What’s more fun than giving someone a great gift? I know! Giving someone the perfect gift.
To me, the perfect gift has nothing to do with how much it costs. The perfect gift is one of two things. It’s either 1) something that the person really wants but can’t fit into their budget, or 2) something that someone would genuinely enjoy but probably wouldn’t buy for themselves.
A few Christmases ago my family decided to only gift experiences over things. Because really, I prefer to give (and receive) experiences over things. Tickets to a show, a day at the Children’s Museum, a spa date, or even a splurge on travel all create cherished memories and lasting joy. BUT, there were a handful of items I knew people would enjoy and I decided that gifting experiences and physical things can healthily coexist. So, while that was fun for one year, I’m back to gifting both things and experiences.
I just took a look at the gift guide I wrote last year and still love every single thing on the list—everything listed there would make an awesome gift this year, too. I absolutely love sleeping on my Slip pillowcase each night and use every item on that list. Check out last year’s guide for even more ideas after you read this post.
For this year, here is a list of things that I’m absolutely loving to give you some ideas if you’re in need of the perfect gift. This post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own; some of the links here are affiliate links that help pay for this blog.
OMG I love this stuff. Goe Oil by Jao is an all-purpose, all-natural balm and moisturizer made of 28 plant, fruit and flower oils, and butters. It smells absolutely divine and a little goes a long way. It’s fast-absorbing so I used it on my hands and cuticles, and sometimes use it on my arms as a light perfume. I first discovered it a few years ago at Spruce & Honey in Bozeman, MT, so look for it in local boutiques. Or, you can find it at Anthropology online here.
So this might not seem like a super sexy gift, but it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Berkey water filters are known to be the best gravity water purification systems available. What I love about them is that 1) they filter water better than anything else, and 2) the filters last for years so it’s more economical and less work to use one once you have it set up. The Berkey’s black filtration element is a combination of micro-pores, which traps harmful contaminants like bacteria, and revolutionary material with adsorption and ion exchange properties that essentially attract molecules and viruses to the media, preventing them from passing into your drinking water. You can read more about how it works on their website. You can pick one up there, at many online stores, or on Amazon here. I have The Big Berkey on my counter and use it every day.
This cookbook is fantastic! Alison Roman is an NYT Cooking columnist and chef, and her new book is simply excellent. I highly recommend it. Get it here.
File this suitcase under expensive-but-worth-it. If you travel often (or are looking for a gift for someone who does) this is a must-have. Somehow, they’ve engineered a carry-on that fits a week’s worth of stuff. I recently went to Miami for 5 days with 5 pairs of shoes, outfits for dinner, beach, and daytime and still had room for my toiletries and hairdryer. This suitcase is incredible (and they are not paying me to say it!) I use my Bigger Carry-On every time I travel. GET $20 OFF HERE!
Another excellent book, this one is perfect for anyone who loves science and loves to cook. It’s fascinating, educational, and so well done. Get it here.
I use my Chemex every time I want a cup of coffee. For one, it’s beautiful and looks nice on the counter. And two, pour-over coffee just tastes better. I love that this is glass to avoid the plastic that is in so many coffee makers (and don’t even get me started on those individual plastic coffee pods!). You can pick up a Chemex at just about any home store or on Amazon here.
This balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil set is such a treat! It comes from Napa Valley and is a Williams-Sonoma exclusive. It makes a wonderful gift for someone who already has everything. The company describes the vinegar as a superior-quality aged balsamic imported from Modena that is slowly reduced and intensified in French oak barrels to produce full-bodied, sweet and well-balanced flavor. Use it to add depth to pan sauces, braised meats or stews, or drizzle over grilled vegetables, fresh fruit or ice cream. The Arbequina extra virgin olive oil is sweet and nutty with hints of almond and melon. Its bright, fruity flavor makes it ideal for sautéing and sauces. I love them together on salads. Get it here.
Thrive Market is an online natural grocery store that cuts out the middleman to bring consumers the best prices. They have many brands that you’d find at natural grocery stores, and their own Thrive Market brand that lists 18 values on each product so you know that you can trust it. I love that Thrive saves people money, and love even more that they gift a membership to a family in need every time a membership is purchased. I use Thrive Market for just about all pantry essentials like vinegar, condiments, nuts, superfood seeds, and non-perishables, so my trips to the grocery store are mostly for produce, meat & fish, and things in the chilled sections. GET 25% OFF your first order here.
This little case seems so simple, yet it makes a huge difference to keep your sanity while traveling. No one likes untangling all of the cords in their bag. This little inexpensive case has been a lifesaver, and everyone who I’ve gifted it to loves it. Grab it here.
When in doubt, get someone a fancy candle. Last year I included the Capri Blue Volcano candle (the staple scent that makes Anthropologie smell so good). Diptique is a luxury brand from Paris that makes high-quality, long-burning candles. They are expensive and definitely a luxury gift. I received the Baies (berry) candle as a gift and it’s incredible—it’s such a treat! Find it here online or at Nordstrom in the US.
(Shameless book plug alert.) What would my gift guide be if I didn’t include my own book? The Health Habit is a healthy lifestyle book for anyone who is over diet culture and just wants to be healthy! It comes with a 28-day healthy kickstart plan and 50 recipes to get you started. You can read more about it and order your copy here.
And, I have amazing news: The Health Habit ebook has been selected to run as an Amazon Kindle Deal, running for the full month of December at the special price of $1.99. I was so stoked when my publisher told me this news, grab your ebook now at this special price.
I’ve been using one of these for about six months and love it. I’ve also been meaning to write a more in-depth post about it, so look for that soon. Essentially, you lie down on your back on this and the hundreds of little sharp points hit dozens of acupressure points that can induce calm and sleep. I know it may sound a little strange, but it (usually) works! For me, I’d say it makes me fall asleep faster 4 out of 5 times I use it. I’m not sure why it doesn’t always work (stress? hormones?) but I really do like it and use it often. It’s a fun and unexpected gift for anyone into wellness who might not fall asleep easily. You can grab one on Amazon here.
Like I mentioned at the top of this post, gifting experiences is also always a sure bet. My favorite experiences to gift include: a spa service, tickets to a show, tickets to the zoo, tickets or membership to the local Children’s Museum, or if you’re pulling out all the stops, tickets for a weekend away to someplace the recipient hasn’t ever been.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have a suggestion or have given or received the perfect gift, tell us in the comments to inspire other readers.
Happy Gift Giving!
Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.