It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Even though this holiday season looks different than most, I am really embracing the Christmas spirit—my halls are decked, my Netflix watch history is full of cheesy Christmas movies, and I listen to Christmas music—I’m partial to the classics like Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Perry Como—pretty much nonstop. I miss all the big celebrations with friends, coworkers, and family—but much like there was no room for Mary and Jesus at the Inn, I am making the best of the circumstances at hand.
ICYMI, I am really behind on my holiday content this year because I was without a computer for a few weeks. Given all the shipping delays that Covid-19 has caused, I know many people started shopping early this year and that many people may already have most of their shopping done already. But I’ve been making gift guides since 2014—you can view all my past gift guides HERE!—and it’s become a little holiday tradition in its own right for me. So even though I’m probably belated, I wanted to share a few of my favorite things in case they spark a gift idea for someone you’re shopping for this season.
I know a lot of people have found themselves in very perilous economic situations this year, and my intention with these gift guides is never to make you feel like you have to buy something. None of the items on this list are life changing and I’ve learned over time that buying stuff rarely makes me happier or fills any sort of void in my life. I’m just sharing in case my recommendations can be helpful—but also because, when pulling this gift guide together, I took extra care to share a lot of my favorites from small businesses, as I know they are especially struggling this year. If I can send even one sale their way, it would be a tiny way I can help.
Before we dive in, one gift idea I think you could consider for anyone in your life this holiday season is a gift card to a local restaurants. With outdoor dining becoming less viable, compounded with months of lost revenue, this winter is going to be so challenging for our restaurants. If you’re in the DC area, I’ve got tons of restaurant reviews HERE and on my Instagram, I recently rounded up ten of my favorite restaurants HERE. And finally, I’ll make a plug that my favorite restaurant, screwtop wine bar offers wine club memberships; this would be such a great gift to receive and a great way to help the restaurant since it’s income they can predict each month. (I’m a member myself and have discovered so many great, new-to-me wines this way!) You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re still in need of a DC restaurant rec—I am always happy to help!
So, without further ado—here’s a roundup of my favorite things! I’ll keep adding stuff to this list as I find it over the next few weeks. Merry Christmas! x
At my parents house, we always drink out of champagne coupes for special occasions and holidays. I would one day love to add a set of coupes to my glassware collection, and these blush ones from Estelle are number one on my wish list.
Josh Young is one of my favorite artists—and he recently moved to DC! (You should check out how he decorated his row home for Christmas, it’s stunning—but I digress.) I love his Portrait Art Series, especially this Emma one. It’s individually hand-signed and hand-painted using a mixed media technique featuring vibrant acrylic and oil paints on top of the print. I recently purchased it for my apartment and can’t wait to get it framed!
Over the years, I’ve amassed quite the large ornament collection from family and friends and I love how each one holds a special memory. (I really want to start collecting ornaments on my travel, too!) This masked Santa would be the perfect ornament to gift to anyone to commemorate this wild year. I love throwing ornaments over the top of wine bottles as a hostess gift—save that idea for next year when it’s safe to have parties! (Fingers crossed!)
I am not a dog lover, but if you’re like me, everyone you know has gotten a dog in quarantine! I think these matching mask and bandana sets are SO cute for any dog owner on your list.
Le Diplomate is one of my favorite restaurants in DC—and this water color of it is absolutely STUNNING! Even if Le Dip doesn’t hold the same meaning for you, Hayes Willingham, the artist, takes custom commissions—you could get a loved one their favorite restaurant, a pet, a house, a special location.
If you’re looking for the softest, most absorbent, BEST towels on the market, I cannot recommend Weezies towels enough. I received my first set last Christmas and asked for another one this year. They’ve also got the cutest kids line—I love the little robes!—and beach towels. (I’ve already decided I am treating myself to one this summer!)
One of my favorite accounts to follow on Instagram is Matchbook Diaries—and they have a beautiful print shop where you can purchase high quality, framed photos of matchbooks from top restaurants + hotels across the country, colleges, more. I love collecting matchbooks and know a lot of people do, too. This could be a fun way to commemorate a special place or memory for a loved one.
In my opinion, you can never go wrong with a candle—and it’s no secret Candlefish makes some of my favorites. Scent is so personal, but I think number 70 would be perfect for anyone on your list. It’s rosewood, pink pepper, and tonka bean. Trust me!
When I think about the things I cherish most, it’s the items that have been passed down to me over the years that used to be family members. When I saw these beautiful 12 Days of Christmas dessert plates, I knew these were the type of beautiful thing you can pass down one day. They are absolutely stunning and I can’t wait to use them for years to come. There are also juice glasses and there was a beautiful matching platter—hopefully you can find it in stores still, too!
Sara Fitz makes super cute stationery—her notepads would make the perfect gift for anyone who is working from home and needs a little something to brighten their desk every day. She also makes the cutest gift wrap if you need something unique to wrap your gifts up in.
At the start of quarantine, I splurged on a pair of Lake Pajamas—and wow, were they worth it! Even though they are definitely on the pricier side for pajamas, I think they’re worth it. They will shrink a little in the wash—so if you’re willing to air dry, buy you’re normal size. I bought the size up so I could throw them in the dryer.
Some of my favorite gifts to receive are the things I would never buy myself—which is why I think Brightland olive oil would make a fabulous gift. Especially in a year when we are all staying home and cooking more, we have to enjoy the little luxuries we can. If you’re feeling really fancy, you could pair this with a fresh loaf of bread or some delicious seasoning!
I look forward to using Farmacy’s Green Clean Cleansing Balm every day. It smells amazing and leaves my skin feeling so soft and moisturized—plus it gets off ALL my makeup. This would be such a good gift for the skincare enthusiast in your life or as a stocking stuffer.
My best friend Emma whipped out these monogrammed cards when we were at a bar earlier this year and they would make the CUTEST gift. It’s a full 52-card, poker-sized set and you tell the Etsy Shop which two initials you want and they do the rest.
If you’ve never played Pit, you are MISSING OUT! This is such a fun game, and one that my family rediscovered during quarantine. You could definitely play it with just three players, but to make it the most fun, I’d recommend at least four. It’s a corner-the-market card game, so basically each round, the first trader to get all their cards to be one commodity—corn, wheat, rye, barley, we’re going old school—wins the round and the first person to 255 wins the game (each commodity has a different value).
If you’re family is anything like mine, you have a repertoire of recipes that have been passed down over the years that show up at special occasions—pumpkin muffins on Thanksgiving, squash casserole on Christmas Day. Minted can take your handwritten recipes and turn it into a framed piece of art—such a special gift.
I loved 42 Pressed so much that I own three of their map prints—DC, NYC, and Charleston. They are absolutely stunning in-person, with beautiful rose gold foil. They’ve got a lot of other cities, some states, and a beautiful one of the United States, too!
Fa la la la la la la Croix! I am a huge fan of La Croix and have a few friends who are, too. This is the cutest ornament! It’s sold out online right now, but I picked one up in store earlier this week, so hopefully you can track one down.
World Market has the best, most unique stocking stuffers—I’d definitely recommend swinging by your local store if you need any last-minute stocking adds. I think these shower fizz bars are so cute. Complete with eight fizzy shower steamer cubes, each one release all the same feel-good aromas as a bath soak. Simply break off a piece and place it in the corner of your shower away from the drain, and it dissolves to work its essential-oil magic.
I asked for a pair of Birdies for my birthday after hearing for years how comfortable they are—and they definitely live up to the hype! Unlike so many other flats and loafers, these took no time to break in, even on the back of my heels. They’re also super comfortable. One day when we’re back in an office, I definitely want to add more pairs to my collection. I am a true size 7 and they fit perfectly.
This Polaroid camera is so much fun—we brought it out at my 30th birthday at the winery and had a blast with it. I also have a friend who brings her Polaroid on every trip she goes on. Such a fun, special way to capture memories—especially since I know I’m not alone when I say I never get pictures printed out again.
Elizabeth Holmes is one of my favorite follows on Instagram—her “so many thoughts” series on royal style has me hooked. She’s got a new book out and it would make the perfect gift for any royal watcher in your life.
Natalie’s makes some of the best orange juice out there—and I was thrilled when I found out they also make marg mix. You can easily ship it online, too—send a fiesta to any fellow marg lover in your life.
Since I’ve gone on more walks around my neighborhood this year than probably the last ten years combined, I really wanted an easy way to take my keys with me without having to take my whole purse. I originally got a keyring off Amazon, but then upgraded to an Oventure Key Ring and am obsessed. It’s about $10 more, but so much better quality. I love that I can slip it right on my wrist or dig my keys out quickly in a bigger bag.