I suddenly realized the holidays are nearly upon us! This will be our first back in the States in over 5 years and our first in North Carolina full stop. In addition to being ridiculously excited to take advantage of domestic US shipping (ohhh the joy of not paying $40 to ship something!) and being closer to home, I’m really motivated to start making a difference with my shopping dollars. After my recent post about the importance of supporting artists and entrepreneurs, I decided it was high time to do my annual Christmas Gift Guide purely from small businesses!

Making decisions about where your dollars go can have a very large impact this holiday season, as many struggle to compete with big box retailers who can often offer their items at very low prices (sometimes at the expense of quality or unethical work practices in the manufacturing pipeline). Christmas is a vital time for small business owners, and allocating even 10% of your Christmas spending to them can help contribute to all of the good they do – from the number of jobs they create (2/3 of net new jobs in the US!) to the way they innovate and push their sector to grow and engage in the creative process.

Christmas has slipped off my radar a bit this year (you know, with all of the moving around the world and stuff) and I’ve only just started to tackle the task. If anyone else is a bit stumped for ideas, I’ve decided to share the love and curate the Ultimate Christmas Gift Guide to help you buy for everyone on your list (with the added Christmas bonus of feeling good about shopping small!)

Without further adieu, here’s a list for him, for her, for the kidlets and you! (and yes, I’m rhyming. Feeling a bit Dr. Seussian over here…)

For Her

Shopping for my gals is always the easiest part of Christmas for me, because it feels as if I were shopping for myself (and admittedly, sometimes it ends up that way. Eh hem). But, for those who may be struggling to find something for a special woman in their life – be she a friend, relative, or partner – look no further (psst: it’s probably sparkly).

I bought this stunning necklace for my sister last year and she absolutely loved it. Amazing quality and really beautiful in person.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Jewelry Limanska

I so love all of the handmade vintage-inspired tops out there. This bustier is made to order and can be customized to suit your measurements!

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via BooBoo Kitty Couture

Want something quirky and offbeat? There is no better gift than that of a vintage squirrel barrette, am I right?

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Mane Message

This 1950’s box purse would be the perfect gift for the classiest lady you know.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Birthday Life Vintage

Got a musical theatre lover in your life? This hairpiece might be just the ticket. Feed Me Seymour!

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Fancy Fruits

This dress is definitely one of those, “One for you, One for me” kind of moments. I mean, that print

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Pinup Doll Collection

For Him

I know I can’t be the only one who struggles with what to get the guys around the holidays. Because of this, I’ve started bookmarking anything interesting throughout the year that looks manly and gift like. This has saved me a ton of stress, because I simply go to this folder and poof! Tons of ideas. Benefit from my labor people…

Is anyone else excited for the Gilmore Girls reunion and want to celebrate with a t-shirt?? Luke was definitely Mr. Dressed’s favorite character…

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via I Love Apparel

If you’ve got a tech-lover like mine who is rarely parted from his latest iGadget, this leather Apple watch-compatible band be a great way to offer up some watchband options that don’t cost the equivalent of a new computer…

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Istanbul Leather Shop

These are the cutest cufflinks in the world!! (and I am apparently obsessed with squirrels this season.)

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via One Happy Leaf

Is your Mister a traveler? I know we are…and a beautiful personalized passport holder might inspire his next destination.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via RSVP Handcrafted

See above re: Tech Man. This docking station is actually a really clever solution to a paucity of speakers in the house…

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Living Earth Ceramics

If your “He” happens to have four legs and likes walking on your face at night, this boardwalk might be his favorite Christmas present ever

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Catastrophi Creations

For the Kidlets

I seriously love shopping for kids around the holidays – there’s always so much excitement when a kid opens a present that it’s completely contagious. Plus, I can go nuts buying for my niece and don’t have to feel guilty… Let the nuttiness ensue!

If there was ever a time I desperately wished for a child-sized something to come in adult sizes, this cape would be it…

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Jilly Atlanta

How amazingly cute is this rolling pin? I can see making cookies with my niece this Christmas and making them extra jawesome (sorry, but I had to).

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Happy Rolling Pin

I love this organic kid’s cardigan – especially because I know how much I appreciate it when a piece of my clothing has a secret lining.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Studio Filou

Bring out their inner artist this year with this giant coloring poster. Can you imagine their face when you tell them that yes they CAN draw on the floor??

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Atelier Rue Tabaga

I can just imagine the little girl who opens this purse on Christmas morning. It could hold her coins as deftly as her hopes and dreams.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Lazy Doll

For Me….

Aafter my tiring and well-meaning shopping endeavors, I also happened to find one or two things Santa might want to leave for me, should he feel so inclined. I mean, it was a total chance thing. It wasn’t planned or anything…

How amazing would this 1950’s cutie be as a Christmas dress? I’ll be waiting under the mistletoe…

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via When Decades Collide

I can never have enough strawberry bags. Ever.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Slyfield and Sime

I love how this vintage dress feels ocean-inspired without being too literal.

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via Circa 1955 Vintage

Ahoy matey! This sailor dress would be adorable with pop red accessories. Navy tights and a red cardigan in winter, with the perfect red beret

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via 1950’s Glam

Want. Seriously. With every fiber of my wanting. Oh please Santa…..

Lust List #21: The Christmas Gift Guide 2016
Photo via La Belle Vintage

Ahhh even just putting Christmas lists together gets me all in the holiday spirit! Did you guys wrap up your shopping already? Are you still scrambling for ideas like me? Hopefully this list provided a bit of inspiration. And if you still need more, I found that the Editor’s Picks on Etsy to have a ton of great ideas – we even share a few!

Remember, when purchasing from a small business this Christmas, try to get your order in as early as possible (buying on Christmas Eve just isn’t going to cut it). This ensures that the lovely independent businesses who often handmake and wrap your piece (and may only have 1-2 staff, if not just themselves) will have enough time to get it to you before the 25th. And as you work out your holiday budget amidst all of the other expenses this year, remember to capitalize on Black Friday & Small Business Saturday deals that are sure to be swirling around some of my favorite Etsy Shops.  Keep an eye out, because I’ll be sure to post all of the deals I come across next week to help you in the shopping frenzy.

As a final public service message – wherever you shop, try to have patience with your retailers this time of year. People can get rather frantic and singularly-minded in their gift hunting, but if something doesn’t show up on time – print a photo of the gift and wrap it up! I’ve done that in the past and it let’s me stretch out the holidays even longer. And isn’t it really all about an excuse to drink more egg nog?

Ho, Ho, Ho-pe you have fun shopping!

 

xoxo

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The Dressed Aesthetic

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