The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

*This was originally published on my newsletter, The Great Mother. Check it out and subscribe here! Also, several of the sites are offering sales which I’ve noted below each product.

I’ve been told many times over the years that I have great taste, so many times that I guess I can accept this as a truth? (Thank you for that!) But what I can say for sure is that I consider myself to be an excellent gift-giver. Which surely has something to do with taste, yes, but likely also relates to the fact that I love gift-giving, considering it to be a creative act in itself (and generally when we love something, we tend to be good at it, right?) but is maybe even moreso a result of the way that I think about gift-giving.

My process is mostly summed up by these two questions:

  1. Can the recipient enjoy this even if they already have something similar?
  2. Is this something I’d love but be less likely to buy for myself?

#1 is more important than #2. #2 is more of a bonus.

For #1, let’s use the example of a new phone. A new phone could be a great gift, but what if they already have one? Of course, if you know this person’s status around a particular item, then that’s another story. But let’s look at another example, like PJs. It doesn’t matter how many great PJs you might have; another pair is always useful/appreciated! IMO.

For #2, I find there are just certain things we may be less likely to buy for ourselves, but truly appreciate as gifts. A really nice candle, for instance, or a super-luxe hand soap (see below!). Often these are nice-to-have luxuries rather than utilitarian needs.

Below is a list of my favorite things, a list comprised mostly of things I personally own and love, but also things that I think work well for a multitude of personalities.

Thank you for allowing me this Oprah moment, friends. 💗

Upstate Glassware, $72 for one (I’d get at least two)

I’ve been drooling over these for quite some time. Also, pretty much everything else they make. The matching vaseThis bottle! Don’t get me started on the robes.

Byredo Suede Hand Soap, $65

We have this soap in our downstairs bathroom and I don’t think one person who has used it hasn’t commented on how amazing it is. IT IS THAT GOOD. Probably get a bottle for yourself, too. And if you want to really go all out, there’s also lotion.

Cuyana Monogrammed Travel Case Set, $120

Sure, by monogramming it you run the risk of them not being able to return it. But the monogramming on this looks super-chic. I may also be breaking my rule of #1 only if it could be possible that they already have this, or another travel case they love. So for this one maybe you should to be aware of their travel case status (i.e. your travel buddy or significant other). I have it in black but I’d also go pearl grey, caramel, or ecru.

Raaka Chocolate Subscription, $75 for 3 Months

This is the absolute *best* dark chocolate, and the subscription is fun because they have really unique flavors/concoctions. I’ve been a sub since I was pregnant and never plan on stopping. You can also spring for 6 months or a year; see those along with other Raaka gift options here.

Hydro Flask Water Bottle with Straw Lid, $50

It’s all about the straw lid! An extra-good and unexpected option for the expecting mama. Why? The straw makes drinking one-handed easy, which is a must for those early postpartum days. My husband likes the 40-ounce and I drink so much water that I should hypothetically as well, but I stick with the 32 because it feels less cumbersome. Lots of great color options!

Bombas Socks, $15+

Socks have a bad rap for holiday gifts, but Bombas are an exception. They are so thick and feel amazing on your feet, and really what feels better than new socks? This gift fits my two rules perfectly. Great for women, men, or kids at every price range. Good stocking stuffer, too!


Athena Calderone Dog Bowl, $325

A really fancy gift for your pup or your friend who’s obsessed with their pup. As a cat owner myself, I appreciate design-forward pet products so I had to include this.

Ombré Coasters, $38

Are coasters played out as gifts? Idk. I love them because they are functional yet easy to change out, creating a little design moment in any area of your home. If you haven’t explored St. Frank before, you’re in for a treat. Many more great home-y gifts right this way!

Eberjey Pajamas, $120-148

These are my eternal favorite. None are softer, and again a great option for both men and women. I’m a fan of the classic Gisele and hubby loves the Henry. Really and truly can’t go wrong.


French Market Tote, $60

File this under things-you-may-not-feel-like-buying-for-yourself but end up making your life (or weekend trips to the farmers’ market) infinitely better. Perfect for your greenmarket-loving loved one.

Burlap & Barrel Spice Set, $50

Here’s what to get your friend or family member who loves to cook. I love this brand of spices but what’s better is that I actually love every single one of what’s included in this set. The black Urfa chili is game-changing! And the cinnamon is the absolute best.

Mejuri Zodiac Necklace, $60-395

I know this is a great gift because I received it as one! (My MIL is an excellent gift-giver.) Perfect for anyone who’s into astrology. Comes in both 14k gold and gold vermeil giving you options in pricepoint.


Piecework Puzzles, $20-46

We all know someone who loves puzzles, and this is the gift for them! I discovered this line at my local flower shop – seriously the coolest puzzles. I love that they are so funky and unique, you could easily find one to suit the personality of any recipient (from the one who loves a good dinner party mess to the self-proclaimed bread head). Options for kiddos, too! (Dino Discotheque? Yes, please).


Lunya Robes, $178-$250

Options! Washable silk, I mean who wouldn’t love this, in lots of great colors. I’d be all over the Opulent Green (even though I have this in a lighter green color already 🙈) though Otium Tan is probably a safer bet. ‘The Robe’ is actually my favorite though, and I also really love the cardigan version (I have it in white and basically lived in this postpartum).


Kim Seybert Bohemia Cocktail Napkins, $58

For your bohemian friend who loves to entertain. A perfect example of something I would love to receive but might never actually buy myself. Pair with a set of cute glasses and maybe a favorite cocktail book, or wine glasses and a favorite bottle, etc.

The Lives of Artists Boxed Set, $125

A very cool gift for art lovers, even better than a coffee table book. I feel like this one is worth taking the risk that they probably don’t have it already.

L’Objet Photo Frame, $185

Here’s the gift for the person who has everything. Yes, it’s a very expensive photo frame. But that’s exactly why it makes a perfect gift: It’s something you would probably never buy yourself. The weight of it in your hands feels so luxurious, and it looks even more beautiful in person. It comes in both silver and gold, and while normally I prefer gold/brass, I’ve been loving silver for frames lately and especially this one. Personalize with a favorite photo, of course!



The 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

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