Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Many of us have a lot of presents to buy, but little time and, perhaps, imagination, to make each one unique and tailored to its recipient. In this final gift guide the season, we offer suggestion for thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list — boyfriends, girlfriends, grandparents, activists, adventurers, coffee snobs, yoga girls, global nomads, party hosts you’ve never met, and more.

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: All Light All Shadow

FOR THE STYLISH HOMEBODY: All Light All Shadow Grevillea All-In-One
Maybe you’ve seen those hideous One-Piece jumpsuits that make people look like freakishly large (sometimes bearded) children? Yeah? Now get that picture out of your head and feast your eyes on these, actually quite stylish, all-in-one long johns by Australian eco-label All Light All Shadow. They’re made from soft brushed GOTS certified organic cotton, and dyed using AZO- and formaldehyde-free inks. So, you know, your friend can feel good about feeling comfortable.
$90, All Light All Shadow

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Kyler

FOR THE ELEGANT MINIMALIST: Catalyst Twin Matinee Necklace by Kyler
“Bright and ethereal, delicate strands of rutile are catalysts for progression, and those in possession will soon move forward toward the next great phase of their lives. This design is based on the actual crystalline structure of the mineral rutile, and looks best when juxtaposed with straight seams and hairstyles.” How perfect is that for that elegant minimalist in your life? This necklace by sustainable jewelry brand Kyler features two recycled stainless steel intaglio pendants, either dipped in 24 karat gold or sterling silver chain. The price varies depending on your choice of finish and chain length.
$88 – $148, Kyler

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Rapanui

FOR THE FASHIONABLE ANIMAL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST: Rapanui Wolfpack Tee
Tees and Sweatshirts with large animal faces have been seen all over runways and street style blogs lately. This version, by sustainable British label Rapanui, combines that trend with do-gooder-ness, bringing attention to the perils of the world’s dwindling wolf population — making it the perfect gift for that fashionable friend with an animal-rights activist heart. It’s also organic, made in a wind-powered, fairtrade factory and transported by ship instead of air to minimize emissions. Also, consider adding a wolf adoption to complete the package.
$39, Rapanui

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: TOMS

FOR THE GLOBAL NOMAD: TOMS Saddle Brown Passport Cover
Whether it’s for someone who’s “taking time off” to explore the world or someone who travels frequently for business, a passport cover makes for a great gift. We like them because they make us feel kind of mysterious, not revealing our nationality to stranger so quickly, but also because they look elegant and sophisticated. This rugged leather one by TOMS is made in the U.S. from top-grain cowhide leather, which makes it highly durable. Just like other TOMS products, the company will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every one you buy, which is always an added feel-good factor. As the embossed text on inside left pocket reads, Buen Viaje (which is Spanish equivalent for “Bon Voyage” or “Good trip”).
$26, TOMS

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Alkemie

FOR THE BOTANISTA: Winged Scarab Ring by Alkemie
The scarab has been considered a symbol of protection in Egyptian culture. That’s always a nice gift to give to someone, right? True botanists can geek out on the fact that the scarab is modeled upon the Scarabaeidae family’s dung beetle, which rolls dung into a ball for the purposes of eating and laying eggs that are later transformed into larva, and was seen as an earthly symbol of this heavenly cycle. Alkemie’s pieces are all handmade in Los Angeles, from 100% reclaimed metal. This little critter is available in a gold or silver patina.
$176, Alkemie

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Decomposition Book

FOR THE CONSCIOUS WORDSMITH: Decomposition Note Book
This recycled notebook is a twist on that classic composition book you probably used back in school. The marble pattern has been replace with wood grain and the materials of this one are far more conscious. Printed on 100% recycled, 100% post consumer waste paper, and made in the U.S. with energy derived from bio gas, it will please even the most ardent environmentalist.
$8, Bookbinders.com

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Paddywax

FOR THE HOST YOU REALLY DON’T KNOW: Paddywax Upcycled Glass Soy Wax Candle
You know those times when you’ve been invited to a party at the house of a friend of a friend, someone you really don’t know, and you need to bring them a gift? Well, it happens more often during the holidays, but, really, your go-to gift should always be a nicely packaged soy candle. This one, by Paddywax, is made from soy wax, poured in a 7 oz. upcycled wine bottle. It also looks way more expensive than it is, and the lovely bordeaux, fig and vetiver will be sure to appeal to even the most discerning host.
$16, Paddywax

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Off the Menu

FOR THE FOODIE: Off the Menu by Marissa Guggiana
Most foodies can wax poetic about their favorite restaurants for hours. But what do the people who actually work (and cook) at these places actually eat? To answer that question, Marissa Guggiana spent months on the road, interviewing, photographing, and sharing staff (or family) meals at more than fifty of America’s top sustainable restaurants from coast to coast. In Off the Menu you will find 100 recipes from more than 50 of the nation’s top restaurants. Bonus material like Q&As with the chefs, behind-the-scenes trips to the kitchens, restaurant tricks, and cooking techniques explained will keep your foodie friend happy until midsummer.
$26.40, Amazon or find a local seller on IndieBound

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Blissoma

FOR THE NATURAL BEAUTY JUNKIE: Refine Clay Renewal Treatment by Blissoma
Everyone loves a good clay mask, and this natural, vegan one by Blissoma smells divine and suits all skin types. The mask base is Rhassoul clay, mined from lava clay beds in Morocco. Used by fine spas around the world it is high in magnesium, calcium, potassium, silica, and sodium. It has a high rate of ion exchange which rids you of what you don’t need, and infuses the good back in. It also contains organic licorice to lighten sun damage, willowbark to exfoliate, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory herbs to soothe and prevent flareups, and unrefined oils of organic cranberry seed and organic red raspberry to offer nourishment and natural source of vitamin E.
$26.75, Iriestar

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Ball Jar Coffee Mill

FOR THE COFFEE SNOB: Ball Jar Coffee Mill
Suddenly, coffee snobs are everywhere, and surely there is one on your list. This charming, old-timey coffee grinder is constructed with a cast iron hopper, adjustable grinder, walnut wood handle, and (wait for it…) attaches to a glass ball jar. Manually grinding your beans is strangely satisfying, and coffee making these days is all about ritual, right? Hopefully, this gift means you won’t ever have to spend your whole lunch hour waiting with your friend in line at one of those coffee shops where bow tie-clad baristas pour hot water into white cone filter things with painfully slow circular motions. Seems like a good investment, no?
$98, Terrain

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Hovey Lee

FOR THE CLASSY LADY: Robin III Earrings by Hovey Lee
These subtle, organically shaped earrings have a natural elegance inspired by nature. A great alternative to plain old stud earrings, they’ll be sure to suit the tastes of that friend who is all about classic style. The graceful web mimic the ebbing lines of coral branches, which are set with tiny vintage crystals. So elegant. Choose from silver or gold-plated reclaimed brass.
$48, Hovey Lee

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Badger Yoga Balm

FOR THE YOGA GIRL (OR GUY): Badger Yoga & Meditation Balm
This portable aromatherapy balm contains an essential oil blend that “supports meditation practice by inspiring a mood of reverence and calm contentedness.” Name the yogi on your list that would not appreciate that. The scent is a mix of sandalwood, frankincense, myrrh, cedarwood, citrus essential oils and vetivert, and the balm helps soften and smooth your skin while balancing the psyche. It’s also easy to use — you simply rub some on your hands, temples, forehead, or anywhere that needs soothing and breathe the sweet aroma of centeredness.
$7.99, Badger

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Doodlers Anonymous

FOR THE COMPULSIVE DOODLER: Doodler’s Anonymous Coloring Book
Doodlers Anonymous is an online community of compulsive doodlers, just like your friend! This second volume of the DA coloring book features doodles and drawings made by 60 artists from around the globe. Some fresh novices, others renowned doodlers, but all of them share a love for the hand-drawn. Anyone who has a passion for unpretentious art will appreciate this gift, which will surely spread holiday happiness and cheer. And, unless you want to, there’s no reason to ever color inside the lines.
$15, Doodlers Anonymous

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Vegan Cuts

FOR YOUR CARNIVORE FRIEND: Vegan Cuts Snack Box Subscription
You know that person (who may or may not be your boyfriend) who always complains when you want to try a new vegetarian restaurant. You’ve had enough of that, right? Help them see the (kale-colored) light by giving them a subscription that delivers new vegan goodies to discover every month. Vegan Cuts also offered a yummy-looking Holiday Box, which sold out quickly, but the snack box is similar. Surely, your friend will find some new favorite snacks, he or she would just never admit it.
$19/month, Vegan Cuts

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Ace Hotel x Tanner Goods

FOR THE HIPSTER DUDE (OR DUDETTE): Ace Hotel x Tanner Goods Leather Key Fob
There’s nothing that stirs the hearts of hipster friends like handcrafted leather goods. Add a personalized monogram, and you are on the high-speed train to perfectionville. This hand-sewn key fob is a collaboration between the Ace Hotel (familiar hipster territory) and your “friendly local leather workers” at Tanner Goods in Portland (again, familiar hipster territory). It comes in black or natural and you can either buy it clean, so that your friend could use his or her own leather-working tools to customize it, or get it custom-embossed with up to three initials.
$12 (+$15 if you want it monogrammed, which we think you do), Ace Hotel Online Shop

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: All Good Things Organic Seeds

FOR THE ASPIRING GARDENER: All Good Things Organic Seeds
Most of us can manage to plant starters in the ground and keep them happy and alive long enough to enjoy the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. The true test of a gardener’s talent is to grow stuff from seed. Actually, if you follow instructions, it’s not that hard. All Good Things Organic Seeds is a small company, based in Ojai, dedicated to preserving endangered heirloom seeds. On the website, there is a Grow by Season section, where you can pick just the right assortment of seeds for your favorite aspiring gardener. If you’re not sure, the company also offers a $25 gift certificate.
$3.50/seed packet, All Good Things Organic Seeds

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: From the Jungle

FOR THE BUDDING ENVIRONMENTALIST: From the Jungle by Beth Doane
From the Jungle is an inspiring book for children that shows them how they have the power to make a difference in the world. It’s the perfect gift for that budding environmentalist on your list. The book colorfully brings to life the ecosystems and wildlife of our tropical rainforests, through the eyes and original artwork of three children — Winnie, Mariela, and Pablo — from Central and South America. They share how they experience the world’s demand for the rich, natural resources found in their homelands and suggest simple ways we can all save our rainforests. For every copy sold, a tree will be planted.
$15.95, Amazon

FOR THE ADVENTURER WHO LIKES TO DO GOOD: A Volunteer Vacation
Some people cannot imagine vacationing in places where there are actually hotels and restaurants with menus. A great way to see those authentic sides of the world is to go on a volunteer vacation, where you work on projects that help make a difference in the community you’re visiting. There are many organizations that organize these kinds of trips, so tailor your choice to your friends interests and/or favorite places. Visit sites like Global Volunteers, The Sierra Club, GlobeAware, REI Adventures and Habitat for Humanity to find the perfect one.
Prices vary

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Clare Bare

FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND/WIFE: Sexy Undies by Clare Bare
Clare Bare is a Brooklyn based artist and designer specializing in eco-friendly lingerie made from bamboo jersey and vintage fabric. All of her pieces are made by hand in limited edition runs, and are structured to flatter the body in a natural way without the use of constrictive hardware. Sexy and comfortable — ladies like that. This ‘Eternal Daze Cut Out Romper’ has a seriously sexy backside, but if a one-piece is not your girl’s style, there’s plenty of other hot stuff to choose from.
$182, Clare Bare

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Timberland

FOR YOUR BOYFRIEND/HUSBAND: Timberland Earthkeepers Plain Toe Boot
All men love a pair of great, sturdy, timeless boots. These plain toe boots from Timberland’s Earthkeeper line are waterproof, hard-wearing and durable. Made from premium full-grain leather from a tannery rated Silver for improved water, energy and waste management, they also have an outsole made from 42% recycled rubber. Both the laces and the lining is made from 100% recycled PET (derived from plastic bottles). If you need more suggestions, make sure to check out our Good Gifts for Men gift guide as well.
$185, Timberland

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Made By...

FOR YOUR SISTER: Made By… Fisherman Sweater
Everyone should have a classic fisherman sweater in their closet, especially your sister (because then you can borrow it!). This one is made with love by artisans in the South of Peru, from eco-friendly, fairtrade, plant-dyed Alpaca yarns chosen for their ancient and valuable heritage quality. It’s got the crew neck and cable design on the front, but the back is longer and has a slit, which adds a bit of an unexpected touch. Your sis will love it.
Currently on sale for $207, Made By…

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Nudie x Amnesty

FOR YOUR BROTHER: Nudie + Amnesty Empowerment Tee
Swedish denim purveyors Nudie Jeans has partnered with Amnesty International to create a collection of fairtrade-produced organic cotton tees on the theme of “Empowerment.” The final ten designs were chosen from submissions by designers from all across the globe — surely there is one that would appeal to your brother. Ten euro of the retail price of each T-shirt sold will be donated to Amnesty International, giving him some extra good karma points for the new year.
$59, Nudie Jeans Co.

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Anchal Project

FOR MOM: Anchal Project Handmade Quilt
Mom deserves to relax. She raised you, after all, and that wasn’t always (or ever) easy. A one-of-a-kind quilt by Anchal Project goes great with a warm sofa, cup of tea and a good book. Each quilt is made by hand by an artisan in Ajmer, from six layers of 100% recycled cotton sari. A portion of each purchase goes toward ensuring the economic future for the Indian artisans that make quilts. Visit the website and browse the variety of unique designs. Surely there is one that will please your mother’s decorating sensibility.
$98 – $200, Anchal Project

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: PACT Socks

FOR DAD: Men’s Heritage Crew Sock Box by PACT
Give the gift of warmth this holiday, for your dad’s feet and for the homeless in Detroit, who will receive jobs and warm jackets (through The Empowerment Plan) as a result of your purchase. PACT’s organic socks are made with windpower in a sweatshop-free factory, and were recently called “the best socks in the world” on the TODAY Show. Best of all, if you place an order for $100 or more (like, when you buy those awesome leggings for yourself), you’ll get a box of these for free! Just don’t tell dad.
$24.99, PACT

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Hamro Village

FOR GRANDMA: Handloomed Cotton & Silk Shawl by Hamro Village
Dhaka means cotton in Nepali, and even though your grandmother probably doesn’t know that, she’ll appreciate the artisanry that went into making this shawl by Hamro Village. Hand-loomed from cotton and silk and decorated with colorful geometric designs, this shawl represents a pure indigenous form of expression reflecting the best of Nepali craftsmanship. Grandma will also appreciate that you can wash it in the machine (on the delicate cycle, in cold water).
$121.61, Ethical Ocean

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: Jacob Bromwell

FOR GRANDPA: Jacob Bromwell’s Classic Tin Cup
Grandpa doesn’t like crap, he appreciates things that are well-made and built to last (so he doesn’t have to spend time fixing it). Jacob Bromwell has been handcrafting these iconic tin cups since 1819, without welding or soldering, just like when the American West (and, possibly, grandpa) was young. These heritage-quality cups are still put together by hand, with a little help from the original equipment, and make a great gift for someone who appreciates a bit of nostalgia. It’s “the purest way to enjoy your favorite drink.”
$34.99, Jacob Bromwell

Goodlifer: Gift Guide: Good Gifts for Everyone on Your List: PACT Leggings

FOR YOURSELF: PACT Leggings
Holidays are a time of giving, but that should not mean that we need to exclude ourselves. Sure, “self-gifting” has developed into quite a trend, but instead of falling for all those things marketers try to tempt you with, get yourself something you actually need. A pair of great black leggings should have a honorary place in every girl’s closet. You can wear them at home, snuggled up in the couch, underneath your jeans when it’s really cold out, exercise in them, and, not to mention, they also look great with a loose-fitting top and boots. These organic cotton ones by PACT are supersoft, ethically produced and will last you for years.
$36, PACT

FOR THE PERSON WHO HAS EVERYTHING: Charitable Donation
Let’s face it, most of us already have everything we need. Instead of giving people stuff they may or may not like, consider making a charitable donation in their name. Buy (or make) a nice card and present it to them with an explanation of the cause to which you have donated something in their name. Only a real scrooge would not appreciate such a thoughtful gift. The site JustGive makes it easy to find the right cause.

‘Tis the season of giving!

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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What constitutes the good life? It’s a question we’ve asked ourselves since the dawn of time and something we all strive for. To us, the good life is not a destination but a journey. We want to see more positivity in the world. Thinking happy thoughts makes for happy people, and happy people are more productive, innovative and at peace with the world. We believe in the transformative power of good news.

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