Many people dread shopping for gifts at the holidays and are desperate for fresh, creative ideas. Ashley Bronczek and Candace Ourisman of Secretly Gifting make a living out of curating perfect presents for their clients. For the following collection, they scoured their favorite brands and sites to bring you unexpected items that are ideal for anyone, whether he/she is into food, books, pets…or even if he is impossible to buy for. These picks should help you easily cross holiday shopping off your to-do list this season.
For the Foodie
Funfetti Mookies. What do you get when you combine a macaroon and cookie? A mookie. Dana’s Bakery makes the best cookies (and mookies) you’ll ever taste. That’s a big claim, especially since they’re also gluten- and nut-free. But it’s true. These treats are soft and chewy—and even better when warmed in a microwave for 15 seconds. A big part of any gift is the presentation, and Dana’s purple packaging is delightful. You can’t argue with the statement under the lid, either—“I did it all for the cookie.” $25 for a box of five.
Frantoio Muraglia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. This EVOO is as tasty as it is beautiful. It is so lovely, you can leave the hand-painted 17-ounce ceramic bottle on the counter in between uses. Imported from Northern Apulia in Italy, this robust and fruity oil is cold-pressed using traditional granite grindstones. When it’s done, you’ll be left with a beautiful striped vessel that doubles as a vase or a pitcher. $50.
For the Sports Fan
Yeti 30-Ounce Tumbler. Perfect for the college sports fan because you can customize this hot/cold stainless steel–covered mega cup with the logo of the recipient’s favorite school. More than 100 institutions to choose from, ranging from Air Force to Xavier. At 30 ounces, it’s large enough to satisfy even the biggest thirsts. Hot or cold, Yeti’s double-wall vacuum-insulation technology keeps cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot for hours. Bonus: Nearly all orders on Yeti.com qualify for free shipping. Note: At the top of the website, click “Custom,” then “Drinkware” and “Collegiate.” $45 with customization.
Vintage Golf Cuff Links or Pendant. These beautifully crafted, unique gifts for golf lovers come with a built-in story—they are made from authentic vintage golf balls used at the famed course TPC Sawgrass in Florida (and they come with a certificate of authenticity proving it). Cuff links/$160…pendant/$80.
For the Picky Teen Boy
Victrola All-In-One Bluetooth Record Player. Vinyl is having a moment, so you will be right on trend with this past-meets-present gift—a record player that has Bluetooth and FM functions and comes with a built-in speaker, too. It’s from Urban Outfitters, arbiter of all things cool for teens (male or female), and it’s affordable enough so that you can throw in a record or two—or maybe add a few vintage ones from your own collection. $70.
For the Picky Teen Girl
Lip Kit Denim Mini Pouch. You’ll get instant cred for picking a gift from Stoney Clover Lane, which is super-hot on Instagram. The company, founded by teenage sisters in 2009, counts Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift among its fans. No girl can resist a cute pouch for makeup, but browse the site for more ideas—you might want to get a blank bag and customize it with her initials and SCL’s signature patches of everything from food to cities to slogans. $56. www.Stoney
For the Pet-Obsessed
WOOF Clean-Up Bag Dispenser. Anthropologie, that treasure trove of interesting gifts, has done it again with this whimsical-yet-useful fabric and appliquéd bag dispenser. The low price point means that you can get a few of these and keep them on hand for gifts all year. $20.
Cat Scratching Pad. We told you that vinyl’s having a moment! Now even cats can get in on the action by playing DJ with this hilarious “turntable” scratching pad. It’s cardboard but durable and easy to assemble. $35.
For the Technophile
Gaucho TechRoll. You won’t find a more useful gift than this mobile accessories carrier that has room for your wall charger, phone or tablet charging cables, USB flash drive, external phone battery and earphones. This good-looking, easily portable leather-and-suede case can be monogrammed. $77 for the case and up to $129 for the case with Apple- or Android-compatible accessories.
myBOOM Customized Speaker. This is one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. The sound quality is excellent…it can stay powered for 15 hours before needing a charge…and it has survived multiple drop tests from heights of five feet. But what makes it such a cool gift is that it can be fully customized. You can pick the fabric pattern (14 design options), the cap on top, the base on the bottom, the volume buttons and the text on the speaker’s spine to make it a truly one-of-a-kind present. $150.
For the Book Lover
Leather-bound edition of The Quotable Winston Churchill. The high quality of a classic book covered in soft Italian leather makes this an incredibly chic addition to any library. If The Quotable Winston Churchill doesn’t do it for your bibliophile, there are dozens of other beautifully bound editions to choose from, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or even The Joy of Cooking. Prices vary. The Quotable Winston Churchill. $42.
Literary glasses. Can’t you picture these glasses being used at a book club meeting or by the person in your life who loves classic literature? The title page and the beginning paragraphs of a classic book are etched into the glass. Choose from four of the best—The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet, Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables—or at this price point, buy all four. $15 each.
For the One Who Has Everything
Jonathan Adler Barbell Barware Set. Jonathan Adler is known for items infused with his cheeky sense of humor, such as this set of polished brass ice tongs, bottle opener, double jigger and cheese knife. It’s a conversation starter and yet totally utilitarian. And there are other pieces in this collection, including an ice bucket ($298), corkscrew ($98) and bottle stopper ($58), giving you options for future gifting. $198.
VitaJuwel Via Wellness crystal glass water bottle. There’s nothing utilitarian about this gemstone-adorned environmentally friendly water bottle. It’s chic yet practical. And it’s the kind of item she would love to have but probably wouldn’t buy for herself. This was the hot gift at Paris’s Maison&Objet gift show last September. With everyone so conscious of sustainability and responsible packaging, this is a present that’s perfect for our times. $78.