9 Unique Holiday Shopping Gift Ideas [Gift Guide 2016]

Startups have cropped up throughout New York City and has put it on the tech map. In fact, NYC was just voted Best Smart City of 2016. We use startups to order out, communicate, and hail a cab, so now it’s time to see what startups can do for Christmas shopping during the holiday season.

The best thing about using startups to guide your holiday gift shopping, is that you’re bound to discover some truly unique gifts that can’t be found anywhere else. We’ve rounded some of the most standout gifts together from startups like ChristmasGifts.nyc and Souvenirs.nyc. We chose gifts that are handmade right here in the city, supporting New York’s extensive tech and artist community.


#1  Christmas Tree Decor

Made by master wood carver, David Raz of Brooklyn, these hand carved miniature filigree Christmas Trees make for a gift that literally anyone can enjoy. They’re carved from Silver Winter Birch wood, which is known to be lightweight, strong, medicinal, water resistant, with a pleasant woodsy and wintergreen scent. Nothing evokes the spirit of Christmas better.


Standing at 5 inches tall, the trees can be placed anywhere and add a touch of holiday joy to any room. The Big Apple skyline ornament hangs gracefully from the tree and is included.

For more on artist made gifts, see the whole article HERE. 

#2  Wood Cube

Rated the #1 New York travel gift by Forbes, these wood cubes are truly unique in that they’re made from seven different kinds of wood (oak, maple, pine, walnut, cherry, birch, and rosewood), set into a unique configuration every time for a one-of-a-kind item. Closed, it is a modern art cube, but opened up it reveals the New York City skyline featuring the Empire State Building, One World Trade Center, Chrysler Building, Flatiron Building, and more.



#3  Vinyl Record Clock

For those who love music and vintage collector’s items, these clocks are made out of reclaimed vinyl records. The Bushwick artist who make these silk screens and assembles each of these by hand, and has other vinyl record gifts available such as notebooks, wall art, and even a vinyl record menorah.




#4  Wood Ornaments

These wood ornaments, available individually or as a set, are highly detailed and carved entirely by hand. They look great as home decor, as Christmas Tree ornaments, and can also function as coasters. Made from Silver Winter Birch, they’re safe for young children and pets, and will last a lifetime. Filled with intricate patterning on both the front and back, these wood ornaments evoke a timeless sense of holiday joy.


#5  Handmade Candy

Nothing says Christmas like sweets and stocking stuffers. These organic handmade candies are the tastiest hard candies you’ll find and feature two flavors: Broadway which is Granny Smith apple, and the Big Apple, which is Red Delicious apple. If buying for kids, be sure to pick up a couple extra bags of it for yourself, otherwise you might find you’ve eaten all their candy!


#6  Crochet Doll

These adorable Statue of Liberty dolls are perfect for kids, and the kid at heart. We all have a soft spot for cute things, and you won’t find another NYC gift that’s cuter than this. Each one is crocheted by hand and has little dangling legs that will delight the kids. Better yet, these dolls aren’t found anywhere else.


#7  Sculpted Snow Globe

This elegant, classically dazzling NYC snow globe is hand sculpted and painted before being set into its glassy, watery globe. It’s so intricately detailed, it could take hours to identify all the buildings and statues and hidden designs that lay inside it.



#8  One of a Kind Jewelry

These jewelry pieces are a fantastic gift! They’re not only affordable, but gorgeously silver plated and made with an amazing technique called lost wax casting by FIT alumni, Kate Morales. She first carves the design from wax, in this case it’s the Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building, then creates a cast for it, melts out the wax, and pours molten metal into the newly emptied cast creating one-of-a-kind jewelry!


#9  Laser Etched Steel Map

Laser etched from steel, these cool gifts are framed, with the glass behind, rather than in front of the steel, allowing you to feel the grooved and polished stainless steel. It makes for awesome home or office decor, and is perfect for anyone, man or woman.




So no matter who you’re shopping for this holiday, whether is for him, for her, for the kids, or even for Secret Santa, startups offer new ways to connect the craftsman to you. NYC Christmas shopping this 2016 season will be a breeze with handmade and handcrafted gifts like these available both online and in person that actually support New York artists and are made right here in the city.


For more holiday gift shopping, here’s the best local shops to check out this Christmas season!

Kim Adsitt

Managing Editor

As a New York resident for over 12 years, Kim is passionate about developing technology in New York City. She has created original online media and groundbreaking content strategy for numerous startups and has become a leading expert in startup news. Specializing in content creation and editing, she manages the team at Silicon to produce high quality, engaging tech content and insight from the leading players in the NYC tech field. Kim has been an avid follower of all things blockchain, iot, ai, and crypto and its disruptive potential in a multitude of industries. She seeks to bring the latest innovative news, applications and use cases to the public.