The Carterhaugh Magical, Small, & Ethical Gift Guide 2022

December 6, 2022

So… has your inbox exploded as badly as ours have over the last few weeks? Everything is very: 


(We’re not gonna lie, we felt our heartbeats accelerate slightly just typing this! It’s weirdly stressful getting this much all caps email!)

So, whether you, too, have been the victim of the Black Friday/ Cyberweek avalanche or you’re some kind of serene goddess who has successfully unsubscribed from that store you bought yarn from ONE TIME in 2009 and they’ve been haunting your inbox ever since…

We’ve put together a list of our favorite places to do holiday shopping! We’re highlighting small businesses and sustainable endeavors who are doing REALLY COOL STUFF. And, fair warning, we are including tickets to our own Gothic Solstice, because Christmas ghost stories, the cozy gothic, and the folklore of food are, by definition, really cool stuff (and it would make an awesome gift!) 

Ready? Let’s hit it.

Minou Bazaar – Did you know that our fabulous Carterhaugh Virtual Assistant, Meenoo, is a jeweler? And that her work is STUNNING? If you’ve ever seen Sara and Brittany talk, you’ve probably seen her work on us – we wear it all the time. Look at these insanely cute holiday deer earrings and this silver moonstone fern branch necklace! Also, her packaging is beautiful.

And it gets even better. Use coupon code CARTERHAUGH to get 15% off all her jewelry from today (12/6) through 12/14! Go forth and shower yourself and your loved ones in Gothic peacock jewels!

Sihaya & Co. – We have exactly zero chill about our friend Christina’s candles. We love them, we hoard them, we gift them, and we burn them like fiends. You can literally never go wrong with one of Chris’s candles, and they make the best gifts. They’re themed, they’re sparkly AF, and they smell fantastic. What more can you want? We especially recommend her Sisterhood of the Moon candle (amber, crackling fires, woody oakmoss, and warm vanilla) and Fireside Tales (crackling boughs of cedar and birch, glowing embers, and the soft spice of saffron).

Your Awesome Local Bookstore – There’s probably a really cool book store in your area that would love to help you foist your favorite books on people for the holidays. Sara’s is Virginia Highland Books – the people there are so friendly, the selection is beautifully curated, and just walking through the door and breathing in that book smell makes her happy. She’s also ordered several books from them online as holiday presents, so if you can’t go in person (or don’t have a cool local store nearby), this is a great option! You might already have the perfect books in mind, and we’d also recommend our December book club pick Christmas Days by Jeanette Winterson.

Thrive Cosmetics – Not only is this makeup gorgeous but it’s cruelty-free, and with every purchase, Thrive donates to nonprofits focused on surviving domestic abuse, fighting for racial and social justice, pursuing education, supporting LGBTQ+ causes, and more. Their eyeliner actually stays in place instead of going full raccoon, and we’re absolutely obsessed with their brilliant eye brightener. (Remember how we said we had to learn how to use makeup for the Wondrium tv series we filmed? Thrive was that makeup!) 

StoriartsFingerless gloves printed with text from our favorite books. Need we say more? 

Ok, fine, also, their blankets are also incredible. Just ask Sara’s cat Sazerac.

Also also, they’re woman-owned and partner with non-profit LitWorld to fight illiteracy. It’s just all very, very good.

Weird Sister Strands – Owner, creator, and fellow academic Leila is the genius behind Weird Sister Strands, with which we are obsessed. It’s kind of impossible to convey how beautiful her strands are without seeing them in person, but we’re willing to try. 

They’re also just REALLY high quality – they’re meticulously made, of truly gorgeous stones and charms, and they’re a LOT less expensive (and more beautiful, we think!) than similar products out there. 

Odd Little Birdie – Meenoo was vending at a Holiday Market last weekend, and Sara went to see her in action! While there, Sara stumbled across Odd Little Birdie’s booth and promptly lost her mind. The creator and owner, Lindsay, had created dozens of Christmas ghost ornaments and decorations, and Sara was so overwhelmed by the splendor that she just ended up buying the biggest thing in the booth.

As of writing, the Christmas ghosties don’t appear to be available in her Etsy store (though Brittany has literally messaged her to try to get one too), but there’s tons of other charmingly macabre wonders on offer. We especially love this Beetlejuice-inspired sandworm needlefelt and Wednesday Addams print.

OwlCrate – If you love books… and you love book MERCH… then do we have a cool thing for you. Owlcrate is a subscription box that sends you one of the biggest new YA fantasy books each month, complete with matching merchandise from tea cups to clocks to scarves, and it’s all just SO delightful! Each month they announce their theme and you can pick whether you want to renew for the box or not, so you’re not stuck having to pay for a box with a theme you’re not digging (past themes have been VERY tempting though… “Artistic Obsession,” “Haunted Hearts,” and – of course – “Steeped in Folklore” have been among our favs!)

Nicole Piar – Nicole’s cat artwork never fails to delight us… fairy cats with curly little antennae? Witch cats with sparkles and spells in their eyes? We are there! Brittany has recommended her Spirit Cat calendars to so many people over the years, but she also just came out with a WITCH CATS ORACLE, and it’s such a beautiful and affirming deck. Her messages – and the witchy cats she pairs them with – are kind, magical, and helpful reminders.

US – You’re definitely not going to want to miss our GOTHIC SOLSTICE event on December 21st at 7PM ET! We’ve got Dr. Maria DeBlassie and Dr. Stephen Winick as special guest lecturers and magic makers, and the two of us are going to be doing a deep dive into Victorian Christmas ghost stories (and even reading one or two!)

Oh, and hey, if you’re looking for even MORE gifts for a fellow Carterhaugh fan, check out our Zazzle shop as well. There’s some Gothic and fairy-tale-y and SUPER nerdy stuff in there! May we recommend a Word Witch mug or a Carterhaugh logo sweatshirt with our tree on the back? Or perhaps some cards wishing your friends and family a very Gothic Christmas?

We hope you find some wonderful gifts amongst our recommendations! Or maybe something for yourself ;).

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