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Welcome to Add To Cart, a rundown of our editors’ most loved and used products. Discover what we’re using, wearing, applying, cooking, eating, and drinking this month!
Shaking things up for a special holiday edition of Add To Cart, we asked our editorial team to share the best gifts they’ve ever given or received, plus the products they’re gifting to loved ones this December. Whether you’re frantically searching for a memorable gift with a proven track record or simply snooping for more on your editor of choice, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for below.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever given or received?
“One year my dad got my husband and I travel toiletry kits (knowing we travel often). He’d filled each one with minis of our favorite toiletries and had them embroidered with our initials. It was thoughtful and practical, and we still use them at least once a month!” -Kaleigh Moore
“I love making custom photo books for friends and family. Most of us look at pictures solely on our phones now, so a hardbound album that you can actually flip through is always a crowd-pleaser. Artifact Uprising and Milk Books make the most high-quality, elegant-looking memory books!” -Tiffany Tse
“The best gifts I’ve both given and received are used books, records, or magazines. There is nothing better than a well-loved text your loved one can pore over and cherish, and even display on their coffee table (bonus points if truly vintage or out of print, extra bonus points if it’s speckled with your own annotations and notes). The process of selecting this type of gift is doubly delightful, and a gift in itself: allow for ample time to browse your favorite used bookstore, and look through the aisles with an eye for the authors, topics, or music your loved one might adore.” -Zoë Brown
“The best gift I’ve ever given has been a collection of letters. As we wrote about in our Joy of Gifting introduction, what we crave from a gift is the sensation of being understood. Knowing that the giftee withdrew when they were struggling, I wrote a box full of letters to them for hard situations they might encounter (“open when you’ve had a bad day at work…”) so they knew I was there for them even if they felt alone. It sounds corny, but it fit. If you also opt for words of affirmation on occasion, I love Pep Talk Paper Co. for being an uplifting subscription of happy cards, Papier for having striking stationery, and — if you want them to have a more tangible reminder of your care — this lovely gold envelope necklace with a personalized note inside.” -Grace Smith
“Just before my 25th birthday, I made a new friend and told them a story of an Uber driver that offered me a “candy” but when I accepted, he handed me a cough drop (long story). Days later, as one of the only people to show up for my last-minute party, my new friend gifted me a mason jar full of cough drops and butterfingers. It turns out, he was also a balloon artist and had assembled an amazing (and giant) balloon bouquet! It was something so small but so thoughtful. I still have the candy jar to this day and hope to never forget that it truly is ‘the thought that counts.’” -Kristen Jones
“A ring with my daughter's birthstone, which I’ll wear forever and is the perfect heirloom to pass down to her when she’s older. My mom is also a seamstress and I love picking out sweet fabrics and asking her to make matching outfits for my girls!” -Jenni Stein
“A few years ago during the holidays, I was gifted a Fujifilm printer that prints polaroids directly from your phone. I’ve always been that person at birthdays or dinners, making everyone wait before eating their food (I’m sorry!) – running around frantically trying to find my phone so I could take a picture. What made it extra special? The person who had given me this gift had already printed out a few pictures of our favorite moments together! It was super sweet and thoughtful and something I still use all the time.” -Lillie Sun
“The best gift I have ever been given was my great grandmother’s wedding band gifted to me by my mother. She received it from her mother as a gift when she was sixteen years old, and I look forward to one day continuing the tradition of passing the stunning eternity band down to the next generation.” -Sarah Waldrop
“The best gifts, aside from my children and dog, have been travel experiences as a family. One of our favorites is Peaks n Swells Surf Camp in Costa Rica. Beyond phenomenal surf coaching, we enjoyed leisurely afternoons and fresh, local food at every meal.” -Christine Morrison
What are you gifting to loved ones this holiday season?
“I’m giving everyone a Workrobe! It’s a relevant gift as so many friends are still working remotely or shifting to a hybrid model. These ultra-comfy robes trick everyone on Zoom into thinking you’re wearing a polished, work-appropriate outfit (think: a professional button-down with a plush fleece lining that’s soft enough to sleep in).” -Tiffany Tse
“This holiday season, my gifts are incidentally thematic: all are botanical! I love sending tinctures, herbal remedies, and other medicinal decoctions that express care for the well-being of my loved ones -- the greatest gift of all is good health and happiness :) I’m loving the tinctures from 69herbs, a New-York based apothecary that crafts each blend by hand with 100% organic plants, sourced sustainably and regionally. I also love Alexis Smart Flower Remedies, which I’ve taken myself for years, and are one of my go-to gifts to spread the wealth of health. I like to pair these with a bouquet -- either from my local florist or hand-picked.” -Zoë Brown
“I’ve fallen truly, madly, deeply in love with MadeTrade — an ethical marketplace that has local, artisan-crafted, sustainable goods (and many of our favorite brands!). It’s elevated and curated, but friendly and feel-good in a mix that’s tricky to nail. I am genuinely so impressed by their authentic stories and values, as well as their taste. I plan on gifting an earthy-chic set of water buffalo horn earrings to girl friends, that are a by-product of waste rather than poaching. My other picks? My SIJO linen sheets (a go-to amongst the editors) which put me close to tears every night, and the upcycled glass tumbler set crafted from Topo Chico bottles that I still regularly get DMs about. I also have a major crush on these floral-embedded candles — be still, my aesthetic heart — and may stock up for future gifting. It’s such an extra, peaceful bonus this Christmas season that my (beautiful) buys have contributed to the greater good and supported small.” -Grace Smith
“This year, I am excited to gift something different and meaningful to my partner and I’s parents. We’ll be pre-loading Aura’s Mason Luxe Frame with our favorite photos from the past few years and shipping them off. Once the frames are connected to WiFi in their homes, we’ll be able to keep the album updated with new photos and life milestones from a distance. I’ll also be gifting Legend’s Luka Shorts to our brothers (huge hit last year), Saie’s Sunvisor to our sisters (my favorite minimalist routine), and Slumberkins to the kiddos in our family.” -Kristen Jones
“A few things I’m gifting this year - this set of pretty glassware (great for water, wine, cocktails or iced coffee), matching LAKE pajamas for the family, Everlane’s ReNew liner in the ever-popular olive green hue, silk pillowcases from Lunya (plus this silk crib sheet for the babes), this coffee table book which features a curated selection of toddler art, Baddle’s Pro Circuit Pickleball paddles which are the ideal gift for those looking to get fit - or just have fun - in the new year, and this gorgeous outdoor doormat from Heymat.” -Jenni Stein
“My go-to gifts this year: a luxurious refillable candle for my best friend who loves all things sustainability, the Essential Knife Set from Misen for my college roommate who just got her new apartment, this super soft and fun cardigan, and these 2lb Bala Bangles for my work secret santa who loves her pilates.” -Lillie Sun
“Gift giving and quality time are my two most prominent love languages, which naturally makes the holidays truly my favorite time of year. This holiday season, my go-to gifts are personal and practical. For my siblings, I am gifting them a leather Airpod Pro case from Shinola that easily attaches to a keychain, bag or even belt loop. My friends (spoiler alert) will be getting an Italic x Jasper HIll Farm cheese tasting box. This is the perfect gift to give those you love the opportunity to have quality time with the ones they love this holiday.” -Sarah Waldrop