Hey! It’s that time of year again! When I have a blast pretending I’m a magazine editor and scour the Internet for what I think are the coolest gifts around. To me, the best gifts add beauty, fun, and elegance to the every day.
If you’re still looking around for ideas, or want to shop for yourself, here are my favorite holiday gift ideas this year. I’ve tried to include options for every budget (starting at just a couple bucks), and organized my picks by personality.
Warning: you may want to buy some of these for yourself.
*Affiliate links below*
If You’ve Got More Time Than Money
Homemade Marshmallows, ~$3 in ingredients (and an electric mixer)
My #1 reminder for a high-pressure shopping season: gifts people will love don’t have to cost much money at all. I went to a handmade fair one year where I saw one vendor selling bags of homemade marshmallows, which I thought was brilliant. They’re inexpensive to make, but feel like a little luxury, and who doesn’t like marshmallows? Five seconds later I handed over my wallet.
If you like baking and are looking for a budget-friendly gift that still feels special, here’s a well-reviewed marshmallow recipe I found. If you’re feeling ambitious and want a festive flair, add peppermint extract and red food coloring to make pretty marble-esque swirls. Don’t forget to package the marshmallows in a holiday-themed treat bag.
For the Person Who’s Always Asking for Fashion Advice
The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe, $16
Style is so intensely personal. If you have a friend who’s frustrated with their wardrobe, this book can help them hone their style, step by step.
For the Person Who Downloads Productivity Apps, But Promptly Ignores Them
There’s something so satisfying about writing things down. I just found this gem of an Etsy shop that sells these affordable mini memo pads in 24 different designs, including fun money trackers. My picks are: Today’s Expenses, Savings Plans, and I Feel Grateful. Peel away a sheet to take wherever you go.
For the Person Who’s Basically a Portable Heater
Brooklinen Navy Graham Quilt, $199.20 (20% off)
My husband and I recently discovered the wonders of having a quilt. I’m using a comforter, and he uses the lighter quilt because he sleeps hot. My pick for Brooklinen’s 20% off sale is this navy quilt, because it has a handmade feel, but costs half the price of similar-looking blankets.
For the Person Who Loves Fresh Flowers, But Can’t Justify the Price
American Meadows All Annual Big Color Wildflower Seed Mix, $9.95
This is the gift that keeps on giving. Plant the seeds once, enjoy wildflowers over and over.
For the Clients You Don’t Know That Well (AKA The Can’t-Go-Wrong Gift that’s Not a Candle)
Claus Porto Deco Mini Soap Collection, $75
I discovered Claus Porto when I was researching our Portugal trip. If you’re looking for a non-candle option that works for basically anyone on your list, the beautiful packaging on this soap set will be a winner, no doubt. On more of a budget? There’s a mini version that’s equally fun for $30.
For People Who Travel for Food
Cafe du Monde Beignet Mix, $3.99
Super affordable and available almost everywhere, and a deliciously indulgent way to get friends to come over.
Portuguese Pastel de Nata Pastries, $34.99
I still regret not bringing back delectable egg tarts from Portugal, but luckily you can order some to arrive right at your doorstep.
For a luxurious option, we had this mille crepe cake at our wedding, and it’s definitely an unexpected gift that’s sure to impress.
For the Jetsetter Whose Plants Keep Biting the Dust
Self-Watering Planter Pots, $34-$48
We recently had to give our ivy plant an awkward haircut, because I overwatered it and half the leaves turned brown. Little did I know that there are ingenious planters that let the plants regulate how much water they want to drink.
For People Who Signed Up for Disney+ the Second It Came Out
If going out is a chore, then this popcorn kit upgrades the classic movie night into a gourmet experience.
For the Person Whose Manicure Budget Is Getting Out of Control
L’Occitane Lavender Hand Cream, $12-$24
This hand cream gets great reviews, and the lavender scent might just help lull them to sleep.
Chanel Perfectly Polished Manicure Set, $110
The hand cream alone is $50, and worth a spot on the nightstand as a chic bedtime ritual. The pale pink polish is neutral enough to wear every day, and the elegant red velvet pouch can be reused for basically anything.
For the Pet Lover with Impeccable Hygiene
Nooee Toby Pet Cave, $47.96
Let’s be real–adorable pet beds are a dime a dozen. But accidents are bound to happen in there. What sets this pet cave apart is that you can unzip it and throw it in the wash. Not an eyesore in the home AND totally cleanable? Can’t be beat.
For the Gift Giver Who’s Missing the Gift-Wrapping Gene
Jo Malone Christmas Cracker Set, $48 or buy direct for a limited-edition scent
When it comes to holiday gifts, the packaging can do a lot of the work for you. Even inexpensive items, like a box of Life Savers from the drugstore, transform into a fantastic gift once it comes in a holiday-themed package. This Jo Malone needs no wrapping, as the mini jars of body gel, hand cream, and a cologne already come housed in a British Christmas cracker box with ribbons.
For the Person Who’s Taking Forever to Choose Art for Their Home
2020 Poketo Wall Art Calendar, $24 or buy direct
Art can take an excruciatingly long time to choose. But this minimal wall calendar not only serves a purpose, but doubles as wall art.
For the Person Who’s Still a Kid at Heart (aka ME)
Marna Cat Sponge, $5 or buy direct
Doing a sink full of dishes just got a lot more fun now that there’s a cute friend to help out.
For the Person Who’s Tired of Trips to the Drycleaners
The Laundress Dry Cleaning Detox Kit, $39.75 (25% off)
In a closet full of quality investments, dry cleaning bills can add up. But lots of clothes say ‘dry clean only’, which feels like a rule you can’t break. This starter kit will help them see that many items can actually be safely washed at home.
For the Person Who’s Ready to Upgrade from IKEA
Staub French Oven with Rooster Lid, $200
We use our dutch oven at least three times a week. This Staub pot is a well-appreciated ‘buy it for life’ gift, and with a beautiful lid design, there’s no reason to hide it away in the cabinet.
For the Person Who’s Into No-Makeup Makeup
RMS Beauty Luminizer x Quad Highlighter Palette, $48
I was late to the highlighter game, but dry and dark winters are the perfect time to add a little shine to the face. One full jar would take forever to get through, but smaller quantities to test out will help you find your favorite shade.
For the Person Who’s Always Saying They’re Cold
Berkshire Extra-Fluffy Throw, $13.99 (65% off)
I know two people who have had a version of this blanket. It’s so soft, whenever I’d go to their house, my first order of business was making a beeline to cozy up with it.
For the Person Who Chose Their Apartment Because It Was “Good for Entertaining”
The Floral Society Ceramic Flower & Candle Centerpiece, $110
When it comes to decor, instead of buying multiple smaller items, I prefer one piece that has bigger impact. This combined vase and taper candle centerpiece is the perfect “one and done” hostess gift.
For the Person Who Thinks the Best Things in Life Are Free
Fruit Infusing Ice Ball Molds, $10
Something free, like water, suddenly becomes artisanal once you add fruit-infused ice balls to zhuzh it up.
For the Person Who Still Has an iPhone 5
Artifact Uprising Softcover Photo Book, $13.50 (10% off sitewide with the code VERYMERRY)
In today’s digital age where everything important is in “the cloud”, sometimes it’s nice to have something tangible to hang onto. These softcover photo books are a great way to capture the memories from a trip, a wedding, or anything else you want to remember for years to come.
For the Design and Craftsmanship Nerd
The CWPE Pencil Sampler Set, $18
The artistic person in your life will appreciate a set of rare, vintage-y pencils.
Handmade without the use of molds, these Fferrone glasses are absolutely gorgeous with their ribbed designs. They’re also rarely discounted, but are now 30% off at Totokaelo.
Ubi Denim Pot Holder Collection, $118
These American-made denim kitchen accessories are built to last. I bought the oven mitt, and now I’m kind of mad I didn’t know there was a full set.
For the NYC Fan Who Thinks They Know Everything
Don’t be a Tourist in New York: The Messy Nessy Chic Guide, $24 or buy direct
You could live somewhere for a decade and STILL not know it all. I flipped through this book at a bookstore and there were so many places listed that I had never heard of. I loved the unique format that’s not split up by neighborhood, but by the mood you’re trying to capture. It’s definitely a book you can get lost in over a weekend.
For the Person Who Has It All
Parachute Wool Dryer Balls, $19
I’ll admit, as someone who doesn’t bother using dryer sheets, I initially saw wool dryer balls and thought, “What’s the point of those???” But I hate it when towels and sheets bunch up in the dryer, and these balls can help cut down on drying time, and are a much more eco-friendly alternative to chemical-filled dryer sheets.
HMM Standing Scissors, $50 or buy direct
This is probably one of my bougiest purchases ever, but hear me out: these scissors are a joy to use. Before I had them I’d tear the house apart looking for the scissors. But these come with a magnetic stand, so they’ve always got a home base. Plus, they serve double duty as minimalist sculpture.
Courant Wireless Charger, Was $80, now $56
Phone chargers are still decidely utilitarian when it comes to looks. But this one made out of Italian leather won’t fight with their home decor.
Samsung The Frame Smart TV, $799+ (Black Friday sale)
Big honking TVs mess up your home’s zen. But that no longer has to be the case with Samsung’s revolutionary The Frame TV. It cleverly transforms into an artwork of your choosing when you’re not watching TV.
The One Gift That Might Just Print Money
Invested Development Course, $199+ (20% off)
If there’s one gift on this list you can buy that could literally pay off, it’s this. The best time to invest was yesterday; the second best time is today. If you get the importance of investing, but are overwhelmed with where to start, then having a human being walk you through it is well worth it.
My friend Amanda teaches Invested Development, a live online class that includes four 90-minute lessons. She used to work in investment management, so she not only knows her stuff, but she’s awesome at explaining complicated concepts, all cracking you up with her hilarious sense of humor. Because let’s be real–finance can be dry af.
The next classes run in January, and then in February–exactly when people start thinking about improving their money life.
Course options start at $249, which is frankly, a steal. Note that I don’t get a referral fee, and do not promote things without borderline invasive investigation, but I genuinely think this is a fantastic opportunity to literally print.that.money.
Amanda was also gracious enough to gift my readers $50 off with the code LUXE–a rare deal, so sign up here!
Looking for more ideas? Here are my past gift guides.
What are your go-to gifts to give or receive this year?
Feature Image: Sephora