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McKenzie Cordell

The Tastemaker Gift Guide: What Kristen Bell, Marie Kondo & 22 Others Are Giving This Year

You’ve made your list and checked it twice—but you still have zero clue what to get for your bestie…or your boss. We asked the most in-the-know tastemakers, from interior designers to makeup artists to professional bakers, to do the research for you and sound off on their go-to gifts for all the difficult discerning people on their lists.

“This year, one of our favorite gifts to give is the new Hello Bello Diaper Doody Fund. With nearly one in two families struggling to afford diapers in 2021, everyone likely knows someone who can use support. The fund allows anyone to register and anyone to contribute, so you can help someone you know or give to a stranger in need. We like it because it’s guaranteed to get used, be appreciated and it doesn’t run out of batteries.” — Kristen Bell, actress and co-founder of Hello Bello

“I’ve already gifted some family and friends a Nintendo Switch system last year and am looking to keep that tradition going. It’s such a bonding experience to play together with Nintendo Switch Online and a way to feel together when physically apart. But they better remember where their Nintendo Switch came from—throwing those red shells in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe can really take a toll on relationships.” — Awkwafina, actress and rapper

“I’m celebrating science and small businesses this holiday season by giving everyone on my list a beaded bracelet that says, ‘Vaccinated.’ I have one and wear it every day. It’s made by Snuggles & Peanuts on Etsy, and 50 percent of the profits through the end of the year go toward GLAD (GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders). Oh! And the shop’s other offerings, including mask lanyards, are fantastic, too.” — Elizabeth Holmes, author of HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style

“I love origami kits—like this Paper Cranes for Peace Origami Kit—since it’s something [kids] can do independently, with friends or with grown-ups. An added bonus of this gift is that a portion of proceeds support peace initiatives worldwide through International Rescue Committee.” – Marie Kondo, organizing expert and author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

“I like to commemorate the holidays with holiday plates, so china is always a nice gift to give. I think it just adds a really wonderful layer to the meal when you sit down and there is a nice Christmas Eve plate on the table.” — Nick Jonas, singer, songwriter and actor

“I got a custom one of these candles from Taja Collection as a housewarming gift one year and it said #RothHomestead on the side and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love the quality and if you don’t have time to design your own, their holiday ones are pretty cute, too!” — Jasmine Roth, designer, HGTV star and author of House Story

“I love Skims because they have so many styles and colors and it fits every body shape. I wore the Skims Slip Dress throughout my pregnancy and love that you can wear it for a night out or lounging at home. I am going to gift it to my sisters to wear all season so that it can become a staple to their wardrobe just like it has in mine.” — Brittany Xavier, fashion influencer

“I love giving gifts that create lasting memories—whether that’s completing a DIY together or giving something that can live in their homes. Not only does this gift combine two of my favorite things, crystals and candles, but it also helps bring a sense of calm and warmth.” — Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert

“My favorite gift to give is Brightland olive oil—it’s the most delicious oil you’ll taste, and the packaging is stunning. I like to pick the oil based on the person I’m gifting it to. My family are frequent recipients of Ardor, their chili oil, and I stock up on a few of their gift sets and candles for hostess gifts and ‘this person is impossible to shop for’ gifts.” — Hitha Palepu, author of We’re Speaking: The Life Lessons of Kamala Harris

“I buy…myself…a tin of BjornQorn every year around the holidays because it’s good to treat yourself. This also happens to make a great gift for others! I love their popcorn (it’s popped with solar energy and is made near where I live!) and their holiday tin features maple popcorn, which they don’t sell otherwise, so it’s extra special. Plus, the tin is beautiful and a handy thing to have once it’s empty.” – Julia Turshen, author of Simply Julia

“My go-to is L.L. Bean’s Hunter’s Tote. I don’t hunt, but I do tote things, and this bag’s the best. I get it monogrammed in orange and have my tailor sew a pocket inside. You’re welcome!” — Jonathan Adler, potter and designer

“This year, I’ll be gifting my friends Lora DiCarlo’s Well Balanced with CBD Lube. Not only is it a fun and flirty stocking-stuffer, it helps to quickly get you in the mood and relax you. It also balances your pH levels, a bonus.” — Cara Delevingne, model and actress

“I just gave my best friend navy blue Lunya silk pajamas—the high-rise pant set. Washable silk is my new favorite luxury. Silk really does regulate body temperature; I’m never too hot or cold, and they are so soft.” — Jessica Rolph, co-founder and CEO of Lovevery

“The gift I’m giving the ladies in my circle is Revlon’s Big Bad Lash Mascara. It’s a fantastic stocking stuffer!” — Tunde Oyeneyin, Peloton instructor and author of Speak

“I actually just discovered these AromaTech air diffusers. I love having the house smell like Christmas or whatever I choose. It’s the best invention, and it lasts for months. Such an easy gift.” — Lance Bass, singer, dancer, actor

“I love to give the gift of self-care. The Tatcha gift sets are my go-to for my design team. They work so hard all year and deserve a little pampering! I also love gifting easy outfit completers. For example, the Cassadee Cardi is the perfect gift for my bestie and I can help her style it for nights out with a great shoe, leather pants and these emerald bow earrings.” — Kathryn Sukey, head of design at Draper James

“What better way to connect with the people you love than by completing a jigsaw puzzle together? I love giving kids this Caterpillar Puzzle Set or Parachute Jigsaw Puzzle.” — Christian Robinson, children’s book illustrator

“This heart sweater from Gyles & George is the perfect gift for anyone you care about. Hearts aren’t just for lovers and Valentines. They’re for family and extended family and for friends, too. This is simultaneously so wearable, but also a statement piece.” — Jack Carlson, founder of Rowing Blazers

“I’m giving a bottle of Black Girl Magic Sparkling Brut to my girlfriends for Christmas. This bubbly beverage is crisp, refreshing and easy to drink—a gift I know my friends will appreciate and share with their families and loved ones.” — Vallery Lomas, winner of the Great American Bake-Off & Author of Life Is What You Bake It

“I’m an old-fashioned pencil-and-paper notetaker, so I love giving my friends beautiful pencils, sharpeners and small notebooks from Blackwing, my favorite pencilmakers. The pencils feel good in your hand, slide easily along paper and have erasers that really work. I also love their look!” — Dorie Greenspan, James Beard Award-Winner & Author of Baking With Dorie: Sweet, Salty & Simple

“When I'm working with clients, I love to play music. It's important to help set the mood and make the experience as relaxing and comfortable as possible, whether it's before a red carpet or for a shoot. I love this speaker from Bose because it can hold a 12-hour charge, is dust-proof and, most importantly, waterproof! Such an easy gift.” — Daniel Martin, makeup artist and Tatcha Global Director of Artistry & Education

“One of my favorite gifts is a digital thermometer from Thermoworks. Cooking, especially meat, can be a little intimidating, but knowing the internal temperature of a piece of steak can take the fear out of it. They come in a variety of colors and price points.” — Aarti Sequiera, Food Network host and author of My Family Recipe Journal

“We are a food-loving household and adore sending friends foodie treats from some of our favorite restaurants. makes this so easy—and you can pick from incredible places like Gramercy Tavern, Roberta’s and McLoons Lobster Shack. It’s our go-to during the holidays especially.” — Laura Dave, author of The Last Thing He Told Me

“The gift I’m most excited to give this year is a full membership to my non-profit, the Female Founder Collective. Nothing excites me more than seeing other women succeed, and I know they can get this with this incredible community, education and platform.” — Rebecca Minkoff, fashion designer

Rachel Bowie Headshot

Royal family expert, a cappella alum, mom

Rachel Bowie is Senior Director of Special Projects & Royals at PureWow, where she covers parenting, fashion, wellness and money in addition to overseeing initiatives within...

candace davison bio

VP of editorial, recipe developer, kitsch-lover

Candace Davison oversees PureWow's food and home content, as well as its franchises, like the PureWow100 review series and the Happy Kid Awards. She’s covered all things lifestyle...