20 unique gift ideas people will absolutely love
Get ready to make your giftees feel special
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Gifts are meant to be special. The best gifts makes your recipient feel like you really considered them when picking out their present. Here are 20 gift ideas guaranteed to show off your thoughtful nature and delight your special someones.
1. For showcasing your unique loves: A customized picture frame
Odds are, you have a number of pictures on your phone that capture precious memories you want to share with your list this year. Get them off of your phone and on to your recipient's wall with a customized picture frame order from Framebridge. All you need to do is email your image to the company, pick your frame, and they'll send you back the result ready to hang, display, or wrap for your gift exchange. And who wouldn't love to receive a beautiful picture of family, friends, or a special moment, especially when the work of printing it is already done?
2. For the nostalgic news hound: A New York Times Special Day book
Pick a day, any day, and this beautiful coffee table book will show you the front pages of every edition of the New York Times published on that date every year from the year you specify until now, along with a few memorable front pages from historical events. (So, if you pick January 12, 1980, it will show you the front page published on 1/12/80, 1/12/81, 1/12/82, etc, up until 1/12/19.) Paging through the book gives the recipient a great snapshot of what the world was like on their 14th birthday, or 3rd wedding anniversary, or other memorable date. It's an excellent and unique way to celebrate the life of the person you love.
3. For the person who likes to make things official: A custom embosser
We don't usually seal our important documents with an embossed sigil anymore—that trend died out a few centuries ago. But this custom embosser gift set from Paper Source will let your recipient create their own personalized seal, whether it be a basic monogram or flourished address plate.
4. For the well-traveled map nerd: A custom map
Sometimes you want a framed map of a special place, but the maps available aren't nice enough or are centered on another area. Grafomap lets you customize a map at any address, and gives you labels to add a home, heart, or pin on any special landmarks. Posters start at $49 for paper, but you can also have the option of ordering your print framed, on canvas, or even on metal.
5. For the permanent resident: Monogrammed nails
Let your recipient claim their space with these nails from Anthropologie that go right into their wall. Order several letters to spell out their name, a word, or a unique message from you that will last for years.
6. For the person who’s always cold: A foot warmer
Something about having cold feet (not the nervous jitters kind) is particularly torturous. If your gift recipient is always complaining of cold or achey feet, skip the fuzzy socks and go for this heated foot warmer available on Amazon. This quick-heating, plush wrap is perfect for tucking under the covers for an extra boost of heat or making things toasty warm while lounging on the couch.
7. For the outdoor explorer: Some wilderness essentials
Sometimes the unique gift is less about what the product can do and more about what the product will allow you to do. Let your loved one roam free with these portable cutlery set and outdoor survival kit. The outdoor survival kit includes signal devices, fire-starting materials, a knife, emergency blanket, and more. Either one of these sets is easily packable, durable, and very useful for life on the land.
- Get the Black + Blum portable cutlery set from Anthropologie for $14
- Get the Ultimate Survival Kit from REI for $29.95
8. For the aspiring plant parent: A live plant from The Sill
Plants, like people, are unique living beings who require a varying amount of care. Plant delivery service The Sill offers a range of live plants from grow pots to gorgeous ceramic holders any recipient would be proud to display, no matter how much they know about gardening. The "plants for beginners" series helped one of our editors cure her black thumb, so we think any recipient would succeed with this gift. Besides, what's cuter than putting a tree under the tree?
9. For the gardener who can't wait for spring: A glass bulb vase
This gorgeous glass bulb vase lets your recipient watch Mother Nature take over. Because the glass is transparent, your recipient will be able to see the roots start to poke out while the bulb grows in their home. Add a bulb of their favorite flower, and they'll be watching your holiday gift unfold for months on end.
10. For the organized traveler: A monogrammed travel kit
We're fans of direct-to-consumer leather good retailer Cuyana—one of our editors has carried their oversized tote bag for years—and this set of two travel cases make packing toiletries a breeze. The gorgeous and durable leather looks great in your suitcase or on your bathroom countertop, and the solid construction means you can just throw it in your bag when you're ready to go. A personalized monogram infuses this already-classy gift with extra meaning.
11. For the person who loves their locks: A silk pillowcase
Friction between your hair and a regular cotton or polyester pillowcase can cause damage and breakage. If you’re buying for someone who wants to avoid tangles, breakage, and frizz (a.k.a. everyone), gift them a silk pillowcase, which adds a friction-reducing slickness. The Silk Pillowcase from Slip comes in a queen and king size, as well as a variety of colors to suit your recipient's style.
12. For the person who needs a spa day: A foot spa
We put our feet through a lot—squeezing them into shoes that don’t quite fit, wearing flimsy sandals with no arch support, and traipsing through puddles in improper footwear. A foot spa is a spa-like experience that anyone can enjoy on their tired feet. Our favorite is the Ivation Foot Spa Massager, which features adjustable heating, massage rollers, water jets, and a timer.
13. For the tea connoisseur: A friendly tea infuser
We tested a bunch of loose tea infusers earlier this year in search of the best one. We were pleasantly surprised to find that this whimsical silicone manatee (or, rather, Manatea) came out on top, due to its tight-gripping fins and great steeping timing. Those factors, combined with its adorable anthropomorphic shape, will be sure to please any tea drinker in your life.
14. For those who delight in the holiday: Candy Cane Cocoa Spoons and Nutcracker mugs
These candy-cane shaped spoons from Anthropologie are sure to put bring a taste of holiday cheer to any hot cocoa, and this holiday-themed tea setdesigned by Rifle Paper Company will add some sweetness to your drink. If you're looking for a festive gift that will add a unique twist to your recipient's kitchen, these hit the spot.
- Get the Candy Cane Cocoa Spoons from Anthropologie for $32
- Get a Nutcracker Tea-For-One set from Rifle Paper Company for Anthropologie for $14
15. For the Pastafarian: A monster colander
Straining pasta is a dull task—that is, it’s a dull task unless you have this kooky, googly-eyed spaghetti colander on hand. Reviewers love that it’s made of a strong, durable BPA-free plastic, has effective handles in the form of the eyes, and, of course, is Pastafarian-friendly. Whether you’re gifting a master chef or a novice fry cook, they’ll get a kick out of the strainer.
16. For the wine lover: A duo of useful gifts and a subscription delivery service
Wine snobs are, predictably, picky about the wine they drink and the stuff they use to drink it. But even the most highfalutin of wine connoisseurs will enjoy a gift that includes either (or both) of the following: a box of Wine Condoms—latex that rolls over a bottle opening and keeps the wine inside from oxidizing after opening—and some Riedel glasses, a premier wine glass brand that has glasses calibrated for each kind of wine. (Trust us, your wine-loving friend will know about it.)
You can also throw in a subscription to Firstleaf, a premium wine delivery service that sends members a box wine each month based on a taste-identifying quiz. An introductory box of three bottles in $19.95 and each box after contains six bottles and is about $90.
- Get Wine Condoms from Amazon for $13.97
- Get the Riedel Performance Set of Two Chardonnay Glasses from Nordstrom for $59
- Get a Firstleaf subscription for an introductory rate of $19.95
17. For the whimsical dog fanatic: Dog-a-day dessert plates
These adorable plates from Anthropologie will delight any pet owner—or anyone with a sense of humor. Designed by artist Sally Muir, each of the plates available showcase some Very Good Pups who would brighten up any dining table. Choices available include Whippet, Chihuahua, Westie, and Pug.
18. For the person who prioritizes self-care: An offbeat skincare duo
Self care-focused gifts are never a bad idea—especially when they contain this weird-but-fun “rubber” mask and these surprisingly useful Japanese washcloths. The rubber mask has a pretty shocking, almost Hannibal Lecter-esque look when you put it on, so it’s perfect for that friend who loves taking selfies in sheet masks, but it’s also genuinely effective for reinvigorating the skin. The washcloths are a cult favorite of Amazon reviewers (and our audience manager), due to their ability to exfoliate to the extreme without drying out the skin or soaking up bacteria like a loofah.
- Get the Dr. Jart+ Clear Skin Lover Rubber Mask from Sephora for $12
- Get the Salux Japanese Nylon Washcloths from Amazon for $11.17
19. For the workout fiend who wants to design their own plan: ClassPass membership
ClassPass, a workout membership service that gives users credits that they can use at different exercise studios, is a great gift for anyone who’s into fitness. (Or thinking about getting into fitness.) We love it because it allows anyone to mold the experience to their own fitness level and preferences—whether that entails yoga, spin class, or barre—on their own time. ClassPass credits are fantastic on their own, but if you pair them with some cool workout gear, it’ll be extra well-received.
20. For the creative who wants to put a spin on a classic look: A T-shirt and a tie-dye kit
This year, we tested a ton of tees to find the best white T-shirts for men and the best white T-shirts for women. Based on the results, we deemed Everlane’s Premium Weight Crew and the J. Crew Slim Perfect shirts the best options, because they and held up the best to our wear, wash, measurement, and opacity testing.
Now, while white t-shirts aren't anyone's idea of unique, the second part of this gift transforms that tee into a work of art. Get them a tie-dye kit. Any kit should work, but the Tulip One-Step Kit is an especially great bet. Amazon reviewers say it’s easy to prepare, simple to figure out, and doesn’t require any extra steps or materials. Your giftee may not want to use it on their brand-new, perfect white tee, but they can definitely use it on an older one that has fallen prey to a coffee stain or two—once it’s tie-dyed, no one will be able to tell. If they feel safer experimenting with multiple t-shirts they want to sacrifice to the tie-dye process, throw in a Fruit of the Loom pack, which will get you six tees for a low price.
- Get the Premium Weight Crew from Everlane for $28
- Get the Slim Perfect shirt from J. Crew for $29.50
- Get the Fruit of the Loom Stay Tucked Men’s T-shirty 6-Pack from Amazon for $14.98
- Get the Tulip One-Step Tie-Dye Kit from Amazon for $17.95
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.