This Holiday Season’s Ultimate Gift Guide

Theodora Helgason ’22

As winter break approaches it’s time to start checking off gifts for everyone on your list! Whether you need a gift for Secret Santa, for your roommate, or for your grandparents, this gift guide is sure to help.

For the artist:
If creativity runs through their veins, then giving them the tools to create is a thoughtful idea. If they have a favorite art supply store, a gift card to alleviate the costs of supplies is a great idea. A fun DIY kit from Etsy or a craft store is always an entertaining winter activity. Looking to artists around campus for gifts is a great way to both support a local artist and give a gift that the artist in your life would appreciate. A group gift could be to create something together for the artist. Putting together a book of poems or making jewelry are personal gift ideas that speak to their artistic sensibilities.

For the cook:
An incredibly specific cookbook is the best gift for the chef in your life. For example, if they have recently tried to cook more vegan recipes, a cookbook centered around plant-based cooking is a great idea! If they have a love for matcha, a cookbook like The Matcha Cookbook is the best fit. Are they a minimalist? There are lots of cookbooks that aim to use as few ingredients and time as possible, such as The Super Easy 5 Minute Cookbook. If they have a love for art, Dorothy Iannone’s A Cookbook is a lovely artist book that is also a cookbook. No matter what kind of chef they are, there is a cookbook out there for them.

For the sentimentalist:
If someone special in your life appreciates the immaterial more than the material, a gift that commemorates a memory or your relationship as a whole is the most fitting. A scrapbook or a framed photo are classic gifts for sentimentalists. Getting creative and giving a personalized ornament, a playlist that speaks to your relationship, or crafting something that only they could truly appreciate will be sure to warm their heart.

For the extrovert:
The best gift for an extrovert is to give them an experience! Is there an artist or musician they love that you can snag tickets for? If they love trying new things, SoFar Sounds hosts concerts in pop-up venues and with unknown artists. In this unique concert-going experience, you only find out what artists you’re there to see after you arrive at the venue. SoFar Sounds is a great way to support artists and find community in a more intimate concert space. Another experience to give would be tickets to an interactive exhibit in LA where they can get all the photos they need as a keepsake of the occasion (Museum of Selfies or Flutter Experience anyone?).

For the coffee or tea lover:
A gift card to their favorite spot, whether it’s a Motley coupon, a gift card to a cafe in the Village, or a Starbucks gift card they can use wherever they are, is a great gift for those beverage lovers who probably spend too much money on coffee and tea. Alternatively, the tools to make their own great coffee and tea in their dorm room is a gift that they could keep for years! If they love matcha, a matcha starter kit can teach them how to make their own traditional matcha. A special teapot or tea kettle accompanied by their favorite flavor of tea is another considerate gift. If they love coffee, a French press makes a great gift that isn’t overly expensive. On the more expensive side and great for a group gift, an espresso machine for the coffee lover to make their own lattes and mochas is also a thoughtful choice.

For that person you literally have no idea what to give:
What is their favorite movie? TV show? Book? Place? You are sure to find stickers or patches online that have charming illustrations of their favorite things. Look into posters of their favorite movies and TV shows to see if any seem like a good fit for them. Finding a special edition of their favorite book is also a great gift. Look into items that show off their hometown or home state. What is their favorite store? Walk around the shop or browse online until you see the perfect gift, or just go with a gift card. These are thoughtful gifts that you can give to anyone!

Sometimes the artist in your life is also sentimental, and the cook is also an extrovert. Combining gifts to give the total package is a thoughtful way to show your loved ones that you understand all the roles they play in your life. Giving is the best part of the holiday season because it is an opportunity to show everyone you care about how much you appreciate them and how well you understand them. Remember, you do not necessarily need to spend to give. A simple note, hug, or a bouquet of fresh-picked flowers from the Rose Garden will always do the trick.