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We're here to alarm you. Out of love, of course.
The most wonderful time of the year is quickly approaching. And with so many of us still trying to wrap our heads around the fact that February was not just a couple of months ago, the compulsion to start our gift shopping is not quite as urgent as it probably should be. But with a predictable influx of online orders all trying to reach every corner of the world, you're going to want to prepare yourself for one hell of a fight.
So, to help take some of the guesswork out of it, we’ve compiled an exhaustive list of gifts, mapping out special gifts for the special people in your life — the beauty obsessives, the foodies, or just the notoriously difficult-to-shop for. From practical gadgets to an Oprah-approved hot sauce, and designer clocks to luxe skincare, this is mostly just a list of things we’d like to receive this holiday season.
Scroll on for our ultimate guide to shopping for Christmas gifts in 2023 — or if you're looking for something a bit more specific, we've got gifts under $100, Kris Kringle presents they'll actually want, ideas for your best friend, ideas for your travelling pals, gifts for the women in your life, gifts for the men in your life, plus presents for your pickiest friend and the recipient who deserves the most luxe gift. If all else fails, books and other last-minute gift ideas are also here to save you.
There are people who are difficult to shop for, specifically because they don't mind treating themselves. That means, you can be pretty sure those cute shoes they've mentioned to you in passing are already being express-shipped to them, as you mull over which colour to go for (black, of course). But just because they have everything, doesn't mean you can't make a valiant effort to impress. Clothes can be hit or miss, especially if they have a very particular sense of style. But from the perfect trans-seasonal sweater vest to the ballet shoe of the moment, you still have plenty of options. Here are some curated gifts the fashion-conscious folk in your life will delight in receiving.
To treat the beauty junkie in your life this Christmas, bring some excitement beyond just topping up their go-to moisturisers or favourite serums — although, that can go a long way, too. Instead, why not gift them something they wouldn't necessarily get themselves, but that they need, such as a big bottle of SPF, some travel-sized skincare or a luxe pillowcase? Or, if you know they delight in trying out new products, look to gift packs they can slowly unbox (advent calendars are a good idea) — and maybe even find a new addition to their Holy Grail routines while they're at it. Limited editions always go down a treat, too.
Why wouldn't we put fancy hot sauce (famously endorsed by Oprah), random vouchers and a slew of fun things like cocktail kits, sourdough starter kits and paint-by-numbers we want into one vague, but still very worthy category? Take these fancy house slippers. They're expensive but pretty and we don't not want them. Or, if you're into astrology, why not treat your giftee to a good astrology book? Those who know will know. And if all else fails, subscriptions of all kinds are always welcome.
Our wishlists are overflowing with goodies for the home, so we're betting that your gift recipient's list is too. You don't even need to have stepped foot into this person's home to know that a good coffee table book, funky vase or designer candle always slaps. To steer you in the right direction, we've mapped out the gifts for homebodies and interiors lovers that aren't just a pot plant or pretty throw blanket — although, who could be disappointed by either?
For some, wellness goes beyond just trying to keep yourself alive; it's a lifestyle. But while dumbbells don't quite sound like a great gift, there is a sweet spot where functionality and sentimentality can coexist. You can go the fitness route, and gift elevated versions of exercise staples that you know will be of use. Or, if you know your giftee loves nothing more than to unwind with some TLC, treat them to a pamper pack.
Practical people who insist on no gifts are the hardest to shop for, since they generally only like things that are hyper-practical. Here's where a tech gift can work a treat. Why not look for a good pair of noise-cancelling headphones, a cute phone case, or Kindle? Otherwise, you could go the unique route and opt for something that makes post-work life better, like this portable turn table, an old rotary phone, a nostalgic gamer console or a film camera to capture all their favourite moments.
If you know that your giftee is passionate about the environment, it could be worth looking at gifts that can help them actually feel good about themselves. As lacklustre as that might sound for a gift, there's so much out there these days that you won't even notice the distinct greenness of your gift. Think reusable beauty products, sunglasses made from recycled water bottles, or bags so pretty (and practical) they won't forget to take them to the grocery store. Or, if you want to go one step further, you can even get them their own kitchen compost bin. Or, better yet, a mini herb garden — because who doesn't want one of those?
Unencumbered by budgets? Or perhaps you're spoiling someone rotten after a rough year? You might want to up the ante with a luxurious Christmas gift that still has utility, such as an Airbnb voucher for a weekend away, a classic designer bag they'll keep forever, or the Dyson Airwrap in a limited-edition hue. Below is our curated list of the unnecessary (but also very necessary) gifts that pack an extravagant punch.