Living the good life + Fighting the good fight

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s that time of year. The time of year that some call the most wonderful time of the year. The holiday season.

Cue the Michael Bublé.

We have all struggled at one time or another to buy something for that co-worker who we got in Secret Santa, our that friend who says “they don’t need anything,” or that person you adore, but don’t know what to get for.

There is absolutely no shame in needing some guidance in what to get for the people in your life, especially if you are attempting to shop small and low-waste for the holidays. So, I created a gift guide of things I love to give and to receive all year round, but mostly during the holidays.

And remember, give from the heart. That’s all that matters.

The Easy, But Impactful Gifts

  • A Gift Card – I am never, ever mad about getting or giving a gift card. Think about it. You are giving someone the opportunity to buy something that actually want, which lowers the risk of that item ending up in a drawer somewhere or in the damn landfill. My favorite gift cards to give are those for coffee shops and restaurants.
  • An Experience – In the interest of being as minimal as possible, I think gifting people experiences is a fantastic option. My mom has given my brother and my husband gift cards to a whiskey distillery and a place where they can go zip lining or indoor rock climbing in the past. (They may have also saw Metallica in concert one year. That one has not been beaten yet. ) I like to gift my besties wine tastings, manicures, pedicures and massages. The best thing about this gift is when you go with the person! You are a part of the damn gift.
  • A Donation – If the person you are buying for literally does not want or need a single thing, make a donation to their favorite charity on their behalf. You are giving back in their honor to a good cause. What could be better? My parents donated to the shelter that we adopted Honey Bee from in our honor a couple of years ago. I cried at the thought of us helping another pup out. I would recommend donations to food pantries and Black Lives Matter this year.

Shop Local/Small

This is a vitally important year to shop locally and from small businesses. A gift from small businesses supports your local economy and helps those businesses stay alive in the midst of a global pandemic.

  • Candles – Candles are a classic gift that you can pick up just about anywhere, but opt for ones at the small businesses in your community. Hit up Modern Mercantile in Berryville, VA to fulfill this need.
  • Jewelry – Quirky earrings or beautifully handmade accessories are always a good choice. My go-to for jewelry gifts is Etsy, obviously, and Handworks Gallery and Tin Top Art in Winchester, VA. (Some clay earrings that I picked up from Tin Top are pictured above.)
  • Pottery – I always love receiving mugs, as if I don’t have a million already. Adding an exceptional piece of handmade dish-ware to someone’s life is a lovely feeling. Logan and I have recently been fighting over a mug that was a gift from my girl, Harley, that was made by Barbara Robertson Pottery. (The mug in question is pictured above courtesy of Barbara Robertson Pottery on Instagram.)

Shop Ethical/Sustainable

  • Girlfriend Collective – For your favorite runner, yogi, gym rat or athleisure babe, you should check-out Girlfriend Collective for sustainable, ethical and inclusive activewear. I also think these socks are cool for anyone who has an affinity for recycling. But, like, don’t we all? To shop using my link, click here. And to see what I thought about the pieces I recently bought from there, click here. (The socks are pictured above courtesy of the Girlfriend Collective website.)
  • Thriftbooks – Giving and receiving books is one of my favorite things ever, but I hate Amazon. Sorry not sorry. Hit up your local book shop or search for secondhand books on Thriftbooks. Let’s make giving secondhand gifts acceptable and so no to Amazon! (The book photo above is by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.)
  • Coffee Sock – Any coffee drinker that opts to make their cup of joe at home needs a Coffee Sock, which is a reusable coffee filter. They are dead easy to use and clean. Grab yourself one while you’re at it why don’t ya.
  • Reusable Bag – If you are like me, I have a million and one totes and reusable grocery bags, but I am always open to adding new ones to my collection. Chico Bags and Baggu are good options to choose from.

Shop Black-Owned Businesses

Not only is it an important year to shop local, it is an important year to start and never stop shopping from black-owned businesses.

Shea Moisture – I mentioned in my Cruelty Free Guide that I love Shea Moisture products and I also love gifting these products to encourage my loved ones to relax, have an at-home spa day and pamper yourself.

Shop Edible

Take that phrase how you may. I’m not judging. But, what I am suggesting is gifting people food and drinks for the holidays.

(Photo on the right is courtesy of Cordial Coffee’s Instagram.)

  • Coffee & Tea – Whether it is a coffee or tea subscription service or some of your favorite local coffee beans and teas, the gift of warm beverages or caffeine is a hell of a way to say “happy holidays.” For coffee, I would suggest Cordial Coffee or Greenberry’s.
  • Jam & Jelly – While Clark Griswold made the jelly of the month club a joke of a gift, I think giving someone homemade local jam is a winner. I will also present people with sauces and honey.
  • Artisan Beer or Wine – Since we can’t meet up in bars, breweries or wineries right now, giving your bestie a drink on you is a fun gift to give. Suggest that you sit outside by a fire to drink the beverages to keep your social circles in tact and, once again, give yourself as a part of the gift.
  • Meal Subscription Service – Logan and I recently have started trying meal subscription services and seeing which ones have the most waste included in their packaging and have the best recipes. I think giving your loved ones meal credits is a perfect way to buy someone dinner in 2020. Our favorite so far is Home Chef; one of our meals is pictured above.


  • Sugar Scrub – Encourage your buddies to practice self-care and save yourself some coin by making your friends a homemade sugar scrub. Here’s the recipe to a peppermint version.
  • Plants – For your friend with the green thumb, buy some cheap succulents and put them in thrifted or vintage tea cups for a cute, unique gift. Here is where I got the inspo from.
  • Baked Goods – Trust and believe, you want to receive baked goods from my momma around the holidays. If you have a way in the kitchen, spread the love as long as you know their dietary preferences. You can also buy them some baked goods from yours or their favorite bakeries.

I hope this guide was helpful for you or at least stirred some thoughts up for you on what to get your loved ones (or yourself) during the holidays.

I am very grateful for you all and wish I could give you all everything on this list! Happy shopping.


  1. Melanie Mathewes

    Never ever heard of coffee socks. Just checked out the website. Awesome, they have one for every coffee maker. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas.

    • Colleen Large

      Glad you liked it and thought the coffee socks were cool. We use ours constantly.

  2. Diane Harrison

    Looking for products with shea, check out our items available in shops, on line, and for local pickup. We do gift boxes and e-gift cards.

  3. Suzanne Cole

    These are great ideas! THANK YOU!!!

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