The Ultimate Internet Princess Extended Universe Gift Guide
a novella-length gift guide of biblical proportions, assembled with love by some of the coolest people on and off the internet
btw … to ring in the holiday season, celebrate 70,000 incredible subscribers, and to make it easier for you to gift internet princess to your friends/lovers/enemies/mom/etc, i’m running a flash sale on paid subscriptions for today only. subscribe here <3
also — substack is telling me that this post is “too long for email” (they hate to see women win) so i’m not sure if it will be cut off or messed up in your inboxes. if it is, just read it in the app or online!
it’s fucking here …
it’s been a big year, and a big year calls for a big take on one of my favourite internet princess institutions: the annual gift guide. writing the gift guide always feels special to me, in part because the holidays make me automatically weepy (i’m just a girl, etc, etc) and in part because the process of writing about gifts for you always makes me think about what an incredible, life-changing gift Internet Princess has been for me (i know this is trite but sometimes i can’t help myself). a week ago, we reached 70,000 subscribers, and i thought — community is the most beautiful thing in the world, i am sustained by love and maintained by all the lives that exist in conversation with mine, there is nothing to the world but people! and then i thought — i should text some of my friends about gifts. and then their ideas were so good that i texted even more people about gifts, and then even more. writing can be very solitary work, which is both very good for me and at times very horrible, and suddenly it felt really wonderful and special and invigorating to think about making something fun in collaboration with some of the most exciting people i know.
what started with me texting a few of my friends for their thoughts on gift-giving has sprawled into the gift guide at the end of the world: 6000 (!!) words of gift ideas, product recs, nuggets of gift-based cultural criticism, and really, really good taste from writers, musicians, artists, actors, academics, poets, perfumers, and it-girls.
the gift guide contributers were given total creative freedom: i asked them to write about the gifts they’d want to receive, the gifts they’d want to give, the gifts that have meant the most to them, and their thoughts on gifts in general. they wrote about animal bones, whipped cream, counterfeit handbags, perfume, literature, nudity, feces, and hairbrushes; they wrote about their lovers and their friends; they wrote about the things they hate as well as the things they love.
so, here is your ultimate gift guide (maybe the last gift guide any of us will ever need), featuring recommendations and insights from internet princesses of all kinds. i hope, as always, that you share your own gift ideas here — and i hope it’s as fun for you as it was for me. happy holidays <3
P.S. none of this would be possible without your support — so to say an extra thank-you to my paid subscribers, there will be an extended cut of this list being sent out along with my own personal gift guide later this week.
Harmony Tividad is an artist and musician based in Los Angeles. As one half of the band Girlpool, she wrote some of the most iconic indie rock of the 2010s; her new solo EP, Dystopia Girl, is quickly becoming a soundtrack for my early 20s. One time i had a lucid dream that i did MDMA (which i have never actually done) and at the point in the dream where i’d be theoretically getting high i instead had a real-life orgasm — i still don’t really know what happened there physiologically but i’m sharing it because that is literally what it feels like when i listen to Harmony’s song Shoplifting from Nike. Basically, she’s really, really good.
Chopova Lowena white bunny bag — I have wanted this for so long and it’s bigger than you think and I just think she is so precious and perfect and uwu
Living Libations Best Skin Ever moisturizer/cleanser in Sea Buckthorn — So nice to wash ur face with and just makes it feel so good and doesn’t irritate it and just sits so well I love this stuff soooo much. Holistic thoughtful gift 🤍🪄
Multiple cans of whip cream — I’m obsessed with whip cream maybe this is more of a me thing. But bulk of any item someone loves is a very tender and funny gesture. For me it would be whip cream right now.
Rosie by Rosie Jane — Pretty musky floral perfume that is sexy and understated I love it so much! All her other perfumes are really lovely too 🤍
The best gift you can really offer someone is a loving listening ear.
Samiha Meem is a designer, writer, and educator whose research focuses on pop iconophilia, mythmaking, and cult labor as they relate to architecture. She’s currently an Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University where she’s working on an exhibit on girlrooms and synthetic images. She previously taught at McGill, where she hosted and masterminded my Girl Online lecture. Samiha is a genius and she's also SHREWD in a way that few people are, and I've only ever seen her wear black which apparently is an affliction from infancy. She is also a magnet for gay men (i find this impressive because gay men generally do not care for me. bisexual men love me a lot but that feels like a distant consolation prize).
Afghan War Rugs ($175)
I find weaving to be an intriguing form of storytelling, historical record, and cultural healing. Made on looms in Central Asia largely by women in villages and refugee camps, the earliest war rugs emerged during the Saur Revolution of 1976. As time passed, the symbolism changed. Contemporary depictions are focused on 9/11 and the turbulent relationship between the US and Afghanistan. Using vocabularies of color, fiber and pattern, the rugs weave together representations of the event as a momentary spectacle, the towers as still objects, and off-scale weaponry scattered above the invaded land mass like confetti. Its ultimate abstraction of the horrors that followed—necessitated by the medium itself as well as souvenir market appeal—becomes a memorialization of the nature of American exceptionalism. A 20-year violent conflict is flattened to pure commodified mythology (as though on par with the romanticized iconography of Coca-Cola, Route 66, or apple pie) to call into question: how does Western memory author, obscure, and displace meaning? So hot.
RAYNE’S NOTE: i’m obsessed with servischeetah007 and i have wanted one of these rugs for over a year now. these ones are my favourite.
DHgate Knockoff Handbag ($125) — I like fake things. Trademarked goods have operated within twenty-first-century capitalism as a means to proclaim their superiority as “real” objects but today's consumption culture has assimilated commodity and sign into an object form, on which use value, exchange value, and sign value become conflated. Engaging parasitically with products marked by the signs of intellectual property is a means of dissecting that attribution of value to the original “real” object—even eroding it. To “make against”, as the Latin etymology of “counterfeit” implies. This is why this year I really want DHgate’s “Top Quality Women lady cool girl Bags Motorcycle shoulder luxury Designers Genuine leather purse” in black with silver hardware.
Diptyque TAM DAO Eau de parfum ($220, discovery set $130) — I recently walked into Diptyque on Prince Street after spending the day reading in Washington Square Park. Possessed by the “I deserve a little treat” demon, I left the store with this scent in a bag. Worth it. Their entire range is beautiful and you can even customize discovery sets (puts a little extra thoughtfulness as a gift) but, being unflinchingly about the woody-spicy, Tam Dao was it.
Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection by Julia Kristeva ($28) — I’ve been revisiting a lot of writing on abjection, grotesque, and feminine sublime. At the same time, I have also been recommending them a lot more to others because of this bubbling cultural interest in feral girls and scary movies. This Julia Kristeva is pretty seminal for the monstrous—or monstrous-curious—person in your life. If you want to build out a starter kit, add Barbara Creed, Mary Russo, and Elizabeth Grosz. I think we all need to aspire to be more Cronenberg-style demented.
Brock Colyar is a features writer for New York Magazine, where they’ve written about Dylan Mulvaney, they/them pronouns, Che Diaz, Parade underwear, and more. Brock also spent years as the best party reporter in the city — their vignettes of nights on the town with a Rolodex of the most interesting, controversial, and infamous characters in New York were must-reads every time. Sometimes I’m like, I wonder what Brock is doing today? And then I’ll see on Instagram that they’re hanging out with Bethenny Frankel for some reason. i love them.
A Staycation — It's the hottest gift you can give a lover. Maybe this is just me but something about hotels (starchy white sheets; windows made for exhibitionism; bath robes) really turn me on. One year for my birthday, my ex bought me a night at a totally outdated, Oriental-carpeted spot in Midtown. He had an overpriced bottle of champagne waiting in the room and after dinner nearby we spent the night acting like it was the 80s and this was our fantasy coke den. Was it chic? No. Was it sexy? Yes. Let's just say the next morning required a fair amount of clean up. Hotel Tonight always has some good last minute options. What better gift to give someone for when you're back in the city post-holidays, depressed, and in need of some spice?
Bottle Service — Look... I know that bottle service killed Manhattan nightlife or whatever... but once in a blue moon there is nothing more fun than going to a shitty club with all your best girlfriends and getting bottles of Grey Goose delivered directly to you, sparklers and various for-some-reason-pulpy fruit juices included. If you have some money to throw around, buy your friends a table for a night. Or, gather a group and pool your money and call it a collective holiday gift to yourselves.
This Shitty Sephora Perfume Sampler — I am not a fragrance snob. Let me admit that first. Fragrances are also not a very good gift — people should figure out what they want to smell like on their own. But... I am obsessed with this perfume sampler from Sephora. For $87 you get 16 (SIXTEEN!) sample size perfumes. You also get a coupon for a free (FREE!) full-sized bottle of whichever scent you like the most. It's such a steal. Your mother would love this.
A Nude — I have a completely inappropriate craving to know what all of my friends look like naked. It's not sexual, really. I just think it's nice to know what everyone has going on down there. At your lame Friendsgiving this year, make everyone pull out a single nude and pass it around the circle. This newfound knowledge will come in handy when, later, you're trying to set one of them up.
RAYNE’S NOTE: my best friend had a polaroid of me naked hanging next to her bed for many years. it is the best nude i’ve ever taken. also one time i had sex in her bed (long story) and it was awesome to see my own naked self looking down on me in approval. not sure if it will be easy for you guys to recreate this experience but just something to keep in mind
6) A Non-Suggestion Suggestion: I know this makes me sound like a bitch but ... if you're going to give me something handmade, you might as well not give me a gift at all. I would never have noticed! Unless you're a professional artist, I don't want this crap you painted/sewed/friendship-beaded/whatever at the last minute. Because then I feel pressure to wear it/display it in my house/keep it in a shoebox under my bed for a year before I finally throw it away. The sentiment is nice. I just don't want it. The only exception is baked goods.
RAYNE’S NOTE: i love how directly this suggestion contradicts like 50% of the rest of this gift guide. such a “we contain multitudes” moment…
Avery Norman is a photographer based in New York. She’s gorgeous and phenomenally talented and she gave me my first-ever Diet Coke. I met Avery when she shot me for Document Journal, where she’s also shot iconic portraits of Ethel Cain, Samia, Weyes Blood, and many, many more — i think she’s really incredible at capturing women in moments of intimacy and vulnerability and also really engaging with American mythology in her work. When i texted her about this project and she sent me back pictures of the homemade felt pet sculpture she was working on, i knew immediately she was going to kill it.
Homemade felt pet sculpture — When in doubt go to Blick and spend 60 dollars on glue, wire, sewing needles, string, and foam, and then spend the next 2 days creating a replica of your friend/family/lover’s most beloved animal.
Ariat Fatbaby Cowgirl Boots — Some of them are kinda fugly but if you find a good color/design I think they are the cutest shoes to ever exist. I get so many compliments on these and they feel more fun than standard cowboy boots.
Photography After Frank, Essays by Philip Gefter — One of my favorite gifts I’ve received, this book changed the way I thought about photography. Really interesting insight and inspirational in a way as well.
Giant silk scrunchies — These changed my life.
RAYNE’S NOTE: as some of you may know, giant silk scrunchies also changed my life. my personal faves are from Room Shop!!!
Chloe Moriondo is a musician that i’ve loved since i was 15 and watching her ukulele covers on my shared family laptop (if you were on tumblr you get it…). it was so crazy to me when i found out they like the blog — a true full circle moment!! it’s been so special to watch their music grow up alongside me; i listened to their alt-rock album blood bunny all the time after i dropped out of school, and their latest pop project, SUCKERPUNCH, is sooo fun & sexy. chloe’s creative output has truly influenced a generation and i’m honoured to have their influence on this gift guide as well <3
for myself: any thrifted/vintage piece of jewelry/clothing that includes pearls and or chrome-ish/metallic/aquatic-robotic elements. i have really been loving pearly colors/accessories and i found a beautiful necklace in a vintage store in southwest detroit that is DEFINITELY a new staple piece.
for others: either a sweet handpicked piece of art that reminds u of them, a travel-sized signature scent, or something that teaches them to make something they love (ex: woobles, DIY crochet plushies which my A&R Caterina put me onto, or a cookbook/new kitchen appliance that elevates their daily eating/drinking experience in a cute and easy way)
for others AND me: i think a le labo candle or any sweet little candle from a nice gift store near you is ALWAYS easy and welcomed. i received one as a celebratory gift from my label and it was really special to me— i burned it periodically over more than a year + it smelled great every time.
Quinnie is an artist you may know from her breakout single touch tank, which is a song i love even though i have only cum from getting head like two times in my entire life. i’ve always really loved seeing girls come up on the internet and start creating wonderful and exciting bodies of work, and i totally feel that way about quinnie — her stuff just really stands out to me. its romantic and unique and FUN!!! and her recommendations are too!!
FM3 Buddha Machine — i was given one of these about a year ago and its one of my most prized possessions. basically its this little plastic box, you turn it on and theres a handful of options for ambient loops you can listen to. might not be everyones cup of tea, but im a sucker for really subtle music and this thing puts me in a wonderful headspace when i want to be relieved of otherwise endless music options.
pocket altar — a little handmade gift idea. it’s a small foldable fabric altar you can make with just a little sewing experience. you can put photos or tiny keepsakes in there, whatever feels right, but personalize the inside for the person you are giving it to.. i recommend reserving this gift for the most special people in your life as its a very sweet sentimental reminder of your love for them.
CBD Magnesium Lotion by Be Rooted — maybe a weird gift to give but this shit is so good i put it on all my aches and pains.
Charlie Squire is a writer and artist based in Berlin. They run evil female, an incredible substack that many of you already know and love. Charlie is a genuine-article genius, one of the first and truest Friends Of The Blog, and of the few people I know who I consider to be a true aesthete. P.S. they just self-published a collection of sprawling, gorgeous critical essays about travelling through Europe, which is something i sort of thought people could only really do in the 1910s.
Walker’s Scotties — Decadent, delightful, and very Scottish. A Christmannukah treat from my own British-American childhood that is equal parts whimsical and classic, I love a great shortbread and a gift that feels simple and thoughtful. Best with a fine hot chocolate or a fancy loose-leaf tea, wrapped in brown craft paper and tied up with twine.
A vintage Eastern European wood chess set — High-quality wood, built to last, and used and loved for generations. I love functional decor, and Soviet-era consumer goods design (personally, I love DDR vintage) really strikes the perfect balance between being expressive, attractive, and Mod without being too “design-y” in a way that feels over-the-top. A Ruhla GARDE chess clock would be the perfect addition.
The J.W. Anderson pigeon clutch — My most bourgeois desire. Self-explanatory. Overly expensive. As seen on And Just Like That.
An iPod, pre-loaded with some of my favorite music — I’ve been wanting an iPod forever, since I want to be able to leave my phone at home more often but never want to leave without music. Plus, I think you can really only get them on eBay, and there’s something about knowing someone went scavenging up and down a secondhand site rather than the immediate ease of e-commerce. Please include: Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me, and Parliament’s Maggot Brain.
Marissa Zappas is a perfumer, poet, and artist based in Brooklyn. I think Marissa is truly one of my favourite artists working today. She has an approach to perfume that feels really revolutionary; she gives her work kind of an anthropological edge that feels consistently fascinated with humanity and memory and connections between people. She collaborates constantly (I’m very excited for her newest project with Universal Flowering), and i think she also inspires creative collaboration through her work — I’ve found some of my favourite poetry ever in her Fragrantica comments sections.
(She’s too humble to say it here herself, of course, but any of the beautiful women in your life would probably die to get one of her perfumes as a gift — i’m personally hoping for a refill of Flaming Creature, or the cult-favourite Annabel’s Birthday Cake.)
Vacation at Fogo Island Inn — It’s extremely pricey, but for some reason I’ve fixated on it as my ultimate dream space of relaxation. I’ve always wanted to go to Newfoundland.
One of the wigs worn by Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra designed by Stanley Hall — They’re auctioned frequently because there were so many. Can you even imagine the power in one of those?!
Milk oolong tea from Bellocq — My best friend Annabel Gat bought me this tea for Christmas one year and I’ve continued to refill it. It’s has the most comforting and delicious aroma.
A gift card to Zitomer — For Claus Porto Soap or European pharmacy stuff.
I am a Beautiful Monster by Francis Picabia — Who knew Picabia was such an incredible poet. I’m obsessed with this book, all the pages are folded.
Eliza McLamb is a musician, girl genius, and beloved friend. She shifts the culture on her podcast, Binchtopia; she lets me sleep in her guest bedroom when I visit LA; her debut album, Going Through It, is one of my favourite records of 2024 and it’s not even out yet (listen to her singles here). Seeing her live in Brooklyn earlier this year was an experience so emotional that it had a direct effect on me ending my nearly-three-year relationship. There’s no one like Eliza, and her recs prove it.
Lebon Socks ($15) — It’s a common trope in holiday media that a stuffy, elderly female relative who is perhaps a bit estranged — actually or at least emotionally — will watch you unwrap her present before proudly proclaiming: socks! To, as happens in the movies, dejected sighs and eyerolls. I want that mythical woman avenged. Gifting the perfect pair of socks is a skill — there are so many socks — and it’s one that, when honed, will inspire many gracious thanks from the receiver. These socks, from Lebon, are the perfect balance of luxurious and practical. They are comfortable and suitable for all seasons and most types of shoes. They pair well, stretched out, with flats, scrunched up with sneakers, or just barely peeking out from the top of chunky boots. For even more of a splurge, I recommend the cashmere pair.
RAYNE’S NOTE: my best friend got my ex-boyfriend a single pair of socks for Christmas one year and he talked about it for a full year afterwards as the best gift he’d ever received even though i ALSO got him a gift... and he was totally obsessed with me so that just proves how good of a gift socks can be.
BFI Film Classics Books ($14.35) — It took maybe three weeks of living in Los Angeles for me to realize, oh, I don’t think I will ever know or care as much about movies — sorry, films — as these people. This realization and subsequent insecurity about my capacity to critically engage with film left me lacking for what to do with movies for a long while. This series of books, by BFI, is a fantastic foray into film criticism for everyone from casual movie watchers to bonafide film bros. Each (short!) volume is a deep dive into a “classic” film, an argument for its exalted status, and an exploration of what makes it compelling. There’s a ton of volumes in their catalogue, and they probably have your friend’s favorite movie. The real secret of giving a good gift is communicating to people that you know them well enough to adequately predict what they might enjoy. This is an easy, low-ball way to fake that sense of intimacy with a not-quite close friend, or to confirm it with a real one. Plus, it makes the receiver feel smart and respected, which is another key attribute of a great gift.
Animal Bones (range of prices) — That’s fucking weird and creepy and none of my self-respecting, plant-based friends would want anything to do with dead animal bones…is what your visceral, entirely understandable reaction may be to this suggestion. I get it. My mother, a lover of taxidermy (VERY different), mystifies me in her reverence for stuffing up the inanimate and letting Schrodinger’s cat hang out in her living room. But bones, I assure you, carry a much different energy than taxidermy. Three years ago, I stumbled across an entire deer skeleton on a hike in rural Colorado — flesh biodegraded, with only clean bones remaining. For some reason, I felt compelled to take a portion of its spine with me. I suppose I sensed what I needed at the time — a backbone. I kept it in my car for three years, took it out only once to clean it, and totaled my car the very next day. Finding bones in the wild is obviously preferable, but there’s a lot of interesting, ethically sourced stock on the internet if bones are not easily accessible in your area or if that thought makes you queasy. The great thing about giving bones is that they’re extremely personalized. Get this bison jaw for your friend who has trouble speaking their mind, or a springbok horn for someone who needs protection.
Clara Perlmutter, a.k.a. TinyJewishGirl, is a social media icon, a style provocateur, and a true New York It Girl (as named by New York Magazine). She gives great career advice, has an encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history and somehow an even bigger closet, and she’s also one of those people who has a million secret skills that she never brags about even though she could (did you know she wrote a book?). Clara has incredible taste and is a skilled conversationalist in the way I imagine Dorothy Parker must have been and she’s also SO fun to FaceTime.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Lamp — Have you ever been kicked in the vagina with a soccer cleat? It’s the perfect shape to really wedge itself in between your legs and inflict a kind of pain that reverberates through the entire frame of your skeleton. It feels like life has metaphorically been doing just that to me and the girls as of late. Daylight savings time just ended, and the days are getting shorter and darker. Seasonal depression is creeping round the bend, and it’s about to get pretty emo up in here. That’s why I’m going to be gifting all my down bad friends a SAD lamp this holiday season. It’s not mumbo jumbo, guys, it’s science! I have Bipolar Disorder and I haven’t had an episode since 2015. My psychiatrist recommended that I use a SAD lamp for thirty minutes a day to alleviate my winter blues, and it makes a profound difference. I swear by it. Real testimonials! Real people!
RAYNE’S NOTE: my mom got me one of these when she was worried i was going to kill myself and i used it to take selfies
notitle x Samba OG Cow Print sneaker — My Instagram Explore page has descended into a chaotic assortment of aesthetic pictures of sneakers, bodybuilder thirst traps, and videos of people getting gruesomely injured. The latter two genres of video have been awesome for my agoraphobia :), while the former has convinced me that I absolutely must have these shoes. It’s not like I’ve been leaving the house recently, and it’s not like I own enough brown to justify this as a purchase, but ding dang darn!!! Aren’t they purdy?!? Forget dropping hints—I like to tell my boyfriend, Van, exactly what I want for the holidays so there’s no chance I’m disappointed. If my yearning for these shoes doesn’t stop, you WILL catch me rocking these in the new year, and you can join me in saying, “Thank you, Van!”
Ugg Boot Guard (for Ugg wearers) — Do you know and love an Ugg-wearer? The Ugg boot guard is the type of thing that isn’t necessary enough to justify buying for yourself. My boyfriend used to look at them online, ever so wistfully. When his cousin reached out to me, stumped about what to buy him for Christmas, I suggested these and she pulled the trigger. Van LOVES them, and hasn’t taken them off in the past year. While it doesn’t turn your Ugg into an all-terrain shoe, or anything magical like that, it definitely gives you some leeway with the weather conditions you can wear your boots in. Plus, they come in cute and fun colors! This year (hint hint, Van…) I am hoping someone buys ME Ugg guards.
Red Dakota Poop Drops — I got sent these perfumed poop drops in PR and this little bottle has been a miracle. If you live with other people, or if you consider yourself a Big Shitter, this is a fabulous gift. I swear to God, it has eliminated so much tension in my relationship. Van and I both have intense digestive issues, and this has dialed back the resentment we feel towards one another about sharing a bathroom. Before the poop drops, when Van dropped a deuce, I would have to wait at least forty-five minutes for the bathroom to air out before I could comfortably do my makeup, take a shower, or utilize the facilities, myself. With the help of the poop drops, I can safely enter the bathroom, even in the wake of the untold horrors that have just unfolded, and feel confident breathing through my nose! I prefer these to Febreeze. Do yourself and your roommates a kindness, and make this purchase, pronto!
RAYNE’S NOTE: the day when i first met clara i shit six times in one day, including twice — to distinct times, an hour apart — in her toilet. not sure what was going on there but her bathroom made me feel safe and unjudged.
Ariela Barer is an actress and writer from LA. She co-wrote and starred in the eco-terrorist thriller How To Blow Up A Pipeline, which was one of the best movies from the last year and also probably put her on one million watchlists. She is so smart and charming and she’s also very funny in a way where you always feel like you’re in on the joke — AND she took me shopping for my birthday dress, where she helped me find vintage Yohji Yamamoto. She would like me to note that she wrote these recommendations drunk.
In Defense of the Gift Card — When I was a kid, it was completely normal and appropriate to arrive at a birthday party with $20 in an envelope and a card if you’re fancy. (This may have not been normal in other places, but I grew up in Los Angeles; the hedonistic haven of lazy, hot people.) But now as an adult I do often fantasize about a life where everyone who comes to my casual dive bar birthday party gives me a $20 gift card to a brand I like but can’t afford. It doesn’t take much time or observation to recognize where a person you care about might want to spend money, but sometimes you don’t want to be overly presumptuous about tastes (especially if it involves guessing clothing sizes, yikes!). Instead, I urge you to consider making the gift card cool again. Any amount from $20 to $100 to show you care and help them get the unaffordable item of their dreams.
RAYNE’S NOTE: as ariela notes, this gift is especially genius when you get them a gift card to a place you know they desperately want to buy from but won’t let themselves do it without a push. true to her word, ariela got me a gift card to Sandy Liang for my birthday and now i have a pair of earrings on the way that i will treasure forever even though i never would have taken the plunge otherwise.
Spiritual candles and crystals — Not everyone believes in this and that’s ok, that’s actually not the point. Obviously don’t do this if it is offensive to someone’s religious practices etc ok anyways — the point of this is that you get to go to a little spiritual shop and think deeply about your friend and all the things you wish for them. There are stones that can tell them you hope they find the power to express all of the beautiful thoughts in their head because you believe doing so would improve their life and that is what you want for them. There are candles that tell them there is an abundance of love in their life if they choose to accept it and you would like to help them do that. I advise you leave a card explaining what each one does. Either way it will likely become decoration for them, but it’s decoration that reminds them that they are loved!
A book that means the world to YOU — This one is high-risk high-reward. The worst case scenario is that it is a touch narcissistic and potentially an imposition, but at its most effective, it will lead to a beautiful, bountiful, and much deeper friendship. This is a way to enrich someones life while also sharing something vulnerable about yourself. This is a way of asking to be seen. Make sure you choose a book that has measurably impacted your life or way of thinking. Let it be intimate and a little bit scary! My go-to book used to be Letters To A Young Poet, but then I turned 22. My new go-tos are just for those I choose to know. (Warning: This could backfire if chosen person never reads it. Prepare for potentially friendship ending devastation. Only do this for those who are worthy of the risk.)
RAYNE’S NOTE: to make your favourite book a high-effort gift for an especially beloved person in your life, i love to give someone i love a copy that i’ve annotated by hand.
Marlowe Granados is a novelist, filmmaker, and the party girl’s party girl. Her debut novel, Happy Hour, was an instant classic (and you know she’s an it girl because she causes all this conversation). Marlowe is brilliant and one of the most stylish people I know, and she’s also just so classy — one time I watched her toss out a pithy one-liner at the end of a night out and then immediately waltz into a cab with such grace that someone said aloud that she seemed like royalty. I’d trust her taste to my grave.
Original Art — I love buying art whenever I can. When I shifted to really focusing on decorating my home, a part of that meant building my art collection. Obviously, it can be tricky buying for someone else, but nothing a little bit of investigation can’t help with! My friends tend to follow art and design accounts, so it's easy to see what they like. If buying an original piece is too much out of your price range, artists often do small runs of prints around the holidays.
RAYNE’S NOTE: i just purchased my first original piece of art from my friend Lulu in Montreal (look at her work here s’il vous plait). owning something handmade and one-of-a-kind from an artist you love is truly the best feeling in the world !
First editions or signed books — This is a little easier, I love trawling online for first editions. One time, I ordered a copy of Eartha Kitt's memoir "Confessions of a Sex Kitten" and luck would have it that it came signed! You can easily look through your friend's bookshelf to see what books they would love, appreciate, adore having as a first edition or SIGNED!
A Mason Pearson Hairbrush — I am a noted fan of Mason Pearson, as I have written extensively here. There is some debate over what brand of brush is better etc. etc., but as an object I truly don't think I ever tire of mine. It's pretty! Also it's so soft with detangling that the pocket size is the only brush my Pomeranian lets me brush him with (and that's a real testament to its power).
Silk Pillowcases — Everyone I know who has housesat my apartment has gone on to buying their own silk pillowcases. If you look at the materials and it says polyester even if the name of the brand has some form of "silky" or "satin" in it, it is not silk. Make sure it's 100% Mulberry silk and has a momme count between 19 to 25 (mine are 21 momme and still around $30). I would get this for anyone! It truly elevates your sleep.
once again, thank you so much for reading and happy early holidays <3 i’m so proud of this gift guide and none of it would be possible without your support — one last reminder (sorry) that paid subs are on sale for today only, and even more holiday stuff will be on its way to paid susbcribers later this week.
also make sure to tell me about your favourite gifts PLEASE because i literally got so many good ideas from my comment section last year. SEE YOU SOON!!! xoxo rayne