advertise press submit find it about cool mom picks
our sponsors

Self-serve ads 35% off for a limited time!


2007 Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for our 2010 holiday gift guide? (Not that this one wasn't pretty great but you know..'07. History.) Why that would be right here! Happy shopping.

What would the holidays be without the Cool Mom Picks annual holiday shopping guide? We don't know. (We have kids. We can't remember what we had for breakfast, let alone what we did three years ago.)

We've worked super hard this year to find gift ideas off the beaten path that help support smaller companies, indie designers, and plenty of moms working from home--all in categories from very affordable, to good thing my hedge fund came through this year.

If it's toys you're looking for, you'll find a whole lot more at the Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide, not one of them mass produced out of plastic.

Our picks are entirely advertorial free as always. Although as far as our sponsors, we adore them beyond belief. Don't be afraid to click on their ads - you just may find the perfect whatchamacallit that you've been totally looking for.

And happy holidays!

EXTRA COOL: WIN IT!

Thanks to those of you who helped us spread the word with a Holiday Gift Guide button on your website or blog. The lucky winner of the $250 gift certificate from mom favorite, Zutano is Jennifer Z!

And thanks for your amazing support - We have the best readers aaaaanywhere. Hands down.

For the Baby Who Will Be Pretty Much Happy Just Eating the Wrapping Paper

A six month-old does not need eight million toys to play with. He should be at least...oh, 10 months for that? We've come up with some keepsakes that help make his first holiday season special, even if he doesn't remember it himself.

THOUGHTFUL: The personalized wooden Name Blox from StoryBlox are always a huge hit, at prices nearly too good to believe. ($18 up to 5 letters, $1.25 each addtl)

GENEROUS: We love the custom-engraved Baby ID Bracelet from Julian & Co as a cool option for traditionalists. For something a little more unique, try Blue Poppy Design's Baby Bird Bracelet. ($64)

OVER-THE-TOP: It's hard to go wrong with artwork that lasts a lifetime. Have the newborn's face memorialized in a too cool baby portrait from Kiki & Polly ($115 and up), or commission a piece of fabric art from the wonderful children's book illustrator, Lori Joy Smith. ($150 and up, or $85 for paintings).

For The Kid Who's Starting
to Play the Coffee Table With
the Chopsticks

Got a budding Beethoven on your hands? Cole Porter? Weird Al? In any event, encourage those melodic dreams with some musically-inspired picks. AFTER nine in the morning, please.

THOUGHTFUL: The Musical Gift Bag at Green Little Beans is a fantastic wooden starter set of maracas, a tambourine, bells and more. ($19) Throw in a copy of the new Jack's Big Music Show DVD so she can sing and play along. ($19)

GENEROUS: Hook your little drummer up with a great mini drum kit made from sustainable wood. ($50) Complete the gift with a pint-size AC/DC tee. ($25) We also love the good old fashioned mom tattoo tee ($27 at Duck Duck Goose Boutique) Earplugs not included.

OVER-THE-TOP: Got a real musical prodigy in the house? Don't mess around with kazoos and tambourines. Fly into Manhattan for a one-hour music lesson with a member of the NY Pops on the instrument of your choice. ($500)

  • Duck Duck Goose: 15% off orders over $60 plus free shipping with code "CoolMama" through 12/26

For The Pilot In Training

Some kids are just genetically predisposed to love things that go, planes being among the coolest of the lot. (We're only somewhat biased because one of our editors is married to a pilot.) If your kid has a head in the clouds, encourage it. Maybe he or she will grow up to get you free seats to Paris.

THOUGHTFUL: Indulge a flying fantasy with the beautiful, hand-carved wooden plane from Stump Pond Toys. ($20)

GENEROUS: We love the cool screen printed airplane tee from Havins Originals. ($24) Pair it with the awesome silver metallic plane backpack from Zid Zid. ($38 at Tiny McSmall) Fill it with goodies to help a kid stay quiet on long flights.

OVER-THE-TOP: Pastel Toys' beautiful wooden ride-on plane is made by a non-profit organization training artisan adults with disabilities - but kids will just think it's cool. ($189 at the Silly Wagon)

Of course you can't miss the limited edition, child-safe, heavy gauge steel chrome plane from Babesta, yours for a mere $427. Yes, we mean you, Baron Trump. Unless you're already getting a real one for Christmas.

  • Psst, if Stump Pond Toys doesn't have what you're looking for, send the artist a note or check back later. That's what happens with handmade toys!
For the Future Foodie

From the moment your child rejected the jarred applesauce in favor of organic homemade with a sprinkling of freshly grated cinnamon, you knew you had a future cookbook writer on your hands. Be grateful; you'll be able to hand over Thanksgiving duties in a few years.

THOUGHTFUL: We've always loved Lilly Bean's felt play food, from ice cream cones ($7 at Quiet Hours Toys) to a more adventurous sushi set. ($40 at Two Blue Peas)

GENEROUS: The Playful Chef's Cooking Kit from Chocolate Cake Club features kid-sized utensils plus five recipes including Chocolate Mountain Lava Cake. ($43) Don't forget to include a cool apron like the handmade ones from One Lucky Baby. ($28)

OVER-THE-TOP: Sign up for a whole term of mommy (or daddy) & me cooking lessons near you through services like Panela Productions or Kid Fresh in New York, or Young Chef's Academy with locations nationwide. It's not even that expensive, unless you're cooking with fresh white truffles. ($450/oz. at Dean&Deluca)

For Your Little
Rock 'n Roll Princess

Prissy tutus and blingy, gittery whatsitcalleds are not your little girl's thang. Instead, check out these gift ideas, each with just enough pink to keep it girlie, and enough edge to let her walk the Sunset Strip with her head held high.

THOUGHTFUL: The handknit pink skull cap (um, it has a skull on it) from Mango Dreams has loads of indie cred. ($30)

GENEROUS: We love Jeeto's pink band gift set featuring a shirt with an awesome silkscreened band gear motif, and matching wall art signed by the artist. ($55)

OVER-THE-TOP: Who says chicks in pink can't rock it with the boys? We're all over this pink Daisy Rock electric guitar starter pack. Even the amp is the perfect shade of girlie. Plus it comes with loads of accessories including a strap, pick, and even a gig bag for those long road trips from her bedroom to the garage. ($199 at Guitar Center)

For the Kid Who Knows an Ocelot From an Ocilla

True animal-loving children will not settle for some mass produced bean bag animal or a "feel the fuzzy puppy" board book. There's a wide world of animals--and animal gifts--out there.

THOUGHTFUL: Get a younger kid role playing with the bright, cotton Jungle Finger Puppets, handknit by a Kenyan women's collective. They include more unusual creatures like a snake and a hornbill. ($19 at Madallie)

We also love Zid Zid's sturdy, colorful Moroccan animal masks at the Spotted Goose. ($13)

GENEROUS: National Badger helps decorate an animal-crazy kid's room with any of 31 watercolor creatures mounted on round hardwood plaques--think aardvarks, ferrets, even worms. Don't stop at one; they look great in sets. (Three 7" plaques, $60)

OVER-THE-TOP: In addition to a zoo membership, look into a program to "adopt" a zoo baby. We love the Washington National Zoo's Kids Adopt Program. Just $50 for a kit including a plush panda, an adoption certificate, and exploration gear...but don't stop there.

Go nuts and schedule an overnighter at your local zoo and visit your new little babies. (San Francisco package a mere $535 through Excitations)

For Your Friend's Fashionista Tween Who You Have
No Idea How To Shop For

They're getting brand-conscious earlier and earlier, it seems. We suggest grabbing something so fashion-forward and fabulous that she'll love it before she even thinks to check the label.

THOUGHTFUL: A cool little gift is this rubbery Yosifa Penina silver lotus pouch, the perfect size for holding a pair of shades or her first lip gloss. Clinique, of course. ($18 at Smashing Darling)

GENEROUS: The Triple-Heart Necklace from artist Alisha Louise is ten times cooler than those charm bracelets in the blue box - even if it takes her a bit of time to realize it. ($65)

OVER-THE-TOP: Whatever labels she's into, any tween would swoon over this pink cashmere cardigan studded with Swarovski Crystal buttons from Baby CZ. ($188 up to size 12y)

For the Kindergartener With Every Freaking Toy
In the World Already

So the kid can barely count to twenty but already has toys numbering in the thousands. What in the world do you get the wee one who already has everything? Stay clear of the toy aisle, that's for sure.

THOUGHTFUL: A custom book with the child's name and family mentioned throughout it always knocks 'em dead. We love the extremely personalized books from Custom Made for Kids, or the pirate tale incorporating a child's photo at Flatten Me.

GENEROUS : We'd like to think that a beginner microsope or telescope can help teach even a very young child that there's a world out there bigger than his playroom. ($80, $150)

OVER-THE-TOP: If the kid's got it all, how about a share of stock. We're thinking...Apple Stock. Why not. ($320, hopefully going up)

For the Grandma Who Starts Every Sentence With, "My Grandchildren..."

The way we see it, if you remember no one else over the holidays, make sure you remember Grandma. In a big way. If you're looking for coffee mugs or mouse pads, you've come to the wrong place. Come on, grandmas live for their grandchildren's gifts!

THOUGHTFUL: The sweet silver photo ornaments are just $12 from Silverbox Creative so you can afford to get her one for each grandkid. She'll sigh.

GENEROUS: Sit down with your children, have them write a book just for Grandma, then publish it into a real bound book via The Little Author. ($45 paperback, $68 hardcover) She'll swoon.

OVER-THE-TOP: If Grandma put in more babysitting hours this year than some grandparents do in a lifetime, don't skimp. Check out the exquisite heirloom quality Double Image Case from The Fine Art of Family and fill it with your favorite black and whites. She'll sob. ($235 and way up)

For the Grandpa Who Acts Like Santa the Other 364 Days of the Year Too

If you've got a storybook Grandpa, you need to repay him for all the piggy back rides, airplane rides, horsie rides, and angel rides he gives. Come to think of it, maybe you should just get him an appointment with a chiropractor.

THOUGHTFUL: Go old school chic with the fabulous shaving kit ($36) from Soaptopia, featuring a badger bristled brush, and a yummy handmade Eucalyptus shave soap.

GENEROUS: The Dangerous Book For Boys ($15) is filled with old-fashioned, politically incorrect activities that any Pop Pop will love to share with his grandkids--the boys and girls. Wrap it up with a custom engraved compass and set them all loose on the world. ($85 at Red Envelope)

OVER-THE-TOP: Commission a spectacular mixed media portrait from artist Michelle Caplan. She'll combine your photos, newspaper clippings, book pages, postcards...and turn it into a truly one-of-a-kind legacy befitting of a #1 Grandpa and all those who come after him. (starts at $255)

  • Michelle Caplan: 10% off your order when you email code coolmom, plus free shipping through Nov 21
For the Friend Who Nags You About "Your Eco-Footprint"

Of course you can (and should) make a donation in her name to a charity like the Nature Conservancy. But we say, don't stop there. Throw in a gift that an Earth-loving mama can feel great about too.

THOUGHTFUL: Soaptopia makes entirely handcrafted, organic body products with the best flavor names on the planet. Put together a yummy gift set including a hemp washcloth and wooden massager, all to help her unwind after those long environmental rallies. ($5/soap and up)

GENEROUS: Endangered Species Chocolates has an awesome chocolate of the month club featuring their all-natural and organic treats. Plus 10% of profits goes towards planet-wide do-gooding. ($60/3 months)

OVER-THE-TOP: Hiroko Kurihara's Flow Scarf is made from eco-certified virgin wool - and with each purchase the designer makes a scarf from recycled polar fleece for the homeless. So cool. ($128 at Branch Home)

We also loooove Crystalyn Kae's gorgeous Soirée Drawstring handbags, all made in Seattle from faux vegan leather, and vintage fabric accents - ahem, we mean recycled fabric accents. You're a good friend if you manage to give it away instead of keeping it for yourself. ($198)

For the Mama-to-Be
Who Has Noooooo Idea What
She's In For

Soon enough, every item that she unwraps is going to be for the baby the baby THE BABY. Make sure you show her that you get what she's going through, and that to you, she's more than an incubator.

THOUGHTFUL: Eh, anyone can get a mama-to-be some luxurious lotions. We prefer the far more useful Roid Rage Cream from Least Likely 2 Breed. You can even present it in a limited edition, black velvet "push present" box. Heh. ($39.99, or $5.99 without the cool box, cheapie.)

GENEROUS: The Bird and Egg necklace from Amy Bengston is a fresher take on the "mom necklace." Plus it will help draw attention away from that postpartum belly in a few months. ($125)

We also love the brass Gingko Leaf necklace which is cooler than your average locket. ($78 at Pink Olive Boutique)

OVER-THE-TOP: Forget the massage gift certificate which only lasts an hour; for a real wow gift for your closest pregnant pal, hook her up with The Baby Planners or Itsabelly Baby Concierge. These experts can help her plan her nursery, shop for maternity clothes, guide her registry, feed her bonbons, and generally lessen her anxiety a hundredfold. ($200 and up for consulting services)

  • It's-a-Belly: 20% off purchases from their store or services and packages with code CMPHG7
  • The Baby Planners: Mention the CMP Holiday Guide for 10% off their plans through 1/31/08
For the Sitter Who Saves Your Butt on a Regular Basis

Whether you've got a full-time nanny, a seasonal au pair (hopefully one who's not too hot), or just a local college student who you can count on for the odd date night, give her another reason to look forward to her nights off too. She deserves it. Even if your children are perfect angels every moment of every day.

THOUGHTFUL: The ceramic pendants from Orange Peel Enamel suit nearly any style at great prices. ($36+)

GENEROUS: We're flipping for the vintage silk clutches at Smitten Kitten. ($60 CAD) If you're feeling extra gifty, pop in a gift card to your local caffeine emporium or to Amazon.

OVER-THE-TOP: The Gold Leaf drop earrings from Urban Dencity definitely score high on the Wow Meter. ($158) It's gifts like these that help insure your sitter won't get swiped by a more unscrupulous mom on the playground.

For the Ultimate SuperDad

Watches and tie clips and sports gear...oh my. If you're over the same old same old guy gifts, consider honoring the man in your life's League of Justice credentials.

THOUGHTFUL: This awesome, subtle silver lightning bolt tee says "You're still a hero to me. Now go use your superpowers to change the baby." ($23 from Baby Wit)

GENEROUS: Okay, so it's very, very generous, but how cool is it to get a custom six-panel comic from artist Mark Weber to hang on your beloved's office wall or on his side of the bed? You can even send a photo for Mark to work from and give a few suggestions about content. And the color your guy's cape should be. ($200 at Elsewares)

OVER-THE-TOP: A superhero dad should have his own superhero action figure, right? Hero Builders can work from a photo and make one for you, and even customize the clothes. Super-sized ego not included. ($425+)

  • Elsewares: 15% off orders with code "coolmom"

Indie Stocking Stuffers, 10 Bucks or Less. Seriously.

FROM ETSY:
Maya Papaya Holiday Hair Clips $6.50
Cheryl A Smith finger puppets (cute!) $4
Gazzu vintage hair bands $4.50
Annie & Olive felt necklaces $6

FROM FRED FLARE:
3-D doodle kit $9
Astronaut ice cream $9
Russian doll coin purse $10
Secret message writing set $9
Tattoo bandages $7

FROM ONE GOOD BUMBLEBEE:
Funny whale bookplates $9
Fun erasers $7
Fly trap terrarium $5
Ice cream pens $4.95
Sea Monkeys! $9.99

FROM SHANA LOGIC:
Yummy lip balms $10
MiniPop stickers $4
Octopus stationery $8
Little rainbow earrings $10

If our recos are sold out...poke around. The shops have cool gifties galorie.

  • Maya Papaya: Mention CMP for free shipping on two or more clips through 12/1
  • Annie & Olive: 15% off your order with code coolmom15 in "notes to seller" box
  • Gazzu: 15% off when you mention CMPHoliday in comments
Don't Forget
the Trimmings

COOL LAST MINUTE CARDS:
Turtle Papers
Charlyn Koo
Joy By Mel Lim
Posh Peacock
Amy Smyth Made It
Red Stamp

COOL GIFT TAGS AND LABELS:
Posh Peacock
Rachelle's Vintage Tags
Amy Smyth Made It
The Small Object
The Bella Bella Co.
Elle's Studio

COOL WRAPPING PAPER:
Joy By Mel Lim
Olive Paper (shown)
Red Stamp
Crinkle Co

  • Posh Peacock: 10% rebate when you mention Cool Mom Picks in comments
  • Olive Paper: Free ground shipping with code COOLMOM through 12/19
  • Turtle Papers: Free shipping on orders over $10 by revised invoice when you mention CMP in comments
  • Red Stamp: 15% off your order with code HOLLYCMP07 through 12/15

CMP holiday guide logo courtesy Laurie at Leap Design. Isn't it purdy?

our sponsors