painless shopping

26 Strategist-Approved Gifts for Your Whole List (That You Can Buy at Nordstrom)

Photo: courtesy of the retailer

Experienced holiday shoppers know that buying most of your gifts from one or two retailers has its benefits. Importantly, you save time and money on shipping, while also cutting down (even if just a little) on the amount of packaging you rip open then throw out. Finding a way to buy a gift for every single person on your list from one place, though, would truly make you a shopping MVP. That may sound like a Herculean effort, but it actually isn’t if you know where to look (and what to look for). To help you streamline your gift shopping this year, we dug through the offerings at Nordstrom — a Strategist favorite for everything from cast-iron cookware and handsome wine decanters to cult-y face masks and baby clothes — to put together a curated list of Strategist-approved gifts for every person on your list. We’ve even added a few great deals on Strategist favorites from Nordstrom’s holiday pop-in shop.

For the roommate who lives on ramen

If your roommate eats their own weight in instant ramen, this impeccably designed spork will change their life. Writer Jesse David Fox called it the “definition of luxury in your everyday,” so when we saw it pop up in Nordstrom’s holiday pop-in — for $9 less than you’ll spend on Amazon — we had to let everyone know.

For the daughter who’s a parent to a dog-fluencer

Many trendy dog owners in New York and L.A. carry their pups in a Love Thy Beast tote bag. So many, in fact, that we launched a status dog bag investigation after seeing lots of the L.L.Bean-inspired bags on the subway. This brand-new Snoopy and Woodstock-adorned tote is basically the status tote among the brand’s other status totes — and therefore a can’t-fail gift for dog parents in the know.

For the sister who’s trying natural deodorants

The search for a natural deodorant that actually works can be terrible and stinky. Help her skip the worst of it with this Strategist-approved pit stick. If Rio stands by this all-natural rose deodorant, you know it’s going to be good.

For the niece who lives in a dorm

When we talked to college students about the coolest stuff to pack for school, they overwhelmingly cited Hydro flask as the “it” water bottle on college campuses. But the insulated water bottles aren’t just popular among students. Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder swears by hers for daily hydration.

For the bald dad whose head is always cold

When you don’t have any hair, chilly weather is even chillier. Which is why we suggest this Patagonia fisherman beanie in vibrant blue as a can’t-fail gift for your follicle-challenged pa. Over the years, we have written a ton about hats and beanies, and Patagonia consistently wins out for quality and price.

For the uncle who prides himself on wearing fun socks

This pair of Egyptian cotton floral socks came recommended by men’s fashion writer Jordan Mixson in a recent roundup of the best men’s best socks. Mixson is a big fan of Bugatchi socks for their wide variety of patterns, but, in his opinion, it’s the florals they really excel at. “Nobody does floral socks like them. NO ONE!”

For the office white elephant

Boy Smells candles were named the new status candle, making them a gift trendy coworkers will covet. But they also actually smell and look really good, which will make them a hot-ticket item among the other white-elephant gifts.

For the best friend who works in fashion

According to our friends over at the Cut, we are experiencing a puffy-headband moment. With this gift, you’ll show your friend you know what’s up.

For the brother who’s taking up cooking

Most people don’t have good knives. This one, which we named the second-best knife you can buy, isn’t obscenely expensive and is very versatile. 

For the jet-setting aunt with great hair

We’ve written a ton about silk pillowcases because the fabric is gentle on hair. We’ve also heard from several successful women, including designer Karen Walker and contributor Bridget Arsenault, who say they won’t leave home without their Slip silk eye mask. This set has both.

For the cool sibling who hates headphones

Strategist writer Karen Adelson tested these Bluetooth sunglasses a while back and likes them so much, she can still be seen bopping into work in them.

For the significant other who always makes dinner

It’s impossible to count the number of times we’ve written about Le Creuset cast-iron cookware. But it’s A LOT. This braiser, which is shallower than a traditional dutch oven, is on sale at the moment. Giving it will show your S.O. how much you appreciate their cooking.

For the boss who just adopted a rescue pup

The best dog harnesses are both sturdy and stylish. This one from Found My Animal, a brand we wrote about in our piece on the best dog leashes, features an easy step-in design which makes putting it on energetic pups a synch. Like the one we previously featured, this is also designed to stand out in a crowd of canines.

For the wife who never leaves home without her laptop

The Transport tote claimed the title “best wide tote bag” in our list of the best work bags for women. When asked why she is such a devoted Transport Tote carrier, Deb Perelman of Smitten Kitchen told us, “I’m on my second or third Madewell Transport Tote. I need a bag that holds a laptop, water bottle, and all the toys my kids swear they want to play with that I get stuck carrying home.” This durable and stylish tote fits the bill.

For the fiancé who complains that her office is too cold

A while ago we asked three Everlaneologists to weigh in on the brand’s best stuff. Mia Leimkuhler, the Strategist’s audience engagement manager, had a lot of favorites, but on chilly days “when the temperature drops, I practically live in the Oversized Alpaca Crew sweater,” she says. (Also, a gentle reminder that this sweater is one of many popular Everlane products now sold at Nordstrom.)

For the cousin who hates carrying heavy things on their long commute

Shedrain’s WindPro Auto Open & Close umbrella tool third place when we rigorously tested 37 umbrellas this past spring (the winner, which you can also find at Nordstrom, is currently sold out). Former Strategist writer Lori Keong gave it high marks, saying “I never believed in the existence of the superlightweight and windproof umbrella before finding this one.”

For the other cousin who’s into pilates

Not only are they nice-looking and very of the moment, these leggings were rated best for low-impact sports by a panel of 11 fitness pros.

For the Veja-loving girlfriend who could use a new pair

Nearly every woman on the Strategist team (a highly discerning group) has a pair of Veja sneakers. We like them because they’re stylish and sustainable.

For the newly bearded husband

According to barbers and beard experts, Jack Black beard wash is the best. This kit not only comes with beard wash, it also comes with shaving cream, beard oil, and a beard comb.

For the mother-in-law who’s hard to shop for

Nine times out of ten, when faced with a “hard to shop for,” buying something cozy will do the trick. So we’re willing to bet that your persnickety mom-in-law will enjoy these surprisingly sleek Ugg slippers that made our list of Uggs for every type of woman earlier this year.

For the father-in-law who’s hard to shop for

According to Strategist columnist Chris Black, a classy and not-too-expensive wool and cashmere scarf from British outerwear brand Barbour will add a stylish kick to any boomer gentleman’s wardrobe.

For the mom who deserves a better brush

If your mother complains about lackluster strands, it could be the brush she’s using. Strategist writer Dominique Pariso finally shelled out for her dream boar-bristle brush when it was on sale last year and she hasn’t looked back since.

For the boyfriend who identifies as clog-curious