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90+ Gift Ideas for all the Important People in Your Life
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Intro Holiday Gift Guide
OMG guys, it’s DECEMBER and CHRISTMAS is right around the corner!
I’m super happy about it – I love the holiday season! Especially the festive decoration, the fairy lights (!!!), that homey vibe, the focus on family, all the cooking and cookie baking (oh the cookie baking smell), those holiday markets, the cold, the Glühwein, that powdery snow… not that I’m anywhere near snow or the cold in Desert City Dubai 😉
BUT we took the time last weekend to decorate our Christmas tree (it’s not a real one, we couldn’t live with ourselves, if we’d have an imported tree flown in thousands of miles. Instead we reuse our fake tree every year until we live somewhere with easy and sustainable access to Christmas trees). And we had homemade Glühwein, yum!!! Have a look at it in the gallery on the right 🙂
Ours follows very much a silver-white-glitter color scheme, but my mum and me used to decorate our tree back home in Germany as colorful as possible. Every year, she bought the most beautiful glass balls with intricate details no matter which color they were… which led to us having a bigger tree each year, so all decoration would fit!
The most stressful part about Christmas for me is getting presents for my loved ones. They should be useful yet pretty and also thoughtful. And I don’t know why, but I ended up buying gifts on the morning of the 24th of December quite a number of times. Not that Christmas happens every year… On the same date. Ahem.
To scratch my own itch, I put together the following gift guide – I hope you find it helpful and will be successful in finding the right present for each person in your life (in time lol)!
DIY Gifts Everybody Loves
- Homemade chocolate. It’s so quick and simple, you won’t believe it. And your friends will love you for it. Here is a recipe to get you started.
- A homemade body scrub. Who doesn’t love a good scrub with heavenly scent?
- A self-made photo album as a memory of all the adventures you experienced with your friend.
- Video compilation of all your travels in the past year. If you have no clue about video making, iMovie (Mac) is quite easy to use. Or the (free) Quik app by GoPro makes it a breeze to put together a nice little video.
For Your Plant-Based Friend
- “How Not To Die” by Michael Greger of nutrionfacts.com. This book is about how food choices can revert even life-threatening diseases and live a healthier and longer life and is an absolute life changer.
- The accompanying “How Not To Die” Cookbook for healthy plant-based recipes.
- “Thug Kitchen – The Official Cookbook”. Even the absolute die-hard meat-eaters will love these recipes.
- “Vegan for Everybody” Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. Easy plant-based recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between.
- GEFU Spiralizer. Best thing I’ve ever bought for my kitchen a few years ago. It’ll make you veggie noodles out of almost everything e.g. carrots, zucchinis.
- Dinner Giftvoucher. How about you invite your friend to a homemade plant-based dinner or maybe there’s a new fancy plant-based restaurant in town?
- T-Shirt “Eat Wise, It’s Gangster” by Patine x Wild & The Moon. The perfect statement shirt for your friend.
For Your Explorer & Travel Friend
- Noise-cancelling headphones for example from BOSE e.g. the model QC35 II. I have the model QC25, those are not bluetooth enabled, but that doesn’t bother me too much. Best thing I bought for myself about 3 years ago, until then I wasn’t aware how LOUD the inside of a plane is. Also great for working in an open office environment when you need to focus or when traveling by train.
- AirBnB Gift Card so your friend has somewhere nice to stay.
- Audible Subscription. Listening to audiobooks during commutes or while traveling gives me so much joy. Sometimes you simply find yourself in situations where you can’t read a book in tranquility.
- Spotify Subscription. Yeah, there’s not much else to say. Music without ads, whenever and wherever you go.
- A weekender like these ones here. What a beautiful present that would make 🙂
- Your friend and you want to go on a trip together but didn’t have the time yet? Plan a short roadtrip for a weekend to the next big city or national park and create a pretty voucher for it!
- A passport cover. Ban.do has a bunch of very pretty, fun and girly ones. Ted Baker also has a couple of options for her and him; the design and quality are nice and classy.
For Your Entrepreneurial Friend
I’m a planner obsessed person. I LOVE planners and notebooks, so it’s no wonder I own a bunch of them. Bullet Journaling is a planner method I started in 2016. I was using all kinds of lists beforehand already (checking of lists makes me happy, yeah, I’m that kind of person), and bullet journaling organized my list system in a better way.
- My favorite notebooks for bullet journaling are from Moleskine and from MUJI. The difference between those is the pricing and the cover options. MUJI notebooks are more plain (as in blank pages with different options: ruled, squared, empty) and minimalistic – and more affordable. If your friend likes a notebook, that has already some kind of structure (e.g. page numbers, index, preprinted calendar etc.) and comes with a couple of sturdier cover options, then the Moleskine notebooks might be the better choice.
- A third option: I’ve come across this beautiful 2019 planner from Ban.do and am seriously considering adding it to my notebook collection 🙂
- Nice pens for the notebook. My favorite ones are for creative people, but I use them for everything I write down (and I write a lot by hand): Faber-Castell PITT Artist Pen Black Bundle
- Go all in with a classy stationary set by Rifle Paper Co. (my heart :)). Look at these gorgeous options!
- Must-have books for your friend:
- InCase laptop sleeve with magnetic opening. Sleek and stylish and so useful!
- Stylish and high-quality laptop bag by this is ground. They make amazing and smart leather goods (smart as in the bags organize your belongings in an intelligent way not as in AI. There’s no tech involved).
- If your friend happens to be a blogger or writer, these books will make her or him very happy:
- “Crushing it” by Gary V. An ode to hard work, hustle and the power of social media.
- “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield. A must for every writer or creative person. Like a kick in the butt.
- “Stephen King on Writing”, part memoir and part how to write great things people will love.
- “Ogilvy on Advertising” by David Ogilvy (yep, that’s the original Don Draper), it’s old but it’s gold. Most (if not all) of the things he talks about are still relevant today (and it was published 1983).
- “Elements of Style” by William Strunk and E. B. White. A writing essential even for the non-writer.
For Your Self-Care Loving Friend
- A beautiful blank journal to finally start writing about anything e.g. gratitude, emotional things, life stories, ideas, emotional baggage… I use a blank MUJI notebook for this as well.
- For more guidance on journaling, there are quite a lot of options out there at the moment. One I particularly like is “Five Minutes in the Morning – A Focus Journal”. It makes it easy to start with journaling and doesn’t overwhelm.
- Your friend wants to start meditating but doesn’t know how to? How about gifting her or him a Headspace subscription? The app is easy to use and makes meditating a breeze.
- Wanna do something together with your friend? Get them a voucher for a yoga or meditation class and enjoy the experience together.
- A collection of essential oils for example this gift set. Your friend will appreciate you even more 🙂
- Scented candles by Diptyque. Those are wonderful and last forever.
- Dior Lip Glow. That’s my go-to lipbalm and the only make-up product I use nearly every day. It’s THE BEST!
- A voucher for a hairdresser your friend always wanted to go, but never did. Or a voucher for a skincare/facial appointment in that spa your friend is raving about (but never goes).
- Must-have books for your friend:
- “A Woman’s Worth” by Marianne Williamson
- “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed
- “Tiny Beautiful Things” by Cheryl Strayed
- “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown
- “The Gifts of Imperfections” by Brené Brown
- “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson
- “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert
- “The Happiness Project” by Gretchen Rubin
- “Very Good Lives” by J.K. Rowling
- “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo
For Your Environmental Friendly Friend
- A reusable water bottle like this one here by Corkcicle (have one of these and don’t wanna miss it!) or this one here by Swell.
- A pretty reusable shopping bag: For example these here by Baggu.
- Your friend likes to sip her/his drinks with a straw? Here’s a list of reusable ones.
- A charity donation in your friend’s name towards a cause close to their heart.
For the Introvert in Your Life
- There are more introverts in your life than you might think 🙂 (hey, hi, meee, yes! MEEE!) and this is one of my favorite books on this topic: “Quiet” by Susan Cain.
- A voucher for a long quiet walk through a calm forest (best with snow!) or national park.
- A voucher for a night in to watch movies and eat homemade junk food.
- Uh, important item for the couch to read, watch movies or take a nap: A really soft, fluffy and comfy blanket. I own this one in light pink and love that it has sleeves 🙂
For the Music Lover in Your Life
- Here comes the Spotify Subscription again 🙂
- Compile a playlist just for her/him e.g. on Spotify and name it after your friend (remember making mixtapes on cassettes?).
- Your friend is in a retro mood? Get her/him a classic vinyl!
- A voucher for an upcoming concert of her/his favorite artist or tickets if available.
For the Movie Lover in Your Life
- That’s an easy one 🙂 A Netflix Subscription. Nothing more to say.
- A special cinema experience together with you (bigger cinemas often offer dine-in experiences etc.)
- An iTunes Voucher. Yep, that’s a thing.
For Your Workout Obsessed Friend
That’s a more tricky one. Depending on the kind of workouts your friend loves, there are a bunch of different options.
- A high quality yoga mat (if you’re not sure maybe a voucher of the brand might be better and your friend can choose the right mat).
- A gym membership trial at her/his dream gym.
- Bootcamp class packages.
- You cannot go wrong with gym clothes, socks, a nice gym bag or shoes. Again, a voucher might be better, so your friend can choose the right fit and style.
- Is your friend also on the move a lot? Get her/him some handy equipment like these push-up handles that can be packed easily in any suitcase.
- Last but not least, a good pair of gloves can make or break a workout. These wear out rather quickly so even if your friend already owns a pair, they will be thankful.
For the Bookworm in Your Life
This list could get potentially really REALLY long… Since books are the air I breathe, I don’t even know where to begin. But I’m determined to keep it sweet and short.
- “Becoming” by Michelle Obama. That’s kind of a no-brainer. Everybody will love that book.
- For the ones that love spy stories and/or historic novels: Anything from Ken Follet.
- “Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Box Set” by Kevin Kwan. It’s a lighthearted and funny love story set in Singapore and the US (the movie was quite funny as well but I prefer the books).
- A “Harry Potter” Special Edition Set. There are various to choose from starting from paperback all the way to leather-bound sets.
- Your friend is more of a “Lord of the Rings” Fan? There are also beautiful special editions for this story available.
- A drama I read when I was 13 years old (and consider now a classic) is “Not without my Daughter” by Betty Mahmoody. It’s based entirely on true events.
- For your artsy bookworm friend: “The Gift of Calligraphy” and “The Secret Lives of Color”.
- Have a look at my 2018 Summer Reading Book List for more inspiration.
- If you want to get your friend a classic, here’s a list of the greatest books with the Top 50 classic books showing on the first page.
- Still need more inspiration? Have a look at the various book gift guides from Penguin Random House.
For the Photographer/Videographer/Content Creator in Your Life
- A new lens. If your friend is starting a YouTube Channel, get her/him a 50mm prime lens and you’ll be loved forever (make sure you know the camera make of your friend, a Nikon lens doesn’t fit a Canon and vice versa).
- A microphone. This Rode VideoMicro is a great choice for beginners.
- Lights. Especially if your friend shoots video indoors. A ring light is an amazing addition if you’re friend already has lights (also if they don’t :)).
- Your friend (or partner or family member) is special to you and you don’t mind splurging? Upgrade their camera body to the newest version (this could potentially be very pricey).
- Something that the photographer/videographer in your life will be always thankful for is fast and vast storage space, so get them an SD-card with enough GB or a portable hard-drive with at least 2TB.
- Something else that’s very useful is a power bank that can be connected to your friends camera. No more dead battery in the middle of nowhere.
- Your friend doesn’t have an Adobe Subscription for Lightroom or Photoshop yet? Get them started here.
I really hope this gift guide is useful to you. The most important thing though is to enjoy the time with the people that are important to you! And the best presents I was gifted or gifted to my loved ones always included to spend time together… This is so much more valuable than any materialistic thing you can get.
Merry Christmas and much love!
P.S.: If you have no clue how to wrap your present to make it look beautiful, I found this video for you with some gift-wrapping hacks. You got this!