2018 Gift Guide

It’s that time of year.

The most wonderful time of the year. The most stressful time of the year. The time of the year when to cram in as much as humanely possible.

It’s that time of the year to shop, give back, and hopefully get a deal along the way (items denoted with an * currently are on sale).

Happy gifting!

Under $50

These budget-friendly buys are my favorite items – and some you may recognize from prior posts.

Things I Own & Love

Presented without explanation. If I were Oprah, these would most definitely be my Favorite Things.

  • Slip sleep mask ($50)*I own three of them, if that’s any evidence of how much I love them.
  • Hudson+Bleecker Amora Travel Case ($50)*The new-new toiletry case from Hudson+Bleecker is perfect for holding your beauty products AND doubles as a gorgeous purse.
  • White & Warren cashmere wrap ($298)*I never travel without this cashmere wrap. It’s worth every penny (and worth buying during the Shopbop sale)
  • Kindle Oasis ($280)The latest and greatest Kindle is worth the investment – it’s waterproof, the battery lives forever, the page turning is the fastest yet, and it now comes in gold. 
  • MM.LaFleur cashmere robe ($265)Because it’s winter, it’s the holidays, and you deserve it.
  • Beachwaver curling iron ($199)The only curling iron I’ve ever successfully used. Worth every penny.
  • Bandolier iPhone case ($98)I get the most comments on this crossbody iPhone case – which has also solved my phone-dropping issues. Great for the resident phone addicts and for the moms in your life.
  • Dagne Dover pleated card case ($55)Buttery soft and fits a surprisingly large number of cards and cash. Buy it in a bright color so she can always find it in her bag (h/t Alisha for that tip)
  • Everlane cashmere sweatpants ($140)When else are you ever going to buy cashmere sweatpants? Size up for a cozier fit.
  • Dudley Stephens fleece ($158)*She – or you – will live in this fleece all winter long.
  • Venus Et Fleur arrangements ($169)Flowers that last a year. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
  • Gravity blanket ($250)A perfect gift for anybody. You’ll sleep like a baby with this miraculous blanket
  • Birdies slippers/shoes ($140)The chicest shoes, meant to be worn at home. Buy a pair for yourself or for the resident homebody in your life.
  • Cuyana cape ($215)It’s like wearing a blanket – but a super stylish one. This is my favorite way to style it.


Books are always a must-gift in our family. Here are some of my favorite ones that I’ve given, received, and written. I also highly recommend every book I’ve ever reviewed.

  • How To Pack: Travel Smart For Any Trip ($6)I’m completely biased – but it really is the best book to give to any woman in your life. It’s also just $6 – so stock up!
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat ($21)One of the finest cookbooks I own – and I own a lot. It’s beautifully illustrated, a treat to read, and the recipes are fantastic.
  • The All Souls Trilogy ($49)My favorite fiction trilogy – ever. 
  • Heart ($18)A fascinating history on the organ that keeps us ticking. Despite being a science book, it reads easily and quickly. 
  • The Awakening ($16)A classic that doesn’t get enough praise or love. So I’m sharing it – and hope you buy it.
  • I Am Pilgrim ($10)Everyone I’ve recommended this thriller to has loved it. It’s an ideal gift for the men in your life.
  • On The Edge ($15)My friend Allison climbed Mt. Everest – twice. What she learned are some of the most important leadership and work lessons I rely on today.
  • What I Know For Sure ($12)My husband gifted me this book last year, and I keep it on my nightstand to re-read certain passages when I’m feeling down or off. 
  • A Place For Us ($19)A stunning novel about family, love, and the complications of life. Mothers especially will love this book.
  • Cook Like A Pro ($21)Ina. Enough said.
  • Modern Monarchy ($29)For the royal-obsessed member of the family that you really, really like.
  • Book Of The Month membership* ($10/month)The literary gift that keeps on giving. 

Gifts That Give Back

You’re going to buy gifts anyway. Two birds, one stone…

  • Sudara loungewear (from $49)*Gorgeous pajamas made by survivors of sexual trafficking. A great option for your family’s holiday pajamas.
  • Impact Cards ($5)A beautiful way to ‘gift’ a charitable donation to a loved one. 
  • Kula Coffee bangles (from $14)Every bangle purchased funds a coffee tree planted in Rwanda. A set of 10 makes a gorgeous statement to any outfit.
  • Giving Keys necklace ($42)Wear your word of 2019. Help end homelessness in the process.
  • Starling candle ($55)Stock up on a few Starling candles for hostess gifts, and help expand solar energy projects in Africa at the same time.
  • ONEHOPE wine (from $45)You’re going to gift wine at some point this holiday season. Gift the bottle that has a tangible impact.
  • Sanaya Set winter boxEach box, filled with thoughtful and sustainable items, help funds Nomi Network (who fights sex trafficking worldwide). My aunts and mother-in-law have loved the Sanaya Set boxes I’ve gifted them in the past. Use code BETHECHANGE for 20% off.


Nearly impossible to shop for, no? Here are the items that the men in my life love and use on a regular basis…


Let’s be honest – kids will be very clear about what they want, so just listen to them. For some new ideas, here are Rho’s – and my – favorites.

  • LittlefundSet up a fund for your little one, and share the link every birthday, holiday, and special occasion your family wants to gift your kid. 
  • A World Full Of Animal Stories ($14)Rho received this book from Alisha last year, and it’s been his favorite for bedtime stories since. 
  • Old Navy dinosaur slippers ($17)*Kids love dinosaurs. Enough said.
  • Little Leaders – Bold Women In Black History ($12)Start ’em young. 
  • Melissa & Doug puzzlesRho loves, loves, loves these. And so do I.
  • WWF Bucket Of Plush ($75 donation)Perfect for the mini-animal lover in your life – though the last thing they need is another stuffed animal.
  • Hape rocket ship tower ($110)This is Rho’s big gift this year. I guarantee all of these little pieces will be scattered around our house by Christmas afternoon, but I’m excited for him to open it regardless.
  • MagnaTiles ($120)A winner, every time. The more MagnaTiles you give a kid, the bigger and more complex their creations become. 

Stocking Stuffers

A tradition my mother started was to fill our stocking with toiletries we’d use for the upcoming year. I’ve maintained the same tradition, and will be filling our stockings with these practical and good-for-you things for 2019:

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I’m Hitha. I’m an entrepreneur, author, and activist. I also have an insatiable case of wanderlust that started when I was 5 months old, and hasn’t let up since.

I hope it doesn’t. After all, I still have Antarctica to visit.

I created Hitha On The Go to offer smart solutions so you can live your best life. I want to help you pack faster, work smarter, and live better - while looking and feeling your best.

In addition to running this website, I’m the author of How To Pack: Travel Smart for Any Trip. I'm also the CEO of Rho Pharmaceuticals, a company focused on improved formulations of existing drugs.

When I'm not exploring the world, I'm in New York City with my husband and son. You can usually find me creating a new recipe, getting lost in a new book, or cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles during football season.