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55 great christmas gift ideas

55 Great Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas shopping can be fun. But sometimes it is a desperate, long, lonely slog through crowded stores full of items you can’t imagine anyone wanting. We are here to help with a list of 55 Great Christmas Gift Ideas, with Helpful Categories.

Our categories include: Random gifts for people you love but can never figure out what to give them, books for people you want to annoy, books for people you want to impress, annoying toys for kids of parents you can’t stand, necessities for outdoorsy people, necessities for indoorsy people, supplies for glamorous tweens and teens, picture books for kids, toys for kids of parents you like.

Let the Shopping Begin! Amazon said I had to put this where you could see it and that seems totally fair. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Random gifts for people you love but can never figure out what to give them

55 great christmas gift ideasDo not laugh! This little weather radio has all the bells and whistles to keep anyone feeling secure during the outset of any disaster.

55 great christmas gift ideasIf anyone bought me a thing that taught me how to make knots I would love it! And it’s under 10 bucks!

55 great christmas gift ideasEveryone should have one of these multitools on their keyring! I would get one for my older son but he habitually loses his keys.

55 great christmas gift ideasJapanese Origami for Beginners Kit: 20 Classic Origami Models: Kit with 96-page Origami Book, 72 High-Quality Origami Papers and Instructional DVD. Includes a DVD? Awesome. And if you no longer have a DVD player, use the DVD as a coaster. Or frisbee. 

55 great christmas gift ideasThe Wit and Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln. Most everyone loves Lincoln. And the book is 3 bucks, get one for everyone!

Books for people you want to annoy

55 great christmas gift ideas So People Say You’re an Asshole seems the perfect gift for that hard to handle friend or relative who might be able to take a joke. Also, maybe it’ll help. Give them the Lincoln book as well.

55 great christmas gift ideasFor the racist.

55 great christmas gift ideasFor the fat shamer.

55 great christmas gift ideasFor the climate change denier.

55 great christmas gift ideasFor the white supremacist.

Books for people you want to impress

55 great christmas gift ideasKindred by Octavia Butler: Dana, a modern black woman, is celebrating her twenty-sixth birthday with her new husband when she is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Rufus, the white son of a plantation owner, is drowning, and Dana has been summoned to save him. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana’s life will end, long before it has a chance to begin. This is the novel you have been looking for, waiting for.

55 great christmas gift ideasWe are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby is the book everyone did not know they needed. Buy a copy for everyone you love and become the person everyone comes to for author recommendations.

55 great christmas gift ideasThe Library Book by Susan Orlean details the Los Angeles City Library fire that consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Was it arson?

55 great christmas gift ideasData is fundamental to the modern world. From economic development, to healthcare, to education and public policy, we rely on numbers to allocate resources and make crucial decisions. But because so much data fails to take into account gender, because it treats men as the default and women as atypical, bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. And women pay tremendous costs for this bias, in time, money, and often with their lives

55 great christmas gift ideasWomen in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!

Picture books for kids

55 great christmas gift ideasBeast has been robbed! And so has the whole village. Without tools the villagers can’t put on their legendary Winter Party, so Beast sets off to solve the mystery. Discovering that a stranded Snow Beast is behind the robbery, Beast has to decide whether to help this odd-looking stranger.

This is the absolute best children’s book out there. Jabari is brave, his father is endlessly patient and waiting, always waiting, is the call to climb and leap and succeed!

55 great christmas gift ideasWilma’s parents don’t know quite what to do when their daughter wakes up green and requests bugs for breakfast. At school, Wilma’s teachers are appalled by her unusually colorful antics. Wherever Wilma goes, surprises await her and readers of this irresistibly funny fable. Absurd and action-packed.

55 great christmas gift ideasOnce upon a time there was a Princess . . . who made a pit stop. While the Birds and Beasts changed her tires, her Fairy Godmother told her she was in last place! With just one lap left! She might as well give up! Give up? Not THIS princess! Instead, she hits the gas!

55 great christmas gift ideasHave you seen Oliver K. Woodman? You’d know if you had–he’s made of wood. And he’s on a spectacular cross-country journey. Folks of all sorts guide Oliver along the way and report back in letters and postcards to his friend Uncle Ray. After all, there’s a lot of road–and adventure!–between South Carolina and California.

55 great christmas gift ideasA bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale.

 

Necessities for the outdoorsy

(it occurs to me that these gifts illustrate the fact I know nothing about what people do outdoors and that I think it is incredibly dangerous, which it most certainly is)

An axe seems important. There is much hostile flora and fauna out there and this little baby is capable of handling anything that comes your way. Except bears, which is why I suggest…

BEAR SPRAY! Do not go into the woods without it. You know what, don’t take out the trash without it. I used to live on the side of a mountain in La Crescenta and there was a bear that used to wander around the neighborhood. He had a cute name, I can’t remember it. Porkchop? Marshmallow? Rip-You-To-Shreds-And-Eat-Your-Spleen? Something like that… Meatball! It was Meatball.

Always have binoculars so you can see the bears or the murderers coming to kill you. I really thing you should stay inside but if you just can’t help yourself, bring all the above stuff and…

Don’t Die In The Woods: World’s Toughest Ultralight Survival Tent to huddle and shiver in while clutching your bear spray and axe. Help will arrive in a timely manner if you also bring…

55 great christmas gift ideasWhatever the hell this thing is. It’s 500 bucks so you might as well save your money and your life and stay home! Our next set of gifts might help convince you of how wonderful it is to be indoorsy.

Necessities for the indoorsy

55 great christmas gift ideasLet’s begin with the basics. A good robe. This one is unisex so the sizing might be a bit of a challenge, read the comments and answered questions and you should be fine. There are 10 colors to choose from.

crocs makes slippers, they are unisex, they are wide in the toe box which I love and yes, I am wearing a pair as I write this. 11 colors to choose from and unisex sizing. So much better than a hatchet and some bear spray, am I right?

55 great christmas gift ideasThrow blankets are the life blood of the indoorsy. One can never have too many. This one is 20 bucks and comes in 15 colors and 2 sizes. That’s such a wide range of options, you could probably find one an outdoorsy person likes.

55 great christmas gift ideasIf you are new to the indoorsy lifestyle, you won’t have a backlog of books, magazines, movies and TV shows you are determined to consume before you die. The New York Times Book of Movies is a great place to start. And it smells better than bear spray.

55 great christmas gift ideasYou’ll need a warm beverage to consume while agonizing over what order to watch the movies you decided you want to watch. Loose leaf tea is a bit fussy but it is fun.

This pretty teapot is only 30 dollars!
55 great christmas gift ideas
You can fuss around with a teapot if you want but if you are going solo on your indoorsy, this tea cup with a built in infuser does the trick. There are many different colors and patterns, I just liked this one. I might buy it. Also, when you run out of tea you can just put booze in it. Or water. Whatever your doctor recommends.

Treat yourself to this beautiful 3 volume set of illustrated Harry Potter novels.

55 great christmas ideasThese noise cancelling headphones are so expensive ($349) they make my spine itch but I still really, really, really want a pair.55 great christmas ideasI also want one of these! It’s a Breville Convection oven with an air fryer and it will make toast! It’s also super expensive at $350! But it does so much…

Let’s be honest, I am going to buy all of the indoorsy products, except the slippers because I already own a pair of those. Let’s move on to the kids and whether or not we like their parents.

Annoying toys for the kids of parents you can’t stand

55 great christmas gift ideasAn actual review from a horrified customer, “It’s gift able only if you don’t like the parents. The noise is awful, you can’t turn it down or off when you’re playing with it. I sent it back.” The most common complaint about this toy is that there is no way to turn the sound off or down.

55 great christmas gift ideasI love glitter glue and my house is coated in it but I don’t care. My ex-husband once said our house looked like an embarrassing romper room. There are people who will loose their minds at the idea of glitter stuck all over their house and/or car.

55 great christmas gift ideasIt sings the Baby Shark song. You can buy a baby shark for 7 bucks, a mommy shark for 7 bucks or a daddy shark for just over 8 bucks. Buy one for every member of the family.

55 great christmas gift ideas6 cans of slime ground into the carpet, 6 cans of slime ground into the carpet, rent the steam-cleaner from Home Depot…6 cans of slime ground into the carpet!

55 great christmas gift ideasThese little toys get tangled in absolutely everything. It’s as if someone with a hatred of children invented a toy. I hate them. My kids hate them. You should have a wee bit of a grudge against the kid as well as the parents because no one is safe from having to have one of these things cut out of their hair.

Toys for kids you like

55 great christmas gift ideasEvery adult and kid I know loves tinker toys. It was one of the few toys I play with when my kids ask my to. The other one is…

55 great christmas gift ideasLEGOS! Yes, it hurts beyond bearing when you step on them but some joys are worth suffering for. The absolute best gift and if you have kids on your list below the age of 4, there are always…

55 great christmas gift ideasDUPLO!

55 great christmas gift ideasMy family has had many Connect 4 tournaments and I have lost every single one of them. No matter, this is still a fun game and people of a certain age love to repeat the best advertising line ever, “Pretty sneaky, sis,” when they lose.55 great christmas gift ideasCrayons are like Lego and books, you can never have too many. Get a shoebox to store them in if your collection is getting out of hand.55 great christmas gift ideasI loved coloring books but my kids never liked them. If you end up with someone who draws a lot, get a ream of cheap printer paper. For all others, this is a good quality drawing pad and it’s only 3 bucks.

For glamorous tweens and teens

55 great christmas gift ideasMaleficent, Cruella and Ursula are here to help you feel beautiful as you engage in mischief. Get a set for yourself, I did.

55 great christmas gift ideasThere is a lot here to love. It’s a small, plastic banana. It has hand lotion in it. And there are mangos and red apple versions if you want to make someone a little fruit bowl.55 great christmas gift ideasImitation is not the sincerest form of flattery, envy is.

55 great christmas gift ideasA little pouch to store their dreams of world domination in. And a lipgloss and some cash.

Weird dishtowels to buy for people you know will love a weird dishtowel

I want a burrito to tuck me gently into its warm beans and say ‘Rest here, my child be at peace now’ 55 great christmas ideasFuck, I love cheeseGet the Hell out of my Kitchen
Hot Sauces GONE WILD

And finally, this!

It’s a bag for snacks! Or lunch or a paperback romance and a can of diet coke…the possibilities are limitless!

And there you have it. Happy Shopping! If you have a category you’d like me to source gifts for, email me at info@persistiny.com and I will see what I can do!

Sense8

Sense8 was a sensation when it was released. It was so loved that when Netflix cancelled it after two seasons (the thing was crushingly expensive to make) the public outcry was such that they let the Wachowskis make a finale that wrapped up the storyline. I have my favorite storylines but I will not influence your watching by telling you mine. I’ve already watched it so you can feel free to let me know what your favorite characters and arcs are. Be assured, I won’t debate you on them because I am not that kind of person. I tend not to be judgmental, not because I am a good person, but mostly because I am enormously self-absorbed. 

In case you didn’t know (and there is nothing wrong with not knowing) the Wachowskis are the siblings we have to thank for the Matrix. That movie is 20 years old this year and since it has been the season of Keanu, do yourself a favor and go back and watch it. I was listening to Nicole Byer’s excellent podcast, Why Won’t You Date Me, and she was talking to Ashley Nicole Black. They were talking about The Matrix and how remarkably good looking the leads are. And boy-howdy are they! Just so you know and if you have HBO you should really watch A Black Lady Sketch Show. Maybe  you don’t laugh enough. This show will remedy that. Actually, I don’t know if you laugh enough, maybe  you are getting 3,333 percent of the FDA’s recommenced daily allowance of laughter but there is always room for more.

But that is not what I came here to tell you.

Sense8 is worth watching. The show takes time to develop every character and where they are within their own lives. Then it goes into how being connected to 7 other people impacts, imperils, upends and enriches those lives. 

I can’t recommend it enough.

Back to the Beginning of RuPual's Drag Race

Back to the Beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race

Okay. Deep breath. There have been 11 seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race. On August 19th of this year it was announced that there will be a 12th season. Many marriages don’t last as long as this show. And do you know why? Because most people do not work as hard on their marriages as RuPaul works on this show. So, in honor of RuPaul’s work and Older Son’s and my dear friend Cynthia’s love of this show, I am going back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race. I will either rewatch or watch for the first time all 11 seasons. 

I am not committing to All Stars. There are 5 seasons of that show. That’s 16 seasons. I am only one person and I do need to do other things. If I end a gibbering idiot at the end of this, so be it. Join me as I go back to the beginning of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

You gotta work.

From an excellent article by  

Since “Drag Race” first aired in 2009, the conversation around identity and gender has shifted tremendously. For all the show has done to challenge its audience’s notions of masculinity and femininity, it has shied away, until the most recent season, from any serious discussion about the ways the drag community intersects the trans one. There have been trans queens on the show, but the topic is a touchy one in the drag community. For most drag artists, the point is the performance; it is not their sole identity. But for those queens who identify as trans or nonbinary, their stage persona is not necessarily a performance. The centerpiece of the show is the contestants’ transforming themselves into queens, and then, after each competition, taking off their wigs and removing synthetic breasts to reappear as men. For years, “Drag Race” prioritized entertainment over any nuances of the culture. Much of the queens’ vernacular, body language and movements come from the drag world’s — especially white queens’ — interpretation of black femininity. I’ve always been uncomfortable with that phenomenon, despite how much I enjoy the show. In his essay “ ‘Draguating’ to Normal,” the academic Josh Morrison argues that by using the bodies of women, people of color and other marginalized groups, “through an often loving, well-intentioned impersonation of them,” drag “unintentionally does them discursive violence.”

Veronica Mars Lives On

Veronica Mars Lives On!

Thank you, universe! I am so happy that Veronica Mars lives on to annoy the seedier denizens of Neptune. If you are a Marshmallow, you have already watched all of the new episodes of Veronica Mars on Hulu. If you are not a Marshmallow, then have I got a treat for you. Read more

She's All Fat Goes to Camp

She’s All Fat Goes To Camp

I love the She’s All Fat Podcast. But this episode, SAF Goes To Camp, is a keeper among keepers. It’s about the experience of going to fat camp as a young child or teenager.

Read more

Helping of Happiness

Helping of Happiness

If you have been a regular reader of these notes from the home office you are well aware that I am a talker. Well, my dear fellow humans, you haven’t seen nothing yet. In person, I talk even more (if you can believe it). Hillary Hess invited Felicia and I to talk about our app Tend on her excellent podcast, Helping of Happiness Podcast Read more

The Guilty Feminist: Episode 150

The Guilty Feminist: Episode 150

We have recommended The Guilty Feminist Podcast before. This particular episode, #150, struck me. The topic is disobedience and how do we engage in acts of disobedience on a daily basis. The Guilty Feminist: Episode 150 talks about disobedience and much more.  Read more

Mom and Dad are Fighting

Mom and Dad are Fighting

I have to admit that I don’t like advice podcasts. You know, the shows where people call in or write in with their very real and complicated problems then the hosts dispense thoughtful, solid advice. Slate’s podcast Mom and Dad are Fighting Podcast is exactly that. And yet it isn’t boring. Read more

Wine Country

Wine Country

Wine Country on Netflix is a movie about how women grow up together and in the process sort of grow into each other. No one is perfect. We’re all irritating and irritated. We overreact to things that don’t matter and underreact to things that are majorly important. But when we figure out what we’ve done, and if we are lucky, our friends will be there to help us figure out how to reset out trajectories and get ourselves set on new, hopefully better paths. Read more

Double Shift Listen Up

The Double Shift

You all know how I feel about podcasts. I love them so much, and I’m always searching for new and exciting additions to my feed. But every once in a while, a podcast comes along that is so good, you know you’re going to devour it the second it hits your feed. The Double Shift is one of those podcasts.

The Double Shift treats mothers as whole human beings, whose experiences are shaped by motherhood, not defined by it. That’s a pretty radical concept when you think about it. Once women in our culture become mothers, we become something different; less interesting, less professionally capable, less relevant.

Journalist and podcast creator, Katherine Goldstein, uses her expertise to change that narrative, by bringing richly reported stories of mothers from all walks of life – sex workers, politicians, musicians, daycare providers. Every episode treats the featured mothers with respect and paints a picture of their unique, beautiful lives.

When Goldstein had trouble getting any of the major podcast networks to pick up The Double Shift, she turned to fellow journalist and motherhood advocate, Amy Westerfield. Westerfield wrote one of my favorite books about motherhood, Forget Having it All. She also runs the Critical Frequency Podcast Network, a women-owned company that seeks to elevate underrepresented voices in podcasting.

And there we have the beauty of mothers supporting other mothers. The Double Shift found a home within an inclusive, supportive podcast network and we get to hear stories about women like Village Auntie, Angelica Lindsey-Ali. Listen to that episode. It is so, so good.

You can be a part of the movement of mothers supporting other mothers by joining The Double Shift’s new membership platform. For $5 per month, you help The Double Shift team bring quality journalism about mothers to the airwaves, get amazing bonus content and access to an upcoming private members-only community. Join me, if only so that we can talk about the bonus Lindsey-Ali content!