The distance between a meh gift and a good gift is vast. A good gift honors a person’s inner perception of herself as well as the person she aspires to be. Here’s an example. This year my best friend gave me with a tiny bird attachment that “sings” when the water is boiling. Not only is it a useful gift, but it conveys a deep understanding of who I am (a person who drinks a shitload of tea) and who I secretly wish to be (a person who cares enough about utensils to source well-designed ones).
You may think a good gift requires planning, insight, and a stroke of divine inspiration—but you’re wrong! It’s much easier. All you need is this post, 48 hours, and Amazon Prime.
I have personally tested all of the following items—not just the concepts, but the exact products cited. In compiling this list I hope that my sheer possessive materialism will benefit you and your loved ones over the holidays!
You have two days left. Why don’t you gift…
A ridiculous amount of mini wine
Nothing is better than sneaking a bottle of wine into a movie. This ensures that your recipient will be prepared for a solid year of intoxicated moviegoing! Rosé pairs well with popcorn and candy. The 3-ounce bottles are easily concealed in a purse.
An Instant Adult Kit™
This is like Jason Bourne’s “go kit”, but instead of a passport and burner phone it contains everything a person needs to act like a damn adult. Package the following in a Glossier pouch: , , , a (clean protein). Some of these items come in multiples; either keep the sur to yourself or make a fleet of adult kits for all your sloppy friends.
Their very favorite bean
Everyone has a favorite flavor of . Did you know you can in ? If you don’t know your recipient's favorite flavor, just buy a that will look pretty in a bowl.
A relaxing sensation
I can vouch for this model. It’s luxurious and costs less than $5.
A Willy Wonka-esque magic powder
Forget adaptogens. This is the real magic powder. It’s just organic , but it can be sprinkled like fairy dust over anything: smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, ice cream. It can be made into a “high vibe" “strawberry latte” with ashwaghanda or whatever. Turns everything pink. Yummy. Highly Instagrammable.
A mobile anti-boredom device
Books can be a boring gift. So let’s re-brand them. Let’s call them “mobile anti-boredom devices.” Here are some of my favorite devices to gift—they are all new, all respectable, and all pageturners. by Tana French (crime, but literary). by Jennifer Egan (urbane, suspenseful). by Noah Hawley (I stayed up all night). by Danzy Senna (tart, memorable). by Ariel Levy (scorching yet breezy memoir). by Sally Rooney (sparkling). by Kamila Shamsie (provocative, addictive).
A Marie Kondo fan pack
Know anyone who loves “tidying” and being organized? Stoke their obsessiveness with a labelmaker (, and it’s only $24) and a couple of . Here’s a photo of mine “.”
A reality-altering mini-trip
Experiential gifts are big right now. The only problem is that you can’t “wrap” an experience. Except for this one! temporarily convert all sour-tasting things into sweet-tasting things. It’s mind-bending. Run to the grocery store and buy a lemon, a bag of salt-and-vinegar potato chips, and a jar of pickles to include with the tablets.
A repulsive bonding experience
. This is a great gift for couples (mom and dad, for example), because they can go through the whole gnarly process together. You may have to explain it and say “trust me” a lot.
The chance to be royalty for a meal
Nobody doesn’t want to eat gold. For the impossible gift recipient, with a list of serving suggestions: Sprinkle on breakfast cereal. Finish avocado toast with a light dusting. Throw it on a steak. I’ve bought this brand and found it satisfying, but there are others.
Photo via Getty.
Or wait until after Christmas and get our favorites ON SALE!