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Living

Your ultimate holiday gift guide. Redefine what you seek to gift and receive

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua and Goji
Words by Tracey Creed


Published December 10 2020

As we enter what is arguably retail’s holiday season — and with the year that has been 2020, be ready for the bombardment of all kinds of marketing tactics and an overwhelming amount of junk. Gift giving is one of five universal love languages — an act of thoughtfulness where the price tag is irrelevant where the heart is present. This year, skip the stress inducing financial pressures, regrettable purchases, the overwhelming amount of junk made just because — or all of the above and redefine what you seek to gift and receive. Whether that’s nourishment, empowerment, energy or adventure, let this article guide you.

Second hand — anything really

With online shopping reigning supreme, scouring for thrift finds is still a viable option — given the time, commitment and perhaps an enthusiasm for eBay filters, you will find one-of-a-kind items — that today, the only way to acquire them is through the secondary market. That and the Internet holds no shortage of upcycled curators who have already done the work for you. I would highly recommend, in addition to online stores and Instagram accounts — browse Etsy.

Begin within. Gifts to nourish

Loco Love Where cacao and healing herbs collide. Gift a box to them, one to you. The soul-soothing magic of this handcrafted chocolate is real.

Dark Horse Organic Probiotic Vinaigrette Or anything Dark Horse really. Vinaigrette as seen through the mind of Greg Arnold, of Dark Horse Organics. Organic Californian EVOO that incorporates a rich probiotic liquid, a byproduct of sauerkraut. Spiked with pine pollen, activated coconut charcoal and sea salt for an uplevelled pantry addition.

Fix & Fogg Everything about this brand. We all go through an immense number of Fix & Fogg jars in any given month. There aren't enough good things to say about Fix & Fogg nut butters. I’m still eating their almond butter everyday. Find your flavour.

Storm & India Matcha Drink your focus. Grassy, antioxidant rich, our afternoons are all the better with Power Matcha blended with oat or almond milk. Founder, Dooley Crighton upholds her values and quality to the highest order.

Five Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil Practical home gifts like olive oil are the chicest. Produced in Finiki Lakonias, Greece, each bottle is filled with a single-varietal olive oil produced in limited quantities by method of cold extraction. I think the packaging is beautiful too.

Little Bird Organics Good Cookies No one makes cookies like these. A favourite from Megan Mays’s Unbakery beginnings, I couldn’t have been happier to realise these were 100% plants. Send happiness to others. Send some to yourself.

Seedlip For those who don’t wish to feel distracted by discipline but aim to feel vibrant and present a bottle of Seedlip is a must. I’ll be sipping on Spice 94 this summer paired with East Imperial.

GoodFor Store Voucher Stocking our pantry is an activity of sorts, one for which I have great enthusiasm. And so for those who get excited by groceries, contribute to a well-stocked pantry. If you are reading outside of New Zealand, then your equivalent.

Rivsalt Salt Like gemstones, this Himalayan salt encourages remineralisation, a high health option for cooking or finishing meals. This version includes a Japanese style stainless steel grater, Himalaya salt rock and stand made from FSC-certified oak wood.

ZenBunni I love coffee, and there is no shortage of quality roasters with a higher level of ambition for raising ethical standards in the industry. My daily ritual is upleveled with this in the cupboard.

Good Vibes Fungi A mushroom growing kit for those who lack the patience. Fungi is arguably the most important of all the Kingdoms, and seeing how easy it is to grow fungi yourself is pretty powerful and ultimately more economical than store-bought.

Superfeast These potent mushroom blends and tonic herbs support me all day long, and this is the one that I reach for first thing in the AM. Fuel someone’s morning, afternoon.

Avocados Give the gift of PERFECTLY ripe avocados to a friend — once or for several months on subscription. That and supporting farm to fork businesses makes for a more resilient economy. Find your local avocado dealer.

Noble Tonic 02 This one has SO much flavour. An ideal substitute for honey. This version incorporates Tahitian Vanilla Bean and Egyptian Chamomile Blossom — waffles, breakfast in general will never be the same!

Pineapple Collective ACV Founded to create community and support the incredible women in food, this apple cider vinegar was created in partnership with Joanne Krueger using Gravenstein, Red Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious and Pink Pearls hand harvested from her orchard, Little Apple Treats. For whenever there’s a need for a hit of acid or something to elevate dishes. Even the non-practicing cook can take it as a tonic. Sold out on their website but available via Norden Goods.

Self indulge

Maggie Marilyn Self Care Tee We need to stop glorifying busyness and commit to our mental, spiritual and physical wellbeing. An understated reminder for anyone resolving to embrace a higher level of self-care.

Bare Hands Well-groomed hands and nails are an understated luxury. Bare Hands takes the art of nail care higher, with her kit that relies on just two steps for a clean manicure.

Second-Hand Books I adore books and they are a favourite gift to both give and receive. Gift someone their next nightstand read.

Salt by Hendrix Nourish and Revive Hydrate and heal with this beautiful and nutrient dense body oil. For long days, give yourself (or ask for) a massage for an instant calm.

Curio Noir Pocket Parfum These fragrances transport me. Since travel is not currently an option, gift 5ml of escapism. And if your budget is slightly smaller, the hard soap.

Orris Paris Bar Soap Handcrafted in Paris and made from a healing, signature mix of nourishing botanical oils and butters to cleanse and decompress — no palm. Lather up!

Soul Shoes Merino Possum Socks If you are going to gift socks. Gift these socks.

Print Magazines Always seeking inspiration in words and imagery, Stack Magazines is a great place to start.

Digital Magazines/Subscriptions For when their reading cap goes beyond one free article per day. Give the gift of access. Our favourites include The Atlantic, The New Yorker, The Guardian and The New York Times.

Go-To Face Mask For the fatigued friend. Nothing could be more self indulgent than masking, where you do so little but can be rewarded so greatly. Gift better skin.

Herbivore EMERALD CBD + Adaptogens Deep Moisture Glow Oil Magical CBD, botanical oils and ingredients of ancient Ayurvedic healing practices to de-stress, nurture and protect the skin from environmental stressors. Amandine gifted my bottle. Who doesn’t need this?

Winden Pre-Consumer Recycled Comb Machine-made using scrap material from the factory that manufactures other Winden combs and barrettes — elevate someone’s hair care ritual.

J Hannah Nail Polish For friends who adorn their hands, J Hannah polishes are seven-free, highly-pigmented, cruelty-free and made in the USA.

General Sleep Everyone Trouser Perfectly simple, I have worn these General Sleep pants every evening since they were delivered, and who isn’t spending more time at home now?

Youth To The People Yerba Mate Resurfacing Energy Facial Exfoliator For those seeking new ways to exfoliate, this at-home triple-powered microdermabrasion treatment combines active enzymes, micro-exfoliants and caffeine for radiant skin in minutes.

Everyday Oil (Mainstay Blend) A heady base of Coconut, Olive, Argan and Jojoba Oils that creates something that smells almost exactly like a hot summer night. Palo Santo and Clary Sage introduce grounding energy. A gift for everyday, everywhere.

Grounding down at home

Petley Salad Servers I do like to give gifts that have a practical element — highly useful in the case of these salad servers. Hand carved from Swamp Kauri finished with tung oil and locally produced made beeswax this gift will straddle between practical and luxury.

Bonnie and Neil Tea Towels Also highly practical — though also displayable, these Bonnie and Neil tea towels are hand screen printed in Melbourne, Australia using a combination of traditional and bespoke techniques and I’m really loving the Island collection.

Shoyeido Incense For whenever you need to focus and reconnect, burn and uplift. There is always some type of incense burning in our home, these ones smell of sandalwood, patchouli. Sublime. And my more recent addition — Plum Blossoms (Baika-Ju).

Iron Candle Stand A perfect stocking filler and beautiful, minimal object for any home (their size perfect for a non-intrusive table setting. You couldn't go wrong with this for anyone. Pair with the Tohaku Candle or Daiyo Candle.

Situ Linen Throw Perfectly simple, Situ carefully selects linens from mill over-runs and designer end stock (all sustainably produced) then manufactures each piece locally.

Fourth St Linen Napkins I like the idea of gifting sets of napkins to people, you can never have too many in your kitchen. Who actually wants to be using paper? These ones from Fourth St are produced from reclaimed fabric.

Houseplants Plants are living. And life fuels a healthy home — cleaning the air, vibrating with growth, bringing the outdoor world indoors. Find a plant that’s not too fussy, your local garden centre should be able to assist.

Organic Towelling There is no better feeling than wrapping oneself in a fluffy towel or at the very least patting dry one’s face! I’m extra enthused about Otto Loom and Baina.

Aesop Room Spray Elevate a friend’s space. Scent has always had the ability to ground me, so in addition to all the incense I burn, I keep a bottle of this around. Vibrant, floral and smoky, it's really transportive.

Iris Hantverk Dustpan and Brush Making the chores less so. Invigorate a friend’s cleaning rituals with a dustpan and brush that can be left out of the cupboard.

Seletti The Bottle CM This one is for my juicing and blending friends. The formerly disposable becomes indispensable. Made from Borosilicate glass, this bottle makes for the perfect vessel.

Marimekko Puteli Candlestick Holder Make the everyday mystic. This beautiful candle holder is everything we need to unwind. Pair with unscented tapered natural candles and make candlelit dinners the new evening ritual.

Binu Binu Marble Soap Dish Find us a better soap dish than this. We’ll wait. Hand-polished marble, designed as a platform to partner with large bar soaps — consider this a solid investment for someone who's committed to hard soap.

Uplift and empower

Here’s to abundance, prosperity and limitless gifting for all. And let's not forget that giving is the greatest luxury. Here are some of our favourite international conservational causes: Virunga National Park, Lion Recovery Fund, Greenpeace, Sea Shepherd, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation.

Everything we create is an effort to participate in a culture shift. All products featured are independently selected and curated by the authors, and we only feature items we use or would use ourselves that align with our values. As part of our business model, we do work with affiliates such as Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases if you decide to purchase through our links. The price would be the same to you either way, but if you find value in our work, then these affiliate links are a way to support it. We only recommend brands, makers and products we use — that we support. Transparency is important to us, so if you have any questions, please reach out to us.

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