By Kelly Hines

Four days, people. FOUR DAYS. If you’re not there already, I invite you to join me in complete freak out mode. If, also like me, you are not quite done with your shopping, I invite you to sit back, enjoy an adult beverage, and relax because, girl – I got you covered.

I’ve picked out a few of my favorite things that are readily available in specialty stores (no mall traffic to deal with), so you can get something fun, reasonably priced, and support a local business. So finish that list, take advantage of in store wrapping, and enjoy being awarded ‘Best Christmas Gift Giver’ this year.

For A Teacher:

Gurgle Pots – Oh, Gurgle Pots, how do I love thee? Stylish, functional, funky, fun (yes, they really gurgle), these were my go-to gift this year. Get the mid-sized one for around $20, and you can pair it with favorite beverage if you want to spend a little more. Yes, wine gurgles.

For A Friend:

Moscow Mule Mugs – These stylish copper mugs are hot stuff right now, and for good reason. First, you look awesome drinking anything out of a copper mug. Second, copper keeps things cool, making these mugs perfect for your favorite icy libation. Third, they’re gorgeous, which makes them the perfect accent piece on anyone’s bar. Or kid’s shelf, because they’ve decided to store their marbles in it. Whatever. Available in a wide range of prices from different places, but see a picture here:

For A Surly Teenaged Girl:

I went to pull out the Christmas lights for the tree this year and couldn’t find any of them – because my daughter has them all over her room! There is something about twinkly lights that warms their little hearts, and a funky strand of Edison bulbs, a sea-colored bunch of bulbs, a paper lantern, or a big ball of fairy lights in a jar makes them smile. Your teenager. Smiling. At you. Magical.

For A Husband or Dad:

Tell me your husband does this – goes out and buys the thing that you were going to get him. OR, after you get him something you really think he’s going to love, he proceeds to tell you all the stuff he’d like, none of which are the thing you got! So, here’s what you do: Get him something he doesn’t even know he wants.

~ Like a Man Crate.
~ Or Birchbox for Men
Or Jelly! Dudes love jelly (especially when it’s made with beer)

For a Little One:

My children were the happy recipients of a tub full of hand me down Lincoln Logs this week. Every one of them – from the teenager to the five year old, has tossed their electronics to the side in favor of building houses and lodges and forts and cafes and whatever can be made in squares and rectangles. Remember the smell of Lincoln Logs? It’s just as good as you remember it.

For the Out of Towner:

Maybe the easiest gift you’ll buy all year. What’s better for someone who doesn’t love in our beautiful state to get something homegrown? From t-shirts to mugs to food stuffs, the Triad is bursting at the seams with all sorts of funky stuff. Some of my favorites:

~ The Esse Quam Videri (that’s our state motto!) shirt HERE
~ Moravian Cookies from Mrs. Hanes
~ Or Peach Buds

For Your Mom:

If you’re lucky enough to still have your mom around and, better still, if she’s as special as mine is, she deserves a splurge. Buy her a cardigan from Barefoot Dreams and she’ll love you forever. More than she already does, that is.

For something a little more reasonably priced, try a Corkcicle (pair it with her favorite beverage as a bonus!).

For Your Tween/Teen Boy:

Or one of your seven nephews. This age group/gender is kind of a mystery to me, but my sisters-in-law have given me the key to success: It’s called a gift card. Generic ones are good, though apparently Game Stop has an almost universal appeal. And though I always feel lazy getting a gift card, sometimes it’s just what they want!

For Anyone. For Everyone.

Sit down. Write them a letter. Don’t just tell them that you love them, tell them WHY you love them. Tell them they are special and precious and smart and handsome and funny. Pour your heart out onto that piece of paper. My dad never wrote more than a few words in a card, but one year he wrote me the most amazing letter. It is tucked in a drawer, along with notes from my husband and cards from my mother and unprompted notes from my children that are chock full of love. My heart could burst from the contents of that drawer. To know that you are loved and cherished is always always always the very best gift of all.