Gift guide: 9 notable Bostonians share what they’re giving this year

Chefs, radio personalities, and CEOs talk about what's underneath the wrapping paper.

What Lydia Shire is gifting this year. Courtesy of Lydia Shire

Looking for a little gift-giving inspiration? We reached out to some of Boston’s most notable people to see what they’re giving their friends and family this year.

Lydia Shire, chef and partner at Scampo
“I’m giving 12 fab napkins with shocking pink sardines printed on them to a friend in Martha’s Vineyard. I found them at ABC Carpet and Home in New York. Amongst the many gifts for my son, who is also a chef, I just found a small beautiful brass and wood hammer to break Parmigiano Reggiano cheese down to more bite-size pieces.” (Pipoca Sarl sardine dish towel, $16, available at ABC Carpet & Home; Jayson Home parma hammer, $68,

Kennedy Elsey, co-host of the Mix 104.1 Karson and Kennedy Show
“This year, I was looking for gifts that are both something people will actually use and gifts that in some way give back. I am obsessed with everything at Boutique Mexico. Their mission is to support native artisans.” (


Dana White, president of the UFC
“A Ferrari California T.” (Ferrari California T, from about $169,000,

Dr. Peter Amenta, president and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center
“My 3-and-a-half-year-old grandson steals the spotlight during the holidays and is a train aficionado, so this year we are expanding his repertoire by gifting him new train sets and accessories so he can continue to fuel his passion.” (Brio train sets, prices vary,

Stephen Iacobacci, owner of Avanti Salon on Newbury Street
“This year, I’ll be gifting experiences because I don’t think people want ‘stuff’ anymore. Some of my favorite people will get dance lessons from The Dance Complex in Cambridge or cooking classes from Taranta in the North End.” (The Dance Complex class, $5-$20 per class, see website for more information; Taranta cooking class, must be booked in group of 15-30, prices vary; call 617-720-0052)

City Tap House.

City Tap House.

Kelly Brabants, owner of fitness and fashion brand Booty by Brabants
“This Christmas, I’ll be giving gift cards to City Tap House because it’s my favorite restaurant in the city. I’m obsessed with their wings! As a stocking stuffer, I’m gifting Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Lip Luminizer because it’s one of my favorite beauty products right now. It’s a universal shade that’s meant to look good on everyone.” (City Tap House gift cards, $5-500, must be purchased in store; Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer, $18,


Chef Brian Poe, owner of the Tip Tap Room and Bukowski Tavern
“This year, I’ll be offering my loved ones a charitable donation in their name to a charity of their choice. It means more to me than ever this year to give back to those in need.”

Lisa Donovan, radio personality on Kiss 108’s Matty in the Morning Show
“I love the idea of personalizing gifts. You need to start early but I think people really appreciate it. I’m giving personalized stationery from Minted.” (

Roger Berkowitz, president and CEO of Legal Sea Foods‎
“I kept seeing ads in The Wall Street Journal for Samuel Hubbard shoes. So I finally ordered a pair that was a cross between a shoe and sneaker. They’re great, and I think friends and family will think so, too. Nothing like happy feet to improve one’s disposition!” (Hubbard Free, $210,