Not sure what to give your best friend or spouse this holiday? Consider borrowing an idea from one of these editor favorites.

By Sydney Hershman
Updated December 01, 2015
Jonny Valiant
Jonny Valiant

A Thoughtful Gift Card

“Last year, my two best friends chipped in and bought me a Southwest gift card for my birthday. They included a message that said that the gift card was meant for me to use toward a flight out to Chicago. It actually brought tears to my eyes. So many of my friends live in Chicago, including these two gift-givers, and I love that they gave me the gift of spending my birthday with them!”
—Samantha Zabell, associate editor,

A Favorite Magazine

“My favorite gift was a ‘subscription’ to the now defunct Sassy magazine, which I began receiving just last Christmas. My husband knows that it was my favorite magazine growing up, but as it folded in 1994, and I’d since (stupidly) trashed my collection. So he bought back issues from eBay and has one delivered each month. Some months the sellers throw in 90s ephemera (Nirvana stickers, old CDs, buttons) and it’s such a fun blast from the past that I get to enjoy year-round—plus the old ads are so much fun to laugh at!”
—Kelly Clark, deputy photo editor

A Surprise Remodel

“About 7 years ago, I opened a box from my husband that contained his cell phone. He told me to turn it on and when I did, there was a picture of our bathroom—except the bathroom was wallpapered in a beautiful paper I'd been debating for months but never pulled the trigger on. I left town for Christmas vacation with my family a few days before he did, and once I left, he hired wallpaper hangers to come in and paper the bathroom. It was such a beautiful gift because I hadn’t been able to decide if I should put up the wallpaper and because ordering wallpaper and hiring a hanger is waaaaay out of his gifting comfort zone. It is still the best gift he ever gave me.”
—Elizabeth Pasarella, contributing editor

A Handcrafted Piece of Furniture

“Four years ago, I fell in love with an antique highchair on a visit to Hungary, and begged my husband to buy it for our daughter. But torn about whether it belonged in our tiny NYC apartment, we left it in Hungary with his family, to use when we visit. When our second baby was born, my husband built a safer, modern version—equally beautiful and timeless, and gave it to me the day our son turned 6 months. It's the most beautiful piece in our house! And watching our (endlessly hungry) boy devour every meal from his chair just makes me so happy. Happiest of all, is that from this gorgeous gift a business was born. I love the idea of other mothers sitting down to feed their babes in this beautiful chair—the work of someone so dear to me—too!”
—Sarah Copeland, food director

Special Barware

“When I got married 13 years ago, my then market assistant gave my husband and I a pair of champagne flutes, a pair of white wine glasses, and a pair of red wine glasses. They weren’t over-the-top, just basic sets, but every time I pull out a pair for just the two of us after a long day’s work, I remember her thoughtfulness.”
—Victoria Sanchez-Lincoln, fashion director

A Festive, Extra-Special Record

“My daughter, who’s a singer and musician, recorded an EP of her favorite Christmas songs—including one by the Partridge Family that we launch the season with each year, once the tree is safely anchored in its stand. Best gift ever.”
—Danielle Claro, deputy editor

A Journal of a Special Memory

“My mom and I went on safari together and she kept a very detailed journal (I didn’t). That following Christmas she gave me my own journal from the trip—she had transcribed hers into a journal for me.”
—Sarah Humphreys Collins, executive editor

A Gift for the Home Bar

“I don’t know a lot about wine—all I know is I love drinking it. For our first wedding anniversary, my in-laws bought my husband and I a subscription to the Viansa Wine Club because they DO know about wine and Viansa is their favorite California vineyard. In addition to the thrill of having six beautiful bottles of wine arrive at my door four times a year, I discovered new varietals and got the equivalent of a basic wine education; each shipment comes with info on the grapes used in each bottle, suggestions for what to serve it with, and even recipes.”
—Lori Leibovich, editor,

A Pinterest Find

“My friend looked on one of my Pinterest boards to find a stylish plant pot that I pinned and was from her state. It made my day because she was so thoughtful and thorough. Her present gave me the idea to do the same for people I’m searching to find gifts for— and has made birthdays much less stressful!”
—Rebecca Hart, art director,

Comfy Personalized Pajamas

“The best gift I ever received was a set of monogrammed pajamas from Eberjey. I admit, I felt a bit pretentious when I first put them on, but the second they touch your skin, those feelings go out the window. Suddenly, you’re thinking, ‘How the heck did I live without these?!’ They are so soft and comfy, and I feel so much better about accepting food deliveries in them than I did my free University of Maryland XL tee and borrowed boxers.”
—Jenny Jin, associate beauty editor