With the holiday season coming up, I started to plan all the gifts for women in my life when a recent memory came to mind. I was on the phone with my sister Linda chatting as we usually do and catching up on life. She was telling me about the homework assignment my nine-year-old nephew Tristan was working on—a personal essay on his favorite day from last year.
A few hours later, she emailed me his story, which he called, “The Best Christmas Ever!”. Surprisingly, he remembered and accurately described every little detail of a day we spent baking gingerbread cookies (after a failed but fun attempt at making a gingerbread house) and watching episodes of Fuller House on repeat.
Tristan’s birthday is on Christmas Eve, so we usually celebrate both occasions with an ice cream cake and hang out at my family’s house. What surprised me the most was when he wrote, “I have no idea why opening a present is so satisfying. It feels good to know someone cares for you and shows it with a gift.”
Over the years, I’ve gifted him clothes, accessories, and toys, and I always love seeing his reactions while carefully tearing through the wrapping paper. Although I think Tristan's easy to shop for, that’s not always the case with everyone in my life, especially women. We all have that someone in our lives who we contemplate what to gift—maybe it’s your mom, sister, best girlfriend, aunt, or grandma.
Read on to find a number of thoughtful gifts for women this holiday season.
To make holiday shopping a bit easier, read on for our guide on how to buy great gifts for women. Step one starts with taking time to think about each recipient personally, which is what I’ll do here as I reference each relationship so that you can better imagine which gifts make sense for each woman.
Of course, your shopping list may not be exactly the same as mine since each person you’re gifting has a different personality. But the beauty of the fortune-carrying jewelry pieces in this roundup is that you can be as lighthearted, serious, funny, or friendly as you want by adding a personalized message inside.
Like Tristan’s thought, a gift is about showing someone you care.
What to Gift Your Mom
Love you, mom!
One of my earliest memories of jewelry was going through pieces that belonged to my mom in the ‘80s. She had a small, hexagon-shaped stained glass box filled with clip-on chandelier earrings and diamond brooches inside. This jewelry box sat on the top shelf of her closet, tucked away behind a stack of sweaters, and we took it out only for special occasions. My mom isn’t much of a jewelry wearer—she’s a minimalist when it comes to accessories but a maximalist when it comes to hoarding keepsakes from when my sister and I were growing up.
For as long as I’ve known her, there are only two pieces of jewelry that she wears daily. One is a jade bangle that was a gift from my aunt. In Chinese culture, she says, it brings good luck, protection, health, and wealth. The second piece of jewelry is a delicate necklace that she changes every so often and when she does, she’ll ask me to help her close the clasp.
It’s the least that I can do for my mom who has always been there for me throughout every chapter of my life. The holidays mark a special time for us since we don’t see each other every day. Present-wise, I would give her a classic yet unique necklace that she can wear every day, like our Fortune Cookie Locket in medium-size. It's a perfect, thoughtful Christmas gift for mom.
There are endless quotes for moms out there. A few of our favorites are…
- “A mother is your first friend, your best friend, your forever friend.”
- “No matter your age, you will always need your mom.”
- “Home is where your mom is.”
- “My mother was my role model before I even knew what that word was.” —Lisa Leslie
- “A mother is the one who fills your heart in the first place.” —Amy Tan
- “The world needs our mothers.” —Liya Kebede
What to Gift Your Sister
There’s no bond like a sister-sister bond. Growing up, I always had my older sister, Linda, by my side no matter if we liked being together or not. We shared a room for many years and didn't always get along between the different sleep schedules and music preferences. But secretly even then, she was the one I would seek advice from and looked up to.
Ironically, we became closer as we lived apart. She moved out for college and, suddenly, the room felt empty without the loud music and the lights on in the middle of the night. I had to admit, I missed my sister. Maybe it's true that long-distance relationships do strengthen a bond because that's exactly what happened with us. Nowadays, we’ll see each other during family get-togethers and text, call, and FaceTime in between.
We’ve spent every holiday season together our whole lives, and funnily enough, we would often get matching presents. Family members would give us the same outfits in different colors. Sometimes, it would be jewelry or shoes. When it comes to gifts for her, I would choose a thoughtful item, like our Heart + Arrow Bracelet and can even get one to match.
Need some quote ideas to go inside? Try one of these…
- “A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life.” —Isadora James
- “A sister is both your mirror and your opposite.”—Elizabeth Fishel
- “What’s the good of news if you haven’t a sister to share it?” —James DeVries
- “We didn’t want to admit it then, but we were friends. Best friends.” —Shannon Celebi
- “The greatest gift our parents ever gave us was each other.”
- “So distant yet so close. So different yet so similar. That’s why I love my sister.” —Maxime Lagacé
What to Gift Your Best Girlfriend
Again, getting unique gifts for women isn’t always the easiest task. It depends on her lifestyle and taste, so taking a moment to think about how and where she will use the piece first can save you time in the end searching for the “right” gift.
One of my best friends, Arielle, and I have known each other since high school, became roommates in college, and stayed close ever since. After graduation, she moved to Israel temporarily, but somehow we talked more while we were apart. The time difference worked out for our daily phone chats which was morning for me in New York and mid-day for her.
If there's anyone who encourages me to take risks and have fun in life, it’s Arielle. She's not afraid to book a trip at the very last minute, which is what we did for our vacation to Vienna a couple of years ago. Although the weather was freezing and we didn’t speak a word of German, we made the best of it as we explored the city.
Arielle celebrates Hanukkah and I celebrate Christmas, but the holiday season marks another reason to get together and exchange gifts. If your bestie is also a travel devotee, a thoughtful gift for her could be our Sphere + Wand Locket which looks like a mini globe and opens up to reveal a secret scroll.
A few more message ideas…
- “Life was meant for great adventures and close friends.”
- “There is a whole world out there. Pack your backpack, your best friend and go.”
- “A good friend listens to your adventures. Your best friend makes them with you.”
- “As soon as I saw you, I knew a grand adventure was about to happen.” —Winnie The Pooh
- “Best friends are the people in your life who make you laugh louder, smile brighter and live better.”
- “True friends are always together in spirit.” —L.M. Montgomery
What to Gift Your Aunt
When I was seven years old, my aunt Fong moved to my house from Hong Kong. Having another family member while growing up brought out another side of myself, one that was creative and curious. My aunt taught me how to sew and play mahjong, which she still does sometimes on weekend mornings with her friends. She had a huge role in my life, and I realized the importance of our bond even more when I became an aunt to Tristan.
Her style is on the bolder side and she’s usually decked out in accessories like a statement hat and oversized sunglasses. If I were to choose a personalized gift for her, it would be our Sphere Secret Ring, which looks like a cocktail ring and opens up to hold a message inside.
You can't go wrong with these quotes about aunts…
- “Only an aunt can give hugs like a mother, keep secrets like a sister and share love like a friend.”
- “An aunt is someone special to remember with warmth, think of with pride, and cherish with love.”
- “Aunt—a double blessing. You love like a parent and act like a friend.”
- “She is like my second mother, she’s there for me and she supports me all the way. She is my aunt.”
- “An aunt grows more treasured as time goes by.”
- “Time spent with a beloved aunt is sure to brighten your day.”
What to Gift Your Grandma
Most of the memories I have with my grandma were from early childhood, which seems to be a common theme here. I guess there’s a reason why these women have stayed in my life for so long. Although I haven’t seen my grandma in years, she’s always in my heart since she was the one I spent the most time with as a kid. All I remember was her selflessness as she devoted her days to watching me while my parents went to work and my sister went to school.
For the holidays, show your grandma how much she means to you with a gift for her like our Flowered Vines Fortune Locket. The glass window reveals a hint to the message inside, which you can personalize.
Need more inspiration for quotes? Try…
- “Grandma’s heart is a patchwork of love.”
- “If nothing is going well, call your grandmother.”
- “Grandmothers always have time to talk and make you feel special.” —Catherine Pulsifer
- “Every house needs a grandmother in it.” —Louisa May Alcott
- “Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while…but our hearts forever.”
For more thoughtful ideas on best gifts for women, read: