Holiday Gift Guide

Not sure what to buy your door man for the holidays? Do you not have a door man but still need to buy some kind of man some kind of gift? How about that lady you have been seeing consecutively for the past few years that you may or may not be married to because you don’t exactly recall saying ‘I do’ but she makes you pick up her dry cleaning anyway? Whoever is special in your life, ’tis the season to give. Do it for him, do it for her, but most of all…do it for the miles you’ll rack up on your credit card.

Buying gifts for the holidays are the worst. I mean don’t get me wrong, totally fun to get into the spirit and whatever, but having to think of something unique to buy someone and knowing how much thought and money should go into it depending on your relationship (and let’s face it, based on their gift giving reciprocation) is totally stressful. I mean, who makes the list? Why the hell is everything so damn expensive when its for other people? Buying a pair of $300 Ray-Bans for myself seems totally fine, but it feels like so much more when my best friend wants a matching pair. I’m not trying to sound selfish, I’m just speaking the truth–and seriously it seems like everyone’s birthday is around this time. March Madness really must get people in the baby making mood I guess. So now you have birthdays, anniversaries, whatever holiday you’re gifting for, and then obviously you still need to reward yourself with an ‘F-yeah I just nailed adulting‘ gift. After all this splurging, I think I might actually walk into a Walmart this year.

Okay, sorry that was dramatic. Things aren’t that bad. FYI if that offended you, ask yourself this, “Would I buy denim at Kohls?”. If you answered yes or are wondering why I just called jeans denim, then I can’t help you. I’m sure you have your reasons.

Since the holiday’s are all about giving and spreading joy, I guess I’ll share some of my secrets to being everyone’s favorite gift-giver. I’ll give you the ideas–you take all the credit. That’s my gift to you.

Here is a helpful hint: Don’t think too much, feel it out.

For your significant other: 

1. First make sure you’re actually in a relationship. It could get pretty weird if this is how you find out you’re not exclusive.

2. Next, justify your gift with how long you’ve been together. Are you new? If so, maybe don’t pull a Tyga and buy your Kylie a Ferrari for your 1st gift. If this was your plan however, see the CONTACT button above and let’s grab a drink ;-).  Start with something meaningful that reminded you of this person that can help tie together a first memory. Maybe on your first date you both learned that you love the same kind of music (pretty likely). Find out when they’re performing next and grab some grass seats, or if you want to impress them a bit, sneak in a flask of her favorite bourbon. Wait, isn’t her favorite comedian doing a show sometime in the future (check Ticketmaster)? Hypothetically, this could be the case.

3. You can also use memory as a great tool. This sounds completely stupid. It is. However, trying to remember the subtle potential hints your lover has dropped like breadcrumbs is super duper hard, but in the right mind set, you might be able to dig deep enough to recall that he has a beard and wears plaid so through inductive reasoning we have now decided that he probably loves to camp, and you may be able to find a way to make a weekend getaway without more than 3 bug bites. Think. What does he/she like to do that you can turn into a fun date or gift? Stay clear of kitchen supplies and tool kits. This is always a bad idea, unless you two are genuinely that basic. Instead, if John loves sushi, maybe Katie can surprise John with a totally romantic sushi-making class. Then they can invite Danielle. Danielle loves sushi. This could also be a good gift for Danielle.

4. You could ask their best friends, but it’s likely they won’t know that much. “Um he loves the walking dead and in college he ate a lot of macaroni and cheese. I think he still does. You should get him Mac-N-Cheese”. Cool, useless friend. That will come in handy when we break up later and I need to make a care package.

5. Easy go-to’s include sport games, concerts, quick weekend getaways, a scrapbook (“in the making” to be more romantic), a subscription to (hint its free), wine tasting, a comedy show, a trip to the zoo, a gondola ride with wine, or if you’re John Legend, a personalized song. Danielle likes vinyl records. This could also be a good gift for Danielle.

Everyone else:

Other very obvious but still awesome gifts for the more serious relationships include the materials: Watches, apple products, a bracelet or earrings, Coachella tickets, a lazy Venmo if your friend lives across the world, an interesting gift card like to Southwest airlines because that’s awesome always, horseback riding, a chance to be an audience member in a live television production in LA or NY such as Jimmy Fallon or The Price is Right (hint these are free and you just sign up for them online), or an experience he or she has never had and you can change their lives forever. Hint, Danielle loves Jimmy Fallon. Please take Danielle to see him.

Non-superficial gift ideas include using one of my favorite websites (linked for your convenience) listed below to get and make your own personalized gift. These are also great to use for friends, family members, co-workers, managers, roommates, neighbors, and your favorite bartender. 

  1.  I love this website because it has everything. Things I totally thought I invented will already be on there. Kind of like the way SkyMall tricks you into thinking you invented the Roomba. If you need a good best-friend gift who is super into Astrology, they make really cool necklaces with their star alignments on there. If you have a sister that loves everything customized down to her cheese board, this is the website for you.
  2.  Pinterest. Stalk the hell out of the person you need a gift for. Really good chance he or she has a board made just for this occasion. A lot of dudes use Pinterest. I’m not saying all of them, but you just may find your boss on there. Pinterest is also good for typing in keywords that include things that person likes, then 8 hours of mindless internet trolling later, you just might figure out why you were on the website to begin with and get an idea.
  3. This is the Mecca for personalized anything. I once stared at my wall, and decided I wanted a painting with colors of gold, navy, silver, and taupe. I went on etsy and hired a painter and 3 weeks later had the only painting in the world with my vision. It was magical. If you know someone who loves wine, but hates sharing wine, you can get their own wine bottle label made.
  4. Some other really adorable and thoughtful ideas you can do for your whoever, is find a website that will print your entire text message conversation history ever. I totally did this once, and it was really cool to read all the messages from the beginning. I made it into a book.

Finding an old vintage something that someone loves but cant find anymore could be a fun surprise for them. Most people don’t realize you can almost buy anything on Amazon or eBay these days. Just because they don’t sell it anymore at the mall, doesn’t mean you can’t bid your way to a meaningful nostalgic gift.

A home cooked meal that is thought out, or a picnic at a dope spot go a long way too. And hey, don’t forget, there’s always Disneyland.

Most importantly, remember that the thought of being thought of at all is warm-hearted. Take the time to write a note, a rap, or a poem if that’s what you’re into. When in doubt, buy liquor or wine.


Happy holidays everyone! (make a wish-list on Pinterest if you haven’t already so I know what to get you…)


Now go buy yourself another pair of kick-ass Ray-Ban’s. Because you just adulted like a MF and you’re worth it, baby.




More about Danielle Angrest

I graduated from the University of Arizona in Psychology with a passion for understanding people. Trying and learning new things are an absolute must for me. I love my Australian Shepherd, Socrates and his ability to stay calm at the end of every Game of Thrones episode. I love being ironically indoorsy. Sushi, skydiving, bourbon, and brunch are always answered with a yes if you ask me. Most of all, I love humor and wit, and the -art- of growing up.

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