Week Three: Goodie Bags

goodies bags, holiday 2011 | simple pretty

Looking for a (relatively) easy gift idea? I assembled the “goodies” bags, shown above, for my siblings + their spouses at Christmas. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t share this idea before the holidays, but it would work for any giving occasion, from Valentine’s Day to wedding guest welcome bag to birthday.

Here’s how I assembled mine:

Step One: the “goodies” bag

goodies bags, holiday 2011 | simple pretty

I wanted a simple, reusable bag, and the obvious choice was the iconic LLBean boat and tote bag for its quality construction and durability. Choosing a color was the only hurdle. I ruled out red and green because I didn’t want the recipients to think of it as Christmasy when they went to reuse it. Orange seemed cheery and multi-purpose (plus, I love orange). Done. I had LLBean embroider “goodies” on each bag in matching thread as part of their monogramming service.

Step Two: Assembling the goodies

goodies bags (contents), holiday 2011 | simple pretty

This was the fun part. Between blog research and travel, I had no problem coming up with an assortment of goodies. I tried to limit goodies to items that would stay fresh for a bit past Christmas, both for ease of ordering (me) and for less pressure to eat everything as quickly as possible (them). I ended up choosing:

  1. Mast Brothers Chocolate bars pretty wrapping + delicious chocolate made this a no brainer. I selected a variety of flavors (and wrappings) at Steven Alan, NoLIta, while in NYC for the weekend.
  2. Bouchon Bakery‘s Fuggetaboutit rice krispies + caramel + chocolate – also picked these up in NYC.
  3. Matchbox Kitchen S’Mores Kits probably my favorite item in the bag. Sara Tso’s homemade graham crackers + marshmallows, adorably packaged with mini Hershey bars + sweetly flagged skewers. I bought a few extras for neighbors, and me, and can assure you, they’re delicious!
  4. Weck jars with chocolate covered cranberries
  5. B. Toffee packages yummy, buttery toffee from Newport Beach, CA (I tossed a couple of packages in each bag)
  6. Blue Hill Honey I was excited about the online launch of Blue Hill Market this fall, and thought honey would be fun, and yes, pretty.

Step Three: Personalization

To differentiate each family’s goodie bag, I chose small personal gifts to add to the assembled goodies. For example, golf balls for my golfing brother-in-law, a book from my sister’s Amazon wish list, and pomegranate martini mix for another sibling.

There you have it: Christmas shopping + wrapping made easy. I was very happy with how the “goodies” bags turned out, and I hope that you’re inspired to try something similar.


  1. January 18, 2012 / Permalink

    As a Maine girl, I just love seeing those Bean bags! What a great idea for sweet gifts!

  2. January 18, 2012 / Permalink

    This is such a great idea!

  3. January 18, 2012 / Permalink

    wonderful idea. definitely going to store this away for the future.

  4. January 21, 2012 / Permalink

    What a fun project! Love the idea. Those canvas totes are stellar. Plus, isn’t it fab that LLBean is free shipping all the time now? I wish more places would do that.

  5. January 25, 2012 / Permalink

    Brilliant! I totally intend to adapt that idea for next year…