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The Christmas Gift Guide You Didn't Know You Needed

The Christmas Gift Guide You Didn't Know You Needed

With just a tiny bit of extra effort, you’ll be able to become the star gift-giver in your family, friend group, or office party.


5 min read

December 21, 2021

We all know the feeling—you excitedly tear off the wrapping on your gift only to discover yet another mug you don’t need or holiday hand soap that’ll end up in an already existing collection under the kitchen sink. Not exactly the merriest, right? To be fair, picking out the perfect gift for anyone can be hard work, and it’s always easy to grab something basic from the store when you don’t know what to get that one hard-to-shop-for person in your life (dads, we’re looking at you). However, with a little, seriously, just a tiny bit of extra effort, you’ll be able to become the star gift-giver in your family, friend group, or office party. And it all starts with perfecting your Christmas gift guide.

The Golden State: The Best Gift Guide for Everyone in Your Life

The holiday season is the biggest gift-giving time of the year—naturally, you’re feeling the pressure to find the perfect presents. And whether you love to be organized or tend to leave everything for the very last minute, the Golden State is the best place to turn to. Our handy holiday gift guide has everything; a little something for your BFF, a stocking-stuffer for your favorite coworkers, and a thoughtful present that’ll earn you the tightest, longest, most loving hug from your mom. Santa could never.

Christmas Gift Guide for Her 

The California State Parks Annual Pass offers something for everyone and makes a great gift throughout the year.

California State Parks Annual Pass

Do you want to make this Christmas season the merriest yet? Gift your favorite outdoor explorer a golden ticket to the Golden State. An annual pass to California State Parks provides access to nearly 300 incredibly diverse parks like the rugged-granite Mount San Jacinto, the out-of-this-world Salton Sea, and the glistening Emerald Bay.

Oversized Rain Jacket from Rewilder 

Help your favorite wanderlust look cool, stay dry, and save our planet all at once with a thoughtful Christmas gift. Los Angeles-based Rewilder created this jacket from 100-percent up-cycled material using car shell fabric, salvaged seat belts, and uncut keys. Sustainability never looked this cool. 

Surprise her in style this year and add a touch of uniqueness to your bedroom.

An Original Headboard from Xio Design Studio 

Joshua Tree-native Xihomara Alvarez always designs with the magic of the desert in her mind. Her chevron-style headboards are inspired by the sun’s rays, making for a stunning statement piece and the ultimate holiday gift guide.

Cuyana’s Crescent Belt Bag

With the motto “fewer, better things,” San Francisco-based Cuyana’s goods are built to last while making you look good. The festive Crescent Belt Bag by Cuyana is one of the best holiday gifts you can get the fashionista in your life. Made from Italian leather and designed to be tied around the waist or slung across the chest for a statement look, this bag will spread holiday cheer faster than any ‘nog and Christmas cookies.

Destination PSP’s Mid-Century Butterfly House Tissue-Box Cover 

Got an architecture fan you wish to impress? Destination PSP’s decorative piece is definitely up their alley. Bring the mid-century modern vibes into your friend’s home with this unique, obscure, yet totally awesome holiday gift. Every tissue—pulled from a mid-century chimney because why not—will transport the sniffler straight onto the streets of sunny Palm Springs.

"I don't like a stylish bandana" said no woman ever.

A Bandanna from Bandits

Nicole and Connor Humphrey have introduced a line of bandannas that blend comfort with conscience, crafted from sustainably harvested, completely organic cotton. These bandannas are not only exceptionally soft but also showcase unique patterns from global artists. Choosing one of these distinctive, fashionable pieces as a Christmas present for your closest friend means you'll also be supporting a good cause.

A portion of the purchase price—10 percent, to be exact—benefits a charity selected by the artist who designed it. For example, selecting the 'Life in Flight' design contributes to the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, elevating the concept of a thoughtful gift to new heights.

The Palm Springs Puzzle by Werkeshoppe

This striking 300-piece jigsaw puzzle based on an Andrew Burgess Palm Springs still life is so pretty, the mid-century modern lover in your life will complete it in a matter of days. And when they’re done with it, you best believe they’re keeping it up on display permanently.

Christmas Gift Guide for Him

A creative gift set made from rescued California wood, the sustainably harvested honey is the perfect gift for eco-friendly honey lovers.

The Honey Hive Gift Set from Sola Bee

For those who have a passion for fine foods, consider the innovative approach of Sola Bee Farms, nestled in Yolo County. Pioneering the nation's first entirely solar-powered, eco-friendly operation, this honey producer stands out. The trio of jars makes an ideal eco-conscious Christmas present, especially for him. Crafted from upcycled wood, which offers a second life as a chic indoor herb garden, the honey within promises an unparalleled sweetness that's sure to delight.

Hot Sauce Bundle Pack from Truff 

The Huntington Beach-brewed Truff has gained quite the following in recent years. That’s why this Christmas, surprising your favorite flavor-enthusiast with a hot sauce bundle pack from Truff would be hitting the nail on the head. Focusing on the original black truffle formula and pairing it with their hotter offerings, the brand provides the best holiday gift for those who like to kick up the heat.

A pizza oven may not exactly be an essential item, but it sure is fun to use when you're all about tossing the dough.

Forno Piombo Pizza Oven

At Napa Valley's Forno Piombo, a father-son team has made a name for themselves by handcrafting each of their exquisite ovens from the ground up. These creations strike a perfect balance between functional wood-fired ovens and eye-catching pieces worthy of an art gallery. With an annual production cap of just 160 units, each oven is a testament to their commitment to quality. Don't miss the chance to fulfill a food enthusiast's Christmas dream with one of these limited masterpieces.

A Waxed Canvas Chalk Bag from Static

Taylor Carpenter, a dedicated climber from San Diego, set out with a vision to create the ultimate chalk bag. The result is Static's impressive lineup, a gift haven for adventurers looking to brighten their holidays. Each waxed canvas chalk bag, delicately scented with locally sourced lavender from Southern California, is designed for durability to accompany climbers for years to come. Gift one from Static to ensure a merry and luminous experience for the explorer in your life.

Paradise is anywhere with palm trees and a surfboard. You can't buy happiness, but you can buy a surfboard, and that's pretty close.

Almond’s R-Series Surfboards 

The skilled artisans at Almond, based in Costa Mesa, have dedicated over ten years to meticulously handcrafting surfboards. By choosing their 5’4 ‘Secret Menu Surfrider,’ you're not just getting an exceptional board; you're also contributing to a greater cause. A portion of the sales is donated towards environmental conservation efforts, allowing you to support the planet while enjoying the waves.

Fireplace Tools from the Blacksmith Shop

Visiting the quaint, Victorian village of Ferndale in Humboldt County always feels like a journey back in time. And as a Christmas gift guide for him, we’re suggesting you help capture some of that old-world feel with a fireplace set from the Blacksmith Shop—a local staple specializing in the lost art of blacksmithery.

The Ron Burgundy Hat from The Truckee Hat

Try and look at this hat without cracking a smile—we dare you. This corduroy cap from The Truckee Hat mixes mountain man, train conductor, and ‘70s dad vibes into one stylish package. You know what the Anchorman says: “Stay classy, San Diego.”

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