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2008 Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for our 2010 holiday gift guide? With more than 100 ideas that are actually still in stock? Why that would be right here! Happy shopping.

We are so excited to present what we think is the best ever Cool Mom Picks annual holiday shopping guide.

With things a little tight on the financial front for some, all the more reason to look for thoughtful, high quality gifts that last. Plus many of our picks help to support smaller companies, indie designers, and plenty of moms working from home. If it's toys you're looking for, you'll find a whole lot more at the Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide.

Our picks are entirely advertorial free as always. Although as far as our sponsors go, they are as cool as anything we've picked ourselves.

Happy holidays!

Congrats to reader Stacey who is the lucky winner of the prize package from Bitsy Birdie and What Every Baby Needs, two of our newest, most favoritest destinations for super cool gifts and gear.

And thanks for your amazing support this year, mamas. We have the best readers anywhere. Sweartagahd.

"It's baby's first Christmas but I hate cheesy keepsakes."

Skip the bad candy cane bib and the musical ornaments. We've got other ideas.

"Thanks!" We love the custom-stamped ceramic baby ornaments from Paloma's Nest ($25). But we also can't resist these handmade Christmas puppy crib shoes which will last forever, at least in your photos. (Shown, $30 at The Baby Gardner)

"Thanks so much!" It's an honor to buy baby's first stocking, particularly when they're the simply adorable handmade felt ones from My Perennial. ($58 at Mahar Dry Goods)

"Um...wow." The custom scrapbooks from Pixtorie are absolutely the most exquisite work we've seen, and can incorporate your actual Christmas photos with tactile accents. It's like hiring Martha to do a scrapbook for you only for a whole lot less. (11x14 books start at $99)

"And cool! A book!" The vintage Christmas ABC book ($9.95 at Spoon Sisters) is extra sweet with a personal book plate up front like the ones from TayloredArts ($7).

  • The Baby Gardner: 5% off through 12/31/08 with code BGCOOL
  • Pixtorie: 25% off all albums through 12/16/08 with code CMP1208
"The grandparents love anything that reminds them they're grandparents."

Have your heart set on a custom gift for the grandparents? Good for you! Just order soon if you want to make it for Christmas or Hanukkah.

"Thanks!" Le Papier Designs can create a digitally drawn custom silhouette print of the kiddos at amazing prices. ($20, shown, plus $5 for original drawings of each child)

"Thanks so much!" Your kids can make a whole set of ornaments courtesy of Thomas Claire who even glaze the pieces for you, then send it back finished. So very cool. ($85)

"Um...wow." Instead of framing a regular old picture, have acclaimed LA artist Emily Wagner create incredible custom digital artwork from your very own snaps. It's very modern and cool, and yet totally grandparent-friendly. ($160+ at Sparrow LA)

"And cool! A book!" Grandparents' Memory Book: Did You Really Walk 5 Miles to School? is a book and a keepsake. ($10.17 at Amazon)

  • Le Papier Designs: Free shipping through 12/22/08 with code COOLMOMPICKS08 noted in Message to Seller field
  • Thomas Claire: 10% off any kit purchase through 12/6/08 with code COOLMOM08
  • Sparrow LA: 10% off with code sparrow10

"My son is totally
pirate crazy"

We'e got him covered, mateys. All prices in dubloons unless otherwise specified.

"Thanks!" A pirate's artistic side gets put to good use with the ready-to-decorate cardboard pirate ship ($14.99 at Creative Toy Shop.)

"Thanks so much!" Dandy Social Club's handmade pirate hoodie helps keep little buccaneers warm on their pillaging expeditions. (Shown, $48 at Mahar Dry Goods; matching pants $38)

"Um...wow." The completely hand-sewn by moms pirate playhouse turns any card table into a playhouse. It even comes with a special escape hatch for when marauders are called in for dinner time. ($200 at Warm Biscuit Bedding Co)

"And cool! A book!" How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long is absolutely charming. ($10.88 at Amazon)

"I have a fashionista tween, and no, I'm
not buying her Coach."

It is in fact possible to appease her budding fashion sense while steering clear of the mall lemmings. Um, don't tell her we put it that way.

"Thanks!" Gwen Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Mini Baby Perfume will, ironically, make her feel totally grown-up. ($25 at Urban Outfitters)

"Thanks so much!" Handknit scarves go from granny to gorgeous when it's Yanli's Pocket Full of Posies Scarf. So Bryant Park. (Shown, $54 at Shana Logic)

"Um...wow." Let her wear her own name instead of some designer's with Nicola Vruwink's custom silver name cuff bracelet. ($265)

"And cool! A book!" Influence from Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen details the twins' fashion influences with more than 270 photos. We're not sure if that's a good thing, but your tween will certainly think so. ($23 at Amazon)

  • Shana Logic: Free US shipping through 12/25/08 on orders over $100 with code freeship100

"I'm pushing for some serious baubles for myself"

We're all about making a jewelry wish list...and then wishing. Hard.

"Thanks!" Little hoop earrings get an update with green malachite beads from Viv & Ingrid. ($75 at Twist)

"Thanks so much!" The big honkin' Faceted Glass Ring from Yummi Glass comes in baby blue, cognac, or a rich ruby. It's definitely a wow. (Shown, $325)

"Um...wow." Tiffany Schmiffany. We're crushing on the charm necklaces from NYC's Jennifer Fisher Jewelry that let you create beautiful, custom pieces out of hundreds of charms, many of them hand-stamped or engraved. The result is really striking, really personal--and at times, really expensive. (Charms from $65 for a mini star to $4500 for a 14k and diamond snake)

"And cool! A book!" Nina Garcia's The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own will give you 99 more gift ideas for future holidays. ($14.93 at Amazon)


"I need something for Daddy...from the kids"

Dads are allowed sentimental, personal Christmas gifts too. Save the ties for Father's Day. Or, come to think of it, don't.

"Thanks!" Personalize the photo charm on this manly leather journal for something both practical and sentimental. ($48 at Emmie Kate)

"Thanks so much!" Subtle Dad cufflinks will make him smile every time he puts them on. More so, they'll make the kids smile. ($69.95 at Red Envelope)

"Um...wow." One of our most admired artists, Lisa Golightly of Kiki & Polly, is now offering custom line portraits from your own photos that will make even a manly man well up with emotion. (Shown, $165+)

"And cool! A book!" The Dad's Book: For the Dad Who's Best at Everything is packed with words of wisdom and tricks to becoming the best dad in the world. ($9.99 at Amazon)

"Help, I need to stockpile hostess gifts!"


This is the stuff you want to grab extras of; you never know when there's a last minute invitation, or a surprise guest you'd forgotten completely about. (That's not just us, right?)

"Thanks!" The Artisanal Minitotes from das Caramelini are filled with salted caramels that help support women's causes--and are beyond delicious. ($5.99, 3 oz bag)

We also love the handmade felt ormanents from My Perennial, with each reindeer, bunny or bird topped with a jingle bell. ($10 at Mahar Dry Goods)

"Thanks so much!" Dee and Lala's lovely Alpine Winter letterpress card set features modern graphics from a ski lift to a fondue pot. ($24.95)

"Um...wow." These charming, handthrown porcelain bud vases from Denmark will be hard to part with. That's the sign of a great gift. (Shown, $56 at Peek Keep)

"And cool! A book!" Vanity Fair's The Portraits: A Century of Iconic Images is the perfect coffee table book for almost anyone. ($39 at Amazon)

  • Das Foods: Free USPS priority shipping through 12/31/08 with code CLMP08
  • Mahar Dry Goods: 15% off through 12/31/08 with code MOMMAHAR
  • Peek Keep: 10% off through 12/31/08 with code coolmom
"What in the world do I get for my vegan sister in Hollywood?"

Cruelty-free products have definitely gone glam. Even avowed carnivores will love these gift picks.

"Thanks!" The six-piece Rapture lip gloss set from Smashbox is PETA-approved, comes in recycled packaging, and the price is superb. ($29 for a limited time--normally $90!)

"Thanks so much!" A pair of the trendalicious soy-vegetable wax blend candles from K Hall in flavors like Egyptian Jasmine and Grapefruit Mint. ($25 each--get two!)

"Um...wow." Vegan Queen makes a spectacular bowling-style Eco "It Bag" that you can afford if you recycle 13,900 soda cans. (Shown, $696 at Greenloop)

"And cool! A book!" The brand new Great Chefs Cook Vegan puts her in the esteemed company of chefs like Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud. ($23.10 at Amazon)

  • Greenloop: 20% off non-sale items through 12/31/08 with code MOM20
"I need something for the kid who literally has everything"


We all have these kids in our lives (hopefully not our own) so we did our best to track down a few gifts they just might not have yet.

"Thanks!" The Paper Recycling Studio from the Discovery Channel Store not only lets kids make their own paper, it hopefully teaches a little lesson in sustainability. ($20.99)

"Thanks so much!" Frecklebox makes a personalized nature namebook that kids go nuts for, and they look beautiful too. ($34.95 hardcover

"Um...wow." Kids can create the monster of their dreams on paper, answer a detailed questionaire about it, and then Make My Own Monster brings it to life as a (more or less) loveable monster doll. (Shown, $249 through North American Bear)

"And cool! A book!" This is Me is a kid's first keepsake journal and beats another plastic toy. ($18, reduced from $20)

"The men in my life are impossible to shop for."

Brothers and uncles and grandpas, oh my. What is it with men and how they torture us every gift-giving holiday?


"Thanks!" Men love tools. It's genetic. So it makes sense that they'll love this 9-in-1 Hammer Tool nine times more than any other. (Shown, $19.95 at Spoon Sisters)

"Thanks so much!" We are so digging the Star Finder portable telescope for almost anyone on your list. ($49.95 at Red Envelope)

"Um...wow." The entire original Get Smart series is now on DVD. There is no man, of any age, of any generation, that will not shirk all responsibilities and human contact to watch all 138 episodes back to back. ($139.99 at Amazon)

"And cool! A book!" We hear awesome things about the new bio, John Lennon: The Life. ($20.55 at Amazon)

"I have a friend who's very pregnant. And very cranky."

Don't get her a baby gift. Get her something pampering and indulgent and all her very own. Trust us on that one.

"Thanks!" The Couture Cocoa Sampler from Vosges turns hot chocolate into haute chocolate. ($19.50)

"Thanks so much!" The nice thing about getting earrings when you're pregnant? You always know they'll fit. We love Amy Tavern's Small Single Diskis Earrings. ($50)

"Um...wow." Robbie Adrian's luxury organic fleece blanket is the one soft, fleecey blanket she'll get all year that's just for her. Delicious. (Shown, $132)

"And cool! A book!" David Sedaris' newly re-released Holidays on Ice. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with being pregnant and it will make her laugh so hard, she'll forget she is too. ($11.55 at Amazon)

  • Robbie Adrian: 15% off and free shipping through 12/31/08 with code coolmoms
"I have a yoga friend.
You know."

It's true, there are cool gifts for the yoga-minded that don't smell like patchouli.

"Thanks!" She'll think of you 9 times a year with a thoughtful subscription to Yoga Journal ($15.95)

"Thanks so much!" The Tiny Buddha necklace provides a nice balance of bling and inner peace. (Shown, $40)

"Um...wow." Help make her the stylish one in the class with Fleurville's Zafu Pillow and matching yoga bag ($40, $47.95 at Chittypulga)

"And cool! A book!" Deepak Chopra's Buddha: A story of Enlightenment. Provided she doesn't already have it. ($10.17 at Amazon)

  • TJ&Co: 15% off through 12/21/08 with code cmphgg15
  • Chittypulga: 10% off through 12/31/08 with code COOLMOM10, plus free ground shipping on orders over $100

"Kids holiday clothes are just so...you know. Bad.

These picks will have your kids twirling and posing long after the camera batteries have died. (Psst...tell the grandparents they beat snowman sweaters.)

"Thanks!" for girls: Seasonal barrettes make any outfit more festive and we love the poinsettia clips from Little Chirpy Bird ($6.50) • For boys: If you're going to force your little guy into a tie, make it one from Cyberoptix Tie Lab who's now doing their cool designs in kid and toddler sizes. ($27)

"Thanks so much!" for girls: British designer Louise Hedley's vintage inspired handmade dresses are all one of a kind. Cross fingers that your size is in stock. ($56 at Sohomode) • For boys: Kiwi Industries' handloomed olive and red striped sweater is seasonal without looking themey. Soft as heck too. ($52 at Bean New York)

"Um...wow." for girls: Noko Baby makes the Japanese-influenced dresses we wish we could wear too, including this year's luscious Bonekai Dress. (Shown, $126+ at Arte Bebe) • For boys: The House of Lux will create any of their gorgeous modern clothes for progressive kids in sizes 6M-5T. Take a browse around the shop and get ready to drool.

  • Arte Bebe: 10% off through 12/31/08 with code COOLHOLIDAYS
  • Bean New York: 15% off through 12/31/08 with code snowflake. Orders over $125 ship free (UPS ground in continental US).
"Oh no! My kids' teachers!"


Probably a good idea not to forget the school teachers who you entrust your child to day in and day out, huh.

"Thanks!" Customize tins of holiday tea with your own kid's artwork--so cool! (Shown, $15.75 at Ruva Cards with minimum 6)

"Thanks so much!" Scarves are always a good "I don't know the person that well" gift. For women we like the screenprinted scarf from artist Michelle Brusegaard. ($25) For men or women, the classic fleece accordion scarf from Marianne Abelsson comes in bold solids. ($40 at MOMA store)

"Um...wow." Go in on a whole set of books with the rest of the parents in the class through Better World Books and donate them to the school library in your teacher's name. Best of all, the purchase price helps to fund literacy programs all over the world.

"And cool! A book!" The New Yorker Book of Teacher Cartoons--she'll only own it already if all her students' parents are as cool as you are. ($14.93 at Amazon)

"I have sixty million nieces and nephews. And I'm only exaggerating a little."

Even on a budget, there are some amazing kids gifts that won't seem like you're just cheating and wrapping the stocking stuffers. Our picks are all under $12.

Funky: Personalized electric guitar name tags ($10 at Sew Much to Say)

Sciencey: Tickle-Me Plant growing kits ($5.95)

Artsy: Personalized coloring books ($6.95 from Frecklebox)

Retro-y: Classic metal jax--hey, remember those! (Shown, $11.99 from Mulberry Toys)

Fashiony: Colorful cotton jersey scarves ($9.50 from Shade Clothing)

Handy: DIY wooden toy kits ($4 from Stubby Pencil Studio)

Picasso-y: Funky paintbrushes from Alex ($9.99 at Mulberry Toys)

Playful: LEGO earrings ($10 at Shana Logic)

Girlie: Puffy posy pendant ($10.50 at Craftsbury Kids)

Christmasy: Holiday scented Smencils colored pencils ($5.95 at Stubby Pencil Studio)

  • Sew Much to Say: 15% off through 1/1/09 with code COOLMOM
  • TickleMe Plant: $2 off any order through 12/31/08 with code coolmom. Free shipping on orders over $50.
  • Mulberry Toys: 15% off through 12/31/08 with code Fun
  • Stubby Pencil Studio: Free pack of Color 'n Kids Six Frosty Friends coloring cards with any purchase through 12/31/08 with code CMP-FF08
  • Craftsbury Kids: 10% off through 12/20/08 with code COOLMOM
  • Shana Logic: Free US shipping through 12/25/08 on orders over $100 with code freeship100
"I want to send the cards that end up at the front
of the mantle this year."

If you need some special holiday cards to mail, accompany gifts, or enclose those ubiquitous holiday gratuituies, there are so many out there it's almost hard to choose.

Joy by Mel Lim: We especially love her Bamboo Holiday Cards with their modern, Japanese flair. ($28/6)

Armato Design: The "portable mistletoe" letterpress card is just one of several we like here. ($12/6 with personalization options)

Dee and Lala: Their holiday collection features letterpress candy canes, drummer boys, and even Hanukkah giraffes. ($5/ea)

Alternate Greetings: If you like your cards with a heavy dose of humor check out the most excellent "Christmukkah collection". ($3/ea)

Ruby Press: Letterpress cards make simple statements like Joy and Noel. (Shown, $15/5, $25/10)

Bumble Ink: Find a cute selection of Holiday Cards from charming to mildly irreverent. ($14/8)

Handsome Devil Press: This is your shop for modern holiday cards ($10-16/10) and with 50 or more you can have them personalized.

  • Alternate Greetings: All holiday cards $2 each and free shipping on all orders through 1/1/09 with code COOLMOM
  • Armato Design: Free shipping on all cards through 12/31/08 with code CMP in Message to Seller
  • Ruby Press: 10% off through 12/31/08 with code coolmompicks1208 in Message to Seller
  • JOY by Mel Lim: 25% off through 12/31/08 with code coolmomjoy08

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