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Gift-giving season is approaching, and it’s time to think about friends, co-workers, neighbors, and others you want to acknowledge with something that will please them, feel personal, and let them know how much you appreciate them all year long. And you want to do all that without “breaking the bank.” After all, it’s also a time of entertaining, presents for family, perhaps travel, home decorating, and holiday events.
We have searched for ideas and convenient sources of unique gifts that might fit your recipient’s interests, rather than seeming generic. A quality candle is always welcome, as are delicious breakfast treats that might even lead to re-orders and grateful thoughts of you. On the practical side, a French coffee press or a Himalayan Salt Lamp will be appreciated by some on your list, and a handmade set of chopsticks will always come in handy for entertaining.
All of these gifts can be ordered for direct delivery, or if you order soon, you’ll be able to wrap and present your gifts personally. As you explore our suggestions, you just might discover additional ideas for others on your gift list. Our goal here is to provide some inspiration that will encourage you to get started so you can enjoy the holiday season and the pleasure of giving.
Pear Nova Berry Jane Nail Lacquer
Looking for the perfect stocking stuffer for the beauty addict in your life? Pear Nova’s long-lasting nail lacquers are formulated without a lot of the toxic ingredients (parabens, fragrances, phthalates, or animal ingredients) that you would normally find in similar products and come in an array of gorgeous shades. We love this deep cranberry hue with a touch of gold shimmer in it—it is perfect for the holidays.
To buy: $14, pearnova.com
Snowe Marble Mini Bowl
This tiny bowl will elevate any table setting. It can be used for spreads, nuts, or olives, or it can be used as a trinket or jewelry dish. The bowl comes in three gorgeous colors—white, grey, and super sleek black.
To buy: $20, snowehome.com
Nars Mini Afterglow Lip Balm Duo
This limited holiday edition of Nars’s best selling lip balm shades will put a smile (and some serious shimmer) on a loved one’s face this Christmas. If used alone, they give a subtle wash of color and have a shiny finish. They can also be layered over lipstick for some extra shimmer.
To buy: $22, saksfifthavenue.com
Mudpuppy Mix the Mutts Board Game
Keep your kids entertained this holiday season with this hilarious family game. It can be played with two to four people and the goal is to collect matching card sets with the highest points. But in the process, you’re going to come up with quite a few hybrid hounds that will surely make everyone chuckle.
To buy: $15, neimanmarcus.com
Di Martino Dolce & Gabbana Hand-Wrapped Spaghetti Pasta
Travel to Italy may be restricted this year but this doesn’t mean you can’t give a loved one an authentic taste of the country’s cuisine. Dolce & Gabbana partnered with Italian pasta maker Di Martino on a series of limited-edition packaging that is the ideal gift for the foodie in your life.
The packs are inspired by the Mediterranean and celebrate Italy’s bold colors, symbols, and monuments. Of course, the contents are also as important. Nothing beats authentic pasta made from 100 percent Italian durum wheat.
To buy: $15, neimanmarcus.com
The Tote Project Free to Dream Pouch
The Tote Project is a collection of ethically made goods that help empower survivors and victims of modern-day slavery. The Free to Dream pouch is the perfect gift for the traveler in your life who can use a cotton tote to store cosmetics or other small belongings. It is made from organic cotton and entirely lined with cotton sheeting. The pouch also features a fun tassel hand made in North Carolina by women escaping generational poverty.
Ten percent of the proceeds go to Two Wings, a non-governmental organization that educates and mentors at-risk youth and survivors of sex trafficking.
To buy: $21, thetoteproject.com
Bonsai Grow Kit
The gardening enthusiast in your life will love finding this bonsai kit under the Christmas tree. It features, among other things, NON-GMO Desert Rose Bonsai seeds and a beautiful terracotta planter with a built-in watering system that brings water and nutrients up to the plant's roots.
To buy: $24, shopterrain.com
Dear Keaton Mykonos Ceramic Cheese Board
For the entertaining guru in your life, this beautiful cheese board will add a summery vibe to his or her next gathering. Inspired by the Greek island of Mykonos, this serving board sports a gorgeous ocean-inspired pattern in a glaze finish. It is definitely a statement piece of décor that will immediately stand out on the dinner table.
To buy: $25, dearkeaton.com
Modern Architecture A-Z
This beautiful coffee table book will please architecture fans who appreciate modern design. It is an encyclopedia of the most prominent contemporary architects as well as an overview of their most important work.
To buy: $18, barnesandnoble.com
Bella Cake Pop Maker
Cake pops are the perfect holiday treats and a total crowd-pleasing dessert. This cake pop maker features a non-stick coating for easy cleanup and a powerful heating system that helps you prepare up to 12 cake pops in minutes.
To buy: $25, macys.com
Le Creuset Mini Round Cocotte
A Le Creuset classic, this mini round Dutch oven is a must-have in every kitchen. Even Michelin-starred chefs swear by this versatile piece of cookware for its enameled stoneware construction that distributes heat evenly and helps keep moisture and flavors inside.
To buy: $20, Nordstrom.com
Slip Pure Silk Skinny Hair Tie Rose Gold Holiday Bauble
The reason why silk is so good for your hair is that it’s not as porous of fabric as cotton is which means it doesn’t absorb your hair’s moisture. This limited edition of four silk hair ties can help reduce hair breakage and keep your hair hydrated and healthy-looking. In addition, they come in a beautiful bauble-inspired packaging that looks like a Christmas ornament.
To buy: $25, Nordstrom.com
Without Walls Marled Beanie
Help your loved ones stay warm with this cozy beanie available in three beautiful shades. It sports a cool marled knit pattern and also has a wide fold-over cuff that can be adjusted for a custom fit.
To buy: $14, urbanoutfitters.com
Travel Packing Cubes
The frequent traveler in your life will definitely appreciate this set of packing cubes that will help him or her better organize his or her belongings. The set consists of three packing cubes for clean clothes and underwear, one for shoes, and one for dirty laundry. The last cube is for miscellaneous items such as cables or tech gadgets.
To buy: $24, store.moma.org
Brita Premium Filtering Water Bottle
Not all water bottles were created equal. This cool Britta one filters chlorine out of the water as you drink it and improves its taste and odor. The 20-ounce bottle has insulated walls to keep your water chilled for longer while the leak-proof lid will prevent any spills from happening.
To buy: $25, amazon.com
Hawaii Coffee Company Pure Kona Coffee
Known as the “champagne of coffee” for its full-bodied flavor, Kona coffee beans are handpicked from trees cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa on the Big Island of Hawaii. Hawaii Coffee Company’s Private Reserve Estate Kona coffee is a medium-roast, fresh-tasting coffee, perfect for a morning cup o’ Joe.
To buy: $24, hawaiicoffeecompany.com
Crate & Barrel Burling Mini Rust Vase with Handle
With its crackled texture, this handcrafted vase looks like a unique archeological find. It rests atop three feet and sports two asymmetrical handles, and will surely add an original rustic vibe to any space.
To buy: $16, crateandbarrel.com
Universe Calling Jewelry Dishes
The jewelry enthusiast in your life will absolutely love these delicate trinket dishes. Handcrafted in Virginia, the beautiful floral patterns are actually formed by pressing fresh flowers into the clay.
The dishes come in four designs—Harmony made with lavender lilacs and columbine flowers, Faith made with yellow mustard flowers, Love crafted with red bleeding heart flowers against a turquoise background, and Unity with blue lilacs and columbines.
To buy: $24, uncommongoods.com
Japanese Zen Garden
Give the gift of zen this holiday season with this mini Japanese garden. It has a soothing effect and promotes tranquility and calmness thanks to the swirling patterns in the sand that imitate the ocean waves.
To buy: $23, etsy.com
Frank Lloyd Wright Double Sided Puzzle
Architecture fans will appreciate this fun gift inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright—double-sided puzzles dedicated to two of his most famous buildings—Fallingwater and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The 500-piece puzzles have each of the iconic buildings on one side and its respective floor plan on the opposite one.
To buy: $16, uncommongoods.com
Hawley Salt Lamp
The benefits of having a Himalayan salt lamp at home include promoting more restful sleep and relaxation and purifying the air from allergens and pollutants. This stylish one actually does triple duty as an oil diffuser and humidifier, too.
To buy: $19, wayfair.com
Unity Candle Holder
This is such a beautiful and meaningful gift for a loved one. It is handcrafted in Kenya from local soapstone and it depicts two figures as a symbol of the circle of life that is grounded in light.
To buy: $25, tenthousandvillages.com
Whiskey: A Tasting Course
This book is for the budding whiskey enthusiast in your life. It is essentially a guide to the fascinating world of whiskey aromas, grains, blends, and malts. It will teach its owner not only how to taste whiskey like a pro but also how to talk about it as one.
To buy: $19, goop.com
Hexagonal Teak Chopstick Set of 4 with Rests, "Authentic Meal"
This set of four chopsticks will be the star at the dinner table. Crafted from teakwood in Thailand, each set features hexagonal-shaped chopsticks for easy grip as well as four rests.
To buy: $20, novica.com
3D Tic Tac Toe
This Tic Tac Toe game will engage the whole family. Created as a 3D version of the popular game, it features a square base with nine standing pegs and X and O shapes, all handcrafted from Raintree and rubberwood in Thailand.
To buy: $24, novica.com
Maromalife Lava Stone Diffuser Bracelet
Aromatherapy jewelry is a clever and beautiful way to take your favorite essential oils—as well as the benefits from them—with you wherever you go. This bracelet, for example, is crafted from porous lava stone beads that keep the smell of essential oils and release it slowly throughout the day. This is a great gift for both men and women.
To buy: $8, amazon.com
Yoga Mat Towel Non-Slip Hot Yoga Towel
Whether your loved one is a fan of intense hot yoga sessions or they simply enjoy meditating, this beautiful tie-dye towel will come in handy to them. It can either go over their yoga mat or directly on the floor—the resin particles on the backside will prevent it from slipping.
To buy: $16, amazon.com
MyGift 5-Compartment Vintage Gray Solid Wood Tea Bag Organizer Box with Label Holders
If you know someone who loves curling up with a good book and a cup of hot tea, then this person will surely appreciate this tea bag box. It is made from solid wood with a vintage-inspired gray finish. The box closes with magnets and has five compartments as well as five label holders.
To buy: $23, amazon.com
Voluspa Maison Mini Candle Set
Scented candles are always a good (gift) idea. And this trio by Voluspa made from coconut wax and a luxurious blend of oils will not only make any room smell like heaven but also add a bold accent to it thanks to the beautiful prints on the tins.
To buy: $24, anthropologie.com
ZaKura French Press Coffee Maker
Having this sleek French press on the kitchen counter will make anyone look forward to waking up in the morning. It has a durable stainless steel filter that provides three-level filtration that minimizes residual grounds.
To buy: $20, amazon.com