The Gift Guide: For People You Really Really Like

The Luxury-ish Gift Guide

There are some people out there that you might really really like and want to spend more money on. With all of the hardship of this year, that gifting urge might feel even more important right now since so many of us will be apart from our people over yet another “gathering” time of year. For those of us with tighter budgets, more people to gift to, or more “professional” gifts to give, I’ve already shared my under $30 gift guide as well as a write-up for gifting local in Austin and all about candles. For everybody else, or maybe even just that special someone, there’s this.

I didn’t write this with any particular price point in mind (other than “over $30”) so everything from $32.00 gifts to $200.00+ gifts are all right here. I genuinely really like these things and they are in fact products I frequently recommend or actually am gifting to some people this year. I own or have tried every item on this list (on every list actually, but I especially wanted to highlight this here) and they’re all great. For someone you love, for someone who you really really like, for the in-laws, whoever. If you got cash to blow and aren’t sure what to get, here are my top suggestions.

The Candles

A candle from Boy Smells and a candle from Keap lying face up so the label is visible on a wooden side table.I mean, did you really think I was going to get a gift guide or love list out in the world without including candles? You know I love them in general, and these two are on the swanky end of things.

For the nature nerds and au naturale friends, give Keap a whiff and try not to keep it for yourself. Waves and Wild Figs are likely to please anybody, but there’s a dozen more nature-inspired options ripe for the picking. Keap offer single candles, a subscription service, and gift sets.

For your fashionista friends and glamourous playfellows, Boy Smells is absolutely where it’s at for unique scent combinations and a rotating door of fun collaborations (like Kacey Musgraves and Ganni). Boy Smells also offer votive sets and magnum three-wick options if you want to go a little harder than the standard.

Looking for more info on either of these? Make sure you check out my recent write-up on all things hot wax.

The Cocotte

Shakshuka in my favorite Staub 4-qt CocotteI think at this point if you say Cocotte in the mirror three times fast I will appear and tell you to buy this one.

The Staub 4-qt Cocotte (basically the French version of a Dutch oven) is one of the best purchases Nick and I have ever made for the kitchen.

It is endlessly versatile and is always my first choice for everything from lentils to shakshuka (pictured, new recipe coming soon) to chili.

Staub offers a handful of sizes and an array of colors and while I don’t think there’s a wrong choice to be made in the color department, I stand by the four-quart as the best size for gifting and for the everyday home cook.

It’s oven-safe, stovetop-safe, made in France, and it is absolutely beautiful. With Black Friday sales afoot, some colors are available for as low as $99.00 right now.

The Towels

A yellow waffle-knit Onsen towel hanging over the edge of a pot (image from Onsen instagram)Towels are kind of a family affair for us. My parents, sister, friends, and Nick and I all went through the Turkish towel rotation a few years ago (still love and use these) and now I got everybody hooked on that waffle knit life.

Nick and I now have two pairs of these beautiful, luscious supima cotton towels from Onsen: a set of the regular bath towel, and a set of the giant bath sheet, and I could not recommend them more. They are soft, they are cozy, they are hella absorbent, and they just so happen to look amazing too.

I admittedly love all things waffle knit anyway (wait ’til you see what I am getting for myself in the sales), but these are truly fantastic. Maybe it’s because I’m the laundry-doer in this house, but neither Nick nor I have used another type of towel since these arrived.

Onsen is currently offering 30% off with code SAVE30 for Black Friday.

The Self-Care

An overhead shot of five mini Beauty Butter tubes from 54ThronesIf you listened to any of the 30-episode Beauty Birds Podcast I ran with my friend Tara this year, you might know I have a thing for skincare and also that I am very picky about the ingredients. I want that stuff to be good and also good for you! We’ve got hard water here in Austin and my skin has been uncomfortably dry, add in a pandemic (whew, so much hand washing) and let’s just say that I’m looking a little like shattered pottery lately. I spent hours on the interwebz trying to find a hand/body lotion that I felt good buying both for the excellent ingredients and who was getting my money on the other end of this transaction. Enter 54Thrones. Houston-based Nigerian-American Christina Funke Tegbe founded 54Thrones as “an African beauty brand inspired by the richness, diversity, and cultures of the continent and its people” and is clearly doing it with an abundance of thought and care.

I am now forever loyal to the Beauty Butter lotions, and there’s another handful of products I can’t wait to try. As far as gifting goes, skincare can be tricky, but I can’t think of many people that would say no to a set of unbelievably luxurious body butters. 54Thrones currently offers a set of five full-size butters presented in a metal tin for $80.00 as well as a set of five individually packaged minis for $54.00 (shown). Got someone you want to splurge on? Gift the whole set! On a bit of a budget or have lots of people you want to introduce to this greatness? Buy the set of minis and spread the glory.

While an individual Beauty Butter is technically affordable enough for our under $30 gift guide, I wanted to mention it here anyway since the brand does offer an unscented option which is my go-to for sensitive areas like my back and over tattoos.

The Blanket

Franklin thinks our blanket is pretty great too

I talked about the Boll & Branch Waffle Bed Blanket at length in my write-up of things I no longer buy on Amazon. That was several weeks ago, and at the time, we’d had the blanket for just a few weeks. I am pleased to report that I am still entirely in love with it.

Do I realize this is the second waffle knit item on this list? Yes. Am I sorry about it? Absolutely not. This blanket is the perfect thickness, texture, weight, it’s honestly brilliant and I love it very much. Paired with some excellent eucalyptus sheets, I never want to get out of bed.

For your people who live in warm climates (like Texas), this blanket is a fantastic investment for year-round use. For everybody else, it’s still a solid option for three seasons of the year and can easily be layered for the colder months.

It’s also worth noting that I needed to reach out to customer service for an issue, and the team was absolutely delightful – so nice, so helpful, the kind of service that will definitely inspire me to shop Boll & Branch again. Not that he cares about the customer service part, but Franklin loves this blanket too.

The King-size blanket retails for $200.00. Boll & Branch is currently offering 2% cash back via Rakuten and is also running a promotion for 25% off orders of $150.00 or more.

The Key Ring

The James Brand Mehlville and Hardin keychains on a key rack.I feel a bit silly writing about this one, but I truly can’t express how much time I spent looking for an attractive, well-made, highly functional key ring that still let me keep the carabineer-style clip of my teenage-boy-aesthetic dreams. Enter, The Hardin from James Brand.

It’s lightweight, impressively well made, has an extra cross-bar on the clip for added security (they call it a dual-compartment gate and it’s brilliant), and it still looks sleek enough to pull out of a nice handbag.

The $40.00 price tag startled me at first, but when you consider the importance of your keys, how often you use them, and the need for those items to be kept safe, it’s a little easier to justify (even better if you can find a coupon code).

With a handful of color options from neutral metals to bright yellow, this would make a perfect gift for somebody with big life moves on the horizon (new house, new car, moving, etc), somebody who constantly loses their keys, or anyone with a fine appreciation for mise en place (everything in its place).

For a chunkier / more rugged look, and a built-in bottle opener, consider The Mehlville (starting at $60.00)

The Ice Cream

Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream holiday six pack (image from Jeni's website)Yes, yes I am suggesting that you send four pints of ice cream to your furthest and dearest. My beloved Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams offers nationwide delivery (with a four pint minimum order) so you can send your favorite humans the best ice cream around.

Choose from one of their curated sets like the Grand Holiday collection (pictured, $68.00) or make up your own set from any combination of their regular or dairy-free flavors.

Nick and I have a few favorites each, but Brambleberry Crisp is the winner for us both. The seasonal options rotate frequently, but if you can get your hands on Pumpkin Cake Roll, it’s a dream. Other favorites of ours include Skillet Cinnamon Roll (that’s all Nick), dairy-free Texas Sheet Cake, and Lemon & Blueberries Parfait.

Truly, there’s something for everyone here and you can share the love whether your budget is $50.00 max (four pints is $48.00!) or open-ended.

The Donation

For the person who truly has everything, please consider making a donation in their name to organizations doing the work to make this world better for those who need it most.

The Loveland FoundationThe Steve Fund, and/or the gift receiver’s local Planned Parenthood chapter are great places to start.

Please consider donating to Fair Fight as an alternative option for the immediate future.

Happy Everything, y’all.
Thanksgiving: Thurs 11/26/20
Black Friday: Fri 11/27/20
First Night of Hanukkah: Thurs 12/10/20
Christmas Eve: Thurs 12/24/20
First Night of Kwanzaa: Sat 12/26/20
New Year’s Eve: Thurs 12/31/20

Some links are affiliate links from which I earn a small percentage of sales at no additional cost to you. Some links are referral links in which I earn store credit in exchange for sharing a coupon with you. This post is not sponsored.

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