Below, a list of all the very best gifts for myself that I plan to (or have already) purchased, because after a certain age, writing a wish list can start to feel, well, silly. That’s not to say I don’t see the value in it, but as a (mostly) financially solvent adult human, the exercise of sending my loved ones a curated list of items that I want, but have tacitly agreed not to order for myself, has become decidedly overindulgent.
Besides, once I’ve identified something I need, I see no point in gambling with size availability, holiday shipping deadlines (supply chain!), and the statistical unlikelihood that someone will decide to give it to me. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but as a small-space dweller who manages to over-research even the most straightforward purchase, I’d rather not leave anything to chance.
So this year, I asked any interested parties (really, just my mom) to consider sending me a snarky greeting card instead of a gift. In turn, I was able to rationalize my own rampant consumerism, indulging in seven best gifts for myself—no backorders, no guessing games.
1. Required Reading
I love receiving books as gifts. There is never a need for speculation about sizing, and they comfortably straddle the line that separates necessity and indulgence. Generally speaking, it’s no problem to wait a few weeks to see whether someone has gifted me a particular title while I work my way through the already teetering stack on my bedside table.
Unless, of course, I’ve determined it’s absolutely essential that I get my hands on the title in question as soon as humanly possible, as was the case with Sally Rooney and Lauren Groff’s latest novels.
2. The Shipping Minimum Must
The thing about pursuing gifts for others is that you’re bound to stumble across something that’s better suited for you (right?). So when a gift for my husband didn’t meet Everlane’s threshold for free shipping, I had no choice but to add this cashmere bandana to the order.
3. The Ultra Specific Home Splurge
Home decor can be tricky to gift. A succulent? Sure. A vase? Maybe. Artwork and wall hangings? Generally better to skip. After several months spent hunting for a narrow-ish, vertically proportioned asymmetrical mirror to grace the last unadorned wall in my living room, I didn’t see the point in waiting any longer to complete the space.
4. The Gift I Don’t Feel Like Explaining
Some items don’t necessarily make sense to those around you until they’ve been successfully incorporated into your wardrobe. To request this pair of shearling clogs from my husband would require too much explaining. Where would you wear those? Why do you need them? Are you supposed to wear socks with them? Instead, I bought them for myself and can now happily say I wear them almost everywhere, never without socks.
5. A Pop of Color
As someone who wears almost exclusively black pants and white tee shirts, a forest green turtleneck is about as flamboyant as things get in my closet. But the thought of buying a black beanie to wear with my black jacket, grey scarf, black jeans, and black boots was simply too grim to go through with. Enter: this incredibly cozy pink White + Warren beanie that makes dressing for subzero temperatures just a tiny bit more bearable.
6. The Suddenly-Urgent Staple
I’ve been searching for a small-ish, all-purpose black bag for over a year, to no avail. So when my friend (and Vogue communications guru) Jill Weiskopf told me she’d found the softest leather bags on the internet, I knew my moment had finally arrived. After an endless search for the right piece, there was just no way I was going to wait another several weeks to start wearing it.
7. The Signature Scent
Scented candles make a great gift—or do they? More than once, I’ve given a friend what I considered a deliciously scented candle, only to notice it sitting unburnt on their bookshelf months later. Scents are subjective, and as such, it makes sense to snag a candle whenever you find one you really love.