You can also buy a couple for yourself, we won't tell anyone.
Okay, I admit it. I've been called an "enabler" more than once when it comes to backing friends up on spendy items they want an excuse to buy. I can tell you all the reasons that denim jacket is going to pay for itself before the year is over, or how that sale is so good you can't afford not to buy a new vacuum. What can I say? It's a goddess-given talent.
That said, sometimes I think I must have been royalty in a past life, because if it's expensive, I am interested. Don't get me wrong though. It's very much champagne taste on an "is that fancy wine on sale?" budget kind of story.
These two superpowers come together when evaluating top-tier gifts. Expensive for expensive's sake serves no one, but spending a little extra to treat someone to a gift they're going to love for a good long time and feel totally spoiled when they open it feels pretty darn good.
So I've rounded up some of my favorite splurge-worthy gifts for everyone on your list. Whether you've got some extra cash lying around (lucky!) or you talk the family into a one-gift holiday, these useful, indulgent, or just plain practical gifts are worth the investment.
There's no better toy investment than one that grows with your little one. Designed by child development experts, the Lovevery play gym includes everything you need for developmentally-appropriate baby playtime, from batting to teething to learning to focus. It even converts to a cozy play fort for added fun!
Basically, if Sunday Citizen makes it, I'm in. Their cloud-soft blankets and loungewear are possibly my most favorite find this year (I waxed poetic about their comforter here) and the weighted blanket is no exception. Yes, I know there are less expensive ones out there but I can say this: none are half as cozy and none are filled with crystals. You read that right. CRYSTALS. Maybe it's my inner new ageiness coming out or maybe it's 2020, but I'll take all the healing and pampering I can get.
Handmade by master artisans in the Mediterranean, I've been crushing on these totally gorg shoes something fierce. The shape is inspired by a 19th century popular Middle Eastern indoor shoe known as the "Rihya" which both women and men would wear for special occasions. Not only is leopard my favorite neutral, but they're designed to be worn either as loafers or slides. Combined with their commitment to sustainability (they're made from all recycled materials) they're a unique and thoughtful gift that's totally worth the extra spend.
We all know that Dyson is the gold standard when it comes to home appliances, but they're changing the beauty and haircare game in a big way with the Dyson AirWrap. This multi-tasking device has everything you need to create salon-level hairstyles at home and the best part is that it's so easy.
I'm about as low maintenance as it gets when it comes to doing my hair (hello, mom bun) but on those days when I really want to put in a bit more effort, I usually end up giving up between having to grab my round brush, blow dryer, warm up the curling iron, etc etc. This bad boy has everything you need in one device including multiple sized curling barrels for different types of curls, a firm and soft smoothing brush, a volumizing brush and a Dyson hair dryer attachment. It comes beautifully packaged in a copper case and even has an extra storage bag if you want to bring it on the go.
And when you want to curl or add some waves to your hair, you don't even have to do any work! All you have to do is hold the air wrap near your hair and it will automatically wrap a strand around the barrel. Hold for 15 seconds and you're done! (You can watch the styling guide videos on this page to see how it works.) Whoever opens this on Christmas morning will truly start believing in Santa again—because this is definitely magic.
I think my best 'life in a pandemic' advice is: Level up your bed linen game to 5-star hotel-status. Also, when you gift your partner something bed-related, it's truly a gift you give yourself. (Last I checked, double-dipping is not against the rules here.) The linen sheets from Parachute are a top-pick of mine this year. For one thing, they aren't nearly as sweat-inducing as flannel ones and they just seem to get better with every wash. Also, they're Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified so I'm not worried about any harmful materials or treatments to the fabric I'm falling face-first into at the end of every year-long day.
Speaking of 5-star hotel bedding, once you start using a silk pillowcase, there's no going back. Perfect for the bestie who's battling postpartum hair loss or really anyone who wants to treat their skin and hair right while they sleep, this beauty from Hill House Home is a splurge with a function. I've bought the cheaper ones from Amazon and can definitively say you get what you pay for.
These days, I'll take encouragement in every form possible. Like this cheery American-made banner from Buffalo-based Oxford Pennant. Made from cut-and-sewn wool felt and designed in collaboration with best-selling author Kelle Hampton, it looks awesome everywhere from a kid's bedroom to living room gallery wall. As a bonus, a portion of all proceeds benefit Ruby's Rainbow, a charity who supports adults with Down syndrome seeking higher education.
If dad's been grumbling about toting around a purse-like diaper bag or (more likely) stuffing his jacket pocket with a diaper, some wipes and prayer, maybe it's time he gets an adventure-ready bag of his own. Founded by a stay-at-home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, this premium backpack is ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.
Designed by New York City art advisor, Lara A. Björk and painted by Pauline de Roussy de Sales, these limited-edition prints feature a refreshing take on the classic ABC prints that have graced nursery walls for generations. Their contemporary art collection-themed print showcases notable references to Banksy, Warhol, Koons, Haring and others, exposing even the youngest budding artists to the colorful masters. Even better? You can buy it framed and ready to hang right out of the box.
Like a leather tote or a denim jacket, a pair of gold hoops is a wardrobe staple that can, if chosen properly, last a lifetime. This huggie-style is a personal favorite because 1. it never goes out of style, 2. it pairs with everything and 3. it's far more difficult to get yanked out by small hands than it's (sassier) bigger sister. A gift that will make them think of you everyday for years to come? Worth it.
And they're made from 14k solid gold, which unlike less expensive plated, filled or vermeil, means you don't even have to take them off to shower, swim or sleep.
When it comes to the benefits of play kitchens, it's hard to say what's more valuable—the opportunity for little ones to role play and develop useful skills or the moments of peace and quiet it buys parents. This retro-style version from Janod not only looks good (when a toy takes up more than average amounts of space, that really matters) but it features space to play on both sides which means less sibling squabbling and more moments of zen for mama.
The traditional dollhouse gets an eco-friendly and sustainable upgrade with the wooden green dollhouse from Plan Toys. With an energy-efficient design that would make any environmentalist swoon, it includes a wind turbine, a solar cell panel, electric inverter, recycling bins, a rain barrel, a biofacade, and a blind that can adjust the amount of sunlight and air circulation (along with furniture I'd like in real-house size.)
Training wheels? Forget it. Pedal-less balance bikes can't be beat when it comes to teaching kiddos to ride. Designed in Japan and stylish as all get-out, this one from iimo is made from sturdy stainless steel and built to last through multiple kids. And what looks better next to a lit up tree on Christmas morning than a fresh set of wheels?
You know what's actually priceless? A good night's sleep. For new parents, the award-winning tech-enabled SNOO bassinet provides just that. Snag it for yourself or send an SOS gift request to the giver in your life with the deepest pockets. Trust Motherly editor Conz. It's worth it.
If you've got an expectant mama in your life (or happen to be one yourself), consider this the gift of time, care and stress-relief. She can cross "pack birth bag" off her list with this pre-packed hospital bag, designed by moms for moms. It includes everything from natural toiletries and a robe to keep her cozy to a universal phone charger, and even a changing pad to keep the bag in rotation once she's got a baby in tow.
The pandemic has really brought out the camper in me—what with every other form of summer vacationing off the list—and along with it, a newfound obsession with camping blankets. A standout in the market, Rumpl blankets are my personal fave.
They're light, packable, and super warm even on chilly nights. And even though I'm not quite into camping enough to do it now that it's below 60 degrees (listen, I have nothing to prove) I am all about socially-distanced outdoor hangs around the fire pit in the backyard all bundled up. This awesome collab will help preserve my standard (very flammable) nylon Rumpl since it's made with fire-resistant fabric on one side.
There's always room for more jewelry when you're talking about splurge-worthy gifts. We love these earrings because they satisfy three different types of earring-wearers: 1) Those who love studs 2) Those who love hoops and 3) Those who love diamonds. This dainty but durable set is made with 18K gold and comes in either yellow or rose gold and has a .12 carat diamond, just enough for some extra shine but not too much that this couldn't be your favorite everyday earring. They're classic yet modern enough that they can be gifted to any age—from your grandmother to your best friend to even yourself.
Speaking of fire pits, seeing as we're going to be spending a lot of time around one in Vermont this winter (socially-distanced hangs are really bringing out the camper and Scandinavian in us) I spent the end of summer hunting for just the right model. We live in a suburban area, so a giant bonfire is frowned upon.
Enter the Solo Stove. I'm always so blown away by a product that takes something I never thought to improve and makes it a million times better. It keeps the smoke to a minimum, burns super efficiently, and leaves next to no ash to clean up. It's an incredible gift for the family that has everything and wants to spend a little more time outside even as the temperature drops.
Classic for a reason, this French powerhouse has been a kitchen staple for nearly a century. Sure, this thing costs more than your average car payment, but when you divide that over the cost of use, it's legit pennies. (I might not even be joking when I say it's itemized in our will.)
The 5.5 quart is the top selling size and I don't think a day goes by that we don't use it. It goes from stove top to oven like a champ housing everything from soup to stews to pasta bakes and looks gorgeous while doing it.
At the beginning of the summer I was fixated on getting a Vitamix. "Look. It can make everything from smoothies, to soups, to nut butters and hummus. And I will perfect my frozen cocktail game in light of not being able to go out to fun restaurants," I plead, trying to convince my partner it was worth the price. "Eh, it's just going to be one more thing on the counter that no one ever uses," he responded. But guess what? Sure, maybe I've worked just to prove him wrong ("I told you so" is kind of my religion.) But I'm not kidding when I say that thing has paid for itself three times over in the months since. This model doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but it's powerful, fits under the counter, and I'll be making frozen mojitos in it for years to come.
For those who are not super chefs but want to get a little out of their comfort zone, a Thermomix is a great start in the kitchen. Sure, it's expensive but it's everything you need in one. In fact, it's 24 culinary functions and techniques all in one appliance. From boiling the perfect egg to sous-vide the most delicious steak, the Thermomix has your back.
Remember public playgrounds? Those were the days, huh? Never fear. You can bring the adventurous climbing shenanigans right to your backyard with this super cool dome. It offers limitless ways to play (throw a parachute over it and you've got a fort!) and if my kid is any indication, keeps its interest far longer than your standard swing set.
This internet sensation sells outs so fast that now to get a Nugget you need to join a lotto. No, really. However, those who have one swear by how much fun kids have with it and all the things you can do (like using as a couch for story time before bed to making forts when it's too cold to play outside).
A girlfriend recently commented on my glowiness and I totally didn't give up my secret so that I can get her this set before she buys it for herself. Primally Pure's oils and masks are as indulgent as they are effective and the stone rollers have ridges that in my opinion make them perform better than their smooth counterparts. I love the thought of helping a friend not only discover products but a whole regimen that makes her feel as gorgeous and glowy as she is.
Want more gift guide inspiration? We've got you covered. Check out all of our 2020 Gift Guides here.
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