By Mary Kate Costigan,
It’s that time of year again. We have reached the season of food, festivities, and incredible stress.
Don’t get us wrong: the holidays are great. There’s a specific, tangible magic to this season that no other can replicate. There’s music, gifts, and good people to share them with. We wouldn’t trade it for the world. But yes, there is also stress, both in finding the right gifts for people, paying for the right gifts, and getting it all done in time. If not handled well, it can ruin all the wonderful things this time of year is supposed to bring.
To help make sure that doesn’t happen, we’ve compiled this guide to ten items perfect for the bookworm, adventurer, or any combination of the two on your shopping list. Every item is sure to be a thoughtful addition to their holiday haul, and nearly all of them are under $25.00. Read, shop, and be merry!
For the Tea Lover: Novel Teas and Shakespearean Insults Mug
C.S. Lewis once said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” He knew what he was talking about; books and tea are a perfect pair. Is there a better gift than one that combines the two? Novel Teas does just that. Each set contains 25 bags of English Breakfast tea, individually wrapped in different quotes from famous literature. It’s a wonderful stocking stuffer for the book loving, tea drinking person in your life.
And while there are countless literature-inspired mugs on the market, none are quite as fun as the Shakespearean Insults Mug. Who could resist drinking from a mug that calls you a “lump of foul deformity” and a “fustilarian?” Perhaps reserve this gift only for close friends, though. It may be an awkward contribution to the office Yankee Swap.
From Amazon: Novel Teas $14.95 or Shakespearean Insults Mug$14.95
For the Organized Traveler: The Date Escape 2016 Planner
The Date Escape Planner is really a two for one deal. It has all the trappings of a typical planner, with both monthly and weekly calendars for optimal organization. But it also has extra space for more exciting adventures. There are lists for books and movies to see throughout the year, inspirational quotes, and bright illustrations to make organization more fun and less hassle. This planner will keep you on task and motivate you to do a bit more. It’s also small enough to easily fit in a tote or handbag, making it the perfect size for travel.
From Modcloth, The Date Escape 2016 Planner $14.99
For the Outdoorsy Traveler: LL Bean’s Osprey Atmos AG 65 Pack
It’s very hard to limit LL Bean’s selection to just one outdoorsy pick. That’s because it’s nearly impossible to go wrong with LL Bean. Their products have a longstanding reputation of durability and effectiveness, and they have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Provide satisfactory proof of purchase and you can exchange something you bought a decade ago for a new model. Their prices tend to be a little higher as a result (this is by far the most expensive item on our list), but it’s well worth the investment.
For this season, though, our pick is the Osprey Atmos AG 65 Pack. This is the perfect backpack for people looking to do some hiking in their travels, or even those looking to do some short-term backpacking. It’s lightweight and designed to evenly distribute the weight of its contents for better back support. For intense hikers, it also has easy access loops for attaching gear like trekking poles. No need to take our word for it, though: the Osprey won the 2015 Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award.
From LL Bean, Osprey Atmos AG 65 Pack $260.00 with free shipping.
For the Over-21 Traveler: Cocktail Carry-On Kits, Old Fashioned and Gin and Tonic
Long flights just got a bit more fun. Uncommon Goods offers several kind of Cocktail Carry-On Kits that improve the taste and quality of the often paltry in-flight drink selection. Each set contains a mini linen napkin, bar spoon, and instructions. Old Fashioned fans also get pure cane sugar and a small batch of bitters, while those who prefer gin and tonic get tonic syrup and a stainless steel jiggler. It’s a First Class luxury for an Economy price.
From Uncommon Goods, Cocktail Carry-On Kits $24.00 each
For the Aromatherapy Fan: Old Books Soy Candle
If there’s one thing most literary travelers can agree on, it’s that there are few scents as wonderful as old books. That scent is now in candle form. Described as a combination of “paper, dust, vanilla, and a hint of fresh grass,” it’s a perfect relaxation aid. The candle is an especially great gift for people who have switched to an e-reader but miss some of the qualities of physical books.
While we’ve only highlighted the Old Books scent, the Etsy shot that sells it has dozens of other literary-based candles for sale. Ranging from The Shire (oakmoss, clover, aloe, a hint of cherry pipe tobacco) to Pemberley Gardens (fresh roses with hints of lilac and hyacinth) to Sexy Librarian (rosewood, lilac, musk), it would be near impossible not to find a combination to your liking. The shop also sells samples for those who’d like to smell before they buy.
From Frostbeard’s Etsy shop, Old Books Soy Candle $18.00
For the Lazy Reader: Prism Glasses
Reading in bed is a time honored tradition. But it gets increasingly uncomfortable as you get more and more tired. Who hasn’t accidentally dropped a book on their face while trying to read lying down? No more! Prism Glasses are perfect for those who really can’t be bothered to put in any physical effort. We’re all that lazy sometimes. Let’s embrace it.
These glasses are also useful for watching TV lying down, for people who have neck and back troubles that make certain angles uncomfortable, and users have even reported using them to help locate foot and handholds while rock climbing. The outdoorsy traveler may like these in addition to the Osprey backpack.
From Amazon, Prism Glasses $14.99
For the Security-Conscious Traveler: SHOLDIT Infinity Clutch Wrap
When travelling, women are often warned about pickpockets, thieves, and purse-snatchers. This is a very real concern when travelling abroad; if you’re passport and identification are stolen, it’s bad news. Luckily, pickpockets and thieves have not yet graduated to stealing scarves, making the SHOLDIT Infinity Clutch Wrap a perfect place to keep important documents safe. It has a hidden zip pocket perfect for storing items like passports, credit cards, keys, and even cell phones. Since it comes in five different colors, it’s easy to find one that suits your style. Forget about travelling: this can get rid of the hassle of a purse in everyday life.
From Travelsmith, SHOLDIT Infinity Clutch Wrap $39.00
For the Spontaneous Traveler: Anywhere Travel Guide
Travelling is wonderful. Travel guides are sometimes not. They’re a wonderful way to get an overview of the place you’re visiting and what its main attractions are, but they don’t encourage spontaneity and they usually won’t help you get to know real, daily life in your destination. The Anywhere Travel Guide helps fill these gaps. A pack of 75 adventure prompts, the Guide contains instruction cards such as “buy a coffee for a stranger” and “find the highest point of the city accessible by walking and go there to enjoy the view.” Sometimes all it takes is a suggestion to discover the most memorable adventures, and the Guide is full of suggestions. The cards could even be used at home to find new aspects of familiar territory. Best of all, nearly everything it suggests costs little to no money. It’s all about the experience.
From Uncommon Goods, Anywhere Travel Guide $12.95
For the Literary Traveler: Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards
It’s not difficult to find location-themed postcards while traveling. But sometimes you need something a little more literary-minded. Bibliophilia’s collection of literary postcards fill this need perfectly. Each set contains 100 postcards, boasted 50 different quotes from favorite literature with corresponding designs. Even without the quotes, they’d be worth the price for the beautiful minimalist art. And there’s no need to wait for a trip to send them. They also work perfectly as thank you cards, or for no special occasion at all. After all, you don’t need a holiday to spread a little literary joy.
From Amazon, Bibliophilia: 100 Literary Postcards $17.60