You know how they say there are different love languages? One is giving your time, one is physical touch, one is golden squirrels, and one is gifting. I AM A GIFTER. And I’m not just any gifter. I’m THE gifter. No, I won’t hug you, but I will get Lisa Loeb to sing you your favorite song and then make you cry about it. #win.
It’s true — I can’t remember when your birthday actually is, but I’ll have filed away that your favorite scent is cinnamon apple because it reminds you of times with your mom at the mall in the ’90s at Bath & Body Works. I also remember that you’re feeling really bad about consumerism and the economy, so I will only buy you a gift from your friend’s local, small boutique.
I’m here to share some of my best gift ideas with you to make you also the best gift-giver in your realm.
This, my friends, is my gift to you.
A Perfectly Random (But Still Thoughtful) Gift Guide For Anyone In Your Life
There are a few elements to the perfect gift. The most important one is knowing your giftee. What do they love? What makes them laugh? What do they hate with a passion? (If it’s glitter, I’ve got you.)
The next element is presentation. Let me tell you this secret: Take a trip to Home Goods to get a wicker basket and put your gift(s) in said basket with some candy, a candle and a $9.99 throw blanket. This ups your gifting by 200%. It’s science.
The final element is creativity. Think a little bit outside of the box. Show that you put some thought into who this person is and what’s important to them. Maybe skip the Sephora boxed gift set, and pick out your personal favorite items with a note attached to each about why you love it. See? Same but better.
OK, enough chitchat — let’s get into it.
This is my favorite category. Everyone loves to laugh. These gifts show that you know them, you love a good joke, you put effort in, and all of this combined is actually meaningful to that person!
Here are some of my favorites.
The personalized cardboard cutout in full life-size can be used in so many ways. My personal favorite is making one of their enemy or arch nemesis and placing it outside of their window, peeking in. Just let them notice it on their own.
I also like the idea of printing one of the giftee in a small size but ordering like 30 and placing them all around their house in interesting ways. On the toilet, in the fridge, taped to all the windows. You can also print their favorite actor/celebrity, etc. I’ve always wanted to print the Wet Bandits from “Home Alone.”
I like the idea of printing your own adult face onto a blanket for someone in the largest size possible. It’s funnier when it’s an adult and just a face. I’m sure mom would love it. Actually, Nicolas Cage is funny too.
This one is tricky. I gave this snowman-themed Christmas suit to my husband years ago, and he was mad at me for using actual dollars to buy this for a solid year. BUT, BUT, BUT — after the anger wore off, he wore it four Christmases in a row to parties and was the hit of the evening every time. He loved all of the attention, and I call this a WIN for me. Sometimes gifting is a long game.
Speaking of long game, I have one more idea for you: This holiday, hold on to the weirdest gift you received. Keep it in the box. Give it back to the gifter next year. Warning, this could backfire #QuesadillaMakerOf2005. Sorry, Mom and Dad.
Inappropriate embroidery from Etsy is always a good idea.
Gifts That Feel Personal
OK, no cardboard cutouts here. These are special gifts for a best friend, mom, sister, etc. Again, this does depends on who they are personally, but I’ll share some of my favorites.
Anything from Ten Air Studios. Sometimes jewelry can feel impersonal, but this is not the case with Leslie, founder of TAS. Every single piece is made by hand and includes a personal note from her.
She’s the girl who knows what energy all of the stones are giving and will look at you and say, “You could really use a rose quartz and challah bread.” And you know what? She’s right. The cool eclectic vibes work for your best friend or your grandmother. This is ALWAYS a win. Oh, AND she was in VOGUE. NBD.
This gift is for someone very close to you who won’t mind you being up in their personal space. Work with their spouse, break into their bedroom and completely redo their bedding — starting with a cozy handmade blanket. How amazing would it be to walk into your bedroom with beautiful, brand-new coordinated bedding? Now, this does require a certain level of creativity and trust. But if you check those boxes, this is a phenomenal gift.
Love this seller on Etsy for custom, handmade blankets.
I’ve had this duvet set from Anthropologie for YEARS in a mix-and-match situation. People always comment on it, and it has held up so well. It’s really beautiful in person.
Add in some classic, crisp Brooklinen sheets, and you’re the gifter of the gods.
Do you guys know about Cameo? It’s a huge database of some random, some well-known celebs who will leave you a video text message for a friend.
So, you write: “My friend was once bit by a crocodile, loves to talk about ponchos, and her favorite food is hot sauce and celery.” Then, the celebrity will call with a message that says: “Hi, Janet! I heard about that thing with the crocodile, hope your poncho didn’t get a hole in it. Go relax, you deserve hot sauce and celery.” And then everyone geeks out and laughs. It’s wonderful.
I will say Lisa Loeb did an amazing one that made us all cry.
Themed Gift Baskets
You know that friend, the person who actually loves receiving gifts as much as you love giving. No shame in the game. With this kind of person, I turn up the presentation volume. Here comes the show.
I usually pick a theme — I do this for my dad a lot. He fancies himself a professional bartender, so I will pick a cocktail and make a basket around it. For my daughter’s best friend, we did a bright-color theme. For B’s boss, we did a buffalo-plaid theme with Scotch, blankets and glasses.
Let’s go with an alcohol theme for example. Your first stop is Basket Town. Pick one that’s bigger than you think you will need, but low-sided so you can display the goods. Next, get a nice patterned blanket for the bottom — everything will sit on top of the blanket in a pretty way. Now, add a lovely bottle of booze. Add in the following:
Grab a simple low-sided basket like this one from Amazon (or try HomeGoods) to fill with gifts. Bonus points for a theme.
11. Throw Blanket
Add a pretty matching blanket to fill up your gift basket — a gift in and of itself.
Whether you’re adding this rose-gold cocktail shaker to a themed basked or gifting it alongside the person’s favorite drink, it’s a win.
I can always count on Terrain to have the most beautiful, unique gifts. Like this set of four simple syrups.
Throw in a pretty cocktail recipe book that coordinates with the rest of the gift.
Who doesn’t need these cocktail glasses? Add ’em to your gift basket.
Finally, cocktail stirrers. Preferably with bees. BAM. You can add and subtract to your themed gift basket as needed, but your thoughtfulness level is off the charts here, and you created a personalized, unique gift for someone.
Random Gift Ideas For Anyone
A bat wine opener for your spooky boozy friend? No-brainer.
18. “No Soliciting” Sign
A “No Soliciting” sign for your neighbors, because we all know…
19. A Funny Sign
For the friend who gets it. I’ve had this Etsy artist make all kinds of funny and/or inappropriate signs for me. He’s the best.
An “interesting” headband your friend who’s way too into Christmas. This idea works for any holiday, though.
Get this updated version of a BFF necklace for anybody you “heart.”
A nice, motivational banner. For the friend who still thinks she’s not free.
23. A Fancy Ring
This pretty ring is moissanite and not expensive. Go ahead, propose to yourself (or get it for someone who deserves a little something shiny).
THIS face mask from Enro Laszlo is the best mask of all time — also Marilyn Monroe’s go-to brand. A perfect gift for the skincare girl who’s tried it all.
I hope this has helped you become all that can be. Shoot for the stars, my friend. Give that gift and win Christmas.