Elevate Your Gift-Giving Game
Gift-giving is a tricky art. It is usually best to tread lightly around passionate hobbies, but you still want the item or experience to feel personal. Similarly, finding something functional, but not mundane, is just as challenging. (Socks are the eternal exception to this rule.) A good guiding principle is to think about their passions and then find something simple to upgrade or treat them to. Whether it is a whimsical lamp that adds some ambiance to your homebody’s favorite space, a stunning set of Japanese kitchen knives to upgrade the experience of the best home cook, or a skydiving excursion for the adrenaline junkie, there is something on this list for everyone. Happy shopping!
Who’s it for? The one who is always on the go.
People who like brown leather tend to really like brown leather (I’m definitely one of them). The material exudes a timeless, autumnal charm from bags and phone cases to boots and keychains. If you’re shopping for someone who appreciates this look, it will likely be evident in their style.
That’s where the Mari Backpack from Gifts for Good comes in. This backpack is practical, featuring a dedicated laptop sleeve, an internal water bottle holder, and ample space for headphones, cables, notebooks, and more.
What elevates the Mari Backpack, however, is the meaningful impact it delivers. It’s crafted by Parker Clay, an organization dedicated to producing leather goods with integrity. Their meticulous craftsmanship occurs in an expanding production facility in Ethiopia, which operates in line with fair trade principles, ensuring ethical production practices. Notably, the women behind these products earn wages that exceed the national average by 87%. Each purchase of this bag empowers Ethiopian women by providing 30 hours of well-compensated labor.
Who’s it for? The bookworm.
Buying a book for the person who has read everything can feel tantamount to buying a professional chef a new spatula. But we found the solution for you. This epic coffee table book is a compilation of the most compelling book reviews published by The New York Times over the past 125 years. Dive into this magical time capsule and see what The Times had to say about works we now consider classics, like The Great Gatsby, Mrs. Dalloway, The Grapes of Wrath, or A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Also, understanding how some of these works were originally received compared to their eventual legacy is perhaps the most encouraging thing you can give a burgeoning writer. It’s a comparative literature fanatic’s treasure trove.
Who’s it for? The jewelry collector.
A diamond tennis bracelet is a timeless staple in any jewelry lover’s collection. It was originally popularized in the Roaring ’20s and was referred to as an eternity bracelet before being rebranded in the ’70s by tennis pro, Chris Evert, who wore the accessory during her matches. This single-carat, diamond tennis bracelet from Brilliant Earth is a great option for your loved one. Adhering to the traditional style, it is simply crafted with the brightest stones and is sure to add an invaluable piece to your recipient’s growing collection.
But this bracelet’s appeal extends beyond its century-long tradition. Brilliant Earth has gone above and beyond national ethical regulations, called the Kimberly Process (KP), aimed to block the sale of “blood diamonds” that fund armed rebellions and are often mined using forced labor. KP is a flawed standard because it is based on the last country of export, meaning a diamond can be KP-certified even if it was smuggled in from another country. Going further than the KP, Brilliant Earth’s “Beyond Conflict Free” system ensures that the country of origin (Canada or Botswana), is not only responsibly sourcing but also sustainably sourcing their diamonds.
Who’s it for? The audiophile on the go.
The WH-1000XM5s are topping the charts for best over-ear headphones this year. This isn’t entirely surprising, as their predecessor, the XM4s, were also a preferred pick for audiophiles. The newest version is equipped with adaptive noise cancellation that employs 2 processors to control 8 speakers. Through the headphones’ paired app, you can select full canceling, variable-level ANC, or none at all. This feature makes them a great choice for travel or working from a bustling cafe.
Over-the-ear headphones can be notoriously uncomfortable when worn for a long time, so Sony made sure to equip this design with extra plush cushions for improved comfortability. The battery life boasts 30 hours of playback, while quick charging ensures minimal downtime between use (about 3 minutes for 3 hours of playback). What’s more, these headphones offer touch controls, making navigation easy and intuitive, while their “speak-to-chat” function pauses your audio during IRL conversations. Blending style, comfort, and innovative tech, these headphones are a great option for a holiday gift.
History by Mail Subscription $40-$75
Who’s it for? The history buff.
Whether you’re buying this subscription for personal exploration or gifting it to a history enthusiast, it offers an engaging, hands-on approach to exploring our world’s most fascinating and impactful moments.
Every month, a package containing a carefully curated collection of documents, replicas, and artifacts is delivered to your doorstep. One month might unveil an authentic reproduction of a Civil War-era letter, Rosa Parks’ police report from the Montgomery Bus Boycott, or correspondence between Albert Einstein and FDR.
Combining education with the excitement elicited from an ongoing gift, Uncommon Goods’ History by Mail subscription offers recipients a tangible peak into the past. Subscription lengths may vary from 6-12 months depending on the package you select.
Who’s it for? The cognoscenti of scents
Choosing a signature scent is an incredibly personal, intimate decision—a lot like buying a new wallet. It can be challenging to parse through all the different options, discerning which notes appeal to you and how they interplay with your natural scent. The process takes time, and whether you are new to the world of perfume or are looking to reinvent your signature, a discovery set is a great place to start.
This classic collection of 15 testers from Le Labo is a beautiful choice. From cult classics like the smokey, leathery Santal 26 to more unique offerings like the woodsy yet floral LYS 41 (my favorite), this set has something for everyone. Even if your (new) scent isn’t in this box, the kit provides a wide range of notes, from seductive musks to delicate florals and everything in between. Finding components you enjoy, like sandalwood or jasmine, can be a cornerstone on which to build. Plus, it’s an enjoyable experience to parse through the options, return to favorites, or try something new for a few weeks. You don’t need more than a spritz or two, so these testers last.
Mill Food-Recycling Kitchen $396, billed annually, bin included
Who’s it for? Anyone with a kitchen.
Food waste typically goes into a landfill where it creates large amounts of methane–a greenhouse gas 80 times more potent than CO2 (!)—as it decomposes. With this food recycling bin, you can give someone the gift of lighter, less frequent trash runs and the knowledge that they are not contributing to a flawed waste removal system.
This is essentially a high-tech trashcan explicitly designed for food scraps. Rather than dumping your leftovers in the garbage, you can drop them in the Mill, and it will dry and grind your scraps into an odorless material the company calls “food grounds.” Once the bin is full, which takes about a month for an average-sized household (four people), you can either keep the grounds to add to your compost or city-provided bin or empty it into a provided box and place it on your porch for free, on-demand pickups.
Who’s it for? The one who loves to cook.
This ten-piece set, available at Williams Sonoma, is one of the best options on the market. Handcrafted in Seki, Japan, a renowned center for knife craftsmanship, these knives are both extremely functional and beautiful. The SG2 micro-carbide powder steel cores are safeguarded by 100 layers of steel. Miyabi’s pioneering ice-hardening technique preserves the sharpness of the blades and prevents corrosion. These knives are built to last.
Their sharpness combined with ergonomically designed, D-shaped handles, constructed of Rosewood and Pakkawood, make them a great chopping companion. The set comes with a wooden easel inset with magnets, which serves as convenient storage and an eye-catching kitchen display. Whether they are a novice or seasoned home cook, these blades will elevate anyone’s experience.
Who’s it for? The one who needs some self-care.
This robe would make a luxurious addition to any existing (or non-existent) loungewear collection. Crafted from 100% Turkish cotton, it combines comfort, durability, and aesthetic. Featuring a relaxed fit and cozy, absorbent, waffle weave texture, this robe is perfect for post-shower indulgence or cozy mornings at home.
Additionally, Parachute is committed to sustainable practices, creating textiles that are built to last. They are Climate Neutral Certified—which denotes a pragmatic approach to CO2 reduction in line with the Paris Agreement—and are beginning to convert to a circular production model through their upcycling program that breaks down and remanufactures returned items to resell them on their site.
Who’s it for? Your far-away bestie.
Tap your lamp, and theirs will change color, letting them know you are thinking of them. Despite the ease of communication afforded by modern technology, remaining genuinely connected to our loved ones can still be challenging. For some, texting, phone calls, and video chats can feel like a warm hug. But this lamp could be the perfect solution for those with screen fatigue who still want to stay connected. Purchasing the set allows you to take one and gift the other to your friend. They easily connect to your home’s Wi-Fi router and allow you to communicate with just a touch.
Who’s it for? The one with a sweet tooth.
There are only so many boxes of chocolate you can give your friend with an insatiable sweet tooth. The Ninja Creami is a more creative option. With an infinite number of possible flavors, this ice cream maker allows you to turn just about anything into a dessert in about 15 minutes. Whether you are a classic ice cream lover or prefer a gelato, sorbet, or milkshake, it can do the job. The Creami allows you to tailor your frozen desserts to your taste or dietary preferences, while its seven auto-iq preset programs simplify the process—ensuring your creations always turn out perfect. It even comes with a comprehensive recipe book, offering inspiration for classic and unique frozen treats.
Who’s it for? The one who wants a break from routine.
The best gift I ever received was an introductory flight lesson at the Great Barrington Airport in Western Massachusetts. As I took off in the two-seater Cessna and looked out at the fall foliage covering the Appalachian mountains, it ignited a true passion. A year later, I am now well on my way to earning my private pilot’s license.
Pushing someone slightly outside their comfort zone and encouraging them to try something they have always found intriguing is an incredibly thoughtful way of showing how in tune you are with their passions.
With Virgin Gifts, you can choose from a vast list of adventures. They offer thousands of experiences all over the U.S. Everything from hot air ballooning to kayaking, race car driving to spa days, are available for purchase—and yes, they offer introductory flight lessons. They do their best to provide stress-free booking, returns, and complimentary exchanges, taking the hassle out of planning. Depending on the location, experience, and duration, cost may vary between dozens to thousands of dollars, but Virgin provides good price for value.
Whether your recipient is an insatiable adrenaline junky or is more risk-averse, you will be able to find something memorable to share with them.
Who’s it for? The coffee fanatic.
While on the (much) pricier side for a coffee maker, this Italian espresso machine offers both gorgeous form and high-end function. Finished in premium leather, this very fancy Nespresso machine is visually stunning. It serves as an eye-catching centerpiece in any kitchen, perfect for adding a touch of sophistication to any countertop. This machine requires no fancy artistry to operate and instead ensures an ideal brew and easy cleaning every time.
Who’s it for? The (rugged) outdoorsman
For the outdoor enthusiast or style-conscious individual, consider gifting them this waxed trucker jacket from Huckberry.
The waxed cotton exterior exudes a classic charm and provides reliable weather protection. It’s a versatile choice for hiking, camping, or exploring the urban jungle. The flannel lining adds extra warmth and comfort, perfect for cooler seasons, and it’s designed for easy layering.
MoMA Nesso Table Lamp $515, Non-Member $464, Member
Who’s it for? The whimsical homebody
Available at the MoMA Design Store, this fun, artistic lighting piece adds a bit of intrigue to any interior. Designed by Giancarlo Mattioli and Gruppo Architetti Urbanisti, this lamp is also a piece of art.
The unique and organic shape resembles a soft, luminous mushroom. Its undulating lines create a play of light and shadows across a space, making it a striking focal point in any room. Made from high-quality injection-molded ABS resin, it’s both lightweight and durable.
This lamp’s design offers brilliant, ambient light and serves as an aesthetic statement. It’s a piece that sparks conversation and makes a bold style statement in modern, minimalist, or eclectic interiors.
Who’s it for? The one who is always cold.
These cashmere gloves, exclusively available on Loro Piana’s website, are a great choice as we head into the winter months. Ultra soft and made in Italy, they are not only stylish but also functional for any fashion-forward woman.
Loro Piana is well known for their commitment to quality, and these gloves are no exception. They are built to last, making them a long-term wardrobe staple when cared for properly. These are a great choice for those who appreciate a touch of cashmere in their winter wardrobe.
Who’s it for? The golf zealot.
This highly capable golf launch monitor offers golfers an array of data and functionalities. Through its Doppler radar technology (which produces velocity data about objects at a distance), the compact device provides 14 essential data metrics, covering both ball and club, helping athletes improve their game.
A standout feature is the access to a vast library of 42,000 virtual golf courses, making it a versatile tool for range practice and at-home use. Occasional misreads are more common when used indoors, so we recommend this for hitting the courses IRL. But it’s compatible with E6 software, enabling users to simulate play on various courses and even participate in online tournaments. For those seeking to refine their swing, the R10 seamlessly correlates shot data with video recordings, facilitating in-depth analysis. Boasting a battery life of 10 hours, this device can accommodate extended practice sessions.
Who’s it for? The watch fanatic.
Delving deep into the world of Rolex, The Impossible Collection showcases 100 of the most remarkable and iconic timepieces ever created by the Swiss brand.
The book provides an in-depth exploration of Rolex’s history, from its early