A bunch of wrapped presents with holiday tassels and ribbons.

The List’s 10 Best Holiday Gifts for Giving

I’m sharing a gracious modern mix of joyful offerings

By Laura Carson Miller

It’s holiday time again. You know what that means. It means we must revisit the age old question: do you say gift or present? I recently learned a gift is given without expecting anything in return. (Who knew?)  A present is actually considered a gift that is given to celebrate a special occasion or to show appreciation. So there you go. Share that tidbit when you need charming banter at your next cocktail (or mocktail) party.

Now on to some buzzy delights The List complied for your holiday gifting consideration….

Wear it Well, Forever 

When you gift a timeless, go-to item of clothing for the holidays you help take the guesswork out of getting dressed. For many people this is the wardrobe equivalent of the answer to life, the universe and everything. (And you thought it was 42.) For the fashionable folks on your list, try these capsule wardrobe winners:

1.  This AYR Supercool crew neck white tee (also available in black) could well be the holy grail of white tees, which sounds easy to find, but let’s be honest my friends, is so not. This one isn’t tight but drapes the body gloriously like a careless whisper directly from George Michael. The quality of this item means I’ll give it someone special. Do you see what I did there? 

2.  Me + Em is a great source for investment pieces and this pleated, washable, endlessly stylish LBD is no exception. Wear it fancy to a work dinner with tall boots, a clutch and a cashmere coat or casual with unique sneakers, a suede (or faux) jacket and a crossbody bag ~ for the rest of your natural life. This gem of a dress will always be ageless, in style and simply spectacular. Gift this once and be the forever hero of the lucky recipient. Really!

3. Your man deserves a something timeless and cozy at holiday time! Behold the WARMKNIT AIR Shirt Jacket, which handily checks all the boxes. A supreme layering piece, it plays well over a long sleeve thermal shirt or classic button down. Or style it under a corduroy jacket or a cashmere coat. I love this particular shade of navy, too. It’s the color of the LA Chargers away uniforms. I know as last week I was watching the game and could not take my eyes off the tv because I was so enamored with the perfection of inky blue hue of the uniforms. Don’t get me started on how I searched for a bow, high and low, people, for our front door wreath in this exact color to no avail. I got close but no cigar. 

Moving on..

Let’s Get Bookish

In the spirit of Seinfeld’s Cosmo Kramer and his famous coffee table book about celebrity coffee tables, here are a few wonderful book suggestions that will both look stylish on your table and fill your eyes and soul with unbridled glee:

4.  If you love Sofia like I do, Sofia Coppola’s Archive is a great gift as you can borrow it back from the recipient if you don’t already have a copy of your own. (My brain never stops.) You’ve likely seen Sofia pop up on my social media accounts and I have a Sofia Coppola Style board on my Pinterest page @lcmlifestyle if you’d like to check it out.

5. One of my personal faves, J. Crew is commemorating forty years of American style with a namesake book. I think reviewer ‘maydlen’ said it best: It’s all that you’d imagine it to be; the quintessential archive of catalog imagery, lively stories and thoughtful commentary about all that is J.Crew. Now, if that doesn’t make you want to gift it to a J. Crew lover in your life I really can’t help you.

6.  Erin Napier has my heart because she is real.  (Never mind her super fabulous hair and awesome heeled clogs.) I wish I had the pleasure to know her, (and husband Ben) as she is exudes a low key cool you don’t see so much of these days. Her genuine love for her family and her work comes through in every episode of Home Town and in her newest book Heirloom Rooms. Just go ahead and purchase two copies so you’ll have one for your own consumption.

Discerning Snacks Selection

If you’re paying attention you’ll note there are those on your gift list who absolutely don’t want more stuff, period. So do right by them and gift something that will be enjoyed, then gone. High quality snacks are always welcomed and the tins can be reused to hold any number of small items or recycled. I am all about reuse, reduce, recycle!

7.  In another iconic milestone, The Original Peppermint Bark from Williams Sonoma is celebrating 25 years of deliciousness for a reason! Also available in dark chocolate and a 3 tin sampler option that includes the, wait for it, Salted version, because sweet and salty is always a match made in heaven.

8  My husband was gifted a tin of the most delicious pecans (Elliot’s to be exact) we have ever tasted by one of his business associates. They’re from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley, Georgia. I used them when I baked Donna Kelce’s Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies. We also ate them au natural and roasted in butter on the stove and sprinkled with sea salt. I can not recommend them highly enough!! 

Handmade and Happiness Inducing

9.  Here’s something for the person in your life who lives beautifully each day and ‘doesn’t need anything.’  The Global Goods Partners Handmade Felt Flower Stems bouquet is the statement making, vibe inducing, perfectly unique addition to any room they never knew they were missing. Hand stitched and oozing with subtle elegance, you’ll receive the most beautiful thank you because this lovely person understands the art of the handwritten note.

10. Jamie Sousa, owner of Norma Jean Designs, creates some of the most beautiful handcrafted magnets, pushpins, wall hooks and earrings you have ever laid eyes on. I use her Bumble Bee Push Pins on my office mood board so I can vouch they are both beautiful and functional to the max. The magnets are perfect for displaying children’s artwork on the fridge! Jamie also makes the coolest Apple Air Tag Attachment for your dogs collar so you can keep track of your pooch during the hectic holiday season and beyond. Genius!

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Why Not Live Beautifully Each Day?