The Ultimate Boston Holiday Gift Guide
The perfect present for everyone (at every price point!) exists.
For the overly energetic pup
Redbarn Naturals Odor-Free Braided Bully Stick
Looking for a stocking stuffer that’s guaranteed to keep Fido from ruining your new Noguchi coffee-table legs? Pick up this unscented chew stick. It’ll taste good to him, but trust us—you don’t want to know what it’s made of.
$11, available at PolkaDog.
For the sweet little munchkins who can’t wait to count down the days till Christmas
McCrea’s Candies Caramels Advent Calendar
The kids will be grateful for the daily sugar high; their parents will be happy you didn’t get another plastic toy that’ll hang around the house forever. Budding scientists with a sweet tooth, meanwhile, will appreciate that these caramels are designed by local scientist-turned-candy-maker Jason McCrea in flavors like black-lava sea salt, café noir, and ginger fusion (warning: this is only for advanced kiddie palates).
$50, available at Boston General Store.
For the time-strapped foodie
Carbone Pasta Sauce Trio
The next best thing to dining at the new Boston outpost of Parm? Taking home three jars of celeb chef Mario Carbone’s beloved sauces. Just be sure to tell your friend to paint some on his cheeks, so he looks like he was working hard in the kitchen.
$33, available at Parm.
For the family friend who’s still stuck in his pandemic hobbies
“Boston Waterfront” Jigsaw Puzzle
COVID may be in the rearview, but some of the best parts of the past few years were sitting around the fire doing jigsaws. Delight the person who just can’t quit puzzling with this local gem.
$18, available at massbaytrading.com.
For your BFF who always has her nails done impeccably
MiniLuxe Signature Manicure
Come to think of it, you might want to join her at one of the local chainlet’s outposts so your nails are just as perfect. Throw in a bottle of the ideal holiday color, “Crimson,” as a bonus, and you will both be the talk of the town.
$30, available at MiniLuxe.
For the niece who loves to sleep over
Tyed with Love Tie-Dye Kids’ Pajamas
Made with care by a Boston mom who launched the biz from her home, these pajamas are guaranteed to be the softest, comfiest pair she owns. You may need to double up.
$40, available at tyedwithlove.com.
For the sister-in-law who’s all thumbs in the kitchen
Simple Fancy Cookbook by Jason Santos
Put this book under the tree, and she’ll thank you with a big-flavor recipe like grilled “flamin’ hot” street corn at your New Year’s celebration and get you tipsy with perfectly paired cocktails like the watermelon sangria.
$24, available at Brookline Booksmith.
For the boss who drank too much at the company party last year
Blake Hill Preserves Shrub Mocktail to Cocktail Kit
Next time, let her make drinks in the privacy of her own home with this delicious set of Vermont-made shrubs (a fancy term for concentrated syrups). Bonus mixologist tools like stirring spoon, shaking jars, and tea towel are included—the bartender, sadly, is not.
$80, available at blakehillpreserves.com.
For the friend who dyes her hair way too many times a year
Flourish Beauty Lab Shampoo, Conditioner, and Shampoo Booster Trio
She may not know it, but her scalp is suffering from product buildup. Handcrafted in small batches by Vermonter Kirsten Connor, this set promises to keep her overprocessed hair ultra-clean.
$88, available at flourishbeautylab.com.
For your tennis-obsessed girlfriend
Ame & Lulu “Love” Sweatshirt
Anyone in the know knows Ame & Lulu’s tennis and golf gear—its “Hamptons” bag was featured on Sex and the City, after all. Now your GF can show off the brand’s coveted crewneck sweatshirt in perfect tennis white while playing matches at the Longwood Cricket Club.
$98, available at ameandlulu.com.
For your beloved hairstylist
The Style Fílos Customizable Jewelry Set
Surprise her with a three-piece set that you choose on your own from this Salem-based shop—think earrings, a headband, and a necklace—and watch her face light up like a Christmas tree as she gets you holiday-ready.
Price varies, available at the Style Fílos.
For the hostess who has (almost) everything
Wade Ceramics Extra-Large Gurgling Cod Pitcher
Yes, it makes a funny bubbling sound when you pour water, and yes, it still comes from England, even 150 years after the design’s inception. And yes, it’ll undoubtedly complete her collection of water pitchers.
$59, available at Cambridge Uncommon.
For your BFF’s posh pooch
Canada Pooch “Torrential Tracker” raincoat
Fluffy can’t get wet, but if she does, this über-cute rain jacket’s sunny clouds will turn into rain clouds and rainbows. It also has reflectors and a pocket for treats, but we all know the treats won’t last long in there.
$66, available at the Fish & Bone.
For the budding “brooding writer”
Five-Piece Bundle of Graphic Novels
Your sister said your nephew was reading chapter books at age five—so he’ll be sure to thank auntie for giving him this pile of tomes. Newcomer Hummingbird Books has taken the guesswork out by hand-selecting new releases from the most popular graphic novels for ages 8 through 12.
$61, available at Hummingbird Books.
For your ballet-obsessed daughter
Tutu Du Monde “Everhart” Tutu Dress
She doesn’t have to be a prima donna, but she sure can feel like one in this breathtaking dress. You had us at sequins and tulle.
$192, available at Kodomo.
For your literati stepdaughter
Kent Stetson “Wordgame” Clutch
She thought she had it all—then you gifted her this clutch. You can customize up to nine letters—might we suggest “BADASS”? Or will she take that too literally?
$208, available at kentstetson.com.
For the goddaughter you love to spoil rotten
Maileg “House of Miniature” Dollhouse
If she doesn’t already own a huge collection of the Maileg Mice, you may be in trouble with her parents. They fit perfectly into this dollhouse that aficionados can customize with wallcovering and furniture, and even create mini chandeliers and other fixtures for. Together you can spend days decorating and getting the house ready for the mice and bunnies.
$298, available at CouCou.
For the mother-in-law who’s always cold
She can bring this Vineyard-born blanket to the drive-in movie, wrap it around her shoulders while dining al fresco in the Seaport, or just leave it on the couch for cozy evenings by the fire.
$135, available at Place & Gather.
For the fashionista girlfriend who usually dresses you
Monika Ramizi Handknit Balaclava
We live in one of the coldest climates, so why not have her look stylish when she’s facing 20 MPH winds in a Nor’easter or traipsing down Newbury Street on Boxing Day?
$295, available to order at Elisha Daniels Style Studio & Boutique.
For the nanny you wouldn’t be able to function without
Serena & Lily “Leighton” Lumbar Pillow
She’s been with you through thick and thin and keeps your bambinos safe, fed, and happy. Which means she’ll undoubtedly love resting on this one-of-a-kind pillow after a day spent tending to the kiddos.
$200, available at Serena & Lily.
For the newlyweds who just moved into their South End condo
Nespresso VertuoPlus Espresso Machine and Starter Kit
Because when you’re just married and don’t have kids yet, you have all the time in the world to become your own barista.
$179, available at Nespresso.
For the tennis coach who’s always losing his shades
Ic! Berlin “Steve B.” Sunglasses
He’ll be the most stylish pro on the court—and he won’t dare misplace them again since they’re a gift from you.
$559, available at Lunette Optic.
For the grandparents who haven’t had a date night in decades
Dress Circle Tickets to Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Those in the know know that front-row orchestra seats aren’t the best seats in the house; it’s the front-row Dress Circle tickets. Their uninhibited view of the fluffy Nutcracker bear frolicking onstage to the familiar tunes of Tchaikovsky will leave Grandma and Grandpa tickled pink.
Starting at $328 for two, available at bostonballet.org.
For the CEO who’s been Zooming for the past three years
Closet Styling Session with Tara West
You used to covet her clothing, but times have changed, and her wardrobe hasn’t. Enter local stylist Tara West, who has a knack for weeding out the granny mumus and overflow of athleisurewear that have infiltrated closets during the pandemic. Note: Male CEOs line up for this service, too.
$500 for two hours, available at tarawestfashion.com.
For your stylish brother-in-law who lives in Manhattan
Simon Pearce “Vermont Evergreen” Trio
Handcrafted by glassblowers in the Green Mountains using centuries-old techniques, these sleek trees are perfect for the mantel of the fireplace he never uses.
$535, available at Simon Pearce.
For your wannabe hipster husband
Como Audio Analog Turntable
Match his tilted-beanie vibes with a turntable that brings the vintage aesthetic into the 21st century. This plug ’n’ play style from Braintree-based Como Audio eliminates the need to adjust a counterweight while still providing superb sound quality that can be played from existing speakers.
$399, available at Como Audio.
For the client with a golf addiction
Cool Clubs Full Set Golf Fitting
You’ve become a pro at letting him score two points below you at every golf round—now impress him by sending him to the Cool Clubs outpost in Natick, where he can be fitted perfectly for his woods, irons, and putters all in the comfort of a private hitting bay.
$400, available at Cool Clubs.
For the neighbor who parks his boat in the driveway
NexTide “Edgartown Harbor Light” Tide Monitor
Being able to monitor the tide with this light-up tide monitor will have him thanking you with a six-pack every weekend. Or at least it’ll help get that boat out of your view.
$360, available at nextide.us.
For the Italophile who wants to imagine herself in a Fellini flick
Vespa Primavera 50
It may not be Florence, but she can still feel extra-cool cruising down Newbury on this cherry-red Vespa. Or ask for the special-order Pic Nic version, and she can pack her lunch or travel kit on the back.
Starting at $4,249, available at Herb Chambers Vespa Boston.
For the mom with adult kids who can never agree on a group gift
Necklace with Pavé-Diamond Beads
Add on a bead for each child, and you have the perfect blingy present.
Starting at $950, available at Adamas Fine Jewelry.
For the indecisive jewelry lover
Messika “My Move” Bracelet
Today, it’s green. Tomorrow, the interchangeable leather strap surrounding a diamond-and-18-karat-gold center could be any color her mood—or outfit—requires.
Starting at $1,270, available at Date & Time.
For the employees of a big Boston company (from: its billionaire owner)
Private Barrel of Privateer Rum
Talk about best bosses. There will be plenty of good cheer to go around when the head honcho purchases a Privateer barrel, which yields 190 to 210 bottles of the good stuff. They can even bring the group to the Ipswich distillery to sample and select which aged barrel they would like.
Starting at $10,000, available at Privateer Rum.
For the bride who didn’t get her registry fulfilled
Hermès “Soleil d’Hermes” Teacup Set with Teapot and Saucer
She and seven of her best pals can look forward to clinking their china as they gab about kids and jobs over a cup of Earl Grey.
$2,725, available at Hermès.
For the daughter who’s finally coming home for Christmas from college
M. Miller “Taryn” Parka
She keeps turning down your offers for vacations in Vail, but with this new down bomber jacket by local outerwear guru Mark Miller, she might just have to say yes—that, or jet set off to Chamonix.
$750, available at M. Miller.
For the future high roller
Best Ride-On Two-Seater Range Rover
Eight is the max age, but you may try to sneak a ride yourself. Who wouldn’t when you can play your favorite tunes, beep the horn, and cruise around the neighborhood in this mini luxury SUV? Buckle up, kiddies: Mom and Dad can also control the ride with a handy remote.
$699, available at Neiman Marcus.
What I’m Giving
Artistic Director, Boston Ballet
“I love to share my love of music with others. I’m a big David Bowie fan, so I’d gift someone The Buddha of Suburbia, a 1993 album inspired by the four-part British television series of the same name.”
Owner, Flour Bakery + Café and Myers + Chang
“My favorite gift to give is a CSA from Siena Farms. It’s incredible: In the summer, there is glorious produce. In the winter, they add homemade jams, bread from Iggy’s, and dried chilies.”
“A true gift that keeps on giving is a spa day at the Encore Boston Harbor. I would like to take my daughter there for a mother-daughter outing because Rhylee is working her butt off at Brown University.”
Cohost, Billy & Lisa in the Morning on Kiss 108
“It started off as a joke, but the toilet light has really become my go-to gift for everyone. Who doesn’t want a souped-up neon light-show when you go to the bathroom?”
Owner, Salon Mario Russo
“I love gifting my fellow foodies a decadent basket from Formaggio Kitchen. I’ll add in some sweets from Beacon Hill Chocolates and a jar of black-truffle sea salt from Boston Olive Oil Company on Newbury Street.”
First published in the print edition of the December 2022 issue, with the headline “The Giving Tree.”