The 2009 Holiday Gift Guide

Looking for our 2010 holiday gift guide? With more than 100 fresh gift ideas for 2010? Why that would be right here! Happy shopping.

We are so excited to present our fourth annual holiday gift guide, now with more than 100 picks to help make shopping easier. And not just easier - more affordable. This year, besides all the great discount codes (yay!), we've included a pick under $20 in every category, plus an entire list of kids' gifts under $12.

We're especially honored that two of our favorite brands in the whole world have helped make this possible with their sponsorship - Chronicle Books and The Fine Art of Family by Monica Rich Kosann.

In fact if you help us spread the word about our guide by posting our beeeeautiful button on your blog or website, then email the url to with HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE in the subject, you'll automatically be entered to win a $450 prize pack including:

*a $250 assortment of the greatest titles from the always wonderful Chronicle Books, including A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas

*AND a $200 gift certificate to one of our favorite spots for truly stunning 18k and sterling jewelry and keepsake gifts, The Fine Art of Family by Monica Rich Kosann.

We're grateful to every sponsor on this guide for supporting what we do - click around and find plenty of perfect gifts. But our picks in this guide? Nothing paid for, just the stuff our editors love. And remember, most of what you buy here helps support smaller brands and retailers who could use an extra little push this year. Thanks for stopping by, and happy shopping!

For the Future Rock Star

For those about to rock--or maybe in another decade or so--we salute you. Our picks for the future generation of headbangers help keep the favorite tots in your life the coolest ones on the block.

personalized rock star coloring book

Include black crayons.
$6.95 at Frecklebox

rebel tee

Go on, eat dessert first.
$39 at Childish

harley davidson
rocking "horse"

This one actually rocks.
$175 at Psychobaby
Frecklebox - 10% off with code CMP10
Psychobaby - 20% off with code COOLMOM

For the Future Tree Hugger

These days, it seems like kids know more than we do about organics and recycling and all that fun earth-saving stuff. Here are some of our favorites to help get them excited - or keep them excited. (Now forgive us if you have that "children are our future" song lyric stuck in your head.)

my first organics growing kits

$16 at Surf City Growers

nature bag

For the real science kids.
$34.95 at stubby pencil studio

furnished green dollhouse

Complete with solar panels + recycling bins.
$199 at KangarooBoo
KangarooBoo - 12% off with CMPGG009 + free ground shipping (excl AK, HI) for orders $75+
Stubby Pencil Studio - 10% off with code CMP10
Surf City Growers - 10% off and free shipping over $75 with code CMP10

For Baby's First Christmas

We're all about personalized gifts to commemorate a big first holiday, which help turn regular presents into lifelong keepsakes. Skip the "My First Christmas" onesie and instead invest in something that won't be so easily outgrown.

christmas abc book

With a personal inscription of course.
$9 at Spoon Sisters

personalized sock monkey

Not just for kids either.
$32 from clarity miller

customized handmade kata golda stocking

Be still our hearts.
$119 at Arte Bebe
Arte Bebe - 15% off with code COOLGIFTS
Spoon Sisters - 15% off with code COOLMOMPICKS

For Baby's First Hanukkah

Whether you're looking for eight gifts or just one really special one, here are some sweet ideas for babies too young to be gnawing on the chocolate gelt.

hanukkah: a counting book

The nicest one we've seen.
$5.99 at Emily Sper

baby bracelet
with hebrew name charm

By special order
$28 at sima g

heirloom tzedakah box

Charity starts with
linden wood.
$74 at chasing fireflies
Sima G - free shipping with code COOLMOMPICKS (credited via PayPal)

For the Vehicle-Obsessed Toddler

If you've got a transportation junkie on your hands, these eco-friendly vehicles are all sure to secure Most Favored Toy status.

sprig toys eco loader

Tough like plastic, but partially wood.
$15 at Wild Dill

organic wood
driving set

Cars AND bridges!
$26 at Our Greenhouse

collectible off-road
Fagus vehicle

Not a screw or a nail.
$101 at The Wooden Wagon
The Wooden Wagon - 10% off with code CMP1109

For the Perfect Grandparents, From the Perfect Kids

If you're fortunate enough to have those super-awesome grandparent-of-the-year kind of parents, this is a great opportunity to find a wildly sentimental gift from the kids to thank them for all they've done for them this year. And yes, for all they'll do for them next year. Or so you hope.

custom photo bookmark

Add The Grandparent's Handbook.
$10 at TV Tray Art

hand embroidered hand prints

What's not to love?
$58 at Tiny Sprouts

custom artwork from a favorite photo

By a real artist, not
a computer.
$350+ at Kiki and Polly
Kiki and Polly - 10% off with code CLM10
Tiny Sprouts - 15% off and free shipping with code CMP15

For the Stay-at-Home Dad Who's Earned a Little Time to Himself

All hail the stay at home dad! Any parent who stays home deserves some extra adult-only time around the holidays. Make sure to grab a sitter and get a night to yourselves too.

gamefly membership

The gift that keeps on taking.
$15.95+ at Gamefly

mad men on dvd

Borrow it when he's done.
$31.99 at Amazon

dream adventure trip

Race cars? Sharks?
$125+ from Discovery Experiences

For the Gracious Holiday Hostess (After All, She Invited You)

Whether you're headed to a tree-trimming party or a full weekend visit, skip the cut flowers and grab an Amaryllis, a lucky bamboo, or a little something special just for her.

pop out ornaments from melissa borrell

Grab extras, trust us.
$9.99 at elsewares

tea infused truffles

A good reason to
stay 'til dessert.
$30 from Charles Chocolates

baby alpaca throw

Guarantees an invitation next year too.
$110 at Peek Keep
Elsewares - 15% off with code CMP15
Peek Keep - Free USPS Priority Mail Shipping with code CMPSHIP

For Your Twilight-Infatuated Niece

2009 certainly seems to be the year that Twilight took over the world and ate our brains. If you've got a tween smitten over the series (or an adult friend willing to admit it) hook her up, and be the coolest auntie on the planet.

team edward
rubber stamp

Team Edward!
$8 at Dragonfly Curls

twilight scene it

"Not for children under 3." Duh.
$28.85 at Amazon

sterling vampire
fangs necklace

Add twilight journals.
$36 at Under Her Charm

For Your Tween Nephew Who's Hipper Than You'll Ever Hope to Be

When he's outgrown Bionicles but isn't quite old enough for cufflinks, think skateboarding culture. There's no hip tween boy who doesn't secretly wish he were Tony Hawk.

poketo wallet

$20 at Poketo

skater hoodie

From his rad aunt.
$36.25 at Juvie Shop

new whiplash scooter

And maybe a helmet too.
$79.99 + from
Street Surfing
Juvie - 15% off with code COOLMOM (custom art and gift certificates excluded)

For the Effortless Eco-Fashionista

For goodness sake, don't call her "crunchy." This is the woman not afraid to wear her values--and her phenomenal taste--on her sleeve. Or her lapel. Or wherever it seems to be in this season.

natural angora gloves

Equal parts fair trade
and fuzzy.
$12 at Celery Street

fair trade
organic clutch

Supports mothers in Peru.
$40 at The Green Loop

bamboo sunglasses

Go incognito at the greenmarket.
$253 at Inhabitat Shop
Celery Street - 15% off with code COOLMOM15

For the Geek Who Makes it Chic

A big hearty shout-out here to our sisters in social media land, the ones who wake up checking Tweetdeck and fall asleep with the Kindle. It's true, the geeks shall inherit the earth. Or at least some really cool gifts this year.

kirtsy takes a bow

Not just because
we're in it.
$19 at Amazon

custom twitter necklaces

$49.95+ at Survival of the Hippest

eco-friendly laptop tote

8 colors, one cooler
than the next.
$143 at urban junket
Survival of the Hippest - $10 discount through this link
Urban Junket - 15% off with code COOLMOM

For the Serious Foodie

When you say "pass the salt" and the answer is "which one?" you've got a foodie on your hands. You can always pick up a fabulous wine or a gift certificate for the local restaurant with the killer wait list. Just avoid fruitcake at any cost.

exotic jam trio

Pineapple-zucchini-tangerine. Not together.
$11.50 at sunchowder jams

gourmet today

Gourmet lives on, here.
$23.40 at amazon

cooking class and wine paring at las ventanas

Airfare and hotel extra.
$110 at Las Ventanas

For the RISD Class of 2026

Art or craft supplies are always a fabulous gift for kids of any age, whether they're a future Whitney Biennial star or not. Throw in an annual membership to a kid-friendly local museum.

paint palate

Just keep it off the walls?
$12 at the moma store

long-sleeved art smock

The best ones we've seen.
$35 from Petite Violette

ecotots wooden easel

Beret not included.
$159.99 at Moolka
Moolka - 10% off with code COOLMOM2009 (excluding sale category) plus free shipping on orders $60 or more
Petite Violette - free shipping with code COOLMOM

For the Future Food Network Star

Hopefully the adventures in a play kitchen will translate to those at the table. Not that we don't love spaghetti with ONLY BUTTER, NO GREEN.

green toys chef set

Practice making Mommy saffron risotto.
$15 at Greeno Bambino

handmade apron

Throw in a some beautiful play food ($20) too. apron $24 from Bean Soup

heirloom wooden kitchen

Second best to
a Viking range.
$250 at Acorn Toy Shop
Beansoup Aprons - 15% off with code CMP15
Greeno Bambino - 20% off with code COOL20

For Relatives in Far-Away Places

The people you miss the most are often the easiest to please. We've tracked down some wonderful sentimental gift ideas to keep your family in their hearts, if not in their guest beds on Christmas Eve.

e-video card

Puts regular e-cards to shame.
free from pixorial

monogrammed photo album kit

You sew it, you fill it.
$38 from amh design
($85 ready-made)

designer photo scrapbook

Your vision, their handiwork.
$69+ at pixtorie
AMH Design Contemporary Needlepoint - 10% off with code COOL10
Pixtorie - 25% off SimpleBook custom photo album orders with code CMP25

For Your Brother-in-Law aka Mr. Air Guitar

He knows the words to every Dylan song, and his most prized posession is his concert ticket stub collection. For the guy who eats, lives and breathes rock n roll, a few ideas that say "Yeah, we make fun of you sometimes but really, we love you."

music listography journal

Great writing prompts, fab illustrations.
$11.38 at Amazon

membership to rock n roll hall of fame

Dude, he could go daily!
$50+ at Museum Store

complete beatles catalog on usb

Good excuse to finally upgrade from the vinyl.
$238.99 at Amazon

For Your Sister and Best Friend Who's a Million Miles Away

If you feel like you've tapped out all the cheesy sister-themed cards and books out there for holidays, here are a few less expected ideas. Bonus points if the gift makes her cry.

art necklace

The back side says
"side by side."
$17 from Kelly Rae Roberts

handmade frame

Insert a photo of you together as kids.
$44+ at Obrien
Schridde Designs

plane tickets and a luxe travel pillow

Coach class is just fine.
pillow $45 at Shokay
Obrien Schridde Designs - 10% off with code OBFholiday + free shipping with 3 or more frames
Shokay - 15% off with code CMPCOUPON

For Your Boss Who You're Hoping Will Give You a Raise

Whether you're acknowledging the Grand Poobah or whoever approved your extended maternity leave, it's definitely the thought that counts. Just make it a cool one. Not too personal, but not, you know, a mug. (Really, not a mug.)

4 vosges exotic truffles

Four isn't enough. But it'll do.
$10 at Vosges

steampunk cufflinks

Because you're just a cog in the machine.
$55 at Steampunk Style

herman miller tops

Desk toys have a new standard.
$199 at Hive Modern

For a Cool Teen With a Big Heart

Not every teen on the planet is clamoring for something name-brand and pricey. For those kids with hearts in the right places (and kudos to their parents!) hook them up with something that says I get you. Which is pretty much what matters most.

boom boom cards/
teen edition

The 2009 way to
pay it forward.
$9.99 at Boom Boom Cards

make your own converse (red)

Support the Global Fund.
$58+ at Converse

foster an
orphaned elephant

Too many choices.
$50+ Sheldrake Wildlife Trust.
Boom Boom Cards - Free shipping with code CMPfreeship in comments section of the order form (You won't be charged)

For Your Artsy-Fartsy Friend

It could be your artier-than-thou single friend, your favorite metrosexual, your buddy the architect, or even your kid's art instructor. Here are a few thoughts to help you nail a gift to appease a gift snob.

pantone coffee cup

So hip it hurts.
$12.95 at Mxyplyzyk

jonathan adler's prescription for anti depressive living

Who doesn't love him?
$23 at Amazon

film of the month club membership

More indie than Sundance.
$98.99 at Film Movement
Film Movement - Yearly membership now reduced from $144

For the Nanny You Don't Want Anyone to Steal

Our caregivers are among the most important people in our lives, and surely we'd all pay them double if we could. Whatever you get them, be sure to enclose a handmade card from the kids, wrap it up beautifully, and oh...include cash. Really.

belgian hot choc gift set

...and cash.
$18 at Fred Flare

goats milk soap set

...and cash.
$64.95 at Abe's Market

woven+stainless earrings

...and cash.
$129 AUD at Polli
Polli - 15% off with code CMPNEWS1209

For the Remarkable Teacher (Whose Job You'd Never Want)

Ask any teacher what they don't want and the answer is another World's Greatest Teacher pen/key chain/cap. Which isn't to say you can't acknowledge the greatness. If you want to get something a little more special, chip in with the whole class and get every kid to sign the card.

handmade holiday cookies

Or a wine bottle tote.
$4.50 The Container Store

magnet set from your child's artwork

A teacher portrait perhaps?
$36 at Ruva Cards

apple bookmark from elsa peretti for tiffany

Beats an apple mug.
$65 at Tiffany
Ruva Cards - 10% with code COOL10

For Her First Holiday Dress

When you look back on those photos of that perfect little girl in her perfect little holiday outfit, you'll swoon the rest of your life. Sigh.

dwellstudio red
cord dress

Can't beat the price.
$12.99 at Target

black cord dress

Get silver mary janes
to match.
$48 at Magpie Lovely

red velvet dress from velvet and tweed

Classic and perfect in every way.
$90 at BundleNYC
Beba Bean Designs - 20% off with code CMPholiday09
BundleNYC - 20% off with code CMP20
Magpie Lovely - 10% off with code CMP10 (Enter code, then click the orange button to apply changes)

Holiday Best for Boys that Looks Great in January Too

You could spend all your money on that one reindeer sweater, or invest in something that keeps him looking dapper all season long. Hold the velvet. Please.

red checkered shirt

$14.50 at Old Navy

burgundy woven shirt

A nice change from holiday red.
$49 at Genes

cashmere cable-knit

Do you dare?
$204 at Baby CZ

For the Preschooler Who Already Owns Every Toy Known to Man

We all know those kids, the ones who seem to have more than any one kid needs. For them, think experiential gifts (like zoo memberships), thank you notes (for all those toys), and books. Because you can have too many toys but never too many books.

personalized name stamps

She has one? No way.
$21 at Etsy

p'kolino book buggee

And a copy of Books Make Me Happy: My First Reading Log
$38 from P'kolino

"experiences of a lifetime"

Muppet Workshop? Danish LEGO tour?
Bid at FAO Schwartz

The Gift of Giving

When things are tight, it has a way of making us realize how much we already have. Consider these worthy causes in addition to whatever you're buying, or even as great gifts in their own right

donors choose

Supports school projects in your district or any other.

feeding america harvester program

Monthly gifts that
keep giving.

world wildlife fund extraordinary gifts program

From the Amazon to the American plains.

unicef school in
a box kit

Sets up an emergency temporary school for 40 kids.

raven + lily sew
great gifts

Sewing kits to support fair trade partnerships.

music education for inner city children

$150 teaches one kid for a whole year.

Great Gifts Under $12 for Kids, or the Young at Heart

You've got a lot of nieces. Or nephews. Or preschool classmates. Or holiday invites from friends with children. The good thing is, kids don't judge you on how much you spend. Here, some super cool ideas all $12 or less. We think they all feel like actual small gifts, and not stocking stuffers passing as gifts. In other words, no #2 lead pencils.

retro harmonica

$8.00 at Fred Flare

allergy-free chocolate snowman

$10 at Divvies

flower craft set

$7.50 at My Sweet Muffin

handmade baby doll

$12CAD at Natural Pod

fingerprint art set

$12 at Romp

kids table topics

$9 at Table Topics

where the wild
things are

$8.50 at Amazon

league of cliche evil super villains tee

$9 at Threadless

tickle me plant

$5.95 from Tickle Me Plant

candy cane marshmallows

$9/15 at Have it Sweet

recycled paper sketchbook

$7.50 at Olive & Myrtle

felt and beaded pendant

$10.50 at Craftsbury Kids

puzzle piece soap

$9.99 at La Retro Gifts

color and assemble toys

$6.99 at Creative

wooden board book

$11.95 at Olie Bollen

wooden magic wands (add some glitter glue!)

$3.95 at Green Planet Parties

green toys jump rope

$9.99 at KangarooBoo

tree bell christmas ornament

$6 at The Pajama Squid
Craftsbury Kids - 15% off with code CMP15
Creative Toy Shop - 20% off with code CMP20
KangarooBoo - 12% off with code CMPGG009 + free ground shipping (excl AK, HI) for orders $75+
La Retro Gifts - 15% off with code CMP15
Natural Pod - 15% off with code CMPNP1509
Oliebollen - 10% off with code COOLMOM
The Pajama Squid - 10% off with code CMP10
Tickle Me Plant - $2 discount with code MOM

All discount codes are good through 12/31/09, whoo!

All picks are entirely determined by our editorial staff;
there has been no compensation in exchange for reviews.

Cool Mom Picks is an Amazon affiliate.