RM’s Favorite Things

In December 2021/January 2022, Stuff by Raleigh Magazine1 Comment

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Curated gifts handpicked by our team for everyone on your list.


It’s the most wine-derful time of the year! Eat, drink and be merry this holiday season with 36 of our favorite things—highly curated and handpicked local food and bev finds (from cookbooks to personalized cocktail glasses to liquor and wine), perfect for the foodie, vino lover, home bartender and cook in your life—or yourself, no judgment. 

bitters: favorite things

The Bittery’s Old-Fashioned to-go cocktail kits could really come in handy this season… whether to stir up a flight or just enjoy a happy hour at home. Cheers! $15, Available at The Bittery. bittersbittersbitters.com

laser etching and engraving

Nothing says “I love you” like a personalized gift. This monogrammed etched decanter and highball glasses set by local Brio Design Laser Etching & Engraving is perfect for holiday happy hours and beyond. $52, briolaseretching.com

wine: favorite things

Wine a little, laugh a lot. You can’t go wrong with a bottle or two from Wine Authorities, The Raleigh Wine Shop or BottleMixx. Prices vary, wineauthorities.com; theraleighwineshop.com; bottlemixx.com

cheese and crackers

Everything’s better with cheddar (or blue cheese!)—especially if we’re talking Angus Barn’s crock varieties and homemade crackers. From $10, angusbarn.com

Every stellar charcuterie spread starts with a stunning board. Honeycomb Wood Crafts’ handcrafted charcuterie trays and bread boards are sure to be the center of attention. Prices vary, etsy.com/shop/honeycombwoodcrafts

How’s this for a damn fine gift? Durham Distillery’s Damn Fine Liqueurs (in chocolate, coffee and mocha flavors) are sweetness by the sipful. $19.95 each, durhamdistillery.com

Give the gift of Ashley Christensen’s sought-after freezer-friendly recipes (yes, that includes her famous macaroni au gratin!) with her most recent cookbook, It’s Always Freezer Season, that’ll make a pretty chill addition to the kitchen. $30, quailridgebooks.com


Whose ready to go wheels up? Destination isolation is so last year. Whether venturing down the road for a local staycation or traveling the globe, help your crew get carried away this holiday season with our curated list of travel gifts.

Help techies hide the cord clutter and get organized with this leather tech wallet with button-stud closure and sage suede interior pockets by Hawks + Doves. … because they’ll die without it (Get it? chargers…). $85, @hawksanddoves

Nudge a little law and border with this Flowertown Weddings personalized passport holder. “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport”—so may as well protect them. From $24.95, @flowertownweddings

Swap emotional baggage (hey, last 21 months!) for literal baggage and give the flyest gift of all with airline gift cards. Prices vary (we say go high or go home)

Fight freezing in flight mode and wrap up this cashmere travel wrap from White + Warren to ensure your wanderluster is cozy. $335, charlottesinc.com

luggage tags: favorite things

No yours is the other black bag… Just what the doctor bordered, these super-cute Smathers & Branson bag tags from If It’s Paper. Ahh, #VacationMode. $35 each, @ifitspaper

books: favorite things

Your travel bestie will appreciate a good read after booking a flight. Our rec: A taste of NC with fan-fave The New York Times bestselling Where the Crawdads Sing by author Delia Owens—or her new book, The Eye of the Elephant. From $18, quailridgebooks.com

sacks: favorite things

I like big bags and I cannot lie…  Alpaca your bags with this large caramel-colored duffel handcrafted from genuine goat leather by Leather Sack Boutique for all carry-on or weekend travel needs. $227,


If you want to check everyone off your list in time for the holidays, you’ll wanna swap Shipt for shopping small—and local. Bonus: No inevitable shipping delays or family members peeping your Amazon cart. And lucky for us, Raleigh’s got all the goods you need right here.

jeans: favorite things

Raleigh Denim = jeanius AND fashionable, naturally. Show off your inner smarty pants with a pair of these resilient styles and fits for both men and women with a bonus gift of worry-free rips, fading or holes. Prices vary, raleighdenimworkshop.com

favorite things

It all makes scents… make someone’s holiday merry and bright with The Flourish Market’s signature scent candle. Not only does it smell amazing, but the holder doubles as chic decor—and checking the “reason for the season” box, each purchase provides three meals to a child in need. $30, theflourishmarket.com

For the fellas, lemme upgrade… your closet. Snaz up his style game via Alton Lane’s bespoke blazers, suits, shirts and more so he can look the part of CEO or just sport spiffy threads while he binges Netflix. Hubba, hubba! Prices vary, altonlane.com

favorite things

Woof, there it is. Don’t fur-get Fido this holiday season! Treat your pooch with Designed for Joy’s pawsitively stylish handcrafted leather dog collars and leashes. From $28, designedforjoy.com

You better be-leaf the bloomer in your life would love to add some greenery to their home this holiday. Shop houseplants from Urban Pothos, Copperline Plant Co. or Houseplant Hippie. Prices vary, @urbanpothos; copperlineplants.com, thehouseplanthippie.com

favorite things

On sneakers and running shoes are on-trend this year (#SoleMates) thanks to their colorful sleek designs and cushy cloudlike soles that reduce muscle fatigue and lower heart rate. Hey, whatever they’re running from, this’ll make a great first step! From $130, mainandtaylorshoes.com

Everyone will be fa la la loungin’ in Uniquities’ adorable Antelope’s Forest Sleep Set come Christmas morning. $128, uniquities.com


Before you roll your eyes—this is not your grandma’s macrame plant holder or your neighbor’s handmade soap. This is the legit stuff you’d get shipped from global makers with the same (or better!) quality and packaging—right in your own backyard. Pro tip: Take that shipping money you saved and #treatyourself as well.

favorite things

Two words. Vivian Howard. Now that we have your attention, be sure to secure this pretty in (buttermilk) pink pottery—among other colorways—via the chef and PBS star’s exclusive dishware line collab with NC pottery company Haand. Prices vary, haand.us

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Break the “one night stand” habit (had to) with decorative dressers and other restored vintage furniture from Raleigh design studio Rail & Stile. Prices vary, therailandstile.com

favorite things

Get hammered—metal, that is—and go for the gold this holiday season with JewelsByElan’s vast 18K gold-plated jewelry selects. Prices vary, jewelsbyelan.com

Feliz Natal! Beautify the holiday (and home) with paintings by brilliant Brazil-native, internationally renowned artist Alexandre Emmanuel, whose recent exhibitions include the 311 Gallery in Raleigh. Prices vary, artspacenc.org/emmanuel-alexandre


After almost two years of not being able to do anything, the gift of experiences is truly the greatest gift of all. Treat your SO, solo buddy, fam, couples or your whole crew (that means you too!) to one of these—aka sweet memories that last a lifetime.

vitis house

Sip happens, so why not get the vino lover(s) in your life a wine class at Vitis House?! (And even better, join them. Friends who wine together….) And, hey, it’s always wine o’clock somewhere…  $99, vitishouse.com

snap pea: favorite things

Turns out secrets do make friends. Enter surprise suppers by Snap Pea—back with their wildly creative nine-course (!!) pop-up concept dinners in surprising locations (announced 36 hours beforehand)—each carefully crafted to wine and dine you. Dinner team, assemble! Prices vary, snappeacatering.com

mix it up mixology

Raising the bar for gift giving is On My Way Bartending’s Mix&Sip mixology classes. Whether you’re shopping for a cocktail enthusiast, wannabe bartender or a friend who just needs an excuse to swill, snag them a ticket to an upcoming class—then might we suggest they show you what they learned… Prices vary, onmywaybartending.com

theater and arts tickets

Turnout for what? For some en pointe entertainment, culture vultures will love to meet at the barre for some Carolina Ballet—not to mention local performance ops by NC Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, NC Opera or NC Symphony—or live concerts at The Ritz,  Red Hat or Coastal Credit Union. Prices and venues vary

personal chef

Answering the question “where’s my personal chef” is Take a Chef’s in-home private chef dinners with top toques—turning your home into a fine restaurant, from prep to serving to cleanup. Name a better gift. We’ll wait. From $110, takeachef.com

game tickets

Take warning! Give the “bunch of jerks” in your life a Caniac attack—or howl back for the Pack with some NC State game tickets—all winners in our book. Prices vary, pncarena.com

Southern Picnics

Life’s no picnic—unless you’re on one. Give the gift of the gouda life with Southern Picnics’ French-inspired flower-filled luxury picnics with an elegant Southern charm—think blankets and pillows, Champagne flutes, and seasonal decor. So they can just “show up, unwind and enjoy.” From $200, southernpicnics.com


But wait—there’s myrrh. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without those super-fun surprises in our stockings. Stuff your friends’ and fam’s with these little gifts that go a long way. 

stocking stuffers

S(t)ocking stuffers have met their match with Green Monkey’s humorous socks. From $12.99, greenmonkeyraleigh.com


Escazu’s chocolate bars make for the sweetest little gifts on Christmas morning. From $8.50, escazuchocolates.com

macarons: favorite things

Ooh, la, la! Transport your giftee to Paris with these bites of heaven from Little Blue Macaron. From $2.50 each, littlebluemacaron.com 

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Take note: The writer in your group will appreciate an adorable notepad from Deco to jot down all their thoughts and ideas. $6.95, decoraleigh.com

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