Gift guides for all the women on your list (and maybe even you!) with ideas from pillows to pens- all tried-and-true items that will be used and loved.
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Looking for the perfect gifts for the women on your list? Every year for the holiday season I like to look back at the year and choose the things I’ve discovered, used, and loved that would make good gifts and put them together in an easy to use list for you.
While it would be fun to make a gift guide of things that look great and I think I would like, I prefer to recommend only what I’ve had experience with so you can be sure AOC’s gift guides are truly only tried-and-true items, many that I use everyday! (Brian’s is the same – the Men’s Gift Guides hold his best discoveries, too.)
So if you want to give things that are useful, beautiful, and – maybe most important – budget-friendly, this list is for you.
Favorite Things Gift Guides for Women
Gold Plated Hoop Earrings – Medium size at about 2 inches diameter (they look huge in the photo above – they aren’t that big), these are just about a perfect size, not too big and not too small.
Mini Travel Umbrella with 8-ribs. A must for anyone who travels – or just wants to be able to keep a small umbrella in a purse – this model is surprisingly sturdy for the size.
H&M Scented Candles. These make a good stocking stuffer, teacher, or hostess gift. H&M Home has fun styles like the one pictured at decent prices.
Cashmere Sweaters– Macy’s Cashmere Turtleneck, With prices coming down for cashmere, it’s possible to gift something this special. Last year I found a crewneck cashmere at J. Crew Factory for about $40 after discounts, but I see they aren’t offering them this year. A quick search showed Macy’s Charter Club Cashmere sweaters with good reviews and regular sales (at this writing, $40!). I bought the turtleneck above to add to my collection!
Passport Travel Holder. I didn’t really think I’d need this, but after feeling like my passport was on display while waiting in a long line this last trip while trying to keep my other ID and ticket organized, I bought this as soon as we got home. The look and quality is really nice and would make a stocking stuffer for travelers in your family (Tip: this and the next item aren’t just for women).
Travel Clothesline. I surprisingly had to do a bit of research into a travel clothesline! I needed one to be compact enough to fit into my carryon only, so that eliminated those with clothespins. This is one of those lines you untwist to put a corner of your clothing in and it tightens to hold it. It works perfectly and fit into just a corner of my suitcase.
Stoneware Spoon Rest From Hearth & Hand. I just love this – and it’s so cheap! It would make a good stocking stuffer or you could combine it with a spoon or as part of a coffee basket (we use ours in our coffee area to hold our spoons after stirring in milk).
Fabric/Sweater Shaver. After going through a number of cheaper ones through the years that didn’t work or didn’t last, this only slightly more expensive shaver finally does the job. No more pills on sweaters. Anyone you know who wears sweaters and doesn’t have one – male or female – could use it.
Leather Look Tree Notebook. This looks so special – everyone who sees it comments on it – you’d never guess it’s inexpensive. I keep this out on my nightstand to use each morning – no need to hide something this pretty. It does have a pen holder on the side, so why not add a fun gel pen to go with it?
Double Ended Make Up Tools. This set was recommended in a travel group as a way to pare down what you need to bring in your toiletry bag. They did do that and I use them when traveling, but I also use them everyday. Why not pare down everywhere?
Travelon Anti-Theft Messenger Bag. For anyone who travels or sight sees anywhere and needs a compact cross-body bag that can actually hold a LOT of stuff. Really – like a full size water bottle inside, along with other things you need.
Born a Crime, Trevor Noah. Completely fascinating look into a different world, really, as Noah grew up in apartheid South Africa. Wild child does not come close to describing him! The only thing I wished about this book was to learn more about his journey to becoming a successful comedian given the lack of opportunity in this story. Hopefully that will be a next book!
The Man in the Window, Jon Cohen. Sweet, sweet, sweet. The characters, the sentiment, the two lost souls who find each other – when you know someone who likes feel-good books, choose this.
Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, Samin Nosrat. Both a cookbook and cooking primer, I think this would be a great book for both new cooks and experienced cooks. I’ve been cooking for many years and got some great information on the hows and whys of cooking. I found the recipes to be very approachable, thankfully, with basics and how to build from them.
Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein. Brian and I both loved this book that we listened on audio, but I will say right out that it has some hard scenes (not graphic, just tense as a character is undergoing interrogation), but you only hear about them in a letter-journal form. It also doesn’t have the happiest of endings. BUT, if you know someone who enjoys a very well written, engrossing story that celebrates friendship and loyalty, has a bit of mystery and a twist, and is set in WWII, I highly recommend this.
Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman. Both adults and older teens will be taken in by Elinor Oliphant. A character that we eventually realize probably lives somewhere on the autism spectrum, we get to see how she has friendship thrust on her and how it changes her life. Simply lovely.
Daisy Jones & The Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid. I wasn’t prepared to like this book as much as I did. I thought it would be too gritty and graphic, set as it is in the 1970s rock-and-roll scene. But with it’s journalistic, interview format, you only hear stories without the details that typically make me cringe. So this is a good “beach read” kind of book for anyone from older teens through mature *cough* women.
Previous Guide (Updated!)
1. Cotton Linen Arrow Throw Pillow (cover only, so you can add this feather pillow insert with downproof stitching to prevent feathers sticking out (biggest issue with feather pillows, but they are the best for refluffing and looking good for years).
2. She Reads Truth: Holding Tight to Permanent in a World That’s Passing Away – such a great reminder for us in our current cultural climate, as well as any personal circumstances we find ourselves in.
3. Women’s Genuine Leather Tote Handbag (bag pictured isn’t available anymore, the link is to a similar bag). I carry my computer and small purse in this when we travel and for our weekly coffee work dates and it’s held up so well – in fact it looks just the same as when I bought it months ago. And you won’t believe how affordable it is!!
4. Canvas Leather Travel Duffel Shoulder Bag – probably my favorite thing from last year, it’s so cool, I get compliments on this all the time. (Tip: works for both guys and girls!)
5. Filofax A5 Organizer, Domino Black – I’ve jumped on the Filofax bandwagon, though I’ve customized it with my own Flexible Planner. (In fact, you can see how I do that here). I love how well-made this is and the size.
6. Breathable Gardening Gloves with Waterproof Palm – for the gardener on your list (the gloves pictured aren’t available, but I linked to an even better deal – 6 pairs at about $2/pair!). Stock them up with gloves or parse them out for stocking stuffers – and keep the extra for you!
7. The bluetooth wireless headset pictured isn’t available anymore and I ended up not liking it as much, so I’m not recommending it. While they’re more expensive, I’ve been using and LOVING the Apple AirPods I got which I just think are amazing. Brian likes this less expensive option which is more noise cancelling.
8. Tech Armor Anti-Glare/Anti-Fingerprint Screen Protector for Apple iPad 4TH Gen/iPad 3,iPad
Allows you to take it outside and read with no glare!
9. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Shimmer, Fig– just the best subtle color with a bit of shine and fun minty flavor. Still my go-to lip balm/color you can find in my purse and my daughter’s purse!
10. Tombow Dual Brush Pen Art Markers – I’m working on lettering and these pens make it fun.
11. Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens, Set of All 4 Pen Styles in Black – all the styles you need for lettering in one handy package. These are so smooth to write with.
12. Leuchtturm 1917 Notebook A5 Hardcover Dotted Medium Black – you know how people talk about the quality and paper weight of Leuchtturms? It’s all true – I love it and plan to share how I’m using it soon.
Want even more ideas? Check out this updated Gift Guide for the Whole Family!
Stay tuned for the gift guides for men and kids soon as part of the 8 Weeks of Christmas Ideas series (though all these gifts are good any time of the year, too!).
Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links and by clicking on them you help support AOC at no extra cost to you – thanks so much! Plus you can trust I’ll only share what I love. (You can always read our entire disclosure page here.)
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