holiday gifts 2022

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

Photo-Illustration: 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 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 our archives for the best editor- and writer-approved offerings at Nordstrom, a Strategist favorite for everything from sommelier-approved wine preservers to beauty favorites to kids’ toys. Below, see 30 expert-recommended options backed by skin-care gurus, authors, and other experts — many of which we’ve also used ourselves — for every person on your list.

Don’t procrastinate — the deadline for free shipping on all orders is 5 p.m. PT on December 17. If you’re a Nordstrom Card member, you can receive three-day delivery or next-day delivery to local store locations until 12 p.m. PT on December 18.

For the grandkid who needs a new stuffy

Stuffed-animal brand Jellycat is a favorite of Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo, who says the toys are “adorable, supersoft, and just the right size for toddler hands” in our guide to the best gifts for 2-year-olds. You’ll find everything from unicorns and bears to coffee cups and avocados, but we like this furry octopus wearing a turtleneck sweater best.

For the sister who’s trying natural deodorants

This set features four full-size Megababe products including the Rosy Pits aluminum-free deodorant, our pick for sensitive skin because it’s free of baking soda, which can sometimes cause rashes. It’s also Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s stood-behind deodorant. “I no longer have irritation and redness under my arms, and I smell lovely and rosy, like a little garden, all day and into the evening hours,” Viera-Newton says.

For the dad who’d rather cook than order takeout

This trio of firm yet flexible utensils includes our best overall spatula — the GIR Ultimate Silicone Spatula — which performs as a flipper, scraper, and spreader. “I grab it for scraping cake batter, shuffling scrambled eggs, and much, much more,” says Emma Laperruque, author of Big Little Recipes and senior cooking editor at Bon Appétit. The set also comes with GIR’s Ultimate Flip and Ultimate Spoonula.

For the niece or nephew who’s into arts and crafts

If your sibling’s kid is into the arts, they’ll love this colorful crafting kit from Kid Made Modern, the same brand recommended to us by Dr. Roberta Golinkoff, a professor of child psychology at the University of Delaware and co-author of Becoming Brilliant: What Science Tells Us About Raising Successful Children, in our guide to the best toy gifts for a 6-year-olds. Containing all kinds of rainbow-colored pipe cleaners, beads, googly eyes, and more, bundles like this one will support kids’ creativity, Golinkoff says.

For the uncle who prides himself on wearing fun socks

Few socks are as comfortable and long-lasting as Bombas, which is why they’re a Strategist favorite. This four-pack has the added benefit of jaunty colors and stripes.

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 new mom who’s skin-care obsessed

If the first few weeks (or months) of motherhood have been full of sleepless nights, treat her to this set that has four of Sunday Riley’s must-have products including Good Genes, an expert-approved AHA treatment for sensitive and dry skin. Miami-based dermatologist Dr. Laura Scott recommends this product because it moisturizes while brightening and exfoliating.

For the husband who’s a coffee snob

Multiple baristas told Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw about this flat-burr coffee grinder that brings professional-level technology to a consumer appliance. It’s still not cheap but it’s much quieter and delivers much tastier grinds than most other home grinders. Cheslaw tested the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder after reading a prerelease review on Grub Street and has been enjoying the results.

For the best friend that always forgets her wallet

We’re fans of the neoprene backpacks, carry-ons, and work totes from Dagne Dover, and the brand’s belt bag tops our list of the best fanny packs. Strategist editor Maxine Builder prefers it because its “logo is hidden on the backside in relatively small print,” making it discreet. And since it’s made of “forgiving, easy-to-clean” neoprene, “it expands a fair bit,” so she can stuff more into it.

For the brother who’s taking up cooking

Eggs and sautéed veggies go gourmet with our best ceramic nonstick skillet that comes recommended by recipe developer and food writer Caroline Lange. She has been using hers daily for almost two years (she even recipe-tested three cookbooks with them), and they’re showing very minimal wear. “They clean easily; if there’s ever any oil cooked on (like if I fry an egg really hot), scrubbing with a bit of baking soda takes it right off,” she says.

For the cool 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 loves stripes

Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla had seen this Dusen Dusen robe on many, many influencers before she finally decided to purchase “the carnival-tent-like number” for herself. “I can dry off quickly without the bathrobe getting as soaked as a wet mop,” Pardilla says. “It helps that it’s not as suffocatingly thick as other terry-cloth robes I’ve tried.”

For the middle schooler with nostalgic parents

Tweens will enjoy playing this miniature tabletop arcade game alongside parents hoping to re-create the classic Super Pac-Man experience in their own home. It plugs into a standard wall outlet, and the high-resolution display and headphone jack allow for endless hours of gaming.

For the relative who wants to take a trip down memory lane

Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio has purchased our best affordable digital-picture frame for multiple family members (six times total, to be exact) because it’s simple to set up and use — plus it doesn’t have a photo limit. “Aura lets you preload the frame remotely with photos and a gift message, so when it ships straight to your giftee, all they have to do is download the app and connect the frame to Wi-Fi,” Trolio says.

For the co-worker who just adopted a rescue pup

This puffer vest from Little Beast, a brand we wrote about in our roundup of the best dog jackets, is our pick for small or medium dogs. Corsillo tested this reversible vest on her dog, Uli, over one of the brand’s extremely stylish striped sweatshirts. “First off, it is incredibly cute — like, painfully cute,” she says. “And despite it being very lightweight, the material feels substantial and high quality. It would take some very sharp teeth to rip this thing.”

For the outdoorsman with a ten-step grooming routine

Topo Designs bags have made several of our lists, including the best weekend bags and the best gym bags. This Dopp kit from the brand would be perfect for the outdoorsman in your life with its water-resistant lining. It’s also a favorite of the Trevor Project’s creative director, Thomas Pardee, who says “the triangular shape is deceptively roomy and sits upright on any surface without spilling or tipping over.”

For the fiancé who’s constantly chilly

Made with recycled polyester, this fleece hoodie, from editor-beloved activewear brand Outdoor Voices, will keep them warm while working from home. Plus the bungee-cord cinching gives the option of a cropped fit, and a deep kangaroo pocket offers enough space to stash essentials before running errands.

For the teen who uses their phone as a speaker

Get the teen in your life this portable speaker, which has a retro look and very modern capabilities. With a 20-hour battery life and manual controls, “the Emberton does produce a full, immersive sound across all genres whether it’s punk rock, reggae, or even a podcast,” says former Strategist writer Jordan Bowman.

For the cousin who lives in Seattle


In our list of the best raincoats for women, this lightweight jacket is our best less expensive pick. Compared to our best overall raincoat (Stutterheim’s Stockholm jacket), this one has only a few subtle design differences, such as a shorter length, hidden snap buttons, and colored drawstrings.

For the other cousin who has influencer aspirations

As seen in our guide to the best lighted makeup mirrors, this one with a slim silhouette includes a magnetic phone holder and built-in Bluetooth connectivity for streaming and selfie taking. Instead of maneuvering to press buttons on their phone, users can hold the mirror up for the most flattering angle, then press the “camera” button in the lower right-hand corner. “The photos came out bright and clear, almost as if they were taken in an actual studio,” says Strategist junior writer Kitty Guo.

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 stepbrother

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” person, buying something cozy will do the trick. So we’re willing to bet your persnickety mom-in-law will enjoy these surprisingly sleek UGG slippers, which made our list of the best slippers. Vogue market editor Naomi Elizée says they feel “like a hug but for my feet.”

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

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

For the adventurous couple


This vibrator is our best hands-free pick for couples and comes recommended by Madeline Cooper, a clinical social worker and therapist who specializes in sexuality and relationships. Cooper says it is designed to sit on top of the clitoris and has wings that tuck under the labia, so partners don’t have to hold anything in place.

For the mom who needs a spa day

Viera-Newton discovered this facial steamer on Instagram and was persuaded to get it after seeing the before-and-after results, she says. “The steam pressure is gentle but effective — it opens up your pores without being too aggressive and scalding your face off,” she says.

For the boyfriend who’s clog curious

He’s going to need a pair of house shoes and Birkenstock Bostons are the undefeated champion of stylish men’s slip-on footwear (and are very of the moment). They were recommended by all stylish men we spoke to about the best clogs for men.

For the grandpa with a cellar full of vintage reds

Don’t just take it from us — multiple sommeliers suggest Coravin’s wine-preservation system. A thin, hollow needle extracts the liquid without removing the cork, which is “like a magic trick that violates the tenets of physics,” says Builder.

For the boss who’s trying to cut back on single-use plastic

Your co-worker will love this fancy reusable Stasher bag (which can even be used to sous-vide). According to Marais USA founder Haley Boyd, they’re also convenient bulk bags when buying anything wet at the grocery store (like olives from the Whole Foods olive bar).

For the grandma who hates using dried herbs


When we talked to Sera Rogue, the owner of Brooklyn gardening company Red Fern, for Plant Week, she recommended this self-watering indoor garden for people who want to grow fresh herbs year-round — including your basil-loving grandma.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

30 Gifts for Your Whole List That You Can Buy at Nordstrom