A truly special holiday gift is less about the price tag and more about the thought that went into the gift itself. However, the busy schedule that the holidays bring can interfere with your shopping, leading to rushed decisions — which usually means purchasing lots of designer candles, bottles of wine, and loads of gift cards. If this sounds like your experience last year, the following tips are for you. From the secret to giving one-of-a-kind items to ideas for making host gifts even more special, our gift guide has everything you need to make a memorable impression this holiday season.
Secret #1: Give a gift that offers an experience.
Studies have shown a trend towards giving an experience over material items. However, this doesn’t mean you have to give a gift certificate to a spa, restaurant, or hotel. Instead, give a gift that offers an experience — like a game set. For the truly special person on your list, the Mother of Pearl Backgammon Set or the Janus et Cie Foosball Table will be a cherished part of game nights for years. Or, for those who are already into gaming, a special set of dice or a set of Ralph Lauren playing cards makes a thoughtful gift.
Secret #2: For a standout host gift, package wine with something special.
Wine is the go-to for any occasion. But, when the host is a good friend, you want something that feels a little more personal. Package the wine with bar tools or coasters that offer an upgrade on the usual barware, like the Preston Wine Coaster & Bottle Stopper from Ralph Lauren.
Secret #3: Make the box part of the gift.
When giving smaller items (like toiletries or makeup), package the items in a box that’s a gift in itself, like the Kravet Large Carrara Marble Pattern Box.
Secret #4: Know a collector? Opt for a vintage item.
Giving vintage items can be a risk — if the recipient doesn’t have an affinity for vintage, you run the chance of giving the impression that you’ve regifted. Instead, give the collector in your life a vintage version of the items they collect. For bibliophiles, that could mean an exceptional set of antique books, like the above collection of Henry Fielding works. A collector of vintage or antique clothing might adore an authentic 1920s Chinese Ceremonial Kimono.
Secret #5: Still stuck? Go for a throw — and extras for a cozy night in.
You can’t go wrong with a luxe blanket, like the Red Thebo Plaid Mohair Throw by Kravet. To make this functional gift feel a bit more festive, package the throw with high-end tea (or coffee, or drinking chocolate) and a lovely mug. You can also add in a gift subscription to a streaming service like FilmStruck, which focuses on classic movies.