fa-la-labulous (my holiday gift favorites)

By Posted in - books & dogs & favorites & general & gifts & music & reviews on December 3rd, 2014 1 Comments

It truly is the most WONDER-ful time of the year, y’all.

However, it is also the most AWFUL-ful time of the year for things like:

  • healthy eating plans
  • practicing boundaries with family members
  • new cars you don’t want dinged up in the parking lot

It is also a terrible time to have to go to the grocery store, the electronics store… or basically, any type of store at all.  They are virtually all overflowing with angry mobs of mommies dragging screaming mobs of children while sulking mobs of husbands stand helpless in the aisle.

Yep.  ‘Tis the season of overloudness, overspending and overstimulation; all clear ways to celebrate the glorious birth of Sweet Baby Jesus.

So with that in mind, much like I worked towards choosing Present Over Perfect for Thanksgiving, this holiday season has me choosing Internet Over Insanity.

That’s right, out of my sheer love for our Savior, (and my inability to keep my Christmas cheer when a random child traps me in an aisle at Target with a temper tantrum and then wipes their snot on my pant leg- true story-) I have committed to doing at least 97% of my Christmas shopping right here on my couch in my sweatpants with a top-knot hairdo.

There are pros and cons to internet shopping, to be sure.  But for me, it adds up to about 286,517 pros and 2 cons.  The cons are:

  1. I can’t touch it or feel it
  2. I can’t quite gauge the size or quality

However, internet shopping has completely made up for those things with The Magical World of Internet Reviews.  In my opinion, this actually gives internet shopping the hard edge because live & in-person retail shopping cannot offer you the immeasurable gift of turning to the 40 nearest people who have already bought that product to find out what they think about it.  Nowadays, almost ALL products have been reviewed by someone, whether it be the lonely 3 a.m. shopper, the expert stroller mommy, or the angry lady who has the word “cat” in her online review name.

But EVEN BETTER than online shopping and spending hours of review reading is… having a special someone in your life who is happy to tell you exactly what you should buy and exactly where to get it!  So my Christmas present to you this year is the gift of having personally wasted hours trolling the internet on your behalf so that you can look like a hero this year.

You’re welcome.

2014 Fa-la-labulous Christmas Gifts



For the Foodie

jack allenJack Allen’s Kitchen: Celebrating the Tastes of Texas

For the wannabe chefs in your life, this the “it” cookbook of the year (and quite possibly my favorite cookbook of all time.)  Not only are the recipes in here UNBELIEVABLE, they are easy to follow, sorted seasonally, and help support local farmers.  Plus, for all you poor, poor souls that are not from Texas (tragic,) this will bring a little Texas Happiness to your home and table. Do yourself a favor and make the Tomato Basil Pie, Mama’s Chicken, and his World-Famous Pimento Cheese immediately.


 For the Entertainer

Moscow Mule Mugs – moscow muleNothing says “I love you” better than “I love to drink cocktails with you.”  These special Old Dutch hammered copper mugs take your love to a whole new level by keeping your beverage a whole new level of cold.  I kid you not, your drink will frosty-the-snowman right over in these super cute mugs that are the perfect gift for just about anyone. The true recipe for Moscow Mules calls for vodka, ginger beer, and lime.  But with the winter weather at hand, I prefer a nice smooth warming whiskey (add ginger beer or just water, honey & lemon for a little something to take the chill off.) No matter what your drink of choice is, I promise everyone will love sipping/serving them in these.

For the Dog-Lover

dog stoppers


For the dog lover in your life, there are thousands of weenie redchoices (no, literally. If you want to waste 2 hours of your life, google “weenie dog home décor.”) But now YOU don’t have to because I already have. 🙂  Now you can marry your dog-lover’s favorite activities to her unhealthy over-attachment to her furry friends with these thoughtful canine-themed Christmas gifts.Here are a couple of my favorite “dog-people” gifts dog phone coverand websites.

dog pants



For the Cool Girl

I love not-be-moved-neclace-enlargementNatalie Grant.  I think she is one of the most amazing Christian artists on the planet right now.  So I was thrilled to see her announce that she was launching a line of merchandise inspired by some of her favorite scripture and music.  I ordered this necklace approximately 14 seconds after she tweeted a pic of it and I have had no lessnecklace than 2 dozen compliments on it since.  if you have a believing lady in your life, or just someone who needs a little inspiration, check out her website now.




 For the Awesome Dude

Know how you never know what to get your brother-in- law?  Well, mystery solved,bff my friend.  Studies show that men love cars, t-shirts, and beer.  And since you aren’t buying dude a car, that leaves the other 2 categories to choose from.  By why CHOOSE when you can have BOTH?  Thanks to my friends at Texas Humor (who tweeted out this shirt by their buddies over at Men’s Humor,) you can.  Check out the rest of their products and apparel too.


For the Bookworm

I heart books more than life.  I devour them at a very high rate of speed and absolutely cannot go to sleep at night without having spent at least an hour getting lost in someone else’s story.  So when I find a great book, everyone is gonna hear the invention of wingsabout it.  I know you may have already heard my freak out about one book in particular, but I.Just.Can’t.Stop.  The Invention of Wings is simply one of the best novels I have read in a long, long time.  Please, please, please read this book right away and/or give it to your favorite bookworm.  I don’t know if the story was more heartbreaking or redeeming loveheartwarming, but it will definitely touch you and teach you about strength of character and what it means to believe in something.

A couple other favorites:

Redeeming Love by Francine Riversseven

Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis

Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker



  For the Music Folks

I am crazy about Christmas music.  I love the romance and comfort of it and there are classics that just will never fade from popularity, nor should they.  To hear the oldie’s but goodies, get Pandora One (don’t be cheap – pay the inexpensive subscription and skip the ads) and shuffle Elvis Presley and Michael Buble’ Holiday stations.  Turn on your Christmas lights, pour yourself a Moscow Mule, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.  Buuut… the flip side to that is that “tis the season to be merry and nothing makes me more merry than to find new cool music.  And let’s face it, branching out a little bit isn’t gonna hurt any of us. So may I introduce you to a new brand of musical genius?  Meet Pentatonix. These kids make up an a cappella group and are so insanely talented, it is nearly indescribable. See my favorite Christmas Video- Mary Did you Know- 

I also enjoyed the cool vibe they put on the old Nutcracker classic, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

And for non-holiday music, if you are just looking to introduce your music friend to a cool new sound, try St. Paul & the Broken Bones.   I am loving the big band meets blues thing they have going.



For the Kiddos

Last, but certainly not least, we have kiddos to spoil.  First things first, the special kidonesies in your life needs to be adorned in Willie apparel immediately.  This is not only a rite of passage for all tiny Texans, this is a state mandated requirement. For all your ybikenon lone star state littles, this is their opportunity for redemption and some glimmer of hope at being cool when they grow up.  These adorable onesies can be found on TXHumor.com and WillieNelson.com.


Another fun idea for a 2-4 year old is this fun little Pewi YBike.  I got this little thing for my nephew and it was a huge hit.  I love that it is perfect for indoor use and the special wheels allow it to glide easily over all hard surfaces without scuffing the floor or getting the kid stuck in the corner.


Okay, that pretty much sums up my “best of the best list” for the 2014 Christmas gift-giving season.  Merry Internet Over Insanity, my friends!  May the sweatpants and top-knots abound!






  • Dana - Reply

    December 4, 2014 at 10:06 am

    I love the list!! Thank you so much. I too have done more online shopping this year and have finished my shopping earlier than ever! My goal each year is to say “Merry Christmas” at the checkout counter and watch the reaction of the checker and those nearby. Most often it’s a look of surprise then a “thank you!” God is the center of everything and this time of year we should celebrate and be even more vocal about the “Christmas” season. Happy Birthday Jesus!!!!

Please leave a Comment