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Listen, we won’t judge you for waiting until the last minute to buy a gift for your significant other. The holidays are tough enough as it is — what with travel logistics, meal planning, and, oh yeah, family — sometimes we forget to prioritize the ones we love the most. That doesn’t mean you can’t still get them a stellar gift, though. All of the below options can arrive at your doorstep in less than an hour.
Having written countless gift guides during my tenure as a shopping writer, I only recommend thoughtful gifts that people will truly love, and most importantly, use. There’s a little something for everyone here — a wannabe sommelier, a dedicated dog owner — so you might even end up with more than one gift on your hands. That’s totally fine, too, because they deserve it.
Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm
If your partner is a bonafide “it” girl, they’ll appreciate this stocking stuffer. I was skeptical about all the glowing reviews, but I’m big enough to admit when I’m wrong — this stuff smells, tastes, and looks good, while somehow also moisturizing your lips? Amazing. And luckily, the term “it girl" knows no gender, so every trendy person in your life would appreciate the most popular lip balm on the internet.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to go wrong with the latest and greatest Apple product. My fiancé surprised me one Christmas with a new set of AirPods (I perennially lose mine) and I hadn’t realized how much I wanted a new set until they came across my lap. Also, gifting your significant other a shiny new pair of AirPods says, “I love you,” and, “I want you to experience top-of-the-line tech on your slog of a commute.” Duh.
A fresh pair of Adidas Sambas (or Gazelles, for that matter) perform double duty in the gift department. For the practical partner, Sambas are a solid reason to ditch the crusty trainers they keep trotting out, and for the sneakerhead, they’re an impressive get, as Sambas have been tough to track down amid their resurgence in popularity. Win-win.
Ninja Blender, Best Buy
Nutritionists and TikTok health gurus have been telling us forever: A collagen- and protein-rich smoothie in the morning sets you off on the right foot for the day, and I am loath to admit they were right all along. But getting in the habit is a bit of an upfront investment, so if your partner has been meaning to start their day with a smoothie, it’d be a relief to take this purchase off their plate. Plus, this is kind of a gift to yourself as well, because you’ll likely be in for a smoothie, soup, or milkshake in the future.
Even coffee snobs (like me) can agree that a Nespresso machine brews a very solid cup, and it’s certainly much quicker than grinding, measuring, and tamping your own beans. You can up the ante with a pod subscription so your loved one never goes without coffee, and you never have to be on the receiving end of a grumpy, caffeine-less morning.
DryBar Double Shot Dry Brush
Take it from me — I tried for years to learn how to successfully blow out my own hair with a dryer and a brush, but it’s not for the weak-armed and impatient among us. When I was gifted this dry brush for Christmas one year, it legitimately changed my life. Dramatic? Maybe. But it’s a completely foolproof way to get a salon blowout, and need I mention it’s less than half the cost of a Dyson Airwrap?
Candles (ships nationwide)
While Brooklyn-born candle brand Apothke (ships nationwide) has several cult-fave scents, my personal preference is the herbal, zesty tomato tarragon. It transports to a late-summer garden bursting with plump tomatoes, which may just cure the winter blues. Tomato lovers, candle lovers, winter haters: This one’s for you.
Wild One Harness/Collar Set
There are plenty of surprises and learning curves when it comes to dog ownership, but one I wasn’t anticipating was the presence of cool dog brands. Spend enough time at a city dog park, though, and you’ll soon discover a pattern among the best-groomed and best-dressed (yes, dressed) dogs: They all have Wild One walking sets. Originally, I balked at the price of this harness and leash combo, but they’re very high-quality, come in a ton of fun colors, and make a fabulous gift for your pet co-parent.
Malin + Goetz Fragrance Discovery Kit
Scent is highly personal — that’s where fragrance discovery kits come in. I love the fresh, woodsy line of fragrances from Malin + Goetz, especially because they’re gender-neutral. Once they choose a favorite scent, you can level up and order the full-sized bottle.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Best Buy
Bakers, home cooks, and aesthetes share an appreciation for a functional yet statement-making countertop appliance — the classic KitchenAid stand mixer in particular. And what better way to get through the slog of post-holiday winter than with fresh breads, pies, and pastries? Just be sure to cross-check the color of other appliances in the kitchen — perhaps with the recipient themself — as this stand mixer will almost surely need to sit out on display.
The Gift of Alcohol
Selection of Orange Wines
Those new to natural wines and those who never stop talking about them will equally appreciate a selection of popular orange varietals (also known as skin-contact and amber wine), like Gulp Hablo, Tinto Amorio Monje, and L’un des Sens orange wine. Plus, a funky, aromatic bottle might ease the stress of a holiday meal with your in-laws.
Espresso Martini Kit
The drink of 2022 was the espresso martini; it showed no signs of slowing down in 2023, so I’m here to announce that it will continue to reign supreme in 2024! And wouldn’t you know? You can get all the fixings for an espresso martini kit delivered to your door, including a cocktail shaker, vodka of choice (I’m partial to Tito’s), espresso beans (garnish with three on top of the drink for good luck!), and the optional Irish cream liqueur.
Don Julio 1942
Aged for two years in Kentucky bourbon barrels and beloved by tequila drinkers everywhere, Don Julio 1942 is a special addition to anyone’s bar cart. The brand recommends drinking it neat in a snifter glass or on the rocks to experience the oak, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate notes.
Macallan 15 Year Double Cask
Speaking of special additions to a bar cart, if you’re in a relationship with a Scotch savant, they’d surely be elated to restock on Macallan 15-year double-cask Scotch whiskey. This single malt blends two different oak flavors, one from American oak and one from European oak, which results in a subtly spicy, nuanced flavor.
Ultimate Condiments and Finishes
Cooks love their condiments, and if you happen to live with one, they’ll definitely appreciate an astute assortment of finishes. Add a box of Maldon flaky sea salt, Graza single-origin EVOO, and a pot of beloved Maille whole-grain mustard.
Chiles and Spice Pastes From Around the World
Those that enjoy spice with every meal know that not all chili oils, hot sauces, and spice pastes are created equal, and they all serve various purposes. Stock up your beau’s pantry with their favorite chili oil (I’m a big fan of Momofuku’s chili crunch), a jar of tangy Divina Calabrian chilis, and a container of sweetly spicy Mother-in-Law’s gochujang.
Tinned Fish Collection
Tinned fish girlies no longer live in the shadows, they’re loud and proud about the superb quality of Scout oil-packed tuna, Patagonia Provisions spicy mussels, and unctuous Fishwife anchovies. Imagine their surprise and delight when your partner finds their stocking filled with all their favorite tinned fishes — socks and underwear could never.
Set of Sauces (ships nationwide)
New Yorkers know how difficult it is to get a reservation at Carbone; a set of sauces is a much easier get. Add a hunk of good parm, some artisanal pasta, and you’re good to go.
Courtesy of Staples