9 Hand-Picked Holiday Gifts From an Expert Shopper

See how HGTV Magazine puts together their annual holiday gift guide, plus get hand-picked gifts from an expert shopper.
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Outside in June, it's 80 degrees and sunny as summer officially arrives. But inside in June, the holiday season has just begun for HGTV Magazine's market department. They are full-steam ahead planning the massive gift guide for the December issue.

This jumpstart on the holiday season is much needed with hundreds of brand-new products to sort through, trimming the gift guide to only the best of the best takes time. "We probably considered 50 mugs before whittling it down to the final five we featured," says Kate Doherty, HGTV Magazine's market director.

Kate and her team of savvy shoppers (also the masterminds behind The High/Low List inside nearly every issue) have seen it all, so she says they know an item is a great find when it feels new and fresh. When all else fails, Kate says there's one tried-and-true test. She asks herself, "Would I give this to someone?" or "Would I be thrilled to receive this as a gift?" If the answer to either or both is yes, the item makes it to the next round, and for the winners, to the Very Merry Gift Guide inside the December issue (out now!).

Now that you know the rigorous testing each item has gone through, Kate shares nine of her personal favorites featured in the magazine and what makes these gifts so special. Check out the entire list of more than 80 gifts here, plus some fun and creative DIY gifts, too! We hope we can make shopping a little easier this year.

Long-Lasting Candle

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "This is a two-for-one gift! First it's a candle with a great scent and a burn time of about 75 hours. Then, when the candle is done, the ceramic container can be rinsed out and reused as a vase or a container for makeup brushes."

Gift It: Venetian Fall 14.5-ounce soy candle in fig scent, $28, thompsonferrier.com

Fun Tea Towel

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "Pompoms on a tea towel? So much fun!"

Gift It: Llama cotton tea towels, $20 for a set of 2, papersource.com

Gilded Glass

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "Gold polka-dotted glasses equal instant party!"

Gift It: Asteria 16-ounce glasses in gold, $40 for a set of 4, zgallerie.com

Classic Frame

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "Perfect for the hard-to-shop-for guy on your list. Just pop in a colorful family photo."

Gift It: Loft Houndstooth 5" x 7" bone frame, $60, shiraleah.com

Stylish Bowls

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "You can never have too many bowls. These are just the right size for snacks or cereal, and they have a go-ahead-and-buy-a-bunch price."

Gift It: Folk Pad 2.75"H x 5"-diameter porcelain bowls, $8 each, westelm.com

Carryall Pouch

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "A pouch is the MVP of bags; they'll use it to hold change, makeup, power cords and so much more."

Gift It: Bunglo Mudras 6" x 9" cotton pouch, $28, sistergolden.com

Emoji Pillow

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "This round pillow shows you totally speak their language."

Gift It: Wink Face 13"-diameter polyester pillow, $25, emojistuff.com

Note: You also MUST check out the nearly three-foot-tall stuffed llama that kids can ride on. Find it in December's complete gift guide.

Clever Squeak Toy

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "Maybe your dog will chew this squeaky toy instead of real slippers. Maybe."

Gift It: Slipper 11.5" x 4.5" cotton and fleece toy in plaid, $14, harrybarker.com

Game Time

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

Holiday Gift Guide 2015

HGTV Magazine shares great gifts for everyone on your holiday list.

Photo by: J. Muckle

J. Muckle

Kate's Pick: "Step up their game night with the most fun playing cards around. Plain black-and-white backs keep the deck cheat-proof."

Gift It: Playing cards, $13, fredericksandmae.com

80+ Gifts for Every Single Person on Your List

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Your Ultimate Holiday Shopping List

The hardest person to buy for on your list, suddenly becomes the easiest with these genius gift ideas. There are more than 80 fabulous finds! 

Photo By: J. Muckle

Trays

12 1/2" x 18 1/2" bamboo tray in rockingham, $50, sunnylife.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Trays

Woodland 14” x 14” lacquer tray, $49, rockflowerpaper.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Trays

Regalia 13 3/4" x 18 1/4" polypropylene tray in gold, $25, pier1.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Trays

Patterned Print 13" x 19" wood tray in navy, $15, christmastreeshops.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Cheer Diamond-Cut 10-ounce soy candle in frankincense ginger scent, $28.50, capribluecandles.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Venetian Fall 14.5-ounce soy candle in fig scent, $28, thompsonferrier.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Snow Drop 9.5-ounce soy candle in winter vanilla scent, $25, soapandpaperfactory.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Double-Banded Gold Color-Block 12-ounce soy candle in lemongrass scent, $48, robertsiegelstudio.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Gilt 8-ounce soy candle in pomegranate cassis scent, $19, paddywax.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Candles

Orla Kiely 7-ounce vegetal candle in Earl Grey scent, $38, nordstrom.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Mugs

Jansen + Co. My Art Mug Andy stoneware mug, $24, neo-utility.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Mugs

Threshold Sweater stoneware mug with acrylic sweater in white and gray, $5, target.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Mugs

Danica Studio Retreat porcelain mug, $8, nowdesigns.net for stores

Photo By: J. Muckle

Mugs

Kate Spade New York All in Good Taste stoneware mugs, $40 for a mixed set of 4, macys.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Mugs

Malachite Carnaby porcelain mug in purple, $18, jonathanadler.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Tea Towels

Tails cotton tea towel, $24, elizabethgrubaugh.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Tea Towels

Llama cotton tea towels, $20 for a set of 2, papersource.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Tea Towels

Snowflake cotton tea towel, $18, dishragstudio.etsy.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Tea Towels

Rosa Reindeer cotton tea towel, $26, betsyolmsted.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pitchers

Glacial Ridge 112-ounce glass pitcher, $36, anthropologie.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pitchers

Certified International Tequila Sunrise 88-ounce ceramic pitcher, $56, kohls.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pitchers

The Pioneer Woman Flea Market 64-ounce stoneware pitcher, $13, walmart.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pitchers

Mario Luca Giusti Palla Smalto 101.5-ounce acrylic pitcher in fuchsia, $68, michaelcfina.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pitchers

Helice 64-ounce stoneware pitcher, $84, jerseypottery.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Glasses

Nutcracker 12-ounce glasses, $20 for a mixed set of 4, crateandbarrel.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Glasses

Tartan Red 15-ounce glass, $8, pier1.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Glasses

Artland Polka Dot 20-ounce glasses, $27 for a mixed set of 4, wayfair.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Glasses

Asteria 16-ounce glasses in gold, $40 for a set of 4, zgallerie.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Glasses

Zafferano Perle 10.8-ounce glass in blue, $25, gracioushome.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Frames

Tozai Home Spectrum 4" x 6" bone frame, $60, blisshomeanddesign.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Frames

Loft Houndstooth 5" x 7" bone frame, $60, shiraleah.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Frames

Shiraleah Boheme Blue Tie-Dye 4" x 6" bone frame, $42, purehome.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Frames

Congo 4" x 6" wood and bone frame in green, $50, melaartisans.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Figurines

Urban Trends Owl 10 1/2"-tall ceramic figurine in green, $49, wayfair.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Figurines

Dome 6"-tall brass figurine, $34, meandshestudios.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Figurines

Dala Horse 8"-tall polyresin figurine in red, $49, sockerbit.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Figurines

Standing Fox Looking Up 7 3/4"-tall ceramic figurine in silver, $49, allmodern.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Figurines

Mirrored Star 6"-tall metal figurine, $39, westelm.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Folk Pad 2 3/4"H x 5"-diameter porcelain bowls, $8 each, westelm.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Gold Wall 4"H x 7"-diameter crystal bowl, $79, badashcrystal.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

3"H x 9 1/4"-diameter ceramic bowl in grass green, $49, owlcreekceramics.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Modern Neon 3 1/4"H x 7"-diameter wood bowl in neon pink and sea foam, $54, nicoleporter.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Rwandan Berry Dancer 4"H x 12"-diameter raffia and sweetgrass basket, $58, allacrossafrica.org

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Castilian Country 4 3/4"H x 10"-diameter metal bowl, $50, dotandbo.com 

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

3"H x 6"-diameter ceramic bowls, $50 for a mixed set of 5, furbishstudio.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Bowls

Lazy Susan Perforated 5 1/2"H x 12"-diameter porcelain bowl, $107.50, shopcandelabra.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Totes

Tamarindo 12 1/4" x 18" cotton and nylon tote, $85, stephaniejohnson.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Totes

Circle 16" x 26" cotton canvas tote in pod blue, $78, seedesignshop.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Totes

Candie’s Mindy 17 1/2" x 17 1/4" faux-leather tote in rose gold, $50, kohls.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Totes

Echo 14" x 18" cotton canvas tote in tangerine, $52, maikagoods.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pouches

Bunglo Mudras 6" x 9" cotton pouch, $28, sistergolden.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pouches

Merona 5 3/4" x 8" leather pouch in silver, $40, target.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pouches

Jewel Petal 6" x 9" wool and polyester pouch in yellow, $50, anthropologie.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pouches

Tonala Marble 4" x 6" leather pouch in creamsicle, $52, scoutandcatalogue.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Pouches

Spotted 6" x 9" cowhide pouch, $75, primecutbags.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Wink Face 13"-diameter polyester pillow, $25, emojistuff.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

KidKraft Play 43"W x 43"D x 69 1/2"H bamboo and cotton canvas tepee in turquoise, $92, wayfair.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Magna-Tiles Clear Colors plastic building set, $100 for a 74-piece set, target.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Roller Derby Retro 32"-long wood skateboard in blue tint, $60, overstock.com   

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Colored pencils and burlap sleeve, $10 for an 18-piece set, T.J.Maxx stores

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Låtsas polyester shopping basket toys, $10 for an 11-piece set, ikea.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Amplitone fabric and plastic headphones in turquoise, $30, crosleyradio.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Girls and Boys

Larry the Llama Ride On 28 1/2"-tall polyester and wood toy, $149, landofnod.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Jingle Bell Snowman 4 1/2" x 2 1/2" cotton toy in red, $8, cherrywillow.etsy.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

2 1/2"H x 7"-diameter melamine and stainless steel pet bowl in glamo, $20, frenchbull.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

3"H x 17"-diameter cardboard and cotton scratch pads, $40 each, kittyjones.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Sardines 4 1/2" x 1 1/4" felt catnip toys, $15 for a set of 3, misohandmade.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Fringe Studio Andy 9 1/2"H x 8 3/4"-diameter tin canister, $20, republicofpaws.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Multipet Polka-Dot Bone 8" x 3" latex toys, $4 each, overstock.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

Adjustable Rope Leash

Adjustable rope leash in prismatic, $64, foundmyanimal.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Slipper 11 1/2" x 4 1/2" cotton and fleece toy in plaid, $14, harrybarker.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

For Cats and Dogs

Pendleton Pet by Carolina Pet National Park 36" x 48" fleece pet bed in Glacier Park, $169, pendleton-usa.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Amoeba 4"-diameter porcelain and 24-karat-gold coasters, $79 for a mixed set of 4, jonathanadler.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Playing cards, $13, fredericksandmae.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Victorinox Swiss Army 2 1/2"-long pocket knife in star light star bright, $24, swissknifeshop.com 

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Birch Floral iPhone 6/6S case, $36, riflepaperco.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Antique brass 6 1/2' mini measuring tape, $18, mackenzie-childs.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Signature polyester umbrella in stripes, $22, totes.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Tag Vintage Christmas Bike coir doormat, $34, hayneedle.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Monogrammed leather tassel key chain in orange, $49, markandgraham.com 

Photo By: J. Muckle

This and That

Nail polishes in, from left, Ruby Red Slippers, $20, and Lady Is a Tramp, $18, both deborahlippmann.com

Photo By: J. Muckle

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