Shopping·14 min read

Gifts for Every Life Occasion

Design: theSkimm | Photos: Venus et Fleur, Cuyana, Kinn
September 12, 2023

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There’s no better feeling than giving the perfect gift. Whether you’re celebrating someone getting a year older, watching two people you adore declare their love for one another, expressing your appreciation for all the preparation it takes to host a party, or simply saying “thank you,” we’ve got you covered.

Here you’ll find foolproof birthday gifts, wedding gifts, hosting gifts, and more that we’ve given time and time again with resounding success. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get from the delighted look on their face, coming right up.

Birthday Gifts


An initial pendant in the prettiest script font…

Kinn makes solid 14-karat gold fine jewelry meant to be passed on to future generations. Grab this script pendant for yourself and gift a matching one to a loved one for their birthday. They’ll be touched you want to twin with them. ($180, Kinn)

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A portable Bluetooth speaker that’s actually waterproof…

We have this one and want everyone we love to know how great it is. It’s one of the most portable, lightweight speakers on the market, but it doesn’t sacrifice sound quality or bass. The battery lasts for 13 hours (it literally feels like you never have to charge it), and it’s waterproof even if they drop it in a sink full of water. What more could they ask for? ($79.99+, Amazon)

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A delivery from one of the most popular cupcake shops in the country…

If you’ve ever been to Georgetown, one thing you can always count on is a line down the block for these cupcakes. You can bet they’ll love getting to sample a dozen of the most popular flavors — from carrot cake to salted caramel to red velvet — without having to wait in line on their special day. Plus, they last up to two weeks in the freezer, so the party doesn’t have to stop. ($75.95, Goldbelly)

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Wedding Gifts


A curated selection of wedding gifts that lets them pick what they want…

We don’t want to toot our own horn, but we think this is pretty clever. We partnered with Snappy to select gift choices at three different price points, so instead of the hassle of choosing a gift for them, they can choose themselves. They’ll receive a digital voucher and can choose from a variety of items, like a stainless steel ice bucket (always a solid wedding gift) and an espresso machine. ($25+, Snappy)

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A French press perfect for coffee aficionados…

If they’re the kind of couple whose primary mission in the morning is to find an expertly-brewed cup of joe, gift them a French press so they can make it at home. This Le Creuset version is so beautiful they’ll want to leave it out all the time, and it makes coffee, espresso, or cappuccino, just the way they like it. It comes in 11 colors. ($67.95+, Nordstrom)

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A weighted blanket for cuddling up on the couch…

Every newlywed couple needs to stay cozy, so a weighted blanket is just the thing. Instead of using beads or artificial fillers, this one is made of 100% or 95% organic cotton, depending on the size, and available in 15-, 20-, and 25-pound versions. It’s even washable. ($249+, Nordstrom)

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Our Place

A cast iron pan they’ll use every day…

If you want to get them something truly functional, the cast iron version of the Always Pan is a sure bet. It’s coated with gorgeous nontoxic enamel that comes in seven colors. It’ll grill, sear, fry, and saute as well as more expensive models; it’s truly a one-pan wonder they’ll thank you for years later. ($155, Our Place)

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Hosting Gifts


A selection of our favorite hosting gifts they can choose from…

Similar to our wedding gifts collection, we’ve pulled together our favorite hosting gifts to give and receive. They can choose from Aesop hand wash (who doesn’t love fancy soap?), a wireless charging tray, and more, depending on your budget. No gift receipt required here. ($25+, Snappy)

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The statement salt and pepper shakers they didn’t know they needed…

Whether they just moved into a new home or not, these salt and pepper shakers are sure to receive a warm welcome. They’re handcrafted, provide a whimsical touch to any kitchen decor, and come in different shapes and sizes, including pigs and cows. Say no more. ($68, Amazon)

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A Nest diffuser for a delicious-smelling home…

For home fragrances, Nest is simply the best. The oils are alcohol-free and last for 90 days. It comes in all your favorite scents by the brand, but we’re partial to this crisp, clean bamboo-scented one, and pumpkin chai in the fall. ($60, Amazon)

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A kitchen set handpicked by Gwyneth Paltrow…

If the Goop queen herself says it’s a good gift, we’re not asking questions. We can vouch for these scissors, which are by far prettier than any other kitchen shears we’ve ever seen, and the peeler looks just as good sitting on the counter as it does in use. The mini cutting board made of sustainable materials? Well, that’s just a bonus. ($80, Material)

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New Baby Gifts


A journal so they can remember all the important milestones…

Give mom this journal when she’s pregnant so she can remember all the wonderful moments from pregnancy, through birth, and all the way up until the baby turns 18. It has prompts like “How did you feel when you first saw your baby?” that make it easy to savor the little moments. It has a durable hard cover that comes in 14 colors. ($39.99, Amazon)

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An adorable stuffed unicorn for all ages…

Jellycat makes the softest, most huggable stuffed animals we’ve ever seen. We’ve gifted the large size of this unicorn to new babies, so as they grow up, they won’t outgrow their friend. We’re over here wondering how old is too old to buy yourself a stuffed animal. (Our answer: never too old.) ($25+, Amazon)

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A multi-name necklace to help them proudly show off their family…

They’ll be able to keep their little unit close to their heart, all at the same time. We don’t know what mom wouldn’t completely adore a necklace like this — especially if she wants something to show off to friends. It comes in various lengths (up to 20 inches) and can hold up to four names. ($22.75+, GlamourJewelryHouse via Etsy)

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A service that lets them document each day on their phone…

It can be hard to take the time to journal all the important moments. This subscription service sends them prompts each day, so they can type out a response quickly and upload a photo. At the end of the year, they’ll have the option to combine the photos and responses into a keepsake book they’ll cherish forever. It’s also a great gift for the newly engaged or married. ($3.99+/month, Qeepsake)

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Thank You Gifts


A luxury candle they wouldn’t buy for themselves…

Name a better “thank you” than an expensive candle. We’re constantly gut-checking our gifts with, “would we want this ourselves?” and it’s a resounding yes when it comes to this candle. It’s the one we turn to when the leaves start to fall and has a woodsy scent that reminds us of bonfire nights. ($42+, Nordstrom)

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Venus et Fleur

A single rose that lasts forever…

We’re not kidding. These eternity roses (which’ll last a year or more) are the perfect gift for someone who loves flowers but hates to see them die. Isn’t that all of us? Choose the color of the rose and the signature hat box it comes nestled in. These roses have been preserved, so there’s no watering required. ($58, Venus et Fleur)

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A sweet book we’d give for any occasion…

Birthday, graduation, new baby, you name it, we’ve given this book for it. It’s the inspirational story of how a boy, a mole, a fox, and a horse become unlikely friends and face life together. It has lessons that apply to everyday life and beautiful illustrations. People who have received this book from us say they find themselves going back to read it over and over. ($12.01, Amazon)

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Promotion Gifts


Wireless headphones with the best sound quality…

A splurge, we know, but a great way to show them just how proud you are. We weren’t sure we needed the over-ear version of our favorite AirPods until we tried these out, and we can never go back. The sound quality is unbeatable, the fit is comfortable, and we love that you can toggle between completely blocking out all other sounds for focus time and letting in some background noise. ($469.99+, Amazon)

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A versatile leather tote to hold all their work essentials…

This structured, lightweight tote from Cuyana is a classic in the making. It’s got a double handle, which makes carrying all their necessities a breeze. The hardware-free design is made from a super-luxe Italian pebbled leather that will age well over time. Pick a color that suits them, add an optional monogram, and enjoy gifting them a splurge they deserve but would never buy themself. ($268, Cuyana)

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A self-cleaning water bottle to keep them hydrated throughout the work day…

When was the last time they did a deep clean on their emotional support water bottle? Likely too long. With this bottle, they just press the top button to eliminate harmful contaminants from the bottle and water. Grab the insulated one so their water will stay cool for up to 24 hours. It’s also great if you have a camper on your hands. ($89+, Larq)

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Anniversary Gifts

Uncommon Goods

An art print that’s all about your love connection…

Or rather, intersection. One street sign has your name, while the other has theirs. The two dates can signify the year you met and got married. We’re all about the sentimental these days and love this super-cute way to display going from an “I” to a “we.” PSA: This is a made-to-order item, so order it fast — it’ll take some time to ship to you. ($75+, Uncommon Goods)

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Blue Nile

A classic tennis bracelet with petite lab-grown diamonds…

This bracelet has a total of 63 diamonds, and comes in 14-karat white gold. You can choose the total carats, from one to 10. In our opinion, a tennis bracelet is a timeless piece meant for everyday wear. We’re not saying you should leave this page up on your significant other’s computer screen if they’re looking for the perfect gift for you…but we’re not not saying that either. ($1,650+, Blue Nile)

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A carry-on suitcase that says, “let’s travel more together”…

We’re obsessed with this carry-on that’s just the right size for a long weekend getaway. It’s incredibly lightweight, durable, and rolls like a dream on its four wheels. Plus, it comes in several fun colors and two glossy ones. The only thing left to do is book the trip. ($335, Away)

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