Shit I Bought and Liked No. 82: The Shitter's Guide to Gifting
Tis’ the season for some GIFT GUIDES! These are so much fun to write and I hope they’re just as fun to receive!
Something to know—I like all of these gifts. They’re in sections labeled for guys or girls or moms or dads, but that’s mostly because when we get stumped on gift ideas, we tend to think in terms of “best gifts for ______.” That doesn’t mean they ONLY work for people in those categories, so if you’re reading this and thinking that your mom would love something I listed for your boyfriend or your sister would love something I listed for dad, you’re probably right! These are just ideas to get your creative juices flowing and help you give gifts that feel special, personal, and fun.
GIFTS FOR THE GUYS
Everybody loves soft things, especially guys who don’t always buy them for themselves or get them as gifts. My brother wears these soft slides around the house daily, Barefoot Dreams makes a perfect snuggly robe, and these UGG throw blankets are such a good price AND big enough for two. If you think it’s soft and luxurious (and in a color/style they would wear or keep in their home), they probably will too.
A curated gift box! This chili crisp gift box from Big Night in Brooklyn is one of my favorites, but there are also some great ones with hot sauces and the ingredients for Old Fashioneds. If these premade boxes aren’t for you, I also love the idea of curating your own based on the things your recipient loves (think: pickled things, specific spirits, gummy candy—you name it). It’s a great way to do something fun and original, show that you know their interests, and to stick to whatever your budget is!
Other things boys don’t always think to get for themselves—self-care gifts. Options include a luxe lotion and body wash (add in a massage gift certificate if you have somewhere you know/love), or even a facial with an esthetician who can recommend a solid skincare routine—if you want to go the extra mile, spring for the products they recommend too!
Upgrading stuff they already use/wear/like is a great way to go, and not just for personal care products. These boxers and socks are easy swaps for things they wear every single day and nice loungewear pieces are welcome replacements for old sweats. And if you can’t pass up the chance to upgrade your partner’s wardrobe a bit, I’ve had my eye on these beautiful sneakers (I consider the OGs to be a wardrobe staple for men and women), this well-priced streetwear line, and these very on-trend Birks to do the same!
A night at Top Golf! Treat him and his friends for a boys night, make it a couples outing or a group night out, maybe even go just the two of you and get hammered and eat wings and do your own version of a Home Run Derby for golf. This isn’t age or gender-specific either—I am not a golf girl in the slightest, but I went with my family for my brother’s birthday and it was one of the most fun activities we’ve ever done together. Highly, highly recommend.
Other great gift options: Cool guys love A24. Who’d say no to sleek new barware? This XL, super luxe dopp kit. Rubs for your favorite grillmaster. A gift card to his local bookshop—it’s 2022 guys, don’t date people who don’t read.
DADS WHO DON’T NEED ANOTHER TIE:
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again—get them a MasterClass subscription. Idk if a switch flips in men when they have children but somewhere down the line they go from being the creatures we 20-30 somethings have to deal with to walking, talking encyclopedias? My dad raved about the hostage negotiation series they have (...), but there’s also wine tasting, wilderness survival, a million kinds of cooking, business strategy, photography, whatever the hell Kris Jenner teaches, and more. Right now they’re running a two for one deal, which feels like a two birds situation—add on an in-law, sibling, or just keep it for yourself—it is genuinely very cool.
I know TopGolf was already in the guys section, but I think it still works here! If dad or whoever else you’re gifting isn’t a golf person, try theme park tickets, laser tag, axe throwing (???), brewery/winery hopping, etc. Tickets to a show or sporting event are also great depending on your family’s vibe, but especially if your family’s on the bigger side, there’s something extra special about an experience that gets you all on your feet, off your phones, and doing something together.
Other great gift options: If all else fails… get him a Theragun and call it a day.
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GIFTS FOR THE GIRLS
Sparkly things. Catbird is my go-to for simple, beautiful, budget-friendly jewelry pieces. I’ve worn a stack of these rings for the past year, but I also love this dainty choker and their zillions of bracelet options (linked to my favorite). If you’re in NYC, you should take a trip to one of their stores with the person you’re gifting and try on their pieces in person. On top of the gift, you get a fun experience picking it out together and learning more about each other’s tastes (very useful in the long run!).
This Ultimate Cocktail Kit from Acid League! This is another unisex gift that could work for a friend as well as it could for your MIL. Throw in these perfect coupes (I know I recommend a zillion in this newsletter, but I’m a sucker for good glassware and these really are beautiful) and/or a favorite liquor or two to push it over the top! Know that if you get this for your partner, you are obligated to play bartender whenever they want—it’s the best part of the gift!
Modern fairytale shoes (or their gifting equivalent*). These if she worships Sex and the City, these or these if she likes Sex and the City but thinks the original Carrie shoes have bad juju, or these if she’d rather sip a martini and talk shit about the reboot. (These are not very SATC due to the block heel, but they still fit the fairytale bill.) *One of my favorite kinds of gifts to receive are things I LOVE, but can’t fully justify purchasing for myself, and this could be at any price point (examples include those shoes, nice lip balms, cashmere pants, high-end hand soap, and this Elsa Peretti cuff that I’d consider trading a toe for…). If you try to apply that same thinking to whoever you’re shopping for and the things that make their heart skip a beat, there’s no way they’ll be disappointed.
Other great gift options: Cheesy, but I really do think newsletter subscriptions make for good gifts. My favorites are Hung Up by Hunter Harris (for your pop culture/entertainment/internet-addicted friend) and Morning Person by Leslie Stephens (for your friend who would read lifestyle magazines if they still made lifestyle magazines). There are also several more gift options in the last issue of this newsletter where I wrote out my entire Christmas wishlist—those links still work, people!!!
MOMS WHO HAVE EVERYTHING:
If this mother still has children who live in the house: A massage or a facial or a mani/pedi, a staycation in a beautiful hotel where she can sleep on 500 thread count sheets without someone small and loud waking her up at an ungodly hour, handmade coupons from the kids to find dad or whoever else and make them deal with whatever the issue du jour is instead of her, stunning (and preferably expensive) jewelry—if I had a family of my own, I would without a doubt be wearing this bracelet from Fewer Finer with all of their names. Also important to note—moms are still people outside of being moms, so you can/should give them things that they’d love that have absolutely nothing to do with their kids (see “sparkly things” and “modern fairytale shoes” for reference).
If this mother’s kids are all grown: AN EXPERIENCE YOU CAN ALL DO TOGETHER. An afternoon wine tasting. Homakase. An Ooni oven with a pizza night blocked off on the calendar (if you do this, you/your siblings must be the ones to get/prep the ingredients). If your mom is like most I’ve met, the real gift is the quality time together, so make sure whatever you pick is something that facilities conversation and time together. If mom lives farther away, you can also grab something from a shop or restaurant you went to together the last time she came to visit, say you were reminiscing on the good time you had, and extend an invite for her to come back!
Other great gift options: This easy-to-use digital picture frame (please be the one to set it up for her!!!). A Gwyneth-worthy home spa day set. A DIY curated gift box of sheet masks—make sure this one is in there! Diptyque room/closet scents. Chic cashmere wrist warmers. The most delicious ice cream to stock her freezer. Matching simple bracelets. Her face’s new secret weapon. This super luxe agenda cover (and a just as luxe, but much more affordable option that has made its way onto my list too!).
There you have it—several of my favorite gift ideas! I hope this helps you with those tricky to shop for people and gives you some ideas for yourselves—as always, feel free to forward to whoever in your life could use this! And if you’re stumped on what to get a specific person (your girlfriend of three weeks, your direct reports at work, your roommate, your boyfriend’s mom)—drop a line! We can work it out together, possibly in my next newsletter??