Whether they’re your childhood best friend or a recent colleague-turned-pal, gifting your friend something thoughtful, personal and well-needed this Christmas can be a difficult task. Maybe they already have everything, or they’re notoriously picky regarding gifts.
The first step is to think carefully about what they’ll really be grateful for: have they hinted a couple of times about a new pair of earrings they’re eyeing up? Do you know that there’s a skincare product they’re running low on or a book you’ve recently read yourself that you know they’ll just love? The best Christmas gifts for her are unique, thoughtful and personal to the recipient.
Browse our gift guide below for the best presents to get your friends this Christmas, from perfumes to candle-making sets, flower subscriptions and more. If you're buying for a coworker, you can also find more inspiration in our guide to the best Christmas gifts for coworkers.
Where to find the best Christmas gifts for friends in the US
- Barnes and Noble: One-stop shop for all your literary gifting needs
- Macy's: Great for skincare and favorite US brands
- Amazon: Tech, books, food and much more
- Nordstrom: The ultimate hub of high-end and affordable gifts across categories
- Etsy: Expansive selection of handmade and bespoke gifts across categories
- Target: A hub for just about anything you could need
- Wayfair: Shop premier tech, home, and kitchen, outdoors, and more products
- Sephora: Premier hub of luxury beauty brands
- West Elm: Discover ultra-luxe home decor, bedding, furniture, and kitchen & dining
- Anthropologie: Chic designs and high quality for homeware staples
Our pick of the best Christmas gifts for friends in the US
1. School of Life 'Know Yourself' Cards: View at Amazon
RRP: $26.44 | Delivery: 2-6 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
These introspective, existential cards are great for playing with a partner to get to know them better. Or, get the rest of your friends together with some homemade cocktails and ask each other these unique and unexpected questions for an evening of secret-spilling and bonding. No phones allowed.
2. Prism Crystal Hoops in Gold: View at Astrid & Miyu
RRP: $89 | Delivery: 3-6 days | Refundable: Earrings are non-returnable due to hygiene reasons
You really can’t go wrong with chunky gold hoops: they’re classy, smart, and they go with any outfit. Your friend will thank you for this simple but sleek accessory that will compliment their capsule wardrobe. These chic earrings are also a great Christmas gift idea for moms.
3. Geometric Mirrored Vanity Tray: View at Target
RRP: $14.99 | Delivery: From 2 days | Refundable: Within 9 days of purchase
If your friend is always losing their jewelry, an aesthetically-pleasing vanity tray will encourage them to tidy away their trinkets at the end of each day.
4. Ana Leovy Red Moon Dance Art Print: View at Society6
RRP: From $28.05 | Delivery: 3-4 days | Refundable: Within 6 days of delivery
Ana Leovy’s gorgeous prints showcase female friendship and positivity. They come in various sizes and look great either in a frame or without.
5. The Cocktail Bible: View at Amazon
RRP: $14.99 | Delivery: 2-4 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
They may be partial to a Bloody Mary at brunch, but it’s always tricky recreating favorite cocktails at home. Get them this pocket-sized guide/recipe book to ensure perfect Old Fashioneds and Cosmos on repeat. A great Christmas gift idea for neighbors, especially if you socialize together regularly.
6. Vincenzi Gin di Fiori with Grapefruit: View at Total Wine
RRP: $23.99 | Delivery: Next-day if ordered before 3pm | Refundable: Yes
Of course, your friend may be more of a gin-and-tonic lover than a cocktail whizz. If that's the case, gift them one of the best gin presents - a fancy-looking gin bottle that they may not think of treating themselves to.
Waterfall Coupe Glasses: View at Anthropologie
RRP: $64 | Delivery: 4-8 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Pair a bottle of gin with an aesthetically-pleasing Anthropologie glass. These popular 20s-style ‘coupe’ glasses are well-suited for cocktails, wine, and even champagne. Gift this set of four in anticipation of a boozy girls’ night.
9. Leuchtturm1917 A5 Notebook: View at Amazon
RRP: $21.95 | Delivery: 2-6 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of receipt
This German brand is revered for its beautifully-made, adaptable leather notebooks. Choose from dotted (great for bullet journaling), squared, ruled or blank pages, for the friend who writes their to-do lists on a scrap of paper and/or can’t stop doodling on receipts.
10. YSL Libre Eau de Parfum 50ml: View at Harrods
RRP: $81 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Within 14 days of delivery
Gift your friend a sophisticated new perfume if you know they’re running out of their current favorite or are looking to try a new scent. YSL Libre comes in a truly beautiful-looking bottle, and features notes of cedarwood, lavender oil, orange, and vanilla extract. If you're not sold on those notes, head to our ultimate guide on the best perfumes for more inspiration.
11. Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid: View at Amazon
RRP: $10 | Delivery: 2-6 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Taylor Jenkins Reid books are universally loved, and it’s not hard to work out why. Her richly-told stories are woven with glamorous celebrities, lavish parties, and heartbreaking twists and turns. Malibu Rising evokes the carefree vibe of a sandy Californian beach at all times, the definition of a beach read. However, the backstories of the four siblings at the heart of the narrative are unexpected, shocking, and sensitively told. If you know your friend has a winter-sun holiday coming up, make sure she packs this in her suitcase.
13. Tea Gift Set for Book Lovers: View at Not on the High Street
RRP: $12.51 | Delivery: 5-10 days | Refundable: Within 28 days of delivery
This set of bookish-themed tea would be a perfect gift for your book-loving friend, but it would also pair well with the teapot. Each set contains four different teas, each with a literary twist.
14. Good Day Wooden Mobile: View at Nordstrom
RRP: $30 | Delivery: 6-8 days | Refundable: Yes
For the art-loving friend, this striking modern art piece doubles as a mobile and can be hung above the crib of a child with particularly chic parents.
Where to find the best Christmas gifts for friends in the UK
- Cult Beauty: Shop brands such as Fenty Beauty and much more
- Urban Outfitters: Vintage and high-street clothing, cute homeware and quirky gifts
- Waterstones: A vast variety of books at reasonable price
- Feel Unique: A luxury hotspot featuring over 1,000 beauty and cosmetics brands
- John Lewis: Shop slippers, cashmere scarves, and other premium buys across categories
- Liberty London: Explore high-end gifts in beauty, fabrics, home, jewelry, accessories, and more
- Not On The High Street: Expansive selection of handmade and bespoke gifts
- Selfridges: Premier destination for high-end and exclusive gifts and sets
- Fortnum & Mason: Shop bespoke Christmas hampers, gift sets, and more
- The Body Shop: Affordable, cruelty-free skincare and perfumes
Our pick of the best Christmas gifts for friends in the UK
1. Spacemasks Self-Heating Eye Masks: View at Cult Beauty
RRP: £16.50 | Delivery: 2-3 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Your friend may already have an eye mask they use each night, but these ‘interstellar relaxation’ single-use masks are self-heating, so they can be used not only over the eyes, but also on foreheads for migraines, or on abdomens during period cramps. The self-heating is simply activated by air, so as soon as your friend takes the mask out of its packet, it will begin warming up and releasing a relaxing jasmine scent. Each box contains five masks.
2. Sanctuary Spa Special Occasion Hamper Gift: View at Feel Unique
RRP: £25 | Delivery: 2-3 days | Refundable: Within 28 days of purchase
Sanctuary Spa products are comforting, hydrating and smell beautiful - even better, they look super-expensive but are actually very affordable. This hamper gift set includes six products, from hand cream to heel balm, all with a combination of their signature, relaxing scents. Reviews state that the hamper arrives well-presented and packaged, eliminating the need to gift wrap. There's something for everyone in this set so it's also a great Christmas gift idea for mother-in-laws - even if they are notoriously picky.
3. Goodnight Pillow Mist: View at Neals Yard
RRP: £16.50 | Delivery: 3-5 days | Refundable: Yes
If your friend has kids, a challenging job, or if they’re just struggling to get a good night’s sleep, this award-winning pillow mist could be the sleep aid that they need. It’s full of lavender essential oil, which is proven to help with drifting off, as well as generally encouraging relaxation at the end of the day. A reviewer with insomnia states that the mist is a staple for them since it helps so much with falling into a deep sleep.
4. Sage Green Essential Oil Aroma Diffuser: View at Oliver Bonas
RRP: £45 | Delivery: 2-3 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase or delivery
This understated, sage-green ceramic diffuser is electric, meaning settings can be changed in order for essential oils to only be released for a certain amount of time; perfect for an on-the-go friend who’s wont to forget things. There are also six different color light settings, to match the ambiance of whichever fragrance they choose to release with the diffuser. The great thing about this diffuser is not just that it’s easy to use - no fiddling with tealights and open flames required - but it also looks so sleek that it could easily pass as simply a living room accessory.
5. Energise and Relax Fragrance Oils: View at Oliver Bonas
RRP: £13.50 | Delivery: 2-3 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase or delivery
Ensure your friend can use their new diffuser immediately by gifting some essential oils at the same time. The ‘energise’ oil is infused with zesty bergamot and mandarin, whereas the ‘relax’ oil, featuring jasmine and cedarwood, is calming but not soporific.
6. Shelf Love by Ottolenghi: View at Amazon
RRP: £12.53 | Delivery: Within 7 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Provided your friend isn’t a talented chef, they've probably experienced the feeling of looking at a fridge full of food, but not knowing how on earth to make a meal from it all. The new Ottolenghi cookbook was written for this very purpose, with recipes that encourage using up the ingredients you already have, reducing waste in the process. Pair it with a gift voucher to one of Ottolenghi’s restaurants for a great sustainable Christmas gift, and your foodie friend will be forever grateful.
7. Winter Pine Candle Making Kit: View at Cosy Owl
RRP: £20.28 | Delivery: 2-5 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
Gifting a candle isn’t particularly ground-breaking anymore. Why not choose a more creative gift and encourage your friend to start making their own? It’s surprisingly uncomplicated - boil the soy wax flakes into a liquid, add the fragrance, place the wick into the glass candle holder and pour in the mixture. This Christmassy candle-making set features a pine-tree scent to really get into the festive mood, but there’s nothing to say the candles can’t be burned all year round.
8. Habitat Caliban Light: View at Habitat
RRP: £20 | Delivery: Same-day available | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
The Caliban globe lamp from Habitat isn’t too large so as to be intrusive, but enough of a statement living-room piece to attract lots of attention at dinner parties. If vibrant orange won’t work with your friend’s interior feng-shui, a more simple, white option is also available.
9. Get Your Sh*t Together Journal: View at Amazon
RRP: £10.94 | Delivery: One-day with Amazon Prime | Refundable: Within 30 days of receipt
You may have to preface this gift with a disclaimer: you’re not actually aggressively telling your friend to sort their lives out. The incendiary titles of Sarah Knight’s sort-of-self-help books, including The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck and You Do You, act as wake-up calls that encourage readers to empower themselves, stop people-pleasing, and become the best version of themselves. If your friend is floundering in her career, facing some big life decisions or just struggling with day-to-day organization, Knight’s no-holds-barred approach to getting what you want may be the perfect gift.
10. Gold Mood Ring: View at Ana Luisa
RRP: £58.40 | Delivery: 5-7 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase
If you and your friend still remember the days of cheap mood rings that made your fingers go green when you were kids - or those little fish that curled up in your hand to supposedly tell you if you were happy or sad - this ring is a sweet nod to these carefree memories while also being a charming accessory.
11. Photo Book: View at MILK
RRP: From £58 | Delivery: Small and medium photo books take 7-14 days to be made and 6-15 days to arrive | Refundable: No, but reprinting is available at 50% of the price if a mistake was made
Document your friendship and show your friend how much they mean to you with this sleek, professional-looking photo book. Curate your own selection of photos, choose your desired design, and the rest is done for you. High-quality photos and a thick, bound book make for a thoughtful gift. This is also a great wedding gift.
12. Succulent Selection Box: View at Not on the High Street
RRP: £35 | Delivery: 5-7 days from dispatch | Refundable: Within 28 days of purchase
For the friend who may not be green-fingered yet (or maybe they just can’t keep a houseplant alive for the life of them), gift them this personalized selection box of succulents, a famously easy plant for the uninitiated. The succulents come with a mister, which will literally have your friend’s name on it, so there’s no excuse for them not to proudly tend to these plants.
13. Bloom & Wild Subscription: View at Bloom & Wild
RRP: From £70 for 3 months | Delivery: Next-day if ordered before 10pm | Refundable: Pause or cancel the subscription any time
If they’re more fond of low-maintenance flowers, a Bloom & Wild subscription is perfect. Options include ‘seasonal blooms’, meaning your friend’s bouquets will reflect the flora of the season, and the packages will always fit in their letterbox. You can pay for three, six or twelve months’ of flowers at a time, and can even add a new gift card message to every box they receive. This is also a sweet Christmas gift idea for grandparents if they're fond of fresh flowers.
14. Extra Large Gluggle Jug: View at Oliver Bonas
RRP: £36 | Delivery: 2-3 days | Refundable: Within 30 days of purchase or delivery
Why not gift a ‘gluggle jug’ at the same time as the subscription? They’re large enough to showcase an impressive bouquet, and can also be used for holding kitchen utensils, or pouring drinks (just make sure they wash it out first after it’s held flowers).
15. Japanese Zen Garden: View at Amazon
RRP: £27 | Delivery: One-day with Amazon Prime | Refundable: Within 30 days of receipt
For the friend who works from home, this Japanese Zen Garden is a soothing and peaceful desk accessory. The idea is that the zen garden provides a welcome distraction when we’re over-stressed. Focusing on one thing, and looking away from screens, can allow the mind to relax and increase productivity when we go back to our tasks. The garden kit comes with accessories that your friend can change the placements of as they please, tending to the garden with the accompanying bamboo tools, such as raking the sand. Not just lovely to look at, this thoughtful gift is well-made and even features helpful instructions.
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Hannah is the UK Shopping Writer for woman&home. As a shopping writer, Hannah has written on everything from period pants to wine subscriptions, and is especially interested in sustainable alternatives to well-known products, as well as books and homeware accessories.
Before she joined the team at woman&home Hannah headed up the social media accounts for Wonderland in 2019, where she was also a Contributing Editor for the magazine’s sister titles. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Hannah also explored evolving shopping trends at New York Magazine’s The Strategist UK, researching everything from face masks to status candles and even pens.