Whether you’re shopping for your wife, girlfriend, daughter or best friend, picking the right present to make a lasting impression this holiday season can be difficult.
Here are some ideas for gifts she’ll really love, while supporting local businesses or dabbling online.
For a little sparkle
It’s hard to go wrong with jewelry, and Joshua Halpern says this year’s trends point to classic finishes and designs.
The owner of Albert’s Diamond Jewelers in Schererville and Merrillville (albertsjewelers.com) says diamond baguette and yellow gold jewelry are two current trends.
“For women, what’s big is layering short and long necklaces together, and thin stackable rings alternating with rose gold and yellow gold,” Halpern said.
Single-stone pendants and colorful jewels also are hot this holiday season, whether it’s ruby, emerald, smoky quartz or morganite, he said.
“All the colors of the rainbow are being asked for, and we are showcasing more colors than ever before,” Halpern said.
At Martin Binder Jeweler in Valparaiso, Major Brands Manager Markie White says diamond studs are timeless, while Lagos jewelry ($295 and up, martinbinder.com) offers options year after year.
“It is a gift you can build on, buy her a bracelet for Christmas, pendant for her birthday, and earrings for another special occasion,” White said. “Continue to add to her collection, and you will always have a go-to gift idea.”
Though we live in a digital era, White says traditional lockets are making a big comeback.
The Monica Rich Locket ($195 and up, martinbinder.com) can be personalized with charms to represent the gift giver or recipient.
“We can print and insert a special picture before wrapping the locket,” White said. “Imagine her surprise when she opens it to find a photo of your special memory.”
Trendy engraved message necklaces ($14, ecochicboutique.us) also are a hit this season, with Eco Chic Boutique in Dyer selling several that contain inspirational words such as “Love,” “Hope,” “Sister,” “Live Laugh Love” and “You’re My Person.”
For the chic dresser
The Magic Scarf and Magic Vest are just that — pure magic, Eco Chic Boutique co-owner Diane Gross says.
The No. 1 selling items ($22 and $35, respectively, ecochicboutique.us) at the shop allows gives the wearer many options.
“Transform any outfit in a variety of ways with one scarf or use both pieces together,” Gross said. “You can style them as a scarf, vest, poncho, skirt, cape or shawl.”
Another popular accessory in 2018, according to several international fashion magazines, is faux croco. Luxury fashion brand Maxwell-Scott offers a large zip around purse ($240, maxwellscottbags.com) perfect for a well-organized woman.
Chic dressing isn't reserved for the daytime, either. Garnet Hill offers slippers that will knock the socks off of the woman in your life, ranging from warm woollies to cozy cottage slippers ($88 and up, garnethill.com).
For the traveler, SAS shoes ($141, sasshoes.com) has created a shoe targeting women on the go. The shoe is feather-light and ultra-flexible, making it easy to wear or pack.
For the book worm
For the woman who loves a good book, O’Gara and Wilson booksellers has plenty of options.
The Chesterton bookstore (ogaraandwilson.com) features tons of rare finds and modern novels, some even signed by authors.
“We also have lovely old magazines and sheet music with interesting pictorial covers suitable for framing,” owner Jill Wilson said.
This year, the store also features book-themed scented soy candles ($11) with names that include “Sherlock’s Study,” “Old Books” and “Christmas at the Burrow.”
Nothing says indulgence like a Pom Pom pillow ($148, indieindiebangbang.com) or Ode olive oil-based creams and body scrubs ($32 and $40, respectively) found at the popular boutique in Gary's Miller Beach area, Indie Indie Bang! Bang!
Candle lovers also may enjoy soy candles from Bright Endeavors (brightendeavors.org, $7.99-$24.99), each of which is handmade by a young mother in Chicago learning job skills she can use to lift her family out of poverty. Seasonal scents include Whitebark Pine, Holiday Citrus and Almond Berry Galette.
Perfect for a mom with a sweet tooth, toffees from Dave’s Sweet Tooth ($5.99 and up, davessweettooth.com) in Michigan use seasonal flavors and a consistent recipe to update a classic candy. Flavors include peanut butter, vanilla bean, and peppermint.
Coffee is also a must-have for many busy women, which is why Mama Java ($13.99, mamajavacoffee.com) created a coffee that caters to those who often have to reheat the same cup over and over. Founder Kim Roman says she carefully selected the beans and roasts them to pass what “we lovingly call the motherhood test.”
“You can let a cup of Mama Java sit, reheat it, even drink it cold and old, and it will still be a great cup of coffee,” she said.
Pair with a “Woman Holding a Huge Cup of Coffee” print ($6.79 and up, Art.com) for added sophistication or a Rumpl Sherpa Blanket (rumpl.com, $110) that’s antimicrobial and stain-resistant for added coziness.
For nature lovers
Spanning generations, from grandmas to children, Wild Pixy’s Glow in the Dark 13-Piece Fairy Garden Set ($49.95, amazon.com) is perfect for those who work gardening magic.
For those who love taking photos while exploring trails in the Region or simply want a handy camera to take family photos, the Polaroid POP instant digital camera ($199.99, polaroid.com) instantly prints pictures, which also can be uploaded online using Wi-Fi connectivity.
For a gift that gives year-round, Succulents Box ($4 and up per month, succulentsbox.com) offers a monthly subscription box that features picks from 150 varieties of succulents. A trending plant in homes, succulents require little care — perfect for a mom or coworker on the go.
For the stocking
Stocking stuffers often are an afterthought, but can be just as fun as the larger presents under the tree.
After8, in downtown Crown Point, carries several possibilities that are practical and fun, from Aldi quarter carriers ($8, etsy.com/shop/after8handmade) to faux leather wrist clutches with colorful patterns ($20) and scrunchies featuring favorite sports teams or festive patterns ($4 or 3 for $10).
Eco Chic Boutique also sells popular Flour Sack Dish Cloths ($14) that Gross says will brighten anyone’s day with hilarious quotes printed on them —making this a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.
Not going to be home for the holidays, or looking for a way to add a personal touch? Lovepop ($13, lovepopcards.com) turns traditional holiday cards into detailed 3-D sculptures using advanced ship design software. Each piece of paper art is then hand-assembled.
A meaningful option for children, teens or adults, a Luc and Bell bracelet ($12, lucandbell.com) features a red bead symbolizing strength and protection, a heart for love and an animal specifically chosen for its commitment to family and community. The bracelets were created by two mothers and doctors for their own children when they were facing bullying.