The Medlare Presents: Holiday Gift Guide

Even though S and I have devolved into gifting each other things we need to buy for the household (i.e. a vacuum), the holiday season has always been a fun time to channel my inner Veronica Mars and detect the best personalized gift ideas. While I think many products from Medlare-reviewed companies would make great presents, I also tend to be really picky (some may say annoying) as a gift recipient. Rather than physical items, I tend to favor experiences and fun activities over clothing or accessories. Without further ado, here are some Medlare approved ideas:

For the Explorer

Dinner at Liholiho Yacht Club

Dinner at Liholiho Yacht Club

  • Fancy Meal: S and I have been lucky to live in places with awesome noms, and we love to try out different restaurants when we go out. My go-to guides in search of food ideas are Infatuation, Thrillist, and Eater. For your best foodie - pick up a gift certificate, make a reservation,  or snag a cookbook from their favorite chef.

  • New hobby: I can’t think of a better way to spread cheer, than to commit your recipient to an activity you have to do together. You can cheat a little bit here, and pick something you’re interested in, that way it seems like a gift but really it’s all about yourself. While golf lessons and scuba diving certification made me seem like a cool girlfriend to S, I secretly just wanted to partake in those things myself. Some other thoughtful quality time induced activities for a lucky friend or family member are cooking classes, beginner’s knitting, or pottery exploration. Maybe that lucky someone wants to learn from the best, scour Masterclass to gift dystopian feminist literature skills with Margaret Atwood or crush a tennis match with Serena Williams

Carneros Resort

Carneros Resort

  • Staycation: sometimes it’s nice to get away without having to go through all the pains of TSA security and lugging around a suitcase. A night in a local hotel or B&B can be a fun escape. Sites like HotelTonight, let you snag unsold rooms within the week at a discount. I also like to sign up for my favorite boutique hotel email lists to get a head’s up when they’re running a deal. If hotels aren’t your thing, Hipcamp has a lot of location based listings to help you plan for the great outdoors. For more travel tips, check out the new Travel section on the blog (shameless plug alert!).

For the Health Fiend

  • Rejuvenation: if your recipient is always on the go and in need of some self-care, consider a:

    • Soothe massage: where the masseuses come to your specified location

    • Heyday facial (NYC & LA only): this is my plea to Heyday to expand nationally (specifically to SF). I loved getting my skin’s hydration levels reset each season through their convenient online booking and Drybar-esq stores  

    • Yogaglo membership: for $18/month, access to countless classes and workshops helps offset my crankiness of conflicting schedules with my favorite yoga instructors

    • Aaptiv membership: looking for more variety than yoga? Aaptiv hosts curated workouts from popular fitness instructors for $8.33/month   

    • Headspace subscription: for as little as $7.99/month,  give the gift of practiced mindfulness

For the Clean Freak

  • iRobot Roomba: I really don’t have anything else to add to this section. But I wanted to troll S for his obsessive love for this little (but expensive) vacuum (thank you wedding registry + Black Friday!). I also need a PSA on whether one is supposed to run their Roomba on a daily basis. When I get home from work, S is thrilled to show me how much dog hair the robot scooped up that day, so you have a lot of things to look forward too with this fun gadget.

For that Special Someone

  • Jewelry: some of my favorites this year include Mejuri’s signet ring, Vrai & Oro’s lightweight hoop earrings, and initial necklaces from AUrate. For more on sparkly things, check out the Minimalist Jewelry guide.

  • Captures: maybe your secret Santa ran a marathon or graduated from school this year. Framebridge can both museum-ify 3D items and frame your brother’s diploma. Have pages of pictures you want to gift? Try Artifact Uprising and their sleek lay flat albums.

  • Plants: there is no better gift than the gift of life. Plants not only help oxygenate your recipient’s habitat but also add lovely green creatures to the list of the things your friends will need to remember to take care of. For easy delivery options, try the Sill or Leaf & Lolo.

For the Homebody

  • Boardgames are an easy white elephant gift and also a spectacular way to convince your friends to trek to your place during the winter months. For the strategic group, Catan can eat away a few hours at a time as well as through your friendships. S and I were recommended the collaborative game Pandemic after someone witnessed us competing to hoard ore and wheat. If you’re feeling goofy, Codenames can keep that holiday cheer going. For more serious gamers, check Ding & Dent’s podcast

  • Gift cards to grocery and food delivery services like Seamless, Grubhub, and Instacart. You can help your bestie deflect human interaction and hide that 3rd consecutive ramen and chocolate cake order

  • Subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. Did you know Killing Eve is now available on Hulu? What better gift than to cozy up on a Saturday night with your favorite psychopath

For when you run out of time

  • Have a bibliophile on your hands? Sneak a peek at their book club list of readings for 2019 and pick off some of the texts; be their Hermione and snap up all their bookworm needs for the year

  • Back a Kickstarter such as Who’s She, for that pal who always wants to have the jump on what will be fly in three months  

  • Taylor Swift may be done with her Reputation tour, but check Songkick and Bandsintown for other artist’s upcoming concert dates to jam out to

  • NYMags’s Strategist guides for more holiday resources

If all else fails, grab a bottle of their favorite booze or kombucha and call it a day. The holidays can be stressful for various reasons, but I hope you find time to unwind and enjoy the season.

Cheers and happy meddling!


*Note: I’m not making money from the linked items above. Instead, if you do find this post or blog useful, I would be grateful if you could please help spread your Medlare appreciation by getting your friends and family to sign-up for the newsletter and/or follow us on Instagram. Thank you!