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  • Writer's pictureSteven Hansen

Our 2022 Holiday Happiness Gift Guide!

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

It’s here! Our 2022 Happiness Holiday Gift Guide! Have fun shopping some of our very favorite things that we’ve discovered this year in our Happiness Archive online travels and interviews.

This post contains some affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission should you chose to make a purchase using the link. That's OK -- we love all of these companies, artisans, and entrepreneurs and their unique products anyway, and we know you will too!


Our French grandmother made the best fruitcake ever. So delicious that even we kids loved it (hmm, maybe it was the sweet brandy she soaked them in)! Jane Parker’s classic bourbon and rum soaked version is the closest we’ve found to our grand-mere’s recipe. Jam-packed with raisins, red glace cherries, pineapple chunks, orange peel, and pecans, and just the right amount fresh golden cake, baked with bourbon and Caribbean rum.

The Jane Parker brand of old A&P supermarket fame was revived in 2017 by brothers Chris & Alex Ronacher, along with the original 1930s fruitcake recipe. Lucky for us, they began baking these holiday favorites again and now sell them direct online!


Art-o-mats, those funky retro cigarette machines retooled to dispense small pieces of original art, have become hugely popular fixtures in hotel lobbies, museum gift shops, and public libraries. We love our original landscape painting on wood that we got from one of the first Art-o-mats at the Inn of the Governors in Santa Fe!

But if there’s not an Art-o-mat in your town, now you can order a carton’s worth (10) of the charming products they vend -- small paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and other uniquely crafted items -- direct from the Art-o-mat HQ!

Opt for an assortment they choose or email them the types of things you like, and they’ll curate a special election for you.


This has to be most beautiful wallpaper in the world! Turn any nook or accent wall into an enchanted forest with this gorgeously designed scene from WallColors. The richly colored, exclusive botanical design comes in a variety of sizes and finishes in easy-to-apply fabric or vinyl. Samples are available for $21.

If you’re unsure which material or finish to order for the type of wall surface you have, just contact the designer/seller Tomek Jedynak who’ll be happy to help you choose the best option to use.

Promising review:

“Absolutely GORGEOUS!! Custom, special, GORGEOUS!! The communication was quick and easy and the wallpaper arrived carefully wrapped and in pristine condition. The space with this wallpaper will become an absolute focal point of our home” (Self-adhesive fabric). -- Brian Sullivan Aug 27, 2020


Kick it like our fave indie pop boys, OK Go, in these comfy socks patterned with outlines of the quirky guys in action. Perfect for padding around the house or going for a plane ride! One size fits all. We are obsessed with cool and funkily designed socks AND with the music and the mind-blowing videos of OK Go, so these socks are a win-win for us!.


Fill your home with the calming scents of the prairie and high desert grasslands of New Mexico. The folks at Prairie Fire Candle Company have come out with this charming double-wick, soy wax candle that is aromatic of pinion pine, cedar, and smoke. The scent is subtle and pleasantly reminiscent of the Southwest.

We think it’s the perfect aroma for the holidays!


We had a blast growing plants in our AeroGarden over two long winters! Raising healthy and fast-growing edible plants – cherry tomatoes and herbs, no less – in water was a fascinating gardening experience, like no other. Specially designed seed pods fit into portholes on the top of the unique tank that you fill with distilled water and liquid organic plant food (included). Turn on the timer-activated LED grow light and within a few days, green sprouts begin popping up!

AeroGarden plants grow 5 times faster than those grown in outdoor gardens. We eventually harvested about 75 tomatoes from our two mini plants!

We were using the larger 9-port AeroGarden which was great, but it took up a lot of counter space in our apartment, so we were happy to see that you can now purchase this smaller 3-port version which is perfect for places with limited countertop space.

Comes with easy-to-follow instructions and 3-Pod Seed Pod Kit (Gourmet Herbs, Heirloom Salad, Mighty Mini Cherry Tomatoes, or Cascading Petunias) and plant food.


These 100% Tibetan Yak Wool shawls are soft as a cloud – lightweight and incredibly warm. Woven with traditional paisley patterns in glowing jewel tones, they make an elegant statement as a shawl or throw.

According to Kama Connection’s owner/curator and world traveler Mindy Kittay, “I love wearing mine as a scarf that can easily convert to a shawl. And when it's not in my car it is beautifully adorning a chair, bed or couch in my home. These are also great meditation shawls and are a travel necessity.”

A portion of each sale supports Tibetan artisans.


Designer and bookbinder Anna Hollingworth creates the most beautiful handmade journals you could ever imagine. Her studio is in Sunbury-on-Thames, England, near the medieval market town of Kingston. In fact, Hollingworth is also a medieval historian who uses the enchanting styles inspired by rare handmade books of the past in her own artistic journal creations.

A custom journal designed, assembled and bound by Anna in her LeximbueJournals studio makes for a very special wedding, anniversary, graduation, birthday, or holiday gift for a bibliophile – or anybody who appreciates one-of-a-kind handmade treasures.

Use the link below to view a current gallery of Anna’s handmade journals and contact her to discuss a theme or ideas you may have for a custom handmade journal to give as a gift or keep for yourself!

“I am passionate about creating journals that will be loved by their owners for many years.” -- Anna Hollingworth.


Know someone who always has their head in the clouds? Why not surprise them with an official Cloud Appreciation Society membership! They’ll receive a special enrollment pack containing a certificate stating that the member will "henceforth seek to persuade all who'll listen of the wonder and beauty of clouds," a Cloud Selector identification wheel, and an enameled cloud membership pin.

Members also receive a monthly newsletter, 10 percent discount off items from the Cloud Store (super cool stuff there!), and a cloud delivered to their email inbox every day. The emails are especially inspiring and consist of a beautiful cloud formation photograph, sky quotation, a piece of cloud artwork, or a short nugget of cloud science.

Members can also submit their cloud photos or videos to the society’s website and network with the 59,000 other cloud enthusiasts from around the world!


Recently, we opened up our 1937 imprint of Laurence Sterne’s “A Sentimental Journey,” (which we really will finish one day) and the glorious scent of the book’s old linen, ink, and paper wafted up in a sweet, dreamy whiff. If only someone could bottle this heady stuff, we thought. Well, someone has! EastTnSoapWorks has come out with a room and linen spray redolent of a roomful of old tomes. No matter where you enjoy reading, this aroma will enhance your experience.

“Meet Me in the Library” has scent notes of plum, peach, peony, vanilla, leather, and patchouli that are calming and nostalgic. One light spritz is all you need.

The effect of this unique scent is charming – you can easily imagine you’re sitting in a comfy chair in a little corner bookshop, reading Dickens out of an old, leather-bound edition while a snowfall swirls outside!


You can still “refresh, relax, refuel” with the original Stuckey’s Pecan Log Roll! And you don’t have to drive for miles to the closest Stuckey’s store or even attempt making your own! Now you can order these famous roadside treats delivered right to your door. The 2 oz. size individually wrapped log rolls make great stocking stuffers, too.

There’s just nothing else like ’em – an American classic confection!


Winter is coming! And the only way we can seem to stay extra warm outdoors in the biting New York wind and cold is swaddled in a really warm wool scarf. We don’t actually own a scarf as big or comfy looking as the Tundra -- but this one is definitely on our list to Santa this year!

This fabulously chunky scarf is 8” wide x 85” long, and lovingly hand-knitted in a thick, soft wool blend yarn by Peg of CdCkDesign. The Tundra scarf is available in one of eight classy colors. Please allow 7-10 days for it to be custom made and delivered.

(And don’t lend it to anybody or you may never get it back!)


A must-have for cocktail enthusiasts! Tipple your martinis and Manhattans in style, just like our favorite bon vivants, Nick and Nora Charles. This set of two 1930s coupe-style cocktail glasses are enameled with the logo from New York City’s famous Stork Club on East 53rd Street where the real “Thin Man” duo, William Powell and Myrna Loy, were frequent patrons, along with mobsters, showgirls and society swells of the time.

The vintage look glasses arrive specially packaged with a cocktail recipe and Stork Club ephemera from the History Company.

Video extra:


Alleluya! Snuggle up under this comfy 100% polyester fleece throw and crank up your favorite Late 15th Century melodies! This large 60” x 80” throw blanket features a fragment of an exquisitely illuminated 1450 Italian choirbook with Gregorian chant for Pentecost Sunday, used at the monastery of the Benedictine order of the Olivetans, near Sienna, Italy.

A perfect gift for the liturgical music lovers and chant-o-philes on your list!


Enzo's makes the YUMMIEST dog confections and now you can make your fur kids feel extra special by treating them with holiday cookies personalized with their own names! (Well, even if they can’t read yet, it makes us feel good! They just love the scrumptious flavor.) This drool-worthy holiday Vegan Peanut Butter Banana recipe is made from organic oat flour, organic cinnamon, organic banana, organic peanut butter, and organic sweet potato. Arrives in limited-edition “Love Enzo” holiday packaging.

The special holiday treat pack includes 3 Gingerbread men, 3 Snowmen, and 2 Trees (ea. 4” long), and 6 mini-Gingerbread men (ea. 2” long); 14 treats total.

A portion of Enzo’s monthly sales supports various animal shelters.

Our canine pal Ruddy loves these!


Stay glowing this holiday with your own portable fireplace! Keep this cheerful novelty on your desk at work, or warm up your booth at the bar, or place it on your bedside table to create a little hygge warmth as you curl up with a cozy mystery! Just slip your smartphone inside and play a fireplace video (there are many on YouTube).

Choose from four different mantel and brick finishes. Overall size: 7.75” x 4.625” Easy-to-snap together kit.


Monarch butterflies are some of the most beautiful and indomitable creatures on earth. These resilient beauties weigh about the same as a small Post-It note and yet they migrate thousands of miles each year from as far away as Canada to Mexico, in massive multi-generational swarms. But their feeding habitats along the way are rapidly disappearing due to the use of herbicides and genetically modified crops in large scale corporate farming. The numbers of Monarchs, of both Western and Eastern types, decline each year.

Many individuals and nature groups around the country -- even here in our NYC neighborhood -- are developing feeding sites in home gardens, planters, and wild and protected areas, seeding them with Common milkweed and other wildflowers that butterflies are drawn to.

Now you can help, too, by creating a backyard space and planting it with seeds from this Butterfly Habitat kit. The kit contains planting instructions and seeds for common milkweed (Monarchs' preferred food plant), plus black-eyed Susan, Mexican sunflower, borage, zinnia, purple coneflower, hollyhock, and cosmos.

These lovely flowers are easy to grow and will attract and help sustain migrating Monarchs!

Also consider ordering these:


From the makers of the famous peanut butter and jelly sandwich wallet! This DIY Wallet Kit comes with a blank Tyvek wallet. Draw on it with permanent markers to create a personalized billfold for a unique gift for family or friends. This is an ultra-slim minimalist front pocket wallet with a total of 8 pockets to hold credit cards, ID and cash. Mighty Wallets are long lasting, water and stain resistant.

Promising review:

“I had my 2 sons ‘design’ the wallet for their dad and it turned out awesome! My husband is a pilot so he's gone half the week. He loves it because every time he pulls his wallet out, he sees his kids' drawings (and the notes they wrote inside). So special and he gets lots of compliments!” -- Casey DeLashmutt Feb 03, 2020


It’s five o’clock somewhere, right? Now, with the iconic Virtual Happy Hour Kit from the guys at W&P, you can whip up an Old Fashioned, Moscow Mule, or Margarita like a professional barkeep, no matter where you are!

Wow your friends and onlookers at poolside, in the park, on a sleigh ride, or in your living room recliner on Zoom! On a recent trip to Colorado, we seriously impressed our seatmates in economy, while mixing an Old Fashioned cocktail like we were in first class, with one of these fun kits!

Each kit comes with the mixing ingredients necessary – all you add is the booze and garnish. For the Moscow Mule you get ginger syrup, lime juice, bar spoon, jigger, and a linen coaster; for the Old Fashioned you get demerara cane sugar, aromatic bitters, bar spoon, jigger, and a linen coaster; for the Margarita you get Margarita mix, rimming salt, bar spoon, and a linen coaster. Bottoms up!

Promising review:

“My kids are adults but they still like a little something in their Christmas stockings. These fit the bill. The set of 3 is a good value and makes a fine drink on the go.” -- Nivia G. 10/11/20


Last year, in our post “How to Have Good Dreams,” we listed some helpful hints for improving your ability to dream as well as the quality of the dreams you do have – taking vitamin B6, sleeping on your right side, and scenting your room with lavender oil spray.

Now the folks at Woodland Herbal have crafted an enchanting tea mix specially designed to provide deep, restorative sleep, and promote lucid dreaming. “Down the Rabbit Hole” loose leaf dream tea contains a blend of certified organic herbs including magical Blue Lotus flowers, dreamy Mugwort, Mexican Dream Herb (Calea Zacatechichi), spiritual Holy Basil, earthy Patchouli, exotic Klip Dagga flowers, Ginkgo Biloba for recall and anti-nightmare effects, Passionflower for anti-anxiety and positive dreaming, calming Chamomile, and delicious French Lavender flowers.

After the second evening of sipping a cup of this tea before bed, we began to sleep more deeply than ever and also have the most beautifully colored, interesting dreams! So, this blend really worked for us, plus we love the richly herbal flavor.

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