Holiday Gift Guide 2016


Ho Ho Ho! It’s that time of year again. I am sure you are panicking at this point and I am here to say …don’t ! It’s handled… plus Hanukkah is late this year so you are definitely handled. We have gotten some classy  gifts, fun gifts, and gifts guaranteed that you won’t return. So sit down, curl up with some hot chocolate or iced tea . depending on where you live.


Fairy Tale Brownies are a great hostess gift or something that everyone will love, grandma in the home , your hairdresser, doorman, or your employees. They will personalize the box and the recipient is guaranteed a box of chocolatey goodness. (Hey no one is following a diet right now) Everyone enjoys goodies. And they guarantee their product. The brownies contain real nuts and chocolate chunks. My favorite is the caramel filled .

frozen-jb-dispenserJelly Belly has a fun way to dispense their regular and organic candies. They have created these fun dispensers with popular characters. This one is fun because it will thrill your “Frozen” fans. It is also for adult Disney collectors as well. Olaf cranks the handle and the Jelly Bellys come out. For the New Year, Jelly Bellys are fat free and a great way to curb that craving.


Here is the Star Wars one . Perfect to include tickets to “Rogue” for your Sci- Fi fans. A storm trooper dispenses the candy in this one. These are also great for your office on your desk. They also make great decorations for the dorm or man cave as well. There are others in the series as well. For more info.


Always a great gift is theater tickets. Everyone knows I support the arts and no matter where you are , you can too. Get a season ticket subscription to your local community theater or if you are in Chicago , you are exposed to some of the best theatre in the world. Some of our biggest stars came from these stages like Jeff Perry from “Scandal”, Martha Plimpton of “The Real O Neals” Emmy nominated David Schwimmer and Johnny Galecki from “The Big Bang Theory.” Broadway in Chicago exposes people to the best musicals and they are great for the whole family. Upcoming this April, is the musical version of the Disney movie “Aladdin.”  All of the theatres in Chicago have great subscription ticket packages. So check these ones out


One of the hottest shows on television is “Empire”. It means music, power, and style. If you regularly visit the “Lyons” den, here is a great gift. It is fragrances for men and women that are based on “Empire’s” power couple -Luscious and Cookie. These two are dangerous and sexy  and you will be too. This would make a great gift for your bae.


Another great entertainment gift is box sets. If you have someone who loves to binge watch and really loves the show. Check out these titles from Universal, 20th century Fox, and ABC. Follow Beckett and Castle as they solve another crime. Sit down with your wine and popcorn as you follow the political intrigue of DC. Catch up with old and new friends on “Grey’s Anatomy” . The best part is that you can get any of the back seasons of the series as well.  Want to really go one a roller coaster ride ? Then try “How to Get Away With Murder” starring Golden Globe nominated Viola Davis. “Scandal” features another Golden Globe nominated actress Kerry Washington. Taraji P Henson is nominated as well. You can follow her and the drama of “Empire”.


For the theatre or entertainment buffs on your list , pick up John Mayer’s history of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. The company is world famous and from its ranks come some of the best known actors on television. Laurie Metcalf of “Roseanne” and “The Big Bang Theory” , John Mahoney , best known as Martin Crane on “Frasier”, Gary Sinise of “CSI NY ” and “Forest Gump”,  Martha Plimpton of “The Real O Neals” and Jeff Perry of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal.” It is very exciting to read the beginnings of this world class and Tony winning theatre in Chicago.



Courtesy of my friend and fellow PR czar Nicole, I came across these delicious and unusual chocolates that are perfect for chocolate connoiseurs . Great gift for Christmas , Hanukkah, and even Kwaanza. These chocolates come out of Memphis and if you hear some of the flavors you would understand why. Philip Ashley is a chef that prides himself on unusual flavors like Chess Pie and Collard Greens and sells in places like Neiman Marcus. Don’t be fooled by the flavors, they are delicious and also some are infused with liquor. Definitely worth considering as a great hostess or foodie gift.



Attention Browncoats and those who make you sit and watch Firefly DVDs, Entertainment Earth is your location for all things “Firefly”. Jen was gifted for Christmas with two exciting gifts. First, Jen’s head will be nice and warm thanks to her Jayne hat. That’s right, you too can get the hat that makes Jayne Jayne!  And isnt’ that cool? Another thing that just made her Nathan lovin heart beat was the Serenity slippers. They are an Entertainment Earth exclusive. If you want anything that is geek or pop culture, you can find it at Entertainment Earth


When I saw this on the day ofthe Mag Mile festival at Sephora, I had to have it. Thanks to the great people at Too Faced, I got my Christmas wish. (Well at least the one not involving a certain Presidential actor) This palette is great for glammin it up for the holidays and if you smell the makeup , you will want to eat it. The colors are delicious and so  is the melted chocolate lipstick included. Great gift for the glam girl or guy in your life (gbff)


Someone planning a trip to NYC or just want something for the ultimate theatre geek? Check out this great resource book from musical theatre expert, Steven M Friedman . It is chock full of useless theatre trivia, Steven’s picks for the best and worst, and one of my favorite features is the lists of songs for auditions. It is also a terrific gift for that senior who has decided to make the big leap to the Big Apple or head to school to major in theatre.


With my thoughts of moving to warmer climes, I wanted to look at some clothing that will make the transfer . That’s when my friend Jennifer, turned me on to this great organic clothing line., Simply Chickie . It is clothing that is good for the environment because it doesn’t contain pesticides and it is also good for your body. They specialize in baby clothes and women’s clothes. I love the design and i love the feel of the organic cotton.This shirt also contains bamboo. Gwendolyn Gardner is the creator and founder of this environmentally sound line . I love her motto “Spread love and laughter.” Not a bad idea at all.

opi-washington-collectionbreakfast-at-tiffanysOPI has married the best of pop culture with some of their best nail laquers with the shades in these two popular collections. This is just a small sample of the two collections, but it gives you a nice sampling. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is inspired by the iconic movie starring Audrey Hepburn. It conjures up images of glamour and sophistication and New York at the holidays. The Washington collection was actually designed by Kerry Washington and is based on her hit series, “Scandal” . It has the rich colors that are great with casual clothes and fall. It conjures up images of danger, power, and secret trysts with your Presidential lover.


It’s been a great year , so why not celebrate it. Here’s a gift for someone who longs for the Windy City or just plain loves the Cubs. Tervis made these wine glasses that bear the Cubs logo and celebrate that they are world champions. If you don’t want the Cubs , don’t worry. You can get them with your favorite team or your alma mater.Great for tailgating at the bowl games . Northwestern or any other school. Pair it with a great wine from a place like Eataly and you have the perfect gift . You can also get cool stuff like Star Wars water bottles and tumblers too.


 I have always had trouble with bras. I still remember the time when us 36ds couldn’t wear anything but white and beige bras, maybe black. I was so excited the first time I went into VS and bought a bra in purple. Well these are bras and lingerie that are for real women and the best part is that 10%  from sales benefits various breast cancer organizations and those who are fighting. There is bras for nursing, breast cancer patients, and lingerie that will make any woman any size, sexy. I love my velvety bra and wild print to remind me that I am a strong woman and a survivor. It also reminds me of another strong woman, Cookie Lyon. This is a gift to assure you that you are okay no matter the situation or size. It also might be something to buy for that special someone (right girls?)



About chitownstarconnections

Melanie Christy is am actress/singer who came to Chicago to pursue her dreams of acting. Coming from a small town in Ohio she has been enjoying the things that city life has to offer like great cuisine from all parts of the globe, parties with great people including celebrities, gorgeous fashions and of course fun! Follow her, read her blog and learn about all the amazing adventures you can be a part of throughout Chicagoland! Jennifer Hedrick is the photographer and techie for our blogs. She was born and raised here in Chicago. Her love of photography started when she was a child. She has photographed many celebs, events, fashion shows and more. She also considers herself a bit of a foodie and loves food porn. Her other loves include her nieces and nephews, animals and the shows Castle, Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
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