You'd think that, as you get older, with years of shopping experience behind you, gifting around the holidays would be a breeze. Of course, that couldn't be farther from the truth. It's easy to run out of original holiday gifting ideas, especially when you have to please the same people year after year. While there's no magic formula on how to get each and every person in your life the "perfect" gift during the holidays, there are universal rules to shopping that can come in handy regardless of your budget or who you have in mind. One crucial guiding factor: Choose personal touches over high price tags.
"This doesn’t have to be a crazy far flung idea, or super expensive, but I’ve always found that thoughtful gifts which have a connection to the recipient always are the best," Sam Lobban, Nordstrom Vice President of Designer Ready-to-Wear & New Concepts, shares with TZR. He notes that this can include items they've always wanted but wouldn't necessarily buy themselves, or an item that evokes a shared moment or inside joke. He adds, "Personal and special wins out over expensive every time in my experience."
Gabriella Pelletier, assistant buyer and brand partnerships coordinator at San Fransisco-based Lisa Says Gah agrees that being mindful of the person you're buying for, in every aspect of their lives, will always make for a good gift. "Think about their lifestyle, the things they wear and gravitate to the most and the things they lust over but will never buy themselves."
Ahead, if you're still not sure where to start, read on for the picks that the experts say will always be a good gifting bet.
Novel Bags & Purses
"There is nothing better than receiving that purse that pops and ultimately lights up your soul," says Pelletier. "The bag may be an investment piece or the ultimate statement that you don’t 'need' but you sure want." The category also leaves plenty of room for varying budgets, with some of the most on-trend styles coming in under $20.
Fun Homeware Accessories
Have a friend or loved one that really takes pride in their space? Then gifting thoughtful pieces for the home is a perfect option that will get tons of use.
"If you're like us, you probably enjoy sleeping in an old oversized t-shirt (or maybe nothing at all), let’s admit it feels pretty luxurious to sleep in a matching pajama set," says Pelletier. And she's surely not wrong — what makes you feel more put-together than silky, coordinated sleepwear?
Candles are the king of no-brainer gifts. And because they've become such a universally covetable item, you don't have to worry about it feeling like a throwaway gift. "Candles in recent history are beautifully packaged, so even if you never burn them, they are sure to sit pretty on a shelf or table," says Pelletier. "There isn’t a wrong way you could go with candles."
Actually Practical Picks
Much like Nordstrom's Sam Lobban shared, sometimes the best gifts are the ones you know your loved ones won't buy for themselves, even though they could actually use it. The day-to-day things that make life easier — think wallets, water bottles, and cute socks. These practical gifts are just as good for co-workers or white elephant parties when you're gifting someone you might not know as well. They'll love it all the same.