Dec 24, 2021
Hily’s Holiday Gift Giving Guide

Our tips and tricks on how to give (fairly last-minute) presents that are both meaningful and sustainable 

Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Xmas! Happy Holidays! Season’s Greetings! All point in only one direction - the winter holiday season is upon us! Yes, the Christmas season is almost here and New Year is fast approaching! So, in the spirit of giving back, we at Hily thought all the procrastinators out there who will be looking for presents on Christmas eve need a bit of our help. 

Yes, we’re looking at you! People who want the perfect gift but forgot to place orders for their Etsy Christmas gifts, folks that failed to order Amazon Christmas gifts, all the last-minute window shoppers that want to give their loved ones something better than a pair of socks or Christmas pajamas from Walmart Christmas gifts section. Granted, if you miss all the deadlines for presents to arrive by mail, you may actually want to get someone a pair of socks on Christmas day.

Spending Less for More

In the spirit of the holiday as well as a sign of solidarity with everyone who is searching for the first time for something special to give their Gen Z  friends, family and acquaintances - we want to focus this first Christmas miracle of a list on what truly matters during the holiday season and beyond. 

We, at Hily, decided to write this article in hopes of giving people inspiration to shop for presents that will make their families, children, friends, light up with happiness. Let's focus on holiday season presents that are not only great to put under the Christmas tree or open on Christmas day but also carry a great message and are good for planet Earth. 

Did you know that this year in addition to all the dancing, laughing, eating and kissing under the mistletoe, Americans will spend at least $300 during the holiday season? How about the fact that more than 60% of people are rethinking the way they buy presents to wish their friends, family, and coworkers a very Merry Christmas? It is also important to note, Gen Z consumers plan to spend much less during December holiday season than their millennial counterparts. 

We know that millennials are used to looking for things to splurge on for the holidays. The millennial generation is all about finding the perfect gift to mark the Christmas season. So, to them the holiday season is often synonymous with spending money, looking for presents night after night before Christmas, playing Santa to their kids,  family and friends. 

Zoomers on the other hand are much more focused on things that are much more than just treats to put on the holiday table or under the Christmas tree.  Research reveals that Gen Z prefers to create memories, honor the past, and enjoy things that are actually useful in life. They will also spend the least amount of money this winter. In fact, Gen Z experiences, modern-day tools, memories matter much more than a present brought by "Santa". That said, some of them may still be grabbing a piece of paper to write a letter to Santa Claus. 

According to the Pew Research center, Gen Z are people born between 1997 and 2012. So, anyone from the age of 9 all the way up to 24 is considered a zoomer. Of course, shopping for kids is a lot easier than buying Christmas gifts for students or folks who now have their own place and a job. Kids still believe in winter magic, they look for a note from Old St. Nick, they wait for treats under the Christmas tree. Gen Z teens and young adults are much more practical. So, we’re here to focus on gift-giving, and provide our readers with inspiration as well as a few solutions to their Christmas presents dilemma. 

Tailor-made Gifts

The COVID-19 pandemic definitely changed how people shop for the holiday season . Granted, most zoomers, yours truly included, shop online anyway, but if you have Christmas background music playing non-stop, you’re likely ready to buy gifts for your kids, family and friends. 

Gen Z does not want just holiday gifts, this generation is all about creating meaningful winter memories, getting inspiration, celebrating the spirit of Christmas and New Year. They want the best in life but to them it means experiences with family and friends during and post the winter holidays. 

Zoomers are notorious for finding environmentally-friendly Christmas tree ideas. They also want stuff that make them do good not just on paper. So, the best presents for Gen Z folks in your life are the things that really mean something. Things they can actually use. Presents that make them feel heard and seen. 

Our Hily’s Influencer Marketing Manager Alex cannot agree more. According to Bloomberg, Gen Z consumers surveyed over the past year want tailor-made products. The younger generation sees more importance in things that are custom, personal, and fit their lifestyle well. Alex, self-proclaimed Gen Z king, believes personalized stuff are all the rage this holiday season. “To be honest, I really don’t care for things that are sold at major retailers. I like hearing Merry Christmas from my family, but I don't want them to spend tons of money on a sign that says that! Hand-made stuff on Etsy or any other similar platform is a much more thought-out gift. My personal holiday favorites are hand-poured candles or products made from locally sourced materials. You know, custom things that say the holidays without looking mainstream. Honestly these holiday presents make me feel cozy and warm inside during the snowy and cold season” 

Alex's gift suggestion: Zero Waste Gift Set that is also Vegan. 

Useful Tools 

Hily’s Partnership Manager and Gen Z expert Xenia says personalized gifts for the special people in your life are great, but a candle light is not the best thing to put under the tree on a holiday night. Xenia says stuff that  can come in handy in her brand new apartment are a much better gift idea for Christmas. “I think the things that are useful are a great gift for the holiday. If I think about all the things I needed when I first moved into my apartment, I’d love to get a few gifts from friends and family  that actually helped me out! My recommendation this Christmas is to give practical items that your friends and family and/or kids will actually need around the house. Instead of looking for a sign or trying to create something yourself - ask them about their perfect Christmas present. I seriously think giving someone a vacuum or a space heater or even a toaster as a holiday gift is a much better idea than spending money on things they do not need this December. 

Xenia's gift idea: Beldray Manual Carpet Sweeper with Brush Comb which is also environmentally friendly according to

Experiences Over Things

Indeed, a personalized sign to hang on a door, a Christmas ornament to put on a tree or in a window, a cup for the person's favorite drink can all make thoughtful personalized presents. Of course, people who were born in the late 90s and early 2000s are now starting a new chapter in life. So, celebrating the holiday season with family is one of the best ways to feel the spirit of Christmas.  

Influencer Marketing Manager Dan believes that life offers plenty of opportunities to create incredible moments. To Dan experiences over literal gifts are much more valuable. “We’ve been in a state of a global pandemic for 2 years now. The world is seeing a sign of hope this holiday season but it is nowhere near over. So, being able to go for a night out to me is just a breath of fresh air. I think, giving people opportunities to socialize this December, connect for New Year, celebrate Christmas is a great gift. I'll certainly be wishing for something more than a candy cane. I personally think tickets to a concert or the person’s favorite game or a museum in Europe go a long way in terms of gifts. It is the perfect way to wish someone in your family a Merry Christmas.”

Dan's gift idea: StubHub Gift Card 

Money or Gift Cards 

Yes, wishing to connect this Christmas and create memories with family and loved ones post a global pandemic is probably on the list for most people. We're pretty certain that if the world could write a collective letter to St. Nick wishing for something - that would be it!  

So, this December many zoomers will look for practical gifts. That said, sometimes finding a last-minute present on Christmas Eve in December is easier said than done. Of course, one can also be unsure about the person’s Christmas wish list. Hannah, SMM Manager at Hily says “I think the best approach to getting people gifts is giving them options. Christmas is all about wishing for the best, being with family, looking out the window at the kids playing in the snow, being able to celebrate the child of Mary and Joseph  - Jesus, giving presents to children and adults in the family, carolling, and eating a delicious dinner. To me, one of the best ways to focus on Christmas in December rather than spend time frantically looking for a present is giving my family and friends things they can use. So, I tend to write a nice postcard with a gift card attached or give my close ones a mail  envelope with cash. I think this is the best gift one can actually give and not worry whether the person likes it or not. Hey, I won’t say no to a gift like that, no cap”. 

Hannah's gift idea: AirBNB gift card


Something to keep in mind about Gen Z this Christmas. Zoomers are all about environmentally-friendly, innovative products that add value to their lives, but they also care about things that do good for the planet. So, one of the best things to give in December is green.

Kate, Hily's Product Manager, says a gift of oxygen is a great idea this holiday season. “ I love giving people plants to celebrate Christmas. Cut flowers are dead, while plants live and give back not only in December but throughout the year. They’re a great way to decorate a brand-new apartment or a dorm room in an empty corner. Also, growing something makes people feel responsible and gain confidence. How about blooming plants like lavender or orchids? Just make sure the person you’re giving the plant to has no allergies” 

Kate's gift idea: Urban Succulent Garden

Vintage Clothing and Accessories 

Despite the fact that clothing can be a gamble most of the time, people who were born between 1997 and 2012 value the ability to reuse and recycle clothes. So, we think buying vintage clothes from Europe  that are neutral in color and style can be a great sustainable as well as a functional gift for Christmas. Getting someone a vintage fashion item can be a unique and interesting gift. Also, it will help lessen the environmental impact and carbon footprint. Getting pre-loved items is now easier than ever with tons of shopping platforms available online. 

Removable Wallpaper

We honestly love this! Decorating can be so much fun. So, removable wallpaper can spruce up a room in minutes, okay maybe not minutes, but in a very short time! Give someone the ability to make over their living space without fighting their parents, landlord, or even a roommate!

Support A Charity

Gen Z cares about the planet we live on. So, wishing them a Merry Christmas by offering to support their favorite charities is a great gift idea. This December consider making a donation which can become a family or a holiday tradition. For example, you can celebrate the holiday season by donating to a different organization each year. What a great and modern gift! 

You can post a donation in their name or ask whether they would like to support a charity of their own with the money you give them. Either way, you both make the world a bit better by giving back. 

Reusable Items

They've been here for decades, but Gen Z consumers really took these items mainstream. Think about all the great reusable bottles, bento boxes, cups, mugs, glasses as well as bags young people use. It is truly a great gift for people of all ages. A shopping tote that can be used by anyone in the family, a reusable collapsible mug that people can use to grab a cup of java or tea, a water bottle that is a sustainable gift that keeps on giving. All are great statement pieces for the environmentally-friendly Gen Z consumer. 

It is important to note, Gen Z is all about the story behind the product, they need to have a connection with it before purchasing a gift for any occasion nor only for Christmas. These consumers primarily discover new products on social media like Instagram and TikTok. Young people no longer shop blindly, they read the fine print, look beyond the words and seek more information. Unlike the generations, before them, they are much more invested in the way they shop as well as involved in the gift buying process. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

To all of you who did not manage to write or print a letter to St. Nicholas this December, no need to worry! At the end of the day, Chrismas is about spending time with your family, eating great food, drinking hot chocolate while biting on a candy cane that's just a bit too hard, listening to great Chrismas music while looking at a gorgeous tree in the corner. Chrismas is about love, friendship and memories. So, as we approach December 25th, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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