The time of year I fall down the Etsy rabbit hole and bring you all with me, kicking and screaming.
Because it's the season of giving, yo. And my gift to you is a guide to some of the awesomeness hidden over at Etsy.
Because if you are anything like me, you'd rather have a rabid gerbil munch your eyeballs out than set foot in a crowded shopping mall during the holiday season.
The brilliance of Etsy? Besides the wide assortment of basically any item you could ever imagine all conveniently located on one shopping site? Etsy delivers.
That sound you here? It's the magical sound of the heavens singing as the postman delivers your parcels. Postal workers are way better than a fat man in a red suit posing as a mythical holiday saint I tell ya.
So without any further ado, I bring forth my own personal Etsy gift guide.
Feel free to check out last year's guide (because brilliance is timeless) and then get your fingers ready to do some happy holiday shopping.
Disclaimer: Please note that the following gift guide is a reflection of my own personal tastes and in no way should be a reflection of the person my parents had hoped I'd turn into.
I don't tend to wear a lot of jewelry. In fact, I almost never wear my wedding rings and most days just sport a pair of cheap earrings. However, when I saw the necklaces from this shop, I knew I had to have one. I've worn it several times and each time I wear it, I get a boat load of compliments.
I love bracelets. Possibly because my grandmother always worn them and possibly because I like to wear them to distract from my freakishly hairy arms. When I saw this bracelet I immediately coveted. This shop is filled with amazing jewellery, including a personalized silver bangle etched with your own child's art. I'm seriously jonesing for it.
I have big hands. Or as my children tell me, I have man hands. The upside to having big hands for a woman means I can
Of course, a gift guide wouldn't be complete without me adding in my number one wish list item. I've been begging my husband for this necklace for a while now and he just keeps shuddering and giving me the stink eye while wondering where he went wrong in choosing a wife. I swear my husband has no sense of fashion. Whatever. I'm totally going to get this even if it means buying it myself.
Part of the fun of being a grown up is having the ability to decorate your walls without your little sister drawing moustaches on all your kitten posters in your bedroom or having your mother refuse to let you paint your bedroom completely black and not buying you the black light you asked for three Christmas in a row.
I like art. And I like odd art. Because let's face it, I'm a tad odd.
So when I saw these sculptures I knew I had to have one. I absolutely adore them.
After my husband bought the oversized, Godzilla poop coloured leather sectional last fall, I took it upon myself to redecorate my living room. It was a desperate attempt to draw the eye's attention away from the monstrosity hulking in the middle of my living room. My attempts were mostly unsuccessful, but it did lead to one thing: Colour. I've got colour everywhere in my living room. Which is why I love this shop. She's got great fiber wall art and beautiful drawings. I covet.
Sometimes when surfing through Etsy, you find a shop where you want to buy almost everything. This is that shop. In fact, I not only want this sign to hang in my front entrance, but if I ever get a dining room, I want this plate set. I should totally get Jett Superior to come and redecorate my house. Maybe she could make my ugly oversized couch disappear.
I want this doll so bad. Mostly so I can watch my nieces and nephews freak out when they see it, but also because it may be the coolest thing ever. In fact, I want every one of the dolls in this shop. I could send a different one each month with Jumby for show and share. Shh, don't judge me.
As my children get older I am learning how much harder it is to buy gifts for teenagers without going to the poor house. Every year I hunt for something interesting and affordable and every year I end up weeping in a dark corner and wishing my kids were young enough to just want to play with an empty cardboard box.
Enjoy them while they're young is what I'm telling you.
When I found these bags, I knew I had to get one for the Jumbster. Nothing screams cool like a furry monster bag for him to bring to school.
For my teenagers, who are currently learning about biology while dissecting dead animals in science class, I found the perfect gift. Not only will they be comfortable as they study but they won't forget the lessons their teachers are trying to drum into their heads. It's a win-win for everyone. This entire shop is awesome. Be sure to check it out.
When I was a wee lass, my best friend and I used to spend rainy afternoons by playing with puppets. We'd put on elaborate shows that no one would watch until my brother would steal our puppets and let our dogs hump them. Anyways. Puppets are awesome fun. For everyone and every dog. Everyone needs a puppet to play with.
Which leads me to the next item. A stage. Every child needs a stage to play with and this one is perfect. I love it.
One of my favourite Etsy shops for kids is a repeat. Because sometimes a shop is so awesome (as is the owner) that it bears repeating. Jumbster has a rattle he loves to shake from this shop and if he were able to, I'd buy him this rocker to ride. Be sure to check out the beautiful nativity set as well. I want.
A gift guide wouldn't be complete without a fabulous doll to decorate a daughter's room with. Especially if your daughter is anywhere as twisted and dark as mine. (I'm so proud of her. Sniff.) I love these dolls. Zombie dolls are always timeless treasures.
I collect tea pots. I have tea pots of all shapes and sizes, some uglier than others. But this tea pot, well, it's beautiful and I like it.
If your family is any thing like mine, you'll know the importance of having coasters nearby. Otherwise your furniture will end up looking like mine. Full of rings. And there is nothing precioussss about these type of rings. I love these coasters.
For the coffee lover in your life, I love these mugs. They've got some great other mugs all suitable geeked out by science and that makes them a winner in my book. Be sure to check out this shop.
I have a weakness for pretty things and this shop obliges my fancy just fine. I love these nesting bowls. Actually, I pretty much adore everything in this shop and wish I could purchase it all. My husband however, would likely not approve of such shenanigans, regardless of how beautiful these items are.
I'm a big fan of pie. I dislike cooking in general, but when it comes to baking, pie is my game. I make a mean pie. And I don't care what anyone says, store bought pie is never good. Don't even argue with me about this. The only good pie is a home made pie. Preferably one I've baked. Which makes these pie plates perfect. Beautiful. Just like my pies.
I adore a nice bowl. These bowls? They're so beyond nice, they're almost naughty. I want. Pay attention husband of mine.
This shop is one of my absolute favourites. Her stuff is whimsical and fantastic. I am a big fan of her work, and the proud owner of one of her poppy bowls. I'm totally coveting these mugs next.
I tend to spoil my pets. Okay, scratch that. I tend to spoil one pet. My Boston Terrier, Nixon. My other pets, from the fish to the barn cats, well, I feed them. But they aren't my babies like my dog is. I'm one of those sick people who lets her dog lick her face and doesn't mind that he sleeps with his arse just inches away from my nose as he farts all night long. Well, okay, so I do mind that part, but I over look it in the name of love.
So when I saw these little dog cowls, I knew my little Nixon had to have one. Just so I could watch my husband roll his eyes at how fashion forward my pooch is.
Of course, winters can be brutal up here in the land of maple syrup and beavers, so I want my puppies to stay warm. Which is why I totally want to buy him this shirt. (Besides the fact it totally rocks.) Nixon will be a complete badass in it. No matter what my dad thinks.
Between the internet and cell phones, almost no one receives hand written cards any more. Which is an absolute travesty in my opinion. Because let's face it? Checking our mailbox is not the same when the only thing one receives is bills and flyers. I miss the days of finding an envelope with a card inside it. Sigh.
Then again, I miss the days when our phone lines were all party lines because hot damn it was easy to spy on your neighbours back then.
However, cards should never become a lost form of communication, especially naughty cards. Because those are always the funnest to receive. Like this one.
I love the cards from this shop too. I have a soft spot for cards that have a vintage-y look and these ones fit the bill perfectly.
But for my all time favourite, ever, card store? You can't go wrong with the brilliant irreverence of this shop. An assortment of sugar and spice. Just like an old woman with baked goods. Heh.
Lemons With a Pea by Robin Plemmons (who completely rocks by the way.)
Sometimes, when browsing the wonderlands of Etsy, you'll happen across a piece of bizarre goodness that you will just have to have. For no good reason. I couldn't think of which category to place this in, but I couldn't bear the idea of scrapping it off the list either because you know, oh my goodness, the AWESOME.
I am totally buying one of these. To wear to my husband's employers Christmas party. You know. To hide my own chin whiskers. If you can't beat 'em, may as well join 'em.
Now go forth and get your Etsy on.
*Have a favourite Etsy shop not listed here but want to send it some love? List it in the comments. Big thanks to everyone who sent in links via twitter, email, FB and Google+. I love y'all.*