What the Blue Willow Staff Is Gifting This Holiday Season

What We're Gifting This Holiday Season - A Blue Willow Gift Guide for your bookish friends and family

If you're here, we probably agree that books make the best gifts. A lesser-known maxim is that all the other fun stuff in a bookstore works great in wrapping paper and bows, too. As we approach this season of gifting, we've asked our team of booksellers to weigh in with which books, puzzles, games, stationery, and more has caught their eyes this year. Browse through their picks for some inspiration while you fill out your holiday shopping list, or check our separate post on the best books of 2023 for more great ideas. Then, stop by and see us! We'll be ready with personal recommendations and on-the-house gift wrapping from the elves in our back room. Happy holidays!

Valerie - Travel Books


Travel Books

"Beautiful travel books make beautiful gifts — for armchair travelers, too. You don't have to go to the place to appreciate the pictures and stories in books like the National Geographic Atlas of Wild America or one of my favorites this year, Fifty Places to Travel with Your Dog Before You Die. They're fun to page through, and they might just inspire your next big adventure."

Purchase Fifty Places to Travel with Your Dog Before You Die


Aerie - Deblockle



"This is a quick, fast-paced strategy game that's great for kids and adults and pretty enough to sit on your coffee table."

Call Us: (281) 497-8675


Alice - V&A Morris & Co. Stationery


V&A's Morris & Co. Journal, Notebook, and Pens

"All my non-book purchases come from the stationery section. This set comes from the V&A, which has a large collection of William Morris’ works. They're gorgeous."

Call Us: (281) 497-8675


Christina - Once Upon a Wardrobe


Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan

"This book was on the top of my favorite list in 2021 and again this year, when it came out in paperback. It is a precious story and I sell it to anyone who will listen. I am gifting this to my dear friend, Jacque Weaver, who I taught fifth grade with in North Carolina. We used The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe that year to teach reading and it was truly magical!"

Purchase Once Upon a Wardrobe


Jennifer K - The Wager & Hidden Potential

Jennifer K.

The Wager by David Grann & Hidden Potential by Adam Grant

"These are my two favorite nonfiction books of the year—both are really accessible, with great storytelling. I recommend these for almost anyone on your gift list, from teens on up."

Purchase The Wager

Purchase Hidden Potential


Barb - The Box Game


The Box Game

"This handmade game is the ultimate Christmas gift — as beautiful as it is fun. Each Box Game is made by Greg Koehler, Valerie’s husband, and they’re all gorgeous and unique."

Purchase The Box Game


Cathy - The Eyes and the Impossible


The Eyes and the Impossible (wood-bound edition) by Dave Eggers; illustrated by Shawn Harris

"Ha Ha Hoooooo! This gorgeous book makes a great read-aloud or read alone. An utter joy."

PurchaseThe Eyes and the Impossible



Sandra - Kate DiCamillo Read-Alouds


Kate DiCamillo Read-Alouds

"I’m feeling nostalgic for reading aloud. I’ll be gifting these magical tales by Kate DiCamillo and recommending that families read them aloud and enjoy together."

Purchase The Tale of Despereaux

Purchase The Beatryce Prophecy

Purchase The Puppets of Spelhorst



Jennifer G - Stickers

Jennifer G.


"The perfect stocking stuffers! Everyone’s getting stickers… to embellish their Yetis, their laptops, their ice chests, their calendars!"

Purchase Blue Willow Stickers on our Merch Page


Cat - Murdle


Murdle Book of Puzzles

"I'm getting this for a friend of mine who loves true crime and is a puzzle master. There’s a whole book’s worth of puzzles to keep him occupied during holiday break!"

Purchase Murdle



Caroline - A City on Mars, Unruly, and Another Shade of Blue


A City on Mars by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith; Unruly by David Mitchell; Another Shade of Blue

"A City on Mars is perfect or my son, who's studying mechanical engineering and is totally into space — it's accessible, journalistic writing about colonizing Mars. Unruly is full of
British snark and British history. And if my niece lived in the states, I'd definitely get her a subscription to Another Shade of Blue, our excellent subscription program for YA readers."

Purchase A City on Mars

Purchase Unruly

Purchase Another Shade of Blue


Jean - Stationery, Pencils, and Pencil Cases


Stationery, Pencils, and Pencil Cases

"Making a list and checking it twice? I love to have a little something to put in a stocking or hand to a teacher, neighbor, or hostess during the holiday season, and these cute notepads, cases and pencils (complete with quotes) are perfect. Tie them up with a pretty bow and you are set to go! "

Call Us: (281) 497-8675


Liz - The Berry Pickers and Blue Stocking Stuffers


The Berry Pickers by Amanda Peters and Blue Stocking Stuffers

"A four-year-old Indigenous girl vanishes in the blueberry fields of Maine one summer in the early 1960s. A stunning story that would make an excellent book club pick. I'm pairing it with some of the great blue stocking stuffers we have around the store, like our Blue Willow t-shirt."

Purchase The Berry Pickers

Purchase Blue Willow Merch


Lynette - Mr. Texas and Puzzles


Mr. Texas by Lawrence Wright and Puzzles

"Mr. Texas is a recent fiction release that’s a good pick for history buffs and people who are interested in Texas politics, like my dad. And there’s a really nice selection of jigsaw puzzles in the store for my mom and anyone else who loves puzzles."

Purchase Mr. Texas

Call Us for Puzzles: (281) 497-8675