Best Gifts on the Best Lists

Here are some great gift ideas from some of the best sources; writers who are experts on their subjects.  Just click on the highlighted links to see all their favorites.   From the tech pros at The Wall Street Journal, here's their list of "stuff we'd actually buy" "After the holiday tinsel goes away, you’re left with two piles of gifts: the ones that seemed cool, and the ones that are actually great. After reviewing hundreds of gadgets this year, we’ve made a list of stuff we’d actually buy for our loved ones—or even ourselves."By Geoffrey A. Fowler and Joanna SternPublished Nov. 24, 2015      Host and Hostess gifts are a must during the holidays. Here are some great ideas  from the editors at House Beautiful. "Don't go to that soirée empty-handed. These are presents your generous host will be sure to love." BY EMILY DABAU AND TAYLOR MURPHY   How about Grandparents.  Not always the easiest to shop for.  Popsugar has a lot of different suggestions.   "Whether it's their first year as Grandma and Grandpa or they're old pros at the job, the major role that grandparents play in your kids' lives means they deserve an extra special holiday gift. Forget the cliché "World's Best Grandpa" t-shirt and ho-hum mug — this year, surprise them with the unexpected. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas that are sure to make Grandma and Grandpa smile."by Lisa Horten 11/13/15       And for the dog and cat lovers, which covers a lot of territory, are these 9 crazy gift ideas from Purrfect Pet Gifts For Dog and Cat Lovers This Christmas  September 17, 2015 by Patrick           

Sleigh Bells, the Sound of Winter

 The jingle-jingle of sleigh bells is perhaps the best and brightest sound of winter.  Undeniably a throw back to a long-ago time, but sitll meaningful even if you've never experienced a horse-drawn sleigh. How great are the old Budweiser Christmas ads with the Clydesdales jingling happily through powdery snow!  When our Design A Hat feature was created,  I wanted some high qulity jingle bells as trim options.  Not the kind found in craft stores that sound like a baby rattle, but the real deal - horse bells, but small enough for our hats.  So after much searching I found the Classic Bell Company of Iowa.   This small business specializes in bell trimmed horse harnesses, harness restoration, bell restoration and plus, they know everything about sleigh bells.    Since finding this great small business, I've acquired lots of jingly shiny gold and silver 1" sleigh bells.  They must be set with rivets, so that's what we do.  Each hat silk is partly sewn and turned, the rivet placed inside the hat point and into the setting tool, then the bell is set on top of it all.  Riveting, even fabric, is really a job for a muscular guy, but if I get lucky,  the rivet sets on my first try! Our newest hat style, the St. Nick, comes with a shiny tinkling silver bell.    Today I shipped one box of 3 hats with 3 bells on.  That box is sure to bring some surprised smiles for our postal workers!  That's just what jingle bells do!  

How to Refresh Your Hat and Reverse It

                                                                                         Give that hat a little love and it will look great year after year.  If you own a HoHo Hat you know you’ve got the best Santa hat on the planet, it’s made of genuine shearling lamb, fine fabics, and it’s reversible! So let’s talk about how to keep your hat looking perfect and how to reverse it for two beautiful looks. REFRESH YOUR HAT1.  Brush out the lambs' wool. Wool and fur react to humidity, heat and cold and handling naturally by curling, clumping or matting.  It’s very easy to fluff and freshen your hat to look like new! Gently brush through the wool with a wire pet brush or even a bristle hair brush.  You’ll be amazed at how this restores the beauty of your hat.  Just be careful not to snag the brocade fabric when brushing out the band.  2.  Steam out any wrinkles.Hold the hat close, not touching, a steam iron and shoot some steam at any wrinkled spot on the velvet or silk.  The wrinkles will fall out.Let the hat cool flat a few minutes.  It’s best not to press your hat directly with a hot iron or you may make more creases – but they can be steamed out too.3.  Spot cleaningIf you get makeup on the leather band it can be minimized or even removed by rubbing a cotton ball dampened with rubbing alcohol on the spot.  For spots on the velvet or lining fabrics, use a damp cloth and gently clean the spot. Steam after to refresh.Your hat can be dry cleaned but don’t launder it. Water will make the leather band stiff and the wool fur very tight and curled.  HOW TO REVERSE YOUR HAT  Your hat has a “Santa” side and a fun patterned “PomPom” look.  Here’s how to wear each.1.  Santa look, velvet side outTake off the fur loop and store it.  You don’t need it for this look.  Shake the silky lining down into the hat and push the snowflake or jingle bell into the hat point for a smooth lining.  Now you’re ready to say hoho ho!   2. PomPom look, patterned side outRoll the velvet over the fur ball and down into the silk crown.Put on the fur loop.   Then try on the hat  and adjust the loop down to pouf the crown as you like it. Now your Swarovski crystal snowflake or jingle bell get a chance to show their stuff!            Treat your hat as a holiday heirloom and it will last for many years!  Santa never goes out of style.  Your HoHo Hat is sure to keep your spirits merry and bright!   

What is Sustainable Lamb Fur Fleece?

The luxurious genuine lamb and sheep fur fleece used in our hats, stocking and scarves originates from farms in Australia and New Zealand.  The sheep and lambs are raised for food consumption, not hides.    The by-product hides are processed by a prominent sheepskin tannery and sold in the US and Europe.  Our fur-on hides comes from the very same supplier to top international fashion brands including UGG, Prada, Timberland, Adidas, Nike, Clarks, Wolverine and more.   The sheepskin tannery operations are ISO9001 certified and have achieved Woolmark, Sanitized, TUV, BLC and SG approvals meaning their products are free  of unsafe dyes, formaldehyde and chemicals not approved by US and European standards. We feel good about offering Christmas hats made from this naturally beautiful product.  Every hide we use is a little different and has unique characteristics.  Therefore the fur of one hat may be long and straight, the next curly, the next short and wavy.   Shades of white, ivory and cream are often all in one hide.  It's a good thing to do, we think - to make something special and, in a way, honor the sheep and lambs raised to feed us.  We hope you agree.