hoping to get rid of the stuff that has been sitting around because I am too busy to put some of them away.

  61. The one thing I am hoping to accomplish this year is to get over this awful head cold! Re the kitchen, I want to try a recipe I found for ginger cookies made with bacon fat, plus a recipe for candied salted bacon.

  62. I hope to get some fig trees in the ground. They are currently living on the front porch and the area has been prepped for them, just having gotten around to getting them in the ground.

  63. Keep my weight stable! HA! I have been dieting and losing weight, doing great, but Christmas is around the corner, if I could just not gain, not lose, I’d be happy 🙂

  64. Oh my goodness, that squirrel tail mug is ADORABLE. I have a five week old who needs a Christmas stocking sewn up for her…well, -need- may be a strong word for it, but I certainly am feeling the need to make her one!

  65. My best friend has a birthday close to Christmas and grew up with her birthday being sort of combined. I hope to plan a super surprise birthday for her. Not a big party, but a day of pampering and good food and enjoying the beauty of nature and/or art.

  66. Thanks for your cool ideas and Happy Holidays to you.. I have been busy sewing creature hats for my granddaughters.. ages one, three and six.. plus I need to finish my tomato jam for neighbor presents… wish me luck

  67. I have a Christmassy to-do list I need to check off. But thankfully most of it is fun things to do with our kids, like baking cookies!

  68. Still have several batches of pineapple hot sauce, carrot relish & cranberry jam to get done for gifts. Sort of makes losing those few extra pounds before my next Dr. visit on Jan 7th even tougher!

  69. Oh Lord… the things I have to get done before New Year’s…

    I have to clean my entire house, I have to purge all the excess crap out of my house and bring it to good will (and there is SO so much excess crap). Some people do spring cleaning, I do panicky winter “THERE’S NO SPACE IN THIS HOUSE” cleaning LOL

  70. I have to figure out what I’m getting for my brother for Christmas AND his birthday. You wouldn’t think it would keep surprising me ever year…

  71. I haven’t given myself a break in a good long while, so for me, after finals, it will be some self care, nesting and tidying at home, and making herbal medicine and foodie treats with and for the people I love. Ah, I’m beginning to relax already.

  72. I’m hoping to finally clean out my extra bedroom and my office! It is way too easy to close the doors and exist in the rest of my tidy space. 🙂

  73. What great gifts all of these things would make! I have some things to finish sewing before Christmas- will probably take a few late nights to get it done!

  74. I want to put up the Brussel sprouts I just pulled from the garden this morning. I have a short window before my family finds them and wants me to cook them. Thank you for the great giveaway!

  75. one thing I’m hoping to get done before the new year? well, I’m really hoping to sew a fox pillow for my daughter & an owl pillow for my son (I have the stuff ready, I just always have sewing intimidation before I start). I also hope to sit still with a calm heart and soak it in — the holidays make me wiggy and I find chilling a challenge. really, such lovely gift suggestions here. the mugs rock. xo

  76. I am in LOVE (love, I tell you) with that squirrel mug. Perfect!

    As for one thing: I don’t know how to pick from my massive To Do list. But I would really like to make gingerbread cookies this year: every year I say I’m going to, and every year it falls by the wayside.

  77. I want to finish the big jointed bear I’m working on. I’ve never made a stuff animal in standard cotton before, and have found that it can be a royal pain, not to mention fiddly and prone to wrinkling. But I WILL complete it!

  78. One thing I’m hoping to get done in the space between Christmas & New Year’s is to finish the wine cork bulletin board project that has languished, half-finished, for more than a year. We got a couple of kits as gifts, and the first board was finished right quick, and hangs in my husband’s office. The one for home is about 1/3 glued and the remaining corks all picked out, so I really don’t know why it’s so hard to finish!

  79. I’m hoping to get my new MacBook this week & adjust to using a non-PC before the New Year! Also, I’ve been sick this week so I have massive amounts of baking to get done.

  80. I’m hoping to make handprint ornaments out of salt dough with my kids in the next ten days so we can hang them on the tree. Ingredients are already in my kitchen. Just need to get my squirmy kids in the kitchen with me for a couple hours and it will be done!

  81. Finish knitting the warm hat for my husband that I started last year! This winter promises to be colder than last year, and I think he’ll need it!

  82. Organizing the entire kitchen, living room & bedroom in preparation for the baby girl I am having in February……the same week I turn 45!!!

  83. Ha! What am I not trying to get done before the end of the year! Besides the knitted holiday gifts (one of which is already planned to be given on the needles and finished later), I’m trying to revise 1 to 4 chapters of my dissertation.

  84. I LOVE that coffee grinder. I have had it for a year now and use it every day. It took a little to get in the swing of hand grinding everyday. The only annoying thing is how it gets squeeky!

    I am hoping to just get my house reasonably decorated before its actually Christmas! We cut the tree down and set it up in the garage to dry….and that is where it still is. So we have a festive garage but not house!

  85. I’m hoping to get the boxes that hold all our ornaments out of the dining room. It doesn’t seem like a big task but I can’t seem to get it done!

  86. I would like to fix my whole life before the new year. Specifically clear away a lot of boxes and papers, and get in a good routine of dealing with my mail promptly.

  87. Before the New Year? Besides the Christmas presents and getting a tree etc. I gave myself a deadline to finish a series of paintings for an exhibition by Christmas. I’m almost there! On my last one… maybe that’s why my Christmas list is not checked off 🙂

  88. I just love the mugs. I have a squirrel I call Suzie that visits me every morning. She comes to my window and looks in until I come out and give her peanuts. Oh, and I’m an obsessive knitter too. Both mugs are perfect for me. So cute. Love the knife too. One can never have enough sharp knives. Thanks for the give away.

  89. Merry Christmas everyone!!

    I want to finish my kitchen!! It has a plywood floor that is driving me crazy! I need some more flooring and haven’t been able to find what I want!!

  90. Get the sheets of ridgid insulation up in the farrowing stall, so that I (yes, its all about me!) can be warm (kinda) when my yorkshire pig “Wilma” has her babies. Maybe I should work on getting my bulbs in the ground before spring gets here…

  91. We won’t be home, so before we take off I want to leave the house clean and scrubbed as a New Year’s treat to myself to come home to.

  92. I’m hoping to finish my Christmas shopping! Also, I’m going to try to recreate a breakfast I had in a restaurant – french toast made with banana bread with sliced bananas on top.

  93. I’m hoping to *finally* get my house decorated before the new year! I’ve really been lagging at getting into the holiday spirit this year.

  94. My one thing…hmmm….we are living in our 5th wheel…so I’m trying to decide on baking cookies….I think I will!!!!
    The knife looks awesome. I broke my blade to my favorite work knife of 36 yrs…it really was sad. I couldn’t even throw it away. I just put it in the drawer…lol
    Thanks for doing this.

  95. I don’t know about this “before the new year stuff”…I just want to get all my baking and shopping done before Christmas–or more accurately, before the 21st, when I leave on my travels!

  96. Just one thing? Hmmm, finally pit the cherries that are in the freezer and make something delicious with them (jam, pie, whatever).

  97. Ive got several christmas presents that im making now. So if they get done Ill be one happy lady. Plus I want to make several loaves of banana and pumkin bread to give out to family members. Thanks for yet again another great giveaway! Happy Holidays!

  98. I am hoping to spend time with my kids on their Christmas break doing nothing but having fun and being a kid with them. I have been secretly stashing nerf darts for our nerf guns so we can have an end of the world nerf gun war. Shhhhhhhhhh……I don’t want the to find them!

  99. I have a ridiculous amount of holiday knitting still to get done, so I’m reaaaaalllly hoping to get everything done in the next two weeks!

  100. I’m still hoping to finish some handmade Christmas presents! But at least I have until New Years since our “Christmas” with my husband’s family will be late this year 🙂

  101. I am pretty satisfied with 2012 and I can’t say that I’ve been able to say that about any other year. But I would like to finish up my Christmas shopping by reminding my friends and family that I love them. Little gifts are the sweetest and the greatest.

  102. I’m hoping to get Christmas cards sent out this week. And finish shopping for gifts. Would also love to find time to finish a quilt project that I started a couple weeks ago!

  103. Just ONE thing I’d like to get done before New Year’s? Jeez, that’s a tricky one. Clean out my spice cabinet, maybe… or sort through my dresser… or find the perfect cocktail for this party I’m going to… so many choices!

    And speaking of cocktails, the Mason jar attachment really made me laugh. We’ve been mixing Manhattans at home lately, but we don’t have a shaker. I’ve been using a quart-sized Mason jar with a regular lid instead– it works great!

    I LOVE the mugs at the top of the post. Could they be any cuter? What a great list, thanks so much for posting!

  104. Finishing our Christmas cards. I truly believe in the 12 days of Christmas, if people receive them before Jan 6th I’m good!

  105. I have scoured thrift stores for “luxury” fabrics (taffeta, velvet, fake furs, woolens) and must make the two year old grandson a Christmas stocking of his own. Must. Before Christmas.

  106. Oh gosh, so many things to get done before the new year! At the top of the list are: clean the house, plant more broccoli, and make enough cranberry jam to last my dad until next holiday season!

    My favorite kitchen knife (despite it being a $30 special from Ross…) just broke a couple of days ago, and I sure could use another one! I’m stuck with a paring knife to do all my chopping… not exactly the best 🙂

  107. I’m hoping to finish up my baking and homemade gift items BEFORE December 22nd, because that’s when we leave to go out of town. The time is racing by much too quickly!

  108. My wedding ‘thank-you’ notes. I know that once I get started it will go quickly, but for the moment, there they are on my desk…staring at me. I’d rather be making jam.

  109. After holiday giving I need to re-organize my canning pantry and count how much I have of each item. Then use. them. up. before the 2013 season.

  110. I am taking some vacation time to clean, paint and reorganize my office while I have some family in town to help with my kiddos. It is “the dumping ground” and the clutter is making it hard to work efficiently. (And I work full time from this home office.)

  111. I am hoping to speak to my sister on Skype on her 21st birthday! She is notoriously difficult to pin down online, despite not having seen each other for 2 years…

    And, of course, there will be jam, both sweet and savoury Habanero varieties.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  112. I’m hoping to finish rearranging my kitchen… we started to move things around so they made more sense, because we failed to really do a good job when we first moved in. The house we’re renting appears to have a kitchen designed by people who had no notion what cooking involves, so it’s awkward, no counter space, and there isn’t really a “good” cabinet for basically anything. I finally got fed up with my spices being *above the stove*, and so have moved a few shelves of stuff, but we really need to complete.

  113. I’m hoping to finish my grad school applications! I am so close to being done and I want to have everything in before the holidays for peace of mind.

  114. I want to send out my son’s kindergarten picture before the new year! That doesn’t seem like too lofty of a goal, but it’s big for the procrastinator!

  115. Since I a have family all over the country I am hoping to get all my gifts made and packed so they get there around Christmas.

  116. I’m hoping to scrape enough money together for my mortgage payment by the new year! Regular work is coming soon so next Christmas should be more festive than this one. Still smiling though and grateful for what we do have in our lives 🙂

  117. well, seeing as I finally finished a quarter more onerous than usual which included sadly little cooking/baking for fun, my goal is to read trashy sci-fi and cook every day.

  118. I’m hoping to get a chance to work on craft projects that have been sitting in the closet for far too long. And make/eat some pumpkin bread. And sleep in, past 6:30 AM!

  119. I’ve not baked for my Daring Baker’s group in two months… and I’m hoping for the energy to get it done in December for sure! Lately, I sure identify with Mark Twain who said something like “why procrastinate til tomorrow what you can procrastinate til the day after tomorrow”? Happy Holidays to you!!

  120. I am hoping to get through 2 sons birthdays, 1 husbands birthday, hosting Christmas Eve for 20, a post-Christmas luncheon for my 4 cousins and their kids, New Year’s Eve with a few good friends and successful Christmas and birthday shopping for all four small kids (AND my mother-in-laws shopping for my 4 kids done and wrapped and transferred to her for her to transfer right back to my boys) with finesse and the illusion that I have my sh*t together.

  121. We have dozens of wine corks from our wedding. I’m hoping to make trivets for all of our wedding party and mail them before Christmas.

  122. We just moved into a new house, so I’m hoping to get fully “in” and settled somewhat so I can focus on enjoying the brand new year there.

  123. Oh dear. That would be the quilt I’m making for my son. First it was to be a graduation present (last June), then a Christmas gift. I have my doubts that it will be finished before then. Here’s hoping it will be a New Year’s present!

  124. How tad. I really love all your gifting ideas. My hubbs is a big tea guy and I think the tea stick is so neat! I will be on the stalk for that item!

  125. If the weather holds, I’d love to get the garden cleaned up! And finish mulching, but we’ll see.

    Great contest, I may never stop laughing at the squirrel mug! 🙂

  126. Getting a birthday gift for my husband. It’s as tough on the giver as on the birthday boy when Christmas and birthday are close together.

  127. The bathroom. We’ve been in a seemingly unending remodeling project. Every time we have something done, we discover why it didn’t work. Walls that aren’t square, plumbing that should have been updated 20 years ago, etc. I just want a bath. (We have a 2nd full bathroom, but it only has a shower stall.)

  128. Am hoping to get well enough from a recent illness to actually do some canning for gifts! Have all the ingredients on hand to make several batches of pineapple jam and sassafras jelly as the special things to go with the more ordinary usual things in jars.

    Would also like to finally get the meatloaf patties sitting in the freezer cooked and canned!

  129. I’d like to finish the Christmas ornaments I’m making as gifts, and do the baking I’ve got planned. I love doing these things but they still have to get done, right?

  130. Hoping to get all my notes and file edits done at work before heading out for vacation. Would love to start the new year with zero paperwork back up:-)

  131. Still planning to make up a variety of candy barks – they were such a big hit last year. Also, want to make up some seasoning mixes; taco, pumpkin pie, salad dressing.
    Love those mugs. Thank you for being here and sharing these great giveaways.

  132. I’d like to finish all my Christmas preparations, like getting all the cards in the mail, and finish reading the books I started in November.

  133. I seriously am hoping to get the teacher gifts done. I am baking small loaves of banana or zucchini bread for them and giving them each a jar o’ preserves to go with it. But I’m busy at work, the kids have crap to do, yadda yadda. I may manage, I may not – they may just get jars o’ preserves, or in some cases, soap or something. Too many teachers, too little time.

  134. I have a walk-in pantry with beautiful counters and drawers that line one wall. Before the new year, I want to get it cleaned and cleared (of “stuff”) so to display: clear jars of spices and other homemade edibles, juicer, dehydrator and other kitchen equipment. Everything in its place and a place for everything.

  135. I have trees bursting with 3 different types of oranges. So I am going to attempt to make a metric ton of marmalade, a favorite of mine and my very British step dad. After making and canning tasty Bananas Foster jam, I keep looking at the trees needing motivation to start. I believe this weekend will be a canning weekend. Love the blog, I found it two days ago and am hooked.

  136. I’d like to wrap all my gifts in immaginative ways that don’t use commercial wrapping paper. Thanks for the chance to win.

  137. I really just want to finish decluttering and organizing all my christmas decorations.
    I am slowly getting there, and hope I can finish.

  138. the ONE thing i’m hoping to get done is to bake 12 DOZEN (different) cookies. before christmas, not even new year. i fly home late tomorrow night, so i’ve got my work cut out for me.

  139. I plan to rest. I’ve been doing too much and it’s taking a toll on my body, so it’s time to put my feet up, look at the lights on the Christmas Shrub (free leftover branches from Whole Foods in a galvanized bucket! Woo!), snuggle the kitties, and munch some roasted chex mix while sipping tea. Bliss!

  140. I plan to finish knitting the ridiculously boring cowl that I started back in the beginning of the year that I still really want (alas, having plain taste can sometimes kill). But only the knitting part–I’m not planning on packing the yarn I want for the tassels or the beads I plan to put on said tassels with me, so that’ll wait until I get home after the holidays 🙂

  141. I am hoping to make your pickled cranberries. After going to four different stores, finally found the juniper berries, so have all the ingredients. Now, just need the time…

  142. I love this site. Stumbled upon it while trying marmalade for the first time. I can’t wait to get more jars so I can can more. 🙂

  143. I still have to watch my daughter enjoy first real “santa” christmas (she’s 3 this year, and I hear it’s absolutely the best santa year)! I can’t wait to see how she reacts to everything. I need to put down the canning tongs and sit with her under the tree! :o) (omg am I really still canning in December? Is that a fresh batch of pear vanilla jam and pomegranate jelly on the counter? Yes it is. Seriously I won’t be able to give away or eat all this jam in my lifetime LOL)

  144. Finishing my kitchen re-organization is a major priority. I have already re-claimed lots of drawer space and counter tops by hanging things on the backsplash, but I have to wait for my hubby to put up one more hanging rail and the magnetic knife rack. It’s almost like getting a whole new kitchen – yay for me!

  145. I’m really trying to find a real-live librarian job before new years. The holidays are a tough time for job seekers, but I have my fingers crossed!

  146. before the new year I’m hoping to get back into my yard and tackle some weeds that thin it belongs to them – time to reclaim the yard (in the subtropics)!!

  147. I want to get all my pictures hung, and cook up that last batch of gifting jam. Your apple cranberry went fast, so I had to do 2 batches.

  148. I have a few more boxes to unpack from our move and it would be nice to get it done before the new year, though new years day may also be a good time to finish.

  149. Make peanut brittle & English toffee. And make my house look a little bit festive! But we have two new cats so frankly I’m terrified of what they’ll do to a decorated tree.

  150. I hope to finish knitting this pair of socks I’ve been working on for forever! And perhaps make that scrumptious chestnut butter above!

  151. I am hoping to purge the kiddos toys once Christmas is past, getting rid of anything that is not basic and requiring lots of imagination on their part.

  152. This sounds crazy – but I need to get a dining room table before time comes for the new year’s dinner I volunteered to host haha. Ugh, how have we been living without a table for so long and WHY CANT I MAKE A DECISION?? 🙂

  153. I have a lot of clutter laying around. It’s thing that I think I might need but need to store somewhere…but I just don’t know where. I need to get those things straightened up soon! 🙂

  154. I know, this is fantastically boring….but I NEED to get an editing project done by the end of the year! I’ll take a day off here and there during the holidays, but there will be work days as well! More fun, perhaps – I am planning on trying your pear-cranberry jam next week!

  155. I was hoping to do a homemade Christmas. My jars are full but I haven’t started sewing or baking yet. I’m hoping to find time to reflect on the people I love asi sew for them.

  156. I want to take everything out of my pantry, prioritize it’s contents, and do a heavy clean. I also want to inventory and store my jars better.

  157. I have to finish all of the knitted gifts I started (luckily some are birthday and shower gifts that won’t be given until after the new year), and my husband is insisting that I cook, puree, and freeze the winter squash that are covering his workbench. 🙂

  158. Oof. There is so much I wish I could get done.
    A draft of an article I’ve been mulling over in my head for months seems like it has taken top spot on the to-do list, however.

  159. We’ve lived in three different houses this year, so my biggest hope is that we’ll have all of these boxes emptied by the new year!

  160. Really not glamorous at all, but I’m hoping to get my husband to clear out all his various papers and books on his desk/bookshelves/closet/car so we can greet the new year all organized and such (I recently did all the kitchen cabinets and closets so I’m on a bit of a roll). We’ll see how it goes!

  161. I need to finish a sweater for my spouse. All the mindless parts are done so I need to work on the tricky finishing details.

  162. It’s lovely of you to offer this giveaway, but I wanted to thank you specifically for turning me on to Earlywood! Those scrapers look amazing and I’ve already ordered a set for my parents! I’m always on the lookout for beautiful wooden utensils and this hits the spot. Thank you!

  163. Want to get done before the new year? That’s easy. I want to clean/organize my house. Our annual New Year’s Eve party is just weeks away, and we are cluttery people. Somehow amidst work, life, Christmas activities, I must make this house presentable. (And oh, how I’d love to figure out how to keep it relatively neat for the entire year.)

  164. I’d like to get the upstairs hallway painted. Barring that, I’d settle for finishing my master closet reorganization project!

  165. Before New Year’s… I have to have 12 songs ready to perform at First Night! And I’m going to make a batch of chutney — this weekend, if the pears are ripe!

  166. Those gifts are so cute!!

    The main thing I need done before the end of this holiday season are the few handmade gifts I’m making this year. 🙂

  167. I’d like to finish last year’s spring cleaning! But that seems to always be the goal… I don’t think I’m doing it right HAHA. A more realistic goal is pickling the two bags of cranberries I picked up for just that task and haven’t gotten to yet.

  168. I need to do a mass purge of stuff from the house. I tend to hang on to things thinking I’ll reuse them in my crafting but only use about 10% of what I hold on to. So before the new year it needs to go!

  169. sadly, I’ve pretty much abandoned my to-do list. My wish list for the rest of the month? I’d really like a decent night’s sleep- beyond that, it is what it is!

  170. Relax! I know it sounds sort of wonky to be hoping to relax but between the anticipate company (several rounds) and the must-be-done-before-the-end-of-the-year work, I’m just hoping to relax. Really.

  171. We are having 3 windows replaced. They are coming the 26-28th. They will let us know which day next week. We have been waiting for 12 weeks.

  172. What to do? Hmm, spend lots of time being goofy with my sister, get reading done for the next semester, go on a retreat in the MI northwoods…. : )

  173. I’m desperately trying to eliminate all paper clutter from my life as well
    as finish a few holiday gifts & bake for the holidays. thanks for the giveaway.

  174. I’m hoping to get my back room cleaned up so I can get to my sewing machine and get crafting again. Oh, and finding the dining table so we can eat like humans again, instead of like zombies eating off tv trays in front of the big one-eyed monster.

  175. I am hoping to get all the fruit I collected this fall into jars. Yesterday I processed the rest of the quince (quince chutney is amazing and delicious!), and now I still have a whole box of apples to deal with, which at this point are only good for use as pectin…so hopefully I will have lots of little jars of wine jelly to give away soon.

  176. I recently found your website. I’m hoping to can some pear cranberry compote before the new year. I’m new to canning, so this will be my first attempt. It I don’t make it, there’s always the New Year!

  177. I’d love to start the new year fresh and clear. That means I have numerous flat surfaces that will need to be emptied before the end of 2012.

    And this time as I clear a space, I’d like to deal with all my ‘treasures’ as I go – instead of piling them into a box so I can hide them out of my way, and hope to get back to later. ;>

  178. i want to clean out all email files/folders from home and work. Organize and get rid of paperwork that is just laying around “waiting” for something to be done with it.

  179. By January first I would like to have finished crafting all the cards I need for 2013 special occasions. It is a New Year’s Eve tradition to spend the day(and night and New Year’s Day) getting the entire year’s cards ready for family and friends’ special occasions. Along with Hoppin’ John!

  180. I am planning on doing Christmas dinner for my two younger daughters on christmas Eve and spending a fun filled Christmas Day with my DW’s family.

  181. One thing I definitely want to have done before the new year isn’t a cooking thing. I have a cross stitch project that is almost complete — just have to sew beads on it. I just have gather up the courage and find the time to do it.

  182. I really want to get/keep my blood glucose levels under control so that my doctor will NOT be putting me on insulin injections beginning in the new year. It shouldn’t be so hard, but if I can get through the holidays and the wonderful food I know that the 2013 will be a good year!

  183. Before the New Year I hope to sort through my vast knitting stash, finish a few things in progress and donate yarn I just don’t care to knit with anymore.

  184. My “thing” was to finish making the Apple-Cranberry Jam for everyone on the planet by Christmas. I worked hard all day. I finished the jam (yum!) and have pear butter going until 10pm tonight. I couldn’t be happier! 🙂

  185. Christmas means heading back to your territory! Always good to visit Arkansas and makes us look even more forward to retirement. Any must see suggestions for the trip this year?

  186. I really want to get a couple of my kitchen cabinets cleaned out to make room for some new additions to the kitchen, like a Le Creuset 15 qt goose pot and a pasta roller. I know I have stuff buried deep that hasn’t seen the light of day in years. These are things that would probably be useful to someone else, so I resolve to clean out those cabinets and donate the unused items.

  187. I managed to hang up pictures and curtains that I have seen since we moved almost five years ago, so I am set for getting things done before the new year. I would love to spend all of Christmas week with my babies and get a hair cut!

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