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

Growth chart
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

A puzzle to hide money in
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

A pin from Birch Box
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

Crystal Growing Hedgehogs
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

Wrap-around shawl
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 lip balm
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


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 heated glove

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 heater
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

Clay pots
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

Sleeping face mask

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 soap
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

Computer microscope
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 flannel

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

A photo of a Hoka running shoe.

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


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 socks

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


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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7 Massage Guns That Are on Sale Right Now


Outdoor exercise is a big focus leading into summer, but as you begin to really tone and strengthen your muscles, you might notice some tough knots and soreness that you just can’t kick. Enter the post-workout massage gun—these bad boys are like having a deep-tissue masseuse by your side whenever you want. If you're looking to pick one up for yourself, check out these brands while they’re on sale.

1. Actigun 2.0: Percussion Massager (Black); $128 (57 percent off)

Actigun massage gun.

Don't assume you need a professional masseur to provide relief—this massage gun offers 20 variable speeds and can adjust the output power on its own according to pressure. Can your human massage therapist do that?

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

2. JAWKU Muscle Blaster V2 Cordless Percussion Massage Gun; $260 (13 percent off)

Jawku massaging gun.

This cordless, five-speed massager uses a design that's aimed to increase blood flow, release stored lactic acid, and relieve sore muscles through various vibrations.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

3. DEEP4s: Percussive Therapy Massage Gun for Athletes; $230 (23 percent off)

Re-Athlete massage gun.

Instant relief is an option with this massage tool, featuring five different attachments made to tackle any muscle group. You can squeeze in eight hours of massage time before you have to charge it again.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

4. Handheld Massage Gun for Deep Tissue Percussion; $75 (15 percent off)

Massage gun from Stackcommerce.

With five replaceable heads and six speed settings, this massage gun can easily adapt to the location and intensity of your soreness. And since it lasts up to three hours per charge, you won't have to worry about constantly plugging it in.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

5. The Backmate Power Massager; $120 (19 percent off)

Backmate massage gun.

Speed is the name of the game here. The Backmate Power Massager is designed for fast, effective relief through its ergonomic design. Fast doesn’t need to mean short, either. After the instant relief, you can stimulate and distract your nervous system for lasting pain relief.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

6. ZTECH Percussion Massage Gun (Red); $80 (46 percent off)

ZTech massage gun.

This massage gun looks a lot like a power drill, and, similarly, you can adjust its design for the perfect fit with six interchangeable heads that target different muscle areas.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

7. Aduro Sport Elite Recovery Massage Gun (Maroon); $80 (60 percent off)

Aduro massage gun.

Tackle large muscle groups, the neck, Achilles tendon, joints, and small muscle areas with this single massage gun. Four massage heads and six intensity levels allow this tool to provide a highly customizable experience.

Buy it: Mental Floss Shop

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This Innovative Cutting Board Takes the Mess Out of Meal Prep

There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
There's no way any of these ingredients will end up on the floor.
TidyBoard, Kickstarter

Transferring food from the cutting board to the bowl—or scraps to the compost bin—can get a little messy, especially if you’re dealing with something that has a tendency to roll off the board, spill juice everywhere, or both (looking at you, cherry tomatoes).

The TidyBoard, available on Kickstarter, is a cutting board with attached containers that you can sweep your ingredients right into, taking the mess out of meal prep and saving you some counter space in the process. The board itself is 15 inches by 20 inches, and the container that fits in its empty slot is 14 inches long, 5.75 inches wide, and more than 4 inches deep. Two smaller containers fit inside the large one, making it easy to separate your ingredients.

Though the 4-pound board hangs off the edge of your counter, good old-fashioned physics will keep it from tipping off—as long as whatever you’re piling into the containers doesn’t exceed 9 pounds. It also comes with a second set of containers that work as strainers, so you can position the TidyBoard over the edge of your sink and drain excess water or juice from your ingredients as you go.

You can store food in the smaller containers, which have matching lids; and since they’re all made of BPA-free silicone, feel free to pop them in the microwave. (Remove the small stopper on top of the lid first for a built-in steaming hole.)

tidyboard storage containers
They also come in gray, if teal isn't your thing.

Not only does the bamboo-made TidyBoard repel bacteria, it also won’t dull your knives or let strong odors seep into it. In short, it’s an opportunity to make cutting, cleaning, storing, and eating all easier, neater, and more efficient. Prices start at $79, and it’s expected to ship by October 2020—you can find out more details and order yours on Kickstarter.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.