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The holidays are in full swing, the weather in San Diego has a chill in the air, the lights are hung all around town, Hotel Del has the infamous skating rink set by the sand, and it’s only a matter of time until the kook in Cardiff-by-the-Sea dons a festive Santa hat (IYKYK). How are you hanging in there? Are we singing Christmas carols and sipping hot toddies by the fire yet? We’re curious to know - which camp do you fall into: excited for the hustle and bustle the season brings, gifts already wrapped under the tree, or feeling the stress and pressure of all the things Christmas-time brings? We’re here to help inspire you with some easy and creative gift ideas that you actually feel good about.  

Shop small San Diego - gift ideas for her, including the Elise wool felt hat by Leah
wool felt fedora style, ‘Elise’

Gifts for a sister or best friend:  

Every one of us has that special person in their life who is a loyal go-to when the tea needs to be spilled, or you know will have your back no matter what. Whether it’s a sister, or a best friend you’ve known your whole life, when the holidays roll around you know how important it is to show them you care. While we highly recommend making plans to get together for a festive happy hour, or fancy dinner, show her how much she means to you with a gift she’ll cherish for years to come. The Leah Smith Rancher is part of our new wool felt hat collection, it’s one of our top sellers, and looks great on everyone that wears it, we know she will too. The Moonlight straw hat is another option - if she’s a big sun seeker - we find ourselves getting the most compliments when wearing this one! You can also add on a genuine leather hat band so she can switch up her look with the same hat style - looks great on both our premium straw and wool felt hats.  If you’re not sure what size hat to select, we recommend sizing up and she can always use the inner sizing ribbon to allow the hat to feel more fitted - please also refer to our hat sizing chart. The Maren straw crossbody with leather straps is a great everyday purse - functional and beautiful, and priced under $100. 

Smith rancher wool felt hat style in black
Smith Rancher | Black | $150

 Gifts for hard to gift for mom and mother in laws: 

There’s usually someone on our list every year that we procrastinate buying for, not because this person doesn’t mean the world to us, but because it often feels impossible to think of the “perfect” gift to get her. For most of us, this person is our own mother, or our significant other’s mother, here are some of our favorite ideas... The Rio straw visor - is chic, adjustable, and completely shields the face from the sun’s rays - so if she’s retired she’ll love to take this one on her next getaway, anytime she’s out gardening, or reading by the beach. The Magnolia market basket is one of our classic styles, and a consistent best-seller, year ‘round. She can display this straw tote at home, and bring it on trips to the farmer’s market. The Magnolia basket is also available in a mini basket bag version - perfect for her and her granddaughter to wear matching styles. 

The Magnolia market tote bag - a great gift idea for moms

Magnolia Market Tote | $89

 Gifts for neighbors, caregivers, hostess: 

Here’s how we’re showing appreciation to the many people that touch our lives everyday from those who teach our kids, host the best parties, to the neighbor with the stocked pantry. Our handcrafted baskets tell such a special story on their own - each uniquely made by artisans in Guerrero, Mexico (often taking a few days to complete just one). Fill up the lidded Cortez basket with a personal note of gratitude and a gift card to the local coffee shop, or add a thoughtful houseplant to the small Cardiff basket for something unexpected, yet meaningful.

Cardiff straw storage basket with houseplant makes a great hostess gift

Cardiff Storage Basket | $30-$39

Experiential - (coco and fig picnics, classes, extended family photos):

Supporting local, small businesses is always in style during the holidays and throughout the year - gift cards to restaurants, boutiques, and merch. from your local watering hole are all great ways to shop small. If you’re looking for an experiential gift, we’ve rounded up a couple that we’d love to give and receive. Coco and Fig Picnics is a San Diego based, woman-owned company that brings magical picnic style setups and grazing tables to the beach - imagine being treated to an unforgettable experience like this. Taking professional family photos are a great way of capturing memories that will last a lifetime - Chelsea Maras Photography is based in Orange County, she specializes in family photoshoots (great idea for grandparents who want to be part of the family photoshoots with grandkids, newborn photos, etc). Looking for something a little luxurious? May we remind you about the extraordinary holiday display Hotel Del Coronado puts on: you can rent an igloo by the beach where you can roast marshmallows, attend a traditional Victorian tea, and go ice skating next to the ocean.

Local San Diego small business, Coco and Fig Picnics’ grazing board for special occasions.

Coco and Fig Picnics

Now throw on some holiday tunes, drag out the tinsel, and start prepping that gift list. We’ll admit it sounds a little excessive, but a trusty spreadsheet will help keep everything organized and on budget! We also know everyone could use a break at this time of year, so we’re offering 15% off your first order when you sign up for our emails. If you’re looking for a few more ideas, we’re happy to help - leave a comment below, DM us on Instagram @Leah_California, or send us an email at or email us at Happy holidays, and merry gift giving!




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