Top Gifts to Give (& Receive)

Gifts to give & receive Still working on that long holiday gift list?  We asked our Generation W community to share with us what gifts they love to give and receive during the holiday season.  Their responses include everything from handwritten notes of gratitude to practical items (socks) to things we wouldn’t think to purchase for ourselves (Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Key Pouch wallet).

See what made our list and hopefully it will help you check a few more items off of your gift list.





Giselle Carson
Marks Gray 
As an immigration attorney and busy professional, I am always looking for ways for me and my team to become more effective and efficient while also enjoying life to the fullest.  This year, I began practicing Bikram Yoga for its calming benefits, improvements in focus and determination, and deep stretches and ….I am loving it.   For my holiday gift and for my staff, I am getting Bikram Yoga classes gift certificates.  I will also throw in a few bars of Dark Chocolate with 70% or more cocoa … Delicious!


Maryam Banikarim
Gannett Co., Inc.
In my book, the best gifts are the ones that someone put energy and thought into:

One of my favorite gifts was a book by Akira Kurosawa that my husband gave me — called Something of an Autobiography. It thoughtful — because he knew I loved his movies.

Of course who isn’t moved by the handmade cards their kids made them — for the pure love your children put into them.

The favorite gift I’m giving so far this year is an Anya Hindmarch Bespoke Key Pouch wallet. Its the kind of thing you wouldn’t necessary indulge in for yourself but if you got it you’d covet it. It comes in mouth watering bold colors and you can have it embossed with a personal message. I picked two out for friends and put on a gold burst “it was a wonderful life” message on them.


Saudia Davis
GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning
I really like to give meals as gifts.  I love food and feel like it is something that really brings people together–a great way to relax and enjoy the busy holiday season.    As far as gifts I like to get–I really do love to get socks.


Tiffany Dufu
Levo League
One holiday nearly 15 years ago my husband and I were so broke we knew we wouldn’t be able to afford gifts. We wrote handwritten letters to all of our loved ones expressing gratitude for their role in our lives and sheepishly sent them off, partially embarrassed that we couldn’t do more. People loved it. We received more heartfelt acknowledgment in response to those letters than we had ever received in response to our store bought presents! Now that we have kids we’ve gone back to purchasing a few small gifts for them. But we’ve maintained the tradition of sending out a holiday letter in lieu of gifts to everyone else and are filled with thanks for the outpouring of love we receive in return.


Ita Ekpoudom
Tigress Ventures
As a child the thing I loved most about the holidays was all the fabulous presents (except that time my brother got me socks).  But as I got older and was able to buy things for myself, I’ve found that the holidays for me are less about the gifts that I receive, but rather the time I get to spend with close friends and family.  So I would say the gift I love to give and received the most is quality time to connect and reflect with the people that mean most to me on the year that has passed and talk about the possibilities for the year that lies ahead.  In many ways, that is what my company, Tigress Ventures, is all about as well, helping women connect in a meaningful way beyond just the holiday season.


Kristen Keen
I love to give Rethreaded Grace scarves.  To me this scarf is a symbol of Hope and a chance for a new story.  Not only is it super trendy and beautiful I know the women who made that scarf and the journey that has lead her to Rethreaded.  It makes me so thankful for our business.  I love to receive homemade gifts.  Sometimes my family and I will  exchange homemade gifts.  I love how creative and thoughtful they are with their gifts.  I have a very talented family!


Patricia Lizarraga
Hypatia Capital
My 8 year old daughter loves to give gifts to her family from her personal belongings.  Personalized recycling with love!


Patti Minglin
Go Girl Communications
I like to give gifts that people will enjoy after the holidays are over like theatre tickets or a flower of the month (allows my garden-loving mom to enjoy fresh flowers during the winter months).    When it comes to receiving gifts, my heart melts for anything that is personal or has great sentimental value.  One of my favorite gifts was a drawing of my childhood home.  One of my sisters hired an artist to create the picture and gave a print to each sibling and my mom.


Donna Orender
Generation W
I love to give something personally meaningful to my friends.. so the gift of a smile… ultimately:)

With respect to receiving, I love the gifts of time.. the one where you get to spend time with your friends doing something, having tea, seeing an exhibit, walking on the beach… it’s the resource with the greatest limitations.


Kasia Swierczynska
Generation W
For Christmas I make a point to go home to Poland every year. Spending this special time of the year with my family is the greatest gift. As far as giving, I am a big fan of making photobooks or personalized calendars, gifts with special meaning.


Wanda Willis
Edward Waters College
I love the holiday season and love to give gifts to my friends. My favorite gift to give this time of year is a gift that one can enjoy such as books and special gift baskets including personalized special items that I know my friends will enjoy throughout the year.  My favorite gift to receive are pampering gifts that I can enjoy while relaxing such as bath stuff and candles… That’s my special time!!





image courtesy of flickr CC/torbakhopper