There was a moment in 2020 when there was an almost collective pause in consumerism, right before everyone – myself included – bought a million pairs of tie-dyed sweatsuits.
As someone who loves giving gifts even more than receiving them (and I LOVE receiving them), I know how hard it is not to get sucked into a shopping frenzy. That’s why I’m releasing this gift guide now. Everything on this list is something I’ve gotten and loved that also offers an experience to the recipient. With Black Friday around the corner, take note of anything that sounds perfect for someone in your life so that when the shopping frenzy begins, you’re able to make a conscious decision fueled by thoughtfulness and love. Most importantly, all these gifts qualify under my personal gift criteria: it should be everything they want, and nothing they need.
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For the new mom
If I could tell well-meaning friends and family of new mothers anything, it’s that the baby doesn’t want anything other than his or her mother. Put down the baby blanket, and buy the mom a week of Sakara meals. Yes, it’s expensive, but not having to prepare a single meal while simultaneously eating nutrient-dense food all week is a gift to the mother AND the baby. So really, it’s a 2-for-1. New customers can use code XOJEN for 20% off their first order, and be sure to subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social for a Black Friday code, which is good for new AND existing customers.
For your lover
It’s right around now that I wish I didn’t tell you that everything on this list is something I can personally vouch for, but it’s in your (and your partner’s) best interest to know about these things. Foria arousal oil is the luxury alternative to good old coconut oil, and any pleasure-enhancing toy from Lelo is a far cry from the cheap plastic ones you’ll find in seedy sex shops. Lelo develops intimate products for both men and women.
For the coffee drinker
I bought an Ember mug for my husband, but I tried it once and was instantly hooked so it’s mine now. (Sorry husband!) During the morning rush where I’m running all over the house to get my kids ready for school, there’s nothing better than the comfort of knowing that my coffee will still be hot when I’m ready to drink it. Even if I have to take them to school, I come back, and it’s still hot! If you think about it, it really was a gift for my husband as he is now the beneficiary of my good mood in the mornings.
For a big gift
Jewelry may seem like it’s on the more materialistic side of experiential, but hear me out. Phoenix Roze makes the kind of jewelry that can be personalized – whether with special initials or symbols or stones – and most items are delicate enough to layer and wear everyday. Phoenix Roze is also able to custom make jewelry. For example, the ankh is a meaningful symbol to me so they made me a necklace with an ankh symbol. It brings me so much joy to look at every single day, and I love knowing that the men running the store are incredibly kind and loving. I feel their good intentions infused into my jewelry.
For a little gift
Chocolate makes everything better! When giving the gift of chocolate, quality is key, and there’s no greater quality than Vesta Chocolate. If you know someone who loves dark chocolate, you can’t go wrong with the 78% bar. (I personally also love the 84%.) The different variety of barks are a crowd favorite and downright addictive, especially the sea salt and almond one. They also offer a variety of gift-ready options like their boxes of bonbons.
For the party host
While wine – or a bottle of Pellegrino if they don’t drink alcohol – is always a good idea when arriving to a party, I love giving a good candle. There are two candle companies I especially love for being small businesses with amazing (and clean!) scents. Bowered & Bare is a local (to me) company whose candles and reed diffusers are all over my house. My favorite scents are Hansel & Gretel’s House and Strudel & Spice. I basically want it to smell like dessert in my house ALL YEAR ROUND. The women-owned Malicious Women Co. are hilarious, and all of their offerings crack me up. Check out their website, and you’ll see what I mean. I love giving their candles to people in my life with a cheeky sense of humor.
For your ride-or-die witch
Walking into Houss Freya is my version of being a kid in a candy shop. The items on offer range from crystals, candles, divinatory tools and so much more. When it comes to crystals, the best way to get one is to receive it as a gift from either the earth or someone you love. You can be that someone! If you want a gift that does double duty, all of Houss Freya’s candles contain crystals within them, which means after they’ve burned down, the recipient will have the crystals to keep. My personal favorite is Inspiration.
For the next level one in your life
If I didn’t lose you at witch, then there are two incredible experiences that make for unique gifts for someone in your life who wants to explore themselves on another level.
Astrology might be seen as woo-woo by some, but it’s actually an integral part of history, knowledge and teachings that still exist to this day. Humans have relied on astrology for millennia, and if someone in your life finds it as fascinating as I do, then I highly recommend a private astrology reading with Crystal B. Astrology. If that’s out of budget, her book makes an excellent gift, both for its informational value and how pretty it looks on a coffee table.
Along those lines, Deborah Hanekamp, also known as Mama Medicine, offers medicine readings that are powerful, transformative and life-changing. She books up far in advance so keep that in mind. Again, if a private reading is not in budget, she has a gorgeous book called Ritual Baths.
For when all else fails
Bake them something delicious! Nothing says LOVE like the effort it takes to shop for ingredients and whip up something sweet in the oven with someone in your heart. Click here to see all my dessert recipes.