In theory, holiday gift giving is a chance to demonstrate your deep appreciation for those around you. Of course, in execution, holiday shopping can often feel like an unfortunate obligation. Especially now, as we reach the end of the second week of December and seasonal shipping deadlines start to sink in. If you haven’t already wrapped things up for your friends and family by now, consider this your first warning.
But don’t lose your sanity just yet. This gift guide is here to help you avoid your headache — and save your reputation — with options to cover all of your holiday gifting bases.
Whether you need to splash some serious cash on someone who literally saved your life this year (who knows — maybe your accountant gave you the Heimlich back in April) or just need to cross your little brother’s name off your list, we’ve rounded up offerings both high and low from a few of our favourite brands. All you have to do is evaluate just how nice everyone was to you this year.
For the Seasoned Outdoorsman
The All-Out Splurge: A Coat
Sure, Prada’s Quilted Down Shell Jacket comes in Pantone’s new favourite colour — “Classic Blue” — but this thing isn’t just some flavour-of-the-year design. A refined take on the equally classic puffer jacket, it includes details like a funnel neck, snap-fastening cuffs and a down-feather filling — not to mention Prada’s triangle logo on its right sleeve — that all add up to a coat that will look as good in January as it will in winter 2022.
$1,700 USD at Mr Porter
The More Modest Indulgence: A Belt
Keeping with the blue theme — not to mention the ongoing dominance of all things ‘90s — comes this belt made from navy webbing with a silver D-ring fastener. Given how much fun everyone is having tucking in their sweaters these days, this accessory is sure to sit front and centre in all of your best winter outfits. Even paired with just a t-shirt and jeans, that graphic rubber Prada emblem is enough to give any outfit big impact.
$250 USD at Mr Porter
For the Jet-Setter
The All-Out Splurge: A Travel Bag
When someone’s on the road, their bag becomes their biggest statement-maker. Get them something distinctive, but not too flashy: this cabin-sized duffle from Louis Vuitton. Continuing creative director Virgil Abloh’s exploration of cutting-edge materials, this bag is built out of a ghostly transparent plastic. Adding to the design’s wavy nature, its side bands are slightly warped into playfully curved lines.
$4,650 at Louis Vuitton
The More Modest Indulgence: A Pair of Sunglasses
Here’s a pair of shades that says, “Yeah, I just got back from admiring a sunset in the jungle.” If your gift recipient has yet to make any New Year’s travel plans, these are just the sort of shades perfect building a vacation around, with a round-shaped frame and tortoiseshell accents competing for a look that lands somewhere between retro and modern. A removable sun clip means they’re suited just as well to indoors as they are to out.
$780 at Louis Vuitton
For the Refined Commuter
The All-Out Splurge: A Briefcase
Svelte, functional, and sharp-edged, this full-grain leather Hugo Boss briefcase pairs perfectly with today’s modern power suits. An outer zipped pocket provides easy access to your keys or business cards, while the slim profile means you don’t arrive to meetings looking like you’ve brought the entire contents of your desk with you. Just the essentials — that’s true style.
$710 at Mr Porter
The More Modest Indulgence: A Tie Bar
A new decade is upon us — which means we’re anticipating some serious style shifts. After enjoying a long run in the spotlight in the 2000s, ties have been lying low for the past few years as office dress codes relaxed and open collars became the look du jour. But we think their comeback is imminent. Prep for the prep revival with this sleek accent cast from silver-tone brass with textured lines.
$80 at Mr Porter
For the Expert Home Bartender
The All-Out Splurge: 25-Year-Old Scotch
For the person who has everything: the scotch whisky that’s been aged in everything. This luxurious sipper was matured in a full assortment of American oak, Fino sherry butters, bourbon barrels, and Tawny Port casks. The results are complex aromas and flavours like chocolate, vanilla, orange marmalade with notes of ginger and dried fruit — all topped off with a warm finish.
$2,075 at the LCBO
The More Modest Indulgence: 12-Year-Old Scotch
If a 25-year-old scotch feels like something that’s almost as old as the person you’re gifting it to — and therefore, not likely to be appreciated to its full depth — opt for this rich whisky featuring aromas of gingerbread, cocoa, and spice and finishes of dried fruits and toffee. In other words, all of the season’s best flavours.