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Your Gift-Giving Guide From The Friyay Fuel

There are countless gift guides out there, but I've often found that my special recipients don't fit in the stereotypical categories I find, mostly filled with sponsored product suggestions. So, I wanted to create a gift guide that actually helps you find something sure to please (and suit your budget!).

Whether you're seeking inspiration to check off your holiday shopping list, or interested in thoughtful new ways to show appreciation for the best people in your life, below are 10 criteria to consider when choosing the perfect gift.

Leverage the love of pop culture.

What shows are your special gift recipients binging lately? Have you heard them exclaim "I love [insert musician here]!" with delight? Are they crushing on Harry Styles or do they admire Brene Brown? As an example, a simple search of "Schitt's Creek gifts" on Etsy, Google, or Amazon will generate millions of unique ideas. Not only will these make your recipient feel special and happy, but there's a chance the item was crafted by a small business owner and you'll make them feel special and happy, too.

Shop local - it's exclusive!

Speaking of small business... what stores do you love that you can't visit anywhere else? For the person who has everything, they probably don't yet have one of your local treasures. Is there a baker that can ship cookies, or a candle-maker next door? It will feel personal and one-of-a-kind, and you're giving back to your local community!

Hone in on the hobbies.

Whether it's gardening, sewing, cooking, hiking, or drinking wine, what does your recipient like to do? Is there something new, useful, or unique that could support that hobby? A gardener may enjoy fun new gloves, or a plant to play with like a new toy. And a wine drinker may enjoy a bottle of wine they haven't tried before, or a punny wine notepad.

Win big with books.

Another great hobby: reading. If there's a book you couldn't put down, pass it around! Or simply browse a bookstore and find something beautiful and interesting to put on a coffee table - even the non-readers can appreciate a picture book! This is another great opportunity to shop local and support artists/authors.

Make it interactive.

When you don't want to give or receive "things", activities are a crowd-pleasing choice! Try an at-home pottery kit, or get tickets to an upcoming show. The gift of an experience will create lifelong memories!

Share your favorites.

What products are you loving right now? If you discovered a new favorite skincare brand, assortment of teas, or thrilling board game, maybe your recipient will love the chance to try out your trusty recommendations!

Personalize it.

You can add a personal touch to just about anything these days. Whether it's an ornament, cutting board, or piece of jewelry, a personalized keepsake can go a long way.

Sustainable is stylish.

A holiday is a great excuse to support sustainable, mission-driven companies. Which brands, local or global, are giving back in ways that matter to you? If they don't have a product to purchase, you could give a donation in your recipient's name. At the very least, everyone needs a nice reusable water bottle, and we know Patagonia is continuously making good choices for people and planet.

But make it cozy.

It may be cliche, but cozy gifts are always a win in my book. A pair of fuzzy socks or fun slippers will surely make someone in the room giddy, even if it's not your intended recipient, so they shouldn't go to waste. I've also never heard someone way "I have too many soft blankets to snuggle up with!"

Give the gift of time.

This might be the best gift of all - and it's (basically) free! There's a strong chance your recipient would simply enjoy having more time with you and your undivided attention. Offer to take them out to dinner, or go on a walk, or have a weekly phone date for a year. And it won't collect dust on a shelf!

And for those who still love the traditional gift guides, here are 10 items I recommend (and dare you not to get for yourself!).

1. Personalized Papier Notecards

These noteworthy pieces will have your recipient feeling so official! ~$30 and up

2. Acupressure Mat

I can attest to the amazingness of these mats. 15 minutes before bed will have you relaxed and refreshed! $20

3. Juneshine Hard Kombucha

A healthier, delicious take on a good time straight from sunny San Diego. If your friend hasn't tried these yet, they will thank you. $66

4. Crosley Turntable

A beautiful piece that's fun for anyone. Sweeten the deal by including a record or two from your local music store! $90

5. Tease Eco-friendly Tea Tumbler

This 3-in-1 beauty can do it all, including some good for Mother Earth! $45

6. Houseplants & Hot Sauce

A book that is fun to receive AND look at! Pair it with a cute succulent and your favorite local hot sauce, and you've got yourself a winner. $15

7. Custom Pet Portrait

Anyone who wouldn't want to see their pet in this light is likely lying. Search "pet portraits" on Etsy and the opportunities are truly endless! ~$30 and up

8. True Moringa Coffee Scrub

Give the gift of luxury while supporting a good cause. This coffee scrub smells like a delectable peppermint mocha and comes from an amazing small business on a mission. $34

9. Healthier Together Deck

Don't let your friends or family have another boring dinner party. Smash the small talk with these lovely conversation cards! $25

10. Write A Poem (or ask me to do it for you, and I will!)

What have been your favorite gifts to give or receive? Tell us in the comments!


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