Think Small for the Holidays

Finding that perfect gift online can be tricky. Your go-to sites may be great for basic items and everyday needs, but gift exchanges require a more personal touch.

When it comes to finding one-of-a-kind items, I prefer to shop small. Independent artists and small businesses provide creative, unique, and beautiful products that you truly can’t find anywhere else.

Not only can you get the perfect present for your special someone, but you’re directly supporting a hard-working creative.

Gifts for Writers

Writers are contemplative souls who enjoy their creature comforts. They especially value gifts that have a story behind them, or items that directly relate to the ones they want to tell.

Tote bag mockup featuring the "That Word" design.
  • Bookmarks, gift cards to a local bookshop, and a cute tote bag make for a cute and thoughtful bundle.
  • A keychain or charm that relates to something from their current writing project will be a constant reminder that their stories are cherished.
  • Hot beverages are writer’s fuel! A beautiful new teapot or humorous coffee mug is sure to be appreciated every single day.

Gifts for Graphic Designers

Graphic designers are visual problem solvers. They may seem judgemental, but only because they want the world to be a more beautiful and practical place. They like gifts that are also a blend of function and style.

Mug mockup featuring the "Lorem Ipsum" hand lettered design.
  • Graphic designers are notorious for having an ironic sense of humor. Keep an eye out for visual puns or relatable memes, just remember to keep it small. Enamel pins or vinyl stickers are a great option.
  • Digital accessories or on-the-go gadgets go over well, especially if they’re super stylish. Think streamlined, think professional, think classy.
  • If there’s one thing a designer likes, it’s good design. Art books, postcards, beautiful board games, or a fun new 2021 calendar might be their new source of inspiration.

Gifts for Artists

Artists are people who see the world as a place full of possibilities. They are always learning, growing, and trying new things. Artists like gifts that make them feel understood and appreciated.

Mockup of a cloth mask featuring the "Kindred Spirit" design
  • Show your support and invest in things they need to continue creating. A ring light, new brush pens, a bigger paint palette, or gift cards for their software subscriptions can relieve some pressure for a starving artist.
  • Add more color to their life with small accessories, like crazy socks, fashionable sunglasses, or novelty earrings. Be weird, be wild, be free-spirited. Just be sure it’s in keeping with their personality.
  • Nostalgic or sentimental gifts are a great choice for artists. Pick something that will remind them of the past, go with an inside joke, or maybe do a couples/friendship gift.

Gifts for Co-Workers

Finding an appropriate gift for an office exchange or a memorable white elephant offering is a real challenge, especially if you’re not very close. Here are a few wide-appeal items that are a safe bet for any awkward occasion.

Reverse Psychology
  • Giving holiday-themed gits for a holiday party is easy and always appropriate. Novelty ornaments, seasonal sweets, or Grinch-y gifts are good, clean fun.
  • It’s been a tough year, so this is a great opportunity to give the gift of a good laugh. Comic collections, a mug with a meme, or a harmless gag gift can go a long way to lighten the mood.
  • For group gift-giving games, break the ice with a present you’d want for yourself. Who knows, you may get to keep your own gift!

Gifts for Dad

What do you buy for the self-sufficient, wants-for-nothing father figures in your life when they refuse to fill out a wish list? Because golf clubs or fishing gear isn’t the answer.

Tote bag mockup featuring the "Vessel with the Pestle" design.
  • Nostalgic gifts, like a favorite TV series or board game from Christmas past, could become a great excuse to spend some time together. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!
  • An on-the-go guy may enjoy having a commute kit to make the daily drive safer and easier. Phone mounts, travel mugs, car deodorizers, pocket organizers, and a wireless headset can practically turn a car into a secondary office.
  • Don’t overlook the creature comforts! A cozy throw blanket, new slippers, and something to snack on during the next movie night or game day will be genuinely appreciated all winter.

Gifts for Yourself

Let’s face it, with all of the socially-distanced social obligations, braving the lines at the post office, praying the digital cookies won’t clue your family in on what they’re getting for Christmas, and reading countless gift guides just to find one not-terrible present, you’re probably due for some pampering. Here are a few ideas on how to give yourself a well-deserved reward.

  • Do some delegation! Nobody said you had to pull off a holiday miracle all alone.
  • Buy yourself something nice! It’s never a bad time to treat yourself.
  • Schedule some alone time this December. Naps are totally part of nonstop holiday fun.
  • Make a nice list of things from this year and check it twice! There’s always something we can find to be grateful for when we remember to look.
  • Let someone know you miss them. Even if it’s out of the blue or a little vulnerable. There’s no better excuse to get back in touch than Christmastime.
  • Dress up in holiday style at least once. Even if you’ve got nowhere to go. Even if you’re the only person who will see. Sometimes you just have to be festive for no reason.