holiday gifts 2023

Every Holiday Gift Guide From the Strategist

Over 60 carefully curated gift guides for every single person on your list.

Video: Strategist; Photos: Retailer
Video: Strategist; Photos: Retailer

If you’re here, it’s because you’re still looking for the best holiday gift for that special (or just particularly difficult to shop for) person in your life. Fortunately, we’re here to help: Our writers and editors have gone above and beyond in their quest to find presents for every person on your list. Our hunt has taken us to the doorsteps of trend forecasters to learn about the products that are sure to sell out before anyone else. We interviewed hard-to-shop-for groups of people — couples, tech CEOs, even teens from Beacon High School — for straight-from-the-source gifting advice and their ultimate wish lists. We even called in reinforcements, asking Amy Sedaris to be our first-ever gifting columnist.

Here is every single gift guide that we’ve updated this season, featuring more than 200 of the most giftable, truly worth-it items from our archive. So no matter who you’re shopping for this year, whether that’s your Gen-Z niece, your sporty 60-year-old boss, your entire group chat of friends, or your extremely frugal grandfather, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve also gone through to make sure that just about everything will arrive before Sunday, December 24 — but stock and shipping times can change rapidly now that Christmas is only one week away, so don’t dillydally if you see something you like. (At this point in the game, you may need to pay extra for expedited shipping or be prepared to go to the store in person to pick up your presents in time for wrapping.)

Jump ahead

Last-minute gifts

You’ve likely shopped for all your top-priority giftees (mom, dad, brother, grandpa), but what about the people who aren’t quite at the forefront of your mind, like your younger nephew or your sibling’s new girlfriend? Don’t worry, because writer Kitty Guo has you covered. She rounded up the best last-minute gifts for the people you almost forgot about that you can buy right now on Amazon — and, as of now, they should arrive in time for Christmas if you’ve got Prime. Find more last-minute gifts here.

Time to order last-minute holiday gifts is quickly running out, but the good news is there are plenty of thoughtful presents available that don’t require paying full price. Deals editor Sam Daly found dozens of on-sale items that are sure to delight even your most hard-to-shop-for family and friends. (Trust us: The expedited shipping fees sting less when you’re already getting a deal.) Find more (on sale) last-minute gifts here.

If you’re out of ideas on what to give as a gift or want to avoid a shipping-delay nightmare, subscription boxes (a.k.a. the gift that keeps on giving) are your best bet, Guo says. She curated a list of the most giftable services in categories including food, home items, books, beauty, and more, so you can pick the best option based on your recipient’s interests. Find more monthly subscription gifts here.

An e-gift card doesn’t have to be a lazy last-minute gift. You can frame it as a way for them to get exactly what they want this holiday season — and it’ll certainly arrive on time. Find more recommendations for e-gift cards here.

Gifts for him

There’s no one-size-fits-all gift for dads, our writer Erin Schwartz says. Some dads are movie critics who’d appreciate a new way to spice up their popcorn at home. Others are podcasters (in their own minds) looking to outfit their sound booths with professional microphones. And some are grill masters looking to fine-tune their backyard setup. The father figure in your life might be all three, so Schwartz culled more than 50 recommendations from numerous cool dads we’ve spoken to. Find more gifts for every type of dad here.

To bring you the best gifts for every type of husband, tech writer Jordan McMahon curated a list of 60 items guaranteed to impress your spouse — from the gear and gadgets he’s spent countless hours reviewing to non-tech-related ideas that come highly touted by experts, such as must-have fitness tools and comfy footwear. Find more gifts for every type of husband here.

If he’s been denying your requests for a wish list, you might want to check this guide. Jeremy Rellosa found numerous unusual yet practical gifts that will speak to your significant other’s favorite hobby or latest obsession, even if you’ve only recently started dating. Find more gifts for every type of boyfriend here.

With years of experience buying his own brother Christmas gifts, Rellosa says that the more a gift speaks to one of his tastes, the better. Whether your bro’s a fitness fanatic, a plant enthusiast, or a Star Wars fan, Rellosa created a list of items for even the pickiest of siblings. Find more gifts for every type of brother here.

He likely has a favorite brand of razor and shaving cream, but you can always elevate his kit with an editor- (or celebrity-) approved grooming gift. When choosing a present, Griffiths says it should be practical (yet luxurious) and suit the recipient’s needs (for example, don’t give a soufflé face mask to someone who’s just discovered moisturizer). Following that gifting theory, you’ll find our favorite purchases from across our grooming coverage, including leak-resistant accessories and fresh-scented colognes. Find more grooming gifts here.

Gifts for her

When shopping for her own mom, writer Ambar Pardilla likes to pick out items she needs (but hasn’t gotten around to buying) or surprise her with something she would never, ever buy for herself. But we know sourcing the right gift for your mom might still feel like an impossible holiday mission, so Pardilla collected the best options for mothers everywhere — from products Pardilla’s personally vetted to the ones beloved by our own writers and editors, an admittedly picky group. Find more gifts for every type of mom here.

The perfect present for your wife does exist, and it might be in this roundup. While every wife is different, Griffiths says there’s one core strategy for picking a gift for her: It needs to surprise, delight, and prove you’ve been listening. To make the process easier, especially if you’re running out of ideas after gifting back and forth for years, Griffiths put together an edit of 44 items that are all available on Amazon. Find more gifts for every type of wife here.

Whether it’s been three months or three years, finding a thoughtful gift for your special someone requires some digging. That’s why Denton-Hurst — a self-described “professional girlfriend” who’s held the title for nine years — says the key is to zero in on her taste and listen for the little things. Because that’s easier said than done, Denton-Hurst found 36 fun options based on specific things girlfriends (yours included) are likely to love, from design-forward gadgets to cozy pick-me-ups. Find more gifts for every type of girlfriend here.

You may have very similar tastes to your sister(s) — or perhaps you’re drastically different. Whatever the case, I think it’s important to choose a surprising item that touches on her interests or a memory you’ve made together. Following that approach, Goertzen compiled a list of presents — many of which are Strategist-tested and -approved by a sister or were successfully gifted to one. Find more gifts for every type of sister here.

Your mother-in-law can be just as tricky to shop for as your mom can. But a foolproof plan is to give her something she’ll actually use and doesn’t already have, Pardilla says. To make this gift guide, Pardilla searched through our archives for surefire “won’t-returnables” to suit every type of MIL, whether she’s a world traveler, an adventurous home cook, or a neat freak. Find more gifts for mothers-in-law here.

If they’re pregnant (or recently pregnant), they’re likely experiencing tons of changes — and it can be difficult for a mom-to-be to feel like herself for nine-plus months, writer Lauren Ro says. As the mother to two small kids, Ro speaks from experience, and that’s why her list contains comforting and relaxing items that will go a long way toward making this new stage of life more enjoyable (and get her ready for her due date). Find more gifts for pregnant people here.

Becoming a new mom means everything can feel overwhelming: late-night feedings, never-ending dirty diapers, and even her own physical recovery, Ro says. For those reasons, she found gift ideas that will help make the transition to motherhood smoother — including lots of items for her and a few things for baby that will make mom’s life easier. Find more gifts for new moms here.

Gifts for kids and teens

At six months old, babies grow and learn through play, so the best gifts for infants will nurture their development and keep them engaged, Ro says. To narrow the market of toys, accessories, and books, Ro spoke to child-development experts about their favorites and included some picks she used with her own kids. Find more 6-month-old baby gifts here.

The key to delighting 1-year-olds involves finding open-ended toys that will stimulate and surprise their growing minds, Corsillo says. When compiling our gift guide, she kept those guidelines in mind and uncovered dozens of items to entertain curious toddlers while engaging all five senses. Find more gifts for 1-year-olds here.