Unlike some stores, I am a firm believer in waiting until AFTER Thanksgiving to break out the holiday decorations.

When to start holiday gift shopping, though, is arguable because sometimes it just fits into the budget better if you start early. I’m sure you are like me and have at least one person on your list that you are like “what in the world am I going to buy for them?!”

Well, if that person is a runner (or if you want to buy yourself a little holiday treat), I have some ideas for you! [insert shameless plug here] I am the Brooklyn Running Examiner and yesterday, I published a 2011 Holiday Gift Guide for runners. I don’t want to give it all away, so head over to my article to check out my recommendations.

In addition to that, here are some of my other favorite things and the best gift ideas (pretty sure big O and I could do a stellar TV special together) that maybe your friends and family would appreciate:

BIC Bands:
I first learned about these from Skinny Runner. Mine is in the mail (hooray!), but I have heard nothing but rave reviews for them… BIC Bands are headbands that truly don’t slip and they don’t hurt! Best of all, a portion of your sale goes to help charity (a different one is chosen each month). I actually bought matching bands for my niece and I for the holidays (see, it’s OK to be selfish!)

Scared Panda:
Two of my good friends started this t-shirt business a few years ago and it’s amazing! Most of their designs integrate their cute panda in fun settings, like looking at the Manhattan skyline or in a pillow fight. Scared Panda has new Minnesota-centric designs, including a retro-logo for Duluth and “Buried,” which features MPLS covered in snow (my personal fav). OH! And they even have shirts for the little ones.

“Buried” tee. Love.

Northwoods Candle Shop:
I must admit that I’m partial to this because it’s my Mom’s business, but Northwoods Candle Shop candles are fabulous! I especially like the ones that have personalized greetings on them. “Winter Wonderland” with a corresponding scent can’t be beat. Also, if you like her new Facebook page by tomorrow at 11:59 p.m. CST, you will be entered into a drawing for a FREE candle. Yep.

Smells like Winter Wonderland too!

“The Night Circus”
by Erin Morgenstern:
I absolutely LOVE this book. I won it on Goodreads First Reads (seriously check it out!) and fell in love. It’s the story of a traveling circus, just like everybody imagined a circus would be like. Plus there’s a love story and a great storyline. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Get it.

Moose Munch:
I am a picky dessert eater because I don’t like chocolate, whipped cream or cheesecake (Yes, really.). Because of that, I can be very particular in finding the perfect dessert. I received Moose Munch as a gift last year and it is so delicious. It’s popcorn with caramel and nuts (some also have chocolate)… you will LOVE Moose Munch and become addicted. Plus, I really like it because it’s something different – not your typical popcorn or chocolate gift. However, for popcorn, it is kind of pricey so probably reserve this for the people you really like.

This picture is kind of awkward, when do you ever see one piece of popcorn alone? Anyways… still delicious.

Do you have any go-to gifts for your family and friends? 

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