The holidays are meant to be warm times and a time to be close to the ones you love but so often circumstances conspire to interfere with that. This year is especially interesting as we are all more introspective about over spending and what is really important.

Modest gift giving is part of my family tradition and at our house we take pride in clever selection over quantity.

In that spirit, I wanted to share a few of my past hits.

Smilebox LogoFirst up is Smilebox.com. Think “Hallmark goes web 2.0.” I was an early user of the site and it just keeps getting better and better. We used to send hundreds of holiday cards and have switched to Smilebox. The value is unbeatable (100:1 cost savings) and it’s eco-friendly to boot.

GlassybabyNext is Glassybaby.com. I don’t know what it is about these little handmade tea light containers but every woman I know seems to be nuts for them. They are high quality art glass and have rich colors; at about $40 they are a solid gift for the hard to shop for wife or girlfriend. They have a holiday “offline” store at Bellevue Square if you live the the Seattle area, here is a photo from there.

Pajamagram LogoPajamagram.com has saved me at least three times and trust me, they are the gift that keeps on giving especially in the cold northwest with thermostats set at 68 degrees – “see honey, we’re saving money on the heating bill”.

Mrs. ClausI’ll close with a brand new Christmas book written by a friend of mine called What does Mrs. Claus do? This is a girl power book that is a fun change of pace from the same old “Santa’s the man” story. If there are kids in your life and you like to challenge their little brains with new ideas but in a fun way that still captures the spirit of the holidays than this is the ticket.

Happy holidays and best wishes on your traditions.
C.

Holiday favorites, the simpler the better was last modified: December 10th, 2008 by Charles Seybold