Gifting is a skill. It only took me 25 years of life to realize this but boy am I glad I did. Whether it’s someone you’ve known for 45 years or 45 seconds, it’s not always easy to hit the nail on the head. In fact, my biggest anxiety around the holidays isn’t interacting with weird relatives or overeating mashed potatoes—it’s finding the perfect gift for everyone on my list.
Maybe I expect too much from myself, but there’s almost nothing more satisfying than getting someone a gift that literally encapsulates them. Not a top or another pair of socks but something really thoughtful. Finding a gift like this shows just how well I know someone. That I’ve paid attention to every conversation we’ve had, every stupid GIF we’ve exchanged, and put all that intel into picking out their ideal gift.
To help you along your own gifting journey this holiday season, here is a curated list of holiday gifts from small and sustainable brands, artists and authors that will catapult you to peak gifting status.
THEY LOVE YOGA
Novice or pro, every yogi’s practice can benefit from this thoughtful and inclusive book. Written by well-known yoga teacher and body activist, Jessamyn Stanley, this book is a holy grail for learning yoga postures in a way that is accessible for bodies of all shapes & sizes. Particularly for anyone who has ever walked into a yoga class and thought, “Do I really belong here?” I highly recommend this book for cultivating a deeper understanding of yoga and greater confidence on the mat.
THEY LOVE POSITIVE VIBES
Anyone have a friend whose all smiles & sunshine? Well, they need this t-shirt. Neo Threads is a woman-owned and operated upcycled clothing brand in New Mexico. Sarah Holley Gonzalez, the designer/owner/creator behind Neo Threads, takes preloved pieces and vintage & whips them into unique, custom garments. Following the brand’s mission, this t-shirt is a testament to the coolest feature someone can have—compassion.
THEY LOVE TRAVEL
You know that person who won’t shut up about how much they miss traveling? Wildsam Field Guides has them covered. Each guide is like a living, breath map of a specific & special part of the United States. Wildsam recently released their Napa & Sonoma guide, which in tandem with a bottle of California wine, could be the perfect gift for any weary wanderluster.
THEY LOVE FUN JEWLERY
In a world of Mejuris, it can be hard to find truly unique jewlery, that’s also stylish. Sio Ceramics is a black-owned business operating out of Washington D.C. Touting earrings, necklaces, sassy buttons & “fuck 2020” accessories, Makeda Siobahn Smith makes the pieces jewelry lovers want—and no one else will have. Loving the Daphne the most—perfect for any Zoom meeting, virtual New Year’s party & shameless selfie.
THEY LOVE ASTROLOGY
I stumbled upon The Bloomwell this summer while in Ithaca, NY. A store you’d expect to find in Brooklyn or Brookline, this small-town gem offers beautifully curated products with an emphasis on sustainable and small brands. For all the woowoo, “what’s your sign” people in your life, there’s no better gift than this book of Moon Lists. Part astrology, part art, this book will keep them occupied all through the New Year.
THEY LOVE BEING IN THEIR FEELS
If there’s one thing 2020 has taught us, it’s that everyone has a lot of feelings. People I’ve Loved makes beautiful illustrations that depict so many relatable real-life moments. What better gift for this shit storm of a year than the artist’s Mood Clock print, sure to prompt a laugh…a cry…and then another laugh.
THEY LOVE COOL GLASSWARE
After falling down a routine rabbit hole on Depop, I stumbled up this gorgeously curated shop. Saint Met is a collection of vintage and secondhand glassware and home accessories. The color palette of the shop is perfection, so really you can’t go wrong. I’m personally loving this Bikini Glass set. I mean, what better addition to your weekly wine nights with the girls?
THEY LOVE MINIMALISM
Sometimes a small gift can make the most impact. Poplinen, a slow & size-inclusive brand, is a go-to for those starting or continuing their capsule wardrobe. On top of offering high-quality wardrobe essentials, 1% of their profits benefit the Step Up Women’s Network, a non-profit that helps connect women to educational and career resources. This statement scarf makes a memorable gift that can fit bodies of all shapes, styles & sizes.
THEY LOVE A GOOD DRINK
As someone who is not a pinky-holding sommelier, I find the process of picking out wine for my friends and family, a little daunting. Haus is an up-and-coming Aperitif brand. Aperitifs are popular in Europe, where they’re typically served before or after a meal. Especially during the pandemic, Haus’ Sampler Kit is a great way to expose friends and family to a new happy hour tradition.