The holiday season is upon us once more, and you know what that means: the struggle to find the perfect gifts for all your friends and family. It doesn’t matter who you are — or honestly, who they are — figuring out who’s getting what on your holiday shopping list can can leave anyone festively flabbergasted.
We’ve all been there. She buys everything before you get the chance to get it for her. He always answers “Whatever” when you ask him what he wants. They always say, “Being all together is gift enough”… which sounds great until they’re the only one not unwrapping a gift.
Thankfully, we here at Best Products get plenty of practice in during the year, seeking out gifts for everyone from your favorite fitness fanatic to your office Secret Santa. So, we thought we’d share what we’re gifting our loved ones this holiday season.
And P.S.: If you are one of those loved ones and you’re reading this, just… pretend to be surprised all the same when you unwrap your gift.
Men’s Wool Lounger Fluffs
My boyfriend takes forever to put on shoes. Even if we’re running a quick errand or grabbing coffee, he has to sit down, unlace his shoes, and relace them before we can head out of there. I ‘m gifting him these slip-ons this year to honestly save myself some time! They’re made from the classic Allbirds wool material, and of course, they’re machine-washable, too. The brand also launched these fun fuzzy ones this year, which I just can’t get enough of.
Drive Coffee The National Parks Collection
My brother loves coffee and national parks, so I was so excited when I found a gift that combines both of these interests.
The coffee comes from Drive Coffee, and each varietal is made to reflect traits that make each park unique. The beans come in reusable steel reproduction oil cans that feature original illustrations for each park. (He loves recycling, too, so this is just a bonus.)
Vinebox Single Varietals Tasting
I’ve only tried Vinebox once, and it was such a great experience that I can’t wait to get another box. You get nine different wines, and all are about a single serving. I ‘m a big red fan, and I was worried that the wines wouldn’t be up to my standards — but each one was delicious, and I found myself creating my own at-home wine tasting. Unfortunately the all-reds box is sold out right now, so their Single Varietal box is another great option. It comes with five reds, three whites, and one rosé.
Nikhita Mahtani, Deputy Editor
Drunk Elephant The Littles Night Out Set
My sister is obsessed with skincare, and she’s always hunting for the best options that’ll help exfoliate (but still calm) her sensitive skin.
This set from Drunk Elephant is amazing because first of all, not only is it an incredible value, it also contains four best-sellers that help calm, moisturize, exfoliate, and cleanse skin. It isn’t too harsh at all, and deals with common issues that face more pigmented skin. Plus, now she can take a little kit everywhere and always be prepared: win.
JayBird Vista 2 True Wireless Headphones
My boyfriend is one of those people who will never miss his workouts, especially his runs. He also really loves to listen to playlists while he runs, but doesn’t, in my opinion, have the best headphones for this. Considering we’ve tested about a million headphones, though, I think I’ve found the best one to give him — the JayBird Vista 2s, of course.
These headphones are sweat- and water-resistant, stay put like a dream, and have the best noise-canceling I’ve seen yet. I ‘m actually so excited to see how this gift transforms his runs.
Nespresso Lattissima One-Touch Espresso Machine
While I love my morning coffee, I absolutely do not want to spend hours every morning making it. After seeing all its rave reviews, I ‘m giving myself the gift of Nespresso this year, with the Lattissima. I chose this coffee maker because it’s simple to use (just insert pods and press), and easily makes both frothy lattes as well as strong espressos, depending on whether I want to sit with a comforting beverage or just need a hit of caffeine on the go. The automatic milk frother is super cool, the pump heats up the drink in less than a minute, and I ‘m obsessed with the number of pod choices for drinks – everything from bitter undertones to chocolatey, low-caffeine options. I ‘m ready to transform my mornings in 2022.
Awe Inspired Chunky Paperclip Necklace
It can be tough to buy jewelry for someone, but I’m turning to the Chunky Paperclip Necklace because it has a trendy design that someone might not necessarily purchase for themselves. Plus, who wouldn’t love something sparkly under their tree this Christmas? I can see my mom or best friend layering the 14-karat yellow gold or sterling silver with other necklaces they already have.
Hunt a Killer: Body on the Boardwalk Immersive Murder Mystery Game
I consider myself a captain Olivia Benson, and many of my friends can’t get enough of Law & Order-esque shows, too. What I love about Hunt a Killer— besides the various versions you can buy, like the Body on the Boardwalk one that was released this past summer — is that it feels like you’re giving someone an experience. They can put on their detective hat and dive into the clues!
Charlotte Tilbury Smokey Eyes Are Forever Instant Eye Palette
Maybe I’m alone in this, but eyeshadow is one of my favorite beauty products to experiment with. My friends are big on mascaras, lipsticks, and skincare, but I’m aiming to give them a little glitzy boost with Charlotte Tilbury’s new palette. There are matte and shimmering finishes and — take it from someone who owns it — they’ll be using it for holiday parties and celebrations to come.
Universal Yums Box 3-Month Subscription
My friend Alisa is a world traveler who travels not just for fun, but sometimes for work. Obviously travel has been curbed quite a bit, so I thought I’d send her some food from around the world to tide her over until she gets back to her old jet-setting ways! We both appreciate lots of different types of food from all over the world, and Universal Yums has a fun selection.
A different friend got me a subscription last Christmas, so you might say I ‘m just spreading the good word (or tastes).
NOPE Effin’ Birds Shirt
My friend Lindsay and I have known each other for at least two decades, and for a while she lived near the Golden Gate Bridge, counting birds for her job. Right now, she works at a major wildlife nonprofit. I got her a more obscene shirt from the same place last year, so I ‘m going to continue the tradition. These shirts are well-made and look great (I have one myself), and she enjoyed the now out-of-print one I got her last year. (Just note that not all the offerings are as mild in language as the one I’ve linked.)
BroadwayPlus Cast Album Tote
I am nothing if not a master of niche and pedantic gifts. In the theatre world, a cast recording or cast album is for the live stage performance, while a soundtrack is the term for music from TV and film. These often got mixed up together in record stores (remember those?) and often in everyday casual conversation. But come on, some musicals need clarification, since they have both a cast album and a soundtrack. (If you say“Rent soundtrack,” I will assume you’re not referring to a recording from 1996!) We need to clarify! So, a corrective tote bag can’t hurt. I’ve already taken it to three Broadway shows since Broadway reopened. Maybe I annoyed some people, but maybe I educated even more.
Mochidoki Holiday Gift Box
I like to bring tiny desserts whenever my family gathers for a celebration (think bite-sized cupcakes and shot-glass parfaits). Because after a huge meal, a big dessert can feel overwhelming. This holiday gift set from Mochidoki is the perfect post-dinner treat because there’s something here for everyone’s taste — and even if they’ve had mochi plenty of times before, they’ve never had anything as special as this. The flavor of each one is so delicate and nuanced, ranging from scoop-shop favorites like salted caramel and vanilla chip to Asian cuisine-inspired flavors like ube, hojicha tea, and red bean. This box of 14 different flavors is the quintessential crowd-pleaser!
Rockaway Cold Brew
I recently stayed with close friends in Boston for an early holiday trip and gifted them this delicious cold-brew coffee kit as a thank-you for their hospitality. Partners’ Rockaway Cold Brew is as delicious as it is easy to use — just pop one of the four pre-ground coffee sachets into a 24-ounce vessel filled with water, and let it steep for 24 hours. The result is the richest, smoothest cold brew coffee you’ll ever taste. There are unmistakable chocolate notes in it that make it delicious to sip with milk. This is the perfect gift for friends who love caffeine because it’s affordable, but still a little nicer than something they’d regularly get for themselves. Plus, what gorgeous packaging!
Seedlip Non-Alcoholic Spirits Trio Pack Sampler
I’ve been reveling in all things no-and-low ABV recently, so the holidays feel like the perfect time to treat myself to the brand that’s been at the forefront of the zero-proof spirits wave. Seedlip’s distilled herbal concoctions are alcohol- and sugar-free, showcasing each flavor’s botanical roots. This set includes all three flavors in 6.8-ounce stocking-stuffer sizes. Spice 94 is the most holiday-appropriate one to me, with its warming allspice and cardamom with hint of citrus: I envision this as a delicious addition to a hot toddy. Grove 42 tastes vibrant and energizing with its gingery orange rind flavor that seems made for mimosas, and Garden 108 is vegetal and spring-like, perfect for effervescent, G&T-like drinks. They are all quite delightful sipped neat, too.
Pizza!: An Interactive Recipe Book
My family frequently has pizza nights. We make the dough by scratch, and it’s such a nice way to hang out in the kitchen, laugh, and just have a good time together.
My sister has two younger daughters and they love building their pizzas, so I wanted a fun, kid-friendly way to teach them how to make pizza. This book has a bunch of interactive elements to it, so it’s entertaining, but also educational. I can’t wait to read it with them!
Anova Culinary Precision Cooker
Since my youth, I’ve always loved getting a good deal, and I think the Anova Precision Cooker is one of the most reasonably priced kitchen gadgets out there — which is probably why I’ve already gifted two of them. The Anova Precision Cooker offers an entirely new approach to home cooking, and if you want a perfectly cooked steak, it’s hands-down the best way to get one. For those who are unfamiliar with sous vide cooking, yes, it sounds fancy, but it’s also stupidly easy. You vacuum-seal your ingredients in a vacuum sealed bag, drop that into water, wait a few hours, and then sear the dish in a hot cast-iron pan or on the grill for a minute. My parents are very particular about how they like their steak cooked, so I’m excited for them to try it out!
simplehuman 58 Liter Recycling Kitchen Step Trash Can
I don’t know if this is going to be a new tradition of mine, but this will be the second year in a row that I’ve gotten a simplehuman product for myself. Last year on Black Friday I purchased an adjustable shower caddy that I still love and use on the daily. But this year, I’m gunning for simplehuman’s rectangular step can. I’m a relatively new homeowner and exclusively used cheap plastic waste bins that consistently broke and needed replacing, but it seems like buying something simplehuman is an adult rite of passage — and I’m so ready for it. The trashcan looks sharp, it has a nifty storage pocket for stowing new bags on its backside, and I like that the larger 58-liter variant has dual compartments to separate my recyclables and regular trash.
Bern Watts 2.0 Bike Helmet
My husband has been obsessed with e-scooters ever since we rode them while on vacation in Santa Monica a few years ago. He finally bought one for himself after months of shopping around and couldn’t be more stoked. I ‘m a bit more on the fence about riding one on the busy streets of NYC, especially as the days get shorter and darker. Protective gear is a sensible compromise, and this matte black helmet from Bern is sleek enough to be worn on his way to work as a trader, but also highly rated for ultimate protection — and, let’s face it, my peace of mind — as he zips around the city.
Isa Lazo Facial Bundle
Now that they’ve opened up travel, I ‘m seeing my mom this holiday season for the first time in two years. When she comes to visit, I can’t wait to spoil her with mom-and-daughter trips to the ballet, our favorite French restaurants, and her ultimate love language, luxury skincare. The premium line Isa Lazo, created by (who else?) a chic mother-and-daughter team, is so spot-on: They’ve managed to harness natural botanicals into curations that are elegant, cool, and yes, effective. She’s totally upping her self-care regimen game with these.
Baloo Weighted Blanket
After years of contemplation, I’ve finally decided to get myself a proper weighted blanket. Over the past two years, it’s one of those things that’s gone from “nice to have” to full-blown “need to have” — if not for my mental health and anxiety, then just for the sheer amount of time I now spend at home (slash, on my couch). I can’t wait to take my Scandi-crime-watching weekends to a whole ’notha level of cozy, especially now that I know a kid out there has a chance to get cozy, too.
How so? Baloo donates a portion of the profits to the Pajama Program, which provides new PJs and a bedtime book to vulnerable kids, like those in foster care and homeless shelters. 🥺
Personalized Golf Balls
My dad’s annual goal is to golf in every month, which is quite the feat in notoriously freezing Cleveland winters. My siblings and I have a list of golf courses in a 3-hour radius that we buy gift certificates for, but opening a physical gift is just more fun. We’ve gone through the typical golf accessories list by now (a traveling case, headcovers, cooling towels, chip markers), and these personalized balls are up next.
We know the Callaway Supersofts are his favorite balls, so the personalization will be a cool extra. He’ll know which ball is his when he see his golf affirmation printed on them: “Any Time Any One Any Where.”
Cadence Magnetic Travel Toiletry Capsules
My youngest sister always tries to sneak full-size toiletries into her carry-on — with varying results. I ‘m going to set her up for success for her next TSA screening with a bundle of Cadence’s magnetic toiletry capsules.
She loves to organize, so I know she’ll enjoy adding her lotions and potions to the airport-approved containers before her next trip. I love that I can choose the color and label of each capsule! She’ll have all the comforts of home with her the next time she’s traveling, without having to spend extra on mini versions of her toiletries.
Punch Needles Start Kit
Since I was a kid, Santa has always come through with the arts and crafts gifts for me. From friendship bracelet kits and bead looms to scrapbook supplies and stickers, my holidays are crafty! Remember those latch kits from your childhood that came with bundled pieces of yarn? Well, this is the adult version, and I can’t wait to try out a new creative skill.
I was drawn to the Marimekko-inspired floral print of this Etsy pattern. It has everything you need to get started, including the punch needle, embroidery thread, and linen canvas. I plan on turning the 10×10-inch canvas into a pillow when it’s done!
Toniebox Audio Player Starter Set
Three-year-olds are notoriously hard to shop for: They’re not quite preschoolers, but they’re also not really toddlers. They have tons of energy, but they also fall over in a nap at the drop of a hat. My nephew is no different. I know my sister-in-law and brother don’t want him constantly on a tablet, but when he’s cranky, it’s hard to say no.
Enter the Toniebox. It’s an audio player that reads stories and music that 3-year-olds can control themselves. All you do is take a “Tonie” character and place it on top of the box, and it starts playing. Kids can change the volume by pressing the ears, and if they tap the sides, the track changes. It’s a great compromise between the digital and analog world that this generation really responds to. Plus, parents don’t need to worry because it features ultra-secure Wi-Fi technology that isn’t going to be hacked by creeps. On another practical note, the sides are soft: So, if someone throws it in a fit of pique, it’s not going to do any real damage.
Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow
My mother is the WORST sleeper. She’s a dyed in the wool side sleeper: She sleeps hot, and she wakes easily. For years, she’s been looking for a pillow that will cradle her head and neck, but also keep her cool. That’s precisely what the Honeydew Scrumptious Side Sleeper Pillow does.
What you’ll notice first about the pillow is its unique shape. It looks like someone took a notch out of a traditional pillow — that’s where your shoulder rests. All too often, side sleepers end up with sore shoulders and necks because they’re either lying on top of a pillow, or it’s all bunched up. Honeydew has fixed that problem by altering the shape.
Then, after the shape is the filling. It’s not your standard hot-as-heck memory foam: Instead, the pillow consists of cooling copper gel memory foam pieces. The fact that it isn’t a solid block means that it’s also customizable, and you can add or subtract foam to find the perfect fit.
See’s Chocolates Large Chocolate Fancy Box
I just had my first See’s experience this week, and when I tell you my life will never be the same, I mean it. I live in New York City. I have access to hundreds of chocolatiers and candy shops, and I have never been so dang gleeful eating those as I have been while eating See’s dark chocolate truffles and Normandie. To be honest, I’d never even heard of a Normandie before last week, but you know what? I’d slay dragons to have one in front of me right now. It’s a decadent vanilla and brown sugar center with walnuts and almonds, all dressed up in dark chocolate. The memories aren’t enough — I need more of them in my life.
I Made That Bag Petite Kits
I ‘m grateful to have a second family in my partner’s family, and his sisters are like my own. This year, I ‘m gifting them custom DIY wallet kits from I Made That Bag, created by Lorna Nixon. Lorna herself is an absolute doll, and she’s painting me two bontanical-printed leather pieces to include in their kits. She includes everything you need to make your own bag: leather, hardware, thread, needles, and instructions. All of those elements are customizable, too. If you’re not into crafting, you can have her make the bag for you for $10 more.
New Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2
My brother Josh is notorious for making a cup of coffee in the morning and forgetting about it until the afternoon. I’ve seen him reheat his coffee up to four times in one day! This year, I ‘m giving him the gift of always hot coffee, thanks to the Ember mug. I like the cool gray color, and the fact that this one holds more liquid, because I know he’s a big fan of creamer.
Farm Rio Banangola Cardigan
My wardrobe is pretty neutral, but when it comes to funky prints, I go all in. This banana-printed cardigan had my name written all over it. I love the jewel tones in it (they pop, but aren’t too bright), and it keeps me nice and warm on dog walks and my journey to and from the subway. When I asked my best friend if I should buy it, she sent me a picture of herself wearing it — she had just bought one for herself, too. Decision made.
The Story of Marvel Studios: The Making of the Marvel Cinematic Universe
My father has been a superhero fan since long before it was cool: He’s seen everything from the Crisis on Infinite Earths to the Clone Saga. So, it only made sense to get him this comprehensive history of the most successful superhero film series in history — the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Cameo from Darby Allin
Now in our 30s, my hard-to-shop-for partner and I have found more mature hobbies: namely, professional wrestling. Her favorite star, by far, is All Elite Wrestling’s Darby Allin. So, what do you get for the girl who gets herself everything? A Cameo shoutout from her fave, obviously. Besides, if you don’t want to see a skateboarding skeleton man say “Happy Hanukkah,” we can’t hang.
Once Upon a Time in China: The Complete Films (The Criterion Collection)
If it’s the holiday season, I ‘m splurging on a Criterion set. Last year was the phenomenal Fellini box, and this year it’s Once Upon A Time In China: The Complete Films — the (mostly) Jet Li-led sweeping epics that bolstered Hong Kong cinema’s Golden Age. Keep your Christmas carols and Charlie Brown; I’ll be firing up Action for Everyone and enjoying the acrobatics of Jet Li.Internet Explorer Channel Network