Friday, December 4, 2015


If you're like me, you first approach the gift-giving season with the gusto of someone with no history of unused gift certificates, impractical stocking stuffers and lame picture frames. You jump in with both feet, sure that you won't bungle this holiday like every other year. This year, you will find the perfect gift.

Soon enough though, shipping deadlines are creeping up like senior year finals and somehow all those great ideas you had for your mom, your boyfriend and your roommates between February and now? They're in the same place as all your bobby pins—God only knows where.

Anyway, creating these gift guides each season is as much to help you as it is to help me. Together, I'm confident we can give the people we love some things they actually want. (Maybe they don't know they want them, but they'll totally love them all the same.)

Incidentally, one of the items on my list this year comes from Cuyana, a brand that's all about #fewerbettergifts. This year they're helping you (and me) get exactly what we want thanks to their discreet hinting feature. When you find what you want—like this monogram-able canvas and leather weekend bag—Cuyana can send a little email nudge to your prospective "gifter." It's an easy and thoughtful way to put a little simplicity and meaningfulness back into this holiday tradition.

According to science, it's a proven fact that people crave experiential gifts much more than they crave stuff. And while I'll never deny my love of shopping and the thrill I get from acquiring something I've lusted after, there really is so much more sentiment and sweetness behind a gift that will engage both the gifter and the giftee in an activity or an adventure that they both love.

Myself, it's looking like I'm going to spend the bulk of the holiday season in Sun Valley with my family, so a little something I could wear on the slopes or a lift ticket would make an awesome gift. Do the people on your list love to travel, to run, to camp or bike? Find a small trinket or stocking stuffer you can tie in with an experience related to their favorite hobby, like a book of destinations, sunglasses for a resort retreat

When it comes to giving jewelry as a gift, the more personal the better. That could mean calling upon a memory or a place (charms work well for this) or going with a classic monogram on a really simple piece like a signet ring or pendant. Above (and below, natch) you'll find some of the little somethings I've got on my list this year that you might want to add to yours. (If you can't tell by the Canon Rebel, I might be dreaming big this year...)

Check out the 'Editor's Picks' guide I created over on Style Girlfriend, too!

*Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with Cuyana.

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