13 Gifts To Ask For This Year That You’ll Actually Use

We’ve just about reached that time of year. You know the one. The time that, if you are anything like me, fills you with a very particular kind of panic. The time when all of your relatives start asking you what you want for the holidays this year.

This question induces panic because upon hearing it, you forget every single thing that you have ever yearned for in your entire young life, and blurt out something like “Nothing in particular!” or “Whatever you want to give me is great!” But that, my friends, is how you end up with an as-seen-on-TV Pasta Boat™, or a first-edition copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Little Lord Fauntleroy, or, worse, both.

Now, to be clear, there is nothing wrong with an as-seen-on TV Pasta Boat or a first-edition copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Little Lord Fauntleroy, if that is the sort of thing you are interested in. And, of course, this is perhaps the very definition of a first world problem. We should all be so lucky to receive anything in the form of a gift, no matter what it is and what it might be used for. (Provided, of course, that it can even be used for anything at all.) All the same, if you are going to get a present, it should probably be something that you actually want to use. So, in that spirit, check out these gifts you can ask for if you actually want to use them:

1. Roxy x Biotherm Quinn Snow Jacket:


Buy this for $249.99 from Roxy

You need a new winter jacket, don’t you? If so, you should ask for this one from Roxy–it’s super warm, super cute, and is perfect for anywhere from the ski slopes to a chilly city to a college campus. I actually got a chance to speak to a Roxy rep, the snowboarder Robin Van Gyn, who just had a new movie come out, called Depth Perception. She told me, “Being a part of Depth Perception was definitely one of the biggest surprises in my career. It’s a serious dream come true to shred with Travis, Austen and Bryan. They pushed me so much in my snowboarding and I have never felt more challenged mentally to rise to the occasion. I think another thing that is an ongoing surprise is where we can go with ourselves… I am constantly shocked at how much further we can push ourselves as women, sometimes I feel limitless and that the possibilities are endless if you surround yourself with the right people and stay focused.”
2. A new planner:


Buy this for $28 from Bando

If you’re trying to get a little more organized this year, a planner is an excellent place to start. Even if you’re typically more of a digital planner kind of person, a physical one is worth a shot–writing things down can make them easier to remember.


3. New hair ties:


Buy this for $8 from Sephora

You’ve lost every single hair tie you bought last year, haven’t you? If so, you should ask for some new ones. I really like Invisibobbles, since they’re so distinctive that they’re harder to lose than typical hair ties.


4. A nice water bottle:


Buy this for $35 from bkr

If your New Years’ resolution is to drink more water, you’ll need a water bottle–this one from bkr is so cute that you’ll love carrying it around and drinking out of it.


5. Speakers you can use in the shower:


Buy this for $100 from Urban Outfitters

Listening to music in the shower is always fun, but it runs the risk of damaging your speakers. Eliminate this risk by asking for this (super cute) waterproof speaker.


6. A portable charger:


Buy this for $30 from Anthropologie

If your phone is always, always running out of battery, you probably need a portable charger. This one is straight-up beautiful, plus, it’s small enough that you can just keep it in your bag until you really need it.


7. Jewelry storage:


Buy this for $29 from Urban Outfitters

Do you have constant jewelry clutter on your dresser or in your jewelry box? Get rid of it by getting one of these jewelry hangers that make it super easy to keep all your necklaces and bracelets organized and tangle-free.


8. Whole Foods gift card:


Buy this from Amazon (or Whole Foods, probably!)

Or any grocery store gift card, really. This is perfect if you’re in college and do your own grocery shopping, or if you just like cooking for yourself.


9. Nice bedding:


Buy this for $79 from Anthropologie

Sheets and pillowcases are the kind of thing you always think about buying, but might feel like are a hassle to get yourself. So, don’t deal with it yourself! Just put them on your holiday wish list.


10. iPhone charger faces:


Buy this for $12.95 from Uncommon Goods

If you’re always getting your charger mixed up with your sister’s or roommate’s, you might want to think about getting some charger stickers to help keep yours separated from the rest of the pack.


11. A new shower curtain:


Buy this for $50 from Kate Spade

If you can’t remember the last time you got a new shower curtain, you’re probably due for an upgrade.


12. A cookbook:


Buy this for $22.48 from Amazon

Will this be the year that you finally become the domestic goddess you’ve always been yearning to be? It’s possible! In any case, this Cherry Bombe cookbook is straight-up gorgeous, so it’ll at at least look good on your bookshelf. (But, like, hopefully you use it.)


13. A new skincare system:


Buy this for $19.50 from Ulta

Now’s the time to invest in a skincare system that works for you–shop around and do some research on ones that might work for your skin, then put it on your list.


You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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