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Everyone has this person on their list. If you’re lucky, you have just one of them on your list. It’s that person who regularly just buys what they want for themselves (no judgment!), and leaves little to nothing for gifting. It’s the friend who is just exceedingly picky and nothing you can buy will ever be good enough for them. Or maybe it’s a new in-law you don’t know all that well. Regardless, we all know buying a gift for these types can be an enormous pain-in-the-ass, eating up way too much of our precious holiday season minutes. So, I’m here to suggest a bunch of gift ideas for the “biggest pain in the ass” on your list. All gifts on this guide come from either very small businesses, or are slightly larger companies donating their Black Friday and/or Cyber Monday profits to charity.
There might be someone out there who doesn’t love cheesecake (and, ok, maybe your person is vegan), but for everyone else out there, how can you go wrong with cheesecake?! Nick Cave is one of the most brilliant contemporary artists, whose original work most of us could never possibly afford, so I love the idea of gifting this collaboration with Chicago’s most famed “cheesecak-ier.” The best part? The proceeds go to The Facility Foundation, Cave’s “non-profit supporting young and underrepresented artists with scholarships, commissions and presentation opportunities.”
You will never be able to convince me that there is any human out there who doesn’t appreciate a big, soft-as-butter, stylish bath towel. It’s also hard to come across someone who doesn’t need new bath towels, or will very soon need new bath towels (we can’t be the only ones whose towels get nasty after a couple years?). The Loomia (a small shop owned by the sweetest couple you will ever meet) has stunning, large, incredibly cozy bath towels that I can personally attest are the best out there. This set, in particular, feels like a very thoughtful gift that would be perfect with nearly any bathroom decor.
The Loomia –$34
Lou’s Libations are just the coolest things ever. We became absolutely obsessed with these little miracles in a jar last winter and I truly haven’t had one that wasn’t absolutely delicious yet. Lou’s Libations is another very small shop, operating out of Illinois, and creating the best-tasting cocktails you ever will taste. Just add your booze of choice, let them sit for a couple of days, pour, and enjoy! I am buying a bunch for my own house for the holidays, but I can’t think of a better gift – for nearly any adult or host!
Lou’s Libations – $50/set
No one can ever have enough throw blankets (says the woman who is eternally cold from October – April). I have two of these (they come in many different patterns) and everyone in the family fights over them! They’re incredibly soft and lightweight, and they look fantastic styled with nearly any decor (a major plus)! The Citizenry is currently donating 100% of their profits to helping Ukranian refugees, plus 30% off site-wide.
The Citizenry –$120
This trio of candlestick holders is just so incredibly chic, but I love that they would fit into nearly any decor style – from your wildest maximalist to your grandmother’s traditional table. I also love that they are made by an amazing small shop – Holistic Habitat.
Holistic Habitat – $149 (set of three)
I mean, just look at these!
Print Fresh – $138
Kanju Interiors is a Dallas-based shop focusing on African goods. They support a host of African artists and creators and their website has so many dreamy gift ideas, it would be hard to go wrong with anything on their site. I truly believe a gift should be something unique and thoughtful, not something mass-produced that is found in most Americans homes. Anything from Kanju Interiors would fit the definition (in my book) of a perfect gift.
Kanju Interiors – $65
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know that Curated Home Decor is one of my most favorite shops of all time. This small, Wisconsin-based and women-owned shop is curated with the most beautiful gifts imaginable. These Staffordshire Dog Ornaments are just a small sampling of their holiday offerings, and nearly anything on their site would make a perfect holiday gift. I love the idea of ornaments for a difficult-to-buy-for person. They feel thoughtful, sentimental even, and will have the rare potential of becoming a family heirloom!
Curated Home Decor – $15
Timeless Goods Store is a black-owned, small business with some top-notch art offerings. I love that they also offer their cotton-paper, archival-quality prints in puzzle-form to make them more accessible for gifting. I always thought that framing puzzles was a little bit cheesy, but THIS puzzle? This is one I’d love to have framed on my wall.
Timeless Goods – $60