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). We’ve double-checked shipping dates, and everything featured should arrive by Christmas, but if you see something you like, don’t dillydally.
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 has a Spotify playlist for every occasion, we recommend this vinyl record player with bluetooth. Find more gifts for sisters here.
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 this bamboo bedding set. Find more gifts for girlfriends 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. This cast iron dutch oven is a great choice for the wife who lusts after Le Creuset. Find more gifts for wives here.
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.
We 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 incense burner is a great gift for your friend who just got on the property ladder. Find more gifts under £10 here.
No matter who you’re buying for, a great gift needn’t break the bank. In fact, an inexpensive token might be just the thing for some of the people in your life this year, whether you’re shopping for your favourite aunt or the colleague you used to grab lunch with. For your new boyfriend, this practical and stylish Carhartt hat will go down a treat. Find more gifts for under £20 here.
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.
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.
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.
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 girlfriend who has an ear stack, try these recycled silver earrings from Loveness Lee. 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.
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.
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.
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). Chef and author Mateo Zielonka recommended buying a Chitarra pasta cutter for the pasta enthusiast in your life. Find more gifts for pasta lovers 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 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.
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.
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.
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 your kid loves spending time outdoors, this sand and water table is the perfect gift for imaginative play. Find more gifts for 3-year-olds here.
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.
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.
We rounded up some of our favourite products we’ve been writing about at the Strategist UK, all of which are under 20 quid, so you can gift something special or interesting (or both!) this Christmas. This raccoon plant animal is a fun gift that’s slim enough to slip into a Christmas card. Find more Strategist-approved stocking stuffers here.
The length of your “still to buy for” list might be instilling a bit of panic. Luckily, our guide to last-minute gifts, all of which you can pick up on Amazon, will make the season a total breeze. For the sister-in-law who’s a budding artist, Illustrator and Strategist contributor Natalya Lobanova recommended this watercolour set. Find more last-minute gifts here.
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.
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.
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.
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. From your new boyfriend’s family to the perfect gift for your (new) godson, we found a trove of giftable products, all made by Black artists or sold by Black businesses. This starter set for curly hair by Bouclème comes recommended by author and Strategist contributor Louise Hare. Find more gifts from Black-owned businesses here.