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​​The Best Self-Care Gifts for a Friend Who Never Treats Themselves (But Deserves to)

Whether the recipient is your mom, an MVP colleague, or a healthcare worker who's literally saving lives, give 'em a gift with good vibes.
December 1, 2021, 8:50pm
The Best Self-Care Gifts 2021
Composite by Vice Staff

When was the last time you did something nice for you? We’re not just talking about your nightly ASMR YouTube binge of “fancy AskJeeves LARPer massages your scalp.” We’re talking about the last time you got a little something for yourself, just because, or a thoughtful gift for someone who just doesn’t treat themselves enough, whether it's mom and her perfect lasagna, a colleague who's always fixing everyone else's screw-ups, or a healthcare worker who's wiped out from literally saving lives. So: Capricorns, busy bees, and anyone who might now have the time, budget, or bandwidth to think to themselves, You know what I deserve today? A little aromatherapy sesh, wine that reminds me of the French countryside, a smol diamond, and butterfly kisses before nap time on a silk pillowcase.

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For these peeps who do it all and never stop and self-indulge, great gifts are in order this year. It's been a wild ride in 2021, and a thoughtful present with spa vibes goes a long way in providing a touch of emotional rehab. 'Tis the season to think about others, y'all. (Although, there are also a ton of treat-yo-self products still on sale from Black Friday and Cyber Monday—from fancy hand soaps that make us feel like we’re in a celebrity’s guest bathroom to noodle-blasting soreness annihilators that make us feel like pro athletes, and more.) 

Read on to see some of our favorite self-care gifts for this holiday season. 

The closest you’ll get to a Californian forest bath

Have you ever been to California’s Muir Woods on a misty morning, when the dew drips off the pine needles, the earth smells sweet, and the squirrels are just cracking their eyes? No need. Bathing Culture, which is an environmentally conscious, organic-ingredient-based wellness company, has gotten damn close to bottling that morning in its bathing starter set. Note: The scent profiles run on the stronger side in their products, but if you love a heady, woodsy bouquet, they’re for you.

Bathing Culture

Get Wet Bathing Culture Starter Set

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Swaddle them in silk

Silk pillowcases are one of the newest wellness trends we’re down to get behind, because whether or not they’re actually gentler on our hair than, say, a polyblend fabric, we’ll always love the way it caresses our skin. You can’t fight the feeling of relaxation that comes from resting your sweet peepers on a mulberry silk pillow, or swaddling them from daylight like an expensive vampire with a silk eye mask. 

Casper

Mulberry Silk Pillowcase + Sleep Mask Set

Brushing their teeth, but with a tasting menu

To start, they’ll have an aperitif of Ginger Mint, followed by a seemingly endless barrage of courses including Classic Strong Mint, Whitening Mint, Cinnamon Mint, Jasmine Mint, Aquatic Mint, and Orange mint. For dessert? Why, Amarelli Licorice, of course. 

Marvis

Marvis Toothpaste Set

Cheese and charcuterie, because you deserve it

You know what’s better than therapy? Cheese boards. (Just kidding, Brad—please, for the love of all that is holy, go to therapy.) Seriously, though, cheese and charcuterie is pretty much edible self-care, and the stuff from Saxelby Cheese is second to none. The store has been a champion of the American artisan cheese movement since its inception—which the late Anne Saxelby helped bring about. This savory gift box includes three of the shop’s favorite cheeses, two of America's finest cured meats, plus an assortment of delicious crackers and mustard. Drool. 

Saxelby Cheese Mongers

Cheese and Charcuterie Assortment

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A trip to French and Italian wine country that they can take from their living room 

Maybe this friend or auntie or colleague is way too busy (or under-resourced) to take a European vacay, but the good news is that you can bring the vineyards to them thanks to In Good Taste, the wine collection/subscription service we adore for its unique selections and great gift vibe. The Passport Collection offers eight mini bottles of wine from some of France's and Italy's best wine regions, including a ​​​​rosé from Sangiovese and a ​​​​Côtes du Rhône white blend, all perfect for pairing with a few nights of salt-baked fish and bucatini.

In Good Taste

The Passport Collection: French and Italian Wine Sampler

A shiatsu massager that won’t quit

Because you can’t always be there to give your nervous Pervis a tender shoulder squeeze when they get too high and think all of their friends hate them. Instead, get them a personal massager (the SFW kind) to relax them and knead their tension away whenever their knots need a smushing. 

Nekteck

Shiatsu Neck and Back Massager with Soothing Heat

The most beautiful tea we’ve ever sipped (is a whole flower)

It’s so lovely to sip a cup of tea in which a flower blooms—especially when that flower is a blue lotus, which has deep-rooted spiritual lore across cultures. Even the experience of prepping this brew, which takes literally three minutes, feels warmly ceremonial. The tenderest of tea times.  

The Qi

Blue Lotus Blossoming Flower Herbal Tea (9 Pack)

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Spritz on a little luxury with a Versace fragrance

​​Of all the gods in the rich, sprawling world of Greek mythology, the most cool—and certainly most horny—is Eros, the god of (carnal/erotic) love. His mom was Aphrodite and, at times in Greece, he’s been worshipped by fertility cults. That’s quite the CV! So you’re forgiven if you think it would be impossible to capture his sexy aura in a bottle. But you’re also wrong. Because the Master Olfactories at Versace, the luxury Italian fashion line worshipped by royalty and Migos alike, has done just that with his namesake scent—a lusty combination of orange, black pepper, and wild rosemary form the fragrance’s top notes, combined with base notes of cedar, patchouli, and vanilla. Because it’s Versace, it’s not cheap. But Versace Eros is the perfect scent for all occasions. Whether you’re getting dressed to kill, undressing to pay homage to the god himself, or anything in between, treat yourself.

VERSACE

Men's 4-Pc. Eros Flame Eau de Parfum Gift Set

Groovy purple ‘forever’ flowers

We’ve bought and received many floral bouquets, but never any that looked like this. The Juneau arrangement looks like it was snatched from the fairies of Fantasia, because it’s a dreamy blend of thistle, pampas, bunny tails, eucalyptus and other dried flowers that’ll last forever. 

Urban Stems

The Juneau Dried Bouquet

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Damn, this vibrator is a self-service pleasure machine

This combination G-spot and clitoral vibrator is a motion-activated joy ride. In other words, it only applies those good vibrations when pressed against the zones of your desire, and mirrors the strength of the aforementioned vibes based on how firmly you press down on yourself. That kind of sensitivity is especially important when it comes to stimulation of the très sensitive clitoris. This kind of technology is the future of sex toys, and we will definitely be voting for its Martian Presidency against Elon Musk when the time is nigh.  

A teeny, tiny diamond

Big diamonds? Sooo uncool. [Chases dollar slice with PBR.] Mini-diamonds are all the rage, brah, and since tiny diamonds have been proven to be indirect serotonergic antagonists (according to this 1987 study), the smaller a diamond is, the more serotonin is released into the synapse. This ring is small enough not to be confused for a marriage proposal, and a fitting gift for anyone in your life who deserves to feel a little more like Elizabeth Taylor in her prime.

Catbird

Petite Diamond Fizz Ring

See, now doesn’t that feel better? [Swallows diamond.]


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