I shared a few polls in my Instagram Stories last week and most of you wanted to see more gift guides, more about the things I like and what products I stand by, so here we are. For any of you stuck in office-run White Elephant / Secret Santa exchanges or other low-stakes-but-not-really gifting, this one’s for you. Small, friendly gifts that, if you share a space, you can probably benefit from too.
The Hot Beverages
I am sure there are office cultures out there that don’t rely heavily on hot beverages, but I’ve never experienced one. Coffee is a tricky thing to gift, but tea is pretty much always a winner (obviously do not choose this if you know one of those strange people that don’t like tea). Now I’ve got three recommendations for the Hot Beverage category and it mostly depends on who you’re gifting for.
If you’re looking for something cute, fun, maybe a little more interactive, look no further than Tea Drops. These instant tea pods (or, I guess you could say, drops) are pressed into sweet shapes, individually wrapped, and come in aesthetically pleasing cylindrical containers. Just add hot water and stir, the drop dissolves almost immediately and tea is good to go.
The brand offers everything from single-flavor containers, mixed gift sets, and even latte packs that comes with sweetened condensed milk packets and boba pearls for Thai iced tea, chai, and even matcha lattes right at home. Use the code BA-beka20 to save $ on your order.
For those on your list that are a bit more buttoned up, or who take their tea more seriously, Harney & Sons is effectively fool-proof. Their beautiful metal tins hold an immense catalog of tea flavors and styles, both loose and in sachets. I just ordered the Black Currant for myself and Peaches & Ginger for Nick.
Finally, if you happen to have someone in your life who has a killer sweet tooth, Curio Spice’s Spiced Hot Cacao is definitely the way to go. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and packs all the warm and toasty spices into your cup.
I know we’ve talked about mugs before (I go hard for the Fellow Carter mugs, which you can read more about in my Under $30 Gift Guide), but there are so many great ones out there and I’ve got to tell you about all of them. Fellow is my go-to if you want something insulated and/or travel-friendly, but there’s a solid assortment of fun ceramic options that make for a great more-personalized gift.
For your witchy, astrology-loving, nature nerds poke around Wishcraft Goods. (I’ve got the cosmic wolf mug!)
For your dead-pan friends with a great sense of humor, maybe Sapling Press is the way to go.
For your feminist friends, Luella is where it’s at (some mugs are not dishwasher safe though, so do a double check if that’s a deal breaker).
If none of these strike your fancy, there are tons more on Etsy. I usually simplify the pickings by setting the filters to “under $25” and to only show shops based in the U.S.
The Room Refresher
So maybe you can’t burn candles at work, but you can get pretty close with one of Uncle Ron’s room sprays. Air Sauce comes in several of the scents used for the shop’s candles (which you can read more about in my love letter to candles here).
When I worked in an office full-time, I shared what was effectively a storage closet with three other (pretty great) women and it was so nice to smash a few pumps of a fresh spray into our tiny space. I’m particularly fond of the Blank Space scent from Uncle Ron’s which is technically an “odor eliminator” and has a really light, fresh effect.
The Foodie Gifts
Maybe you work with somebody who loves to bake and you’re frequently on the receiving end of their delicious treats… or maybe you work with someone who can’t bake and are frequently on the receiving end of their awful attempts at treats. Either way, if there’s a foodie in your life that you need a gift for, it’s hard to go wrong with Yossy Arefi’s new book Snacking Cakes. I talked about Edd Kimber’s One Tin Bakes in my original Under $30 Gift Guide, but Yossy nails the concept with a lower barrier to entry. The recipes are much more “one bowl, one pan” than “one tin, but also you need a stand-mixer and make brown butter first”. That’s not to talk smack on Kimber’s beautiful book, but I find it less approachable as a gift [than Snacking Cakes] for someone you maybe don’t know quite as well.
For the foodie who’s not about the baked goods (or maybe just not about making it themselves), these wildly adorable handmade felt avocado toast ornaments from Bee & Chicken are a delight. The shop offers several different style options so you can easily gift more than one, or pick different ones for all your favorite people. I’ve got two hanging off the pot of our teeny tiny Chrismukkah tree and they are so cute.
The Plant Gifts
Plants can be a tricky gift – it’s generally bad form to gift living things unless you’ve previously discussed it with the gift receiver – but particularly In the Year of Our Pandemic 2020, plant love has grown dramatically and what better way to help a friend or colleague express it than with one of these gorgeous keychains from Hemleva.
These are such high quality and they look absolutely beautiful. The shop’s got a few stockists in Austin and they catch my eye every time I walk by one at my favorite plant place.
If you’re not feeling the keychain, or your gift receiver is maybe very particular about what’s on their key ring (I’ve got one of those in my life), I’m a big fan of the shop in general and there are literally oodles of options to fit any budget from stickers to suncatchers to my favorite, enamel pins.
Happy Everything, y’all.
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
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