35 Unique Gift Ideas for Anyone on Your Holiday List
The holidays can be stressful for so many reasons. Take the time now to stock up on unique holiday gifts that anyone (yep, we really mean everyone) will appreciate. From personalized presents to flavorful foodie finds, we have compiled an extensive list for you to browse and discover just the right thing for all your special someones. We’ve rounded up tokens of appreciation for that teacher, dog walker, hairdresser, and babysitter on your holiday list—as well as items that will delight an entire family, like classic board games with modern packaging to fit on a bookshelf, or a fun, fresh alternative to the everyday piggy bank.
We're making it easy for you to stop falling back on the generic gift card and go with a present that’s way more personal instead. Whether you are looking for an offering that's a classic crowd pleaser or a quirky surprise, we’ve amassed an exhaustive array of editor-approved products to suit all of your gift-giving needs. Even those hard-to-buy-for bosses and finicky friends will be covered with the myriad suggestions we have to offer. Best of all, you might just come across a few unique gifts that you'll be interested in putting on your own winter wish list. Don’t be shy—we have already done the same thing ourselves.
Small, simple and ideal for everyday wear, this huggie earring from STUDS is a chic gift for any jewelry hoarder. Sold as a single earring, it's the understated piece she needs in her jewelry box.
To buy: $24; studs.com.
Molly Yeh Sprinkles Crossover Apron
Embroidered with colorful yet subtle sprinkles, this linen apron is a kitchen must-have. Give it to the avid baker or cook in your life for a gift she'll reach for again and again.
To buy: $105; enrichandendure.com.
These sleek vases make a statement with or without flowers.
To buy: from $140; eastfork.com.
23andMe "The Story of Your DNA" Book
For a present that's truly personalized, try 23andMe's custom coffee table book. Perfect for a friend or family member who's already tried and loved the genetic-testing service, each printed tome contains a person's unique ancestry results, plus details about their own history and familial roots.
To buy: $40; 23andme.com.
Stumped on what to gift your wellness-obsessed friend who's always on the go? Give her a Daily Harvest gift card to help her take the guess out of meal prep. Perfect for everyone from new moms to busy coworkers, the healthy present is so good, you'll want to treat yourself to a few smoothies too.
To buy: from $25; daily-harvest.com.
Give the gift of Together Time, a one-of-a-kind website that will print and ship personalized Time Cards anywhere in the U.S., free of charge. Send loved ones a custom card that promises the gift of time spent together doing any activity of your choice.
To buy: free; chick-fil-a.com/timeshop.
Artifact Uprising Scrapbook Album
Filled with thought-provoking prompts, roomy pockets, and interactive add-ons, this high-quality scrapbook will help anyone's story live on. Available in five different fabric colors, Artifact Uprising's The Stories We Tell scrapbook will last a lifetime.
To buy: from $119; artifactuprising.com.
Autocomplete: The Game
Can you guess the most popular queries on the internet’s biggest search engine? Players get one minute to fill in the top 10 searches for 300 prompts, like “I hate the taste of,” without peeking at their phones.
To buy: $24; amazon.com.
Crate and Barrel 11-Bottle Wine Rack Copper
Your wine connoisseur friend loves to share her newest finds or old favorites when friends come over for dinner. But if she doesn’t have anywhere to store her ever-growing collection of bottles, offer her this hive-like rack. Now she can keep them in one place, instead of scattered about the kitchen counter or bar cart. The copper design adds some modern style to a kitchen counter or home bar. Plus, there’s plenty of room to store her favorite varieties, since the piece can store 11 wine bottles. The versatile rack can be positioned horizontally or vertically, depending on her space needs.
To buy: $50, crateandbarrel.com.
MoMA Chalkboard Vase
Instead of bringing her the usual flower arrangement in a vase, why not offer her this creative chalkboard version? Inside the chalkboard piece is a removable tube that can hold a stem or two with water (and don’t worry, a piece of chalk is included, too). Before you present the gift, stick in her favorite flower and draw a vase or vessel on the board.
To buy: $18, store.moma.org.
A matching set for a pup and her people pal, these vegan leather accessories are available in eight sizes.
To buy: From $35; friendshipcollar.com.
The Oregon Trail Card Game
Fans of the cult classic computer game will love sharing it with a new generation of players in the form of a handheld card game.
To buy: $13; target.com.
Treat the caffeinated dog lovers you know to a trio of whole-bean, fair trade coffee that benefits a good cause: 20 percent of the proceeds go to local dog rescues.
To buy: from $14; groundsandhoundscoffee.com.
Limited-Edition Advent Calendar
Behind each of the 24 doors is a pint-size pot of the venerated French brand’s jam, jelly, and honey.
To buy: $59; amazon.com.
Nut Butter Cups
Each sweet, decadent bite is vegan, gluten-free, preservative-free, and made with organic ingredients. The box of nine includes gourmet combinations such as almond butter and cherry-chai jam or matcha cashew butter.
To buy: $38 for nine; eatchicchocolates.com.
Deco Stacking Game
A sculptural coffee table object when not in use, this acrylic version of the classic stacking game is perfect for an impromptu family game night.
To buy: $129; westelm.com.
Avid binge-watchers will cherish a blueprint of their favorite TV character’s pad (from Father Knows Best to Friends). With over 150 designs available, this is a unique gift idea for nearly anyone on your list.
To buy: $49 (11”x17”); fantasyfloorplans.com.
Magnetic Succulent Trio
Attach this cute trio to the fridge or a magnetic memo board for a hit of low-maintenance greenery.
To buy: $40; 1800flowers.com.
Cookies for a Cause
The organization Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is celebrating their 10th anniversary the way it began—with cookies. This three-dozen pack includes chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, and lemon sugar cookies and proceeds help fund pediatric cancer research.
To buy: $90 for three dozen; cookiesforkidscancer.org.
For the collegiate at heart or the friend who always finds an excuse to pop open a bottle of bubbly, this game will certainly elicit a toast. A crowd-pleasing upgrade to the originally hops-driven past time.
To buy: $25; worldmarket.com.
Sharpie 115 Piece Set
Make an artist’s dreams come true with the ultimate permanent market set. This mega kit is the perfect gift for anyone on your list and outfitted with original, neon, and metallic colors so they can doodle in every shade imaginable.
To buy: $85; amazon.com.
McConnell’s Winter Citrus Ice Cream
Searching for an unexpected food gift that will satisfy (and surprise) just about every person on your list? Look no further than the latest, citrus-infused flavors from this CA ice-cream company. Key lime pie, vanilla grapefruit, eureka lemon and marionberries, and chocolate orange blossom offer a tart twist to the sweet treat.
To buy: $48 for four, mcconnells.com.
Bookshelf Scrabble Game
Bid adieu to the grimy board game box currently taking up residence in your closet or on your coffee table. This classic game is now available in a book-shaped box that fits seamlessly on the shelf when not in play. Open the linen-bound cover to discover a full-size board game stashed neatly within.
To buy: $40 shopbop.com.
Food52 Cross Linen Apron
If she has to cover up that gorgeous holiday ensemble, it might as well be with an apron worthy of the occasion. This Japanese-inspired, 100 percent European linen apron has wide straps that cross in the back, so there are no unruly strings in need of tying (and, inevitably, retying). An oversized front pocket keeps spoons, whisks, and other utensils (or even a recipe card) easily within reach. And, because cooking can be a dirty job, just toss it in the washing machine at the end of the day. Available in two colors: beige and blue.
To buy: $80, food52.com.
Sphere Hanging Basket
Baskets that have been created from solid steel and hand-forged into gorgeous wire aren’t just for the gardener you know. A duo or trio in different sizes looks lovely empty or filled, indoors or out. The avid gardener will delight in cultivating a variety of hanging plants or exposed terrariums. Those who’d really rather not water anything can hang a votive from their basket, or use it to corral an assortment of fruit.
To buy: from $38 (hanging hardware not included), shopterrain.com.
Bodum ‘Eileen’ 8-Cup French Press
If she’s always complaining about the quality of coffee at the office (or basically anywhere she goes), she’ll get a lot of use out of this artful coffee maker. She can get her coffee fix in style every morning (and basically any time of day) with this French press with a lattice copper design. It will also serve as an intricate and beautiful dÃ©cor piece—she can display it on the kitchen counter or office desk for a bit of sparkle. Plus, it serves eight cups, too, so maybe you’ll be able to enjoy a cup or two as well.
To buy: $30, bodum.com.
Dash Mini Maker 3-Piece Griddle, Waffle, and Grill Set
Make sure your kids are eating something other than takeout or frozen food with this griddle, waffle, and grill set. These are the only cooking tools they’ll need in the kitchen—they can make waffles, paninis, eggs, and grilled chicken. Plus, they won’t be deterred by the prospect of a sink full of dishes, since all they have to do is wipe the surface clean when they’re done cooking. If you think this set is just for the novice chef, think again: Anyone would appreciate the versatility of these compact appliances. Even the most experienced cook will have fun experimenting with different recipes and techniques.
To buy: $14, amazon.com.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Sorrento Double Wall Glasses
Double-walled latte mugs will keep her cup warm while also showcasing the sleek design of the glass. During the summertime, it will insulate cold beverages, like beer or lemonade. No handle on the glass means the cups are easier to store than your typical mugs (you can even stack them). Best of all? The double wall prevents sweating, so there’s no danger of causing glass rings on furniture. They’re microwave- and dishwasher-safe, too. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including 16-ounce stemless glasses, 8.1-ounce coffee cups, 15-ounce handled latte mugs, and more.
To buy: $20 for two, amazon.com.
Paderno 4-Blade Spiralizer
Even the cook with every kitchen appliance out there probably doesn’t have this one. The trendy kitchen gadget transforms zucchini into pasta-like swirls, spirals potatoes for restaurant-quality French fries, and even turns cucumbers into decorative garnish for a salad. It comes with four interchangeable blades: an angel-hair shredder, a chipper, a fine shredder, and a straight blade, plus a pin accessory to use with the blades to create accordion cuts. Worried that her tiny apartment kitchen won’t have room for such a big gadget? The whole thing collapses into the base for easy and convenient storage.
To buy: $30, amazon.com.
Classic 2-Speed Drink Mixer
Take him for a trip down memory lane with a retro-styled milkshake maker. The slim lines won't bulk up a countertop (it tucks neatly into any corner of the kitchen). Thanks to its compact size, this gadget is also suitable for the dorm dweller that needs a little comfort during exam time when the homesickness really sets in. In addition to milkshakes and malts, the two-speed appliance can also be used to whip up smoothies or even beat eggs. Available in three neutral colors—white, stainless steel, and black—to suit a wide range of dÃ©cor styles.
To buy: $40, amazon.com.
Camera Collection Jigsaw Puzzle
Set your sights on the picture-perfect present for a photographer friend or even the avid Instagrammer. Piece by piece, the just-challenging-enough 500-piece puzzle reveals the camera equipment of yesteryear, as depicted by artist Jim Golden. The finished puzzle measures approximately 24 inches by 18 inches, and, once glued together, makes an attractive piece of wall art in her home office or studio. New York Puzzle Company has other puzzles featuring the work of Jim Golden, so you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s interests, from the beauty junkie to the gamer. Suitable for ages seven and up, so the whole family can participate.
To buy: $16, barnesandnoble.com.
Morrison Personalized Stamp
Do you and your sister manage to keep up a text message conversation filled with emojis, despite living on opposite coasts? Stop trying to decode what she means via Bitmoji and let this stamp be a subtle (well, maybe not so subtle) hint that you’d like to revisit the written word and receive mail in your real mailbox. This personalized stamp makes it hard for her to find an excuse to send printed pictures of her kids or an article that reminded her of you. Up your chances of getting some snail mail by gifting the stamp with personalized note cards and a few forever stamps.
To buy: $40, finestationery.com.
Create connections with images to form unlimited idioms, phrases, and inside jokes for friends and family to guess and score points. The set includes 42 sturdy dominoes that have a total of 84 images on them (two on each domino) as well as an instruction sheet to ensure everyone plays by the rules. It’s easy though—just string together images to create funny words and phrases. Poetry lovers will also delight in the original version of the game called Haikubes, a game where players roll the cubes and use the words that come up to create the best haiku they can.
To buy: $15, amazon.com.
Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book
Forget the avant-garde coffee table books and opt for a coloring book, which is sure to provide hours of entertainment. Just think of this gift as a find that’s good for health and wellness, too, since research finds that creating art can significantly reduce stress levels. Your friend who has a demanding job or who’s always on the go will appreciate this relaxing gift that’s really on trend (two adult coloring books were on Amazon’s bestselling list for 2015). When you’re set to wrap the gift, make sure to throw some coloring pencils in for good measure.
To buy: $10, amazon.com.
Balloon Dog Bank
Kids will delight in the fact that their new piggy bank looks just like the balloon animals they see at birthday parties, fairs, and carnivals. Adults, especially fans of artist Jeff Koons, will appreciate having an attractive spot to dump loose change (they can finally say goodbye to that messy bowl on the dresser!).
To buy: $25, hallmark.com.