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It’s not a competition. That goes against the whole holiday spirit. But it certainly doesn’t feel bad when you’re acknowledged as the best gift-giver in the group.
In order to help you ascend to gift-giving royalty this season, Good Housekeeping shared their favorite holiday present picks. Whether you’re shopping for finicky friends, discriminating daughters or persnickety parents, Good Housekeeping has you covered with gifts they won’t be able to help but love.
From timely gifts like velvet face masks and trendy hand sanitizer to timeless classics like jewelry and cocktail kits, these are the ultimate gifts that will make everyone on your list scream, “It’s perfect! How did you know?”
Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!
Good Housekeeping ultimate gifts
You can’t go wrong with a waffle maker. This mini version is a surprisingly versatile gift, particularly for someone who has just moved into a new home. Yes, it makes waffles — but it can also quickly whip up panini, quesadillas and even bacon.
The perfect gift for loved ones who live far from home, these handmade ornaments bring a slice of their state wherever they are. And the crystalline, geode design will keep their tree looking modern.
If the worst part of their day is saying goodbye to their pet, help them keep their furry child close to their heart. The pendants — engraved with their pet’s name and likeness — are available in silver, gold and rose gold.
Whether your kid sleeps with a night light or you need a little extra illumination in the hallway at night, this holiday-themed plug keeps things festive after dark. This charming, vintage-style light measures six inches tall and features a handy on/off switch.
Everyone loves greenery in their space — but not everyone has the green thumb to maintain their indoor flora. Not only are these succulents easy to care for, they provide someone in need with six months of clean water through donations to Water.org.
It’s not Christmas if a remote-controlled car isn’t popping wheelies in the kitchen. This car’s super-soft foam wheels keep it from scratching walls, furniture and floors — but the driver can still pull off amazing tricks like flips and 360-degree spins.
Face masks became the unintentional hottest accessory of 2020. This gold chain is the perfect gift for the fashion maven in your life. Just because they’re helping to stop the spread of COVID-19 doesn’t mean they can’t look fabulous.
Kids get tired of their toys. This subscription service will send a new kit every few months that ages with them. Boxes are available for newborns through toddlers and contain instructions for first-time parents about which toys are appropriate for which age, and which part of their brain they’re developing.
Good Housekeeping ultimate gifts under $30
Bring the fun of the alley back home. This tabletop version of bowling is suitable for anyone age 6 or older and comes with everything you need for a mini six-pin game. Just be sure to clear off the table before the ball starts rolling.
With New Year’s resolutions looming just around the corner, make workouts more fun by turning them into a game. Roll these fitness dice for a surprise routine that’s different every time you sweat. The set comes with seven wooden dice and an instructional booklet. It’s the perfect way to get a focused workout, with no trainer or equipment necessary.
This bar cart compass will help anyone mix together drinks like a professional bartender. The stainless steel guide rotates with all the information you need for 16 classic drinks, taking you through all the steps from recipe to method to garnish to glass.
We’re all facing the prospect of a winter spent inside. Make these next months more exciting with a new hobby like knitting. Good Housekeeping teamed up with Yarnspirations to offer kits with basic projects and everything you need to get started, including needles and yarn.
The ultimate holiday gift is a sampler of cozy, yummy treats. This box of a dozen mini scones comes in an assortment of seasonal flavors — and they’re individually wrapped so you can have as many (or as few) as you would like.
Editor's note: This product is now backordered until January, but we found similar top-rated options below.
Add something exciting to your kitchen cupboards with truffle hot sauce. This blend by Truff includes ripe chili peppers, organic agave nectar, black truffle, and savory spices. It’s vegan and gluten-free, so all epicureans can enjoy the spice.
Let imaginations run wild with this colorful build-it-yourself Lego photo frame. This picture frame set is easy and creative fun for ages 6 and up. For bonus points, include some drawing materials so kids can create what goes inside the frame, too.
You had Lincoln Logs. Today’s kids have Plus-Plus. This Danish building toy allows kids to create intricate, colorful creations. Their only limit is imagination. It’s a great STEM toy to help kids ages 5 through 12 develop fine motor skills, focus and creativity.
More Good Housekeeping ultimate gifts
Organization makes the heart grow fonder. These adorable trinket trays keep knickknacks like jewelry, keys or baubles close to the heart and beautifully on display.
Give the gift of self-care. These holiday-themed face masks are a reminder to take a minute and relax. As our skin battles winter woes and “maskne,” these masks are the perfect stocking stuffer for anybody with a face.
Editor's note: This product is now sold out, but we found similar top-rated options below.
- Freeman 12 Days of Glow Face Mask Set
- Freeman Artistic Glow Face Mask Palette
- Freeman Peace Love Glow Masking Set
If clearing out the stack of dishes growing in their sink is on their holiday prep list, at least this adorable kitchen towel will keep them in good spirits. And although it may look fancy, this towel can be thrown directly into the washing machine for easy clean-up.
If there were any year to purchase a to-go wine tumbler with a straw, 2020 is that year. Make the gift more thoughtful by buying loved ones a monogrammed tumbler with their initial. It’s especially useful for making sure nobody accidentally steals their drink this holiday season.
Although you might not be busting out the velvet dress for holiday parties this year, at least you can bust out the velvet face mask. This affordable, stylish version from Azazie proves there is no shortage of ways to don we now our gay apparel.
Make meals an intergalactic adventure. There isn’t a more colorful dining option in the entire galaxy than these Star Wars-themed, glowing chopsticks. Pull these out of your pocket at dinner and tell everyone else with boring utensils: “May the forks be with you.”
Sanitizer never looked so chic. This clip-on sanitizer contains enough liquid for more than 300 mists (but is refillable for more). Developed with a blend of aloe, ethyl alcohol and glycerin, each mist will both disinfect and hydrate your skin. There's also another option that doesn't clip on but offers more than 500 mists.
If good things come in small packages, then the best things come in the smallest ones. This teeny, tiny, pocket-size version of Uno contains all 108 cards, but it’s so small, you can put it in your pocket and then start playing anywhere. It’s perfect for players from ages 6 to your UNO-obsessed adult friends (we all have one).
The smallest of cleaning spots can become the most fun. This whimsical hedgehog nail brush uses its soft quills to lift dirt from hard-to-reach places. It’s the perfect way to make grooming more fun, for both kids and adults.
Painting with children is wonderful. Cleaning up after painting with children? Not so much. These genius paint sticks work just like crayons but leave marks like a paint brush. Each set comes with 12 colors that quickly dry on the page. When kids are done creating, simply cap the sticks and move onto the next activity.
Holiday prep can be a pain in the neck. Work out all the Christmas kinks with a cheerful mini vibrating massager. The angel and snowman options can be hung as an ornament or outside a gift bag for a little boost of yuletide cheer.
Is your beanie looking a little drab? Add a touch of fun to any soft hat with this pom pom made from real fur. It comes with a button you can easily snap or sew into place.
After a year when it’s been easy to focus on the negative, Minted has created notebooks for looking on the bright side. These beautiful journals come in lined, unlined or gridded options for all sorts of creativity. And each purchase benefits World Central Kitchen, an organization that supports local restaurants in efforts, including feeding frontline workers.
Obviously, humans aren’t the only ones who should have presents waiting under the tree. Give your favorite four-legged friend a tee customized with their name. Sure, your dog probably can’t read — but they definitely know when they’re looking good and feeling cozy. The tee comes in a range of sizes to fit dogs from yorkies to labradors.
Four-legged friends should be a part of every celebration. This metal menorah adds a whimsical, animal-loving twist to the festival of lights.
This is the perfect planner for those who wake up and try to take advantage of every new day. The planner comes filled with recipes to try throughout the year, clever organizational tips and cleaning hacks for every corner of your home.
This stand-out basketball is perfect for preventing ball mix-ups on the court. It looks equally good at the hoops or displayed in a room. And because the ball is official, regulation size, you can dribble in style without sacrificing game.
Editor's note: This product is now sold out, but we found similar options below.
- Chinatown Market x Smiley Face Globe Basketball
- Spalding UO Exclusive Floral Basketball
- Spalding UO Exclusive Custom Tie-Dye Basketball
Discreet doesn’t have to mean boring. These fun flasks easily slip into a purse or pocket and then make a big statement when it’s time to play. And not only do the flasks look good, they won’t tinge your alcohol with the taste of metal.
Make Christmas morning adorable with this matching PJ set. Kids love these pajamas because the bamboo viscose fabric feels buttery soft, and parents love that they’re made without any toxic chemicals.
If he listens to music on vinyl or bikes everywhere because it’s better for the environment, he’ll love an old-school style, single-blade razor. A single-blade razor not only gets a closer shave (no ingrown hairs!), but has a smaller environmental impact. This minimalist, sophisticated design from Bevel makes a razor he’ll want to put on display.
Make sure she’s easy to spot in a crowd with this fabulous, glimmering jacket. Plus, because it’s lined with both fleece and plush fill, she won’t have to sacrifice warmth for style. Finally — a jacket that makes everybody happy.
Chapped winter lips are nothing new. Chapped winter lips plus that weird layer you get from breathing into a mask? That requires some extra TLC. Take extra care of lips this holiday season with this limited edition of six bestselling lip treatments from Fresh.
Chromecast is the gift of endless entertainment. The streaming device plugs directly into TVs and helps you quickly find the perfect film for family movie night. No more switching back and forth between Hulu, Netflix and Prime. All your options are displayed in easy space so you can spend more time watching and less time deciding.
Give a man a frying pan, and you’ll eat an entree. Give a man a frying pan set, and you’ll eat a whole meal. These beautiful, nonstick pans look so good on the stove, they might just be the ticket to inspiring new recipe test runs in the kitchen.
Let creativity run wild — without having to run around wild with cleaning supplies when it’s all over. This ingenious set allows kids to experience the feel of finger painting with none of the mess. And just in case the paint wanders somewhere that isn’t the easel, all the paint is nontoxic and easily washable.
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Still looking for the perfect gift? Be sure to check out Shop TODAY’s 2020 Gift Guide to shop for everyone on your list, including:
- 18 practical gifts that every man should have
- Surprise! These 35 gifts can be delivered straight to their door
- 26 stress-relieving gifts your loved ones will seriously thank you for
- 32 gifts for your mother-in-law that'll make a good impression
- Shopping for mom? Here are 18 gifts she'll actually love