Propllr's 2nd Annual Holiday Gift Guide

Waited a little long to figure out everyone’s gifts this year? Fear not. The trusty Propllr team is here with suggestions on can’t-miss holiday gifts that will make you seem thoughtful and in control

From Josh

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

This book is hardly a hidden secret, as it made many best-of lists the year it came out and has continued to do so in the decade since. If you like big, intricate and meaningful fiction; if you like mid-century New York City period pieces; and if you grew up loving comic books, this one's for you.

Bonus: if you’re in the Chicago area, consider buying it at an amazing local bookstore like Sandmeyer’s Books or Unabridged. [Editor’s note: I used to live in the apartment above Unabridged!]

Divide Hike Socks by Stance

There's nothing better than a well-made hiking sock. Soft bottom, snug around the arch, sweat-fighting. I confess that I haven’t worn these socks, but they look amazing.

TUL Pens

We love TUL pens at Propllr. They look good and write amazingly well. And when you get a fresh box of a dozen in the mail, you feel like you can take on the world.

From Meghan

A Passion Planner

I've been using this planner for the last two years. It helps balance my type-A need for organization, while forcing me to take a step back each month and reflect. It comes in a variety of sizes and styles and is a great gift for anybody with big dreams.

From Abby

Anthropologie Iridescent Jar Candle

My sister dropped a mini version of this candle in my stocking last year and it thrilled me way more than wax ever should. These could make a KFC dumpster smell like a winter wonderland. Any scent is fantastic – I say go for Volcano or Fir & Firewood.

Steppenwolf RED Card

For your (young) friend who references things you don’t understand – send them to the theater. The RED card is $100 and you get six tickets to any Steppenwolf productions of your choosing, plus a ton of discounts on food and drinks. A friend of mine has one and she doesn’t like to go to plays alone, so I reaped the benefits, too. The catch: it’s only for people who are under 30. But the theater also offers all-age memberships for a little extra.

Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

This is on my list (ahem, Mom). It is not your typical cookbook. Written by renowned chef Samin Nosrat, it focuses on mastering the four elements of cooking: salt, fat, acid and heat. Instead of just listing what makes a dish, it dives into the how and the why behind what makes food good.

From Jorie

Portable Virtual Laser Bluetooth Keyboard and Speaker

For the person in your life who’s too techy for words, their words will be a lot more futuristic with this virtual laser keyboard. No more lugging around a bluetooth keyboard or praying that the email you just typed tediously with your thumbs is error-free!

From Erica

Settlers of Catan

I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t enjoy a solid game of Settlers of Catan (assuming they’ve heard of it). Plus, successfully introducing a family member or friend to the game’s glory is almost as good as that feeling when you land your game-winning Victory Point.

Amazon Mystery Box

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones we least expect. That’s why I recommend giving the gift of surprise this holiday season. Amazon’s Mystery Box brings out happiness, excitement and your inner geek. Most boxes are filled with action figures, accessories and odds-and-ends from your favorite TV, movie and gaming genres and franchises – a little something for everyone!

Craft Beer Club Subscription

The craft beer snob. Everyone’s got one in their friend group (I’m that friend). Or maybe it’s your Dad or your cousin Sue. Regardless, quench their “tasteful” thirst with a prepaid monthly subscription to the Craft Beer Club, which delivers a package of 12 beers per month (four styles, three of each) right to their doorstep. It’s hard to go wrong gifting free beer.

From Sammi


For the man in your life who has no clue which grooming products to buy for grooming, BirchboxMan is here. I got this for my boyfriend this year, hoping he'll stop stealing my expensive moisturizer if he knows what to buy himself. This will just show up at his door and give him a bunch of stuff he probably has no clue how to use.

A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug

I recently had the chance to read this book by Sarah Lacy's and would highly recommend it for anyone who is into girl power. She dives into her spat with Uber, raising her kids while starting a company and how to juggle about a million things. She's also a super-interesting and cool person so reading about her life is captivating in and of itself.

From Brenna

Craft Coffee: a Manual

I’ve already bought this for myself, my mother (don’t tell), and my father-in-law, and I don’t think I’m done buying yet. This book is all about helping coffee lovers brew better coffee at home. What I really love is that the author understands that most people don’t want to make coffee beans and equipment their number-one investment, so she offers a variety of strategies for brewing better coffee, no matter your commitment, energy or budget level.

Bonus: She’s a local Chicago author and I know her and she’s great. If you can’t wait for shipping from the (local!!) publisher, Amazon will ship this baby to you at its normal breakneck speed.

Mrs. Caliban

Got a book lover you’d love to impress? Wrap up a copy of Rachel Ingalls’ Mrs. Caliban, originally published in 1983 and reissued this year. It flirts with being a novella (meaning it’s short), and it is captivating from page one. I just finished it and can’t stop thinking about apple cucumbers. Are they even real? I am not sure, but the book creates a world in which they sound like the most delicious thing.