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Updated: Nov 13, 2017
What comes to mind when you picture the holiday season?
For some, it’s hugging loved ones, curling up by the fire, and decorating the house.
For others, it’s standing in endless lines, fighting aggressive drivers for the last parking spot, and crossing your fingers that you never hear that dreaded three-word phrase — out of stock.
We know holiday shopping can be painful. And we’ve got a solution: #ShopSmall.
When you shop with small businesses, everyone wins:
So whether you want to show a small business you care or score a unique present that is bound to impress (we won’t judge your motivation), this gift guide is for you. And no, this isn’t sponsored content. The companies on this list didn’t ask us to feature them — we just think their products are awesome and wanted to share. Happy shopping!
Good for: Anyone with a sweet tooth. That includes yourself! #treatyoself
We don’t know anyone who wouldn’t enjoy a pound of caramels, much less incredible flavors like hand-crushed espresso, dark chocolate & orange, and holiday mint. In our experience, candy (and sweets in general) make you friends. So by buying this, you’re essentially making whoever you give this to more popular. And you can’t really put a price on that, can you?
Good for: That coworker who puts Tabasco sauce on everything.
These sauces are HOT — not only in the spicy sense, but also popularity. There’s a reason why Elijah’s Xtreme keeps winning awards — each of their products are flavorful, balanced, and guaranteed to make your gift recipient sweat with gratitude. Watch out, Sriracha … there’s a new hot sauce in town!
Good for: Anyone who likes bread. (That’s a lot of people!)
Everything about this bread bowl is classy and timeless. It’s handcrafted from reclaimed bowling lane wood — what more do you need to know? So give it to your coworker who’s big on sustainability. Or your friend who invites you to a dinner party every other week. Or buy it for your house so your mom can stop complaining about how your entire home is from Ikea. The possibilities are endless!
Good for: Someone who doesn’t mind hugs — whoever gets this will get a lot of them because man this fleece is soft.
You shouldn’t have to choose comfort OR style. With this sweatshirt, you get the best of both worlds! Your gift recipient will love wearing it while curling up by the fire during the holidays, falling asleep on her desk while studying for midterms, or browsing the after-Christmas sales.
Good for: Your mom or grandma, who deserve better than department store soap.
We’re going to let this Yelp review speak for itself because nothing we say will convince you more than this: “I bought some of the Warm Sand body wash and I swear to god I literally shrieked with delight when I used it for the first time. That’s never happened before. It was some sort of otherworldly experience. And so, I’m a convert.”
Good for: Wine lovers. (That is what their site says, after all.)
The International House of Wine and Cheese says this wine pairs nicely with pretty much anything, including a second glass! From vegetable gratin to curried pork to goat cheese, no matter what your loved one is eating, this wine will complement it beautifully.
Good for: Your girlfriend that loves to stand out and experiment with color
Know anyone longing for the good ol’ days? Look no further than Besame Cosmetics, a luxurious vintage makeup brand committed to using natural products. This set has the perfect shades to mimic the looks of your favorite Hollywood starlets (whether she’s from 1930 or 1970!).
Good for: Your four-legged BFF (or any owner of a furry friend)
Can we just paws to say “awww” for a second? Now, your friends, coworkers, and parents aren’t the only ones who deserve a special treat this holiday season. While your dog would probably prefer a hunk of meat, this gift is great because it might convince your pup to stop hogging your favorite spot on the couch. Double win!
Good for: That stylish — but practical — cousin who just started college in the big city
Fun fact: The marketing team at Funding Circle got our colleague a bag from MAIKA as a going away present when he left us to start business school. It was so beautiful, he almost cried. (Although that also could’ve been because he was leaving such awesome people.) Either way, we’re sure you’ll agree that MAIKA goods would make the perfect gift for anyone in your life who has books to carry, laptops to schlep, or places to be!
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.