The “Why I Hate Gift Guides” Holiday Gift Guide

I’m not going to buy anyone a toaster or a clock, no matter how cool.

Getting someone an experience is the trendy thing to do these days, but it’s nothing new for us—we’ve spent years preaching that time and resources are better used to get out and see the world instead of buying stuff.

At the end of the day, sometimes you just need to get a gift. My first recommendation is to use your travels wisely, picking up things along the way at small local stores and even well-curated hotel gift shops. But chances are, you haven’t. And as the days of December start to dwindle, overspending starts to seem a lot more appealing.

If you, like me, have googled gift guides, once in a while you pick up on a good idea. But more often than not, they’ll lead you to an overpriced coffee-table book (does anyone flip through those?), scented pencils (we’re into small luxuries, but really?), or a candle that makes you sneeze (like anyone needs more candles).

Disclaimer: I’m not claiming mine is any better. But it’s probably shorter, with sources that might spark some fresh ideas.

For the person who has almost every gadget already:

Ultimate Ears wireless speaker: Good quality and durability for the money (I prefer the Boom for power and portability).

Tech Organizers: If you’re like me, your cords, chargers, ear buds, converters, and everything else is a tangle in your laptop case. My favorite is the Plug Pack, which keeps it all in some semblance of order.

SimpleHuman Sensor Mirror: So you don’t look like a circus performer when you leave for work in the a.m. (and for him, so you can perfectly curate his facial hair).

For pouring the booze:

If you want to impress the wine drinker, go straight for Zalto.

Or find something uniquely designed and buy just two special glasses for bubbles or cocktails.

If they’re into whiskey, Glencairn and Norlan make the best classics.

And you have to get those bottles open somehow. Laguiole wine openers are customizable, for a monogram gift someone will actually use. And the Le Creuset Waiter’s Friend is our chic, portable little workhorse of choice.

For the person who hates the word “foodie” but definitely is one:

Mouth is a fun service that’s easy for you and still impresses, and is especially good if you need to send a unique gift basket.

Luxury candy? Sure. They probably won’t buy it for themselves, right? At Sugarfina, you can mix and match unique flavors for the sweets lover.

For the traveler, or active person:

Matador gear is packable, waterproof, and as tough as the person who requires it.

For the… Less active person:

Slippers, robes, and blankets, oh, my. Try Mahabis or Rikumo for slippers, this soft Little Giraffe blanket, or a robe from Coyuchi or Restoration Hardware (my favorite is Linen Terry or Hotel Satin).

For the someone who loves quality products:

They’ll be thrilled to add Aesop products to their regimen.

For the classic chic who thinks most gifts are crap:

A simple, quality tote will last forever and go with everything (love the ones from Cuyana). Also doubles for a good wine tote when you’re bringing wine to friends or family.

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