The gifting season is upon and that means our annual gift guide is here! We’ve rounded up our favorite items, from affordable to splashy, from fun gifts like IKEA tarot cards to the most luxurious slippers and even a few pieces of furniture that every home will benefit from. We also have a list of organizations you can donate to in lieu of, or in addition to, your gifts.
Whether you’re shopping for a design-lover, a constant traveler, a bookworm, or just a regular ole Scandiphile, you’ll find what you need here!
Check out our holiday gift guide for the best presents for everyone in your life:
IKEA: a source of both joy and strife. Now you can explore how it connects to your own life with the IKEA Tarot Deck. The set includes the four sets of minor arcana as well as a full set of major arcana. Beautiful, fun, and a great way to think about your IKEA furniture!
IKEA Tarot Deck, €24
You may not think that towels are the most exciting gift, but that’s because you haven’t tried Tekla’s organic cotton towels. They are so soft. So soft and fluffy! You’ll never go back to your regular towels again, and whoever you buy these for will be thanking you for years to come. Tekla comes in a range of sizes, colors, and patterns; we love the Goji Red and Seventies Blue.
Tekla Organic Cotton Towels, starting from €13
Need a good tea or coffee service? This mid-century minimalist silhouette meets the modern look of polished stainless steel, resulting in a gorgeous set that includes a thermo jug, tea pot, milk jug, bonbonniere, and tray. Used separately or together, the Helix Collection is a wonderful slice of Danish design from an important heritage brand.
Georg Jensen Helix Collection, starting from €59
Kähler makes wonderful ceramics and homewares, bringing together functionality, affordability, and artist collaboration since they first launched in 1839. Their Character series are ceramic sculptures of humans in a variety of poses, set on blocks. They can be used as decor, bookends, paperweights, or anything else you can think of. They’re expertly-crafted, a little quirky, and something you’ll keep in your home for a lifetime.
Kähler Character Series, €75
Kähler Character Series is currently on sale! All pieces are €60 for a limited time.
Oooh baby, if you’re looking for a sleek new table lamp, look no further. We fell in love with the Blossi collection from Danish lighting firm Nuura the second we saw it, and the table lamp is perhaps it’s best design. With a silhouette recalling the iconic PH Lamp, yet a totally new take on materiality and warmth, this light is bound to be a design classic for decades to come. Just imagine this beauty on your desk!
A Scandi design classic that you’re likely to see in most Nordic homes, this stool was designed by Finnish designer and architect Alvar Aalto. It has endless uses and is stackable, making it a functional and chic addition to pretty much any space. Get a bunch and use them as extra party seating!
Alvar Aalto Stool 60, produced by Artek, $280
Aure Studio Art Prints from The Poster Club
Copenhagen-based Aure Studio has produced this series of art prints in collaboration with Danish brand The Poster Club. The prints are all based on drawings from 1941 by Aure founder’s grandmother. They’re minimalist and poetic, with lovely color combinations and a sense of movement in each one.
Aure Studio Art Prints, starting from €60
Designed by Danish designer Verner Panton and produced by lighting experts Louis Poulsen, this floor lamp is the ideal mix of minimalist and futurist, with a fun 70s vibe.
Interior design and furniture brand West Elm makes a range of beautiful items for the home. These stoneware bowls look hand painted and are part of the “blate” trend – meaning its a plate-bowl hybrid, perfect for everyday use.
West Elm Sway Low Bowls, €12.80
Bellroy leather goods are truly top quality; their products just get better with age. Functionality and aesthetics are key. This wallet has a slim silhouette and a hidden pocket for cash, cards, and coins.
When’s the last time your sex life got a design update? The lovely products from Dame are both useful and look nice. This couple’s kit comes with two condoms, aloe-based lubricant, a bullet vibrator, and two pairs of socks, all in a nice little pouch for easy travel and storage. Your Christmas holiday is about to be seriously filled with good cheer.
Weighted blankets are heavier than your typical blanket, essentially recreating the feeling of a hug. Some say they’re helpful if you have trouble falling asleep or suffer from anxiety. This one has a microfleece duvet cover, making it especially soft and inviting.
The blanket comes in 15, 20, or 25 pound iterations (which is about 7 kg, 9kg and 11kg). They recommend your chose the one that’s around 10% of the intended user’s body weight, unless you want something heavier or lighter.
Gravity Weighted Blanket, €225
Discover more Scandinavian bedding here.
Sindroms Magazine focuses on one color per issue, and the result is a beautiful, conceptual volume that explores both the aesthetic and emotional connections we have to colors. For their “Pink” issue, they’ve created a limited edition box containing seven pink design objects, created in collaboration with designers and brands found in the magazine.
“Omakase” is a Japanese tradition of trusting the chef to choose your meal; this box is the design equivalent. Each box also comes with the latest magazine, and has a total value of €500. There are only 15 left so get yours before they’re gone!
Sindroms Omakase: Pink, €250
Get 20% off your Omakase: Pink with the code SCANDI. Code is valid until 31st December.
A big, chunky blanket is the perfect gift for winter. This one is extra thick, made from soft unspun wool that feels like cuddling up in a cloud. The throw is handmade in Peru and is a fair trade item.
Steamery Cirrus No.2 Travel Steamer
Steaming your clothes is much better for them than ironing, and doing so regularly means your clothes will last longer. This travel steamer is sleek and useful, perfect for business trips when you can’t afford to have wrinkles in your clothes!
Steamery Cirrus No.2 Travel Steamer, €120
Get 20% off your Steamery order with the code SCANDI20.
Comfortable, stylish, and durable, these headphones are everything you need for when you’re out and about, or working at the computer. This version of the H4 is optimized for Google Assistant and cordless use. They have 19 hours of battery life. As with all Bang & Olufsen items, these headphones are made from the highest quality materials with functionality and aesthetics in mind.
Get the best Scandinavian headphones here.
For designers, artists, and others in the creative industries, color matching can be extremely important (and fun!). This handy little device matches color by over 90% and can tell you tone you need to find. Easy and quick! Simply point the little device at the color you want to match and the corresponding app on your phone will tell you what you’re looking at. ColorReader works across NCS and RAL standards, as well as some others.
Datacolor color reader, €118
Made from organic cotton, Leticia Credido’s sleep and loungewear is a cut above your usual pyjama. With a blend of vintage and futuristic silhouettes, the garment are beautiful and comfortable, perfect for sleep or a day spent doing very little. We particularly love the housecoat, which has an injection of retro Hollywood glam and is made with old school sewing techniques.
Organic Basics Recycled Cashmere Collection
Cashmere is a notoriously hard fibre to source responsibly, and Danish basics brand Organic Basics have made it easy for you to enjoy this luxe fabric by using recycled cashmere. Their selection of scarves, hats, and gloves are premium design and quality, without any of the worry that they’re made unethically. Wrap yourself up in cashmere this winter!
Organic Basics Recycled Cashmere Collection, starting €60
Get 10% off your Organic Basics order with the code SCANDIOB10.
Find even more warm scarves here.
Is there anything more luxurious than really great slippers? Keep these by the door for when you get home. Inabo is a Swedish brand that produces their leather and suede slippers in Portugal. The quality is excellent, and the look can’t be beat. You’ll be swanning around in your robe and slippers, cocktail in one hand, effortlessly hosting a dinner party in no time!
Inabo Slippers, starting from €268
An absolute Danish design classic, the 1962 watch from heritage brand Ole Mathiesen is as simple as it is beautiful. Unpretentious but top quality, designed in Denmark with Swiss movements, this watch will last a lifetime and beyond.
Ole Mathiesen Classic 1962 Watch, starting from €880
Discover more Scandi watches here.
Think the perfect handbag doesn’t exist? You just haven’t heard of aagé yet!
Their two bags, the crossbody and the tote, are all you really need – one bag for work and the other day everything else. The crossbody in particular is one of those bags people will keep asking you about; it’s big enough to fit a water bottle, a book, and all your essentials, and the sculptural shape is chic but not boring.
Aagé’s bags are made as sustainably as possible with high quality leather sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry. If you want true under-the-radar Scandi style, this is the brand for you.
Aagé Handbags, starting from €776
Made from polished acetate, these sunglasses have an oversized, semi-retro silhouette and a big impact. They’re a great balance between fun and glamorous; not too cool, but they’ll still make you feel like a million bucks.
These socks are really good, in a way that only the Swedes could do. The socks are quite long, surprisingly thick, and come in a range of very cool colors that’ll make you wonder why you’ve stuck with black and white socks for so long. These are high-quality socks that won’t be thinning out at the heels for a very long time, and they strike a balance between fashion and function that’s necessary for an everyday item like this. Buy a few pairs and see if your feet don’t immediately thank you.
Find more warm socks to get you through the winter.
If you need heavy duty gloves, Swedish brand Hestra is where you go. These ones are made from Elk leather and have a thick fleece lining, as well as touchscreen pads on the thumb and index fingers so you can still use your smartphone while you’re out in the cold. These are the kind of gloves you have for decades – they’re really that good.
Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Trainers
Always classic and cool, the Common Projects leather trainers are a shoe that can go from casual wear to the office without any trouble (if you work in one of those cool offices, that is). The gold stamped serial number on the side is one of those little additions that really makes the style shine.
Common Projects Original Achilles Leather Trainers, €353
Discover more classic sneakers here.
If you’re looking for a warm coat for your baby or child, this one from Toastie is a great option. It’s super light, comes in a range of colors, has reflective strips on the pocket edges and back edge (great for those who cycle with their kids), is water resistant, and folds into a tiny carry bag that is easy to travel with. Kids will feel like they’re wrapped in a duvet!
Need more puffy coats? Here are more of our top picks.
Away has been producing great travel bags for awhile, but this is their first foray into day bags that can double as travel bags – really great news for those tho travel often for work, or just don’t like to switch out their regular handbag for a more travel-friendly tote.
Away Longitude Tote, €265
The Longitude and Latitude totes are your typical day/workwear leather tote bag, except that they include travel-ready features like a detachable interior pocket that’s ideal for all your essential papers and documents, and a strap that can go around the retractable handle of a suitcase, so getting through the airport requires less hands.
See Away founder Jen Rubio’s guide to minimalist packing.
We’ve sung the praises of Rains backpacks before and we remain convinced: these are the best and most stylish rain-proof backpacks around. There’s a number of styles, so find the one you think fits your personal style best.
Rains Backpack, starting from €76
Everyone needs a backpack. Find more here.
If you’ve ever dreamed of old-world train travel, this is the cosmetics case for you. With it’s box construction and charming Signature Flower pattern, the cosmetics box can store all your cosmetics or jewels (that will definitely be at the centre of some kind of British period mystery!) as you travel. It also features a removable cosmetics case for when you need something a little smaller.
Need a holiday or New Year’s Eve outfit? By Malene Birger now has a rental platform, Rent the Look, to rent occasion and partywear from their latest collections and archive..
Coming to any of the Scandinavian capitals? This app is for you! With the best food, drink, museums, shops, parks, and so much more, you’ll find your travels are much easier with this simple app. You can use the map function to see what’s open near you, or the itinerary function to create your own list of places to go, or favorites to remember once you’ve been there.
Scandinavia Standard Travel App; Download is free, full access is €13/year
Beauty and Skincare Gifts
Danish-born, LA-based skincare guru Ole Henriksen has made a name for himself with skincare that’s both effective and reasonably-priced. Almost everything in his range gets rave reviews, with reviewers often saying that Ole Henriksen products are as good, if not better, than many of the ultra-expensive skincare brands available.
Ole Henriksen Skincare, starting from €15
Gorgeous packaging isn’t the only thing we love about Huxley; their products are packed with moisturising agents, making them a great choice for dry winter skin. Need an extra boost of hydration? Try their overnight sleep mask, which melts into skin so you wake up with silky-feeling skin.
Huxley Skincare, starting from €24
See more of our favorite Huxley products.
Make your morning routine a little bit shorter, and a little more dewy with this oil-serum hybrid. Futuredew can be worn on its own or under makeup, giving you up to 12 hours of that much-sought after “moonbeams shooting out of your face” look. It also works over time to improve skin brightness.
Glossier Futuredew, €26
Get even more Glossier with our top picks.
LA-based jewelry designer J. Hannah makes gorgeous handmade items as well as a selection of nail polish “for the color averse.” The tones are muted and a bit quirky; ideal for those who want something a little different. The polishes are high quality, seven free, and cruelty free.
J Hannah Nail Polish, €19
Lovers of Scandinavian interiors and design: this one is for you! Page after page of incredible Scandinavian spaces in a stunning coffee table book; what could be better?
Scandinavia Dreaming, €39.90
The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl
An instant Nordic Noir classic, The Hermit is the story of a recluse who sets out to solve a murder of a boy whose body washed up on his small island. Compelling, page-turning, and dark, this book has all the elements of a great Nordic thriller, and it’s well-written to boot.
The Hermit by Thomas Rydahl, €23
I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos by Andrea Pippins
Illustrator Andrea Pippins’s gorgeous coloring book dives into the world of curly, coiled, natural hair. Whether you’re an adult looking for a relaxing activity or a child with curly hair, this is a fun and feel-good book.
I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos by Andrea Pippins, €19
The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson
Can you make it through 450 Nordic baking recipes? Well, probably not, but you can have a lot of fun trying! The chef behind restaurant Faviken, The Nordic Cook Book, “Chef’s Table,” and “Mind of a Chef” (leave some work for the rest of us, Nilsson) has produced an incredibly detailed and beautiful recipe book that also explores the culture and traditions behind the baking. The perfect gift for the baker in your life.
The Nordic Baking Book by Magnus Nilsson, €42
At Louisana, a 1+1 Membership allows you and a guest free entry. You also get 10% off at the gift shop, access to exclusive events and previews, and free entry at a number of other museums including KUNSTEN and Utzon Center in Aalborg, HEART in Herning and Munchmuseet, Henie Onstad Kunstsenter and Nasjonalmuseet in Oslo. You’ll get their beautiful catalogue sent to you quarterly as well.
Photography lovers will go wild for a Fotografiska membership, which is opening this year in New York City, as well as locations in Stockholm, London, and Tallinn. There are a number of different tiers, starting at just €59. All membership levels include free entrance, discounted admission for a guest, discounts at the shop and restaurant, access to events and all exhibition tours. Fotografiska routinely has some of the most innovative and interesting photography exhibits globally.
Give the gift of learning this year! Choose from a range of expert-level teachers in specific topics, such as Danny Elfman teaching Music for Film. Some of these classes are better than others, so be sure to read some reviews before you commit to a class! For those who are always curious but don’t have the time to go into a weekly course, Masterclass is a wonderful substitute – all online, and whenever you have the time to engage.
Masterclass, starting at €97
If you’d rather show you care by donating money to a worthy cause, there are plenty of organisations and individuals that need donations.
Other organisations for your consideration:
A non-profit allows you to finance small business ventures around the world. Every year, this is our go-to present. The receiver of the gift even gets to chose the loan themselves. Also, when you donate through our link, you give an additional 25 USD for Scandinavia Standard to reinvest (the money goes directly to projects, not to us).
Planned Parenthood provides reproductive health care and education for women at the community level.
Make your own holiday cards
Still need holiday cards or thank you notes for the season? Make your own quickly and easily on Minted. All of their designs are made by independent artists; there’s an option for every kind of style, from simple and minimalist to colorful and flowery.
Make your holiday and thank you cards with Minted.
Happy holidays Scandiphiles!
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