The Fashion Magpie Christmas Gifts

Gifts I’d Actually Give for Christmas.

I don’t want this to come off snarky, but some of the gift guides I’ve seen floating around showcase…dubious gifts.  Like, the featurettes always look so fetching and stylish, but when I think about it, I wonder: “Would I actually give someone an iPhone case or a pair of sneakers?”  No…no I wouldn’t.  I also don’t know anyone aside from my husband that I’d drop over $100 or maybe $150 on a Christmas gift for, and a lot of the guides feature *splurge* items like $350 cashmere throws.  Who are these people who gift so generously?!?!?  Can I be their friends, too?!

So below are gifts I am planning on actually giving the people I love in my life, mixed in with a few items I would give them if we didn’t do a Pollyanna Christmas in our family (there are so many siblings and siblings-in-law, we were all spending a fortune on gifts, so we decided we’d each draw one sibling/sibling-in-law’s name and buy him/her a nice gift instead):

For a new parent — I’d easily get this for my sister, who just gave birth to her second son: 7AM Enfant Stroller Gloves ($40).  These things are basically my best friend.  I’ll pre-empt your question by saying that these are better than actual gloves because the number of times I’d remove my gloves to adjust something on mini or feed her a cracker or bottle or get something out of my baby bag is, like, a lot.  These mean you’re not tucking your gloves under your arms as you’re doing these things.  Sounds silly, but really does simplify life.  Plus, they’re luxurious and bougee.  I got mine in basic black (all black errrrrythang), but I like these heathered ones, too.

The Fashion Magpie 7 AM Enfant Gray

For a well-traveled sibling  — I have been eyeing these chic packing cubes ($55) for my insanely stylish sister who lives in London and travels basically every weekend all around the world, both for work (she’s a badass entrepreneur and I can’t wait to share what she’s working on soon) and for pleasure.  Like, she’ll FaceTime me on any given Saturday from the Canary Islands.  “Ho hum, we just popped over here for a night.” GET OVER YOURSELF.  Just kidding, I’m incredibly jealous.  And these cubes will help keep all your chic clothing organized.  Y’all KNOW I am obsessed with packing cubes, and these from Amazon are incredible, but there’s something a little more stylish, less utilitarian about these ones from Paravel.  My only wish is that you could monogram them in the corner — the PVL comes standard.

The Fashion Magpie Paraval Packing Cubes 2 The Fashion Magpie Paraval Packing Cubes

For the talented cook — Mr. Magpie gifted me this exact Shun knife ($69) for Christmas a few years ago, and it was a brilliant addition to our Shun knife set.  (We’re Shun enthusiasts — Mr. Magpie loves the heft of the handle; if it’s too heavy for your taste, try Globals).  This particular Shun knife is specifically for slicing bread and tomatoes, which sounds weirdly specific but gets a TON of use in our home.  And I can pretty much guarantee you that even the most fancy of cooks will not have this knife — it’s so specific.  But SO USEFUL.

The Fashion Magpie Shun Knife

For the techie — If I’d drawn my brother-in-law, I would 100% have bought him this cool wi-fi enabled video doorbell ($100).  It gets strong reviews and I can just imagine how happy it would make him.

The Fashion Magpie WiFi Enabled Video Doorbell

For a beauty snob — I’m thinking along the lines of my bestie or my mother for this one, but I’m considering buying them either a box of 30 m-61 power peels ($62) — MY NEW OBSESSION IN LIFE — this Tata Harper skincare kit ($75), or a small La Mer cream ($85).  I bought the latter for my sister on her 30th birthday and she flipped out — it’s not something she would ever splurge on for herself.  My only gripe with cosmetics is that they look so small and dinky.  Be sure to wrap yours in cellophane with an enormous satin bow.
The Fashion Magpie M61 Power Glow Peel 2

The Fashion Magpie La Mer Face Cream

For an avid reader — I wish to God I’d bought a Kindle before this year.  The last two months notwithstanding, I was reading between 5-10 books a month thanks to this magical piece of equipment.  Can’t recommend this as a gift enough to a luddite book-lover like myself who has been reluctant to try the e-reader route.

The Fashion Magpie Kindle

For your gifted-with-great-hair sister: Does everyone else have these?  All three of my sisters have way better hair than I do, and all three would look amazing in this pearl-encrusted headband ($50 — SOLD OUT; new version here), but all three would scoff at the pricetag if purchasing for themselves.  I might throw in my latest haircare obsession alongside it — it comes in a mini size! — or my favorite travel brush ($10).

The Fashion Magpie Pearl Headband

UPDATED 12/18: I’d also recommend this satin pillowcase, which I recently gifted my best friend for her birthday, and apparently prevents hair breakage and bedhead, while extending your blowout.  She was super excited about it; in her words: “it’s a luxury I’d never buy myself.”  It comes beautifully packaged, too.  If the price tag on that one is a little steep, opt for this one from Drybar.

For your design-loving stay-at-home-mom-friend: I’m thinking of my sister-in-law here who loves the Scandi vibe and cares for two babies at home and therefore needs all the coffee.  This chic mini saucepan ($49) is perfect for heating up milk in the morning to serve with your coffee.  Also, I’ve learned with time that the mini versions of most kitchen utensils/implements/pots are EXTREMELY HELPFUL.  I use my half-size cutting board and baking sheet DAILY and my mini-whisk and ramekins as frequently.  You might include my go-to frother with it, or maybe some really good coffee beans.

The Fashion Magpie Mini Saucepan

For a co-worker / friend / etc who you don’t want to spend more than $25 on

+For fellow pen/paper lovers (you know the type in your office), I love giving Leuchtterm notebooks and my favorite pen.

+I find a cookbook is usually well-received by any gender if they’ve expressed interest in food/cooking, which is pretty common nowadays.  I’ve shared my favorite cookbooks here, but think this one would be an especially attractive gift for a girlfriend.  You could always throw in some good vanilla or sea salt to round out the gift.

+For a tea enthusiast — there’s always one in your office or among your friends! — people lose their minds over this loose tea filter ($15) and I lose my mind over all the ridiculously delicious teas at David’s Tea.  I got into a MAJOR tea obsession during my pregnancy and spent a fortune on loose tea here.  I gifted my mother in law a sampler and she LOVED it — we were both surprised that we enjoyed the cheesy sweet sounding ones.  They’re all so good!  I even got Mr. Magpie briefly hooked on my tea obsession.  At any rate, the tea filter and a nice tin of loose leaf tea would be a fab gift.  Or, you can buy a pack of one-time use filters, which I have used for a long time.  There’s something soothing about the ritual of measuring out your scoop of tea and putting it in your own little sachet.  Also, people say this loose leaf tea is basically the best.

Miscellaneous + Stocking Stuffers

+I know this is random, but I’m thinking of buying my bedside carafe for my mother or maybe my mother-in-law.  It’s definitely random, but it’s such a lovely everyday (or, everynight) luxury.  It makes me feel like I’m living in a hotel.

+Mr. Magpie and I love giving little kitchen gizmos and implements to one another in our stockings.  These are the best peelers and could easily make their way into a stocking.

+For a cook who does not yet have a cookbook stand…this would be a great and very useful gift.

+I gifted my brother-in-law this terry sweatshirt ($45) last year, and he loves it.  It comes in great colors and wears well.  Incidentally, my sister would love receiving a few of these basic tees in good colors — what a great gift!

P.S.  More gift ideas, regardless of season.

P.P.S.  Wrap.

P.P.P.S  What I really want for Christmas.


  1. Love this post so much and only wish I had read it sooner! My nuclear family also does a secret santa among our siblings (with a roughly $100 goal, which allows for nice gifting), and then we all go in together on one nice gift for my parents. You have some amazing gifts here! We have a couple of Shun knives (LOVE) but not this one, so it’s quickly been added to the Valentine’s Day list! Ha!

    I love the cookbook stand as well, and Le Pens are some of my favorite pens, though I switch them up depending on the type of notebook I’m using (#nerd)

    1. DO TELL about the pens/notebooks — is it so that certain inks don’t bleed through certain pages? (V. annoying!) Glad some of these were added to future wishlists 🙂

    2. Sometimes — I dislike using Sharpies for that reason (I find that they bleed more easily!) but in all honesty, it has to do with whether the notebook is lined or not. For lined notebooks, I like using Muji’s .5 gel pens and for unlined notebooks, I prefer Papermate Flair felt-tip marker pens! Haha!

      I love Rollbahn gridded notebooks, and the company I work for makes cool journal-style hardback notebooks that are unlined.

    3. Rollbahns are great! They’re Japanese (in spite of the German-sounding name) and they’re sold at, among other places, a GREAT store on Broome Street on the LES called Top Hat. Definitely check it out if you’re in the neighborhood!

  2. I LOVED this post!!! I totally agree with you, the gift guides that some bloggers post are ridiculous. I personally love when they suggest buying my BFF a Tory Burch, UM no. Sorry. No one means that much to me. But this is such a helpful, doable list, I have actually pinned it for the future. I love all these suggestions (from the hard to shop for to the one you love getting gifts for) and all the small stocking stuffers and work suggestions. That’s ALWAYS where I get stuck, what do I get for someone at work that I work with a ton, but don’t want to spend $50 on? Now I have ideas, so thank you!

    I am trying to get my husband’s family to do a version of secret santa, we just started it with my family, and it is the best. Only having to buy one gift makes it so much more special in my opinion, and really lets you enjoy the lovely holiday season. Since it’s not my family, I feel funny bringing it up, but there are so many people, it’s so hard to keep track!

    I also have a Ring Doorbell and have an unnatural obsession with it. So much so that we just got the Ring Floodlight as well, so we can peak at our vehicles in the driveway. The best gift ever, and I would recommend it tenfold.

    1. Thanks, Nicole! So happy to hear this. So many endorsements for the Ring doorbell! WOW. I wish I owned one 🙂 Didn’t even know about the Floodlight! xoxo

  3. I keep writing and deleting this comment, but it is so damn refreshing to hear a blogger call out the ridiculous gift guides. I have a lot of thoughts regarding affiliate link programs and how it affects content that bloggers put out. I am for bloggers making money, if they provide valuable, useful content. Repeating the same impractical, tacky, and expensive gifts as the next blogger is not useful. I’ve seen so many bloggers suggest terrible gifts, like the sneakers or iphone cases you mentioned.

    I appreciate your thoughtful, practical approach to gift lists. The items you listed are the sort of gifts I would want to give and receive. I also appreciate you expressing doubts over the gift guides others create!

    I wish there was more transparency in how other bloggers create their lists.

    1. I’m definitely on your page — it’s funny because I, too, wrote and deleted the introductory paragraph a few times. I don’t want to cast shade on anyone, but I feel the same way :/ Glad you found this gift guide on the more practical end of the spectrum! xox

  4. Fantastic pics. I feel the same re: many gift guides – lots of lovely ideas, but impractical to actually gift! A couple of years ago my husband’s family switched to the Pollyanna gift-giving method also and it’s been far easier and kinder on the budget (we also exchange names of restaurants/stores through his parents, who do the name-drawing, for gift cards in case we’re stuck for ideas).

    Love the Leuchtturm notebooks – I use them for everything! And we just got the Ring doorbell after reading tons of positive reviews.

    1. That’s a really smart idea, to suggest favorite restaurants/stores JUST IN CASE. I’ll add that to our tradition 🙂

      I’m dying over the Ring doorbell; wish I’d known about it when we had a house!

      Thanks for reading + writing, as always! xo

  5. Love this gift guide and can’t agree more that so many out there look so tantalizing and sparkly in collage form and then fall flat when you actually consider giving any particular gift to any particular person. Your picks are spot on, as usual!

  6. These are incredible picks! I have to second the Paravel packing cubes (I own and love them – great for organization, but not as great for compression). Sounds like your sister is an experienced enough traveler that she doesn’t need them as much.
    We have a Ring doorbell and it’s fantastic. Just fantastic.
    That mini saucepan is great for making ghee (I have a red one, to match my Dutch oven) as well as heating up milk.
    And the Kindle. It is, hands down, my favorite device ever. I read it in bed. I take it with me wherever I go so I can read if I have a minute. It fits in almost all of my bags.
    I. Love. It.
    (And these picks).

    Might I add the most random gadget that has been the most delightful gift I’ve given? It’s a kale & herb razor, and deftly removes the stems from any leafy green you work with. I have a few on hand to give as impromptu gifts, and they always delight (along with a custom spice blend or a little jar of sea salt).

    1. OOH, love these endorsements and the herb razor idea is excellent. A perfect stocking stuffer! Thanks for taking the time to write in about this! Doubling down on the Paravel packing cube idea…

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