{This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission on any purchases made through these links.  No additional cost will be incurred by the customer.}

Whew!  We got through the holiday weekend, but now we’re inundated with all of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday “SHOP HERE! SHOP NOW!” messages.  The creeping feeling of urgency that somehow, if you oversleep, you’re going to miss out and be left in the cold (literally AND figuratively!).  No great gifts for you!

That’s a lot of pressure in an already pressure-filled season, don’t you think?

Christmas Tree
Thank goodness for what is now termed “Cyber Monday”.  I know, I know, the urgent messages spurring you on to buy things NOWNOWNOW are still there.  But this particular shopping day encourages you to stay put, be inside where the cold weather can’t get to you, and pour another cup of coffee to sip while you grab some deals.  Now that’s my kinda shopping day.

But how do you sift through all of the incessant messages and commercials, all yelling to get the big deal before it disappears?  How do you make sure that you are not just clicking “buy” for the heck of it?  Basically, how do you know that you are going to feel good about what you purchase and sure that the person you are getting the gift for will actually like it?

Sorry, there are no certainties in life.

However, there ARE some fun alternatives to the boring old holiday socks or new robe.  I am telling you that I have done some scouting for you, and have tried these particular products on your behalf.  Consider me a personal shopper, of sorts. I’ve done the leg work well ahead of this Cyber Monday to cull out some super gifts to try this year.  My gift to you is my short 5-item Gift Guide.  You’re welcome.

  1. Love With Food — In this day and age of organic/gluten free/have it packaged for you, Love With Food makes healthy and guilt-free snacking a snap.  During the holiday season, and ESPECIALLY into the New Year when we’re all trying to be “good” with our snack choices, it’s nice to have a stash of nibbles that leave the guilt behind yet make you feel like you’re cheating at the same time.  Oh, and did I mention that this snack box subscription also helps fight childhood hunger?  Yeah, you can snack on the Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle and be a d0-gooder all in one fell swoop (or bite, as it were).  Pretty good deal, right? Just click on the Love With Food banner on the sidebar of this page.

    Salted Caramel Brownie Brittle
    Bonus: When you purchase $100 worth of snacks/gift from their Snack Shop, you’ll get a FREE bonus snack box worth $25 AND additional 15% off the entire purchase with code TODAY15.  I mean, extra stuff.  How easy and awesome is that??
  2. Immersion Stick Blender — You have seen me talk about this great kitchen gadget before.  It’s one of those tools that, once you have it in your kitchen tool arsenal, you use it all. the. time.  I got mine several years ago, and it has made some fantastic sauces and amazing soups–all without having to transfer ingredients into a separate stand-up blender.  I love that they come in many different price points as well so that you can go chef-quality with a high-end immersion blender with multiple attachments, or find a basic model for the every day home cook.  They all do the trick, in my opinion.  The soups I have made have become family favorites, and will help any home cook become a wizard of soups throughout the year.  A perfect gift for the person who you think has everything–but they may very well not have this.  They need it.  You need to help them get it.  Oh, and Amazon has it delivered right to your (or the person you are gifting it to’s) door.  Doesn’t get any easier than that.
  3. The Almighty Crock Pot — You know you use one all the time.  You know that it helps make your life easier by doing all of the work for you.  You know you just couldn’t live without your beloved crock pot.  I know I couldn’t.  And I know that many of you have seen my shout out to my All Clad crock pot in numerous recipes and posts.  There’s a reason for that.  I am a klutz and have broken more ceramic inserts during multiple moves than I can count.  This one has an aluminum insert that is indestructible.  It’s a little more on the high-end side, but I know I can’t kill it either while I’m braising and cooking tasty morsels for the hubs and me.

    Like the immersion blender, there are so many to choose from.  If you are looking for an affordable work horse of a crock pot, you can’t go wrong with the Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker. When you want a hot and saucy chili for dinner, and need to get it cookin’ and stewin’ in a flash, this is the crock pot you need on your list.  Durable and easy to use, it’s a perfect gift for anyone who loves a hot meal ready when they get home from a long day.  EVERYONE needs a crock pot in their life–and in their kitchen!

    Hamilton Beach Crock Pot

  4. Groopdealz — Never heard of them?  Well fix that immediately.  A few years ago I was laid up just before Christmas with a broken ankle.  Yeah, that was great timing on my part.  I hadn’t even started my holiday shopping and was freaking out a bit (OK, it may have been the heavy medication, but whatever).  I was trolling Facebook one day and saw my cousin post that she had bought this adorable scarf from Groopdealz. I clicked.  I drooled over the deals.  I bought.  And I was hooked.  The fabulous selection paired with the ridiculous deals was exactly what I needed to get my holiday shopping jump started, and it’s become a staple in my gift-giving arsenal ever since.

    Kid clothes, women’s accessories, home decor–you name it, they’ve got it.  Guaranteed you’ll be on the receiving end of many “Where in the world did you find this perfect gift??” type of comments.  They’ll think you splurged, but you’ll know you got a heck of a deal.  Win/win!  Just click on the cute picture of the hoodie on the sidebar of this page, and you’ll be off and clicking in no time!

  5. Wine — Duh.  I mean, who doesn’t love wine?  And more importantly, who doesn’t love wine showing up on their doorstep?  It’s quite possibly the best thing EVER when it does, and even better when you get to try superb new bottles handpicked for you.  It’s kind of like having your own sommelier.  Granted, an actual sommelier won’t fit in a stocking, but a box of wine fits perfectly under a tree or in a wine board.
    Wine Rack

    Want a deal when trying to find the perfect gift for that wine drinker on your list?  Feast your mouse on the deals over at the California Wine Club’s Wine of the Month club.  Yeah, you’ll be their favorite gift-giver for sure.

See?  That wasn’t so bad!  And it was even fun, which is not generally the case with holiday shopping (in my opinion, anyway).  And the best part?  You probably will find a few things that may make a perfect gift for yourself.  No one needs to know.  It will be our little secret.

Happy Cyber Monday shopping, folks!

Add to Favourites