'Tis the season to do some holiday shopping for your friends, family, and loved ones. 

We know that choosing holiday gifts can be a chore, especially if you're trying to find ideas for gifts that extend beyond the reliable-yet-unexciting plaid scarf. 

If only you had access to a collection of hand-picked recommendations with unique gift ideas for the people in your life, based on their actual preferences and personality types. That would be miraculous, wouldn't it? 

Well, we hope you believe in miracles because here it is: Melio's holiday gift guide, specifically for the people in your life who are the most challenging to buy gifts for. And best of all, the gifts are all from small businesses we love supporting, and none of them are plaid scarves! 

The environmentally-aware classics lover

Nothing beats the magic of burying your nose in the pages of an old book and taking a deep sniff. Combine that with knowing that you're giving an old classic a new home and a new love (and saving a tree while you're at it), and there you have it - a thoughtful and unique gift, for the avid reader. 

The Violet Fox online bookshop's classics section has it all, from fantasy classics like Asimov's "Foundation" trilogy and "A wrinkle in time", to great novels like "Moby Dick," "Pride and Prejudice," and "Tom Sawyer." This versatile selection of books lets you compose a book collection based on personal preferences.

Classic books sold by The Violet Fox Bookshop
Classic books sold by The Violet Fox Bookshop


The "no-one-else-can-have-it" fashion lover 

They always have a story to tell about what they wear. Their jacket is from a mystery atelier in Paris. The company that made their watch closed down back in the sixties, and they wouldn't be caught dead in a mainstream department store. Here are some hand-picked selections for the snowflakes in the bunch. 

Central Pacific's Pioneer denim jacket is a remarkable piece of American craftsmanship. It's cut and sewn in California, milled in Louisiana, and is the perfect intersection between quality, style, and uniqueness.

Central Pacific's Pioneer denim jacket
Central Pacific's Pioneer denim jacket


For the lovers of formalwear, San Diego-based Bespoke Maestro makes the finest tailor-made dresses and suits and made-to-measure dress shirts and sportcoats. All with great care and attention to quality and details. Thanks to you, your loved ones are going to look smarter than ever on their next night out!

There's also something special for the person in your life who is the winning combination of quirkiness and parenthood. This snazzy tie-dyed #momlife sweatshirt from Grae&Co lets everyone know that the person wearing it is one tough mother. 

And of course, we haven't forgotten the accessories to compliment the clothes, like this beautifully restored one-of-a-kind leather bag from The Merchant Studio. 


The young rascal

Do you remember that special toy you got as a kid? The gift you felt an instant connection with, and that opened your eyes to a whole new experience or took you on an adventure? 

Kids are magical, because they have an unencumbered sense of wonder, adventure and creativity. With the right gift, you have the opportunity to tap into that magic. If you nail it, they’ll be jumping for joy. Literally. 

Prevelo Bikes specializes in making bikes engineered specifically for kids. Their bikes are as confidence-inspiring, easy, and fun to ride as can be. Your kid will go “vroom-vroom” crazy for this bike.

Prevelo’s Zulu Three bike for 5-9 year olds
Prevelo’s Zulu Three bike for 5-9 year olds


For the kid who needs a little more "juice" in their ride, EZE Ryders offers an electric bike with a color choice of red, blue, and pink.

A holiday gift search is also an exceptional opportunity to spark your kid's imagination with a breathtaking celestial wall map from Mapshop's wide selection or a Sci-fi/fantasy book from Private Dragon Publishing.

A star map from Mapshop
A star map from Mapshop


Or, you can go for the winning combo of a colorful gift with added educational value. Pals Socks nails it on both counts, with cheerful mismatched socks in different funky designs.

Their motto, manifested in their slogan "even if we don't match, let's be pals," is to inspire kids to open up to friendships with those who are different from them. Pals also donates 50% of its sales to charitable organizations, and has so far worked with over 150 organizations and raised over $150,000!

Mismatched footwear from Pals Socks
Mismatched footwear from Pals Socks


A fantastic gift idea for an aspiring da Vinci is a colored pencil set from Pop Colors. We can let you in on a little secret: they also have coloring pages from popular TV shows for the more... grown-up kids. You haven't fully gotten into the holiday spirit until you colored the Holiday Armadillo and managed to stay within the lines. 

A colored pencil set by Pop Colors inspired by the TV show Friends
A colored pencil set by Pop Colors inspired by the TV show Friends


The appreciator of hedonistic artisanal delights

This one is for people who love indulging in earthly pleasures. So light up a scented candle, take a deep drink of that ruby-red wine, and let us introduce you to some of the best gifts to pamper the body and elevate the soul.

Linden Square goes beyond the traditional to create luxurious gift baskets with carefully curated items. Their tasteful gift baskets make you feel the extra thought and attention that went into them. The only downside is that they last only as long as you can hold yourself back from gobbling up, guzzling down and consuming what’s in them, which is (trust us on this) not very long.

Gift baskets from Linden Square
Gift baskets from Linden Square


Bombay and Cedar's bespoke subscription boxes are also a great way to treat a loved one. With a wide range of items from skincare, plants, and aromatherapy to homeware, all cruelty-free, there's no doubt you'll find the spot-on gift. Their products can also be independently purchased if you've got your eyes set on a particular item. 

A lifestyle gift box by Bombay and Cedar
A lifestyle gift box by Bombay and Cedar


Here's a gift for the nesting type, who loves nothing more than to cozy up in their favorite onesie, watch the raindrops crawl across the windowpane, and sip on some comforting chai. A beautifully packaged artisanal gift box from TerraKlay, with two tumbler mugs and a packet of Masala Chai.

A boutique wine from the Happy Quotient is bound to quench the thirst of any wine aficionado. What's even more remarkable is that its entire collection is vegan and sustainably farmed, consisting of small-production, limited-quantity wines from around the world.

Went through this article and still haven't found the perfect gift for that special someone? Check out Melio's Small Business Index, with a versatile selection of hundreds of fantastic small businesses to shop from.