Must-Haves: holiday gift-giving and some shocking brands that are KILLING IT!!

November is here. You've set the DVR to record National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. You've pulled up your "otherwise forgotten" Christmas songs playlist on Pandora. You've embraced your inner Buddy the Elf in all of his syrup-drinking, Santa-screaming glory. You're totally making this holiday season your bitch...Ah CRAP...gifts! Every year you pledge to the anti-procrastination Gods to start making those purchases in October. Every. Stink'n. Year. And here it is. Late November. Coming and going with the chilled, leaf-blowing, gusty winds that sweater weather often brings. And you have no idea where to even start.

So here's the sitch. Deciding what gifts to buy for friends and family has serious potential to suck the fun straight the hell out of what should otherwise be a largely nostalgic time of year. So I'm about to knock your socks off, Cupcake, and make gift decision-making so easy that you could even cross most/all of your names off TODAY.

Dead serious. I've scoured the web, high and low, and have settled comfortably on the top 4 Must-Haves: holiday gift-giving from shocking brands that are KILLING IT!! And I've purchased each and every one of them just to be sure. Below is a list, in no special order, of possible gift ideas for any and every other "mostly-adult" you know. I'm including photos, links, and prices for each item. Along with everything that you need to know about these products and a few brands that are just killing it in the "improving lives" category. Check it out.

1. Yeti 20 oz. Rambler Tumbler Cup ($20-40) www.backcountry.com

Honestly, I don't even remember my life before my Yeti Tumbler Cup. This bad boy keeps my drinks on ice cold for days. DAYS, people. It comes in a variety of colors to choose from. It is substantial. I'm talking 18/8 stainless steel. It's good for both hot and cold beverages. The lid has a slide that clicks into place, or completely disassemble for easy cleaning. I am not a coffee drinker. But I would imagine this would be a good fit for one. Tea drinker. Student. Cocktail drinker. A busy mom/dad. Anyone. You can't beat the price range. You can even find Yeti's with team logos and much more. Not sold yet? This Texas-based company, founded in just 2006, focuses on the stories of their customers. To them, Yeti is not just the steel walls that hold your special liquid. Their brand highlights the outdoor enthusiasts that find comfort in the sights, sounds, and sports of the wild. In fact, a quick click to their website and you can read all about customers like you and I that use the Yeti daily and use it hard. The brand of the people. Truly a great gift that pays for itself in spades. 

2. Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp (real lamps starting at $15) www.amazon.com

There is a belief that Pink Himalayan salt lamps can purify the air in your house, reduce electromagnetic radiation and airborne infections, ease asthma and allergy symptoms, boost your mood, and promote better sleep. If I can be completely honest, I was skeptical at first. But I now have 6 salt lamps in 6 different rooms of my home. There are a few things you should know before you buy ~ 1.) Size: it does matter. You should have 1 lb. of salt lamp for every 16 sq. ft. of space. So, for a 10 x 10 room, your salt lamp should be at least 6 lbs. 2.) Authenticity: there should be some mention of Pakistan in the product description. Pakistan is the only country of origin for real Himalayan salt. Beware of the imposters. Additionally, here is your life hack...add a small bottle of an essential oil to your salt lamp gift. Your friend or family member can add just a few drops of essential oil to the top of the salt lamp every day and use it quite effectively as a diffuser. It's a gift that gives back every day of the year.

  

 3. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream ($12/pint) www.jenis.com

Ok, can I just get a moment of silence for the demise of all other brands of ice cream? Before I explain, let me just provide this warning ~ once you have tried Jeni's Ice Cream, all others will never again satisify your ice cream craving neurons...EVER. 

So listen. At Jeni's, their mission is to bring people together over ice cream. No synthetics. No dyes. No stabilizers. No emulsifiers. $12 per pint isn't looking so bad now, is it? Just uniquely smooth, buttercream-based, cold, creamy scoops of ooey-gooey goodness. 

This Columbus, Ohio-based, female owned and operated company was founded in 2002. They are just KILLING IT in their industry, with parlors opening near and far. And with flavors like Whiskey & Pecans, Wildberry Lavender, and Sweet Potato with Torched Marshmallow...you can't NOT try it. 

On the topic of perhaps the most obvious, you're probably thinking "ice cream? in the mail?", that's what my Fed Ex driver said, too. Oh, it's happening. Here's how. When you place your order online, it typically ships the same day. Jeni's will pack your order nicely on a frosty bed of dry ice that is guaranteed to keep your ice cream as cold as -100 degrees. If I haven't completely convinced you to treat yourself yet, and you still want to give it as a gift, you're gonna love this part...you can place your online orders now, choose your delivery date, send it right to the address of your loved one, and even have time left over to type your own certificate for the "BEST GIFTER OF THE YEAR" award. Oh, I don't kid around about Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream. 

 

 4. The Giving Keys ($28-50) www.thegivingkeys.com

I'm gonna serious-it-up a smidge for this one. The Giving Keys is a female owned and operated company in Los Angeles that is revolutionizing the true focus on a restored faith in humanity. They are the self-proclaimed "pay it forward", social impact company which employs those individuals transitioning out of homelessness in LA. The company works tirelessly to inspire others through giving, giving back, and kindness. 

Here is a sneak peek into their vision: dream. create. inspire. Purchase one of The Giving Keys products (necklaces, bracelets, keychains, etc.) made from primarily-donated keys. When you place an order, a very special key is chosen just for you. Each key is then hand-stamped with a word of your choice ~ hope, love, believe, courage, dream, and even something custom. Give the product to someone that you love that could use the key's message as a little inspiration. A daily reminder. And for an additional $5/item, you can have it pre-packaged and ready to gift. Either way, the unboxing experience with these products is so special. Oh, that's not all. When your loved one no longer feels as though they need the inspiration, they pass the key on to someone that does. The Giving Keys has been straight knocking it out of the park since 2008. This truly amazing brand has a solid humanitarian message for us all. Final note...I just dare you to watch the video posted below and NOT feel inspired...DOUBLE. DOG. DARE YOU. 

 There it is. The 2017 list of your holiday gifting must-haves. Coupled with Monocacy Soap Company's Holiday Gift Box, and you're ready to give a very special gift to basically any and every adult or teenager you know. No need to even stress about it. We've got you covered. So, while you kick that credit card into overdrive, I am going to get back to my Jeni's Ice Cream. The things I do for you. The. Things. I. do.