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 the stealthy and stylish blender Halle Berry happens to love to an actually-stylish cat tree made from salvaged rugs. Plus, of course, dozens of other ideas, like some Crocs-meets-Birkenstock Italian cork clogs (seen above, $58 from gardenheir.com) to the gift of at-home blowouts and 22-karat AirPod earrings. (You can also see our picks for gifts under $50.)
Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here.
Not-So-Clunky Clogs and a Pac-Man Frog (pictured above)
Particularly supportive garden shoes.
It eats crickets, dubia roaches, and whole night crawlers and tends to thrive in home terraria.
The NutriBullet founder’s new launch both “crushes ice at a record speed” and is a favorite of Oprah’s.
Mediterranean bluefin-tuna belly that can be eaten straight from the can with some lemon.
It has a fully pivoting head with space for three blades, which can be sent back for recycling.
Artist José Garcia Antonio’s sculptures are inspired by Zapotec iconography.
It’s an incense holder.
Each Tonie figure tells stories and sings songs when placed upon the Toniebox — like an on-demand Aesop.
Nail artist Sarah Nguyen’s newly launched press-on sets are adorned with gold flakes and crystals.
By designer Larry Tchogninou, inspired by mountains.
Three Amaryllis Bulbs
Drop this kit into a pot before it gets too cold and be rewarded with a bounty of amaryllis this spring.
German Jurassic Park
This Schleich set comes with an ankylosaurus and a gigantosaurus — and a volcano that erupts with vapor.
Prawn Place Mats
From local drag queen Steak Diane’s new housewares line.
Hat Named Wanda
The cult crochet-knit hat from Emily Dawn Long and Maria Dora, now in red-and-white stripes.
Ca. 2003 Cologne
A&F released a “vintage-edition bottle” of its sandalwood-and-musk classic.
13 Artist’s Notebooks
Each features a particular type of paper: one for sketching with pencil, one for painting with watercolors, and so on.
Aplat designed this for carrying unwieldy casseroles, baking sheets, and pans to the potluck.
From the Brooklyn-based men’s basics line Adsum in “safety red.”
This CHI Volumizer 4-in-1 brush enhances natural hair.
In Italianate tones of cream, brown, and sky blue.
Fresh from the Neue Galerie’s gift shop.
Bright Dog Garb
A neon-pink leash and collar made from supersoft French leather.
Actually Nice Cat Tree
Cat Haus’s wares are made from rugs and fabrics found at garage sales and Goodwill.
Vegan Mochi and Painted Lady Butterflies
Mochidoki’s collection in six dairy-free flavors.
A dozen can be shipped in a “release container” — the idea is to let them go at once for dramatic effect.
Pokeboo’s rain boots can fold down small enough to fit into a purse.
The monthly postcard subscription is just one of the many ways Summertime Gallery seeks to highlight and support the work of the neurodiverse artists in its fold.
Speckled Chef’s Knife
A new design to match F&M’s signature cutting boards.
… And a Place to Put It
Magnetic knife stands help ensure blades stay sharp.
From one of the few American companies producing verified Wagyu.
Ruffled European Linen
With an ethically sourced duck-down cushion.
Galactic Jelly Cake
With a touch of booze from Brooklyn’s own Solid Wiggles.
Bauhaus for Babies
They’ll be able to construct a practically infinite number of structures and designs with this 40-pack of screenprint flat panels.
The Japanese house-shoe brand Subu collaborated with London’s Garbstore for this tie-dye iteration.
Hong Kong Knit
YanYan uses leftover factory yarn to make its wares.
Orchardist Jeff Rieger picks, hangs, peels, and massages these fruits.
[Editor’s note: This hoshigaki will be restocked later this month, according to the website. We’ll keep an eye out and update this when they’re back.]
Designed by Nigerian American artist Nifemi Ogunro.
Fingerless British Gloves
Made of sheepskin, courtesy of the queen’s glove-maker.
Beh, as she is known, is handmade by Parisian knitwear designer Sophie Digard.
A four-pack with each featuring a different embroidered cowboy motif.
Park Slope Playsuit
A toddler-size chunky knit made of Peruvian cotton.
Meant for toting from room to room or park parties.
Recess Pickleball launched during the pandemic, as the obscure tennis alternative saw a huge boom.
Dimes Square Dog
A Scottie barrette from Emily Bode.
Upload a picture of your animal to Whisps’ website and one of its “sculptors” will re-create it.
Ceramicist Ginny Sims’s popular wheel-thrown cups perpetually sell out.
[Editor’s note: These mugs are indeed currently sold out, but they’re slated to restock in early December.]
Non-MSG Knicks Merch
Also available is a blue-and-orange-striped rugby.
Slippage-protectant 22-karat studs.
Grater With Feet
Modeled after an 18th-century English version.
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.