Gift Guide #8: Your Wife Who Hangs Out in Bookstores and Gets Your Goofy Jokes.

Gift Guide For Wives

A pretty lace blouse to spice up the winter, $120.

Gift Guide For Wives

Candlesticks for romantic weeknight dinners, $76 for two.

Gift Guide For Wives

Voting game, $25. You vote for the person in your group who is best described by the question on the card — for example: Who would survive the longest in a zombie apocalypse? This game makes me laugh just thinking about it.

Gift Guide For Wives

One of the sexiest, most universally loved perfumes by a cult Swedish fragrance house. From $78.

Gift Guide For Wives

Cheese vaults, $60 for two, to keep her favorite snack at peak freshness. (These sold out quickly! They’re also available here.)

Gift Guide For Wives

Book pins, $11, including Pride & Prejudice, The Elements of Style and The Handmaid’s Tale. Plus, one of the best books of the year.

Firefly running and biking safety lights, $25, for her evening jaunts.

Gift Guide For Wives

Salt and pepper grinders that are as beautiful as they are functional, $69.

Gift Guide For Wives

Silk pajamas, $98, plus a promise to let her sleep in next weekend. (Or this flirty number.)

Gift Guide For Wives

Lovely everyday earrings, $44.

Gift Guide For Wives

A delicious night out, just the two of you. xoxo

P.S. The 2017 gift guide so far, and what marriage means.

(Candlestick photo, cheese vault photo and salt and pepper grinder photo by Food52. Perfume photo by Christine Han. Running photo by Tracksmith.)

  1. Due to tax changes, this is also the last year that many people will benefit from the charitable deduction – so many people in my family are getting donations to their favorite charities for Christmas!

  2. Maria says...

    Lovely selection! I would *love* if you guys created a gift guide made up entirely of books (or included a book suggestion on each of the gift guides): we’ve decided to gift everyone in our families books this year, and I also have an annual secret santa in which we exchange books (since middle school!), it can be so hard to have different ideas for each person year on year, I would love some extra inspiration :)

    • R.M. says...

      Hi Maria! NPR does a yearly “book concierge” list. They divide it by interest so you can pick something based on each person’s taste. It’s fun just browsing through the categories.

    • What age range? I have a huge list. An Edward Eager, Eva Ibbotson, or Ronald Dahl box set works well for many ages.

      I’ve been giving my husband’s little siblings books for every single birthday and Christmas since they were eight (now 15). Here’s the best part of any book gift for a kid, something my mom always did for me: read it too and talk about it with them!

      “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”–C.S. Lewis

      For adults, your local independent bookstore is the best resource for recommendations! I like Emma Straub’s Books Are Magic store in Brooklyn, or the Ripped Bodice, a lovely romance-only bookstore owned by sisters in LA. And Caroline from Cup of Jo has a book magazine called Eye Level that I like!

    • Maria says...

      You guys, thank you so much!!

      R.M., I hadn’t seen (or heard of) NPR’s book concierge and it is amazing! And it has helped me decide on the last book I needed to buy for the upcoming festivities, I feel very relieved! I want to pick books for myself now haha!

      Kelly, they range from 16 to 60 this year (but it really does vary from year to year), and I more than welcome all of your suggestions, really! It is great to hear about Caroline as well, thank you!

  3. SO thrilled to have our selection of Jane Mount’s book pins featured here. I’m obsessed with them! Everybody on the 20×200 team has their own faves, and my personal list keeps growing and growing.

    And yep, they really are amazing gifts! Choosing a giftee’s favorite book is a great way to “show them that you know them” (an important gift-giving criteria IMHO) and I also love that they are affordable. Plus Jane is an amazing artist + a dear friend, and I love supporting her.

    Huge thanks to Joanna + Lexi for including us. <3

  4. Callie says...

    Where is that restaurant in the last picture? My husband and I are trying to have more date nights! I always want to find somewhere both delicious and cute!

    I also love other commenters’ suggestions of experience dates–I have been looking at evening cooking classes but never know which one to choose (perhaps you guys would like to try some of the many in NYC and write about it–I volunteer to come along if you need another person to help with this assignment!). Eataly, Williams & Sonoma, the many cooking schools–there are so many here that I get overwhelmed and have only been to one (which was a fantastic thai cooking class at Ngam on 3rd Ave)–but would love to check out more and think that would make a great gift.

    • Callie says...

      Ooh Awesome–We have a random Wednesday night reservation at Lilia in January! I can’t wait. (And I first heard about them by looking through this blog at your restaurant recs)

    • Callie says...

      Last night was my husband’s and my “random Wednesday date night” there (we like to try to have our nanny stay late so we can do dinner out just the two of us about once a month or so). I just about died when I saw you and Alex walk in. I definitely wanted to say hello but didn’t want to pull you away from your friends and so I hope that my hello wasn’t too intrusive (or too disappointingly not the sommelier). Your recommendation was on point–we especially loved the sea bass with salsa verde and the “small fried fish.” I hope (and frankly assume) your dinner was equally delicious!

  5. Sasha says...

    The Bright Hour is one of the best books I’ve ever read. You absolutely will see the world differently for reading it. It’s beautiful and wrenching, often in the same sentence. If you are giving books this holiday, it’s an amazing gift.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree! easily the best book i read this year. i haven’t stopped thinking about it. xoxo

    • John Duberstein says...

      This makes me so happy I need a special hashtag. :)


      Thx Jo & Sasha!

    • Celeste says...

      Sounds like I should put it next on my list!

    • Lily says...

      Could not agree more!! I loved this book and was haunted by it for weeks. I thought a lot about another CoJ post (from way back: about the role happiness plays in our lives:

      We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much.

      Nina’s book captured the essence of this idea to the T.

  6. Kylie says...

    The voting game sounds like a great time! Also LOVE everything Sezane… Wish they shipped internationally.

  7. LB says...

    Salt and pepper grinders are perfect for my minimalist husband who hates our generic wood grinders. Ordered!

  8. Hannah says...

    Read your husband’s piece on the future of jobs in the AI era. Realized it must be him when he referenced the sweet Anton and Toby, who I have met so many times here. I feel I know Alex the least of the four of you, was fun to read the piece. What a wonderful family you have.

  9. Karen says...

    the items are lovely but in fantasy aka out-of-reach budget mode for many of us – especially those of us who have children. Please keep in mind that many of your readers, even those who are older than you, are not in the same financial stratosphere.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for the feedback, karen! we try to keep many/most of our gift guide items under $25, but went a little higher oon this particular one since it was a spouse. but i hear you that we could have kept this guide lower priced overall and that might have been more helpful. here are a few more affordable items that are also lovely:

      spot it game, $10:
      beautiful lace underwear, $10.50:
      the softest socks of all time, $4:
      bon appetit magazine subscription, $20:
      one of the year’s best books, $16:
      velour chemise, $19.99:
      pom-pom drop earrings, $20:
      jacques torres hot chocolate, $20:
      krispy kreme jelly beans! $9:

      hope that helps xoxoxo

    • Jess. says...

      I feel like now we got 2 gift guides for the price of one. Now that’s good value! superXOX

    • Sasha says...

      What a kind gesture to give so many affordable more options!

      Erin at Reading My Tea Leaves does wonderful gift guides as well, with loads of affordable, sustainable, simple and homemade ideas. I truly appreciate all the smart folks that do all this thinking for me.

    • Angela says...

      I won’t say surprised by your comment, Joanna, because such kindness toward your readers is what I’ve come to expect from you, but I would like to go ahead express how fantastically thoughtful that comment was. I’m sure the extra gift options were appreciated by many, but it was awfully sweet of you to reply to an individual’s request with such thoroughness.

  10. Those salt and pepper mills are gorgeous!


  11. Sarah says...

    Those candles!

  12. Liss says...

    Love scrolling through these for ideas. Another great idea (for a book-lover): ‘Book of the Month’ club ( I have a monthly standing brunch with girlfriends to eat wonderful food and debate/consider/fawn over the latest book choice :)

    • Kelly says...

      We got my sister-in-law Book of the Month club as a gift last Christmas and she still raves about it. She is going to join herself once the gift membership is up.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such a fun idea!

  13. These are cute. My husband and I have been together over 15 years – pretty much since we were children. In our case, every gift is low-hanging fruit that’s been snatched. First edition books, fine perfumes, fancy scarves, vintage barware, funny trinkets, CLASSES… we’ve done it all. Now I’m like, “babe, please. No more stuff! Unless it’s the Cartier leopard ring. That would be nice.” LOL

  14. Laura C. says...

    The very best guide,Jo. Love the pins. But in this moment of my life and my marriage, the last one is the one that I need.

  15. Gillian says...

    YES!!! Way to think of everyone. You’re my role model, Jo.

  16. Andrea says...

    Love these gift guides! Any ideas for a 13 year old girl? She’s a tough one (not a kid, not a full blown teen)!

    • Ooh! Yes! I need gift ideas for teenage girls, too! 12 and 14… They split their time between Sephora and H&M but are otherwise sweet and curious kids, so I am looking for “smart” gifts rather than makeup or clothing.

    • Alex says...

      This depends on what kind of personality she is, but my 13 yo sister loved a cowl that I hand knitted for her last Christmas, plus a book The talented mr.Ripley :)

    • Alex says...

      Also, this year she’ s getting the book I am Malala from our mom – maybe a good tip for a thoughtful teenager with a critical and open spirit :)

    • H says...

      Does she like to cook? Last year I put together a cookie kit for my cousin with ingredients to make the cookies and decorate them along with an apron, spatula, etc. There are also a lot of cool subscription boxes for cooking, crafts, engineering, reading, etc. Check out CrateJoy for ideas. It’s always fun to get something in the mail every month! Experience gifts can also be nice- taking a candle-making class or jewelry making together, checking out a local museum.

    • Fiona says...

      My nieces are in the same age group – there are some amazing books they are devouring – the Tiffany Aching books by Terry Pratchett, The Girl who Drank the Moon, the Percy Jackson books (male lead, but with SUPER powerful female characters) – also depending on the price range at that age kids can take diving classes (just in the pool) and learn about amazing ladies such as Sylvia Earle and Eugenie Clarke, or a trip to do one of those zero gravity wind tunnel things together with books about Sally Ride and Mae Jamison (there are always cheaper options, but with the girlies they really seem to like the experience + more information combination)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are all such great ideas!

    • Kim says...

      My 13 year-old just read The Hate You Give and said it was the best book she read this year. Might make a nice gift.

  17. Lily says...

    Want all of this please and thank you.

  18. Jane says...

    Love the book pins! I’m eager to pin Joy of Cooking, Elements of Style and Anne of Green Gables to my bag :)

  19. Vanessa says...

    Guys, you have the best blog. I’m still cracking up about the Dutch kids saying “fahck” and about Toby’s tips for holiday travel. I keep reading my husband all the gems! And yes, this is a great gift list.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      aww, thank you, vanessa xoxo

  20. Becky says...

    Excellent addition to the gift guide list. love it

  21. Such sweet ideas. I love the title of the post and I wouldn’t mind finding those candlesticks under my tree :)

  22. Sarah says...

    Sleeping in is #1 on my list.