The anatomical humble brag is the gold standard of first date icebreakers. My go-to is the story of my wonky middle finger, caused by excessively vigorous writing and earning me the family nickname Heavy Handed Harriet. (Translation: I'm totally normal! I get on with my family! I'm clumsy — just like in the rom-coms! And, above all, I'm a writer.) This virtue-signaling is a necessary evil, because being upfront is genuinely mortifying. Not only on first dates, but in new friendships, at work, and especially when saying what you want as a gift. Luckily for any readers who might be wondering what to get yours truly, this trojan horse of a lede has been to suggest that yes, I still like writing, and anything off this list of holiday stationery gifts would be great.
"Why stationery?" I hear nobody ask. Partly because writing by hand is slower. Unless it's "per my previous email" or Slack commands, my brain doesn't really work fast enough for typing. Manually scribing my thoughts is the curated feed post to my grotesquely unfiltered Stories. Plus, as any true stationery aficionado will tell you, the purest joy of IRL stationery is getting thank you texts for your thank you cards. Talk about paying it forward — to yourself. As someone who is otherwise ambivalent about the holidays (translation: cynical! joyless! British!) that's a spirit I can get on board with.
Austin Press Monogram Stationery
Made using a traditional Chandler & Price press in San Francisco, these elegant mongrammed notecards are printed on cotton paper, meaning they not only look exquisite but last longer, too.
Bernard Maisner Bugs Assorted Hand-Painted Notecards
Firmly at the pricier end of the stationery spectrum, these beautiful hand-painted cards are works of art in their own right. These illustrated butterflies, scarabs, dragonflies, and ladybugs are perfect for when you have something extra special to say.
Papier Scallop Spine Hardback Notebook
I've always found personalized notebooks that say things like "Charlotte's Ideas" a little twee, but this cute monogrammed creation is the right side of personalized perfection. Part of Papier's Matilda Goad range, you'll actually want to take meeting notes when you bring this with you.
& Other Stories Multi Colored Accordion Folder
Most of the letters I get on paper in 2019 are ones I'd rather avoid: bank statements, student loan payment plans, rental contracts. Avoid them in style with this accordion folder. The colors, the shape, the architectural silhouette — stick a fork in me, I'm done.
Crane Downton Abbey Dog Note
This one's for everyone not sure what to get their mother-in-law or snooty family relative as a holiday gift. Crane stationery plus Downton Abbey plus Isis, the family Labrador? It's a home run.
Beboe x Connor Cannabis-Leaf Paperweight
Beboe is the brainchild of tattoo artist Scott Campbell, who has inked Marc Jacobs, Orlando Bloom, and the late Heath Ledger. He named his cannabis brand after his grandmother, who baked brownies laced with the stuff for Campbell's mother, who was undergoing treatment for cancer. While Beboe's products are only available in California, this paperweight is available nationwide.
Kate Spade Actually I Can Magnet Set
Show your office how you're really feeling with this Kate Spade magnet set. Emblazoned with messages like "Over Thinking," "Optimist," and "Rebel with a Cause," these will sit perfectly on the grubby office white board.
Baron Fig Squire Brass Rollerball Pen
You probably hold a pen so infrequently these days that if you're doing it, you want to give it the respect that it's due. This Baron Fig number is a design conscious marvel which earned the top spot on The Strategist's Top 100 pens.
Kokuyo Harinacs Stapleless Stapler
Prepare for all the "gosh, that's clever" comments from relatives when you pop this bad boy in your little sister's stocking. A stapler, with no staples. Genius.
BestSelf Co. Self Journal
This highly reviewed journal is perfect if you're into New Year's resolutions and goal setting. It promises "inevitable goal success," which is quite the claim.
Check out more of our Bustle’s Most Wanted holiday gift guides here.