Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Holiday Gift Giving Guide






Tis the season.. This coming Friday is the Black one, marking the start of the holiday shopping season. For many, gifting is a stressful activity because, despite the promotions and packaging specials and discounts and demands, you just don’t know what to get. Holidays bring a degree of pressure for everybody, so I intend to make this one aspect of the holidays painless, leaving you to worry about the turkey and the in-laws and those relatives who drink too much (or in my case, not enough). Here is Mile High Style’s definitive guide to gift giving.

I am and have always been a great gift giver. Many of life’s simplest tasks I cannot seem to manage (and operating anything with an on/off switch is out of the question), but finding the perfect something for the right person has always been effortless. However, advising someone I don’t know on a gift for someone I also don’t know is more challenging. Nevertheless, my theory on happy giving can work for all people, all price points. Like everything on the blog, anything highlighted in red will link to an online merchant for each particular item.

I believe a good gift has to be something the person wants/appreciates but wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves. And the name of that game is luxe: indulgent, high-end, lavish. But can you buy something lavish with a $20 budget? You absolutely can. For whatever your budget, look for the most high-end product in that price range. Here are some examples.


Missoni Guest Towel– Missoni is an Italian fashion house branded by their patterned, colorful knitwear, which invokes a 70s chic sensibility. The clothing is absolutely unaffordable (even when deeply discounted), but their home products (for the bath and table) are more moderately priced while staying consistent with the brand’s revered look. Their hand towels will bring a bathroom style and sophistication, no small feat for a room where the main attraction is a toilet.

Pen– A pen? Really? Isn’t that something out of a bad holiday movie? Not with this pen. Featured in the blog last year, this pen, crafted by Boulderite Paul Bonestroo from two US Military bullet casings, is all kinds of awesome. Works well, wears well, and is the perfect pick for any man in your life.

Coffee Table Book– If you don’t know which topics in art/photography/fashion/design are of particular interest, a general book on 20th Century Art is always a safe bet.

Votives– This collection of mercury glass votives are elegant for a holiday table and practical for everyday ambience in any room.


La Mer Lip Balm– Did you know they made $45 lip balm? Would you believe it’s the most sublime thing? Because it is. Most women would balk at paying nearly 10x the price of chapstick to keep their lips loved, but they will thank you for this amazing product, the Cristal of lip care.

Joya Candle– In the same vein, spending this much on a candle is, for many, unthinkable. But these candles are worth every penny. They smell incredible and totally different from anything else on the market and look chic on any surface. Part of the price includes fabulous packaging, something your recipient won’t soon forget. For this price point, Joya is as good as it gets.

Hermes Drawer Liners– Forget the little blue box. What you really want is the orange box. Hermes has long been synonymous with the best so anything from this store, packaged in its signature orange, is an extraordinary gesture.


La Maison du Chocolat– You’ll never look at American chocolate the same way again. A box of these chocolates is an ideal gift come holiday time since so many entertain and host and can always use something to help keep guests happy. Keep refrigerated.

Wine– Wine starts to be really good at about the $65 and over range, and that is also the amount that most people simply won’t pay for themselves. For a lover of big Reds, Stags’ Leap Cabernet is an extraordinary gesture.

Picture Frame– This is another household item that many people don’t want to spend a lot of money on. A frame in this price range will dazzle and be used and appreciated for years to come.


Flowers– Flowers make people happy and are always a fabulous gift. In this range, you can make a big statement with a bouquet or the always appropriate Orchid.

A Bottle– Of preferred poison. For wine drinkers, the 07 Napa Cabernets are rumored to be an unbeatable vintage.

John Derian– This NYC-based home goods boutique is known for their decoupage plates, trays, platters and paperweights. Everything is special and beautiful and the Derian name has become more high-profile in the last year by releasing a line at Target. However, nothing beats the original so if you can give, give this.

Stocking Stuffers

Jonathan Adler Stash Box

Cheese Knives


Smythson Notebook

Cocktail Napkins

Alcohol Accoutrement



Candy Cane

Not Your Mother’s Potpourri


Donate. I feel strongly that while anything listed above would make a lovely and thoughtful gift, your $25-$100 will go further for someone who really needs it. Make a donation to the gift recipient’s favorite charity, in his/her name.



Gift Gorgeous Glassware

Gift Gorgeous Glassware










I was at a recent event at Design Within Reach and saw this gorgeous glassware collection. Imagine my surprise to find the price is waaaaaay reasonable (definitely *not* the case with much of their merchandise). I particularly love the unique look of the stemless champagne ‘flutes’ and know you can never go wrong with a decanter. If you’re feeling especially generous (or rich) this holiday season, gift the entire collection.