kinto sweater mug
Okay, so we sometimes make fun of mugs as gifts around here. But only because when most people think of mug gifts, they think of some awful “world’s greatest____” thing in comic sans that was nabbed off the bargain shelf at the last minute.

The truth is, a gorgeous mug can be a fabulous hostess gift, especially if you fill it with a bag of gourmet hot cocoa, a special loose leaf tea, or a huge bouquet of candy canes.

Here, just a few mugs that I think can make the gift really special.

Japan’s Kinto makes beautiful mugs, but they’re hard to track down
in the US. I love this porcelain
Kinto couture cup
that looks like a cozy, cable knit sweater. ($18
at our affiliate Amazon)

superhero mugs

Circa Ceramics mugs
are definitely not your grandma’s teacups. We even included her zombie
mug in our holiday gift guide
this year. Find kitchy and clever designs from from vintage Leicas and
Vespas, to kewpie dolls, skulls, and knitting needles.  ($20-32 from
Circa Ceramics – and save 15% with code COOLMOMSSHOPHERE)

yogagoat mug

The entirely handmade
mugs from YogaGoat
are so special, they made our editor’s picks of
the year last year. The artist is adding more to her shop this week, and
if there’s anything special you have in mind, just convo the seller
through Etsy and she’ll let you know if she’s got it in stock. ($40 and

personalized mugs

As far as personalized

mugs go, the ones at Red Envelope look pretty sweet. Only red is
still available right now, which is perfect for the season.  ($19.95 at
Envelope but order quickly!)

fantastic mug

The fantastic
is just that–so perfect for a best friend. Each one is hand
drawn by Claudette Tinsley of Etsy’s Ink Bandit and ship from the UK.
($24 at InkBandit)

perch mugs

I love all the handmade ceramics from Brooklyn’s Perch Design
and the stacking mugs are no exception. They’re sweet in sets or by
themselves. I’d add a tea strainer or a box of fancy oolong to go with
it. ($10 each at Perch Design)

photo mug

Of course photo
never cease to make relatives happy. This one from Shutterfly
can be found in our holiday gift guide “for the best Dad ever,” but we
bet the best Mom, Aunt, and Grandparents would love it too. Plus?  The
price is great. ($13.99+ but now 20% off until 12/15)

charity mugs

West Elm has introduced a noble effort this year with their charity

mugs – each design sends 50% of the profits to support a different
non-profit, from the ASPCA to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital. They’re all
sweet but my favorite might be the cow mug to support Heifer
International. ($10 at West Elm with free shipping)


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