Jonathan Adler's Gifting Tips Will Improve How You Give Presents This Christmas

Shopping for those hard-to-buy individuals just became a lot easier with this advice from expert Jonathan Adler, the king of color and funky designs

Jonathan Adler holding a dog at an event and smiling.
(Image credit: Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Jonathan Adler)

There is no one quite like potter and designer Jonathan Adler — his distinctive, whimsical style, his embrace of color and maximalism, and his enduring appeal are just a few of the reasons Livingetc looks to him for design inspiration time and time again. In a room full of stunning, show-stopping pieces, Jonathan's will always stand out from the crowd, and he's quick to offer helpful and timeless advice for any situation in which design looms somewhat large.

Of course, that acumen and excellence come in handy during the holidays, when the average consumer is bombarded with gift guides from all of the best home decor stores and can't tell up from down. At the risk of mixing metaphors, an expert opinion at that point works like a buoy in a messy Christmas sea —  something you can grab onto so you don't lose your head in the chaos. Lucky for us, Jonathan himself has been gracious enough to share a few of his quintessential holiday gifting tips, both of which might very well help you right the ship and/or inspire you to get a little funky with it this year.

Jonathan Adler's gifting tips this holiday season

Jonathan's first big gifting tip could extend beyond the holidays, especially if you are someone who often meets with clients for work, or if your love language is gift-giving.

I like to give presents that are two things: wantable and transportable," Jonathan told me. "I always keep a stash of pressies in my LLBean tote (you never know who you’re going to meet!).”

His next tip is even more fun — if you needed an excuse to buy your friend that surrealist bowl she's been eyeing, consider your wish granted. "When it comes to great gift giving, avoid the obvious necessities and give ‘em what they don’t know they need!" Jonathan said. "Underwear? underwhelming. A giant acrylic bust? Oui!”

Jonathan's tips in mind, I know how I'll be shopping for the rest of the holiday season — but if there is any doubt in your mind on how to follow his lead, I have a few applicable ideas that I've rounded up below.

Shop gifts inspired by Jonathan Adler's advice

If you loved these tips, put them to good use by next checking out our timeless presents gift guide, our list of gifts for people who love fashion, and our round-up of the 51 best White Elephant gifts.

Style Editor

Brigid Kennedy is a Style Editor at, where she is responsible for obsessively combing the internet for the best and most stylish deals on home decor and more. She was previously a story editor at, where she covered both U.S. politics and culture. She describes her design style as colorful and clean, and in her free time enjoys reading, watching movies, and curating impossibly niche playlists on Spotify. She lives in New York.