Your Definitive Guide To The Best Holiday Gifts Of 2021

Your Definitive Guide To The Best Holiday Gifts Of 2021

Take a deep breath. Crack those knuckles. Grab that pen and gift list. Because ’tis the season for holiday shopping and, if all this talk about supply chain shortages is concerning, you best start busting out those online purchasing moves now.

But you may not be feeling the holiday shopping spirit quite yet — we hear you, and we’re here to help. After all, Halloween only ended like five minutes ago. So ahead, we put together an all-encompassing lineup featuring all of our best holiday gifting roundups and the bestselling item from each, all culled from our anonymously sourced shopping data.

And, since holiday shopping madness will only be escalating from here, keep checking back with us throughout November and December as we refresh this holiday gifts roster with the newest, most up-to-date bestselling picks. We now present to you, dear Refinery29 reader, the best gift ideas for 2021. Happy (early) holidays!

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Cool Gifts For Difficult People

Omsom The Try ‘Em All Set, $76 $70
Omsom is a Southeast/East Asian food brand, specializing in ready-to-squeeze packets that burst with fiery, sweet, and tangy spices — the kind you’d find, say, at a foodie-approved Vietnamese eatery. You just squeeze one of these packs into your rice dish or noodle bowl, give it a stir, and it’s ready to tantalize your tastebuds. Last year, these Asian meal starter kits were a huge hit with people who are typically hard to shop for — because, who doesn’t like delish, easy-to-cook dinners? This year, we recommend gifting The Try ‘Em All Set, which is the newest addition to the Omsom lineup. With reviews stating “This is my second Try ‘Em All Set […] I am THAT addicted [to] these magic packets of sauce!” and “[We] love the flexibility of being able to use vegetarian meat options,” this gift is sure to kick things up a notch.

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The Crowd-Pleasing Gifts Already On Sale

Quince Mongolian Shrunken Cashmere Sweatshirt, $100 $59.90
Our readers sure love Quince, the responsibly-sourced cashmere brand — this same sweatshirt was a favorite on our best fall clothes roundup. That’s no shocker since this bestselling top meets all the criteria of a solid gift — it comes in nine colors, boasts a 4.7 out of 5 stars and 560 rave reviews on onequince.com, and is gently priced at under $60 for a high-quality cashmere sweater. “This is such a great deal for the price. I went with a large because I wanted an oversized fit, and it looks adorable,” writes one reviewer.

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Best Affordable Christmas Gift Ideas

Earth Therapeutics Anti-Stress Microwavable Comfort Wrap, $9.99
If you’re looking for a $10-range gift idea, this warming body wrap is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It’s currently ranked 4.1 out of 5 stars with 282 reviews on bedbathandbeyond.com, with one reviewer writing, “After I purchased one of these Anti-Stress Microwavable Comfort Wraps for my daughter, I went back and purchased one for me and two of my friends. The warmth gives relief to various aches and pains while giving off a relaxing lavender scent. A very good purchase.”

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Best Hanukkah Gifts

DynamiteShirts Seinfeld Prayer Candles, $12
It’s a yada-yada world out there — and these Seinfeld prayer candles provide the perfect light for your best Jewish pal (or any Larry David fan, really). At only $12 a candle, these gifts are affordable as they are funny. Etsy seller Dynamite Shirts offers a go-to selection of Jerry, Kramer, George, or Elaine — as well as the lesser-known but just as iconic characters like Estelle, Frank, and Puddy (for the real Seinfeld heads).

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Most Useful Gifts

Our Place Perfect Pot, $165
Last year, the Always Pan from Our Place was the standout hit when it came to kitchen gifts. This year, we suggest gifting the Perfect Pot, Our Place’s newest gadget that our Refinery29 Shopping editors are already downright obsessed with. It currently has a perfect 5 out of 5 stars and 525 reviews on ourplace.com, with one reviewer who made it a set with both the Always Pan and Perfect Pot, writing, “[W]hen I received the Always Pot and the Always Pan, I was NOT DISAPPOINTED AT ALL. I threw out all my other pots and pans.”

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Best Gifts Under $50

EverlongPrintCo Classic Cocktails Print, $25.67
Perfect for the friend who never turns down a happy hour, this adorably illustrated cocktails poster from Etsy seller Everlong Print Co is a much-loved gift, especially for those who have an in-home bar. “We bought both the coffee and cocktails print for our kitchen and we love them!” writes one reviewer. “They fit perfectly and add a fun feel to the white walls. Arrived fast and good quality.”

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Gifts For The Mom Who Has Everything

Homesick Thank You, Mom Candle, $34
Moms are tough to shop for, aren’t they? While the idea of gifting her a candle is both cliched and safe, it still totally works because people generally love receiving “nice” candles they normally wouldn’t buy for themselves. (This one has a burn time of 60-80 hours and is supposed to burn smell like a mix of fresh flowers and Sunday breakfast, which are truly mom scents.) Plus, the label proudly says “Thank You, Mom,” which is something only a child can gift. And, if you want to make this even more personal, Homesick also offers customizable messaging on this 4.94-out-of-5 star-rated slow burner.

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Cool Gifts For Guys

Snuk Chile Crisp Gift Box, $50
This is the second “spicy” item to appear in this story, which we’ll take to mean that gift-givers seriously want their giftees to feel a jolt of something. And this chile crisp box set just so happens to be a top seller from our gift guide for guys, which is likely a sign that dudes are feeling the heat when it comes to their cooking skills. This gift box includes each of Snuk’s four top-selling chile crisps from around the world, which the food retailer assures tastes great on anything and everything — from scrambled eggs to frozen pizzas to salmon filet.

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Best Gifts For Parents

Brightland The Essential Capsule, $118 $112
Premium olive oil is what Brightland is known for, and its Essential set is gift-ready for parents and grown-ups alike. It has a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars and 27 reviews on brightland.co, with actual cooking professionals raving. “I’ve been a French-trained chef for over 25 years and came across Brightland by way of my daughter, a subscriber, 2 years ago. Of the hundreds of olive oils I’ve tasted, Brightland is my top recommendation! I order both for cooking and non-cooking. Both have a vibrant clean taste so fresh and wonderful. The absolute perfect olive oil! I want to gift it to everyone!” writes one expert.

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Best Affordable White Elephant Gifts

World Market Hello Kitty Organic Pasta, $5.99
Honestly, how charming is this bag of Hello Kitty pasta? Best of all, quality is not at all sacrificed for cuteness — which is probably why this gift was the top seller when it came to the best white elephant gifts last year. This pasta is priced at just $5.99 (which you can gift as a set with the Hello Kitty Tomato Basil Italian Pasta Sauce for another $5) and it has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars on worldmarket.com. “This pasta is so good. Great chew, nice texture. I hope they make this forever,” writes one reviewer.

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Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Gorjana Bespoke Signet Ring, $55
While we hope that you’re not gonna wait until the last second to do your holiday shopping, it happens. Last year, the item that procrastinators scrambled for was this under-$100 engravable signet ring from Gorjana, which comes in sizes 3 to 7, perfect for a pinky or as a midi/first-knuckle ring. “The gold finish is beautiful, engraving is nice. It is very high quality. I wear it everyday, all day and it just shines,” writes a reviewer.

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Gifts For The Mom Who Wants Nothing

Birkenstock Arizona Genuine Shearling Slide Sandal, $125
Moms! Once again, so hard to shop for. From our gift guide for moms who tell you they don’t want anything, this shearling-lined sandal from Birkenstock was the mama-whispering item that our shoppers bought. With a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars and 97 reviews on nordstrom.com, it’s a can’t-go-wrong pick. Writes one happy customer with cozy, comfy feet: “I was looking for a proper shearling lined shoe to wear in the house that would provide support and warmth. After a couple of misses, I saw these Birkenstocks. In my own mind, I don’t fit the Birkenstock style profile, but podiatrists widely recommend Birkenstocks. From the get-go, the shearling Arizona checked all the boxes: comfortable, supportive, and warm.”

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Best Luxury Gifts

Chillhouse Chill Tips Reusable Press-On Manicure Kit, $16
If you’ve got fancy people on your list but don’t want to spend fancy dollars on them, opt for these super affordable manicure kits from Chillhouse (which also make for great stocking stuffers). Available in seven fun prints and colors, these reusable press-on nails create that just-at-the-salon look — without any of the mess or wait.

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Best Wellness Gift Ideas

Lunya Washable Silk Sleep Mask, $48
This sleep mask has a whopping 1,874 reviews and a stellar rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on lunya.co. And it was the most-bought wellness gift from last year’s roundup of self-care goodies. Here’s one reviewer’s take: “I’ve always used a silk sleep mask. And this one is the absolute BEST! It literally feels like a pillow for your eyes. And the thing I love is it doesn’t slip down like all the other masks I have and the design of it doesn’t allow light in. It’s a heavier and thicker material that is so soft and cozy! I also use this during restorative yoga. I’ll never use another brand again.”

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Best Nordstrom Holiday Beauty Gifts

Fresh Sugar Hydrating Lip Minis Set, $45
Everyone experiences chapped lips this time of year, which is why this moisture-locking minis set from Fresh is always such a hot item for the winter months. You can find this limited-edition gift set exclusively at Nordstrom, which is a retailer we love for all its gifting options.

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At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

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