If your mind is turning to holiday gifting, we’ve got a gift guide for every kind of person in your life, whether they be unfailingly practical, a constant traveler, a little artsy, a homebody, or fashion-forward.
Check out our other gift guides!
You might have seen that we have two other gift guides that are more specific, one for “hostess” gifts (bear with us as Google search habits haven’t caught on to the fact that hosts are not only of the female persuasion) and one for the kitchen and garden, i.e., cooks and green thumbs, respectively.
This 2023 Holiday Gift Guide is packed with ideas, but definitely go check out our other two guides as well, which we also published today!
Disclaimer: Prices were accurate at the time of publication. This post does contain Amazon affiliate links but all opinions are our own.
Gift Guide For the Practical…
The hardest person to buy for every year. These gifts tend toward *stocking stuffer* and experiences because with this type of person, you might want to just ask them straight out what they want!
National Parks Pass
The National Parks Pass is a fantastic gift for just about anyone anywhere in the United States. Chances are they live near a national park and it will open up amazing experiences all year long.
The people who claim they don’t want anything usually appreciate a sentimental gift. Print Your Vinyl lets you make a groovy custom vinyl to commemorate special occasions and special people. Judging from the examples, they can turn out really nostalgic and fun!
Tiger Thermos (10 oz. / 300ml)
This is the best thermos out there. They fit comfortably in your hand and your bag, don’t have too many plastic pieces, and they keep drinks hot for the whole day.
Splatter-proof Cookbook Stand
We love that this Crate & Barrel cookbook stand comes with a splatter guard, Though you always know which ones are best by how stained they are!
Leatherology Book Weight
If the cookbook stand is too much for you, this Leatherology book weight is4 the minimalist’s answer for how to keep your cookbooks open is here.
Avenida Home table Mats
We discovered these in London, and they bring a touch of beauty to coffee and dining tables or desks. They work as placemat, extra large coaster for that persistent crowd of mugs and glasses, landing pad for vases and miscellany, and even as a mousepad. They come in lots of patterns—not just this Christmas one!
Giving the gift of dental hygiene feels cheesy, but few people will willingly make the jump to spend $12 on floss. This stuff is a game changer though (it was recommended by my dentist) and makes for a great stocking stuffer!
Year and Day Spoon Rest
I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect spoon rest that won’t drive me nuts trying to line my utensil up perfectly, but also just isn’t a plate…this one fits the bill.
Gift Guide For the traveler…
For those with the travel bug, give them gifts that make them feel at home anywhere, or better yet, make home feel like a destination.
Silicon collapsible travel kettle
This is an eccentric little find based on our mother’s hatred of hotel coffee makers and her need to constantly have a thermos of hot water in hand.
Quince Silk-cashmere blend Scarf
Every traveler needs a scarf to double as a blanket or to whip out when the weather changes on a dime. This blend of silk and cashmere is impossibly light yet warm, and it packs down small.
The perfect Italian dinnerware – Vietri
This is the whimsical Italian dinnerware dreams are made of. They’re made with terra cotta clay and hand-painted. Every meal feels like you’re dining al fresco, and you can mix and match colors and designs for a dopamine inducing experience whenever you open your kitchen cabinet.
The perfect French dinnerware – Gien Filets
If the gift recipient is more of a Francophile, this dinner set may be the last thing they expect, but just the thing they didn’t know their every day needed.
Noise Cancelling Headphones
My travel life can be divided into 2 parts: before noise-cancelling headphones and after. These are a game changer. Various family members use Sony WH-1000XM4 or the Bose QuietComfort, and are happy with both.
Drowsy Silk Sleep Mask
I’m now the kind of person who will pop my night-guard in and put my eye mask on for an overnight flight. This one swaddles your whole head in silky comfort, giving you the best chance for some shut-eye.
Diaspora Co. Build-your-own Spice Shelf
Just about all of the spices from Diaspora Co. are great quality, delicious, and and gorgeously packaged to help your traveler recreate the flavors from their adventures.
Gift Guide For the artsy…
This is for the resident whimsy chaser. It’s all about the surprise and delight. As the resident artsy black sheep of the family, here are some things I’ve come across this year that are on my list!
X-Large Miffy Light
It’s not a question of need. It’s about walking into any room and being knocked on your tush by Miffy-tastic delight. Currently sold out at the MoMa design store, you can still find it elsewhere.
If I could’ve fit five of these into my carry-on luggage on my last trip to London, I would have. Luckily they ship internationally!
Support your local museum by buying the gift of museum membership! This is great for anti-“stuff” people as well, who are looking to minimize clutter or who value experiences over things!
Fujifilm Instaax Mini camera
I was able to fully give one of these a whirl at a friend’s wedding this year and decided that it’s worth the investment. Every little picture is a little souvenir, and the fact that you’re using film makes every picture a fun little artistic challenge.
Wing on Wo & Co. Monkey Centerpiece
These centerpieces give some art and big museum energy to your every day. If monkeys aren’t your thing, there’s loads of beautiful items to shop!
Gift Guide For the homebody
Things that makes staying home even better than they already thought possible!
Asian Dad slippers
Unlock Asian dad level with Oofos. They’re the best for tired feet (we often cook in them all day to ward off fatigue) and feel like heaven after wearing heeled shoes. Add socks and rock them like an Asian dad.
Organic Cotton Robe
Sarah loves this robe, because it’s long, comfy without being bulky, and made of organic cotton. She predicts that she’ll be living in it this fall/winter, and has it in the moss green color, which at the time of this writing, is half price at $34!
Aura Digital Frame
This is a great one for parents and grandparents. You can upload new photos remotely right from your phone, so your loved ones have a regular flow of new pictures to display.
Our house isn’t complete without a dinner bell. When everyone’s outside roving around the garden, it’s the most efficient and enjoyable way to let people know that there’s food hitting the table. Ours recently cracked (from some overenthusiastic dinner-belling by ahem…me) so we’re actually in the market for a new one, and a sturdy cast iron bell is just the ticket.
Julia Berzolheimer Hurricane Candle Holders
These whimiscal candle holders are so beautiful and cast a great light. Perfect for a mantle or dinner table.
Foxford Cashmere-Wool blanket
This blanket is light and airy, but super warm for nights on the couch. It’s definitely a luxe splurge item, which might not be an everyday purchase, but makes for a special gift!
Having a good board game is key. If you know a fan of Settlers of Catan who’s looking for a new challenge, try out 7 Wonders Duel, which is a 2-player game that comes Sarah and Justin approved. Know a nerdy couple, parent/child, or set of friends or siblings who loves board games? This game involves a surprising amount of depth and strategy! You can also try the regular 7 Wonders game which can involve up to 7 players.
8th Generation baby blanket
We love this baby blanket for its peaceful design, covered in protective animal spirits—buffalo, elk, and wolves. Seattle-based 8th Generation is a native-owned brand (owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe) and supports Native American artists! We stopped into their store in Seattle earlier this year, and found lots of beautiful art and textiles.
Botanical Harvest Bird plates (set of 4)
File this under things that I wouldn’t buy for myself, but sincerely wish someone else would.
Gift Guide For the fashion-forward
A few choice fashion finds that don’t quite require you to be able to predict their changing tastes or spend too lavishly!
Quince Jewelry box
This jewelry box looks exactly like pricier versions, but is half the price!
Leatherology Watch Box
We like how low-profile and simple this one is!
Shinola Watch Box
This Shinola watch box is a nice option for those looking for something sleek and simple.
Wolf Watch Box – Splurge
If you’re looking for the wow-factor in a gift for the person of stature with a watch collection, here it is.
FranceLuxe Jumbo Hair Claws
If you have a lot of hair, these jumbo clips are actually jumbo and stay put with French-made acetate and springs that stays strong over the long-run. I know it’s pricey, but if you know someone who is picky about their hair…
Woven leather crossbody bag
This J. Mclaughlin bag looks just like an extremely popular, yet pricy designer version for so much less. It’s too good not to include on this list!
ViVienne Westwood Watch
Keeping the dupe train running for maximum savings but no less delight, this Vivienne Westwood watch is an excellent, very budget friendly ringer for a Rolex.
Gift Guide For the homesteader…
If you prefer heartfelt, homemade gifts, this section is for you!
This year, give the gifts that will feed people’s souls. We’ve got a round-up of sauces and baked goods that can be easily made in bulk and wrapped up to give to anyone on your list.
Because who needs to buy yet another sweater or scented candle when you have the option to *personally* make sure that your friends and family never eat another mediocre bowl of homemade noodles ever again?
Here are our suggestions for last-minute food gifts to have under the tree—and maybe in a cooler on ice :)
Homemade chili oils
A jar of one of our chili oils and hot sauces is pure, festive, red, spicy goodness. It’s sure to please your snobbiest of foodie friends or anyone who loves a good takeout order of fried rice and dumplings now and again.
Plus, it’s something you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere in a store. Make a big batch, split them among mason jars, and tie them up with golden bows. Done!
(Time to go for the true wow factor—made with luscious seafood and preserved Chinese ham is the surest way to even the coldest grinch hearts or anyone who insists that they really “don’t have anything they want” this year. We’re talking in-laws, grandparents, that hard-to-buy-for sister, bffl’s, someone you owe a favor, and co-workers thou hath scorned. This sauce has their name on it.)
Treats for the freezer
Okay, I know what you’re thinking. How does this make any sense?
The real value behind giving someone a batch of homemade spring rolls, dumplings, or egg rolls is lovingly preparing them, freezing them before frying, and then giving them out in cellophane bags, festooned with ribbons, complete with card and cooking instructions for any snowy day, when you just need to eat fried food. If that’s not love and holiday spirit, I don’t know what is.
Plus by now we’ve covered our bases on just about every dietary restriction!
A cookie box
From our Chinese Walnut Cookies, to Matcha iced bacon cookies, to chocolate chip cookies that are chock full of nuts, we’ve got some fun and unexpected items to give a Christmas cookie box that will win all the points for originality and deliciousness.
A gift for the Woks of Life Fan or Chinese Food Fan!
Finally, may we humbly suggest that for anyone who loves cooking, Chinese food, family stories, or this blog, a copy of our first cookbook, The Woks of Life: Recipes to Know and Love from a Chinese American Family might be the holiday gift you’ve been looking for! Order from the links below!
Happy holidays, everyone!