Holiday Gift Guide: 1 Book, 1 Thing for Everyone on your List

Happy December! If you're like me, you look forward to this month all year because of snow and holidays and general joy and also GIFT GIVING. I love picking out presents for my loved ones more than anything else and (I'm sure this is no surprise) I honestly have to hold myself back from getting every single person a book.

But, much to my chagrin, some people would prefer something less ... bookish ... under the Christmas tree. So, for every person on your list, here is an idea for both a book and a fun "thing" that suits them. Do one or the other or both for the perfect gift! Leave me a comment below with the hardest person to buy for :)


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1. For the CHEF

It's always a good day when this person is in the kitchen, because everything they cook turns to culinary gold. For this person, never go wrong with a new cookbook. These are great because you can really personalize as there is a cookbook on virtually e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Here are a handful I own myself that are both cute and tested! (I also recommend Chrissy Teigen's CRAVINGS.)

(ALL DAY CAFE by Stuart McKenzie; AGAINST ALL GRAINS by Danielle Walker; SUNDAY SUPPERS by Cynthia Graubart; BRUNCH IS HELL by Brendan Francis Newnam and Rico Gagliano.)

If they're more of a casual cook, an entertainer (moms!), or have enough cookbooks to last a lifetime, go for beautiful serving pieces. I've found that charcuterie boards and cheese knives always go over well, especially in this age of food photography. Click below for Anthropologie and Crate & Barrel options!


 picture from @craftcoffee_amanual

picture from @craftcoffee_amanual

2. For the COFFEE LOVER (a.k.a. everyone's dad ever)

The 24/7 caffeine junky is all of us, so I'm sure you have someone in your life for whom coffee is a religious experience. For them, grab this sexy book to make sure they're having the best at-home cup possible.

(CRAFT COFFEE: A MANUAL by Jessica Easto)

Not so into books? Never go wrong with a subscription box. Can you imagine the joy of having fresh coffee beans dropped on your doorstep once a month?? A coffee lover's dream. Here's a list of subscription services to sort through and match to the personality of your beloved caffeine addict. 


3. For the BOOK LOVER and WORDSMITH

Maybe this person is an avid reader (@ your best bookstagram friend here), maybe they love to write or maybe they just love reading the newspaper and doing crossword puzzles. This book will suit them and is one of the cutest things I've received this year. A collection of notable correspondances between authors (Jane Austen, Emily Dickinson, Kurt Vonnegut), famous people (Elton John, JFK, Zelda Fitzgerald etc.), and so many more, it's absolutely fascinating and a beautiful display book! 

(LETTERS OF NOTE compiled by Shaun Usher)

Since your booklover will obviously LOVE the book, this is an "add-on" rather than a "instead-of." If you haven't delved into the world of bookish merchandise, you are in for a treat, because there is a LOT out there. I recommend supporting small businesses on Etsy with sweet pins or splurging on this adorable Mary Shelley-themed sweatshirt.


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4. For the most ORGANIZED PERSON YOU KNOW

One of my favorite gifts for those who love to track their memories, stay organized, and are constantly texting you Facebook TimeHops is this One Sentence a Day Journal. I have kept one of these on and off for many years and I love to look back on the one sentence I wrote about my day two years before. It's a great way to find some gratitude in everyday life. Search The Happiness Project or One Line a Day to find a million options!

With the new year just around the corner, this person will also love you forever for buying them the perfect planner, primed for Instagram and mindfulness all year round. I currently use a ban.do planner and love it (you can catch it on my Instagram regularly because it's just so cute!). Another beautiful option is this Horacio planner, which would be perfect for a loved one who values a planner that will center them and supply a bible verse a day. Finally, less expensive planners (essential!!) can be found at Target! (take all my money, Target.)


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5. For the WORLD TRAVELER

I've had this book in my collection for years and it's still one of my favorite display books and inspiration pieces. Your travel lover will flip through this book and find a ton of cities they haven't visited and probably a handful they have visited. It's so fun to learn cool facts, read about the best things to do, and discover the things these cities are most famous for. Highly recommend, if only just for the photos! 

(THE CITIES BOOK by Lonely Planet)

If they're less into books, give them a memory of one of their favorite trips. Mapiful makes the most STUNNING custom pieces and the fact that you're able to adjust the map to be exactly what you want makes this so personalized and thoughtful. Flipping through their Instagram for inspiration is a worthy use of thirty minutes, by the way, because they are so aesthetically pleasing.


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6. For your SISTER or BEST GIRLFRIEND

Personally, my sisters and girlfriends are my favorite people to buy gifts for, mostly because I just buy them stuff I want and call it a day. ;) These books are something I have bought myself and many other women in my life because a little female empowerment for the holidays never hurt anyone! Still I Rise is a spunky little book full of short chapters on amazing women and We Should All Be Feminists is a classic essay on exactly what the title says: acessible feminism. Worth noting: Adichie’s book is a very small essay and works as the perfect additional little something!

(WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINISTS by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ;  STILL I RISE by Marlene Wagman-Geller)

I also think dainty jewelry is so cute and trendy this year. An easy, thoughtful gift for all the ladies! Check out that initial necklace from Anthropologie-- I'm obsessed.


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7. For your BROTHER or the MAN WHO HAS EVERYTHING

I suppose the important thing here is to NOT buy this man a tie, which is something that has been impressed on me many times by the males in my life. For younger brothers or men who love Harry Potter (everyone should, but it's fine), an insane gift are these beautiful illustrated Harry Potter books. I cannot say enough about these stunners, I love them.

A book I recommend for the more serious type is SHOE DOG by Phil Knight, which is a memoir by the creator of Nike. This is on my list of books to read and sounds fascinating and, more importantly, any man who is vaguely into sports and business will love it. For the more casual readers, consider a commemorative sports coffee table book of their favorite team-- this doubles as a home decor item so it's always a good bet. (Lots of these exist, check out Agate's collection if your loved one is a Chicago fan.)  Finally, I always think it's nice to do something handmade or buy them something to actually go out and do together when you encounter someone who really, truly has everything! (Groupon is your lifesaver.)

You made it to the end! I hope you got some good ideas for the people you love the most in your life and that you have a wonderful holiday filled with fun times and good food. Have so much fun giving gifts and let me know in the comments what the best present you bought this year has been so far!

-xx!