The holidays can be a stressful time even in the most ordinary of years, and with so much else going on in 2020, we think there’s no reason for you to spend unnecessary time (or money) worrying about finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list. So we did all the research for you, and put all of our holiday coverage together in one place. We’ve put together gift guides at price points as low as £10, uncovered the very best versions of the most popular gifts, and even asked notoriously hard-to-shop-for people — like tarot readers and new mums — exactly what they want so you can knock it out of the park. So whether you’re looking for something to gift your cousin who just started (remote) college, your world-travelling dad (who is stuck at home), or your child’s teacher, here is a guide to the best Strategist-approved gifts for every single person on your list.
One thing to keep in mind: Like so much else that is out of the ordinary right now, holiday shopping is gearing up to look very different this year. Most people are ordering their gifts online, and concerns about shipping delays are already on the horizon, so if you see something you like, don’t dillydally. Remember: the last post date for Christmas is Monday, December 21, for first-class mail (and Wednesday, December 23, for special delivery).
It’s important to remember, no matter who you’re buying for, you don’t need to break the bank. So we’ve put together the best gifts you can buy online that all come in an under a tenner, like this massage ball, for your friend who works from bed. Find more gifts under £10 here.
What to get for your Secret Santa? What do you buy your 8-year-old godchild? We’ve got plenty of suggestions, none of them over £20, like this Deep Sleep Pillow Spray by This Works – perfect for a frazzled sister in law. Find more gifts under £20 here.
The Best Gifts for Every Type of Person (That Happen to Be From Black-Owned Businesses)
Consider getting your gifts from Black-owned businesses this year. We looked through our directory of Black-owned businesses (you can see the full list here) to find gifts for every type of person on your list. London soapmakers Soapsmiths have plenty of options (although their Christmas-scented soap has sold out). Why not try the equally delicious Brick Lane soap? Find more gifts from Black-owned businesses here.
Whether you borrowed her clothes growing up (or whether she borrowed yours), if you’re looking for a gift for your sister, you’ll likely want to get her something special. What about this almond and milk hand cream by Burt’s Bees?
We’ve got you covered for every kind of brother, from the big brother (who still acts like a big kid) to the little brother who keeps his box-fresh trainers as pristine as possible. If your brother still uses a manual toothbrush, give the gift of oscillation with this Oral-B Cross-Action electric toothbrush. Find more gifts for brothers here.
Whether you’ve just started dating or you’ve been together for 15 years, buying a present for your girlfriend can be fraught. How do you express universal sentiments such as ‘I love and respect you’ while also avoiding the generic? It’s hard to go wrong with these pure linen sheets. Find more gifts for girlfriends here.
We’ve put our heads together to source the best kinds of gift for any mum, from glam mums to outdoorsy mums via book-club mums and “I don’t want anything” mums. This lovely Le Creuset teapot in a cheerful colour is a good place to start. Find more gifts for mums here.
We put our heads together to source the best kinds of gifts for any dad, from cheffy dads to outdoorsy dads, via golf dads and “got your nose” dads (you know the ones) If your dad is a coffee dad – what about this De’Longhi espresso machine? Find more gifts for dads here.
From complex boyfriends to coffee-snob boyfriends, from boyfriends who love tacos to boyfriends who heard that, actually, they’re saying five a day isn’t enough now and you actually need ten portions of fruit and/or veggies. We’ve got you covered, with recommendations that include this Caran D’Ache pen (for the boyfriend who lurks on r/pens). Find more gifts for boyfriends here.
At 6 months old, babies can’t thank you for a well-considered gift, but they can make eye contact, grasp objects in their little hands, and smile back at you. Because they grow and learn through play, the best gifts for 6-month-olds will both nurture their development and keep them engaged. The No. 1 recommendation, which came by name from all three of our experts is a book called Baby Faces by Margaret Miller. Find more gifts for 6-month-olds here.
One-year-olds are developing rapidly, so the best gifts are things that will delight them in new ways as they become more dexterous and begin to master new skills. Our experts agree that a musical instrument – like this like this Baby Einstein magic-touch wooden piano – will help toddlers develop hand-eye coordination and learn about cause and effect. Find more gifts for one-year-olds here.
Two-year-olds have boundless curiosity but only short attention spans, so focus on gifts that will spark their imaginations. Lisa Clegg, author of The Blissful Toddler Expert, says 2-year-olds will love learning how to roll a ball with a bowling set like these animal skittles. Find more gifts for two-year-olds here.
Three-year-olds have a reputation for being tricky customers. “It can be a time of strong wills and growing personalities,” says Siobhan Freegard, founder of parenting video network ChannelMum.com. “The parents in our community often refer to 3-year-olds as ‘threenagers.’ But three is a wonderful age, as children are developing their own interests – and aren’t afraid to tell you what they want. It’s a brilliant opportunity to choose a truly personalised gift.” If you kid loves soft toys, this Wooster Pull Along Dog – with a fetching red lead – would be perfect.
We asked eleven parenting and child experts — from play psychologists to parenting group founders — to put together an extensive list of gift ideas for 4-year-olds, from the best books to the best outdoor toys. Included is this paint stick activity kit – which one expert recommended as a less-messy alternative to paints. Find more gifts for four-year-olds here.
Kids this age will appreciate gifts that show you’ve been paying attention to their current likes and dislikes, so our 13 experts found something to suit everybody whether you’re shopping for a little scientist, an artist, a daredevil, or a bookworm. Nina Malone, founder of Dope Black Mums, says her daughter loves The ABCs of Black Girl Magic. Find more gifts for five-year-olds here.
To find out what to get the tarot lover in your life — whether a newbie or a master — we asked nine professional tarot readers and deck creators about their must-haves. Their picks include beautiful decks, candles, and the best online courses to deepen any tarot fan’s practice. Taschen’s TAROT book is a gorgeous full-colour volume that offers insight into over 500 different tarot-card designs, and would be an ideal gift for beginners and experts. Find more gifts for tarot readers here.
It can be tricky enough finding a gift for the partner you see all the time, but it’s often even more complicated when the relationship is long distance. With more couples than ever likely to be separated this holiday season thanks to various travel bans and caps on households mingling, we spoke to seven people in long-distance relationships, from a couple who’ve been dating for eight months to a couple who’ve been together for 12 years to find out the best gifts to give your partner – like an Uber Eats gift card, which won’t get lost in the post (and will definitely arrive for Christmas). Find more gifts for long-distance couples here.
Whether you love interiors, architecture, plant life, or Britpop, there’s a coffee-table book for everyone’s taste. They’re also a good option for a last-minute gift – like The New Black Vanguard, which uses powerful images from artists like Campbell Addy to Tyler Mitchell (the first Black photographer hired to shoot a cover story for American Vogue). Find more (highly giftable) coffee table books here.
Whether you’re buying for someone else or just treating yourself on pay day, luxury items are always a splurge. But our favourite flex at the moment is finding great thrifty options from designer brands — from a fashion house’s tasteful deodorant to a keychain from the cultiest blanket brand. We are taken with this Barbour wax dog coat: for the hound who has it all. Find more (cheap, luxurious) gifts here.
We called up 33 people in our contacts book — including beauty directors, podcast hosts, jewelry designers, and models, for their recommendations for the most perfect gift. But because it’s been a particularly difficult year, and extravagant gift-buying seems ill-suited for our current moment, we added a stipulation: It had to cost under £10. Loretta de Feo, owner of Dizziak suggested this book by Zadie Smith. Find more tasteful gifts (under £10.40) here.
With Christmas looking (and feeling) different this year for many of us, it’s understandable if you haven’t even got round to finishing your shopping yet. Luckily, our guide to last-minute gifts, all of which you can pick up on Amazon, will make the season a total breeze – like this bergamot-infused hand and body wash from Malin+Goetz. Find more last-minute gifts here.
11 Highly Giftable Chess Sets (That You Can Buy on Amazon)
If you know a ludophile on your list (whether they’re a seasoned chess player, a rookie who picked it up in quarantine, or simply a fan of The Queen’s Gambit) — then a hyperspecific chess board would make for a thoughtful gift. This 7-in-1 chess set includes chess, draughts, ludo, snakes and ladders, noughts and crosses, backgammon, and Chinese checkers. Find more highly-giftable chess sets here.
32 Strategist-Approved Stocking Stuffers (That Are Under £20)
No matter who you’re buying for this Christmas, it’s important to remember you don’t need to shell out on something totally lavish (something that’s never been truer in 2020). We rounded up some delightful stocking stuffers – such as this bottle of West Indian Cocktail Bitters – which would be perfect for anyone on your list who is partial to an Old Fashioned. Find more stocking-stuffers here.
The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.