Hello Friends! It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my favorite things and items I’ve used this year, so I decided to make a gift guide! There are no affiliate links or promoted links (except for the one that includes my own shop).
How many times have you received a well-meaning article or question about dinosaurs or a recent discovery? Maybe you went looking for an archaeology-themed gift and was gobsmacked with search results overflowing with dino-related books and bobbles. Well, I’ve got the perfect gift for you or the anthropologist in your life! In February 2022, The Rockstar Anthropology in collaboration with Sneedle Creative launched some cheeky, anthro-themed merch. Visit the shop and check out this t-shirt, cute ‘commingle cherries’ enamel pins, stickers, and more designed by me! Also, feel free to peruse the other website items for more fun options. All t-shirts are hand-pressed and made-to-order so I would highly suggest ordering by December 15th.
2. Throw in a pin!
Who doesn’t love a unique enamel pin? This black metal enamel pin features two cherry skulls, just comminglin’. This pin is about 1.5 inches and would also make a great gift for a graphic novel, comic book lover, or enamel pin collector. For readers of the blog, as a token of gratitude, use the code Rockstar25 from now until December 15th to get 25% off orders over $30 USD on the Sneedle Creative website (non- Rockstar Anthro collab items include!)
3. The Notebook Lover
I’ve always loved notebooks and journals. This year, I’ve taken up more sketching and painting so my collection now includes sketchbooks for every art medium. The A5 hardcover Leuchtturm1917 dotted journal has been my favorite for a while and makes a glorious gift! For our friends in field school, they make a water-resistant version that stands up well to the elements.
If we have some artistically inclined friends, check out this Stillman & Birn sketchbook. It’s great for mixed media.
4. Workspace Essentials!
During the pandemic, I had to remake my workspace. I had to get a new desk, so I decided to invest. I chose a standing desk from Flexispot and haven’t looked back! This one is more inexpensive than others, and has quite a few options. I’ve convinced my partner to get one, added another one to my studio, and, at least, three of my friends have now gotten Flexispot desks for their spaces. We all work from home so having the flexibility to sit and stand is really helpful. I linked one of my exact desks here. I started with the maple 48×30 chipboard top. I’ve since gotten a longer desk top.
You’ll notice there isn’t any storage with this desk, but I use a separate drawer unit for storage and I’ll link a few items that you can add to the underside of the desk for more custom utility. I have one of these adhesive drawers, this monitor riser, and I love a desk pad.
5. The Amazing Gift of Learning
I love learning and online classes have helped me expand my interests and gain new skills. Buy a loved one a class or series of classes to help them jumpstart their ideas or further their studies. This year, I’ve taken classes ranging from live skeletal pathology sessions to art courses and more. My recent favorites are from Domestika since I started doing urban sketching to manage stress over the summer. Skillshare is a membership that has unlimited access to 1000s of incredible classes on almost anything. When I wanted to improve my project management skills and learn more design skills when I started creating merch for the blog, I relied a lot on Skillshare.
Also, consider gifting professional memberships. Pay the dues for the American Association of Anthropology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, a local museum membership, trade journals, special interest magazines. These things are often pricey, but very helpful for many.
Since I started sketching, my supply kit expanded into fountain pens and I am in love! A great fountain pen is wonderful for journaling, art, and just being a BOSS! They are customizable, most are refillable, and can be more comfortable to write with. I’ve tried a few and my favorite is the TWSBI Eco with an extra fine nib. You can get converters and refillable cartridges to use nice inks. There are so many options for fountain pens so you can really give a thoughtful gift. I also recommend the Kaweco Sport as a great pocket pen, and Lamy Safari pens are considered the perfect starter pen. Keep in mind that the type of ink you use does matter. If you are providing separate ink, be sure it’s made for fountain pens.
7. Cozy Candle Moments
I think a nice-smelling home is a luxurious home. We have oil diffusers in most rooms, but a quality candle is my favorite. Astrid Paper and Home, based in Astoria, NY, remains one of my ABSOLUTE favorites! The Spiced Pear is my go-to scent. I love it during the holidays. It smells so delicious. We love White Birch for the living room and my husband is a big fan of the Lavender for the bedroom and Rosemary and Sage for his office. Obviously, they are all over our house. We each keep them at our desks while we work, too.
8. Back it up!
An external hard drive is always a good thing. After two of my working computers melted down this year, I was working more on my iPad and even on my phone. I picked up this small Samsung portable SSD that can connect via USB and USB-C to all my devices. As I’m writing this, these drives are on sale so I may grab another. They come in 3 colors and 2 very respectable sizes. I also recommend the portable SanDisk. These really make great gifts for anyone and fit nicely in an ‘everyday carry’ bag or pouch.
9. Propagations are popular
My partner and I became plant people during the pandemic. We finally moved into a home with enough light to not kill plants. We bought new plants every weekend which became a pricey endeavor especially as we sought out more rare finds. Now we have lots of healthy plants that we love to stick into jars, propagate and pass on. Just this week, I gifted two massive monsteras. If you have some propagations that are already rooted, consider heading to a local flea market or thrift shop to find a fun plant vessel to pot your sweet plant baby and pass on. Next year, I’ll have some pink princess philodendrons to share with friends and I can’t wait.
I could go on but I wanted to create a list that highlighted the experiences that I have loved throughout the year- designing, learning, being creative, thriving in my spaces, and sharing. What are your favorite gifts to give? Let me know if the comments.