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With additional reporting from Diana Spalding
We get it. You want to give ever member of your family unique holiday gifts that show them just how much you care about them, but also ones that you're sure they'll love to open. But #momlife has made it hard to stay on top of the latest trends. (Been there, done that, mama.)
Luckily, our editors have been scouring the internet for the most beautiful, thoughtful and unique gifts to share with your family. From family game nights and international treats to the coziest blankets and stylish dog bling, there's something to please everyone.
Check out our favorite unique holiday gifts below!
Alltruist creates monthly volunteer and giving projects that the entire family can participate in–right from your own kitchen table. Each box is curated around a central theme like homelessness, hunger or saving the bees and presents them in a way that informs and empowers even the youngest members of the family. Talk about a gift that gives back!
When winter comes, it gets dark and cold quickly—and we all feel the impact of it emotionally. Like a sunny day, bright light exposure can support your mood, energy and sleep patterns. The non-UV light therapy lamp from Verilux emits full-spectrum light that mimics sunlight on the days you need a little pick-me-up. Choose from three different light colors, a range of brightness and even set a timer to be sure you’ve got the right dose.
Forget the Millennium Falcon. THIS is the mega Lego set that dreams are made of. A mind-bogglingly detailed version of the McAllister home complete with booby traps and iconic scenes from the holiday classic, it might take three Christmas breaks to assemble. To quote Kevin, all I can say is “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve encountered the Solo Stove while scrolling, or even IRL at a backyard party. Their innovative and portable stainless steel fire pits turn any backyard, deck or patio into the coziest outdoor living room for family hangs. Not only does it give you Eagle Scout-level fire-starting abilities, it also produces very little smoke and keeps the air flowing so all you have to do is add more logs—no tedious tending required.
The beauty of Cricut is that you don’t have to be a DIY rockstar to feel like one. Their powerful and innovative die-cut machines crack open a limitless world of crafty possibilities, allowing you to create everything from wall art and personalized gifts for your kids’ teachers to party favors and home decor. Customize T-shirts in minutes, help your kiddo bang out the most impressive school projects, and always have a hostess gift at the ready. Honestly, the more you use it, the more addicting it becomes. (Sorry, not sorry.) There are several different machines to choose from depending on your level of expertise and materials you want to work with but if you’re just getting started, you can’t go wrong with the Explore 3. It can cut over 100 different kinds of materials and comes with six great tools to get you going. Through their free app Design Space you can find thousands of images for your projects or even upload your own to create one-of-a-kind crafts and keepsakes. Step aside, Martha. There’s a new craft maven in town.
The family that ‘fits together, stays together. The quality, colorful sweatsuits from STADIUM come in a rainbow of offerings for the littles and the bigs in your crew. Their timeless streetwear style combines with eco-friendly fabric to craft a luxe and cozy look that they’ll want to live in all season long.
Prices start at $99
The Filament Lamp Kit from Sculpd comes with everything you need to create a functional piece of artwork the entire family will admire. Use the air dry clay and included tools to create a base that’s as simple or intricate as you like and finish it off with an optional coat of paint. Happy sculpting!
It’s a science project, family pet and herb garden all in one! Back to the Roots water garden might be the coolest way to house a beta fish we’ve ever seen. The set up is simple and super fun to watch sprouts appear in just a matter of days. And since the plants make it self-cleaning, it’s not adding another chore to your list. Win win!
Taking a bazillion photos is great but they’re far less fun just sitting in the cloud. HP’s portable printer can take your greatest hits and put them in your hand in an instant.
Everything about Jiggy Puzzles is just *chef’s kiss*. From their gorgeous artwork created by women artists all over the world to their stunning packaging and quality materials, it’s nearly impossible to pick just one. (So don’t. Pick like two. Or ten.)
Eastern Standard Provisions, the Boston-based company that makes the best soft pretzels ever puts together irresistible collections of family-night goodies complete with artfully-crafted flavored salts. Sunday night football just got far more delicious.
If Taco Tuesday is a regular installment on the family calendar, the Holy Guacamole set from Casa Mia makes it even more exciting. With a bamboo chip & dip bowl, four bamboo appetizer plates and matching napkins, it’s perfect for parties or just the regular crew.
Bokksu offers curated boxes of high-quality authentic Japanese snacks that are the perfect intersection of curiosity and deliciousness. Each of the products is made by local snack and tea makers across Japan, including some 200-year old family businesses, and comes with an educational Culture Guide with details on the makers, prefectures of origin and more. How fun is that?
A command center that can also keep you entertained while you cook, clean, or hide from the rest of the household? Yes please. The Nest Hub Max from Google packs a ton of family-friendly functionality into a gorgeous 10 inch display with an impressive built-in sound system. From guiding you through recipes and making video calls to cranking the tunes or controlling all your paired smart home devices, it’s the personal assistant you always knew you needed.
Since the summer, bubble tea has become one of my family’s weekend obsessions. But like any fancy drink, the cost of a trip to the tea place can add up quickly. With the super cool kit from Tea Drops, you can make your own right at home! Instead of boring old tea bags, Tea Drops are organic ground leaf teas pressed into cute little shapes that completely dissolve in hot water. Add in the boba and pre-packed Copper Cow creamer and you’re good to go!
Remember paper dolls? Well, they are still around and cuter than ever. For a nostalgic gift that will inspire creativity, we love the paper dolls by Of Unusual Kind. Each kit comes with an assembled paper doll, two sheets of outfits and accessories, mini brads for assembly, and a storage envelope. In addition to being fun to play with, we think these will look great as decor on a shelf.
Like lighting and music, scent is a powerful way to shape your space into one that feels cozy and familiar. And as a self-professed home fragrance aficionado, I tried an embarrassing amount of diffusers before falling in love with the innovative design from Aromatherapy Associates London. The stunning ceramic diffuser uses essential oil alone (no water tank to get gross and slimy) to quietly infuse the air and turn any room of the house into your own personal spa. (Just close your eyes and ignore that laundry in the corner.) What’s more, it’s completely portable so you can up and relocate the second a needy kiddo intrudes to harsh your vibe. (Well, a girl can dream, right?)
I’ve never been snuggled by a soft and kindly polar bear, but I suspect it feels a lot like climbing under Unhide’s Marshmallow Blanket. Their vegan-friendly luxe throws are made from a plush faux fur that looks as good as it feels. And since it’s actually huge (as big as a queen size quilt!) both of my giant kids can snuggle with me and not start a war over whose feet aren’t covered.
Can an electric kettle be sexy? Because I mean, just look at this beauty from Fellow. The modern + minimal design has total Swedish vibes but was actually designed in California and is used in barista competitions across the US. Want to work it like the pros? The precision heating ensures the optimal temps for brewing the most perfect cup of tea or coffee.
This quick thinking matching game is a super fun addition to game night. There are several different ways to play, but they’re each simple, engaging and easy to learn. Just be the first to match your picture card to the clue card and you’ve won the round. But because “matching” is a loose term, get ready to think on your toes!
Ball pits are ridiculously fun—but if we’re being honest, those bright colors can sometimes clash a bit with our decor. Enter Crate&kids to save the day (per usual). This felt pit houses beautiful balls in shades of blue making it fun and stylish as well.
The past couple years have caused many parents to re-think education, and we’ve seen a real trend: More time outside is key. This beautiful book is filled with games, crafts and activities that will get your young learners outdoors and excited to be in nature. We think you’ll have a pretty good time playing, too.
Delight the snail-mail fan in your life with this beautiful and elegant stationery set. Its vintage detailing will inspire the most beautiful letters (which hopefully will be sent to you, telling you how much they love your gift!).
You spend so much time searching for the perfect gift for your partner, but really what they want is more time with you. Infuse date nights with excitement and fresh energy with this fun and beautiful game designed by relationship and intimacy guru Esther Perel. Through prompt cards that set the mood and direction (ex. “Share something crazy”) and story cards that provide the first line of an answer (ex. “A phone number I need to delete…”) you’re guaranteed to learn something new and thrilling no matter how many times you’ve heard their best stories. Get ready for instant memories and enhanced connection.
For the friend who could use a reminder that she is protected and not alone, this snake-shaped cuff is a stunning and perfect combination of subtle and bold. Made of gold plated brass and clear cubic zirconia starburst, she can wear this while lounging at home or out on the town.
Anyone else desperately missing time with grandparents these past years? Help them stay connected to your kids with this pen pal kit that provides prompts for writing really meaningful notes and cute bonding activities. Physically distant: yes, socially distant, never.
Even if you aren’t traveling this holiday season, it doesn’t mean you can’t share the gift of iconic local food. Send them their favorite dish from their favorite restaurant with Goldbelly! And don’t forget to order yourself your favorite cheesecake for Christmas Eve. You deserve it.
Okay, so probably don’t buy this for like, your boss. But, for the right person, we think this could be the perfect gift. Check out the stellar reviews it gets! This understated yet powerful little bidet attaches to their toilet easily and will help them feel clean and refreshed. (We’re trying so hard to leave out the 2020 jokes on this one.)
We all know people who take tons of photos, but never have the time to print or frame them. Frameology takes the guesswork out of decorating, making it easier than ever to display sweet photos. Simply pick a frame, upload a picture and they’ll deliver it ready to hang or sit on a shelf—perfect for grandparents. And we love that they’ll handwrite a note if you send as a gift!
These hand-collected river rocks from Honduras are gorgeously turned into flower holders. Simply place the stems into the holes and brace yourself for the understated beauty of nature, indoors.
Does gifting perfume sound far too risky? Thanks to some serious ingenuity at Skylar, it’s about to become your go-to gift. Their Scent Experience package allows you to send a sample set of six mini sprays along with a gift card, so your giftee can find their favorite scent and then order a full-size bottle (Isle is my personal fave). It’s thoughtful, fun and totally customizable.
Give them the gift of never wreaking a tooth on a popcorn kernel again! Seriously this thing is genius (and really pretty, too). The colander shaped bowl allows kernels to fall to the bottom, leaving you with perfectly popped popcorn every time.
For your favorite pet enthusiast (or your favorite pet), look no further than Foggy Doggy for the most adorable collars, leashes and pet accessories. Your stylish pup will be ready for the catwalk in no time. Even better? With every purchase, Foggy Doggy will donate half a pound of food to rescue shelters across America.
Whether its in the depths of the woods or in your own backyard, this giant hammock will be an instant hit. It’s big enough to hold three adults or six kids—but no judgment if you don’t want to share—and built to last.
This (beautiful) cast iron pot goes right on the stove (without the lid) and allows you (I mean… your giftee, of course) to make delicious noodle dishes, sukiyaki, soups, curries, stews and shabu-shabu.
Infused with hemp extract (CBD) and the adaptogens Ginseng, Schisandra and L-theanine, Recess is a canned beverage crafted to help you chill. It’s got a sort of Kombucha-like taste to it (funky and great) and comes in six flavors: black cherry, blackberry chai, blood orange, coconut lime, peach ginger and pomegranate hibiscus.
For the environmentally conscious giftee, look no further than this super unique window solar panel phone charger. It couldn’t be easier to use (I have one hanging in my window right now). With 10 hours of sunlight, it becomes fully charged and can then be used to charge your phone. It’s fun and great for the planet—win win.
For your friend that is obsessed with margaritas, mimosas or just fresh orange juice, the juicer from Verve Culture is perfect. It gets every drop of precious juice out while catching the seeds. Plus, it looks beautiful on display between uses.
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