2019 Gift Guide: Your Favorite Grown-Ups

26 November 2019

Friends — welcome to the most spectacularly visually UNimpressive gift guide you’ve ever seen on the internet, ha! It’s been a hot minute over here, and though my time is short right now, I’ve been collecting gift ideas for months and can’t let Black Friday sales pass us by without offering up a few ideas for the ones you love!

But first, let’s talk about something. I think we can all agree that the best gifts are personal to the recipient, and perhaps even say something about the giver, and/or about the two’s relationship? What, then, would I have to offer as you search out gifts for your people? Why are we here??

The short answer: while I can’t pretend to shop for your sweet mom who calls you every Monday on your drive home from work, your sister who just moved to a new city, or your husband who is adjusting to life as a dad of two, I can offer up my best ideas for gifts that have been hits with the people I love. My hope is that somewhere in the list, you’ll find something that DOES speak to a personal connection — or will at least get your wheels turning!

With that, let’s get this show started!

For husbands, dads, and brothers:
— A pair of Allbirds. John has the Runners in natural grey and loves them so!
— Our friends brought this camping and I’ve wanted one ever since (they really work and we really need one for our backyard!). It looks kind of scary, but it shoots salt (!), which “decimates flies on contact.”
— The comfiest joggers. John has a similar pair and changes into them almost every day after work in the winter. So cozy!
— An old-school mug with one of his favorite places on it.
— A fun book comparing ballparks then and now
Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit. I didn’t know this existed until a few months ago and now I must have it?!
— A subscription to the Goodnewspaper (a quarterly print publication filled with really good news – and great design)
— A custom photo mug. I had this lightbulb moment earlier this year that cute/slightly cheesy photo products don’t just show up on your doorstep when you have kids – someone has to get you them. Get him one :)
Sagrada or another great board game for a group or for two
— Tickets to a sporting event, concert, or comedy show. I got John tickets for Jim Gaffigan two years ago and it was a huge hit!

Also: take a peek at last year’s gift guide!

For moms, sisters, and best friends:
— Pretty silicone lids if she’s trying to create less waste (also great: beeswax storage wrap)
— A canvas toiletry case made by artisans in Haiti
— A pink woven vase (going on my list!). Also this and this woven basket.
— A beautiful salad or fruit bowl
— The coziest socks (I love the gray color – and pom poms!)
— Cute ear muffs, for those who aren’t hat people (and this for those who are). Also in buffalo check.
— A dainty cityscape pencil cup
— A bold bud vase
— The new book by Garden & Gun (I’ve already picked this up for someone on my list!)
— The fuzziest, comfiest pullover
— A happy mug (literally) to brighten her mornings (or a citrus tumbler for later in the day)
— A leopard foldover clutch
— Knit tech gloves (love the hearts!)
— A pearl barrette
— Three earring options: raffia hoops, tortoise hoops, or gold stars
— A modern gold locket (print out a photo for it!)
— An Instax mini (we love ours!)
— These floral melamine plates — a dupe of the coveted Caitlin Wilson ones! They are used daily in our house!
— The most buttery soft leggings. I have and love the Havelock Blue!
— Ballet-style pom pom slippers
— A ceramic KitchenAid stand mixer bowl (so pretty!!)
— A cooking class you can take together

Last year’s gift guide here!

For parents or in-laws:
Obviously many of the above options would be good fits, but a few additional ideas…

— A sculptural watering can
— A pretty insulated cooler bag (especially if your in-laws take long road trips like mine do!)
— A lovely fireplace basket (or log holder)
— A gorgeous wreath straight from the wilds of Maine (my favorite!)
— An indigo block print tablecloth. We have and love this one!
— The coolest wooden puzzles
— A pretty straw hat (my Mom and I both have a similar one and get compliments all the time!)
— PowerSheets, because they’ll help her figure out what’s next with the kids all grown up
— A magazine holder. Bonus: include a subscription — my current favorites are Bon Appetit, Our State, and The Atlantic.
Cafe lights, if they have a little outdoor area. Offer to hang them as part of the gift! :)
— Pretty potted rosemary
— A cool pillow showcasing their home state (look closely!)
— A keepsake interview book, to record their stories
— A quirky baking kit, because retirees have time on their hands
— A gorgeous gold cookbook and tablet stand
— A sweet frame with a picture of grandkids, because that’s all they really want :)
— A cooking class they can take together
— Tickets to a show, concert, local river cruise, train excursion, sleigh ride, etc.! (<– all things my in-laws have done and enjoyed, ha!)

More ideas here!

Of course, keep in mind that these categories are just starting points – mix and match to your heart’s content! You know your loved ones best!

If this is helpful (even sans photos), I would love to hear! Kiddo and stocking ideas hopefully coming tomorrow! Happy shopping! :)

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November 26, 2019 8:22 am

You know its a good gift guide when you click on every.single.link! Thanks for sharing Em! Love it! And I also like it without all the photos, much simpler and easier to navigate. :)

November 26, 2019 9:00 am

Love this list, Em! There are so may unique and thoughtful gifts. My favorite part of this post is your signature thoughtful introduction. I completely agree that the more thoughtful the gift, the better and I definitely found some good ones here :)

One of the gifts I am most excited to give this year is the legacy journal from Cultivate! I am giving to several family members along with a printout of your “life list” blog post in the hopes that it will inspire them to write their own life list. I also picked up some masculine leather bound journals to gift to the men in my life. I am 25 and am SO lucky to have six (!!) wonderful living grandparents (thanks to some divorce and re-marriage!) and I want them to know how much I value their stories, wisdom, and legacy and I am hoping this gift makes them feel that! Also further proof that a gifts value does not always equal number of dollars spent. :)

November 26, 2019 9:32 am

I love this!! You know what? I actually think this gift guide is WAY easier to navigate than many of the “pretty” ones. AND, I love that all categories are in one post! Excited to shop some of your favorites!!!

Love that pie banner (even though my house is in full Christmas mode ;)

November 26, 2019 3:03 pm

I actually already had some of these on my gift ideas note on my phone! Great minds? ????

November 26, 2019 3:24 pm

Can confirm that the bug-a-salt is the best gift for any man. Nothing brings my dad more joy that sitting on the screened in porch waiting for a fly to get in ????

November 27, 2019 8:54 am

I absolutely loooove your gift guides! So thoughtful and inspiring! Especially for people like me who think about Christmas gifts last minute! Thank you!! Oh, and I didn’t even miss the photos.
Happy Thanksgiving, friend!!

November 27, 2019 10:32 pm

This is awesome! Thank you for sharing. Just a heads up, the HP trivia is definitely movie based and not book based. I got it for Christmas a few years back and was a little bummed it didn’t have more book trivia (librarian problems, lol)

November 30, 2019 9:52 am

One year as one of my gifts my husband got me a bunch a expensive magazines I’d be reluctant to buy myself on a normal day. Home decor/art stuff mostly and some other niche ones. The bundle wasn’t expensive by holiday gift standards but felt so decadent! About 10 beautiful magazine gave me so much pleasure and I’ll always remember it as the most clever gift! Your subscription suggestion just reminded me of that! I co-sign!

[…] style seemed to work well for us last year: nothing fancy, just a list of really great gifts that we’ve given, own, have on our […]