Your Gift Guide for the Holidays

‘tis the season


Miranda Toy and Georgia Oldham

It can be hard to think of the perfect present for everyone on your list each holiday season, but this year look no further than our 2013 Holiday Gift Guide! We’ve gone hunting for some of the best gifts around, from gift wrapping to DIY crafts, they’re sure to help you with every gift on your list. Our guide is organized into 6 categories for you to browse around at your ease. Happy gifting!

DIY Gifts

Cake in Mason Jar from Pinterest
Cake in Mason Jar from Pinterest

There are tons of DIY gifts out there, and right now DIY is more trendy than ever! A few different kinds of crafts are listed below, but if you’re still looking for more try Pinterest (basically DIY heaven).

  • Cake in a Mason Jar: A great way to spice up a delicious dessert is by baking it in a Mason Jar! Not only does it add a cool effect, but it also makes the cake easier to decorate and personalize.

  • Homemade Coffee Mug: Often times you may see parents or friends drinking out of coffee mugs and instead of buying them just another cup, you could design your very own one! All you have to do is buy a plain mug and draw on it with sharpie, then bake in an oven for 30 minutes to an hour. Now your friends or family can sip their choice drink in a custom mug by the fire.

  • Homemade Sugar Scrub: We all can get stressed out (especially going to ARS) so the perfect gift for those who have trouble relaxing is a nice sugar scrub. It’ll encourage them to take a hot bubble bath and enjoy life. Also another gift you could put in a Mason Jar!


  • Necktie Zip Pouch: We’re all about being eco-friendly at ARS so instead of getting rid of an old necktie why not make a zip pouch instead? It’s a great gift for fathers or brothers.


  • Drink Coasters: Nobody likes having rings on their coffee table from drinks. Sometimes buying coasters can be a bit of a boring gift but not if you DIY! Your coasters will have a special flare and a sentimental touch.

  • Picture Frames: All of us love taking “attractive” selfies with our friends, whether we’re at school or out shopping. Sure, posting things on Instagram is nice, but it’s even more special to go the old fashion route and give your besty a physical copy of the photos you’ve taken together. Spice up the sweet present with a custom frame!


Budget-Friendly Gifts

  • Fuzzy/Funk Socks: These are a fab gift because they aren’t too expensive, but are easily personalized to the gift-ee. If your gift-ee loves monkeys, for example, get her fuzzy monkey socks. Its that simple and that adorable. (Suggestions: Target, Gap, Old Navy)

  • Candy Bouquet: A candy bouquet for your loved ones who have a huge sweet tooth

    Candy Bouquet from Pinterest
    Candy Bouquet from Pinterest
  • T-shirts: T-shirts come in a variety of styles and fits, plus they are super cost effective, and can easily be found at some of your favorite holiday retailers (Suggestions: Urban Outfitters, Old Navy, American Eagle).
  • Baking Mixes: All around at different shops you may see cute little jars or bags with different mixes in them like hot chocolate or s’mores. These make the perfect gift for friends or family, getting them into the holiday mode. (Suggestions: Amy’s, Williams-Sonoma)

  • Nail Polish: Nail polish is such a cute, stylish gift for any one of your pals. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, plus its easy to find and completely budget friendly. (Suggestions: Forever 21, Nordstrom, Cornerstores)

Weird/Unique Gift: For Those People You Just Don’t Know What to Get

  • Luxury Pet Clothes: Put your hands in the air if you have a really weird aristocratic aunt who you can never buy the right gift for… okay, that isn’t many of us (it sure isn’t me), but you may have one weird relative who would delight in a doggy peacoat or other luxury doggie clothes just like a crazy aristocratic aunt would. (Suggestions: Petsmart, Anthropologie)

  • Pen Zen Desk Organizer: We all have that one friend/relative who is a crazy organization fanatic, right? Well, your worries about their gift will be so over, because with this pencil organizer’s sleek, functional, and clever design, neat freaks will be drooling over it. (Suggestions:, The Container Store, IKEA)

-Head Massager: You might have a really high strung parent or weird sibling that would absolutely love a Head Massager! Not only is this buy budget friendly, but super useful and it definitely makes a statement. (Suggestion: Urban Outfitters)


Kid Gifts

Children's book from Anthropology
Children’s book from Anthropology
  • Clothespin Dolls: Perfect for little children and easy (and cheap) to make. (

  • Quirky Picture Books: Adorable children’s books can entertain kids of all ages and interests, while still feeding their growing little minds.  Plus, you can buy books at Half-Price Books to be extra budget friendly. (Suggestions: Anthropologie, Barnes and Noble, Book People)

  • Puzzles: A great, fun way to get the brain moving that can entertain children for hours. If you’re feeling extra creative it’s also possible to make one yourself, giving it a custom touch. (Suggestions: Target, Toyjoy)

  • Cards: From animal rummy to crazy eights, kids love playing cards, and you’ll feel great about this honest, adorable, and vintage-feeling gift! A classic. Plus this trendy gift can come in different fun designs. (Suggestions: Toyjoy or Toys’R’Us)

Sophisticated Gifts

  • Coffee Table Books: Coffee table reads come in endless varieties and types, and you can find them all over the place. Plus, show them off around your house for endless conversation starters. (Suggestions: Barnes & Noble, Book People)

  • A Simple Clutch/Pouch: Clutches are endlessly sophisticated, from sparkle to embroidery, they just can’t help but look tragically stylish and they’re easy to fit to the gift-ee too! Plus, they’re a lot less expensive than handbags (and probably more elegant anyway), making them a premium choice! (Suggestions: Forever 21, Anthropologie, H&M)

  • The Topnotch Tote: Totes can do so much, while making such a statement. Not only do they carry everything under the sun (think Mary Poppins), but they come in a variety of adorable prints and styles, and they can be incredibly budget friendly on top of it all! (Suggestions:,

  • Darling Measuring Spoons: People everywhere will delight in a set of darling measuring spoons for their daily kitchen escapades, it’ll make any recipe turn into a regular adventure. Chose from a variety of shapes, sizes, and different types of adorable-ness! (Suggestions: IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Williams-Sonoma)

    Measuring spoons from
    Measuring spoons from
  • Holiday Ornaments: There are tons of gorgeous ornaments out there to chose from, ranging in price and type. Plus, they’re a beautiful and sweet gift that can be customized to almost anyone’s tastes. (Suggestions: Hallmark, Anthropologie)

  • Light Strings: This gift option is a little obscure, but trust us, it’s guaranteed to be a winner. People love pretty things, and firefly string lights are the perfect gift for a sister/mom/friend/or anyone really in want of a whimsical touch to their life. (Suggestions: Urban Outfitters, Target)


Gift Accessories

  • Objects: There are simple objects that you can find around your home to help add to your gift wrap. Buttons, flowers, shells, fortunes, feathers, beads, etc. (Suggestions: Hobby Lobby, Michaels)

  • Newspaper Wrapping: For those of you who have stacks of old newspaper laying in the corner of your garage, it is now the time to use it! Go eco-friendly and wrap you present in newspaper rather than expensive wrapping paper. It looks super cool (especially if you use the comics section)!

  • Pretty Gift Tags: Bringing it back to the DIY crafts, you can create your very own gift tags! There are plenty of ways to this but there’s an idea from Pinterest in the picture below.

  • 3D Cards: For the artsy/creative people here is a way to make your holiday card unique. It’ll definitely be the one that stands out!  (

  • Decorated Paper Bags: Nowadays pretty gift wrap can get pricey. A creative, fun way to eliminate this issue is to decorate a simple brown bag (yes the kind that people carry their lunch in). This gives you the opportunity to personalize the wrapping paper. You can use paint, stickers, markers, crayons, pencils, 3D objects to jazz up the classic brown paper bag.