giving: things to feel better with.

November 25, 2020
things to feel better with | reading my tea leaves

Here’s some inspiration for gift giving that offers a bit in the way of comfort and cozy, and that extends an invitation for getting out of your head and into your body.

These gifts have been handpicked by me from small shops and businesses offering thoughtful goods made with care. If you have recommendations for other indie folks making similar wares, feel free to add them in the comments! The more the merrier.


Floral essences, like the ones made by Alyson Morgan of Earth Star Herbals. Because everyone could use an extra holiday helping of boundaries and protection.

Herbal teas, like the ones all wrapped up in compostable and plantable parcels from Rhocoe. Because short days call for warming drinks.

Long Johns, like the 100% organic cotton ones from Object Apparel, handmade in Detroit, Michigan. Because winter is far more tolerable when you’re warm enough.

A special talisman, like a morse-coded silk and gold bracelet from Coatt. Because a wearable reminder from someone who loves you might make all the difference on a dark day.

A personal massager, like this forest green beauty from Maude, for someone you really like. (For instance, yourself.)

things to feel better with | reading my tea leaves

A wine subscription, from somewhere like the genius What to Drink Wine Club out of Oakland, California, which takes the guesswork out of choosing two perfect bottles every month.

Sea salt chocolate chip cookies, like our neighborhood favorites, now shipping nationwide from Poppy’s. Because everything’s better with a sprinkle of sea salt, but cookies especially.

Hair duds, like these velvet scrunchies from Rosemarine Textiles in Detroit, because sometimes everyone needs a little something fancy.

Special spirits, like this smoked pineapple beauty from Matchbox Distilling Company on Long Island. Because an evening tipple on a winter’s night can be a welcome distraction.

Lip balm, like these chubby little beeswax buddies from Kobee. Because a lip balm for every pocket keeps the winter blues—and chapped lips—away.

Cozy socks, like the naturally colored gems from Danu Organic. Because I don’t care what anyone says, socks for presents are the best, and anyone on your list should be so lucky!

Coffee, like this Two-Spirit blend from Birchbark Coffee Co. Because good coffee on cold mornings is just about the only thing getting me through these days.



If you’re hoping to expand your gift giving this year to folks in your community who might not be a part of your immediate family, consider making a donation to a local non-profit or mutual aid organization, like the National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus CareFund.

The Coronavirus Care Fund was established by the National Domestic Workers Alliance to provide emergency assistance for home care workers, nannies and house cleaners to support them in staying safe and staying home to slow the spread of the coronavirus and to care for themselves and their families.

For more ideas of places to direct money and energy, my friend Anja has compiled a full and growing list of mutual aid efforts happening locally and across the country on her site Never Sleeps.

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  • Reply Hannah November 25, 2020 at 2:19 pm

    Here to reaffirm: SOCKS ARE A FANTASTIC GIFT.

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE November 25, 2020 at 2:21 pm


      • Reply Lauren November 27, 2020 at 11:33 am

        Thank you for posting USA made gifts. I am having a tough time finding USA made toys for littles if anyone had suggestions it would be appreciated!

  • Reply marta November 25, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Indeed! Also I want to add another idea :
    these beautiful photographies turned postcards from my talented sister (the project is called Postcards over emails!). A really beautiful way to keep during the year contact with loved ones while also sharing beautiful photographies :
    and her instagram :

  • Reply C November 25, 2020 at 5:35 pm

    That Maude vibe is *so* good. At only $45, it’s much better than others I’ve tried.

  • Reply Maria November 25, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    My cousin Nikki @ FleetWood continues to spread the love in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco putting together thoughtfully-curated gift boxes that support the district’s indie shops. As to my favorite, it’s a toss-up between the Max Relaxin’ (an ode to Fresh Prince) or the Coffee Lover!

  • Reply Grace November 26, 2020 at 9:01 am

    YES OBJECT APPAREL! Cannot shout about their quality and kindness enough. Their masks have been my favorites this year, I cherish the long johns that I have from them and if anyone got me their underwear for a gift I would kiss them on the mouth (raincheck for after the pandemic if it’s not my wife).

  • Reply meghan November 26, 2020 at 11:47 am

    Thank you so much for including our velvet scrunchies in your gift guide!! I’m a huge fan of your blog and really excited about this 🙂

  • Reply Meghan November 26, 2020 at 11:49 am

    I’d also like to add that I am close personal friends with Mike and Mollie of Object Apparel and everything they make is SOOO good!! Excited their amazing thermals are featured here as well. I got a pair for my partner for Christmas and they’re such amazing quality.

  • Reply Jillian Punska December 15, 2020 at 7:21 pm

    I love Coatt! xoxo

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