November 2019

My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You’ll Feel Good Giving

By Stacey Mayesh

We’ve all seen traditional gift guides by now. So check out these “gifts with soul” for something a little more unexpected. These holiday gifts are perfect for the people on your list who already have everything—and there’s nothing better than sharing a little social responsibility and giving something that feels even better to give than it does to receive.

A Hip Gift that Helps Humanitarian Aid Organizations & Relief
Relief Beads are the perfect gift for a boho chic friend who is going on a fabulous warm-weather vacation. They look cute with a bikini or with wedges and white jeans. I love how they look on guys too. Relief Beads are beautiful, handmade, African beaded bracelets that raise awareness and contribute funds for Relief International’s humanitarian efforts in Darfur.
Buy Relief Beads, $10, at reliefbeads.org

Create a Custom Picture Book
Calling all photography buffs—make your own exquisite, professional-quality coffee table book. These are as beautiful as something I’d buy at Assouline. Make a book for loved ones, or give a gift card so they can make their own. Prices range from $12.95 for a 20–40 page soft-cover book, to $83.95 for a 401–440 page hard-cover, image-wrapped book.
Buy Your Personalized Coffee Table Photo Book, starting at $12.95, at blurb.com

African Congo Whistle-Blowing for Children’s Organizations
Falling Whistles sells whistles as part of a campaign for peace in Congo. Children have been affected more than anyone by this war. Watch the video and read the journal entry of one man’s life-changing sojourn in war-torn Congo—too sad for me to share here. His story is poetic, poignant, and will leave you feeling that you want to do anything you can to help. Buy a friend a whistle, and feel good knowing that the proceeds are going toward rehabilitating and advocating for the country’s children.
Buy Falling Whistles Whistle, starting at $34, at fallingwhistles.com

Give the Gift of Classics for African AIDS Awareness
For the bookworm on your list—buy any Penguin Classics for (Product) Red, and 50% of the profits will go directly to the Global Fund to Help Eliminate AIDS in Africa. These are the books you’ve always wanted to read and never seem to check off your list. Authors include Edith Wharton, Joseph Conrad, and Henry James.
Buy Penguin Classics Red, $6–$12, at penguingroup.com

Save the Planet, One Gift at a Time
For the environmentalist on your list—give Baggu reusable bags in a different color for each day of the week. Or buy the adorable animal-print Baggus, designed in collaboration with No. 6, the vintage and indie designer boutique in New York’s Little Italy. I’ve been using my No. 6 black constellation print bag and can’t get enough of it. Fact: using one Baggu for one year replaces 300–700 disposable bags.
Buy Baggu Bag, $8, at baggubag.com

Win an iHome Kitchen Speaker System
Looking for a holiday filled with music and cheer? You could win an iHome Kitchen Speaker System. Listen to your holiday tunes while viewing the latest cookie apps—yes, you really can have it all this season! All you have to do is tell us your favorite holiday song. For contest details and to enter for a chance to win, click here.

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Stacey Mayesh, Fashion Contributing Editor

I am a NYC-based fashion stylist who has worked with top tier magazines (Marie Claire, InStyle, Elle, Lucky), and celebs (Selma Blair, Jessica Alba, Susan Sarandon, Sean Combs) for 15 years. I was recently featured in Vogue and on NBC Weekend Today. I now work with private clients bringing a fresh . . . Read more of her fashion secrets

Buy Falling Whistles Whistle, $34

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Buy Falling Whistles Whistle, starting at $34, at fallingwhistles.com

  • Metallic whistle with engraving
  • Silver, beaded chain
  • Prices range from $34 for the original whistle to $104 for the limited-edition brass whistle
  • Each whistle comes with a Falling Whistles journal
  • All proceeds go to rehabilitate and advocate for children affected by the war

Shop the Full Story:
My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You Feel Good Giving
By Stacey Mayesh

Buy Penguin Classics Red, $6-$12

gifts-that-give-back-penguin-books-house-of-mirth-250

Buy Penguin Classics Red, $6–$12, at penguingroup.com

  • Paperback
  • Red editions include: Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, George Eliot’s Silas Marner, D.H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, and Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw
  • 50% of profits go to the Global Fund to Help Eliminate AIDS in Africa

Shop the Full Story:
My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You Feel Good Giving
By Stacey Mayesh

Buy Baggu Bag, $8

gifts-that-give-back-baggu-bag-250

Buy Baggu Bag, $8, at baggubag.com

  • Reusable bag made from 100% ripstop nylon
  • 15″ x 25” x 6”
  • Folds flat into a 5” x 5” pouch
  • Available in 45 colors and patterns
  • Holds up to 50 lbs.

Shop the Full Story:
My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You Feel Good Giving
By Stacey Mayesh

Buy Your Personalized Coffee Table Photo Book, $12.95

gifts-that-give-back-blurb-book-250

Buy Your Personalized Coffee Table Photo Book, starting at $12.95, at blurb.com

  • Personalize your book with 7 book-size options, 3 cover-format choices, and standard or premium paper
  • Prices range from $12.95 for a 20–40 page soft-cover book, to $83.95 for a 401–440 page hard-cover book
  • Delivered in 7–10 business days
  • Gift cards also available

Shop the Full Story:
My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You Feel Good Giving
By Stacey Mayesh

Buy Relief Beads, $10

gifts-that-give-back-relief-beads-250

Buy Relief Beads, $10, at reliefbeads.org

  • Handmade from sand by African tribes
  • Bracelets strung by refugees in Darfur
  • Sale proceeds support food programs for malnourished children and the Women’s Development Center, where women refugees make Relief Beads

Shop the Full Story:
My Top 5 Holiday Gifts You Feel Good Giving
By Stacey Mayesh

Contributing Editors’ Holiday List:
What I Want, What I’m Giving, Where I’m Donating

Edited by Nancy Rotenier

Stacey Mayesh, Fashion
What I Want & What I’m Giving Confetti System Piñatas to make loved ones’ homes feel festive and fun. These piñata gifts are really too gorgeous to use. They are works of art! Also, I’m giving European fashion magazines for all of my fashion-junkie friends—Numéro, Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, Jalouse. At roughly $15 per issue, this is a luxurious subscription that nobody ever buys for themselves!
Where I’m Donating Instead of giving my children 8 gifts (one for each night of Chanukah), I help them decide on a charity they would like to donate to, and they give up 1 night of their own gifts in order to give a gift to someone less fortunate. It helps them understand the true meaning of gift giving and selflessness.

Sue Devitt, Beauty
What I Want To celebrate the holidays with all of my family together in one place.
What I’m Giving My new Microquatic Crystal Collagen Masque to keep all of my friends’ and family’s skin healthy, hydrated, and glowing.
Where I’m Donating The Africa Foundation—to help supply a new shipment of hippo water rollers to developing communities in Kenya.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Nutrition
What I Want Number one on my wish list is this gorgeous and classic equestrian ring by emerging jewelry designer Marcie Fleck.
What I’m Giving The girls in my office are so special to me, so I’m giving them Tiffany’s Diamonds by the Yard necklaces. The Tiffany necklace is something that I know they will appreciate and wear for years to come.
Where I’m Donating WIZO, the Women’s International Zionist Organization, a nonpartisan international movement dedicated to advancing the status of women, the welfare of all sectors of Israeli society, and encouragement of Jewish education in Israel and the Diaspora. The women involved in this organization are remarkable and come up with such creative ways to raise money for this important cause.

Michael George, Fitness
What I Want Workout gear, especially a new heavy bag stand from Valor Fitness, which has a speed bag, pull-up and dip bars, and a double rope bag.
What I’m Giving Vacation gifts are a great way to spend time with the family, so I’m giving my daughter and granddaughter tickets to Maui, so we can all have quality time together. We will be staying at Diamond Resorts, where I teach fitness classes in locations all over world.
Where I’m Donating Holiday gift giving means helping someone less fortunate, so I am donating to organizations that work with underprivileged children or save animals, like UNICEF and the ASPCA.

Anu Karwa, Epicurean
What I Want Fitness gifts like “Everyday” yoga pants from Lucy—these will motivate me to get my post-holiday butt in gear. Also, the David Yurman XXL Link Necklace—even my usual t-shirt-and-jeans uniform will look put together with this necklace. Finally, the J.Crew Cashmere V-Neck Sweater—I want to live in this cashmere sweater. The color will warm me all winter.
What I’m Giving For my husband—updates on the classic Paul Smith button-down.
Where I’m Donating My holiday donations go to the Step Up Women’s Network.

Divya Gugnani, Epicurean
What I Want A classic Little Black Dress is a must-have for holiday parties, and I’ve got my eye on this LBD by Red Valentino. It makes the perfect holiday present, complete with a bow!
What I’m Giving Since everyone is always looking for ways to slim down after an indulgent holiday season, I’ll be giving out copies of my new book, Sexy Women Eat, to my coworkers and family. As for my girlfriends, I’ll be playing Santa and dropping off sparkly necklaces from Send the Trend that never fail to please!
Where I’m Donating This year, my donations will be directed to Children’s Hope India, a New York-based nonprofit that provides clean drinking water, medical care, regular food supplies, and education to impoverished children in India.

Eve Robinson, Living
What I Want This stunning new pendant necklace from Barneys—Renee Lewis Opal Shake Necklace.
What I’m Giving This is one of my favorite book gifts—Designers Here and There by Michele Keith.
Where I’m Donating I am donating my time at a local soup kitchen.

Win the Milly Knit Holiday Gift Set
It’s getting chilly, and there’s no better way to stay warm than by rocking the Milly Knit Holiday Gift Set. You could win this chic hat and gloves by telling us about your favorite kind of holiday party. For details on entering, click here.

Editors’ Holiday Picks:
What We Want, What We’re Giving, Where We’re Donating

Edited by Lindsay Hahn

Melissa Meyers, Founding Editor
What I Want The Reiss Clio Sheepskin Aviator Jacket because it has the motorcycle look and it’s warm—not an easy combo to find.
What I’m Giving Jewelbilee dog tag necklaces as gifts to my closest friends and family.
Where I’m Donating I am donating to the Food Allergy Initiative.

Nancy Rotenier, Editor-in-Chief
What I Want Frye Veronica Slouch Boots in black, because I live in my old motorcycle boots, and they’re trashed.
What I’m Giving Fabulous, funky, costume jewelry such as these necklaces—they look great together, don’t they?!—from my more fabulous and funky friend, Candi Stamm.
Where I’m Donating Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, because I love my friends and family.

Lindsay Leff, Assistant Beauty Editor
What I Want Holiday gifts are supposed to be extravagant and fun, right? Robert Rodriguez’s Ostrich Feather Mini Skirt couldn’t be more of both!
What I’m Giving Anthropologie has one of the best kitschy yet chic home departments. I’m giving this plush and cozy Brava Throw. Who wants to be my friend?!
Where I’m Donating The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Katrina Caspelich, Assistant Fashion Editor
What I Want My beloved gold Full-Blooded Swatch died. So sad! I am really wanting this Marc by Marc Jacobs watch.
What I’m Giving Cooking gadgets, since not many people purchase them for themselves. My go-to item for the holidays: the Le Creuset Round French Oven.
Where I’m Donating I am donating to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America, since I was a Big Sister for three years. I am the baby in my family and it was rewarding to serve as a role model to a youth in need of a friend.

Tara Murphy, Senior Vice President of Business Development
What I Want A short, puffy Moncler bomber jacket in black—what else?!—with fur trim to keep me toasty and glam on my morning commute.
What I’m Giving I’m getting an iPad for my mom.
Where I’m Donating The East Harlem Tutorial Program, a New York City-based program dedicated to providing students in Spanish Harlem with the support and services they need to succeed in the classroom.

Lindsay Hahn, Production Associate
What I Want Easy! Wellies. Glossy black Hunter boots. To celebrate my first winter in New York—stylish and practical to survive the snow this season!
What I’m Giving I’m hoping to give everyone in the office leopard-print Snuggies. We can be chic while getting work done!
Where I’m Donating The Humane Society of the United States.

Colleen Hagerty, Video Production Associate
What I Want My last wallet? Bought 3 years ago on sale for $5. Time for an upgrade! This yellow Marc Jacobs wallet will fit everything—and looks great when I pull it out of my bag!
What I’m Giving Small, festive gift bags for my girlfriends. This year, I’m including chic Chanel temporary tattoos and super-sparkly Deborah Lippmann nail color—perfect for holiday parties!
Where I’m Donating New York Cares’ “Winter Wishes,” which sends you “Letters to Santa” to buy gifts for children in need. It’s nice to feel a connection with the child who you’re being “Santa” for!

Kate Bryan, Social Media Intern
What I Want An Hermès enamel bracelet. I’ve always wanted to collect Hermès bracelets, as my mother did. My parents gave me my first for my birthday, so I hope one will be under the tree this year.
What I’m Giving Anything Kate Spade—the most adorable, whimsical, unique gift ideas. This Cheers gold pendant necklace will be for my sister.
Where I’m Donating Covenant House, which provides shelter, food, clothing, and more to homeless youth.

Kimberly Hedmark, Marketing Intern
What I Want I am obsessed with these Jeffrey Campbell Lace-Up Ankle Boots, discovered on my walk home from work the other day. They are on the very top of my Santa list.
What I’m Giving It’s not the money but the thought—especially since I am a college student! I am making a scrapbook for my friends with pictures of us since freshman year, to relive the hysterical, unforgettable moments we shared.
Where I’m Donating The American Brain Tumor Association.

Olivia Hayes, Office Manager
What I Want The walls of my new apartment need artwork, more specifically framed vintage posters. I have my eye on a 1960s James Bond poster with my all-time favorite Bond, Sean Connery.
What I’m Giving Bittersweets Famous Letter Rings in 14K gold for my closest girlfriends. I love the delicate hammered bands, and you can inscribe up to 5 letters, so I will personalize each ring.
Where I’m Donating Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Noelle Mihalenic, Video Intern
What I Want A Citrine by the Stones antique gold-plated bangle—I love the elegance, and it’s simple enough to wear with any outfit.
What I’m Giving The Steve by Steve Madden Cut-Out Booties for my cousin, who has a shoe fetish! They look hot with skinny jeans and dresses—plus they’re on sale!
Where I’m Donating Shelter Our Sisters.

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