Holiday Giving: More Favorite Things

December 13, 2012(updated on November 24, 2019)

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 thoughts on "Holiday Giving: More Favorite Things"

  • I would like to upload the last of our family pics from this year onto facebook, before starting the 2013 albums of photos.

  • 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.

  • I hope to be able to get the people I care about thoughtful gifts that have meaning. Slowly but surely I am getting it done!

  • Gosh, I’m hoping we can get my fiancΓ© a nice bureau. And I have a few batches of caramels left to make . . .

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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…

  • 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.

  • I want to put up some marmalade from local oranges, increase the inventory in my etsy store, and organize the books. HAAAAAAAAAAAA! No really!

  • 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!

  • 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 πŸ™‚

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • I have a ton of cookie-making to undertake. I am also working on cleaning and reorganizing all the cabinets in my kitchen.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • I hope to take a vacation before the new year. And I hope you get one too! Happy holidays. πŸ™‚ I’m off to order those cuddly mugs now.

  • 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 πŸ™‚

  • Hoping to get my CPM application sent in before Jan. 1 because then a lot of the requirements will change and the fee will increase. Yikes!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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……

  • 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

  • I’m planning to press oil from the pumpkin seeds I’ve been saving from this year’s pumpkin harvest…

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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 πŸ™‚