‘Tis the season! I love picking out gifts for my friends and loved ones and, honestly, for most people it is all about the gesture. It is a lot about the context and the success of your choice depends on so many factors – that is why gift giving can be so nerve-wrecking. A big part of the gift giving experience is based on the giver’s ability to observe the recipient – the most successful gifts I have given were signaling I paid attention to my recipient. What do they like? A common trap is thinking about what we, as gift givers, would like to receive, but we need to remove our own desires and consider our recipient. However, sometimes with the pressure of the holidays and busy schedules, the full customization gets hard – so here is our gift guide to (hopefully) help you or at least serve as inspiration!
Bonus tip: nice packaging goes a long way, as well as a nice handwritten note! Happy gifting!
For the holiday host
Your friend/parent/relative has been kind enough to host you for the holidays and you want to treat them to something nice. As a serial hostess myself, I love lighting candles for dinner parties – I have seen a lot of fancy candles recently like these from Hay. I also find a nice cake stand makes a nice gift. This one from Williams Sonoma also doubles as a bowl, which saves space in the cabinet! You can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of champagne, but this special edition Veuve Clicquot released in a partnership with SMEG is so cute! There is a section further down for subscriptions, but this one feels very appropriate for someone who loves to host: UrbanStems offers weekly, twice monthly or monthly-delivered flower arrangements.
Veuve Clicquot and SMEG collaboration. Source: Veuve Clicquot
For the ones serious about self-care
So 2023 is the year your recipient will focus on their wellbeing. Face masks are a must in the self-care routine – I really like this gift set by Peter Thomas Roth I got a similar set from a friend a few years ago. For an enhanced spa experience (or, honestly, just a great night of sleep every day), you might want to go with an essential oil diffuser (this one from Amazon is top selling and the same one I own, use lavender for sweet dreams). A fancy scented candle also sets a great mood for relaxation: I really recommend Voluspa, which has amazing packaging. Massages are expensive, so a Theragun can definitely be a good ally after a hard workout or just a long day sitting at the desk.
Mini Theragun. Source: Therabody
If you don’t want to deal with shipping delays or are in a time crunch, I highly recommend a subscription box. It is also a good idea if you don’t know the person that well and don’t want it to be too impersonal (aka. gift cards). Blue Bottle Coffee offers different whole bean coffee subscription plans, offering 12 or 24oz bags delivered in different schedules (from weekly to every 4 weeks), starting at $13 per shipment. Murray’s Cheese has different monthly cheese club memberships for your charcuterie board-obsessed friend. The prices start at $63 a month for the Classic Cheese of the Month subscription, paid monthly, or $175 if paid in advance for 3 months. They also have a Mac and Cheese monthly subscription, which contains recipes delivered ready to be heated in the oven or frozen. For your beloved bookworms, Book of the Month offers 3, 6 and 12-book memberships, starting at $49.99, including shipping, delivered monthly. The reader can choose from 5 to 7 options, spanning across a range of genres. The monthly picks are always new releases. Lastly, for your beer lovers, get them a monthly beer subscription to a brewery where they can pick up unique brews, such as this one by Talea (women/Stern alumni owned!).
Source: Murray’s Cheese
To make it extra personal/funky
Check out Uncommon Goods to find something for truly anyone – kind of like a less saturated Etsy, it has quirky gifts for just about every niche, from plant growing kits, to city-themed whiskey glasses, to a DIY Mochi ice cream kit, to wall art, and more fun stocking stuffers.
You can always also stop into any small businesses or boutiques to support someone other than Am*zon, especially in your hometown.
Source: Uncommon Goods