The gifting season is upon and that means our annual gift guide is here!
We’ve rounded up the very best Scandi gifts to buy, from affordable to splashy; silly to thoughtful. 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 bereft 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 to buy this season:
Carl Hansen CH07 Shell Lounge Chair
A piece of Danish design history that’s been loved since it was first released in 1963. The wood and upholstery can be selected according to the receiver’s taste, though we happen to think the cowhide is perfection. This is definitely on the higher end of the spectrum when it comes to price points, but this is a design that will last for a long time and spark some serious joy.
Carl Hansen CH07 Shell Lounge Chair from €2512 – €3593
Georg Jensen Bonbonniere
Despite sounding like the ultimate sweetie jar, this sophisticated container is much better suited for jewelry, watches, keys, and other bits pulled from a pocket at the end of the day. Its sterling silver lid and crystal glass body are perfect for the magpie in your life who’s drawn to sparkling beauty, while the prestige of the company will impress any Danish design aficionado.
Georg Jensen Bonbonniere €470
Ferm Vuelta Lamp
This bold light with a sculptural arc is like a slinky crossed with an ancient column and we just adore it. Designed with an LED light source that emits a soft, diffused light, it also features an adjustable dimmer switch for ultimate ambiance control. It can be used as a decorative lamp in a dark corner or on a shelf to light up a collection of books for an avid reader in your life.
Ferm Vuelta Lamp €199
This small, portable, and weather-proof speaker is ideal for those on-the-go and for indoor-outdoor living. The sleek design and easy functionality makes the speaker an ideal choice for music and design-lovers of all ages. Since it’s a bit heartier than other SONOS speakers, why not use it for a kids’ room, bathroom, or general family area? Connect with Apple Airplay, the SONOS app, and even bluetooth if you don’t have WiFi.
SONOS Move speaker €399
Avolt Square 1 Extension Cord
Do you have a design lover in your life who grumbles at the unsightly design of basic household items like extension cords? Then this is the perfect gift. Avolt is a Swedish design company that focuses on extending energy to appliances but, like, in a really good looking way. The Square 1 extension cord is playful yet minimal, forged from circles, squares, and triangles, just like everything else from Avolt.
Avolt Square 1 Extension Cord €49
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
The Malmö-based company is inspired by the wistful beauty of clouds, handcrafting baby blue candles that emulate clouds’ silhouettes and shadows when their flames flicker. Their scents take inspiration from every part of the world a cloud can reach, from Finnish Lily of the Valley to Japanese tea, but also from less tangible sources, like the smell of a father who never wore commercial perfume. Each hand-poured candle is made with a vegetable-based wax and high-quality ingredients, finished in a hand-painted glass jar.
Amoln candle €60
Use the code SCANDI at checkout for free delivery within Europe.
From the Copenhagen-based textile studio Tekla comes a luxurious basic that will complement any bedroom and put a massive smile on any design-lovers face. The percale bedding is made from organic cotton, ensuring an impeccably soft and durable feel. Their striped patterns are reminiscent of heritage designs while the simple colors are modern and clean.
Ikea x Byredo candle
For a limited time, Ikea and cult Swedish brand Byredo have joined forces to launch a limited-edition range of exclusive candles, in a range of sizes running from €4 to €21. There are 10 scents available currently – Tea Leaves & Verbena, Pomegranate & Amber, Basil & Mint, Fig & Cypress, Peach Blossom & Bamboo, Lilac & Amber, Rose & Raspberries, Cotton Flower & Apple Blossom, Sandalwood & Vanilla, and Tobacco & Honey.
They’re an affordable stocking filler or small gesture for an acquaintance that has all the benefits of luxury Scandinavian design without the price tag.
Ikea x Byredo candle from €13
Vin Supernatural Advent Calendar
Four natural wines from your favorite Copenhagen natural wine shop, to see through the holiday season (or day, no judging), all wrapped up in an advent calendar for €80. Who doesn’t love wine? No one. This gift is a slam dunk.
Vin Supernatural Advent Calendar
Nature – Home Sweet Home by Lisa Grue
A delightful print from artist Lisa Grue that welcomes the lightness of spring and beauty of nature into a home. It’s a sweet gift and welcome reminder that lighter days are around the corner for a loved one who’s less of a winter person.
Nature – Home Sweet Home by Lisa Grue €26
New Works Kizu Table Lamp
The Kizu Table Lamp is an iconic design that plays with balance and suspension. The sculptural form, made from marble, has a density that’s offset by the light’s soft illumination. It’s perfect for small, intimate spaces and is sure to please.
New Works Kizu Table Lamp €399
Treat your loved ones to a piece of clothing that fits while supporting the fight against waste in the fashion industry with a Son of a Tailor gift card for a custom-fit item. Going custom is a lot easier than it sounds: Grab the measurement tape or make use of the Ideal Size algorithm to determine your body measurements, add fit preferences, and order away. Your garment gets made by the skilled production team in Italy and Portugal and a few days later it arrives – with the name of the person who made it.
Gift cards come packed in a pretty little box together with a guide booklet and a measuring tape and can be ordered via the website. Last minute? Simply order the digital gift card instead and receive it immediately.
Son of a Tailor gift card from €54
If the person you’re buying for has Teddy Boys, 90’s polaroids of Eddie Murphy, and Sicily in the 50s on their Pinterest board, they’re going to love a Vinny’s loafer. The Copenhagen-based brand designs a concise collection of classic shoes, all manufactured by a family-run factory in Portugal.
The Romeo is a classic loafer, cut from croc-effect leather, that’s a building block for any great outfit.
Vinny’s Shoes Romeo loafer €215
Scandinavia Standard readers get an exclusive 25% discount until 31st December. Just use the code SCANDI25 at checkout to redeem.
Tights might not seem like the most exciting gift, but that’s because you’ve never used Organic Basics tight before. Super comfortable and designed to last, the Organic Basics Re-Tights are made from recycled nylon for a sustainably stylish present.
Remember to use code SCANDINAVIA10 for a 10% discount.
Organic Basics Re-Tights from €36
Designed in Sweden, Akuko makes bamboo socks with African pride. The company has roots in Nigeria and creates space for African stories while designing sustainable statement socks to carry their messages to the world. Their bright and bold designs make for seriously happy feet that are a far cry from the Christmas-day cliche.
Akuko Socks Giftbox Ogene €39
It doesn’t get more classic than cashmere in December. If I had to put money on it, I’d say the red scarf Scrooge receives in The Muppet Christmas Carol is cashmere (it’s got that look you know?) Cos has a fantastic range of affordable cashmere items, from jumpers to joggers, all of which are made with traceable cashmere. The minimal rollneck with an oversized but structured fit is a particular favorite.
Don’t forget to add on their cashmere comb as a stocking filler! It’s designed to remove pilling and increase garment longevity.
Cos Cashmere ROLL-NECK JUMPER €188 Cos Cashmere Comb €10
Nordgreen Native Watch
Nordgreen creates watches that are steeped in Danish design tradition in both their aesthetic and craftsmanship. They’re a direct-to-consumer platform, so prices are surprisingly affordable for the high level of quality, and each watch has a range of strap options. The Native has a sleek minimal clockface, designed by Danish designer Jakob Wagner.
Nordgreen Native Watch from €175
Get 15% off your order with the code SCANDISTANDARD.
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!
Skall Studio Florence pyjamas
What is a holiday morning without the perfect pair of pyjamas? And sustainable Danish brand Skall Studio make THE perfect pair. The classic two-piece with piping detail features their small clam logo on the breast pocket which is a) very sweet and b) it has a POCKET.
They’re made with 100% organic cotton poplin and are super comfortable, while still being just a bit luxe. Nothing says luxury quite like a high-quality pyjama set, after all.
Skall Studio Florence pyjamas €188
Underwear or sportswear from Swedish brand Closely is sure to impress during the holiday season, as the brand goes to extremes to deliver superior function and a sense of freedom in a way that causes the least impact on the planet. Their lace bralettes are pure comfort but never look dowdy, made for every body.
Closely lace bralette €67
Artikel x David Thulstrup Jacket
What happens when an interior designer makes a jacket? Magic! This special piece, created by Denmark-based interior designer Studio David Thulstrup and clothing brand Artikel, combines a minimalist aesthetic with functionalist thinking. The jacket can be worn layered or in single pieces. It transitions beautifully between seasons and occasions, both formal and informal, making it the Swiss Army Knife of jackets.
Artikel x David Thulstrup Jacket from €564
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.
Lugot Jewelry Olivia Hoops
Lugot is a Swedish brand that manufactures from partially recycled gold and silver in Italy. Their designs are modern classics, favoring the multi-hooped ear and gold-chain-look so frequently seen on the fashion crowd in Scandinavia. They’re pieces that are easy to layer, at once contemporary and timeless – a gold hoop will never really go out of fashion.
We like the Olivia hoop for its fluid yet satisfyingly chunky rounded shape.
Lugot Jewelry Olivia Hoops €142
66°North Bylur sweater
A classic cable-knit sweater in 100% soft lambswool is a staple for any Scandi-chic wardrobe, not to mention an apres-ski instant hit. A great gift for a lover of knitwear, natural fibers, timeless wardrobe staples, and the wintertime.
66 North Bylur sweater €189
A silver chain bracelet is a classic piece that you’ll be wearing for years to come. This one by Danish jewelry brand Pandora has a little twist with a subtle version of the infinity symbol worked into the chain. It’s unisex and minimalist without being too dainty, making it easy to wear daily. Pandora not only has great price points; their production practices are excellent, incorporating both recycled metals and waste reduction throughout their supply chain.
Shadeshares by Paola Suhonen
Remind a loved one to always walk on the sunny side of the street with a pair of Shadeshares’ sunglasses, with yellow-tinted lenses to bring some sunshine into their day. These high-quality sunglasses are made of Finnish birch veneer with polarized UV protection lenses. All glasses are made in Shadesahres’ workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, which currently employs 20 young adult from the Kariobangi & Korogocho slums. For each pair sold, Shadeshare will plant a tree in Kenya.
Shadeshares by Paolo Suhonen €129
Looking for jewelry with a little color that’s still grown up? These resin bracelets by Danish brand Kyoto Tango are the perfect blend of playful and classic. Inspired by Japanese design, these slightly oversized pieces will elevate your outfit and last a lifetime.
Beauty and Skincare Gifts
Nuori Spa Home Kit
Treat a loved one who hasn’t been able to pamper themselves during the pandemic to an at-home spa treatment with Nuori’s Nordic spa kit. The five-step kit contains some of Nuori‘s best selling products, all of which are made from natural, organic ingredients.
Nuori Spa Home Kit €94
Scandinavia Standard readers get a 10% discount on first-time orders. Just use the code SCANDI10 at checkout.
Barbara Mensah raw shea butter
Barbara Mensah’s raw shea butter is 100% unrefined with no chemical process or additives, making for a pure cream with a rich nutty earthy, roasted, scent. It works for a whole host of issues, from nappy rash to healing acne scars, but it’s still decadent enough to be a rich addition to a daily beauty regimen. Plus, due to being organic and all-natural, it will work for anyone.
Barbara Mensah raw shea butter €20
Cult Danish beauty brand Kjær Weis was established in New York City by Danish makeup artists Kjær Weis and it’s quickly become a darling of the cosmetics industry. Her formulas are organic but are still long-lasting and high quality, and the packaging is to-die-for. All items can be refilled; the refills cost less than the original products, so you save money over time.
We love the cream blush which is buttery soft and leaves a dewy, youthful glow.
Kjær Weis makeup €46
Find more Danish beauty brands for the Scandi MUA in your life here.
RDP Skincare Slow Face Cream
Slow sustainable skincare from Sweden that is sure to be the next big cult beauty brand. The all-natural RDP Slow Moisture Face Cream intensely hydrates, plumps, and smoothes skin with probiotics, meadowfoam seed oil, and jojoba oil. It also contains aloe water to soothe and replenish the skin, vitamin C to help protect skin from fine lines, and shea butter to add a soft glow. It’s unisex, vegan, suitable for sensitive skin, and super yummy.
RDP Skincare Slow Face Cream €60
RDP Skincare are offering an exclusive discount code for Scandinavia Standard readers until 31st December. Use SS20 at checkout for 20% off.
Something from new Copenhagen-based perfume brand, Porcelain Perfumery, is a great present for the scent aficionado in your life. Porcelain blends skin-friendly spices, rare flowers, and delicious fruits to create a series of genderless fragrances with heady and sensual or light and uplifting undertones. Remember, scents must be worn on skin for at least 10 minutes for the true scent to come through. Our favorite is No. 3.
Porcelain Perfumery No. 3 €241
This collection revives the hair, nature, and ocean thanks to its micellar cleansing technique, natural ingredients, and ocean waste plastic packaging. It contains a moisturizing detox shampoo and color guarding conditioner, with a floral scent of green cucumber, pear, and peach nectar. Due to its gentle, organic nature, it’s suitable for most hair types.
All the Stuff We Cooked is the first cookbook from restauranteur and chef Frederik Bille Brahe. The Masanao Hirayama-designed pages contain 44 simple but thoughtful dishes from the kitchen of Atelier September, Apollo Bar, and Kafeteria, but also from Brahe’s own home, all documented and conceived during Copenhagen’s COVID-19 lockdown. It’s as perfect for the kitchen as a coffee table.
All proceeds from All the Stuff We Cooked will be donated to ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants), a New York organization working to secure relief for restaurant workers and helping to reopen or restructure businesses during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
Nordic Islands: Iceland,Greenland,Norway,Faroe Islands by Stefan Forster
The ultimate coffee table book for any Scandiphile. Renowned nature photographer, Stefan Forster, documents the extraordinary Nordic islands. Over the course of more than 80 trips through Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and the Faroe Islands, Forster captures the epic landscapes, wildlife, and beauty of these far-flung isles in beautiful pictures.
Nordic Islands: Iceland,Greenland,Norway,Faroe Islands by Stefan Forster €55
Phaidon Flower Colour Guide
For a lover of fresh-cut flowers and floral arrangements, the Phaidon Flower Color Guide is a perfect present. The reference book organizes flower types by color, with an emphasis on seasonality and creative color schemes. Each flower is beautifully photographed in bloom so the book is as pretty as a bouquet, but can be used to turn an amateur floral artist into a pro.
Phaidon Flower Colour Guide €37
Trolls haunt snowy forests and terrifying monsters roam the open sea. A young woman journeys to the end of the world and a boy proves he knows no fear. This collection of 16 traditional tales transports readers to the enchanting world of Nordic folklore. Translated and transcribed from 19th-century folklorists and accompanied by Ulla Thynell’s illustrations, this is a book for all age groups. A great gift for a holiday spent reading by the fire.
Nordic Tales €28
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez
Invisible Women inspects the data gap and how it’s impacted gender equality, from doctors’ offices to Viking burial sites. Yes, really. In it, she looks at a case study of the Birka warrior, a Viking warrior assumed to be male despite having a female skeleton…
This and many more studies build a clearer image of how bias and discrimination are baked into our systems. It’s an important book that’s sure to spark some interesting conversations come dinner time.
Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez €32
A Good Company Stone Notebook
It seems as good a time as any to encourage a loved one’s love of journaling – there’s been a lot of feelings this year. The Stone Notebook from A Good Company is the world’s first climate-positive notebook made from recycled stone, with grainless pages for an unmatched, silky-smooth writing experience. It is also waterproof, tear-resistant, and wrinkle-free so you can really go to town with to-do lists, notes, diary entries, or lyrics. For an even more personalized touch, A Good Company will emboss the cover with your text or logo.
A good company Stone Notebook €22
Hey Captain Gift Card
Let a loved one play at being Captain and take to the seas (Copenhagen’s canals) with a Hey Captain gift card. The receiver can choose from a public or private tour, opting to sail past landmarks, hidden gems, or just to float along Copenhagen’s waterways on a long summer’s day – though a winter trip is just as enjoyable, as the company provide blankets and hot drinks for a true hyggligt experience.
Hey Captain Gift Card from 200 DKK | €26
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! This is a great option if you’d like to treat someone to an experience while ensuring they can stay safe and follow social distancing measures – it can be done completely from home!
If you’d rather show you care by donating money to a worthy cause, there are plenty of organizations and individuals that need donations.
To support fair elections in Georgia and around the US, encourage voter participation in elections, and educate voters about elections and their voting right, we recommend donating to Fair Fight 2020.
Families in the UK are struggling to feed their children following mass layoffs and continued government austerity during the pandemic. To lend support, we recommend donating to FareShare, an organization that redistributes in-date surplus food to frontline charities across the UK.
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 choose 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.
Happy holidays Scandiphiles!
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