gifts for friends

Creative + Just Downright Genius Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Ho, ho, ho! 

While I usually refrain from greeting others besides my besties with that line, the holidays are free-game when it comes to calling everyone a ho—just one reason this season is the best one of all. The other reason the holidays are awesome? Oh, I don’t know, something about being materialistic and receiving presents from all the people you complain about on a daily basis. Wait, what?

I’m only kind of kidding. Let’s be honest, here—getting gifts is the true essence of the season. If you’re one of those people that says you don’t want anything, you have everything you need, just know that some of us are onto you. We know you’re not as saint-like as you let on. But in the name of the Chrismahanukwanzika spirit, I’ll let your pleasantries slide, and I’ll buy you something anyway. Because we all know it would be really awkward if people actually didn’t buy you anything during this especially-financially-depleting time of year. Just open the gift and flash a smile, Susan.

Now, onto the good stuff. THE GIFTS. You may recall my awesome gift guide from last year, where there are some really kickass present ideas still idly sitting by, waiting for you to buy them. Check out my suggestions from last year, then look at my stocking stuffer picks, and then come right back to this gift guide if you’re feeling extra desperate and need even more ideas. Because my sole purpose on this earth is to serve you. Speaking of which, you can nominate me for a Nobel Prize here.

You may recall me alluding to this gift guide in the inaugural episode of Fireside Chats with Lyss, but in case you missed the festive chatter, you can indulge in it right now. (Feel free to subscribe to The Lysst’s YouTube so you never miss a beat!)


Creative Holiday Gifts for Mom

She birthed you. She tried to dress you cute when you were a baby. She has pictures to prove it. And, most importantly, she never lets your Facebook Wall get lonely. Some call her a superhero, but you just call her ?Mom.?Here’s what to get that lovely lady that’s been there for you even when you called her nasty names as a hormonal teen.

State-Shaped Cutting Board

thoughtful christmas gift for momEven though you may have flown away from the nest, remind mom that there will only be one place you truly call “home.” These state-shaped cutting boards from American Heirloom are made in Brooklyn and include the option to place either a heart, a star, or a house on the city of your choice. You can also up the ante with fancy engravings and a brass inlay. State-shaped cutting board, American Heirloom, starts at $48.







great gifts for diet fitness Diet-Approved Ingredients

Aren’t we all pretty much on diets, like, all the time? (Although I strongly advise against going on a diet during the holidays.) For the woman in your life who’s not afraid to let people know her latest dietary restrictions, give a gift that won’t send her into anxiety. (Hint: Chocolates are not a great choice.) Ghee is basically butter’s healthier sister, and you can snag some tasty flavors for the dieter needing variety. Buy the White Truffle Salt or California Garlic jars of ghee to spice up diet-approved dinners and snacks. Ghee Butter, Fourth & Heart, $14.99 per 9-ounce jar or $69.99 for 5-piece set of all flavors.



gifts for momKitchen Diary + Recipe Cards

For moms especially, mealtime memories are special. Let your mother record her favorite recipes along with some of her most favorite food-centric memories in this sweet, sentimental Kitchen Keepsake Diary from Pittsburgh-based stationary and home decor brand, Lily & Val. Everything is beautifully hand-drawn and created by L&V owner Valerie McKeehan, and Valerie’s infectious inner joy and kindness carry through to these stylish designs built to preserve life’s precious moments. Classic Kitchen Diary & Recipe Card Bundle, Lily & Val, $58.95.



gifts for momGood Scents

Scent is paramount to creating ambiance, and anyone who’s been to a pet store can agree—though, not in a good way. Although most women would be thrilled with a quality candle (I’m serious—I’m addicted to candles), you may want to punch things up a notch this year and give something a little more permanent. Enter this Reed Diffuser from Aroma360: it’s an affordable option for refreshing, well-scented air, and it’s chic enough for your mom to actually want to display. Get it in the All of Me scent, a rejuvenating combo of powerful antioxidant and anti-aging green tea elements and delightfully delicate notes of lily of the valley and jasmine—lemon flower notes then round out the scent for an uplifting aromatic experience. Reed Diffuser, Aroma360, $39.95.



Creative Holiday Gifts for Gal Pals

Because females are about to run the world (or, at least, they should), and your closest girlfriends need to know that you love them. Especially if they’re single during cuffing season.


Cheery Office Artwork

gifts for girlfriends Whether she’s a girl boss or a self-proclaimed “boss betch,” the woman-in-charge of your squad needs a playful print like this to keep things upbeat. Chasing Paper has plenty more prints to suit your friend’s fancy—take a look at some of the feminista finds and other artistic wall hangings that would make anyone a happy camper. Come Together print, Chasing Paper, starts at $95.










Good-Luck Jewelryjewelry gifts for friends

For the friend who just can’t seem to catch a break, this dainty and stylish Evil Eye Necklace will be a welcome token. Legend has it that the eye wards off all the bad juju, keeping the necklace wearer safe from evil. The fact that this necklace can either standalone or be layered with extra jewelry is just an added bonus. Give your girlfriend a little good luck this season, eh? Plus, your purchase comes with a free pair of tiny studs, so how’s that for money-savvy? Evil Eye Necklace, Maison Miru, $59.



gifts for friendsWitchy Wonders

We all know someone who’s best described as a witch. And especially with witchiness reaching peak popularity in our culture (thank you, Broad City), there’s truly not a better time to be collecting crystals. The Witch Kit from luxury leisure brand Sunday Forever marks off all the boxes. It comes with a sage and incense shell, a bundle of white California sage, a Go Sage Yourself lighter, and a clear quartz crystal, all packaged in a witchy black velvet bag. The Witch Kit, Sunday Forever, $42.



gifts for feminist friendsCheeky Denim Jacket

It is the age of the feminist, and for your trendy bestie, this fun “Hard Pass” denim jacket wards off losers who think they have a chance. The jacket is hand-picked and hand-painted by a local Charlotte #bossbabe named Lauren Harbury; her company is called Unrelated News and also sells quirky patches and pins to adorn this killer jacket with even more sass. Yes, please. Hard Pass Denim Jacket, Unrelated News, $150.






Creative Holiday Gifts for Girlfriends/Wives

Now that I have a boyfriend (I’m just as surprised as you are—remember “Single Bells?”) and can now be considered your resident relationship expert, I thought it might be nice to give the other boyfriends of the world some sweet ideas to treat the wonderful, loving women in their lives. If you have a girlfriend (or wife) that you don’t deserve, consider gifting her one of these thoughtful gifts to trick her into staying with you forever.

gifts for girlfriends

Boho Hanging Chair

For the Chill Queen, this beautifully constructed hanging chair presents itself as a unique and genius gift. Whether your S.O. is an avid reader or simply lives a bohemian lifestyle, there’s no doubt she will freak out when she sees this chair next to the tree. Bonus idea: Add an extra “gift” that includes your expert hanging/assembly skills. Boho Hanging Egg Chair, Island Bay/Hammock Town, $339.64.






gifts for herThe Perfect Carry-On

Nobody loves buying their own luggage, but when they find that perfect bag, they know they need to have it. Such is the case with the hip Away carry-ons. These indestructible suitcases come in many colorways and fit perfectly in the overhead bins. Even more, they’re equipped with a phone-charging port as well as a security lock so no one steals her stuff. Complete the gift with a monogrammed luggage tag for $10 or a ticket to that beach she’s been dropping hints about. The Carry On, Away, $229.








gifts for girlfriends wivesFashionable Slippers

If your leading lady has perpetually-freezing feet like myself, she will greatly appreciate a modern, stylish take on slippers. Instead of gifting her grandma-esque slippers, get her some she’d be proud to wear around the house. These furry slides come in a few different colors and will delight any fashion-forward female with freezing feet. Crossed Faux Fur Slides, Urban Outfitters, $29.





gifts for herWireless Record Player

A step up from those darling mixed tapes of yesteryear, this absolutely gorgeous record player will widen the eyes of your karaoke-singing sweetheart. It’s the first-ever wireless turntable, so it’s not cheap, but I think The Beatles might agree that this kind of money could totally buy you love. Complete the gift with an album with your First Dance song on it. Boom. TRNTBL, VNYL/, $499.




Creative Holiday Gifts for Guys

I’m not going to lie; I’m a lot better at gifting for girls than I am for dudes. It’s probably because I am a female, but we won’t rule out other possibilities. But the facts remain: guys exist, and they need Christmas presents too. So, here’s how to make the men in your life jump for joy.


great gifts for guysHome-Brew Kit

Pretty much everyone is a beer brewer these days, and there’s a huge chance a guy in your life is feeling left out. Let him harness his hop-infused creativity and give him the chance to create Jim’s Badass Brews right from his own garage. This home micro-brewing kit has all the stuff for some yummy homemade beer, plus a nifty wooden base to keep all the mad scientist-like tools nicely organized. Home Microbrewing Kit, Uncommon Goods, $159-$184.





gift for guysRugged Bluetooth Speaker

Speakers always make great gifts. Whether you have an outdoorsy camper, boater, or adventurer on your list or simply someone who loves to claim the title of DJ at parties, this Bluetooth speaker from Coby will do the job. It’s splashproof, sand-proof, and dustproof, comes with a built-in flashlight, and it even has a microphone so you can answer calls hands-free when your phone is connected to it. It’s a music-loving dude’s dream-come-true, and it’s wonderfully affordable. Rugged Water-Resistant Bluetooth Speaker, Coby/, $20.



Cocktail Customizer

whiskey gifts for guysDelight the wine, beer, or whiskey connoisseur with this unique Oak Bottle. It’s the world’s first of its kind—a bottle made of oak that accelerates the traditional oak aging process that alcohol enjoyers know so well. Simply pour your favorite libation into the bottle, then wait hours, not years, for your drink to be customized with the oak-infused flavor of your choice. Oak Bottle flavors include chocolate, smoke, maple, cinnamon, and more. Original size Oak Bottle (750 mL), Oak Bottle, $89.95.




gifts for guysBrain Gear

Get the guy in your life wearable technology he’ll actually use regularly. TouchPoints are worn like watches or clipped to clothing and use patent-pending neuroscience technology that can reduce stress by up to 70 percent in just 30 seconds. The “Basic” model (pictured, $135) comes with three settings, one to help you sleep, one to calm you down, and one to help with anger. The “Original” model ($240) is app-controlled and has six settings—the three from the basic model, plus performance, craving, and focus settings to help improve various additional areas of life. Amazing stuff. Basic TouchPoint,, $135.





gifts for guys
Photo by Austin Neill on Unsplash

Flight Lessons

If material things aren’t cutting it this year, consider gifting an experience. Something unique that you could find no matter where you live is flight lessons. Maybe you know someone who’s an aviation enthusiast? But I can guarantee any guy who’s not afraid of heights would jump at the chance to be a pilot for a day. Get him in the cockpit this Christmas! Learn to Fly a Biplane, Cloud9 Living, $300.





gifts for guysGrillBot

Every grillmaster needs a trusty companion. Gift the designated Grill King the luxury of not having to clean the grill. The GrillBot is a fully automated grill cleaner that gets scrubbing with just the push of a button. Even better, the brushes are dishwasher safe, which makes this a super-clean, super-smart addition to backyard BBQ days. GrillBot,, starts at $89.95.







gifts for guysA Real-Life Sherlock Holmes Experience

For the detective-obsessed sleuth, there’s a new kind of game that will send chills down his spine. Hunt A Killer delivers letters from a serial killer to your doorstep, and it’s up to the recipient to use the clues in the letter along with the objects included to solve this murder mystery. It’s an immersive monthly subscription box experience that gets creepier as it continues. Sign up for a membership, and let the games begin. Hunt A Killer,, Pre-pay for 6 months at $27.50 per month ($165 total).





So, how are these for some creative holiday gifts? Hopefully I was able to help you make someone happy this season!

And with that, I’ll leave you alone. I hope everyone has a wonderful and fulfilling holiday.

Just remember the reason for the season, which is Instragramming your most expensive gift to make other people jealous.

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