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Some gift guides cover all the bases, throwing all sorts of objects out there in an “everything for everyone!” approach. Others surface odds and ends you wouldn’t otherwise know about — or perhaps consider a proper gift. Other guides hone in on exactly what you want, in the categories you never skip, simplifying the easy-to-overthink act of gift-giving into a delightfully efficient, if absurdly specific, process. This is that guide.

So what are the never-skip categories? No one truly needs another container to hold wine or coffee, but rarely does someone lack the use for one (that being the hallmark of a perfect gift). The same can be said for a little something to add spice and flavor to an everyday meal, or a kitchen appliance that’s equal parts attractive and useful. These are all hyper-specific gifts, sure — but aren’t all the best ones?

Delight in these thrillingly narrow shopping categories with us, and stay tuned throughout the month as we roll out more guides, advice columns, and staunchly held takes on holiday gifting — from how to wrap unwieldy items (how does one make a wine bottle look good?) to the easiest white elephant solutions. Plus, check out locally-minded gifts with our guides for NYC, Detroit, San Francisco, London, Las Vegas, Austin, D.C., Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities, and explore the products we’ve spent all year highlighting with our Buy This Thing series. Happy shopping — for the food lovers in your life and for yourself.

Editorial lead: Ellie Krupnick
Creative director: Brittany Holloway-Brown
Editors: Erin DeJesus, Hillary Dixler Canavan
Contributors: Sonia Chopra, Erin DeJesus, Adam Moussa, Esra Erol, Nadia Chaudhury
Photographer: Louise Palmberg
Prop stylist: Emily Hirsch of Heidi’s Bridge
Engagement editor: Esra Erol
Copy editor: Emma Alpern
Special thanks to Patty Diez, Sonia Chopra, Amanda Kludt, Mallory Johns, Milly McGuinness

See past Eater gift guides: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, and 2014

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