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Janika's 30 Elegant Gifts for the Holidays

- Written by Janika LeMaitre -


Every year you may come across the dilemma of choosing an appropriate and highly coveted gift. Perhaps rushing to check every top gift recommendation that Google has to offer. And when the time comes, it can be a daunting task! Allow me to help you choose pieces wisely so you can check off your gifting list quickly for clients, colleagues, friends, or perhaps family. My list below is curated for all types of people, ranging from $67 to $500.

Drumroll, please........... Starting at number one:

Still at my top spot is building a box with Box Fox. This service allows you to create your own elegantly themed gift box tailored to the likes of your gift recipient. Appropriate for someone who may like opening lots of small surprises and, you may spend as little or as much as you like.

Gift baskets by Stonewall Kitchen are often warmly welcomed, especially by a New England hostess/host. The assortment includes their popular Hot Pepper Jelly, Honey Mustard Dip, Dipping Pretzels, and my personal favorite, Ultimate Spicy Bar Mix. Who could want more?

Tech gifts are often a sure thing for most generations. Especially ones you can travel with and that connect to Bluetooth. But, SoundLink also has a stylish design. It's portable, classy, and the perfect size for travel.

If you know someone who is an avid tea drinker, this is the type of gift that would be graciously received. The gift box provides a selection of over 40 flavors that are caffeine-free and nicely presented in their signature pyramid boxes.

An incredibly thoughtful idea for the world traveler, interior design-savvy, or a stylish dresser. Coffee table books are not usually purchased by oneself but are usually a welcomed gift.

If you really want to make an impression on a chocolate fanatic, this is the perfect gift. It's certainly for someone who likes European-style chocolate. However, there are many types of gift sets available at all price points. This box happens to be a super special treat for the holidays!

Polaroid's brilliant high-tech product release allows your gift recipient to print their digital pictures on polaroid style film. There's something to be said for published photos; memories in physical form. So why not give a nostalgic gift with a modern twist to help people organize their favorite pictures?

Making it to this year's list again is Sugarfina for there are candy-obsessed people everywhere! Select a mix of candy and chocolate with a childlike or adult theme. These boxes are beautifully presented in Robin's egg blue box and you can easily spend as much or as little as you please.

A highly appropriate gift for the wine connoisseur. If you'd like to really WOW someone, this device helps to seal out oxygen from the wine bottle to ensure it doesn't go bad, should they not be able to finish the whole bottle.

Whoever you know maybe into Italian food and perhaps are also a fan of Stanley Tucci, this collection of cookbooks is a great pair to give.

Reed diffusers make wonderful gifts for a hostess/host! This particular scent has a luxurious feel and it's an accessory for the home which can be placed in any room.

Regardless of which city your gift recipient may live, there may be a museum that caters to their taste. I suggest the Museum of Fine Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts. The MFA boasts the most extensive collection of Dutch Masters and Egyptian artifacts in the United States, while the PEM recently expanded its property to showcase the incredible Asian artifacts that have been archived and continuously have fantastic exhibits. Such as Iris Apfel's wardrobe, which she generously donated to the PEM a few years ago.

Regardless of age or gender, this gift is cool for someone you know who likes music, and tech and appreciates great sound. One can always use an extra pair of earbuds and these are a great price point at under $100.

If you want to show appreciation for the epicurean at-home chef or discerning self-proclaimed food critic, then this olive oil and vinegar sampler/tasting kit is a great idea. It's also a good gift item for someone you may not get along with or who celebrates a different holiday to you due to religious purposes.

Going that extra step to create personalized stationery with the gift recipient's name provides an understated and sophisticated feel to an otherwise ordinary item. A wonderful idea to give someone who adores high-end stationery or sends notes through the mail.

Do you know a history buff? Look no further. Referencing pivotal points in history while providing fascinating visuals, this coffee table book will get their attention and keep it for a while.

Making my list again, for my husband, and our staff has each found this tech gift remarkably helpful. It also allows the gift recipient to note take without using a lot of paper or building collections of handwritten notebooks. I am personally a big fan.

If you know someone that adores Paris, has an affinity for chocolate, and perhaps even has followed the life of Gabrielle Chanel–in other words, a fashion enthusiast–then this is absolutely the right gift with a fabulous story to tell. Read about the Angelina story here.

Do you know someone constantly searching for the spiciest hot sauce? Perhaps they like to attend chili festivals? Making their own version of hot sauce could be just the ticket to tapping into their inner desires. Plus, they can label their creations with exciting names.

Classic!!! Appropriate for those who are established professionals, regardless of age or gender. This is an elegant present and one that would be passed on to the next generation.

Two years ago, I enjoyed racing Porsches around the New Hampshire Motor Speedway; I can't wait to go back. If you know someone obsessed with supercars, racing around a track closest to your location in the US will be an exhilarating experience for them and one they will certainly remember.

What's wonderful about charity is that so many around the world help with specific needs. If you know that your gift recipient has a giving nature, consider finding out which cause or charity speaks to them most and make a donation in honor of them. Some people have everything they need; give them something that will warm their hearts.

This makes my list again for the financially savvy person who will treasure this subscription, especially if they're into the stock market and want to stay in the know.

Crafted in Solingen, Germany, Wüsthof knives are one kitchen-related gift that I can suggest, especially if you know your gift recipient enjoys cooking. As large and as bulky it may be, a present like this is considered a generous gift and will not be forgotten for years to come. *Before giving this gift, check the ethnic background of your recipient, for example, in Chinese culture giving knives is symbolic of cutting ties with your business relationship.

There's a new take on flowers: Dried bouquets! This selection is a vibrant choice filled with deep rich colors. The flowers are expected to last for a long time due to the meticulous drying process. I highly suggest getting a vase delivered along with them. *When delivering flowers to anyone, good etiquette dictates that you always send or give flowers in a vase. This takes the extra work away from the recipient, who will place them effortlessly where they like.

A sophisticated gift for any woman who you feel enjoys wearing elegant things. This can be worn around the neck, head, waist, or even as an accessory on a handbag. *If you notice that the person is bolder with the colors they wear, think about getting a brighter color choice.

An Hermès tie is a recommended choice for even the most discerning. Generally a well-regarded corporate or office gift, it's often an item that many people wouldn't normally buy for themselves and consider a 'luxury' gift. Which is perfect if you're looking for something classic and timeless.

Tatte is a French Style bistro/café predominantly found in New England. They have a variety of gift boxes, but this one has a variety of treats that caters to many tastes. It's also presented beautifully in their classic white box with a black ribbon. A no-brainer gift item for people who enjoy sweets.

Many people I know are wine lovers, and this wine sampling box includes a variety of reds and whites, which help cover a lot of grape bases. It's an optimal gift when you don't know what type of wine the gift recipient prefers.

And for my final choice, the Chelsea Clock which consistently makes my list, for this is a classic corporate New England gift that delivers a feeling of permanence–and is presidential worthy! In many cultures, when clocks are given as a business gift, they symbolize a professional relationship lasting for many years to come. Made in Chelsea, Massachusetts, every President, starting with President Roosevelt, has been gifted a Chelsea Clock, and they are sometimes notably placed in The Oval Office during presidential terms. See their full history here. *Ask to have it engraved on the back or add a small engraved plaque for a personalized touch. The act of engraving will take this gift to the next level.

One rule of thumb: When you're planning to give a colleague or a corporate client a gift, please check with your Human Resources department about any protocols regarding spending limits or appropriate gifting.

Lastly, and I'll say this again, when sending a present, make sure to add a personalized note card: If possible, with your stationery. Ensure that your message explains your thought process behind the gift, i.e., "I know that you love tech gadgets, and this came to mind." or "I've noticed that you appreciate chili sauce. May you enjoy using this gift over the holiday season." Your handwritten card makes for a memorable gesture, and you will be known as a thoughtful gift giver.


About the author, Janika LeMaitre

Jan is a certified etiquette advisor, specializing in personal brand strategy. Her mission is to provide life-changing soft skills for business owners and industry trail-blazers to self-manage and evolve their reputation. Jan is certified with the Protocol School of Washington® and The British School of Excellence™. In addition, she is the board president of Women's Business Group Connects, and as a second-generation Rotarian, proudly serves as a board director at the Rotary Club of Weston & Wayland.

Download your complimentary copy of Jan's "Handling Gender-Neutral Pronouns With Style" quick guide here.


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