23 Great Gifts We're Giving in 2019

University of Chicago Press / Duke Cannon / Amazon
University of Chicago Press / Duke Cannon / Amazon

There are a lot of gifts to be bought this time of year, but you don't want to give the people in your life the same ol' presents they've already seen countless times. So, we thought we’d help you out a bit by sharing a few of the things we plan on gifting this season. From comfy slippers your giftee will never want to take off to unique cosmetics and travel accessories, we think you'll find something for everyone (or yourself) on this list.

1. Sylfairy Growth Chart; $9

Sylfairy / Amazon

For relatives with little people in their lives, this oversized ruler helps chart their growth spurts without marking up doorways. —Jake Rossen, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

2. KitchenTour Clean and Dirty Magnets; $7

Kitchentour / Amazon

For couples who turn debates over whether dishwasher contents are clean or dirty into a marriage-threatening catastrophe, this magnet set could literally change the course of their lives. —J.R.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Cryptex Brain Teaser; $35

Cryptex / Amazon

For the know-it-alls in the family who are too picky to buy for and just want cash, now you can make them test their puzzle-solving aptitude before scoring dough. —J.R.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Marginalia Paraphernalia Enamel Pins; $6–$11

Birch Box

Alison Atkin creates enamel pins and more inspired by wonderfully absurd illustrations in the margins of medieval texts. Choose from jousting bunnies, a man with a trumpet coming out of his butt, nuns picking penises off a tree, and other delights. Sure to please the hard-to-buy-for medieval scholars in your life. —Bess Lovejoy, Staff Editor

Buy it: Birch Bark

5. The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands; $30

Huw Lewis-Jones / Amazon

If I'm giving a book as a gift, I like it to be something that will impress the recipient as soon as they open it. This coffee table book from Huw Lewis-Jones is filled with stunning illustrations of lands from epic novels, comic books, and nursery rhymes. In between the literary maps, the book features essays from the authors and illustrators who brought the worlds to life. —Michele Debczak, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

6. Crystal-Growing Hedgehog; $15

Fat Brain Toys / Amazon

This crystal-growing hedgehog is like a Chia Pet for the budding chemist in your family. Just submerge the toy figure into a special solution and wait a day for a cluster of spiky, colorful crystals to appear on its back. It's meant for kids, but I definitely wouldn't be mad to find one in my Christmas stocking. —M.D.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Binh Minh Shawl; $27

Marquet / Amazon

This silk-and-cotton shawl made by a Vietnamese weaving collective has just the right weight and texture to add a glamorous layer to any outfit. Perfect for anyone who could use a dose of (responsibly sourced) glamour.—B.L.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Dr. PawPaw Original Balm; $10

Dr. Paw Paw / Amazon

I'm obsessed with this multipurpose, papaya-infused balm, which leaves lips and skin well-moisturized and soft. The balm comes in multiple colors (which can be used as lip gloss and blush), but I'll be gifting everyone the original or shea butter balm in their stockings. —Erin McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief

Buy it: Amazon

9. Glerups Shoe; $135

Glerups

Holiday season is hygge season, and there's nothing cozier than these Glerups slippers. Even though they're made of wool, they're not itchy, and the felt forms to the wearer's foot, so the fit is perfect. The wool wicks away moisture, keeping feet warm and dry. Plus, they have a rubber sole, which means they can be worn outside—making them perfect for all the dog walkers on my list. —E.M.

Buy it: Glerups

10. Seirus Heattouch Glow Ladies Glove; $330

Seirus

My mom has Reynaud's Disease, which means her fingers are always cold. So this year, my brother and I went halfsies on these gloves from Seirus. They have a flexible heat panel that heats the back of the hand and the fingers. The batteries are also really thin, and depending on the setting, can provide up to six hours of heat to every frosty digit. —E.M.

Buy it: Seirus

11. Polish Pottery Mug; $28

Polish Pottery Gallery / Amazon

A hand-painted Polish pottery mug brings a touch of timelessness and elegance to anyone’s daily caffeine routine, and the delicate design on this one will probably make the recipient want to display it prominently on their desk even when they’re not using it. —Ellen Gutoskey, Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

12. CouchCoaster Drink Holder; $25

CouchCoaster / Amazon

This weighted drink holder that rests on the arm of the couch is perfect for people who don’t have a coffee table at all, or just don’t want to have to reach forward to retrieve their drink every time they want a sip of it. —E.G.

Buy it: Amazon

13. Lasko Personal Heater; $20

Lasko / Amazon

Know someone who’s often complaining about the near-Arctic temperatures in their office? This 6-inch desktop heater will keep them rosy-cheeked and productive, no matter the season. —E.G.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Glazed Turquoise Plant Pots; $8–$15

World Market

These versatile plant pots can take one's desk at work from boring to brilliant. The deep turquoise glaze goes really well with purplish foliage as well as light-green ferns or succulents, and the two sizes will fit most small houseplants. —Kat Long, Science Editor

Buy it: World Market

15. WOW Skincare Science Foaming Face wash; $17

Buywow / Amazon

Skincare addicts on my list are getting this face wash, which is made with natural ingredients (it's infused with apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, and vitamins B5 & E) and great for sensitive skin.—E.M.

Buy it: Amazon

16. Blissy Sleep Mask; $40

Blissy

Frequent flyers will love these Blissy's silk sleep masks. They're handmade, come in white, black, gold, pink, and marble, and have their own travel pouch. The silk won't irritate the skin, and they hug your face without being too clingy. Who says sleeping on a plane can't be luxurious? —E.M.

Buy it: Blissy

17. Duke Cannon "Great American Frontier" Soap: $27

Duke Cannon / Amazon

If you’ve ever used a bar of Duke Cannon soap, you know it comes in a rectangular hunk that is nearly the size of a car battery. The bold look also carries over to the scents, which tend to favor stronger, earthier tones that make you feel like some sort of frontiersperson (the bar infused with Buffalo Trace whiskey is my personal favorite.). If I'm buying for someone that fits this niche, I go for this variety pack of three bars—one has the characteristics of tobacco and leather, another smells of pine, and the other is like taking a whiff from a bonfire. —Jay Serafino, Special Projects Editor

Buy it: Amazon

18. Plugable Digital Microscope; $40

Plugable / Amazon

I’ll be the cool aunt when I get all the curious kids I know this digital microscope, which plugs into a computer via USB and comes with a suction cup stand. Set up is super easy—you just screw it together. The microscope has 250x magnification and an LED light with diffuser, so they’ll be able to get a clear, close look at whatever interests them, whether it’s geodes or bugs or microprocessors. —E.M.

Buy it: Amazon

19. Backcountry Rockport Seawool Flannel Shirt; $100

Backcountry

This thick flannel shirt from Backcountry will keep any guy you need to buy for—from dad to boyfriend—looking sharp and feeling cozy. Made of recycled seawool and polyester, it’s perfect for adventuring in cool weather (as one reviewer notes, it’s “somewhere between a button up flannel and a light jacket”), and it’s equipped with two chest pockets plus pockets on the side for hands. —E.M.

Buy it: Backcountry

20. Hoka One One Arkali; $200

Hoka

Hikers will be obsessed with this shoe, which is available in both men’s and women’s. It's lightweight, has great grip, and, with adjustable heel and ankle straps, it's customizable. One reviewer noted that they were comfortable out of the box and “definitely enhanced traction while scrambling and on steep/looser terrain.” Each comes in two colorways: One that’s more classic, and one with a fun, retro-feel. —E.M.

Buy it: Hoka One One (men's, women's)

21. AYRPlane Suit; $125

AYRP

As someone who travels a fair amount for work, I find that there’s nothing worse than being uncomfortable on a plane—so I’m gifting myself the AYRplane Suit this Christmas. Described as “basically street-legal pajamas,” this set is made with pima cotton, modal, and spandex, and it’s not only comfy—it’s also cute. I’ll be donning it to travel to California for the holidays with my family. Merry Christmas to me! —E.M.

Buy it: AYR (top, bottom)

22. REI Socks: $16

REI

Anyone who knows me knows that I go hiking any chance that I get. But nothing is worse than getting halfway up a mountain only to realize your socks aren't built for the trek. Luckily, I bought a few pairs of REI hiking socks a few years ago and have not had that issue since. So this year, I'll be giving these soft yet supportive socks. Even if someone isn't into the outdoors, they are ankle length, so they go with sneakers. —Kristen Richard, Associate Editor

Buy it: REI

23. FinalStraw; $25

FinalStraw

Like myself, my friends are very dependent on coffee. But with busy schedules, it's hard to remember to bring reusable straws everywhere you go. So as someone who wants to support my coffee-guzzling friends and the ocean, I'll be gifting these easy-to-clean steel straws. And it attaches to a keychain, so you'll never forget them. —K.R.

Buy it: Amazon

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14 Retro Gifts for Millennials

Ravi Palwe, Unsplash
Ravi Palwe, Unsplash

Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, which means the pop culture they grew up with is officially retro. No matter what generation you belong to, consider these gifts when shopping for the Millennials in your life this holiday season.

1. Reptar Funko Pop!; $29

Amazon

This vinyl Reptar figurine from Funko is as cool as anything you’d find in the rugrats’ toy box. The monster dinosaur has been redesigned in classic Pop! style, making it a perfect desk or shelf accessory for the grown-up Nickelodeon fan. It also glows in the dark, which should appeal to anyone’s inner child.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Dragon Ball Z Slippers; $20

Hot Topic

You don’t need to change out of your pajamas to feel like a Super Saiyan. These slippers are emblazoned with the same kanji Goku wears on his gi in Dragon Ball Z: one for training under King Kai and one for training with Master Roshi. And with a soft sherpa lining, the footwear feels as good as it looks.

Buy it: Hot Topic

3. The Pokémon Cookbook; $15

Hop Topic

What do you eat after a long day of training and catching Pokémon? Any dish in The Pokémon Cookbook is a great option. This book features more than 35 recipes inspired by creatures from the Pokémon franchise, including Poké Ball sushi rolls and mashed Meowth potatoes.

Buy it: Hot Topic

4. Lisa Frank Activity Book; $5

Urban Outfitters

Millennials will never be too old for Lisa Frank, especially when the artist’s playful designs come in a relaxing activity book. Watercolor brings the rainbow characters in this collection to life. Just gather some painting supplies and put on a podcast for a relaxing, nostalgia-fueled afternoon.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

5. Shoebox Tape Recorder with USB; $28

Amazon

The days of recording mix tapes don’t have to be over. This device looks and functions just like tape recorders from the pre-smartphone era. And with a USB port as well as a line-in jack and built-in mic, users can easily import their digital music collection onto retro cassette tapes.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Days of the Week Scrunchie Set; $12

Urban Outfitters

Millennials can be upset that a trend from their youth is old enough to be cool again, or they can embrace it. This scrunchie set is for anyone happy to see the return of the hair accessory. The soft knit ponytail holders come in a set of five—one for each day of the school (or work) week.

Buy it: Urban Outfitters

7. D&D Graphic T-shirt; $38-$48

80s Tees

The perfect gift for the Dungeon Master in your life, this graphic tee is modeled after the cover of the classic Dungeons & Dragons rule book. It’s available in sizes small through 3XL.

Buy it: 80s Tees

8. Chuck E. Cheese T-shirt; $36-$58

80s Tees

Few Millennials survived childhood without experiencing at least one birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. This retro T-shirt sports the brand’s original name: Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre. It may be the next-best gift for a Chuck E. Cheese fan behind a decommissioned animatronic.

Buy it: 80s Tees

9. The Nightmare Before Christmas Picnic Blanket Bag; $40

Shop Disney

Fans of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas will recognize the iconic scene on the front of this messenger bag. Unfold it and the bag becomes a blanket fit for a moonlit picnic among the pumpkins. The bottom side is waterproof and the top layer is made of soft fleece.

Buy it: Shop Disney

10. Toy Story Alien Socks; $15

Shop Disney

You don’t need to be skilled at the claw machine to take home a pair of these socks. Decorated with the aliens from Toy Story, they’re made from soft-knit fabric and are big enough to fit adult feet.

Buy it: Shop Disney

11. Goosebumps Board Game; $24

Amazon

Fans that read every book in R.L. Stine’s series growing up can now play the Goosebumps board game. In this game, based on the Goosebumps movie, players take on the role of their favorite monster from the series and race to the typewriter at the end of the trail of manuscripts.

Buy it: Amazon

12. Tamagotchi Mini; $19

Amazon

If you know someone who killed their Tamagotchi in the '90s, give them another chance to show off their digital pet-care skills. This Tamagotchi is a smaller, simplified version of the original game. It doubles as a keychain, so owners have no excuse to forget to feed their pet.

Buy it: Amazon

13. SNES Classic; $275

Amazon

The SNES Classic is much easier to find now than when it first came out, and it's still just as entertaining for retro video game fans. This mini console comes preloaded with 21 Nintendo games, including Super Mario Kart and Street Fighter II.

Buy it: Amazon

14. Planters Cheez Balls; $24

Amazon

Planters revived its Cheez Balls in 2018 after pulling them from shelves nearly a decade earlier. To Millennials unaware of that fact, this gift could be their dream come true. The throwback snack even comes in the classic canister fans remember.

Buy it: Amazon

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10 Great Gifts for Teens

Fjallraven/Polaroid
Fjallraven/Polaroid

If it’s been a few years since you were a teenager, you might be feeling at a loss when it comes to finding the perfect gift for the teen in your life. But you don’t have to worry—we’ve culled the internet to figure out what’s cool these days, and we found 10 items to suit any teen (and any price point).

1. Fjällräven Kånken Mini Classic Backpack for Everyday; $70

Fjällräven/Amazon

Fjällräven’s Kånken backpack was originally introduced in 1978 as an affordable and comfortable bag for Swedish schoolchildren, but it recently took off as a trend among American high schoolers and college students. With 43 different color options, chances are you’ll be able to find the perfect trendy backpack for the teen in your life.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Water Bottle; $30–$35

Hydro Flask/Amazon

Hydro Flasks aren’t only trendy, they’re sturdy and environmentally friendly. Plus, they keep hot drinks warm and icy drinks cool for an absurdly long amount of time. The standard-mouth water bottle is currently available on Amazon in 17 different colors, but the brand also offers tumbler cups and coffee mugs depending on your niece/nephew/cousin/friend/child’s preference.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Polaroid Originals OneStep+ Bluetooth-Connected Instant Film Camera; $140

Polaroid Originals/Amazon

Teens can kick it back old school with this Polaroid camera that hides some surprisingly contemporary features. Using a special app, users can fine-tune their camera settings to suit their personal tastes. Plus, this camera makes it possible to capture two scenes in a single frame, so it's that much easier to create uniquely artsy Polaroid pics.

Buy it: Amazon

4. 4th-Generation Echo Dot with Clock; $60

Amazon

Tech-wise, the fourth-generation Echo Dot is almost identical to its third-generation predecessor. But the updated spherical design seems poised to make the Echo Dot a worthy contender for traditional alarm clocks—the speaker face shows the time and it even includes a tap-to-snooze function for drowsy sleepers.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Bubble Tea Kit; $38

Uncommon Goods

Part of the reason bubble tea is so popular is that it’s customizable—and what could be more customizable than making it yourself? This kit, made by an Atlanta-based couple, comes with two reusable straws and enough supplies to make up to eight servings.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

6. Mixtape Card Game; $20

Uncommon Goods

This party game challenges players to find the perfect songs to suit specific prompts. Some cards might prompt players to use Spotify or Youtube to search for the songs with the best guitar solos, while other cards call for participants to play their “favorite slow dance love jam from junior high.” This game is sure to be a hit at any high school sleepover or house party—or, in true 2020 style, at any digital hangout or Zoom meeting.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

7. Giant Flour Tortilla Throw Blanket; $18-$35

Mermaker/Amazon

This goofy double-sided blanket turns any human into a giant-size burrito, and it comes in four different sizes to suit any height. One reviewer even went so far as to say that “once you wrap yourself in it, you will be convinced that you are a burrito.”

Buy it: Amazon

8. The Cup of Destiny; $22

Shelter Harbor Press/Amazon

Here’s a prediction: Your hunt for the perfect gift is almost over. This kit is ideal for the teenager who is fascinated by the supernatural and loves exploring new ideas. Included, you’ll find a 96-page illustrated instruction book along with a cup and a saucer marked with patterns and symbols.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Wreck This Journal: Now in Color; $9

Penguin Books/Amazon

This journal is not intended to be pretty. It’s made for messiness and exploration and a little bit of chaos. Artistic-minded teens will love filling out pages that prompt them to catalog various stains or poke holes through the paper. Reviewers say it’s not only a source of creative inspiration, though—it’s also a stress reliever. And considering that the middle-school and high-school years aren’t exactly known for being relaxing, this journal could be a welcome reprieve from the daily pressure of managing homework and a social life.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Therapy Dough; $15

Uncommon Goods

Some teens focus better and relax more easily when they have something to fidget with. If the teen in your life fits that description, this therapy dough may be the perfect gift for them. Each 4.5-ounce container is infused with essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, orange, or pine, making relaxation smell delicious (and all natural!).

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

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