The Best Unexpected Home & Office Gifts to Give This Holiday Season
From a crystal-filled decanter to an acupressure mat, and more.
’Tis the season for surprises. Gifts that delight, dazzle, and best of all, boost productivity. So, for the holidays this year, give that friend who’s always checking “just one more email” something useful year-round—in or out of the office. We’ve delved into what’s new in the shopping circuit and rounded up five not-so-ordinary presents that will hopefully be just what your recipient never knew they needed. Happy Holidays.
1. ATELIER SWAROVSKI X EYEJUST: Phone Card & Ring Holder
A cocktail ring that doubles as a phone holder—pretty genius, right? The scarlet red leather adhesive label (which also comes in silver, gold, and black) has a slip pocket that your credit card or I.D. can conveniently call home. Because it’s Atelier Swarovski, the precision-cut crystal takes center stage, adding more vibrancy to holiday parties and everyday errands alike. And it’s made in collaboration with EyeJust, the company by Gigi Mortimer known for blue light blocking screen protectors that help protect eyes, skin, and sleep from digital strain.
2. VITAJUWEL: Era & Prosperity Gem-Water Vial Set
Water is essential for healthy living, and even more so when it’s blessed with natural healing crystals. The sleek shape of this decanter evokes a work of art with a vial of fairly-traded and ethically-sourced malachite, clear quartz, and 24K gold leaf. The name of this set, “Prosperity,” can carry a world of meanings depending on your perspective—perhaps it’s wellness, perhaps it’s career success. Whatever it may be, let it serve as a reminder of prosperity while sitting pretty in the office or at home. The vial can also be switched if you prefer to match your mood to your crystals. Just fill the decanter with drinking water and wait 7-10 minutes for the crystal powers to do its magic.
3. MODERN PICNIC: Cream Luncher
Upon first glance, this lunchbox looks like a purse—but open it up and you’ll find that it’s (surprisingly) a lunchbox with an insulated interior lining and pockets for storing utensils. I first heard of Modern Picnic through a friend, New York-based photographer Wini Lao, who is all about working with and supporting women-owned brands. The company was founded in 2018 by Ali Kaminetsky, whose mission is to provide stylish alternatives to the traditional lunchbox when she couldn’t find one herself. Since then, the range has grown to include a span of colors, “Snacker” clutches, and the option to be customized. Because, after all, bringing lunch to work is faster, less expensive, and can be healthier, too.
4. BED OF NAILS: BON Mat & Pillow
It may sound scary, but contrary to its name, the Bed of Nails mat and pillow set is deeply relaxing in a way that’s similar to acupuncture—though it may take some time to get used to at first. Inspired by the ancient healing tradition of Indian gurus and yogis (who were said to lay on actual spikes—ouch), this mat has 8,820 non-toxic recyclable plastic nails melted onto it. Upon laying down on it for the first time, the nails felt slightly uncomfortable, even with a thin T-shirt on, but I gave it a chance in hopes of it alleviating my stress. Within just a few seconds, it did. The sharpness of the nails amped up a sense of energy throughout my body and the pillow felt like a bonus scalp massage. Use it 10 minutes or longer every day, and it may also help relieve muscle aches, improve circulation, beat insomnia, and more.
5. NORDSTROM: Ruffle Tech Wool Blend Gloves
In our fast-paced day and age, it’s all about technology. And because the freezing temperatures aren’t going to stop any digital darling from typing away on the phone, tech gloves are a true savior. This ivory ruffle-detailed pair includes touchscreen-friendly tips on the index fingers and thumbs for easy texting. Get them before last-minute shoppers reach for all the gloves—one of the most practical gifts of all. And if you’ll be in New York City, be sure to visit the new Nordstrom flagship on 225 West 57th Street where seven floors and 320,000 square feet of pure shopping bliss awaits.
Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.