Any editor or blogger can tell you they’re absolutely inundated with gift guide pitches. There’s been a greater mass of gift sets this year than any time I can recall. 2021 in particular is a stark contrast from last year when we were back in COVID lockdown and many of us were unemployed. But with people out and about again, and more beauty and lifestyle brands emerging than ever before, there’s no shortage of places to spend your money on the people you care about. That said, unique holiday gifts are on my mind this year.
So many gift guides will be chockfull of the same stuff, so why not step out of the box and suggest the unexpected? From some things that I’ve been gifted this year, to various gadgets I uncovered on the web, I’ve come up with a fun list of goodies for every type of recipient. Keep reading for the holiday gift guide full of goods you haven’t thought of yet!
For the One Who’s Stuck on 2010s Nostalgia (??♀️)
Casetify BB Talk Customizer: $50- $70
As much as I hate to admit it, I am in fact not a member of Gen Z, and therefore I remember the iconic BBM days incredibly crystal clear. While yes, there’s so much more we can do with an iPhone, the days of the Blackberry were truly legendary (here’s my pin!). Help your recipient relive their 2010 heyday by way of this novelty phone case. You can even customize an outgoing email as the cover! Dare you dig deep into their dark, early-aughts past?
For the One Who’s Always Schlepping
Hulken Bag: $64.99 – $84.99
Whether you know a celeb stylist constantly lugging around designer duds, or a mom of four who makes daily trips to the dumpster, this is truly the gift they never knew they needed! I received this as a gift myself, and it’s helped my weekly “spring cleaning” efforts immensely. The tote bag on wheels comes in four vibrant color options (black, gold, rose gold and silver) and three sizes. Pro tip: Based on the large I received, if you’re planning to use the bag for travel, definitely opt for medium or small. Large has been great for disposing of empty delivery boxes and storing laundry, but it’s way too big for on-the-go.
*Black Friday: BLACKFRIDAY at checkout for 20% off storewide
For the Coffee Addict
Whipped Drinks Whip Kit: $49
Anyone who drinks coffee on the reg can tell you the same sips get tedious after a while. Up your giftee’s caffeine game in a major way with a kit that easily allows them to make whipped, frothy (and flavorful!) coffee in seconds. The user-friendly set includes a high-speed frother (batteries included), gilded frothing jug, carton whip sticks (contains 10 packets), a recipe book and a beautifully wrapped box. To get a more in-depth overview of the products, check out my full review HERE.
For the Vegan Who’s Always Hungry
Plant-Based Snack Bundle
Jack & Friends Jerky Variety Pack: $26.50
When it comes to unique holiday gifts, vegan snacks can at times be the most out-of-the-box. Jackfruit has proven itself to be a breakout in the plant-based eating community. From “pulled pork” to “carnitas” and more, the tropical powerhouse product has become quite the popular meat replacement—jerky included. Jack & Friends launched legitimately nutritious jerky substitutes in three flavors: Tomato + Poblano Pepper, Sweet Barbecue and Ginger Teriyaki. Their bites pack a flavorful punch and resemble a similar toughness in texture to traditional jerky.
*Black Friday: BLACKFRIDAY2021 at checkout for 20% off storewide
Pasta Snacks Marinara Penne Straws: $23.94 (six-pack)
Pasta—but hold the parm! Meet your lentil and white bean alternative to chips, offering crunch, flavor and low-calorie contents. A perfect choice for your vegan pal, penne straws are gluten-free, in the shape of actual penne noodles, and seasoned with tomato, garlic and onion powders, along with various spices. Added bonus? A portion of all the brand’s proceeds will be donated to the Ryan Seacrest Foundation through the end of Jan. 2022.
Gut Happy Cookies: $24.99 (six-pack)
These salted peanut butter, chocolate and coconut cookies claim to be good for your gut—and the ingredients don’t lie! Packed with a proprietary blend of 1B CFU probiotics and four diverse prebiotics, these light bites support digestive health and strong eating habits. The cookies are 100% plant-based, keto-friendly, and free of preservatives, refined grains and refined sugar. In fact, they can be eaten in the AM in place of breakfast. For the gift recipient who has a sweet tooth while still remaining healthy, these should do the trick! Other flavors available, too!
For the Sustainable Shower Junkie
If your gift recipient is all about conserving water and smelling good, this is the gift for them! YouBody created an assortment of mix-and-match powders for a customizable scent you fancy in the shower. At the beginning of each week, you add your scents and a small amount of water for an aromatic, environmentally friendly cleansing experience! No bulky bottles and toxic fragrance need apply!
For the One Who Loves Spicing Up Their Space
Tropical Leaves Removable Wallpaper: $39
Tropical leaves are so on-trend right now—but guess what? Even if they go out of style, this removable wallpaper will make sure your special someone isn’t stuck living in the past. For the friend who lives in a dorm, an apartment or other wall space they can’t (or don’t want to) customize permanently, this gift will elevate their area with no guaranteed commitment!
For the Selling Sunset Obsessee
Christine Quinn x Ciaté London Ultimate Collection: $86.10
Your gift recipient may have seen every episode of Selling Sunset, but is she wearing Christine Quinn’s matching red lipstick? Probably not! Give the gift of living a day in Queen Christine’s shoes by presenting your pal with the reality star’s five-piece Ciaté makeup collection. Complete with an eyeshadow palette, highlighter, two lip creams—and yes, the signature red lip gloss—your friend will feel fierce in no time!
For the Hip Artsy One
Jungalow Face Bookend Vase by Justina Blakeney: $99
Much like fragrances, home decor is an incredibly personal preference. That said, when it comes to unique holiday gifts, it’s hard to imagine anyone not digging this bookend art that doubles as a vase. Purchased as a single or a set, this gift is a thoughtful (and eye-catching) gesture that’s sure to get people talking!
For the Upscale Beauty Junkie
Opulus Beauty Labs The Retinol + Starter System: $395
This system is next-level skincare for the retinol user (whichever level they may be). With three levels to choose from, a beginning, middle or advanced retinol user can benefit from these freshly activated Opoules. I call them dessert for the face—because that’s literally what they are. The Opoules (which go back and forth between yellow for treatment nights and blue for restoring nights) not only look like fancy white chocolate bites (do not eat them!), but they also (accidentally) smell like white chocolate, too. The activation technology churns these Opoules into a rich cream that you apply to your face before bed.
The result? After 28 days, the user should see clearer pores, and less breakouts, scarring and fine lines—thanks to faster cell turnover and collagen production. Each Opoule™ Treatment has two layers. Outside are vitamins, ceramides and botanicals. Inside, the most beneficial ingredients are suspended, waiting to be activated. Time listed the product as one of the best inventions of 2021, so clearly it’s doing something right!
For the Jewish One Who’s Still Single
Nice Jewish Guys Wall Calendar: $7.84
Do you have that friend whose mom is constantly kvetching about how they need to settle down with a nice Jewish boy? Give your pal the gift of inspo in the form of a Nice Jewish Guys wall calendar. Unfortunately, it appears the brand didn’t make one for 2022, but since this is likely a gag gift anyway, so be it if you’re a couple years behind! This definitely beats a bag of dreidels. And if these nice Jewish boys don’t make the cut, tell your pal to turn to the Hot Guys Wall Calendar 2022 instead!
For the Plant-Based Pal Who Loves to Entertain
Pulp Panty DIY Plant-Based Charcuterie Kit: $45 (additional cheeses are $18 each)
Pulp Pantry makes arguably some of the tastiest chips on the planet, so I have great faith in their cheese. Their chips are vegan, grain-free and paleo-friendly, made from fresh vegetable juice pulp. And as for their cheeses (there are four to choose from: Herb Dill, Mozzarella, Truffle and Smokehouse), they teamed up with The Vreamery, an award-winning California plant-based cheese maker, to make this magic happen. Each kit comes with four chip packs and the formula to easily make the cheese of your choice. Additionally, the brand provides a video to make your board stand out. Each kit is aimed to serve five people!
For the Lover of Layering
Necklet Triple Layering Clasp: $42
Layering jewelry is all the rage right now, and understandably so. Don’t we all feel naked without chains hanging from our neck and rings stacked on our fingers? Accessorizing completes even the simplest of outfits, but sometimes it’s frustrating to layer necklaces because they get so easily tangled. If you know someone who’s an accessorizing queen, they’ll surely appreciate Necklet’s innovative triple layering clasp that easily spaces apart three different pieces. With silver, gold and rose gold to choose from, the necklet will match your recipient’s metal of choice.
*Black Friday: PREBF at checkout for 15% off
For the Lover of Fragrance
Marianella Create Your Own Essential Oil Blend: $48
Fragrances are one of the most personal things you can buy for someone—but if you have a sense of scents your gift recipient is into, a custom-made essential oil could be really special. Once you do some digging (or simply go with universally loved notes like lavender and citrus), let Marianella do the rest. The great thing about leaving the process in their hands is they’ll know just how much of each note to use to create the ideal aroma. Their scented options also come with extremely detailed descriptions, so even if you know nothing about this stuff, you won’t be lost.
*Black Friday: up to 40% off storewide
For the Candle Collector
Otherland Alpine Crystal Candle: $36
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but since last year, I’ve gravitated more toward winter scents than fall. Fall scents used to complete me, but the crispness of winter scents truly eases my soul. If you know someone who shares those sentiments, opt for swooping up Otherland’s brand new Alpine Crystal candle—part of their six-part Adorned seasonal collection. This fresh-scented candle smells like walking outside on a brisk winter day. Made with juniper sprig, icy tonic and lemon fizz aromas, there’s a feeling of lightness your recipient will embrace with one swift smell!
Need more gift-giving inspo? Click HERE for 10 fun bathroom buys that make the best stocking stuffers!