By Velia Tarnoff Special to Published Oct 14, 2018 at 2:01 PM

As I write this in early October, it’s an unusually warm autumn day. But we’re going to talk about the holidays anyway because they’ll be here before we know it.

If you’re like me, you kinda stink at giving gifts. I mean, well, I really do. I want to give good gifts; I just never remember cool things I’ve seen when it’s actually time to buy and give. That’s why I rely on Google-able lists like the one below. So bookmark this listicle and wrap up your shopping in a few clicks.

1. The Comfy

This sweatshirt-meets-blanket thingie blows the Snuggie out of the water. Not. Even. Close. This is plush, thick, soft, warm, cozy and enveloping. I took a brief nap in one, and it was very possibly the best nap of my life. It features velour on one side and sherpa fleece on the other, cuffs on the sleeves to keep out drafts and a lined hood! This is a no-brainer for any winter-hater on your list.

2. Dr. Plotka’s Mouth Watchers

Do you really want to give a toothbrush as a gift? If it’s this one, you do. Dr. Plotka’s toothbrush has antimicrobial bristles infused with silver to naturally eliminate 99.9 percent of bacteria that grows between uses. Is there a globetrotter or business traveler on your gift list? Friends don’t let friends sacrifice clean teeth on a trip with a cheap disposable toothbrush. Dr. Plotka’s travel toothbrush will keep the germs away whether your pal is soaking up the sun or enduring endless meetings.

3. Kit-Cat Klock

No doubt you remember the Kit-Cat Klock’s iconic swinging tail, shifting eyes and contagious smile. This Americana gem has been around since 1932, when designer Earl Arnault invented it at during the height of The Great Depression. Today, you can find it in a variety of colors and styles, including Gentlemen Clocks and Lady Clocks. I seriously can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t want to unwrap one of these cuties.

4. Mill Creek Botanicals Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner

There are about a bajillion fancy hair products on the market, but these unsung heroes deserve a little glory. When I use these two companions, my hair feels lighter and cleaner than usual, which indicates to me their ability to clean and to condition without leaving product build-up. Their gentle scents are pleasant without being overwhelming. Maybe best of all are what these two don’t include: no parabens, no cruelty, no sulfates and no gluten.

5. Sabre Personal Alarm

Let’s hope no one you know ever actually needs this contraption, but it makes for a handy, handsome layer of personal protection and peace of mind. Clip it onto clothing, a purse or bag for LED lighting and penetrating alarm at your fingertips. The buttons are intuitively placed for easy access during stressful situations. This attention-grabber blasts out 120 dB, audible from 600 feet.

Velia Tarnoff Special to

Velia Tarnoff counts among the loves of her life her daughter, her husband, her friends, writing, developing theories, dancing, live music, Southern California, black coffee and red wine. She's happiest when she can put as many of those together as possible. WWith more than 20 years of experience as a radio reporter and public relations professional, Velia is a natural communicator who loves to hear stories, to share stories and to tell it like it is.

Velia earned her B.A. from the UW School of Journalism and is thankful for every moment she spent on that wonderfully wacky campus.

And, in the interest of full disclosure, Velia is the wife of Publisher Andy Tarnoff.