If you have a hard time thinking of gifts to give people — or have friends for whom gift-giving feels futile — you’ve come to the right place. We’ve curated a list of practical, thoughtful gifts that your friends and family will treasure for years to come. Subscription boxes are the star of this list, and for good reason: they’re the gift that (literally) keeps on giving! Nothing replicates the simple joy of coming home from work to a package every month, especially if it’s gifted from a loved one. We’ve also featured some individual present ideas that are well-crafted and are sure to be well-loved. Don’t forget to bookmark this list for when the holiday season rolls around!
Engraved Cookbook Stand
Have a prized family recipe? A recipe that’s been passed down through the years, spilled on, and that everyone loves? This shop on Etsy engraves handwritten recipes onto beautiful, wooden cookbook stands – the perfect gift for a family member or friend who loves to cook, and with whom you share many memories of eating good food.
BāKIT Box Subscription
Family and friends who love to bake, or even beginner bakers, will love this subscription service from BāKIT Box. Every month, they can choose a recipe — savory or sweet, complicated or simple — and have all the ingredients shipped to them. Everything is already measured out, which makes baking a whole lot simpler, and reduces waste. BāKIT Box also sells individual baking kits so you can make your special someone’s day a whole lot sweeter. With BāKIT Box, it’s not just about what you bake. The experience of baking together as a family is priceless! Detailed instructions are provided, so everyone can follow along and have a hand in the finished product.
Nesting Bowls and Kitchen Tools Set
May we suggest also gifting these nesting mixing bowls and measuring cups to whomever you signed up for the BāKitBox subscription? This nine-piece set consists of mixing bowls, a sieve, a colander, and measuring cups. It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t have much storage space, and who loves brightly colored kitchen items.
Knitting Subscription Box
These monthly subscription boxes contain everything a knitter needs to create a hand-crafted project. Knit Wise gives you lots of options when you’re selecting the best subscription package for your intended gift recipient. Choose how often they’ll get a box and the length of the subscription, and indicate their skill level (beginner or intermediate/advanced). Knit Wise also offers crochet subscription boxes, or you can opt to just send the yarn or the patterns. This is the perfect gift for someone who a) Loves knitting or crocheting, or b) Is crafty and loves learning new skills.
At the height of the pandemic, the popularity of jigsaw puzzles soared, as they became a go-to quarantine activity. For many, it rekindled an interest in an activity they may not have done since childhood. If you have a friend or family member who is a long time puzzler, or who has recently gotten back into puzzles, consider signing them up for a puzzle subscription box. Completing the Puzzle’s sustainable model has you send back the puzzle you’ve completed (with a prepaid shipping label!), then sends you a new one.
Book of the Month Club
Anyone who loves reading needs to join the club – specifically, the Book of the Month Club. Bookworms have enjoyed this subscription service since 1926, when the club was founded. Every month, the subscriber will choose one book (from a selection of five) to be mailed to their home. They can even opt to skip a month, if they’re still making their way through the previous month’s book. Book of the Month also hosts book clubs for its members to join, in which they can discuss the books they’re reading.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven
The Le Creuset dutch oven is a high-quality, multi-use cooking tool that you can pass down from generation to generation. It doesn’t come cheap either, so this is the kind of gift that you give someone who you really care about (and remember, you can give yourself gifts!). With over ten enamel colors to choose from, it’s easy to personalize. If you’re lucky, there will be a lot of stews, casseroles, curries, and braises in your future.
City Perpetual Calendar
The MoMA Design Store is chock full of tastefully designed, functional items that anyone would be able to use and enjoy, no matter their personal style or interests — including this calendar. If you’re having trouble thinking of a gift for somebody, either because you don’t know them well or because they’re simply difficult to find gifts for, this modular calendar is the perfect solution. Artistically crafted of beech wood, it serves a dual purpose of telling the date and adding a touch of whimsy to a desktop.
If you thought we were done with recommending subscriptions as gifts, you thought wrong. The Sill’s plant subscription service delivers a houseplant in a chic ceramic planter to your gift recipient’s residence every month. Add a touch of greenery to your giftee’s domicile, and let the plants speak for themselves as a metaphor for you and your friend’s “blossoming friendship.” If you don’t live locally, this is a great option for thoughtful, remote gifting.
Have a friend who always misplaces their keys? If so, you’re obligated to introduce them to Tile, which is a game-changer for individuals who tend to lose their belongings often. Tile trackers work as a tracking service for your keys, wallet, bag — really, anything you attach them to. In conjunction with the Tile app, the trackers help you locate your personal belongings with a combination of sound alerts and GPS capabilities.
Thanks to the internet, meaningful gift giving is now easier than ever. From subscription boxes to customizable home goods, even the individual who may consider themselves “bad at gift-giving” has an opportunity to impress their intended recipient. When the next holiday season comes around or a friend’s birthday is approaching, make sure to consult this list!