2017 Holiday Gift Guide

2017 Holiday Gift Guide

November 24, 2017

(Author’s Note:  Today’s post is inspired by “My Favorite Things,” from the movie, “The Sound of Music” as sung by Maria (Julie Andrews).  Please hum the tune in your mind as you are shopping on this Black Friday and all season long!)

Once again this year, I am pleased to share some gift giving ideas for those on your professional gift list.  In the spirit of networking, they are all shareable and, for the most part, I’m featuring gifts made in Kansas City, my hometown (though, admittedly, I’m leaving out a lot of really wonderful products… just can’t fit ‘em all in!) – plus a few others thrown in there for good measure.  FYI – There’s nothing in this for me!  I get no residuals from the gift ideas I suggest… just the satisfaction of hoping that some lucky souls are ripping through pretty wrapping paper only to find one or more of the gems that follow!  If you have other ideas you’d like to add to the fray, please take a moment to share them with the CLC Community at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.


Christopher Elbow Chocolates

Christopher ElbowNot usually a fan of the food-related holiday gift, but these gorgeous, hand-crafted chocolates are more like miniature works of art.  Prices for assortments range from $10 for four truffles to closer to $100 for a much larger package.  Pictured here is the $16 6-piece holiday chocolate collection containing beautiful hand-painted chocolates in four festive flavors for the season.   In a word:  Yum.


Hugo TeaT-OHYL_2048x2048

Anybody who knows anything about me knows that I don’t do coffee, but I’m down for a cup of tea anytime you say the word!  One of my favorites is Kansas City’s own, Hugo Tea.  Here’s what the founders have to say about their product, “We are tea drinkers.  That’s why we do this.  Hugo Tea was founded on the straight-forward beliefs that people want to know where their tea comes from and that the world would be a better place is more people drank more tea.”  Well, I’ll drink to that.  Cheers!

Note:  My personal favorite is Hugo Tea’s delicious 100 Year Black Tea variety.  You can pick up a tin for about $10.


notes to self® Socks

notes to self socks blue amazingIf you – or the person to whom you are gifting – could use some positive affirmation, then this is the product for you!  Created by my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Laura Schmidt, notes to self® socks seek to remind every person of their value, uniqueness and potential to be their best.  Whether wiggling my piggies in my “I am beautiful,” “I am grateful” or “I am the Ripple” socks, my feet never felt so good in a pair of socks and my psyche never felt so inspired!  With so many words of encouragement to choose from and for just $12.99, you can make someone’s day every time they slip into these cozy numbers.

School of Life Gratitude Card Set

School of Life Gratitude Card SetWhile this one is not from Kansas City, I love the site, School of Life.  They put out wonderful, insightful articles and videos that make me think and help to assuage immeasurable anxiety.  They also have a terrific online store complete with fun gifts from books and stationery to games and homeware.  For the holidays, I am particularly taken with this $18 “Gratitude Card Set,” which includes 60 cards to remind us of the many reasons we have to be thankful.  As the site describes, “in our haste to secure the future, we omit to notice what is already very good. This pack of cards is designed to help us pause in our striving and, for a few moments, take on board some of what we have to be grateful for – a consoling, inspiring corrective to the lessons in cynicism and sourness that the world teaches every day.”

Example Cards:

  • There were no outright catastrophes today.
  • Others forget the stupid things we’ve done faster than we do.
  • We can reinvent ourselves – a bit.
  • Other people are usually shyer, sweeter and kinder than we’d anticipated
  • We don’t have to take ourselves seriously

Suffice it to say, I want this – and just about everything else School of Life offers in its online store!


If you love giving and receiving wonderful books, here are just a few suggestions for the readers on your list:

  • One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book.  From Amazon, “This classic memorykeeper is the perfect way to track the ups and downs of life, day by day. The 365 daily entries appear five times on each page, allowing users to revisit previous thoughts and memories over five years as they return to each page to record the current day’s events.”
  • Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. From Amazon, “…To write this biography Isaacson immersed himself in da Vinci’s 7,200 pages of notebooks, which these days are spread across the map. Da Vinci’s interests were even more divergent, and Isaacson’s empathetic and deeply researched portrait illustrates how he willed himself to genius through endless curiosity and a creativity that sometimes crossed over into fantasy. Much like Isaacson’s previous subjects of Ben Franklin and Steve Jobs, da Vinci was a polymath– he was passionate about art, science, nature, and technology, and he never stopped questioning, practicing, or experimenting. This is what made him the great innovator and historical figure that we recognize today—and Isaacson points out that this is a particular form of genius that can teach us how to live our own lives.”
  • Coffee Lunch Coffee: A Practical Field Guide for Master Networking by Alana Muller.  Again this year, a bit of shameless CLC_mini_book_coverself-promotion!  This, my first book, offers an accessible, relevant, immediately actionable approach to professional networking for anybody interested in connecting with others, getting involved in their community, seeking to advance their career or looking to build social relationships.  It will help you formulate a strategic mindset around networking while creating a game plan to get out there and connect.  BONUS:  Now through December 24, 2017, if you order directly from my website, I’ll personalize an inscription to your recipient and even include a free copy of my fun minibook, Coffee Lunch Coffee:  Five Tips for Making the Most of Networking Events.  No promo code necessary.

Mix Tape

Okay, I must admit, as a young adolescent, one of my favorite things to do was to make mix tapes for my friends.  In return, I loved – and still do – receiving mixes from others.  Plus, if you are at all like me, you will think through the words to every song and analyze how they relate to your own life.  So, make a mix for someone who appreciates music as much as you do – I guarantee, it will be one of the best-received gifts of the season.  And, as a special BONUS… here’s MY GIFT TO YOU!  The Coffee Lunch Coffee November 2017 Playlist on Spotify!  It includes most of the songs featured during this year’s CLC November blogging extravaganza.  Enjoy – with my compliments – and those of all my guest bloggers from the month.  If you feel inspired, I’d love for you to share your favorite playlists with the CLC Community at CoffeeLunchCoffee.com.

Happy Holiday Shopping!  Happy Networking!