By Kara Mason

17 Thoughtful Christmas Gifts for Friends Who Got You Through the Year


Gifts the people you love will love.

There are few people I love shopping for more than my friends. 

I always feel like the people I confide in deserve something a little extra special. Although they can be difficult to shop for (because I want them to love their gift, and I also kind of want to keep it for myself) it’s typically some of the most rewarding gifts to give. Whether your friend group is tight-knit or you live far away from each other, these gifts will let them know how much they mean to you every day.

(See all of our gift guides here to find a gift for everyone on your list!)

1. Intention Candles

You can take a deep breath and give the gift of relaxation this season with these Intention Candles. Everybody deserves a little mindfulness. These candles feature the perfect combination of essential oils and an affirmation. Crafted by Colorado artisan Kim Sorden, these candles guide you through an affirmation of meditation, self love or well-being. 

2. A Poolside Stay-cation

Book your bestie some serious self-care. Resort Pass allows you to book a cabana or spot by some fabulous resorts, but you don’t have to stay the night. It makes a stay-cation feel a little bit more exotic. Passes start at about $25 and give you access to locker rooms, pools, and other areas of the hotel typically reserved for guests. The site also features spa passes that give access to amenities plus discounts on spa services.

3. A Cocktail Kit

For the friend who is always convincing you to grab a drink at a new chic bar they’ve discovered. A cocktail kit is a sure way to get them experimenting and mixing their own cocktails. An old fashioned? A martini? They’ll be able to make it all.

4. Gratitude Journal

Help your friend celebrate the little things with a Gratitude Journal from Ink+Volt. Science proves that a gratitude practice contributes to happiness, so gift a little joy this holiday season that will last all year. This journal features 60 blank daily entries and 10 weekly challenges to get them started. 

5. Getaway Travel Pillow

Traveling in style is sometimes hard to do, but somehow for so many of us it’s our happy place. This Ban.do travel pillow makes trips, whether by train, plane or automobile, comfy and cute. 

6. Charging Hub

A charging hub for the tech-y friend who is super connected. The elago charging station can keep phones, Apple Watches and earpods all in one place and at full battery. 

7. Mario Badesco Must-Haves

Whether your friend is a skincare maven or dipping their toes into a new routine, Mario Badesco’s holiday collection of must-haves is a gift sure to please. Each product in the set is travel size, so they won’t have to think twice about taking them on the go.

8. The Mixology of Astrology Recipe Book

Is your friend a fiery French 75 Leo or a cool-as-a-piña colada Pisces? Either way, this book is for them. With drink recipes for every occasion, The Mixology of Astrology is pretty much written in the stars for everybody on your gift list. 

9. Today Notepad

What would we do without the super-organized friend who always has a plan? Get them the Ink+Volt Today Notepad that helps sum up a busy day. There’s a space for taking notes and keeping track of how the day went: impressive or you did your best? Either way, it’s a small expression of gratitude for all that they do each day.

10. A Rechargeable Bluetooth Speaker Water Bottle

What do you get the friend who has everything? A rechargeable bluetooth speaker that’s also a water bottle. It keeps drinks hot or cold and keeps the music playing. It’s perfect for hikes or workouts or days by lounging by the pool. 

11. Weekender Bag

For the friend who’s always on the go and always seems to have her bags packed or a trip planned! Gift a weekender bag, like this canvas option from Amazon that comes in four prints that are sure to go with anything in her closet. 

12. Happy Girls Yoga Mat

A really good yoga mat can make a practice that much better. The Pop Flex Active mats are made of vegan suede, making them really grippy. They’re also thick, making a perfect gift for any yogi pro or bikram beginner. 

13. Where Cooking Begins Recipe Book

Is there anything better than a great (and also simple!) meal? If there is, we’ve yet to find it. Bon Appetit food director Carla Lali Music’s Where Cooking Begins has transfixed editors at Goop, The New York Times, and Forbes. The best thing about Music’s approach to this cookbook is that it’s focused around the shopping we already do. It’ll be a perfect addition to any of your friends’ kitchens. 

14. Inspirational Coloring Book

If your BFF is an overachiever who can just never seem to relax, this is the gift for her. The beautiful illustrations in this coloring book from Ink+Volt are paired with motivational words that will inspire her to be her best self, while the act of coloring will help bring calm, relaxation, and happiness into her hectic day.

15. Weighted Eye Mask

If your friend raves about their weighted blanket, it’s time to introduce them to the luxury of the weighted eye mask. Like the blankets, the eye masks invite relaxation into your slumber. The Therapedic Weighted Eye Mask weighs about a half-pound, so it’ll provide just enough pressure to be uber-comfy, but not so heavy it’s annoying.

16. Modern Life Tarot Card Set

Even the friends who seem to have all the answers need some guidance from the universe every now and again. Gift them How to Deal: Tarot for Everyday Life to get them started with a deck and book that is a great beginner’s guide into the world of tarot readings.   

17. The Art of Feminism

For your friend who's at every rally, gift The Art of Feminism, which features more than 350 images since the 19th century and the beginning of the women’s movement. Dating back to 1857, this photo book showcases the vibrancy of the movement. The perfect gift for anybody in your squad.