Many gifts are given out of obligation, but this is seldom true of the gift for the best friend. Bestie gifts are carefully picked items or experiences that allows you to tell one of your biggest cheerleaders how thankful you’ve been for their cheering — of course, really close friends seldom demand gifts of each other as proof of appreciation, but even so, it’s just nice to be able to pamper your right-hand person when it’s a season of giving back and gratitude. Some people know their best friends so well that a present idea might come easily, but even so, it’s always good to think about how exactly you want to show some love to your BFF. Here are some of our never-fail gift ideas.
The first and most obvious gift is that of a true indulgence — if you can afford it, get your bestie something you know will be out of their price range. A fancy shaving set, a new kit of fancy makeup brushes or even just an ultra-luxe candle like Byredo’s Rose Water ($110). Of course, this isn’t the way to play it every gifting season, but sometimes, nothing is more satisfying that providing a friend with what they truly desire.
Something that also works well is taking your friend with you to a spa day: they get to relax, and as an added bonus, you get to relax with them. Sometimes, nothing feels better than entering an artificially serene environment and talking mindlessly about nothing for hours while trained aestheticians bring your body back to some semblance of life. Mani-pedis are always good, and if it it’s more your thing, an escape room might also prove a good de-stressor, but for the most part, any good spa, like downtown’s Elmwood Spa, will assuredly deliver a day of indulgent relaxation.
A different approach is to keep it low-key on the expenses but to go big on the love. If you and your pal have a lot of years and good memories behind you, it might be time to relive some of them. Plan a visit to the bar where you always hung out, or one to the woods where you always used to camp; marathon your favourite movies, or take an impromptu road trip to a different town and maybe even create some new memories. Shore up your favourite photos from past adventures or take plenty of snaps in your new ones; as cheesy as it seems, sometimes the good ol’ photo album or commemorative “how-far-we’ve-come” photoset is exactly the right kind of gratitude for an especially dear friend. (Bonus: you always reserve the right to print your Instagram photos as refrigerator magnets too.)
If you’re really ready to go huge on the BFF-love this year, another option is to set something big in motion, which sounds cryptic but can be as easy as setting an intention to do something together. That whole “we-should-go-to-Morocco-for-reals” conversation that happens every time you and your bestie get too drunk needs to happen again, but soberly. Travel to a far-off place, take up a hip-hop class or just start going to the opera a lot more — the point is not to do something one-off, but to commit to a big goal with your friend that gives you both something to look forward to. Whether it’s traveling to an exotic destination, learning how to knit properly or getting tattoos, both of you probably still want to explore things that seem new — even if you already have a partner, there’s more than enough excitement in this world to leave a couple of experiences just for you and your closest friend. Find the ones you want to do together and actually do them; or, at least, decide what it’s gonna take for the two of you to get there by this time next year.
Finally, never forget that there’s one thing that best friends can do that literally nobody else can: hang out for hours on end without doing anything at all. The greatest gift — in this and every season — is always the one of time and genuine attention, and if nothing else suits out of the list above, just call your BFF, tell them to bring a toothbrush and to come over whenever. Sleepovers are the magical cure-alls for most anxieties and stresses, and the perfect time to have one of those heart-to-heart conversations that nobody seems to have time for these days. Reminding your friends that you care for and enjoy them is a critically overlooked gift that isn’t talked about enough, and a sleepover is the perfect way to convey that message. Just remember the essentials: you sponsor the pizza, the cheese platter, the face masks and the alcohol, they pick something to binge-watch, and you’re all set.