Scroll for more gift ideas
holiday gift guide
Every year when the holiday season rears its holly jolly head, you can expect to spend an exorbitant amount of time, money and energy shopping for gifts—for your parents, your partner, your best friend, the Secret Santa colleague at your job and anyone else who might leave you feeling guilt-ridden if you show up empty-handed in December. You commit to everything, and you exhaust yourself in the process. Sure, the festive season is about giving, but why can’t you “give” to yourself, too?
We talk about “the soft life” and embracing ease, but often we neglect to pamper ourselves, invest in the things we’re passionate about and splurge on what we desire—because, as Black women, we’re so busy worrying about the needs of others. This year, let our gift guide assist you in showing the MVP in your life some love. Here are ways you can treat yourself this holiday season, along with a selection of products and places that will help you do so.
Create A Soothing Sanctuary
Your home is your haven. Surround yourself with artwork, decor, and furniture that makes it feel that way–while adding some personality to your space.
Woosah With Some Wellness
If you want to get in Lori Harvey shape by next summer–or just hope to spend more time being active–opt for these fitness finds that support you as you go for your goals.
Gift Yourself A New Gadget
For the plugged-in tech geek, there’s a new shiny piece of hardware with your name on it this season. Here’s permission to nerd out, on everything from speakers to tablets to the latest VR device.
Take The Trip Of A Lifetime
Whether you’re soaking up the sun in the Caribbean, trekking through Europe or celebrating the holidays in the Motherland, these goodies will help you reach your destination comfortably, stylishly and with your favorite items in tow.
Stress Free Holiday Shopping with Target
Tis’ the season for love, family and giving....not stress! We all know how hectic the holiday season can be with endless travels and figuring out gift ideas but now thanks to Target, we can finally say goodbye to stressful holiday shopping for good. Target’s wide variety of gift ideas allows you to have a one stop shopping experience, where you’ll be able to purchase gifts ranging from electronics, clothing, beauty and everything in between.
Feed Your Inner Foodie
Who says you can’t wine and dine yourself? Make your favorite stew; try your hand at a brunch menu; or pop a bottle or a can, as a reward for being the queen that you really are.
Enjoy A Spa Day
You can fork over a pretty penny at the spa of your choice—after all, you deserve it–-or you can buy the essentials to make every day an opportunity to pamper yourself.
Buy Something Luxurious
Hey, big spender. You’ve earned the right to get that item you’ve been lusting after–the one that keeps popping up in your social media feed…and in your dreams. Whether it’s a fine timepiece or an It bag from your favorite fashion house, go ahead and make that dream item a reality in your closet.
Give Yourself A Makeover
As the new year approaches, it’s the perfect time for a fresh look. Go for a sleek new hairstyle, try a trending skin care routine, and pick up a classic LBD and some statement-making heels.
ESSENCE Holiday Special Sponsored by Target
Photographed by Yudi Ela
By Kimberly Wilson and Victoria Uwumarogie
Click the tabs below to see where to shop in each city.
Image Caption credit goes here.
Image Caption credit goes here.
Image Caption credit goes here.
For more than 25 years, Medu Bookstore has offered hard-to-find books for the community, and readers it serves.
2841 Greenbriar Pkwy SW n426, Atlanta, GA 30331
Oh, baby! Happy Mango offers clothing and equipment for babies and kids, pregnant women, and new moms.
200 Chattahoochee Row NW Suite D, Atlanta, GA 30318
This boutique collective is made of independent designers who offer locally-made products like apparel, baby goods, jewelry, housewares, and so much more.
1250 Caroline St NE C120, Atlanta, GA 30307
Want a custom rug but do not want to make it yourself, no problem Tutu Tufting can create one for you!
6035 Peachtree Rd Suite A212, Atlanta, GA 30360
Music heads, unite! As one of the city’s most prominent record stores, Criminal Records features hard-to-find recordings, comic books and music magazines.
1154 Euclid Ave NE A, Atlanta, GA 30307
The Village Retail Holiday Market
The Village Retail is a curated retail experience at Ponce City Market supporting some of Atlanta’s best Black-owned businesses, all in one place.
675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Suite 225, Atlanta, GA 30308
Looking for Black owned beauty brands? At Essential Elements you’ll find a curated selection of women’s clothing and accessories.
1640 E 87th St, Chicago, IL 60617
Far South CDC Marketplace
Explore products from a variety of Black-owned small businesses at this community marketplace in West Pullman which features Aries Rising, Body and Soul Experience, Gifted Hands Quality Care, Javez Java Coffee Roastery and Vessels of the Paut Neteru and returning vendors Chic T Boutique, Cosmic Creole, Max Candle Co and Simply Stuff.
837 W 115th St, Chicago, IL 60643
Hosting for the holidays? This shop caters to all of your baking needs this season with carefully curated high quality selections for any occasion.
1741 W 99th St., Chicago, IL 60643
This stationary store is the perfect place to find a heartwarming stocking stuffer from greeting cards to fountain pens.
For curbside pickup — 1013 W Webster Ave. Chicago, IL 60614
Whether you’re searching for something to wear during holiday party season, or a gift for a loved one, head to Kiwi's Boutique, where you can shop all the latest fashion trends and hottest looks of the season.
1015 S Western Ave #1, Chicago, IL 60612
Chicago’s largest Black woman-owned bookstore is a community space dedicated to both literature and artwork from female, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ creatives.
515 N Halsted St, Chicago, IL 60642
At the Plant Salon, you won’t just indulge in your plants, but yourself. From candles to body oils to planters, this shop is perfect for the self care lover looking for a little extra TLC.
957 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago, IL and 2016 W. Armitage Ave. Chicago, IL
Justice Of The Pies
Justice of the Pies was founded in Chicago in 2014 by Maya-Camille Broussard in memory of her father, Steve, who was a criminal defense attorney. They specialize in sweet and savory pies, quiches and tarts.
8655 S. Blackstone Chicago, IL 60619
This children’s boutique has everything you need for that favorite kid(o) in your life — books, toys, clothes — you name it and they’ve got it.
1137 S. Delano Ct. Chicago, IL 60605
The Silver Room
The Silver Room is more than a place to shop — it is a community space located in the Hyde Park neighborhood fusing local arts, culture and style.
1506 E 53rd St, Chicago, IL 60615
This unique gallery, retail space and cultural hub is filled with vintage collectables, rare records, local art and an assortment of high quality i71-compliant gift options.
1937 14th St NW FL 2, Washington, DC 20009
Handmade Habitat is an all natural soy wax candle and beauty goods company for slow, mindful living.
716 Monroe St NE Studio 22, Washington, DC 20017
You’re sure to find something at SOMEWHERE. The retail store and coffee shop features new releases of international menswear, streetwear and shoe brands.
1239 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Black + Forth
This strip mall features an array of businesses — from hair care to braiding studio — all owned and operated by Black entrepreneurs.
2201 Channing St NE, Washington, DC 20018
This barbershop, retail apparel stop, coffee bar, and speakeasy cocktail lounge in DC's Adams Morgan neighborhood, is the ultimate destination for self-care.
1807 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
Lee’s Flower Shop
As the oldest Black-owned flower shop in the District, Lee’s Flower Shop creates outstanding floral arrangements for any special occasion.
1026 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
MahoganyBooks has been a purveyor of titles that focus on the African Diaspora.
1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington, DC 20020
ZAAF Collection sells high-end designer products such as handbags, scarves, shoes and additional accessories, showcasing the continent's rich culture, design and natural wonders.
189 Waterfront Street, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
The Spice Suite
This community centric spice boutique is a food lover’s haven.
2201 Channing St NE, Washington, DC 20018
The shop features footwear, apparel, artwork and collectibles, both from The Museum brand and nationally recognized lines.
2014 Rhode Island Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20018
The award-winning bespoke boutique is known as "one of the best places to shop in Harlem."
245 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10027
This local thrift shop has everything you could ever desire, from vintage Chanel handbags to Jean Paul Gaultier fur coats.
409 Lewis Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11233
A cherished landmark in Harlem, this second-generation flower shop has been selling arrangements for all occasions.
2522 Frederick Douglass Blvd, New York, NY 10030
28 Scott is known for their eclectic collection of fashion — ranging from patchwork denim and crop tops to leather handbags and chic sunglasses.
108 Thames St, Brooklyn, NY 11237
The Lit. Bar
The only indie bookshop and wine bar in the Bronx, The Lit. Bar offers a carefully curated selection of books featuring diverse authors.
131 Alexander Ave. Bronx, NY 10454
Flamekeepers Hat Club
Looking for a gift for a smooth brother in your life? Flamekeepers is a hat store in Harlem offering a boutique shopping experience.
273 W 121st St, New York, NY 10027
Peace & Riot
A home goods and interior design shop offering a collection of goods with African and Caribbean vibes.
401-403 Tompkins Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11216
This children's toy and book store is curated by Harlem's Grandma Dawn (a retired NYC school teacher).
84 W 120th St, New York, NY 10027
BLK MKT Vintage
This Brooklyn-based collectibles shop offers a collection of Black collectibles, artifacts and antiques representing the richness of Black history and lived experience.
465 Marcus Garvey Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11216
Little Pie Company
What’s the holiday season without pie? This Hell’s Kitchen pie shop offers a wide range of flavors, with something for everyone to enjoy.
424 W 43 St. New York, NY 10036
WASHINGTON D.C. METRO
Tune into the ESSENCE Holiday Special November 24th at 8pm EST.