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)
Steve Lengen will bring snakes to any New York apartment or restaurant — including Banana Peel, a 13-foot python.
Less expected than cow or cheetah.
The first at-home, digitally connected Pilates reformer — preloaded to access hundreds of on-demand classes.
The sibling duo behind Leret Leret recommend sizing up for a looser drape.
Gaetano Pesce Clock
From British haberdasher Drake’s, it converts from a double-breasted houndstooth to a mac.
Fortunato the Rug
Williamsburg shops Home Union and Pieces made a series of rugs named after nearby Italian spots.
At-Home Laser Treatment
The medical-grade device effectively obliterates the surface bacteria that cause acne, and it helps with scarring and lines too.
Auór is an Australia-based sunglasses brand — this particular style also comes in walnut and tortoiseshell.
In napa leather with a little triangular pocket.
Giant’s affordable new hybrid has a lightweight frame and nubby, city-friendly tires.
Dinner-Appropriate Hiking Boots
Season Three was founded by a pair of MIT students who decided to pivot into footwear design.
Cured in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the better part of two years.
Better Home Office
Suddenly the screen is raised, the cables are organized, and all notebooks are stored.
Herman Miller History
The first poster designed for the company’s employee picnics; comes framed.
A knit from former Bode and Kith designer Connor McKnight.
To pair with the Ness’ online classes.
The smallest modular synth on the market, apparently.
By designer LaQuan Smith, this has an invisible zipper closure and was spotted on Rihanna.
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
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.
It’s only 11.5-mm. — and has a 24‑inch 4.5K Retina display.
The Figgy is much more available and just as enjoyable.
The figure in the top-left corner of this quilt, by artist Basil Kincaid, is meant to be the sleeper’s protector.
Artist Bernie Kaminski has replicated TekTone’s two-tone classic.
London-based Legres’ founders are all grounded in architecture.
Bottoms from Ciao Lucia!, an L.A. brand founded by Lucy Akin.
Made by jeweler — and former textile designer for Proenza Schouler — Sapir Bachar.
Glassblower Peter Gudrunas is one of the few artisans to eschew factory-made colors.
Casablanca’s look is a little bit country club, a little bit Italian coast.
Even the vintage buyers — who generally never buy new — are investing in this green Reverso
Loafer of the Year
Unisex and in that just-right territory between dress shoes and sneakers.
All told, this Kindred Black ring has more than two carats of pavé rubies.
Better Wired Headphones
These Grado headphones dispense music-studio-quality sound.
Chubby Little Light
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
It has a high-resolution OLED screen and more onboard memory.
Small Wooden Stool
Made of beechwood by NYC design cooperative Sunfish.
Quite the Barrette
Made of 14-karat-gold-plated brass and hand-painted with resin.
A Gerald Lovell
The self-taught painter captures Black subjects in intimate scenes. (artnet.com)
Ethimo’s latest collection of furniture was designed to decorate tennis courts, pools, and athletic clubs.
From Ames, made by female artists in Colombia.
The legs of Otherside Objects’ chair provide unusually ample support.
A new expandable hardshell from business-traveler favorite TravelPro.
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.
It’s made by French artist Régis de Saintdo — and has a bit of a Niki de Saint Phalle feel.
Even Rarer Truffles
White ones are more precious than black, and Gourmet Attitude’s — sourced from Northern Italy — are consistently fragrant.
Princess Diana Gorp
A 2021 take on her famous Warm and Wonderful sweater.
It took designer Rachel Shillander months to cover this chair in over 30,000 mirrored tiles.
By Sean-Kierre Lyons, who currently has work on display at MoMA PS1.
Measure how evenly you land on each foot plus all sorts of nitty-gritty metrics.
Since the life-size version isn’t going into production until late 2022.
Shrunken USPS Van
Next-generation mail carriers might appreciate the functioning foot pedal.
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.