What’s your love language?
Gifting is mine — I get such joy from thinking about what would put a smile on the recipient’s face. And I also have so much fun with the entire research process, from discovering incredible new businesses and beautiful, quirky, or fantastically useful new products, so creating this list of holiday gifting ideas was a real labor of love.
But it was challenging too because, the more I explored the wonderful gifting options, the harder it was to curate just a small handful of items. Particularly because I feel it’s important to highlight and support as many small businesses, local shops, Etsy stores, and crafters as possible.
In fact, this might have to be just the first of many lists as I continue to comb through IRL stores and online shops!
So, grab a coffee, make yourself comfortable, and get ready to find the perfect gift for the people you love (or at least spark a few ideas that’ll get you started).
[One quick tip before we start:If you’re having trouble deciding, I always love combining smaller, unique gifts into a beautifully packaged goody bag or box — it’s like a treasure chest of loveliness!]
Hope you like the ideas!
p.s. Home-made gifts are always the best, so if you want some fun ideas, check out these sites: Spruce Crafts and Good Housekeeping.
Gifts for the home
Custom Engraved Cutting Board
Whether it’s your mom’s meatloaf or your grandma’s oatmeal raisin cookies, we all have a favorite family recipe we love to share with friends and younger family members. And what could be a more beautiful (or original!) way of passing it along than to have it engraved on this keepsake cutting board? This has definitely made its way onto my own holiday gift list.
This do-it-all pan, designed to replace eight traditional pieces of cookware, is one of my newer go-to gifts!
Jonathan and I love these pans so much we now have several pieces (the mini is my new fave). They are super easy to clean, food never sticks, and there are so many colors to choose from they’re going to go with just about every kitchen décor theme you can think of.
The company keeps adding great new kitchenware so even if a pan doesn’t feel like the right gift, it’s worth a look to see if anything else on their site catches your eye.
Does anyone else have trouble keeping indoor plants alive?
Well, I think I’ve found a solution for those of us who don’t have that magic green thumb — gorgeous plants potted in self-watering ceramic pots. Genius, right? And a gift that’ll last far longer than flowers, putting a smile on the recipient’s face all year long.
Growing up I had a mug with a ceramic frog on the bottom of it and I loved to surprise my friends with a beverage to see the look on their face when they discovered it. So, I’m continuing the tradition with our daughter and her friends with these fun mugs. There are so many cute animals and characters to choose from, you’re sure to find something for the kids in your life. Or even the adults!
What do you buy for the folks who already have just about everything they could ever need or want? This is when experience gifts come into their own. They’re such a great way to help your loved ones try new things, discover new passions and places, and make wonderful memories.
Uncommon Goods is a vibrant online marketplace offering curated, unique goods from makers around the world.
In addition to their wonderful items (which are definitely worth a look), they also have online workshops available. From a truffle workshop or paint your own pet portrait class to floral arranging and mixology, you’re practically guaranteed to find something for that trickier-to-buy-for friend.
As a personal recommendation, Jonathan and I had enjoyed watching a Magic Class — we learned a few tricks along the way & I think this is a fun gift for a family activity.
This is the BEST apothecary! And, lucky for us it is right in Boulder, CO. They have a wonderful selection of herbs, tonics, teas & self-care products (from lotions to oils) — and if you did fancy buying a natural product for someone you love, I’d highly recommend their body butters, exfoliating scrub, and their mini-facial.
But we’re talking experience gifts here, and they’re doing an amazing job in this arena too.
During the pandemic - I participated in several online workshops including making your own salves and body butter. The classes are so much fun and the herbalists are super knowledgeable. When you gift a class, you can have the ingredient box sent directly to your friend or family member’s home — or you can send a gift certificate and let them choose their own class.
Not just the go-to site for home-away-from-home getaways, Airbnb also offers great local-led experiences. We’ve taken part in several in-person classes over the years — and there are online experiences to explore too.
The available experiences cover everything from cooking classes (I’ve discovered local recipes from a family in India and learned how to make cannoli from a home chef in Sicily) to “diving” under the sea with a shark conservationist in South Africa.
Booking a one-time class is such a fun, memorable gift or you could give someone a gift card and let them enjoy choosing their own experience at a time that suits them.
For your crafty & creative friends, a few more online class gift options are Domestika, you can provide a gift card for one or several classes or at Creative Bug you can gift a subscription for 3 months to a year and it is very affordable.
THE ADVENTURE CHALLENGE: COUPLES EDITION
Not technically an experience itself, this inspiring book is positively packed with ideas for fun, quirky, date experiences. So if you’re tired of zoning out to the most recent Netflix special, gift this to your partner and enjoy a year of memorable adventures together.
Alternatively, grab a copy of the book for yourself and use it as inspiration for creating your own, totally unique experience gift.
Kits and Monthly Mail Gifts
The perfect gift for the history buff in your life.
This monthly mail subscription service sends detailed replicas of historical documents, like Albert Einstein's correspondence with FDR or Rosa Parks’ police report from when she refused to give up her seat. Each letter comes with pertinent information to explain any additional context and cultural significance, so with each delivery you get a fascinating history lesson as well as a really cool keepsake.
I’ll be sending this to my father-in-law this year, for sure.
Hailing from Indianapolis, IN, Tinker Coffee Co roasts and sells incredible coffees from all over the world. This recommendation comes from a dear friend who is a real coffee aficionado so we believe them when they say that this is, hands down, one of the very best coffee roasters in America.
If you have a coffee snob on your wishlist, be a hero and thank us later. And if you want to grab a subscription for yourself while you’re there, we wouldn’t blame you!
CHEF KNIFE MAKING KIT
Where are my people with spouses who are super hard to buy for?
I feel your pain but here’s the good news. Jonathan got this knife making kit as a gift and thought it was super cool. The packaging was great, he had a lot of fun putting it all together and, of course, when you make something yourself it always carries so much more meaning, don’t you think?
MINI TERRARIUM KIT
Bright, colorful, and super easy to maintain, these create-your-own terrarium kits are the ideal gift for folks who love plants but who don’t have a ton of time to spend caring for them.
Plus putting it all together would be a wonderfully mindful way to spend a few hours during the holidays. I might have to buy one for myself…
Wellness and Beauty Gifts
Jonathan loves fitness gadgets and this one is super cool. This smart ring doesn’t just look good, it tracks your exercise intensity, temperature, and blood oxygen levels. Jonathan likes that it gives him useful information about whether to push harder or to recover more on any given day and offers handy advice on how to optimize his lifestyle practices and sleep.
If one of your nearest and dearest loves to take care of their health and fitness and manage their stress — or has vowed to make 2023 the year they start doing so — and you’re happy to splash out, this is the ideal gift.
Higher Dose PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) Mat
Another recommendation from Jonathan — he uses this mat daily. The ideal fit for your work-from-home chair, this travel-ready mat allows your muscles and mind to dial down and relax. The mat has a layer of amethyst crystals along with infrared heat that you can adjust to whatever level of intensity you want.
It isn’t cheap but it really is a great buy for anyone who experiences chronic pain or who goes hard in the gym and needs to soothe aching muscles
Therabox Self-care Box
We all love receiving a fun surprise in the mail, and we could all use a little more self-care. Combine the two with these beautifully curated boxes. Each one comes with one happiness activity plus seven self-care wellness goodies to pamper your mind, body, and soul.
You can gift a one-time box or choose a longer subscription, making this a great option whatever your budget.
OSEA Undaria Algae Body Oil & CREAM
I LOVE this body oil (and the cream). And I’m not alone going by their 1k + web reviews!
It has a wonderful but subtle fragrance, so it’s ideal for those who don’t care for strong, overpowering scents but still like a little waft of something lovely. It’s also light and super hydrating, melting beautifully into your skin — and won’t leave you feeling greasy or ruin your clothing.
This is one of those things I love to add if I’m making up my own version of a self-care pamper box for someone special.
GIFTS FOR KIDS
CREATE YOUR OWN REEL VIEWER
This may have made it onto the gifts for kids section but this is another one where you’ll be tempted to order one for yourself!
A little nostalgia trip, this reel viewer allows you to assemble snapshots of your favorite memories and add them to your very own reel. Kids will have a lot of fun with this one — and it would also make a great gift for new parents who want to immortalize those precious “firsts” in a more unusual way.
These custom alphabet name crayons will make a gorgeously colorful stocking stuffer, Hanukkah gift, or holiday present for your child or grandchild. Perfect for bringing out the little artist within.
i see me books
There’s nothing more exciting for a book-loving kid than reading a fairytale featuring…their very own name!
The first one I ever bought was for our daughter when she was around three or four. She always enjoyed reading it together and it’s one of the few books we saved from this time. And I still love giving these books to little ones to cherish for years.
GLIMMER BODY ART
This DIY glitter tattoo kit is such a fun gift. I purchased a professional kit when our daughter was young and used it for years at parties and events — kids and adults alike love the glitter tattoos that last for about a week, and they really liven up gatherings of all kinds.
GIFTS FOR FOODIES
This California brand’s website is a ray of sunshine so be prepared to feel all kinds of joy as you browse their mouth-watering array of locally-sourced olive oils, vinegar, and honey.
They also sell a range of bright and cheery kitchen accessories. Perfect if you’re thinking of putting together a foodie hamper for a lucky friend or family member.
The clue’s in the name here. At Mouth you’ll find all sorts of delicious goodies to tickle your tastebuds — from pickles and salami to chocolate and cookies — all packaged up in carefully curated boxes. Choose from bestsellers like the Cheesy Gift Box or the Vegan Snack Box, or take their super quick quiz to inspire a custom gift box your loved one will adore..
If your usual go-to gift is a bottle of something grape, and you have a friend who isn’t drinking, Töst has you covered.
These sophisticated alcohol-free drinks are perfect for any celebration and taste incredible too. There are two flavors to enjoy, both dry, both delicious. The white is crafted with white tea, white cranberry, and ginger. And the rosé is a delicate blend of white tea, ginger, and elderberry.
A party everyone can enjoy!
If your foodie friends like to keep things super healthy, this is the site for you.
Whether they’d love a make-your-own matcha kit, want to make their own cacao turmeric lattes, or are collagen supplement devotees, you’ll find something for them at Golde. And if they’ve been especially good this year, add a superfood face mask to their stocking for them to enjoy while they sip their matcha latte or green juice.
RUNAMOK SPARKLE SYRUP
Runamok is a family-owned, Vermont based company that has the most delicious premium, organic maple syrups. There are so many delicious varieties and the packaging is also very special.
Their holiday special Sparkle Syrup is infused with pearlescent mica and will turn your everyday pancake breakfast into a sparkly festive treat. Or you can add magic to your favorite maple-bourbon cocktail with their Pecan Wood Smoked Maple Syrup.
Apparel and accessories gifts
PATAGONIA DUFFEL BAG
We love Patagonia for their ethical and eco credentials — how could we not?! I mean, their owner just made the planet the company's only shareholder in his ongoing efforts to address the environmental crisis.
Not only that, their products 100% live up to the hype.
This is our daughter’s favorite travel bag. She likes that you can wear it as a backpack or carry it as a duffel bag and it is very sturdy. And it’s made with 100% recycled body fabric, lining and webbing.
LULULEMON DOWN FOR IT ALL VEST
I’ve had this vest for many years and it’s so good I just had to buy a second one in another color. I honestly wear it every day in the winter because it’s so comfortable — and great for layering. A great practical gift that will keep your friend/loved one warm a cozy.
Quick tip: it runs small and is fitted so it’s worth going up a few sizes
This is such a fun gift for any furry-loving friend. You send Furbaby a picture of their pet and their pet’s adorable little face is custom printed onto a pair of comfy socks. We gifted these to a dear friend who then sent a pair to all of their friends. That’s the sign of a great gift, right?
Another option is our favorite sock brand, Bombas. These high-quality socks feature fun colors and lots of pattern options and for every item you purchase, the company donates a much-needed item to people in homeless shelters.
This apparel company is committed to sustainability, using natural materials like wool and sugar and constantly working to lower its carbon footprint.
We particularly love their wool runners, they are super comfy and have a nice low key look. They are perfect gift for friends and family who want shoes that are good for their feet and the planet.
outdoor voices cloudknit
Jonathan and I like super comfy clothes and Outdoor Voices fits the bill. Their CloudKnit line is so buttery soft and comfy. The long-sleeve top and sweatpants are in my weekly rotation — I wouldn’t part with them.
Frieda rothman hoops
I adore mixed metals and have several pieces by Frieda Rothman. These are by far my favorite hoops, which can be dressed up or down and come in several sizes. I love them so much I’ve gifted earrings from this line to friends and family and everyone has been happy with their gifts.
For reasonably-priced, everyday pieces, Mejuri is definitely worth a look. This adorable pinky ring is on my list this year. It will go well with my favorite everyday ring from them.
Good Life Project Book List
Call me biased, but I would say we’ve had some of THE best authors around, join Jonathan for the GLP podcast. And you can find all of their insightful, inspiring, and uplifting books right here. The biggest challenge will be whittling down your shortlist.
LAST MINUTE GIFTS
This is your answer to any last-minute gift (hey, we can’t be expected to remember absolutely everything when it comes to the holidays, right?)
You can send a Goody via their app and these gifts offer you a double delight! First, your recipient gets a text telling them that you’ve sent them a gift (gotta love the anticipation), then they have the added rush of actually receiving the gift when it arrives.
They have a robust selection of gifts to send at different price points and the recipient can even choose a different gift within a set budget if they like — so you know they’re going to get something they really love.
I LOVE this service. My go-to gift? The gorgeous Otherland Candle (your recipient picks the scent, isn’t that cool?) If you’re shopping with Goody, use GOODYLIFE for $15 off your first $30 order.
And that’s a wrap! No pun intended ; )
I hope you’ve enjoyed looking through these festive goodies as much as I have — and I hope you’ve found everything you need to make the holidays magical for you and all those you love.
This list contains a few affiliate links, so we earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you. Please know we only share items that we adore.