This holiday season is surely different from any we’ve known before. And while some will be celebrating from afar this year, why not send those we can’t see this holiday season something extra special? Below, I have compiled nine gifts for the people in your life, from the chocolate lover and the wine collector to the skincare fanatic and the small business advocate.
La Maison du Chocolat’s Holiday Cracker Coffret, $57 for 24 pieces
When I received this box of chocolates, I was instantly blown away by the packaging. It is so stunning with its bright, cheery holiday color scheme. Every time I saw the package sitting on my dining table, it lifted my mood—and that was even before I sampled the chocolate within it! The chocolates are expertly crafted, buttery smooth and beautifully flavorful. My absolute favorite chocolate in the box was the brand-new milk chocolate praline with holiday spices and crispy crêpe. It tasted like the holidays, though honestly, I would happily eat those bonbons any time of the year. For the chocolate-loving gourmet in your life, these designer chocolates are a must.
Book of the Month, $14.99/monthly
When the pandemic began, I became addicted to subscription boxes as a means of bringing myself a little joy each month. One of my favorites? Book of the Month, a monthly subscription box that allows you to pick from one of five new books, along with adding on other titles from their library. Every month, I look forward to previewing the new books and getting to pick from memoirs, nonfiction books, novels, modern classics, thrillers and more. For the person who moves through books faster than Netflix binges, this is the gift for them.
Saeco Xelsis, $1,799
This time last year, my most cherished morning ritual was grabbing an iced coffee before heading into the office. Now, of course, that morning ritual has changed, and with it, so has my at-home coffee-making experience. I was lucky enough to be sent a Saeco Xelsis espresso maker to review, and it immediately upped my at-home coffee game. The espresso maker is Italian-made and surprisingly easy to incorporate into your kitchen. But apart from the aesthetics, it makes a very good espresso. You can make 15 different drinks with it, including hot water for tea and warm milk. My favorite drink the machine makes is a latte macchiato, which always ends up tasting great and looking so impressive. My absolute favorite way to use it, though, is to put a cup with a spoonful of sugar under the nozzle, brew a shot of espresso, then add in soy milk and pour over ice. It’s become one of my favorite work-from-home rituals and is quite honestly what gets me out of bed every morning. For the coffee connoisseur in your life, this is sure to please.
Ivy Three Creative Earrings, prices vary
The proliferation of Zoom this year has changed how we approach style and what we wear to work. For me, this has meant wearing a lot more earrings since it’s an accessory that is easily visible on camera, and some of my favorite earrings this year have come from a small St. Louis-based business called Ivy Three Creative. The Etsy shop specializes in polymer clay earrings, which means even the most ornate earrings are super lightweight. They offer a range of styles, from dangles to studs, in all sorts of different colors. My favorites are the mini stud packs, which are perfect for everyday wear, and The Malia, which are great if you’re looking to gift a sophisticated statement piece. Ivy Three Creative’s earrings are truly stunning and are amazing quality. If you’re in search of a gift for someone who maintains a polished and chic yet original style, look no further than Ivy Three Creative.
I received this body scrub in a goodie bag from the In goop Health Summit a couple of months ago, and it has become a part of my regular routine. It’s the best scrub I’ve ever used, in part because it not only exfoliates, but it also moisturizes my skin at the same time because it has organic oils in it that help to hydrate the skin. Plus, it smells divine! It’s an all-natural scrub made from brown sugar, food-grade vanilla, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and more. For the person who is all about self-care, this will make for an amazing gift.
Gift Cards to Local Eateries, price varies
We all know how important it is to support local businesses right now, especially as restrictions are becoming tighter once again, but it is imperative to support your local restaurants and eateries at a time like this. So, it works out quite nicely that now is the time for gifting. And really, who doesn’t want great food? For those who live in the New York City area, I would highly recommend picking up a gift card to Resident, a supper club that hosts intimate dinners in luxury residences. It was one of the most memorable dining experiences I’ve ever had, and perhaps one of the most joyful experiences I’ve had this year. For the foodie in your life (or the person who just doesn’t like cooking), give the gift of tasty food while supporting your local community.
I’ve been a fan of Claire Saffitz, pastry chef and former host of Bon Appetit’s Gourmet Makes series, for some time now. So, when she announced she was releasing a cookbook all about baking, I knew I needed to scoop it up. And it does not disappoint. In a year where I’ve rekindled my love of baking, this book feels like the perfect next step to up my baking game. Saffitz includes many basic recipes and techniques to master, along with more advanced recipes (such as a fruit cake that takes two months to make!). For the person in your life who, like me, has become a baking fiend during the pandemic, this book is just what they need to take their hobby to new heights.
A couple of months ago, I received a trial-sized version of this night serum in a goodie bag, and it noticeably changed my skin, making it smoother, minimizing redness and leaving my skin with a healthy glow. This serum is intended to help repair your skin during the renewal process that takes place over night. For the person who is serious about their skincare regimen, treat them with this night serum.
Toward the beginning of November, Sonoma Cutrer and Woodford Reserve held a Friendsgiving tasting that included this limited release pinot noir. I instantly fell head over heels for this red wine. It’s flavorful with its red berry notes, but also buttery with notes of baking spices. This wine is limited in availability, so bear that in mind, though Sonoma Cutrer offers other lovely pinot noirs if you find this one is out of stock. For the person in your life who is always looking for a new wine to add to their cellar, this is the gift for them.