It’s time for another edition of my favorite things – holiday gift guide-style! ‘Tis the season for gift giving, folks!

Holiday Gift Guide + Giveaway

Because I’m a ginorm procrastinator, I always wait until the last minute to buy gifts for my friends and family during the holidays.  Every year, I tell myself I’m going to have my gifts purchased and wrapped months in advance, and every year, that slips through the cracks. With Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, now’s the time to prepare for your holiday gatherings and have an arsenal of ideas for gifting as well as entertaining. PLUS, don’t forget about yourself: you deserve treats, too!

Since I haven’t shared my Favorite Things with you in a while, I figured this post could double – nay, triple – whammy as a Fall Favorites / Holiday Gift Guide / Giveaway.  Ready? I use all of these products daily, and as always, thank you for supporting the brands that support me!

Bring the action.


Savora // Savora’s kitchen gadgets are super stylin!’ They’re designed to last with an aerodynamic race car-inspired look. I’ve been enjoying Savora’s colander, pizza wheel, and handheld grater. The colander is made out of stainless steel with vortex-shaped slits and a sturdy base, ensuring your food has a place to safely hang until you’re ready to serve it.  The pizza wheel is sleek and smooth with air pockets on the blade, which helps food stay off the slicer. Designed to be held upright or horizontally, the handheld grater is versatile and comes with a catcher so that the shavings stay in one place, instead of getting everywhere. These are some of my favorite things because they’re super durable, functional, and pretty to boot! They come in a variety colors to razzle dazzle your kitchen. Follow Savora on Facebook.

Cuisinart Non-Stick Cast Iron Cookware // Did you know Cuisinart has been rocking the cast iron? Their 12″ Open Stir Fry Skillet holds a ton of food (5 quarts-worth!) and combines both the benefits of a non-stick saute pan with a cast iron skillet. I’ve been using it to stir fry vegetables. Similarly, Cuisinart’s 5-Quart Dutch Oven is a heavy duty pot, perfect for making soup, stew, and chili, and/or slow cooking meat and vegetables.

Govino “Go Anywhere” Wine Glasses // You know how I love my wine to-go! Govino’s shatter-proof disposable wine glasses make taking your wine and cocktails with you a cinch. They are re-usable, recyclable, and even have a neat little thumb notch for a comfy drinking experience. Trust me, you’re going to love the thumb notch after you’re a drink or two deep! P.S. Drink responsibly.

Elizabeth Karmel Super Square Baker // Is anyone else here obsessed with 8-inch square baking dishes? Am I the only one who has strong feelings about them? Elizabeth Karmel and REVOL have a line of 5 cooking and 5 entertaining pieces, that are perfect for your every-day or holiday get togethers. The 8-inch Super Square Baker is a pretty white porcelain, which makes your baked treats look classy.

Rota Knife Sharpener // You guys, dull knives are a real womp woooooomp.  I like keeping my knives sharp for my chopping convenience. Because hacking through a butternut or kabocha squash with a dull knife just ain’t gonna happen. Tears will be shed. I use Joseph & Joseph‘s Rota knife sharpener for keeping my blades on task.  The Rota makes an excellent gift for friends and family who love to cook!


Rawlicious at Home, by Angus Crawford and Chelsea Clark // This gorgeous cookbook is filled with nothing but – you guessed it – healthy raw food recipes! With more than 100 raw, vegan, and gluten-free recipes, this book is an excellent resource for health nuts! Although I’m a big meat eater, I love going raw from time to time. This beautiful and vibrant cookbook has every type of recipe, from drinks and appetizers to entrees, soups and desserts. I’m feverishly turning pages with a watering mouth, and will be sharing a recipe from the book with you soon! I would recommend rawlicious to folks who like to eat clean either regularly or from time to time as a cleanse (so pretty much everyone). It makes a great gift to anyone who a.) likes healthy food, b.) is vegan or vegetarian c.) eats a gluten free diet d.) any or all of the above.

The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf // Remember when I told you I got to meet Robb Wolf and Charles Mayfield? I’ve been reading Robb’s book, which has been not only educational from a nutrition and environmental standpoint, but is also super entertaining. Wolf does an excellent job at explaining the Paleo Diet in a scientific and level-headed (not extremist and annoying) way, and is also good for some chuckles. This is a great book to gift to yourself and others who are interested in nutrition.

Quick & Easy Paleo Comfort Food, by Julie and Charles Mayfield // From Paleo newbies to seasoned Paleo-ers, this cookbook has recipes that are healthy, easy, approachable, and delicious. I recommend this cookbook to anyone who loves a good whole food meal. You don’t have to be on the Paleo diet and can still eat cheese if you own this book: it’s simply a great resource for very tasty and healthful recipes! I recommend this as a gift for people who enjoy a home-cooked meal.

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Greene // Talk about a tearjerker!  When I was in Chicago a couple of months ago, Stephie recommended I read this book. I’m half-way through and am completely sucked it.  It’s a narrative of a sixteen-year-old cancer patient who meets and falls in love with another teenage cancer patient. The emooooootions! It’s an easy read, which for me is all I want at the end of a long day, and is very well-written, and humorous. For a good stirring of emotions, read this book!  The Fault in Our Stars would also make an excellent gift for girls and women of all ages.

Wishes Fulfilled, by Dr.Wayne Dyer // This book is on my to-read list. I purchased it a few months ago on amazon during an epic amazon and YouTube binge at 1am, and I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. I always wanted to happen upon a genie who could grant me three wishes, but I’ve been told that reading this books helps you grant allllll them wishes on your own. Let’s get fulfilled! This is a great read for the thinker, the curious, the intellectual, the person who is looking to up the ante or make some changes in life.

Vegan Treats eBook, by Kelly Roenick // My good blogger friend, Kelly, who writes the blog, The Pretty Bee, put together a great ebook full of 25 Vegan holiday recipes for cookies, candies, quick breads, muffins, and more! These recipes are brand new and have not been published anywhere else. Treat yourself or your friends/family to these tasty holiday goodies!

Gluten Free Gifts in Jars eBook, by Kelly Roenick // Do you love to make holiday gifts? Are you 9or your friends and family) gluten free? Rather than spending an arm and a leg on purchasing gifts, you can add a personal touch to your gift giving this season. Gluten Free Gifts in Jars contains 10 recipes for gluten free jarred gifts, plus printable recipe cards and holiday tags! Kelly makes assembling delicious and thoughtful treats a cinch!

Food & Drink

Crown Maple Syrup // As you know, I’m a huge fan of using natural sweeteners in place of cane sugar in my recipes. Recently, my go-to sweeteners of choice have been pure maple syrup and coconut sugar. I love pure maple syrup because it doesn’t take much of it to sweeten a recipe, and it can be used in so many ways. Crown Maple makes an incredibly delicious and high quality syrup. I’ve been using it in my cookies, cakes, bars, salad dressings, and for candy-ing nuts. This is a great item to have in your pantry

Giddy Yoyo // I’m officially obsessed with Giddy Yoyo’s raw cacao powder, maca powder, and chocolate bars. I’ve been adding their cacao and maca to my chocolate smoothies, which seriously taste like dessert! Their raw cacao powder and maca powder taste so creamy and sweet and their chocolate bars are my favorite! The chocolate bars come in a variety of cacao percentages as well as flavors. Even their darkest chocolate bars taste rich and creamy instead of bitter. Can you say stocking stuffer?  All of Giddy Yoyo’s products make great gifts for foodies! The company is based in Canada and I haven’t seen them in grocery stores here in the U.S. yet, but you can buy all of their products online.

KIND Bars & Granola // KIND bars are great for keeping in your purse/glove box for an afternoon snack, or as an emergency source of food when you become fungry.  I’ve never tried a KIND bar I didn’t like, and the company just released a few new savory flavors as well!  For those of you who are all about stocking stuffers, stock up on KIND bars and granola – they make great stuffers and are also perfect for stocking your pantry.

Bulleit Bourbon // ‘Tis the season for cocktails! I’ve been using Bulleit Bourbon religiously in my cooking as well as for cocktailing. Remember those bourbon maple candied pecans I showed you? Delicious. Bulleit a stellar bourbon to have on hand during all times of year and is particularly great during the holiday and tailgating seaso. So many holiday recipes call for liquor, and tailgating can get puh-retty chilly, so it’s nice to have a stiff drink to warm the belly.  For those who enjoy cooking with alcohol (or cooking while drinking alcohol), or making cocktails to share at get-togethers, this is the perfect gift.

Dalmatia Fig Spread // Figgy Pudding, anyone? Do you loveth the fig spread? I’m addicted.  Fig spread is essential for holiday entertaining, and I love all of Dalmatia’s spreads. You can use it in all sorts of recipes, or for a holiday fruit/cheese/spread board. Stick some brie on a cracker with a little fig spread topper, and you’re looking at one dandy appetizer. I will be posting a mind blowing recipe soon using fig spread, so stay tuned! For keeping your pantry guest-friendly this holiday season, I recommend having a supply of fig spread, PLUS a jar of Dalmatia is perfect for a holiday gift basket!

Sipp Sparkling Eco Beverages // Healthy soda! Get your healthy soda right here! Sipp Sparkling Eco Beverages was created by two ladies who love mixology and an all around good quality bevvie. These all-natural, naturally sweetened (with agave nectar) sparkling beverages are great on their own, or for mixing with liquor for a delicious cocktail. The beverages are caffeine-free, cane sugar-free, lightly carbonated, and have no preservatives or artificial coloring.  The generous ladies at Sipp are offering you a $1 off coupon on any 4-pack purchased through their website. Just enter the promo code HAVEASIPP1

Mighty Leaf Tea // Are you a fiend for tea? On top of the 3ish cups of coffee I drink in the morning, I also drink tea throughout the day. My favorites?: Chai, green tea, and Earl Grey.  Mighty Leaf’s tea bags and loose teas are always in my pantry for the brewing, and I’ve been ooooobsessed with their loose leaf Chai! You’ll see a Chai recipe on The Roasted Root soon!  For your friends/family/co-workers who enjoy a nice hot beverage, I recommend giving them the gift of Mighty Leaf. Sign up for Mighty Leaf email newsletters and receive a coupon for 15% off tea.


I have a special giveaway for you!  One lucky winner will receive all of the following:

  • 2 cases of KIND bars (24 bars total)
  • 5 assorted Giddy Yoyo chocolate bars
  • 4 assorted Sipp Sparkling Eco Beverages
  • 1 Savora colander
  • 1 Savora pizza wheel
  • 1 Savora handheld grater
  • 1 4-ounce bag Mighty Leaf loose leaf Coco Chai tea
  • 1 4-ounce bag Mighty Leaf loose leaf Chocolate Truffles tea

Enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below! All you need to do in order to enter is leave a comment on this post telling me the funniest or coolest white elephant gift you’ve ever received. For bonus points, you can also follow myself and the participating brands on Facebook, but this is not mandatory. A winner will be selected on Friday, December 5, and will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond before a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Julia Mueller
Meet the Author

Julia Mueller

Julia Mueller is a recipe developer, cookbook author, and founder of The Roasted Root. She has authored three bestselling cookbooks, – Paleo Power Powers, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, and The Quintessential Kale Cookbook. Her recipes have been featured in several national publications such as BuzzFeed, Self, Tasty, Country Living,, etc.

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Questions and Reviews

  1. What’s the funniest/coolest gift you’ve received at a white elephant party?

    I have never attended a white elephant party! Maybe I should start this tradition!

  2. Sooo I’ve never participated in a White Elephant but my sister has and the funniest thing she ever got was a coffee mug. In the shape of a toilet. LOL!

  3. Obsessed with so many things on this list! Thanks for helping us procrastinators of the world at least attempt to start early… : )

  4. Never participated in a White Elephant exchange. My favorite anonymous/grab bag gift was in elementary school–a purple purse.

  5. I’ve read the fault in our stars!! Anything by John Green is a must, read paper towns too! Even the movie adaptation of fault in our stars was boo-hoo worthy! I’m a frequent user of anything by Kind and a new grater is something I’ve been looking for! Hope to win maybe 🙂

  6. The funniest gift I’ve ever received at a white elephant party was a mug that said, “I don’t like people who my dog doesn’t like.”

  7. My sister has this “cute” habit of regifting any and all items she gets in a white elephant exchange to me. For Christmas. One year, it was a squirrel shaped metal nut cracker.

  8. The funniest thing I’ve ever received at White Elephant party was a coffee mug that says “Does this cake make my butt look big?”

  9. The only white elephant gift I have ever received was a shoebox full of travel sized toiletries and a plastic red vase! It was definitely not fun, and not practical either, since I had nowhere to put it all.

  10. Uhhh….Uhhh…I don’t do white elephant parties. I’m a party pooper. On another note, TFIOS is a fabulous book. Also, the movie is good, too, which totally surprised me. And, on a third note, I want all the kitchen gadgets you showed. The end.

  11. Oh man, a lottery ticket! I think I won a whole $3 on it, but it was better than some other janky gifts people got at the party! I just want it allllll!

  12. My family has a tradition of trading around a really shoddily made clay monkey that my cousin created in an art class when she was about 5. The monkey’s somache has been hollowed out (like a cave) and there is a piece of what we think is ow fossilised chewing gum right in the middle. Whoever receives it has to display it somewhere prominently in their house until the next year!

  13. I got a small garden gnome. I wasn’t too upset because it’s wearing a Baltimore Ravens jersey, my favorite team!

  14. I can’t remember the last white elephant party I attended it was so many years ago. But I do remember one of the coolest gifts I did get one year – one of the original troll dolls. She was about 4 inches tall with big round eyes, protruding belly, and long, flaming red hair. Makes me smile just thinking about her. I believe she’s packed away in a box with my old stuffed animals – may have to retrieve her. Always thought of her as a lucky charm.

  15. I once received a Pook…which is socks for your head. Everyone needs one. Add it to your Christmas wish list. Get your Pook on.

  16. I work at a University and have a staff of students, and we have a holiday party every year with a white elephant exchange. I now know to send out the email about “appropriate” work gifts as the first year we did this a student brought condoms and guess who got it… me! Awkward.

  17. i’ve gotten a stick of cinnamon gum once.. for the “holidays”… wasn’t too funny, but definitely the strangest! or maybe even the most lame!

  18. We have a squirrel clock that showed up every year until someone hung it in my mother-in-laws laundry room. It took a month before she noticed it

  19. We won a cowboy lamp made from an old cowboy boot. I believe we were the 56th persons to get the lamp! I can’t remember who 57 was.

  20. White elephant games have been a tradition in my husband’s family for years and lots of interesting gifts have resulted. I never ended up with anything too strange though. Once I got a box of Scooby snacks, which would have been just funny, but the bonus Sheets gift card definitely made it worthwhile!

  21. It was a party full of graduate and medical students. One of the medical students gave me a cube that you could put your finger in and feel what a prostate exam would feel like normally and when something is abnormal. Definitely unique!

  22. I recieved a framed picture of the giftgiver and a singing hamster once! The best part was the wrapping though. I had to go through 5 boxes that had been completely wrapped in duct tape to get to the actual present!

  23. Ginormous bear paw slippers-complete with claws!
    Happily my tween son loved them as FOUR of my feet would have fit in them! tra la la la la la la la la…

  24. Thank you for mentioning my ebooks! This is a great round up of favorites! 🙂

  25. This is an awesome giveaway! Thanks for hosting it! 😀 I’ve never been to a White Elephant gift exchange, but I remember doing something like it in elementary school! I think I got some sort of stuffed parrot…

  26. The funniest gift I have ever received from a White Elephant party was a very old Michael Jackson tape cassette! I don’t even have a tape cassette player anymore.

  27. So many wonderful goodies! I’m loving those wine glasses. Those and that fig spread would make for a mighty fine picnic!

  28. Many years ago, I received a camel saddle. Like a crazy person, I took it back to another white elephant party the next year. Then I found out they are very valuable.

  29. Thank you for all the wonderful go to gift ideas. The white elephant gift that comes to mind wasn’t particularly funny or liked but it was a red glitter crusted candle.

  30. The best white elephant gift I received. Oh dear. My friends and I have done white elephant for years and the best one i got there was a $50 gift certificate to a bowling alley. A true white elephant- something of value that no one really wants.

    BUT, my workplace for the place few years does a floor wide white elephant party and I’ve gotten some pretty good ones. Some of the PI’s like to give really awful gifts, so I’ve picked up a giant box that is just filled with centrifuge tubes….

  31. I only remember the gifts I wrapped to give. One was a pot with all the plants dead (cause that’s what I do to them) and one cacti that was asking to be put out of his misery. The guy that got it was so happy and loved it! He loved plants and knew he could save it

  32. My favorite white elephant gift was actually an old jigsaw puzzle that kept making the rounds within the group year after year. I actively traded for that gift and we had a great time putting it together as a family!

  33. i never even heard of a white elephant party! I cant think of the funniest gift ive ever gotten – got a lot of nice gifts though!

  34. You know those pink flamingos people put on their lawns?
    To make matters worse, I don’t even have a lawn, I live in an apartment!

  35. I received a handbook on proper etiquette for wives and mothers in Ohio from 100 years ago. My family and I had just moved to Ohio, where my husband’s family and friends live, and this was a fantastic way to start my Ohio housewife education! (I didn’t actually take it seriously- the women at the party as well as myself were all feminists, which made this book so silly to choose!)

  36. Have heard a lot about knife sharpeners recently, but have never bought one. Realizing now that my knives must be pretty dull b/c I’ve had them for 5 years and have never gotten them sharpened. Will have to look into it. Thanks for the recommendations!