Holidazed? Maiysha’s Guide to Last-Minute Gift Giving


True-confession time: When it comes to presents, I’m a procrastinator.

Honestly, I’m terrible—especially these days, when The Glow Up gets most of my attention and energy. While some started holiday shopping back in October, I let both Black Friday and Cyber Monday pass by without batting an eyelash.


But here we are, a week before Christmas, and family and friends require my presence—and presents. Where to turn? The internet, of course! (Who has luggage space to spare?) My goal? To avoid going the gift-card route and score a holiday haul that looks as if I’ve put some thought into these purchases.

What can I say? I’m a giver, y’all.

Fun fact: Because Christmas falls on a Monday this year, most online retailers now won’t deliver in time for Christmas, though some are making it easier by offering in-store pickup on online orders. A few, like Gap brands and Nordstrom, provide gift guides and countdown clocks, so your gifts are guaranteed to be delivered by Christmas Eve—if you get off your ass, already!

But for guaranteed arrivals, nothing beats Amazon.com—especially if you’re about that Prime life, which makes its two-day shipping option free. This time of year, it’s a lifesaver! Of course, Amazon’s empire began with books, and since I’ve got readers young and old on my list, it’s an ideal—and inexpensive—place to start.

Since “new year, new you” season will soon be here, a few family and friends will be getting yogi Jessamyn Stanley’s book, Every Body Yoga. Consistent with Stanley’s platform, this book is a body-positive approach to getting moving, demonstrating that yoga is indeed for every body. For $17—or less than $10, with Prime—I can throw in yoga accessories, like this six-piece set from Sivan Health, which comes in an array of colors. We can start our own yoga collective!

For the little ones in my life, reading is definitely fundamental, which means stocking up on picture books that illustrate how naturally beautiful they are. My current faves? Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, by Derrick Barnes, and Nappy Hair, by Carolivia Herron. For a list of other great literary picks for kids, I highly recommend this list by the Conscious Kid. Or, gift a subscription—just don’t expect it to arrive by Christmas:

Everyone expects stylish gifts from “Auntie Mai,” and for fast-growing tykes, I’m big on fast fashion. Old Navy and Target are reliably great for stocking up on wee-sized wardrobes that are as adorable as they are affordable, and with Target offering free shipping through Dec. 20 (guaranteed to arrive by the 23rd), it’s a good look.


That said, if you’re as into one-stop shopping as I am, don’t sleep on Amazon Fashion. They have all the top brands, with Prime options on most. I’m eyeing some clothing sets for the kiddos, which will make school-day dressing a breeze.


I’m flying solo this Christmas, but if you’ve been gifted with the love of your life, I highly suggest a gift that keeps on giving—just to remind them how much you care, year-round. Depending on budget and interests, museum memberships, music lessons, sports packages and subscription boxes are all nearly effortless, instant options.

But what do you give the woman who has everything? More, of course!

I’m a huge fan of Rent the Runway, which has made renting the new “buying,” and significantly cut down on my closet clutter. Its monthly membership is my newest favorite thing, and you can gift a trial month for $159. If she loves it? Commit to a monthly plan for as low as $89.


For gents, the gift of grooming is always a good one—did you know that a recent SkinStore poll found beauty products are fourth on men’s holiday lists? (First was sports tickets.) Black-owned brand Bevel revolutionized shaving for black men and made history when it scored a deal with Target, where you can score its starter kit for $72, with the option to subscribe. For bearded baes, consider an all-natural and organic grooming kit, like this one from Rapid Beard.


Of course, sometimes a gift card just can’t be helped, but rather than going basic with a big-box retailer, how about something more ... colorful? I love the quirky, cultural offerings from Izzy & Liv. With categories ranging from beauty bags and tees to home decor, everyone is sure to find something they love, like this must-have homage to one of our all-time favorite TV couples:


Actually, I might just keep that one for myself. Because, #RelationshipGoals.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?