Oprah’s Favorite Things? We have very different taste.


Even though The Oprah Winfrey show is officially off the air, the woman herself is still a BFD. She recently signed a book deal with Flatiron Books (an imprint of Macmillan) to publish her memoir, is continuing to expand her TV network and, of course, is still bestowing upon us her annual list of favorite things just in time for the holiday feeding shopping frenzy.

I think this is the first year I’ve even looked at her list (although I’ve certainly enjoyed the memes that follow her Christmas giveaway shows in previous years). I have to say, I’m really not impressed.

I’m not sure what I was expecting from the list– it’s got to be at least 90% PR product placement. But, if you’re looking for a $60 cherry pie, $195 sweatpants, snow tubes for only $109, or 3 mason jars filled with dirt and herb seeds for $54…well, Oprah’s got your back.

If you’re like me and don’t have $500 for a single set of three cheese knives, don’t worry. I’ve got your back! Here are some of my favorite things that make great Christmas gifts and not require you to kiss an entire paycheck goodbye.

  • A pint of Lick Ice Cream – The perfect hostess gift. The flavors are unique, the taste is divine, and a pint comes in at just the right price point at around $8. Not so expensive that you feel bad for buying it, but not too cheap that you feel bad for not buying something else. And it will get eaten.
  • Knock off Ugg boots from Payless – I know, I know. Uggs are dumb and stupid and ugly and everyone who wears them is a terrible person, but listen to this: having warm feet is the best. Having warm feet for 80% less than the price of having designer warm feet may be even better. If you love someone, you will warm their feet.
  • Seveneves by Neal Stephenson –  Books are great Christmas presents, and Seveneves will satisfy any book nerd. It’s intelligent, a great balance of realistic and speculative, and will keep even the fastest readers occupied on a flight or drive home.
  • Ticket to Ride by Days of Wonder – This is a fantastic board game for all ages with tons of replay value. It also has the potential to keep everyone playing focused and occupied, which helps cut down on stiff and awkward chatting.
  • Adult coloring books – Coloring books for adults are fantastic, especially for those of us who feel artistically challenged. Playful and freeing, they are also deeply meditative and relaxing. They’re stunning beautiful and easy on the wallet at around $10.
  • Lovely stationery – Cheeky, beautiful, or personalized stationary is a great way to encourage someone to keep in touch. There is nothing better than taking the post out of the postbox and finding a handwritten letter from a friend wedged in between the inevitable spam and bills!

And last, but certainly not least:

  • A sincere “thank you” – The best gifts are always ones that aren’t things. If you find yourself unsure of what to get someone for Christmas, give them the gift of sincere appreciation. Tell them how much you love them, list ten reasons they’re a great friend, compose a song about all their good qualities, reflect on ways they’ve inspired you or changed your life for the better, or simply squeeze them extra tight next time you’re hugging. Bonus points if you can make them cry.


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