Welcome to the 2023 Gift Guide! As always, we have gifts we’ve not featured before, items across different categories (although we are heavy on edible gifts!), at varied price points, and that were raved about by humans I trust. Curating special gifts in the era of Temu and the TikTok shop was interesting this year, but I’ve found new things to share that I would be proud to give or receive. I hope our guide helps you find wonderful things to share with those you work with, and maybe even your friends and family. This year, we have offerings in the following categories:
As always, there are no affiliate links here, nor am I being compensated in any way for inclusion on the list. I share these with an open heart simply because they’re terrific gifts! Now, onto the list!
Kosterina Olive Oil Cake: My friend Jess says she thought twice about putting “olive oil cake” in her mouth, but was ever-so delighted she did. She said this cake is moist, tender, and almost delicate, with rich, fruity flavors, and a dusting of powdered sugar for just the right amount of sweetness. Her friend served it after dinner as dessert, and then again the next morning with berries for breakfast.
$38 Insta: @kosterina
Cold Case Ice Cream: For your ice-cream loving colleague, this is THE gift to give. Raymond routinely gifts cases of this to friends, and sends as many to himself, apparently. All themed around crime and mysteries (get it.. cold case?), it’s especially good for friends who love that genre. With holiday flavors like Crime and Peppermint, White Christmas Crack, and Eggnog Espionage, and regular flavors like Killer Bees and Jane Dough, how can you go wrong? You can also build a case of six pints you choose, or go with one of their pre-boxed choices. Raymond says the ice cream is “spectacular.” So much so, he says, it’s hard to know whether to eat it all or save some for later.
$99+ Insta: @coldcasticecream
Levain Bakery’s Cookies and Coffee Bundle: Susanne says she found her favorite coffee—Devocion—when someone gifted her this bundle. Pairing it with the freshly baked cookies—dark chocolate chocolate chip, in her case, from the NYC bakery made her a fan of the coffee, and Levain. She has since tried every cookie they sell and says you cannot possibly go wrong with whatever you choose to gift. They also have vegan and GF options. Baked to order and gift wrapped, too!
$49 for the bundle. Cookes from $29 Insta: @levainbakery
Magic Hour Tea: Dawn loves tea, and never passes the opportunity to try something new. She says that Magic Hour teas, whether one of their wellness blends, a curated collection, or any of their many more “regular” tea profiles, will be wonderfully received, and the fact that they come in an apothecary jar will cause instant delight for the recipient!
$8+ Insta: @clubmagichour
Spoonful of Comfort Care Packages: I have gifted and received from this company several times over the past few years, and am convinced that anything they make is delicious, although I have a special warm spot for their soups and rolls. Oh, and their cookies! They offer a variety of care packages, from savory to sweet, and some that are both. Some include blankets, candles, balms, and other self-care items. Whether for a holiday gift, a birthday celebration, or to nourish a friend who’s sick, you’ll find something perfect. And they ship FAST, which is always a plus!
$35+ Insta: @spoonfulofcomfort
Boarderie Charcuterie Boards: You know those beautiful charcuterie boards you see all over social? Boarderie makes the first pre-arranged boards that you can send anywhere in the US. Marta received one this summer that she says was such a stunner she could hardly believe her eyes. They come in multiple varieties and sizes, and some are customizable. They’re made fresh daily, arrive ready to eat and artfully arranged, and the serving board is made from high-quality acacia wood, that can be saved and used again.
$129+ Insta: @boarderie
Journaling and Reading Gifts
Soothi Journals: At coffee with Robin, I couldn’t help noticing her gorgeous, blue, leather-bound book., which turned out to be a lined journal (the one in the picture, in fact). Imprinted with her favorite Rumi quote, she said that Soothi had made it to order for her, and that she carries it with her everywhere because it’s the best journal she’s ever had! Soothi also has pre-printed journals, cards, and stationery.
$48 Insta: @shopsoothi
$59.99+ (depends on the plan you choose) Insta: @bookofthemonth
$19+ Insta: @achieversmust
Office, Tech and Home Gifts
Blackwing pencils: I have two pencil-addicted friends. One loves a good-old number 2 pencil, and the other swears by Blackwings. That’s Beth. She says that although she’s never met a pencil she didn’t like, Blackwings take the pencil-writing game to a whole new level of pleasure, and she’s all for enjoying as much of her work-time as she can! She loves that they’re made of Japanese graphite and cedar wood, and have replaceable erasers, to boot. It’s clear that great time and thought has been put into their shape and design. In short, they’re gorgeous, different, and write beautifully.
$27 for a set of 12 Insta: @blackwing
$49+ Insta: @easyplant
Candles from $30 Insta: @lucidcandle
HidrateSpark Pro: Billed as “The world’s most advanced hydration ecosystem,” Antonette uses this to make sure she’d drinking enough water. We sat at lunch and she shared how much it helped her, and I thought it would make a wonderful gift for anyone who struggles to remember to drink. Included in the purchase are the stainless,insulated water bottle and app that monitors your hydration and gives personal guidance to help you meet your hydration goals.
$80+ Insta: @ hidratespark
$51 Insta: @geometry.house
$50 Insta: @ heouai
$35 Insta: @hatchforsleep