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2018 Holiday Wishbook: Gift ideas, recipes, holiday-related articles and more

In West Newsmagazine’s annual Holiday Wishbook, you’ll find unique Christmas gift ideas for everyone on your list, holiday event listings including all the best places to meet Santa Claus, a Christmas quiz, and holiday-related articles for you to reference all season long. 

Read on for a well-rounded list of gifts suggestions, along with links to the rest of the Wishbook content:

Out on the town

Sometimes the best gifts are the intangible ones – the experiences


The Fabulous Fox Theatre

Surprise that special someone with tickets to a musical, play, concert, performance, comedy show or sports event. With nationally renown gems such as The Fabulous Fox Theatre and The Muny nearby, you can’t go wrong!

Gift certificates

We say this loud and clear: gift certificates are not impersonal! Gift certificates are a pre-paid day or night out to that special someone’s favorite restaurant or shopping venue. What better way to appreciate someone than to treat them to their favorite thing?

Cooking class

Attempting to cook with another person can tell a lot about your compatibility. Put yours to the test with a cooking class! Sip wine, cook a gourmet meal and enjoy each other’s company. Check your local grocery stores and culinary schools for class listings; they’re perfect for a couple or a whole group. Bon appétit!

Painting or crafting with a twist

Several local businesses offer a way to channel your creative side through either painting or making a craft such as a home décor item. Endless laughs and good memories are guaranteed, and each finished product has its crafter’s special spin on it. The best part? Wine usually is involved!

Weekend getaway

Cedar Lake Cellars

Chaumette Winery

Missouri has so much to offer within just a few hours’ drive or less. Treat your loved one to a weekend getaway. Take the train to Missouri’s wine country, stay in a quaint bed and breakfast, and explore the historic sites, outdoor activities and beautiful views in places like Ste. Genevieve, Augusta or Hermann. Your grand romantic gesture is sure to earn you some brownie points.

Travel funds

The Amtrak train

Did you know you can gift someone travel funds such as airline miles or an Amtrak train gift card? Not only is it a practical gift, but it comes with the promise of an adventure. By leaving the destination open-ended, the recipient gets to choose when, where and with whom to take their next trip!

Made in Missouri

Handmade, locally sourced, artisan – shop local and give a gift you can’t find in the big box stores


Erimish bracelets

Check your local boutiques for unique jewelry finds such as a stack of Erimish bracelets. The brand was started here in Missouri by two sisters. Sometimes, the story behind local pieces is just as beautiful as the piece itself.


Missouri wines

If you haven’t seen Missouri wine country, you’re missing out. And if you haven’t tasted Missouri wine country, you’re missing out even more! Treat your age 21-plus loved ones to a bottle of wine and pair it with personalized wine glasses for a special touch.


Hand-crafted soy candles are all the rage. Visit your local farmer’s market or holiday craft fair and you’re likely to find them. Take it one step further and gift your out-of-town loved one with a Missouri-scented candle – yes, it’s a real thing. Variations can be found at HomesickCandles.com or Etsy.com.

Body care items

While perusing the farmer’s market and holiday craft fairs, stock up on locally made care and relaxation items such as soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, face masks and lotions. They make perfect stocking stuffers, Secret Santa game contributions or work gifts.


The perfect gift for someone old or young, male or female is a Missouri-themed clothing item. From favorite sports teams to a state of Missouri design, to more niche items showcasing specific cities or neighborhoods – local clothing brands have an array of designs in the form of tees, hoodies, hats, onesies and more.


Goodnight St. Louis, by Julie Dubray and June Herman

Support Missouri’s authors and knock out your Christmas shopping in one fell swoop. From beautiful hardcover books showcasing the state’s history through photos, to children’s books with exquisite illustrations, to biographies on native Missourians – people will want to display these gems in their bookcases and on their coffee tables. Local bookstores are the best place to find local authors.

Something for everyone

A smattering of ideas for those on your list from young to old


Nikon D3500

Looking ahead at what’s to come in 2019, make sure your loved one doesn’t miss a moment. For high-definition memories that will never fade, invest in a quality camera. For the teens and young adults on your list, consider a fun Polaroid camera complete with the old-school film – vintage is in!


There’s nothing quite like a good, old-fashioned board game. Though cellphones are providing more and more entertainment options, there’s no shortage of new board and card games out there for the whole family.

Thinking outside of the box

National Geographic subscription box for kids

A Trunk Club subscription box for women’s clothing and accessories

There is quite literally a subscription box for everything these days. Dinner? It’s served. Work clothes? Athletic attire? Done and done. Pet treats and toys? Purrfect. Adventures to discover? You bet. You can get subscription boxes for neckties, shaving supplies, handbags, stationery, beauty essentials, snacks, vitamins, books, kids’ toys and so much more. Talk about a super-fun, “out-of-the-box” gift!

Wireless speaker system

Google Home

Wireless home speaker systems such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home are becoming more and more popular. Not only do they work hands-free and on command, but they also can do things such as control your lights or order you another package of paper towels.

Something personal

A monogrammed leather bag from Madewell

Spice up any gift by adding a personalized touch to it, such as an embroidered name or monogram. This can be added to purses, shirts, baby clothes, pajamas, wine glasses, tumblers, etc. Or, consider surprising your loved one by having a hand-crafted scrapbook professionally made with their photos and memories displayed in chronological order.

Something for their favorite hobby

Yoga Paws

There are all kinds of cutting-edge accessories out there to suit people’s hobbies. Give them a gift to show you recognize their interests. For example, for the yoga-lover in your family, consider Yoga Paws, gripped socks and gloves that take the place of a yoga mat. They’re perfect for yoga on the go!

An instrument

The Jammy portable electric guitar

For the right-brained person in your life, “wow” them with a cutting-edge instrument like the Jammy. The Jammy is a portable electric guitar that can be taken on the go, easily fitting into backpacks or a carry-on bag. No more clunky guitar cases!

Their own personal domain

A pirate ship playground from Dream Play Recreation

 Imagine the kids waking up on Christmas morning and being stunned when they look out the window. Give them the jungle gym of their dreams. A castle, pirate ship or space shuttle… a place where their imaginations can run wild through endless hours of fun.

READ: A new spin on gift-giving: Gifts from the heart

READ: Santa Sightings: Your guide to holiday events featuring Santa, Mrs. Claus and their reindeer

READ: Talkin’ Turkey: Turkey tips + one-of-a-kind holiday recipes

READ: Holiday Pet Safety 101: Keeping your four-legged friend comfortable during all the festivities

READ: American Holiday Traditions: Where do they come from?

READ: ‘Quizzmas Carols’: Test your Christmas music knowledge

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