Design

The Cup of Jo 2019 Gift Guide

2019 Cup of Jo Holiday Gift Guide

Today, we’re kicking off our holiday gift guide! Our first post — for kids — is coming right up. Over the next couple weeks, we’ll update this post with more links, as we publish more guides. As always, there will be a mix of budgets and personality types, which we hope will be helpful. We hope you enjoy them!

Gifts for kids
Gifts for sisters
Gifts for brothers
Gifts for moms
Gifts for dads
Gifts for best friends
Gifts for girlfriends/wives
Gifts for boyfriends/husbands
Gifts for people who are hard to shop for (co-workers, teachers, in-laws, teenagers!)

Here’s the complete 2018 gift guide, if you’d like to see. Off we go! xoxo

(Illustration by Alessandra Olanow for Cup of Jo.)

  1. Abbey says...

    I look forward to these posts all year. ❤️

  2. Katie A says...

    It’s here!!!!

  3. k says...

    It’s the most Wonderful time of the year!!! I have been using your gift guides as inspiration for years :)

  4. Mags says...

    YAS! I always look forward to your gift guides.

    This year, it’s be awesome if y’all could highlight #GivingTuesday! Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving and is an EXCELLENT opportunity to think about others and spread the love. I work for a nonprofit and opportunities like Giving Tuesday give us a chance to highlight our work, connect with donors and raise funds for programs. There’s so much good work happening out there!!

    Thanks for all the energy you pour into this space!

    • E N says...

      What Mags said! If you’re interested in a curated list of NYC-based nonprofits that Cup of Jo readers may be interested in supporting, I would love to share a list! (I work in philanthropy)

  5. Emily says...

    Can we add babies to the “tough to shop for” list? I have a 5 month old and no real clue what to get a child that small.

    • Christina says...

      Something pretty to look at maybe? Like a picture for the wall or something to hang from the ceiling. It’s fun to watch from young age and might last through all childhood.

  6. Victoria says...

    Reading these lists is my guilty pleasure. I can’t wait.

  7. Dawn says...

    I always just love your gift guides. I’d like to put in a request for a family gift guide for giving “experiences” instead of “things”. In trying to be more conscientious of the environment, we have switched to giving experiences as gifts instead of toys or stuff that will be broken or discarded too quickly. Plus giving experiences is also giving memories. However, after doing this for a couple of years, I could use some inspiration for new ideas and CoJ always has such unique ideas!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’re on it! thank you!

    • Lydia E Bruno says...

      Wonderful idea, love it!

    • k says...

      Love this idea!

  8. jrg says...

    yes! this is always my favorite :)

  9. Katie says...

    Yay!!! I look forward to these all year long! Thank you for putting together such thoughtful, creative ideas!!

  10. Mary says...

    If you have gift suggestions for roommates that would be awesome too!

  11. Marisa says...

    Oh yay! I was just thinking about your awesome lists this weekend and can’t wait to see what you recommend :)

  12. Emily says...

    I think one reason these are so helpful is b/c in my experience gift organizing/giving/idea generating falls to women. I begin to dread the holidays because I know how much more emotional labor exists for me from November thru January. I have to cook more, manage a trickier social calendar, be even MORE thoughtful, manage relatives, etc. etc. These lists are really helpful to me b/c they do a lot of the work for me. Thank you!

    • LT says...

      AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Sasha L says...

      Maybe one solution is to pass the ball back to the men who may be getting a free pass on this emotional labor?

      I’m fine with gift giving for the people I want to give gifts to (my daughters, my husband, my parents). Several years ago I let my husband know I would no longer be gifting for his mom (bday, mother’s day, holidays). The Earth has continued to spin.

  13. Courtney says...

    HOORAY!! This made my Monday better!

  14. Jessie James says...

    CofJ puts out the best gift guide (truly!). Thanks for putting one together again!

  15. Candice Boese says...

    Honest, this made me gasp when I saw it! So excited!

  16. KA says...

    The holiday season gets pretty stressful for me around gifts—because limited funds (!) but also because grandparents, uncles, aunts, etc are always asking me to provide a list of gifts that they can get my children. (Mid-December text: “Send me ideas for the children!”) I’m not complaining about their generosity; it’s so lovely that they want to buy my kids presents! But gosh it’s a chore for me to come up with suggestions, choices, different price points (and always equal between the kids!)—and still leave things for me and my husband to buy our kids that we can enjoy them opening on Christmas morning. And there is such pressure too if I suggest something to a grandparent (read: mother-in-law) and maybe it’s not a huge hit when the open it. Just wondering how other people deal with this.

    Related: I read this NYT Social Q’s letter last year and actually felt bad for the villified sister! Those lists take time and work! And to have them ignored is frustrating—though, I’d never, ever send a gift list for my kids unasked (I hate making them, after all) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/27/style/christmas-gifts-books.html?searchResultPosition=2

    Anyway, I’m happy to see these gift guides (always so good!) but I’m also dreading having to put together my own “gift guides” for my relatives. I love their generosity, but don’t like it in my to-do list. Bah Humbug and all that, but, really, I do love picking out Christmas gifts!

    • Sasha L says...

      A couple things –
      1. I keep a Pinterest board with ideas for gifts, all year. Whenever someone mentions something or I see an idea, I pin it. Otherwise November comes and I just can’t think of things.
      2. I hear you about having to provide a list. I always did this for my mom when my children were young, and she faithfully bought exactly what they/I wanted for for them. The alternative, ahem, my mil, who was personally offended at suggestions, was a nightmare. Every year I had to open her gifts BEFORE Christmas and weed out the stuff that wasn’t appropriate. It sucked. (And I don’t mean she bought mittens in the wrong shade of pink, I mean she bought things that we couldn’t have in our house because of allergies or things like Brat dolls which were an insult to our values, but which she just wanted to give).
      3. What about experiences? Like a membership in your local children’s or art museum? And then could just be renewed the next year. Or some sort of lessons?

  17. Thank you for getting started earlier this year! Makes it easier for online shopping!

  18. Jeannie Kim says...

    yay!! I have a very selfish request. i need TWEEN help. I swear it’s the hardest kid age to shop for. “Not a girl, not yet a woman” anyone?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we’re on it! we’ll put them in the “hard to shop for” gift guide :)

    • rose says...

      * A subscription to Seventeen magazine – it’s full of empowering tips for girls and I loved it as a teen.
      * A gift card for clothes/music etc is always appreciated.
      * Something so fun it allows them to enjoy being a kid, like tickets for indoor skydiving – it is so much fun for All ages – my mother did it in her 60’s!
      * Tickets for accompaniment to a local theater play or a major ballet or dance performance – always inspiring and a lovely way to introduce meaningful culture.
      * The box set of The Chronicles of Narnia or Little Women, both tried and true classics

    • K says...

      I think you can find fun tween things in the “stocking stuffer” section at Urban Outfitters and American Eagle. There’s usually some silly, goofy, but still kind of cool things that won’t feel too babyish or too grown-up either. I also want to give a shout out to TOYS for this age. Clothes and books and thoughtful trinkets are nice to give, but at 10, 11, and 12 I still really wanted something to rip open and play with on Christmas. Simon is a fun/retro game that hits a sweet spot for Tweens. A Maze Ball has also gone over really well with my tweens. And this year, they are both getting Koosh balls!

    • Emily says...

      Would be great for tween boys as well.

    • El says...

      NY Magazine’s Strategist does some great roundups for tweens and teens. They even ask a variety of tweens what they’re into. Super useful! Here’s a link: nymag.com%2Fstrategist%2Farticle%2Fgifts-for-tween-girls.html&usg=AOvVaw30wgxqTS415aRzNByCxtLc

      I wish the Strategist didn’t depend on Amazon so much (something I love is that C of J does a mix!), but it’s got some great ideas. :)

  19. Sid says...

    Yes!!! So excited for these! Last years Caboodles were a huge hit for both of my kids. Pro tip for parents of LOL doll-fans: Caboodles work great for storing the dolls and all their outfits.

  20. Stephanie says...

    I always wish the gift guide can be released a little earlier so I can get my shopping done during black friday :(

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes, that’s why we are starting early this year! we’ll do a bunch before black friday!

  21. Cara M says...

    Thanks for posting a link to last year’s guides! I referred back to it today to purchase a birthday gift for my niece (her name is Pearl and I bought her the Pearl Wishing Bracelet from Catbird). They are always helpful to refer back to…can’t wait for this year’s!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds like a perfect gift for her!

  22. Annalisa says...

    Can’t wait! I love buying off these guides, but they are even more helpful in educating me about what’s trending. The extra-special gifts for my girlfriends or sisters (or for me) are usually from this list. Thank you!

    P.S. Could you include more tops and dresses that flatter a variety of bust sizes? The sweaters are usually universal, but I notice that the blouses tend to flatter more rectangular shapes with small to medium busts. I would love to see some wrap shirts, blouses that avoid deep v’s, and blouses that avoid peasant style sleeves. Things that draw the eye up and emphasize the waste would be great!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, thank you for the request/feedback! xoxo

  23. Cynthia says...

    I enjoy the holiday gift guides. Fun reading!

  24. Mallory says...

    I am so grateful for your gift guides. It is not unusual for more than 75% of the gifts I buy to be directly from your guides!

  25. Heather D says...

    I look forward to this every year!

    • Sara says...

      Excited for this! Missing the beanie baby picture though! ;)

  26. Monika says...

    Dear Joanna, the links are not working. Looking forward to exploring the wonderful gift ideas!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      we haven’t posted the gift guides yet — they’ll be posted over the next couple weeks — and then we’ll add the links as they are published. hope that makes sense!

  27. Katie Larissa says...

    As a teacher’s wife, can I request that you mention “no mugs” on the one for teachers? 😂😂 TEACHERS HAVE ALLLLLLL THE MUGS.

    (Gift cards are good. Even if it’s $5 to a local coffee shop, TRUST ME they appreciate it!)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha noted! thank you!

    • Heidi says...

      No teacher themed ornaments either! They have millions of apple and pencil and chalkboard ornaments. Gift cards are great!

    • Hilary says...

      Teacher here and I cosign this message. NO MUGS OR FOOD* Handwritten note! Warm wishes! A card! A $5 gift card!

      **
      1. Lots of food re-gifting due to dietary restrictions and preferences.
      2. Your kid doesn’t wash their hands after using the restroom. No, I do not want their home-baked treat.

    • Heather says...

      Totally glad to read all of these teacher comments! Bring on the $5 gift cards for my son’s pre-k teachers!