The Coolest Sites For Unexpected Holiday Gifts

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Each December, we try to outdo the brilliant, last-minute solution we thought up last year for all the people on our lists who appear to have everything they want already. We start out with the good intention to shop early, but inevitably end up in a last-minute amble hoping to be inspired. But, this holiday season, that coworker who decided to get everyone a gift unexpectedly isn’t going to catch us — or you — by surprise. Click through for ten unexpected sites for holiday gifts that will delight absolutely everyone on your list (and some people who aren’t).
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Wanelo is a hodgepodge of everything you never knew you wanted. Have you ever clicked on a must-have dress on Pinterest, only to find the original link is an untraceable Tumblr post? No more! With Wanelo, moving the cursor over an item displays the price and clicking allows you to purchase it directly. A couple of our favorite items are an “I Only Date Wizards” tank and a gold nature-nymph-inspired head chain.
Turntable Kitchen
Cooking without music is a snooze. By hooking your friends up with a Turntable Kitchen pairings box, they can saute in style when they discover a cute, brown box at their door that's filled with recipes, ingredients, a digital mixtape, and a 7” vinyl record by a rising artist. Plus, you’re sure to score an invite to dinner.
Rent Mother Nature
This site supports sustainable family farms in super-creative ways. Rent Mother Nature lets you purchase a year-long lease for anything from a wheat field to a goat. They send you an embossed, illustrated certificate and progress reports (complete with photos). And, best of all, the harvests come straight to your loved one’s door.
Buy Olympia
Buy Olympia is sort of a precursor to Etsy that showcases leather goods, art, jewelry, books, and more by 115 artists. From a handmade unicorn-on-a-skateboard pint glass to a DIY cat-love tea towel kit, there’s something here for every quirky roommate or friend you've got.
The Little Market
Lauren Conrad helped found this website, which showcases handmade products made by artisans from all over the world and helps support them and their families. Each item is one-of-a-kind, like a small, cream satchel made in India or a penguin, hand-knit, alpaca fleece from Peru.
Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Men In Cities
Men In Cities is a NYC-based lifestyle and accessories collection that delivers a new series of designed items every month to any classy man in your life. He'll end up with anything from a brown leather breast-pocket wallet to a Tibetan mask tie clip.
Lomography Shop
Everyone has at least one friend who's a photographer, but Lomography Shop could inspire even the least artistically inclined to take more care with their snaps. This site has a wide selection of cameras that come in candy-colored hues and even a transparent option that reveals the machine's inner workings. Also on the docket: brass lenses, camera bags, and an array of other accessories.
Flight 001
What better way to surprise a friend who's embarking on an exotic getaway than with an unexpected travel accessory? Check out the purple “Wake Me For Champagne” in-flight eye masks and the universal batteries that recharge devices when you're "seeing red."
Uncommon Goods
This site is full of unique, trendy items you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. From handy, knife-sharpening cutting boards to chromosome pillows, this is a sure bet for the person you think has everything, but could really use a mason jar elephant night light.
Pop Chart Lab
For hip posters, T-shirts, and housewares, Pop Chart Lab may become your go-to. Favorites: The Great Gatsby poster that depicts all the characters' comings and goings per chapter in mod, illustrations and a cheese platter covered with a circular chart of various types of cheese.
Who isn’t a geek about something? This site compiles unique items that honor some of our most beloved (and nerdy) shows, movies, and video games. We just may need the Christmas Story leg-lamp string lights and the Game of Thrones dragon-egg cookie jar to dork-up our office decor.
This article originally published December 7, 2014.

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