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Each year it’s the same story — you have every intention of giving the most thoughtful holiday gifts, and even start brainstorming early. But then December happens: the holiday parties, the volunteering (check out last week’s feel-good note for ideas on how you can make a difference!), the baking and cooking, not to mention the scrambling to finish up work projects before your vacation days start.   

It’s equal parts fun and overwhelming, and if you’re like us, you end up making a mad dash to the mall in hopes of finding sentimental last-minute gifts (inevitably, though, everyone ends up getting candles or sweaters) or spend way too many hours in an internet vortex the day before the shipping deadline hits. 

This year, we’ve got your back, Savvy. No more frantic searches and no more sweaters or candles (though we admit, we do love both). Discover these truly meaningful gift ideas that we know your family and friends will love. You may even want to treat yourself to them too! 

For your stressed out sister … It’s been a tense fall (hello midterm elections!). To help your sister unwind, enter: the VicTsing Cool Mist Diffuser and Humidifier, $29; she can pour in her favorite calming essential oil and feel the ahhhh.

For your friend who loves both adventures and wine … Everyone has that go-to buddy, who’s always down for a picnic in the park or a road trip somewhere fun. Toast her with the BruMate Uncork’d Insulated Stainless Steel Wine Glass, $20, which make sipping vino outside easy.

For your mom who loves coffee more than anything (well, except for you) … Why get her one type of beans when she can try four yummy varieties (from Seattle’s top small-batch roasters) with the Bean Box Coffee Sampler, $26.

For your significant other, who said he doesn’t want anything … Fill the Umbra Gridart 4 by 4 Frame, $28, with pictures of the two of you — from your early relationship days to your most recent travels. It’ll take a little extra work, but you’ll get serious “meaningful gift” points.

For your dad who loves to grill, no matter the season … He likely has all the tools he needs except for maybe this — the Weston Hamburger Press, $14, which forms perfect patties — and stuffed burgers — he will surely be proud of.

For the wanderlust in your life … The Zomake Ultra Lightweight Backpack, $16, is waterproof and fits in a tiny pouch, making it a perfect travel companion for a friend who likes camping in the mountains or strolling the canals of Venice.

For the chef in your group (or the one who wants to start cooking) … Get her the must-own cookbook, Smitten Kitchen Everyday: Triumphant and Fussy New Favorites, $23. It’s filled with easy, scrumptious recipes that anyone can pull off.

For your grandma or aunt, who always sends the best handwritten notes … She’ll really appreciate the Thoughtful Stationary Box, $20, which comes with sweet cards, like one that shows a bicycle along with the words, “I Wheelie Miss You.”

For your friend who loves to sleep in — or go to bed early … There’s nothing worse than bright lights seeping into your room when you’re trying to snooze. So your buddy who likes to get her zzz’s will love this Breakfast at Tiffany’s Eye Mask, $14, that’s both adorable and useful.

For those who like a sweet treat, plus a gift that gives back … Really, this could work for everyone on your list. Because nothing says meaning more than a charitable gift, and with the Alessi “Big Love” (RED) Ice Cream Bowl Set, $65, part of the proceeds go to the fight against AIDS.

For your favorite coworker, aka your work wife … Does your coworker always walk into meetings clutching the best notebooks? Keep her well supplied with these beautiful Rifle Paper Co. Botanical Notebooks, $13. The best part: It comes as a set of three, so you can potentially keep one for yourself!

To making spirits bright this season! 

 

Quote du jour

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” — William Arthur Ward

 

Savvy Tip

Already feeling the sugar high of the holidays? We’re loving these simple, yummy 4-ingredient banana cookies with no added sugar (worry not: you’ll still get a hit of sweetness from the banana and dark chocolate chips).

To make: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix one cup of mashed banana with 2 cups rolled oats, ½ cup dark chocolate chips and ¼ teaspoon salt. Form into balls (about 15) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Cook for 10 minutes, let cool, then indulge!

 

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