Sponsored

The Best Place for Holiday Gifts

MoMA Design Store Holiday Gifts

Wreaths have been popping up around the neighborhood, and I’m getting excited for the holidays. Year after year, one of my favorite places to shop for crowd-pleasing gifts for friends and family is MoMA Design Store. Here are a few picks…

The Best Holiday Gifts

They have beautiful gifts for everyone on the list, from the design enthusiast to the foodie to the gadget lover to the kid at heart. They’re also an amazing place to shop for those hard-to-buy-for people on your list — bosses, cousins, in-laws, the name you drew on the office gift exchange.

Above: For both green and black thumbs, how about a self-watering flower pot? They’re designed to make sure you never over- or under-water your plants. MoMA Design Store also has an incredible assortment of vases, including the colorful Mondri Vase, which feels like a sculpture, and the cheerful Raawii Strom Vase, which comes in an bunch of sizes and colors. I’d love to give one of these to my mom.

MoMA Design Store Holiday Gifts

Above: For the avid reader, these cheery bookends are lightweight yet can hold everything from favorite paperbacks to oversized art books.

The color changing puzzle is the ultimate gift for any puzzle player. Unlike other puzzles, every individual piece changes color in the light. It’s beautiful and incredibly challenging. Wouldn’t it be fun to put it on the table over the holidays, so everyone could help finish it?

And this teeny tiny speaker is truly amazing. It fits in your pocket but produces sound of a much larger speaker. It’s perfect for travel, the beach, listening to podcasts in the bath… and makes a great gift for pretty much anyone. (I want this for myself:)

MoMA Design Store Holiday Gifts

Above: One of the best things about MoMA Design Store is their clever style. This ingenious butter knife, HAY water bottle, and set of fold-by-number cloth napkins, which make everyday items feel playful and fun. Or for the home cook, there’s the world’s cutest sauce pot, which is also dishwasher safe. (I love this for my sister!)

MoMA Design Store Holiday Gifts

Last but not least, MoMA Design Store also has great accessories — from umbrellas to socks. We especially like these recycled brass earrings, which are ethically sourced and sustainably crafted. How pretty are those?

Every purchase made at MoMA Design Store helps support their education programming, which helps bring art into the lives of over one million people each year.

Who are you most excited to buy gifts for this year? Who is the hardest person on your list to shop for?

Bonus for readers: MoMA Design Store is offering 10% off your purchase using code CUPOFJOMOMA. Good until November 21st, both online and at MoMA Design Store locations in New York City. Code cannot be combined with any other offer. Thank you so much!

(Photos by Kate Sears for Cup of Jo. Styling by Cecilia Elguero. This post is sponsored by MoMA Design Store, a place we love for holiday gifts and beyond. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. isabelle says...

    I keep seeing those “amazing” butter knives and I feel compelled to point out that you shouldn’t need that at all. Just keep a small amount of butter on the counter in an inexpensive butter keeper (ideally with a water seal) and then your family and friends will never have to wrestle with trying to spread un-spreadable butter ever again!

    • Amy P says...

      I leave mine on the counter, but still have to soften it at 10% power in the microwave every morning haha! Welcome to Canada, where my house is set to 16*C (60*F) at night. I welcome soft-butter season with joy (seriously. This is a thing for me).

  2. Sam says...

    Cup of jo moma😂 the discount code is hilarious

  3. Alexis says...

    MoMA gift shop is really great because it’s full of things no one would normally buy for themselves. I try to do a mix of these and/or experience gifts.
    For example, for my son’s birthday we always do some sort of activity. This year we went to Big Bounce America, which was a park of about 8 different bouncy houses/obstacle courses. It was nuts. The previous years we went to see shows – Cirque du Soleil, the Harlem Globetrotters (for Xmas), and shows at the New Victory Theater, which brings international performers to NYC to do kids programming. It’s really great.

  4. Cynthia says...

    Museum gift shops always have cool stuff! Especially jewelry

  5. Nadine says...

    Soo, after reading this post yesterday I dreamt of that puzzle. Did anyone try it? How is it in real life? It’s expensive for my budget and I live in Canada so I’d have to add the shipping but maybe, possibly, if I start saving now..

  6. China says...

    I have that flower pot and it is fantastic! I agree with everyone’s comments about reducing “stuff” gifts but that self-watering planter is so amazing for those of us who kill all plants with over/under watering! I’m actually planning on asking for several more as gifts this year fe various relatives who do like to give gifts.

  7. if you have friends/family in the NYC area, MoMA membership is a great gift! I’ve gifted to my parents a couple of times and they love it.

    Readers/commenters who celebrate Chanukah, what are your favorite small kids gifts to give? My littles get both Chanukah and Christmas, and they get so much “stuff.” I do a lot of paperback books, fun pencils, but would love some other ideas…

    • alexis says...

      Mine are still little, so your mileage with this might vary depending on age, but anything and everything counts as a present for a toddler, so one night I give them new toothbrushes (wrapped in gift wrap that I reuse), one night it’s fruit snacks or some other fun little treat, new crayons/coloring books/markers, new-to-them clothes (they’re always outgrowing theirs, I buy almost everything they wear second-hand), a book, bubble bath, a small toy/accessory, and then one bigger (but not big) toy.

      Also, separately, I went to MOMA on Tuesday! I didn’t see this post until after. They do have a ton of fun goodies in their store.

    • Christina says...

      I don’t know anything about celebrating Chanukah except what I learned in school, but Swedish children often have a calendar with a little gift for each day of December until Christmas. I suppose those same gift ideas might work? Such as stickers, cookie cutters, hair bows, fun versions of things such as mittens, socks or band-aids, reflectors, beads, sidewalk chalk, erasers, flashlights, tiny craft kits, splitting a jigsaw puzzle into several smaller bags, tickets for a movie or even bustickets for an outing – or a “ticket” like “we will do X together today”.

    • Courtney says...

      Nora, I asked my Rabbi what he did with his kids last year. He had a couple great ideas. One night they would go out to dinner as gift and another night the family would debate an organization/charity to give a gift to.

    • Megan says...

      We do presents on the first night of Chanukah only, but light candles every night. We also do both Christmas and Chanukah. Christmas = 1 “big” present + some small ones (books etc) + stocking and Chanukah = first night + family Chanukah which means 3-4 other presents. Anything more than this feels totally overwhelming for us!

    • Ssrah says...

      Boxes of character band aids! Kids chopsticks. Once year they each got a package of tiny, gold plastic cocktail forks that they loved! Any little things I won’t normally buy for them at the grocery store like mini bottles of maple syrup (which I refill from our large bottle) or once I bought that squeeze bottle jam (yuck!) which taught them the valuable lesson that gimmicky does not equal good! That’s the stuff I buy for stocking stuffers.

    • Lisa says...

      I’m mean mummmy (kind of) and try to give them stuff that they need (they’re small so they grow quickly) like slippers, hats, gloves and scarves. Last year was a serious letdown for them as they had just had their grandparents visit so every day they got new toys. Our sensible gifts were not very well received …

    • nora says...

      wow these are so great – thank you, all!!

  8. Nectar says...

    I can definitely vouch for that tiny speaker. When I went into the store is surprised how much sound comes out of a little guy like that.

  9. Mona says...

    Please please don’t advocate for people to blast their music in public spaces. It’s hell for us who are HSPs and already get too much sensory input. It’s impossible for me to go to a beach or even do errands without earplugs – it feels so sad to be excluded from public places because I feel my brain is going to implode when I hear two different kinds of music at the same time and people just don’t understand it’s torture. The base beat just keeps bouncing around in my head until I feel like I will lose my mind.

    • Laurel says...

      My pet peeve is people blasting music on hikes in the woods. I’m out here to enjoy nature and listen to the birds, not someone’s music!

  10. Kristin says...

    We stopped doing gifts last year. We don’t have kids and just don’t need anything. Instead we make time to have special meals out with our four sets of parents (two divorced families!). We do buy our niece and nephews gifts but it’s typically one special gift each. Honestly it’s made the holidays SO much more enjoyable. Oh and I do get my 91 yr old grandmother a gift too :)

    • nuzhat says...

      Love this. There is so much focus on stuff all the time. Buy buy buy. More more more. This is such a refreshingly different thing you do.

    • Jenny says...

      This year I suggested a family Secret Santa among the adults so we each only have to buy one gift for one person, rather than buying a gift for every person. I have never seen my family respond to a group text quicker; they loved the idea and immediately got on board! I’m hoping this eases the stress and financial strain for everyone. Like you said, we just don’t need anything, but now we can look forward to giving and getting a surprise without breaking the bank. The kids, of course, will still get gifts from everyone.

    • Amy says...

      Yes, we do family gift exchanges to help with this! There are four couples in my husband’s family with 12 children between us, so we rotate names and each family buys a $50 gift for another family (maybe a pass to somewhere fun, or a couple new movies they wanted, or a board game). It makes things much easier – I can’t imagine buying gifts for 9 nieces and nephews each year, or my 3 kids receiving that many!!

    • Kristin says...

      Yes! I love the Secret Santa thing too. We do a white elephant for Hanukkah (my husband’s side of the family) that is always so fun. Typically there’s a rule like – the gift needs to start with the third letter of your name etc. Glad others feel the same way about all of this STUFF we don’t need.

  11. Charlotte says...

    I’m trying to focus this year on gifts that aren’t just more stuff. After moving cross country (and confronted with just how much we own) I’m trying to be conscious of what I introduce into my life and into my family and friends’ lives. So many gifts, while thoughtful, just end up cluttering and stressing people out. So this year I’m canning! Pickles, preserves, chutneys, etc. It’s a thoughtful gift that can be enjoyed and then disappears, and it’s economical too. I sprung for Weck Jars, which are more pricey here in the US, but are beautiful and the lids are reusable, unlike mason jars. I love cooking but have never canned very much, so it’s been fun to learn something new and surprisingly useful! I’ve been paying attention to what is in season so I catch good deals on fresh, local produce. The cashier at my co-op was shocked when I bought an unbelievable amount of plums when they were on sale, but the jam I made is delicious and waste free! I would love to hear from anyone else who is trying to reduce the “stuff” in their lives too, and how they approach the holiday season.

    • RS says...

      I love this! Would be wonderful if Cup of Jo could do a post with recipes/recommendations of food to give as gifts!

    • Katie says...

      One of my most successful presents for my unmaterialistic sister was engineering a double chocolate chunk pretzel cookie recipe for her, based on ones she likes from a local restaurant. I gifted her a batch with the recipe and it went over super well!

    • Charlotte says...

      I love that idea Katie! So personal and thoughtful!

  12. Ashley says...

    Thank you! I love shopping early so it doesn’t feel rushed.

  13. Not in my budget right now, but I’ve always looooved the MoMA gift shop. As a kid especially, I imagined my adult self as fabulous and classy with my MoMA umbrella and MoMA designer silk scarfs… this post brought all that desire back!

  14. Emily says...

    if you like the look of that puzzle, theres a phone game called “I love hue” that gives you a jumbled 2-d color gradient and you get to de-jumble it. its super soothing and fun highly recomend.

  15. Amy says...

    The napkins are already on back order :(

    • Kristin says...

      They are on Burke Decor for the same price :)

  16. Hali says...

    A COJGG precursor!
    I can only describe my feelings as gleeful!
    You said holiday! IT’S HAPPENING!

    I can’t even look at it!
    Refraining until I have a weekend coffee in front of me to fully immerse myself in the joys of gift hunting.

  17. Maria says...

    I LOVE MoMA design store! I’m a member, so i love the free shipping and the frequent 20% off sales – but even without all that they have truly beautiful things. Plus I just love supporting one of my most favorite museums.

  18. Nathalie says...

    Ha, I read the title and I thought this would be about the best place to HIDE holiday gifts! (I was actually really excited to hear some ideas as my kids are pretty snoopy)

    • Elizabeth P.F.B. says...

      Me too!!

    • Susan says...

      We live in a small, old cottage house with 3 excited (and at times snoopy) kids, and the best place I’ve found to hide gifts is…INSIDE OUR EMPTY LUGGAGE. They never think to snoop there, and when Christmas Eve arrives, set up is a (wheeled) breeze. Good luck!

      (Also, growing up we had a storage room in our basement that creeped us out, and years later my mom asked if we ever clued in to the fact that the light bulb always ‘burnt out’ every December—which of course guaranteed that we never went in. Parents can be so clever. )

  19. M says...

    I used to really love love love momas boxed holiday cards (now I send kiddie photo cards). But the cards were unique and beautiful and would be a steal after the holidays.

    • JenM says...

      OMG so did I. This is such a fabulous 90’s–before kids!–memory!

  20. Anne says...

    Great gifts but it’s just too early for this!!!

  21. Kim says...

    My sister-in-law sent me the most beautiful rainbow umbrella from MoMA for my birthday this year! I wanted to hang it up as a sculpture of sorts but my husband insisted I actually use it. It looks so pretty hanging from a hook in our entry.

  22. ErikaMC says...

    That speaker is perfect!

    Also, does anyone else get a little nervous seeing that book in the top picture hanging off the egde?!?!

  23. Ashley M Prillaman says...

    HOLIDAY GUIDES I CAN’T WAIT!!!

    • Melanie says...

      😄🤣
      That’s the best reaction!

    • Lana says...

      Me, too!!!! Hoping they come out early so we have time to shop. ❤️

  24. Aneeqa says...

    Everything is so pricey. Pretty but pricey!

  25. Annett says...

    Oh, that it so awesome and inspiring and just in time, as I’m visiting New York next week (from Germany)!

    • jade lees says...

      I am visiting NYC soon too and I have just book marked 4 things (that colour changing puzzle seems incredible!). I hope you have a great trip.