gift guide

Every Holiday Gift Guide From the Strategist UK — in One Place

Photo: Joe Lingeman

The holidays can be a stressful time even in the most ordinary of years, and with so much else going on in 2021, 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 baristas and brand-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 their second year of college (but their first year in IRL classes), your world-travelling dad (who is rebooking all his cancelled flights from 2020), 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: Holiday shopping is gearing up to look very different this year due to the current supply-chain crisis. One supply-chain issue that we anticipate affects products which contain microchips, from Nintendos to sex toys (a lesser-publicized casualty of the microchip shortage). 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.

The Best Gifts for Sisters

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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. For the sister who just became a homeowner, we recommend this Studio Ghibli poster, along with a stylish frame. Find more gifts for sisters here.

The Best Gifts for Brothers

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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.

The Best Gifts for Every Type of Girlfriend

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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 this bamboo bedding set. Find more gifts for girlfriends here.

The 36 Best Gifts (That You Can Buy on Amazon) for Every Type of Boyfriend

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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.

The 31 Best Gifts (That You Can Buy on Amazon) for Every Type of Mum

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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 set of porcelain espresso cups in blue is a good place to start. Find more gifts for mums here.

The 46 Best Gifts (That You Can Buy on Amazon) for Every Type of Dad

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We sourced 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.

35 Gifts for Every Type of Husband (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

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To try and make shopping for your spouse easier this year, we’ve rounded up picks (and gone through our archives) to find suggestions for all kinds of husbands — from those who swear they don’t want anything to the ones who have developed a new hobby over the past year, like bird-watching or pastry-making. For the husband who never charges the Dyson, we recommend this robot vacuum by eufy. Find more gifts for husbands here.

31 Gifts for Every Type of Wife (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

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Whether you’re a newlywed, or you’ve been in a partnership for years, it’s been a strange time to be in a long-term relationship. What do you get for the person that you’ve spent the most time with over the past year? How do you say “I’m glad we got through this together” on a budget? Whatever their interests, we’re here to help. We suggest Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR on vinyl so she can scream along to “good 4 u” on wax. Find more gifts for wives here.

21 Best Gifts Under £5 (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

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Whether you’re buying a Secret Santa gift or a stocking stuffer, it can be tricky to find something for less than £5 that’s not, well, tat. Luckily, we are expert shoppers at the Strategist UK. We’ve scoured Amazon (and our archives) to find 21 gifts, all under £5, for even the pickiest of giftees. For the brother who keeps losing his AirPods, we recommend this tiny IKEA bag coin purse. Find more gifts under £5 here.

32 Gifts Under £10 (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

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We’ve been meticulously writing about the best gifts for everyone in your life at the Strategist UK, so we’ve put together the best gifts you can buy online that all come in under a tenner, from something for a Pokémon-loving nephew, to the perfect choice for a (still) working-from-home dad. This Hydroponic Vase is a great gift for someone who can propagate almost anything. Find more gifts under £10 here.

The Best Gifts for Artists, According to Artists

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We reached out to several artists — from sculptors, painters, illustrators, and even a curator — to help you choose the perfect gift for the art aficionado in your life. From the best practical gifts to the most inspiring art books to some less-expected items, too — you’ll definitely find something to impress and delight your creative friends. If you love a practical gift, Jules Scheele, an illustrator and comic artist, suggests this sturdy drawing board from Cowling and Wilcox. Find more gifts for artists here.

The Best Gifts for Writers, According to Writers

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This gift guide includes recommendations from novelists, poets, writing coaches, and essayists, so you’ll be sure to find something that suits the writer in your life. Parul Bavishi, founder of the London Writers Salon, suggests this Waterman fountain pen for a gift that is both beautiful and timeless. Find more gifts for writers here.

The Best Tech Gifts to Buy This Year (Before They Sell Out)

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If you’re not a tech person, it can be hard to keep up with the hottest new gadgets. For the past 27 years the Consumer Technology Association has produced an annual report on consumer-technology holiday-purchasing patterns. We spoke with Lesley Rohrbaugh, the research director at the CTA, to round up the must-have recommendations in tech this year. This Lenovo Chromebook Duet is ideal if you’re looking for a tablet and laptop in one. Find more tech gifts here.

The 17 Best Gifts for Every Type of Person (That Happen to Be From ESEA-Owned Businesses)

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We’ve found gifts for a friend who’s just switched jobs, to presents for a recently moved-out sister, all from ESEA-owned businesses. For the friend whose showstopper would earn them star baker, try these satin-lined oven mitts from Floetry. Find more gifts for every type of person here, and when you’re done make sure to also take a look at our more extensive guide of 36 ESEA-owned businesses to shop.

The Best Gifts for Frequent Travellers, According to Frequent Travellers

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We’ve listed gift ideas from eight frequent fliers — including ardent solo travellers, an outdoorsy hiker, and a mum well-versed in taking a toddler abroad — guaranteed to help your travelling friends get on with the best part of going away: making other people jealous. Travel content creator Rosie Providence said this Flat Lay Company makeup bag is “one of the best inventions of recent years.” Find more gifts for frequent travellers here.

The Best Subscription Services for Every Kind of Person (That Also Make Great Gifts)

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We’ve researched the best giftable subscriptions for every kind of person, whether they’re an avid pasta lover, busy parent, or someone who just wants a really good pair of socks. For the friend whose home should be in Architectural Digest, this interior-design box contains four full-size home accessories you can purchase as a one-off or as a monthly subscription. Find more giftable subscription services here.

The Best Gifts for People Who Love Pasta, According to Pasta Chefs

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We spoke to six pasta chefs about the best gifts for anyone who loves pasta. Our experts’ suggestions ranged from pasta-makers themselves to inexpensive tools that could be used elsewhere in the kitchen (as anyone who likes making their own cacio e pepe is likely to enjoy cooking other dishes too). This pasta cutter was recommended as a highly giftable tool for a pasta enthusiast. Find more gifts for pasta lovers here.

The Best Gifts for 6-Month-Olds, According to Experts

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 number one 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.

The Best Gifts for 1-Year-Olds, According to Experts

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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 1-year-olds here.

The Best Gifts for 2-Year-Olds, According to Experts

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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 2-year-olds here.

The Best Gifts For 3-Year-Olds, According to Experts

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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. Find more gifts for 3-year-olds here.

The Best Gifts for 4-Year-Olds, According to Experts

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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. We recommend this paint-stick activity kit – which one expert recommended as a less-messy alternative to paints. Find more gifts for 4-year-olds here.

The Best Gifts for 5-Year-Olds, According to Experts

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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 5-year-olds here.

The 39 Best E-Gift Cards for Every Type of Person

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We scoured the internet to find an e-gift card suitable for absolutely every type of person. Our 39 finds range from picks for teens and food-and-drink lovers to ones for gamers and kids. If you know someone looking for a pair of stylish new glasses, we recommend this Ace & Tate e-gift card. Find more e-gift cards for every type of person here.

The Best Gifts for Tarot Readers, According to Tarot Readers

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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.

The Best Gifts for Astrologers, According to Astrologers

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To find out what to get the astrology enthusiast in your life, we asked nine professional astrologers about what’s on their personal wish lists. Astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo recommended The Astrology of Love and Sex by Annabel Gat. Find more gifts for astrologers here.

The 24 Best Gifts for Every Type of Person (That Happen to Be From Black-Owned Businesses)

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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. This Christmas they’ve launched a Dirty Sugar soap in collaboration with Crosstown, with a scent inspired by Crosstown’s Tongan Vanilla Bean Doughnut. We also recommend the equally delicious Brick Lane soap made with coconut butters. Find more gifts from Black-owned businesses here.

The Best Gifts for Long-Distance Couples, According to Long-Distance Couples

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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. 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.

21 Highly Giftable Coffee-Table Books (That You Can Buy on Amazon)

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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.

The Cheapest, Nicest Gifts From the Most Expensive Brands

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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.

The Best Gifts for Whiskey Drinkers, According to Bartenders

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We asked 13 whiskey experts across a number of disciplines — from luxury buyers to award-winning bartenders to celebrated restaurateurs — a simple question: What would you give to someone who loves whiskey? Max Venning, co-founder of Dalston cocktail bar Three Sheets, suggested this Whiskey Me subscription. Find more gifts for whiskey drinkers here.