The holiday season is about giving and receiving, and since we can never openly admit the later is our favorite, we must say that it really is more important to give. So, so important and fulfilling. Show your friends and family you love them and care about them enough to see them two-to-five times a year with a thoughtful gift that’ll bring them joy all year round. If you don’t have any ideas of what to give the most important people in your lives, well then you probably shouldn’t spend any money on them. Ask yourself, when was the last time they called or texted “just to chat”? Maybe Peter is an acquaintance at best and you should stop wasting your Gap loyalty points on them?
But, if you really are struggling with a coy buddy, a Secret Santa quagmire, or just want to get something extra hot and trendy this season, then Paste has got a sack full of perfect gift ideas that are definitely unique to 2019 and certainly have never been repurposed every year for the last decade. So sip on some hot cocoa, rip off some gingerbread house siding, and open up another Amazon tab (I swear I’ll boycott in 2020) and let’s secure those last-minute stocking stuffers and Christmas morning superstars. Christmas is something that can be won, and here’s how.
A bright and colorful, kooky kitchen gadget made for cutting or slicing one very specific fruit or veggie. Would it be much more efficient and practical to use a regular, quality knife, something every kitchen actually needs? Absolutely. It’s $15.
Solids are boring. Add some personality to your friend’s dining room and kitchen with serveware designed by today’s hottest visual artists. Get cheese platters and hand-stitched linen napkins in distinct patterns and vibrant color palettes that have their own clearly defined style and cannot be dragged and dropped into just any space. They’re functional pieces of art that are so distinct that your entire room must be molded around them and you currently have no idea what their interior design style is or wants to be. Good luck!
For the person who loves to travel but can’t do shit without their coffee first thing in the morning. Small and lightweight, you can toss it in your carryon and get amazing coffee every morning even when you’re hundreds of miles away from your favorite local coffee sho—oh, there’s a Starbucks in the lobby. Nevermind.
Really? You don’t already have these? Oh, you do? Well, here’s four more.
Psuedo-science, but make it fashion. Nobody knows more about self-care then millionaire models with a personal team of people to shop for them. In 2020, we’re all about self-care as long as that self-care comes in Pantone’s color of the year (classic blue!). Your gal pals will love a polished gem on a stick to rub on their bodies, or the stick-less variety for putting wherever in order to achieve… results. Do they work? The person who stands to make money off it says it does, so probably. Get the ring light out, because you got your friend the perfect Christmas morning selfie gift. Instagram, but make it an indictment on our private health care system.
Some gifts are meant to be enjoyed and some gifts are just things that exist. Think beyond the traditional, useful holiday gift and sell off your family’s DNA to a private company that will absolutely sell it to various tech start-ups to be used against you in the near future just to reinsure them that, yes, the O’Briens do come from Ireland.
It’s the perfect gift for Dad because your dad is Microsoft clip art’s definition of a Dad. Go into your favorite department store that only exists in malls (think Belk, Sears, or Kauffman’s, if any of those still exist) and find that Just-For-Dads kiosk full of cheap pocket knives, coin jars, and desktop golf sets and there you’ll discover a hoard of gifts covered in faux pigskin. Maybe it’s a big spatula for the grill or a landline phone made in 2019. Whatever you choose, your dad will love this gift that vaguely hints at one of the three things he gets any sense of joy from. Speaking of which…
It was this or a Dunkirk gift box set but, no, Dad needs to learn how to use that Roku you gave him two years ago.
The perfect gift for any man in your life, because you know without actually knowing that it’s the one thing they don’t already have.
Do men drink water? We don’t know, but water is awfully feminine, being so clear and flexible, so probably not. If this actually is a problem then consider it solved. This water bottle is rectangular to make sure it never sits quite comfortably enough in your hands. And it’s covered in a diamond plating motif so he knows it’s for MEN and not FEMALE BABIES.
For the person you love yet has no discerning taste. What do they like? What screams “Rachel” when you see it? Oh god, there’s nothing, is there. No offense to Rach, but… no. But that’s ok because we’ll always have cozy, winter socks. They’re the classic stocking stuffer everyone needs and loves receiving because being an adult is just that sometimes.
Nothing says “you sit at the desk directly behind me at work” like chocolate and hazelnuts.
It costs $1,000, which is ten times the price of everything else on this list because I’ve lost all sight of the intended purpose of a holiday gift guide.
Face it: we’re not close.
Olivia Cathcart is Paste’s assistant comedy editor.