holiday gifts 2021

55 Truly Surprising, Strange and Immensely Pleasing Gifts Over $200

Including a pavé-ruby ring, crypto clocks, and this snake by the hour.

Photo: Joe Lingeman
Photo: Joe Lingeman
Photo: Joe Lingeman

Typically, we share recommendations for the best products, period — it doesn’t matter when they came out as long as they are exceptionally useful, beautiful, surprising, or otherwise worth recommending. Last year, we surveyed celebrities on the best thing they bought themselves during the pandemic. This year we have gone in a different direction, focusing almost entirely on the world of the recently released. Here, you’ll find a wide assortment of new-ish things for every person on your list, from knee-high riding boots for the reformed horse girl to a handsome white oak birch desk organizer for the person who’s never going back to the office. Plus, of course, dozens of other ideas, like some a papier-mâché buzzer to a (3,283-piece model of the) Tesla Cybertruck. (You can also see our picks for gifts under $50 and gifts under $200.)

Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here.

A Living-Room Threefer and a Snake by the Hour (pictured above)

Christine Espinal’s design can be used as a side table, a magazine rack, or (with a slab of glass or wood) a large coffee table.

[Editor’s note: This table is now sold out, but you can sign up on the product page to be notified when it’s back in stock.]

Steve Lengen will bring snakes to any New York apartment or restaurant — including Banana Peel, a 13-foot python.

Cloud Clogs

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Less expected than cow or cheetah.

Smart Reformer

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The first at-home, digitally connected Pilates reformer — preloaded to access hundreds of on-demand classes.

Pastoral Sweater

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The sibling duo behind Leret Leret recommend sizing up for a looser drape.

Gaetano Pesce Clock

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Cheery horology from the Pope of Gloop.

Reversible Coat

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

From British haberdasher Drake’s, it converts from a double-breasted houndstooth to a mac.

Fortunato the Rug

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Williamsburg shops Home Union and Pieces made a series of rugs named after nearby Italian spots.

At-Home Laser Treatment

$2,499
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The medical-grade device effectively obliterates the surface bacteria that cause acne, and it helps with scarring and lines too.

Rectangular Shades

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Auór is an Australia-based sunglasses brand — this particular style also comes in walnut and tortoiseshell.

Purple Prada

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

In napa leather with a little triangular pocket.

Commuter Bike

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Giant’s affordable new hybrid has a lightweight frame and nubby, city-friendly tires.

Dinner-Appropriate Hiking Boots

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Season Three was founded by a pair of MIT students who decided to pivot into footwear design.

American Ham

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Cured in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the better part of two years.

Better Home Office

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Suddenly the screen is raised, the cables are organized, and all notebooks are stored.

Herman Miller History

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The first poster designed for the company’s employee picnics; comes framed.

High-Design Rugby

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

A knit from former Bode and Kith designer Connor McKnight.

Low-Impact Trampoline

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

To pair with the Ness’ online classes.

All-in-One Synthesizer

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The smallest modular synth on the market, apparently.

See-Through Catsuit

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

By designer LaQuan Smith, this has an invisible zipper closure and was spotted on Rihanna.

Mowalola Bag

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

If this purse (which itself is over a foot wide and tall) isn’t big enough for you, the designer also makes a version that’s almost four times the size.

A Vertical Turntable and a Gargoyle Gecko

Photo: Joe Lingeman

From Fuse; so everyone can see what they’re spinning.

If taken care of correctly — they’ll need a 12x12x12 vivarium — these friendly reptiles can live up to 20 years.

Skinny Desktop

iMac
$1,500
$1,500
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

It’s only 11.5-mm. — and has a 24‑inch 4.5K Retina display.

Nugget Dupe

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The Figgy is much more available and just as enjoyable.

Safety Quilt

$28,000
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The figure in the top-left corner of this quilt, by artist Basil Kincaid, is meant to be the sleeper’s protector.

Papier-Mâché Buzzer

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Artist Bernie Kaminski has replicated TekTone’s two-tone classic.

Riding Boots

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

London-based Legres’ founders are all grounded in architecture.

Kelly-Green Pants

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Bottoms from Ciao Lucia!, an L.A. brand founded by Lucy Akin.

Double-Chain Choker

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Made by jeweler — and former textile designer for Proenza Schouler — Sapir Bachar.

Swirly Dish

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Glassblower Peter Gudrunas is one of the few artisans to eschew factory-made colors.

Tennis Whites

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Casablanca’s look is a little bit country club, a little bit Italian coast.

Hot Watch

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Even the vintage buyers — who generally never buy new — are investing in this green Reverso

Loafer of the Year

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Unisex and in that just-right territory between dress shoes and sneakers.

Ruby Ring

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

All told, this Kindred Black ring has more than two carats of pavé rubies.

Better Wired Headphones

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

These Grado headphones dispense music-studio-quality sound.

Chubby Little Light

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

This new Schoolhouse lamp takes its color palette from vintage Braun gadgets and its name (Teig) from the German word for “dough.”

New Nintendo Switch

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

It has a high-resolution OLED screen and more onboard memory.

Small Wooden Stool

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Made of beechwood by NYC design cooperative Sunfish.

Quite the Barrette

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Made of 14-karat-gold-plated brass and hand-painted with resin.

A Gerald Lovell

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The self-taught painter captures Black subjects in intimate scenes. (artnet.com)

Courtside Seats

$10,240
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Ethimo’s latest collection of furniture was designed to decorate tennis courts, pools, and athletic clubs.

Handmade Hammock

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

From Ames, made by female artists in Colombia.

Tufted Throne

$3,200
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The legs of Otherside Objects’ chair provide unusually ample support.

Rimowa Replacement

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

A new expandable hardshell from business-traveler favorite TravelPro.

Crypto Clock

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

When Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey appeared via Zoom at the House hearing on misinformation, this — which displays the current price of bitcoin — could be seen behind him.

Lumpy Lamp

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

It’s made by French artist Régis de Saintdo — and has a bit of a Niki de Saint Phalle feel.

Even Rarer Truffles

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor/

White ones are more precious than black, and Gourmet Attitude’s — sourced from Northern Italy — are consistently fragrant.

Princess Diana Gorp

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

A 2021 take on her famous Warm and Wonderful sweater.

Blinding Beanbag

$30,000
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

It took designer Rachel Shillander months to cover this chair in over 30,000 mirrored tiles.

Expressive Pillow

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

By Sean-Kierre Lyons, who currently has work on display at MoMA PS1.

Insightful Soles

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Measure how evenly you land on each foot plus all sorts of nitty-gritty metrics.

Cybertruck Toy

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Since the life-size version isn’t going into production until late 2022.

Shrunken USPS Van

Kid Trax USPS Truck
$208
$208
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Next-generation mail carriers might appreciate the functioning foot pedal.

ROYGBIV Blanket

A cheery collaboration by Pendleton and Brooklinen.

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.

55 Truly Surprising and Immensely Pleasing Gifts Over $200