Whoa — and just like that it's December and there's constant chatter of gifts — from hostess gifts to edible gifts, we're deep in it now. As a first child and a dutiful Capricorn, I tend to be a big planner so I've conquered a good little chunk of my list already this year, but there are still some holes. We've been offering you our own gift guides, but beyond all of those, I've come across a handful of really well-done, thoughtfully curated online gift guides that are going to help this year.
Gift guides are certainly nothing new: each year many magazines and newspapers publish their own, reflecting the point of view of the editors or staff. Some choose a theme, others just run with what's catching their eye. The gift guides I find most useful and interesting are the ones with a distinctive focus — something that makes them unique and stand apart from the hundreds of others creeping into my inbox.
So without further ado, I present you with five gift guides that I'm finding most useful right now, and why they're standout choices as you set out to fill in the gaps and holes in your list (or just get a good start!).
5 Gift Guides for Food-Lovers
1. White Kitchen Gift Guide from Love and Lemons
Why It's Unique: There are so many ways to narrow down a gift guide, and I'd never thought to do it by color —which I love. White is the quintessential fresh winter color, so Love and Lemons has selected their favorite kitchen items that tie in with the color scheme. A refreshing feast for the eyes!
Standout Selections: Ceramic ginger grater and pretty bottle openers.
2. Cocktail Connoisseur's Gift Guide from Provisions by Food 52
Why It's Unique: Cocktail gift guides often focus on bar accoutrements and glassware to outfit the home bar, but this year Provisions has taken it one step further by offering everything from crystallized ginger and celery salt to ice crushers and citrus presses. It's like the cocktail gift guides you may have already come across ... but all grown up.
Standout Selections: Handblown whiskey glasses and spiced tonic syrup.
3. Cookbook Enthusiast Gift Guide from Edible Perspective
Why It's Unique: A lot of cookbook gift guides tend to select the big fall blockbusters — the larger restaurant cookbooks and grand, visual show-stoppers. But the Edible Perspective Guide is more deliberately health-focused and discusses a wide range of books (some not even published yet) that will appeal to vegans, vegetarians, and gluten-free folks alike.
Standout Selections: Oh, it's so hard to choose! Plenty is always a favorite, and I'm personally really excited about the Homemade Flour Cookbook by my blogging buddy Erin Alderson of Naturally Ella.
4. For the Entertainer in Us All from Turntable Kitchen
Why It's Unique: Many gift guides that appeal to those interested in food are either a broad stroke of new kitchen goods or a narrowly-focused guide focusing on, say, baking or cocktails (as we've seen above). But Kasey and Matt Hickey of Turntable Kitchen have given us a little bit of everything with their guide this year, and I particularly appreciate their focus on entertaining. From hostess gifts to coaster sets, there's something to make hosting a party and attending one a true joy this year.
Standout Selections: Well I would be remiss not to quietly plug the Marge Granola Holiday Gift Box — it does make a perfect hostess gift this year and looks pretty handsome under the tree. The whale tea towel and wood bark cake stand are also catching my eye.
5. Gifts for the Dreamer from Terrain
Why It's Unique: While technically not solely focused on kitchen goods or cooking, this beautiful gift guide from Terrain touches on whimsical gifts for the dreamer or that tough-to-shop-for person on your list.
Standout Selections: Oversize copper mug and reindeer socks.
(Image credits: Turntable Kitchen)