It’s that time of year again! We hope this holiday gift guide helps spark some ideas on what to give the special people in your life for the upcoming season…
Sometimes it’s hard to buy for people – they’re picky, they have “everything,” they can afford something better than you can, blah blah blah. That’s not what the spirit of gifting is about. It’s the thought that counts… really! And if someone in your life doesn’t appreciate that, well, we just think you’re better than that. Whether you’re gifting a travel afficionado, armchair traveler, or just a special someone in your life, here are some of our favorite gift ideas for the upcoming season.
FOR THE COFFEE LOVERS
Red Thread Good, a locally produced, women-run organic & fair trade cold brew company recently launched their Coffee Loyalty Club and Subscription Service, offering month-to-month or one-time, three-month gift subscriptions. Four blends are available for beans and cold brew concentrate: Dreamy, with a hint of chocolate, and brewed from two-parts Peruvian and Colombian beans; Purist, brewed from single-origin Nicaraguan beans; Coconut, with coconut added into their Peruvian and Colombian blend; and Dreamy Decaf.
Why we like it: Their beans are roasted in Queens, NY, using organic and fair-trade beans, and go from roast to your doorstep in less than 2 weeks! But the best part is that Red Thread Good was founded by three philanthropic female entrepreneurs in New York with a strong social mission that advocates for conscious consumption — with every serving of cold brew, 2 cents are donated to God’s Love We Deliver, an organization based in New York City that serves over one million meals per year in the five boroughs.
Where to get it: The subscription is available on the Red Thread Good website (redthreadgood.com). Get 20% off purchases with the code: Loyalty20.
FOR THE COCKTAIL LOVERS
Be Mixed, the very first line of all-natural, zero-calorie cocktail/mocktail mixers was created in partnership with nutritionists, food scientists and noted bartenders. Launched in Fall 2015 by two 29-yr old girlfriends who were sick of settling for vodka sodas, you have the choice of three distinct flavors — Cucumber Mint, Margarita, and Ginger Lime. Each pack of 4 single-serving glass bottles are an elegant way to make any holiday party or host(ess) gift guilt-free.
Why we like it: Each single-serve bottle of Be Mixed makes it convenient and simple to prepare delicious tipples – and pairs with a variety of base spirits – from vodka, to whiskey, to sparkling wine, to beer – and seltzer. No more chemical-laden Skinny Girls to spoil the party!
Where to get it: Available for shipping nationwide, in select New York retail outlets, or order online at www.be-mixed.com.
FOR THE ACTIVE GIRL-ON-THE-GO
Terra Active Wear Wraps and Belts are the new fanny pack. The fabric is flexible and light, and unlike traditional fanny packs, they’re sleek and stylish, perfect for keeping keys, a cell phone, identification or travel documents when rushing through a busy airport. $27.99
Why we like it: They are easily hidden under a long t-shirt or sweater if you’re in a public place where you want valuables safely hidden and on your body. If not hidden, they look like a cool athletic belt, adding a fun burst of color over jeans or yoga pants (not to mention an extra pocket for poop bags when walking the dogs).
FOR THE BEAUTY JUNKIE
Lanee, at the recent Organic Spa Magazine event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, discovered W3LL People, a nifty, all-natural line of make-up designed by a make-up artist and dermatologist. In their uber luxe cosmetic bag, you get a full size W3LL PEOPLE Expressionist Mascara in black, S.W. Basics Mini Makeup remover and a S.W. Basics Organic Lip Balm in either Cinnamon or Peppermint. It’s gorgeous, good for you and all at a very merry price. $40
Why we like it: With a motto, “Pure as a saint. Sexy as Sin”, who could resist this beauty line? Just in time for the holidays, W3LL partnered up with S.W. Basics and released a Limited Edition Goodie Bag—perfect for throwing in that tiny carry-on suitcase.
Where to get it: order online at w3llpeople.com.
FOR THE WINE-Os AND STATIONERY HOUNDS
We couldn’t be bigger fans of the letterpress designs from Chez Gagne, headquartered, designed, and pressed just miles from us in L.A. Owned and operated by a dear friend of ours, you could say we’re biased, but with dozens of retailers around the country stocking their shelves with the high quality, handmade goods, including Whole Foods Markets, we’re not the only ones flipping for her clever, sassy and bad ass cards, wine tags, and custom-made stationery, including wedding and party invitations.
Why we like it: The quality and attention to detail is beyond. The clean look is a perfect contract to the often sassy and smart sayings on the cards and wine tags. This is so much better than showing up with a a bottle of Veuve as a hostess gift in a lame, run-of-the-mill wine bag. Plus, what’s better than custom-made stationery? If you want a thank you card this year, you might as well gift your loved ones something to write them on!
Where to get it: Find cards and tags at retail stores around the country or order online at www.chezgagne.com. Email [email protected] for custom orders. Now through December 31, 2015, use code VOYAGEVIXENS for a 20% discount.
FOR THE OUTDOORSY ACTIVE PEEPS
RailRiders is one of our go-to outfitters for reliable and sturdy outdoor clothing, whether it’s for casual day hiking or more demanding adventures like an African safari. With clothing lines for both men and women, accessories, and even sun protection and insect shield gear, there are plenty of options for the outdoorsman or woman in your life.
Why we like it: In our experience, a lot adventure clothing is rather style-less, uncomfortable, or just not built or designed well enough to last through heavy travel and multiple washes, but these hold up! VV tested and approved, from our own backyard to the Canadian rockies and the African bush…
FOR THE WRITER OR ASPIRING TRAVELER
Axel & Ash is a design duo from Bondi Beach, Australia who create funky, stylish products that give you the blank pages intended to inspire you to “Insert YOUR story.” Their creative journal options include My BUCKETLIST (beautifully bound in classic black cloth), but our favorite it the Swept Away by WANDERLUST model because of its boho-chic vintage style, bound in a premium, earthy latte-colored cloth. Best part? It’s filled with hundreds of unique questions, original writing prompts and spontaneous “to-do” notes.
Why we like it: Each of the beautiful journals is filled with encouraging life and travel quotes, quirky writing prompts, and edgy global photography—all of which empowers the writer or aspiring traveler to decide what they want to do with their one wild and crazy life.
Where to get it: Order online at axelandash.com.
FOR THE PROFESSIONAL (& STYLISH) TRAVELER
The RIMOWA design is unmistakable due to the groove structure of its case shells. Unlike a lot of hard shell luggage, their innovative approach and exceptional demands when it comes to quality set them apart as one of Europe’s leading luggage manufacturers. With decades of experience and knowledge behind them, it’s truly “handmade meets high-tech” – lightweight, durable, impact resistant, and includes a multi-wheel system that can maneuver even heavy baggage effortlessly.
Why we like it: We’ve had our eyes on these for a long time, but get sticker shock every time we see the cost. That said, we’ve seen them in action and know travelers who have them and swear by the brand as one of the most reliable, convenient, sleek, and stylish, too.
Where to get it: Find a retailer near you, or search online for the best buy! Various styles and sizes, prices start around $495 for carry-on sizes.
FOR THE STRESSED OUT OR ARTISTICALLY-INCLINED
If you haven’t heard of the adult coloring book trend, now you have! It’s a thing, people. And we’re digging it big time.
Why we like it: Time fades and you actually relax while coloring! It’s like channeling your inner child and getting your creative juices flowing at the same time. Put on some tunes and meditate actively while you escape into the patterns.
Where to get it: You can find them at most local bookstores, or order online. We have tried these two brands and are big fans — check out the relaxing mandalas by Emma Bloom here ($8.87), and the stress relieving patterns by Blue Star here ($10.99). While you’re at it, throw in a great set of coloring markers or pencils like these!
FOR THE “HARD TO SHOP FOR” PEOPLE
Sometimes gifting an experience (whether it’s a ticket to a concert, museum exhibit or theatre show, a spa day, or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant) is the best gift of all because “things” aren’t usually all that memorable. If budget is an issue, why not gift someone a day with you to go for a hike or a kayaking excursion, a spa day, or simply a nice picnic in your local park or nature reserve. If a family member or friend has children, offer to babysit — our friends who are new parents know how valuable such a gift can be! The thoughtfulness is what counts most, so think about your loved ones and what they would love to do or receive most!
FOR THE SOCIALLY AWARE OR SIMPLY THE PERSON WHO “HAS EVERYTHING”
Give back! It’s so easy. Making a donation to a charity that a special person cares about is one of the best ways to say, “I know you and I appreciate what you care about too!”
Why we like it: Because giving back feels good! And there’s that little thing called karma — giving makes the world go round, especially when you can put your hard earned funds to good use.
Where to donate: There are so many organizations in need, and so many we love and appreciate the hard work they do all year round. Some of our favorites to support include:
- The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust — This is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. We visited them while in Kenya (twice!) and were fortunate to see their powerful work in action. Between us and our families, we are proud foster supporters of a few elephants in their care.
- Second Chance at Love Humane Society — We are friends with the owner and operator of this non-profit no-kill facility near Paso Robles, Calif., and have spent lots of time on the property, seeing their challenging work to rehabilitate troubled or forgotten dogs, while providing a sanctuary for dogs of all ages that have been abused, neglected, or can’t be re-homed. In a world where shelters are typically just a space for dogs to be kept while awaiting euthanasia, this one’s a safe haven. Another animal welfare organization we like to support: Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah, which cares for more than 2,000 homeless animals.
- 350.org — is building a global grassroots climate movement that is active in over 188 countries. Their principles and goals are focused around the fact that climate change isn’t a distant, abstract problem, but rather here now with people all over the world feeling the impacts, from island nations that are going underwater to indigenous land being exploited for fossil fuel extraction. Check out their 2014 annual report here, and donate here.
- Children International — For more than 75 years, this important charity has been been providing critical assistance to children and families struggling in terrible poverty. By providing resources, programs and services to impoverished children and youth (in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico, the Philippines, the United States and Zambia), they are investing in their potential and providing them with opportunities to grow up healthy, educated and prepared to succeed and contribute to society.
No matter who you choose to donate to, please do your research and make sure the funds are going to a place that uses them honestly and goes to the intended purpose!
One last thing… Please, please, for the love of all things sacred, don’t gift any selfie sticks! Really, is it that hard to ask someone to take your photo (you never know who you might meet this way!), or if no one’s around, enjoy the process of setting up the self timer — the outtakes from those are always some of our favorites memories to capture!