Le Gift Guide — Or, Things I Love + Own or Will Buy Myself.

By: Jen Shoop

Running some gift guides a bit early this year owing to the gloom and doom surrounding shipping delays (my MIL ordered my children’s Christmas gifts already!), but also, if it feels too early to be thinking about the holidays, rest easy: everything on this list is simply something I love and either already own or am planning to purchase myself.

With an eye towards practicality, the vast majority of the items on this list are under $150, with most under $100. I am especially excited about the chic/modern fountain pen which I know is what I will buy for at least three members of my family this year if I draw them in our Pollyanna Christmas arrangement.


These and other finds, organized by pursuit:


+HEDLEY AND BENNETT APRON. I bought Mr. Magpie one of these for Christmas last year and he wears it every time he cooks! We are buying one for my father-in-law this year, too — these are beautifully-made and highly functional. (We were running into an issue with Mr. Magpie routinely destroying his clothes with oil splatter.) Fantastic for any serious cook in your life!

+ARTISANAL MARBLE MORTAR AND PESTLE. I have my eye on one of the gorgeous Italian mortar and pestles from this Etsy shop for Mr. Magpie. He cracked our ceramic mortar and pestle a few weeks ago while angrily making pesto (hot take: Mr. Magpie doesn’t love pesto) and I’ve since learned that Serious Eats recommends “stone such as marble or granite is strong, dense, and unyielding, giving you a powerful surface against which to crush things; it’s also not nearly as brittle as ceramic, meaning you can really drive some force into it without worrying that the material will crack or chip.”

+HAND-MADE CHEESE GRATER. We bought this beautiful cheese-grater last year with the specific intent of finding an implement that would yield small, pebble-like gratings of parm to layer on top of pizza, soup, certain pastas. Sometimes you want those whispy fibers of the microplane variety, but sometimes you want the old-school style.

+FELLOW GOOSENECK ELECTRIC KETTLE. For fellow coffee snobs, this kettle has the most beautiful modern design, and is an essential part of the perfect pour over.

+MAUVIEL COPPER BOWL. We are slowly acquiring Mauviel pieces over time — they are pricey but a delight to cook with — and this bowl would be wonderful for some of the more erudite preparations where you need to whisk something over simmering water. It’s also straight-up beautiful and I would absolutely serve up a salad in this!

+OLIVE OIL CRUET. Also on my list for Mr. Magpie this year — such a cool design. Maybe pair with wonderful olive oil from Eataly.

+STAINLESS STEEL TUMBLERS. Are you kidding me?! SO CHIC. I absolutely need these in our cocktail repertoire!


+KULE STRIPED TURTLENECK. The cut, the color, the styling, the brand — this is the kind of piece that will totally tickle a fellow fashion-lover, and will wind up with a surprising amount of play in her wardrobe. Don’t be startled if you receive a note a few months after the holiday with: “I can’t believe how much I wear this…”

+LAKE PAJAMAS NIGHTGOWN. I will be ordering this to wear on Christmas morning. Adore the stripes, the flounce at the hem, the length of the sleeve! Reminds me for some reason of what Clara from the Nutcracker would wear in 2021.

+STATEMENT EARRINGS. I am obsessed with these double-flowers, these knit Shrimps, and these velvet and pearl beauties.

+VIBI VENEZIA SLIPPERS. I own and am obsessed with pairing these with fall/winter dresses. This is kind of a personal buy, best for sisters/mothers/close friends whose style you really know. But MAN! Will she be excited.

+THIS CROPPED CASHMERE CARDIGAN. In my cart in that unique brown color — but the linen color would probably be the crowd-pleasing pick.

+THESE SHERPA GLOVES. Just so fun and fashion-forward.


+ASHA WRAP BRACELET. I just adore these. So chic with a white tee and jeans.


+ELEGANT STATIONERY. I can’t get over the calligraphy! I absolutely need a set for myself.

+MAJOLICA OYSTER PLATE OR ASPARAGUS PLATE. I gave my MIL one of these vintages oyster plates years ago and she was overjoyed! I think it was the best gift I’ve ever given her — she collects them!

+VINTAGE STERLING FISH SERVING SET. My mother has occasionally surprised me with vintage silver serving pieces and I absolutely treasure them, especially in those more unusual shapes, i.e., tomato server, fish servers, etc.

+LA DOUBLE J CERAMIC JAR. I want this for my bedside table or dresser…

+HEREND BUNNIES. A classic knick-knack. I gave my mom one of these Herend baby shoes after she came out to look after me and my baby girl — my mother has one for each of her children and I thought it would be special to add to her collection.

+A MEANINGFUL CHARM FOR HER CHARM BRACELET. I have a charm bracelet, and so do my MIL and several girlfriends — such a special gesture to add to the bracelet with a unique charm with personal meaning, whether a car (road trip memories!), a moses basket (new grandmother/mother!), or something whimsical like a toaster (we love brunch!)


+WESTMAN ATELIER BEAUTY STICK SET. I am SO excited they’ve released this trio in smaller sizes. Such a spectacular gift, or a lovely way to test a few colors yourself.

+WHITE ELEPHANT PERSONALIZED TOILETRY POUCH. I absolutely love these, and love that you can give them as a set or just in one or the other size. They are beautifully made and come in such great colors.

+CLARINS FACE MASK. I love this more each time I use it, which is saying a lot, because I have been using it 1-2x a week for the last few months. It is unlike anything I’ve ever used before — I didn’t even know I sometimes have a puffy face, and this chisels away your jawline. It is SO good.


+Beautiful writing implements afford such flair. My mom gave Mr. Magpie a beautiful pen (I think it was Montblanc) for Christmas years ago and he uses it daily. I have my eye on these cool Kaweco fountain pens (you have to use cartridges, FYI). I used fountain pens when I studied abroad in France. So fun and chic to write with. Can you imagine sitting at your next meeting or signing your next check with this in hand?

+Possibly bundle the pen above with a personalized notepad like this or this?

+For an athlete — especially a runner! — I cannot rave enough about this base layer. It is featherweight and surprisingly soft given that it’s a merino-blend, but it holds in so much heat on the coolest of days! OBSESSED.

+Beanie-making kit. Such a cute idea for a novice knitting enthusiast.

+Evil eye necklace — you know which woman in your life will leap at the chance to wear one of these. Alternately, this mama necklace, which I own and wear daily. The perfect layering piece and under $50.

+Watercolor matchbook prints. Furbish has such a fun collection — pick a place of shared memories or interest, like Aspen or The Plaza. I feel like this would be really special to give a close girlfriend or sister.

+This rosary bead bracelet makes such a lovely gift for a woman of prayer. I gave one to my mom, who prays the rosary daily on her morning walk.

+Ceramic garden planters. These are on my mind for my MIL or Mr. Magpie.

+Sorel coffee run slippers. I had to order these for myself. Their name says it all — the perfect thing to slip into when you need to run the trash cans to the curb or sneak into your favorite coffee shop for a latte in big sunglasses.

+Embroidered mama tshirt. This is a piece that isn’t for every lady in your life, but you know the one who will TOTALLY love it. My sister would adore this!

+Zafferano champagne coupes. I have to tell you. I own these and they bring me a tremendous amount of joy. What could be happier than opening up a delicious cava on a Wednesday night and enjoying them in a fabulous coupe?! I can’t even. I share these a lot on Instagram and they always fetch inquiries — where are they from?!!? You need these. Or your girlfriend does. Or both of you do.

P.S. For more inspo: my 25 favorite fall finds, 10 things you need in your kitchen, and statement accessories I love.

P.P.S. Some early holiday decor finds here. Special ornaments always make a fun gift!

P.P.P.S. This prayer brings tears to my eyes every Thanksgiving. I know many of you have adopted it in your own homes. So special.

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