With the holidays officially here, the pressure’s on to find thoughtful, unique gifts for loved ones that aren’t just variation of what you’ve gifted before. Here at SELF, we’re always looking for the best gifts (seriously—it’s a full-time job), which is why we understand uniquely why it’s so tough to find a gift that’s as amusing or as practical as your friend or family member may desire.To help you avoid the stress of shopping for presents (and that last-minute scramble), we’d love to share with you the best gifts we as editors have given, received, or are planning to give—as well as gift ideas that we’ve noticed our readers buying this Christmas season. From functional wellness gifts and fitness gifts to longer-lasting subscription gifts, we’re pulling out all the stops to surprise our loved ones with things they’ll remember for years to come. Below, find the greatest gifts that SELF editors have given and received, gift-worthy products we’ve written about, and the best gifts of 2022 that our readers are shopping. Here’s to hoping you have a holiday season that is as merry as it is meaningful.For more present picks, check out all of the best gift ideas of 2022.The Best Gifts We’ve Given and ReceivedFrom customized loungewear and recipe books to beer-making kits and subscription gifts, here are some of the favorite gifts that SELF editors have given and received over the years.EtsyCustomy Tee Personalized Pet SweatshirtOne of the best gifts I’ve ever given is a personalized pet sweatshirt for my mom. A few years ago, I would have called clothing with your cat’s face on it tacky at best, but that was before I met Christofur, our quarantine Siamese with whom we’re both deeply in love. Last Christmas, I was trying to think of a Christofur-related gift for my mom and came across an Etsy shop that makes tasteful (dare I say stylish) pet-portrait tees and sweatshirts and I was instantly sold. I sent the shop a photo of our boy and they sent me a sketch to approve before printing it on the sweatshirt. The shop is no longer open, but this one is very similar, and—I can’t believe I’m saying this—I think I’m going to add a matching sweatshirt to my wishlist this year, so I can snuggle with Christofur when we’re apart. —Cathryne Keller, SELF associate wellness director
AmazonFujifilm Instax Wide 300 Instant CameraI’m a big fan of instant cameras, especially for commemorating any sort of special event. Sure, I take photos with my phone, but there’s nothing magical about taking a bunch of pictures you can easily go through and delete later—and there’s everything magical about hitting a button and having a real, tangible photo in your hands that you can’t delete, no matter how terrible or amazing it is. I own two Fujifilm cameras (the smaller one that’s excellent for bringing to parties) as well as this retro-looking model that shoots wider pictures. I love this for portraits, as it’s great for closer-up pictures that show detail (versus landscapes). I brought it with me on a trip a few years ago, and after seeing how much my friend liked it, bought one on Amazon and had it shipped to her as a wedding gift. She uses it all the time, including on a trip to Kenya over the summer, and I love that we’re both creating memories that we can share with each other and our friends and families (instead of just texting). —Malia Griggs, SELF commerce editor
EtsyClaire Magnolia Recipe Card BinderI’ve actually received and given this gift; it’s a beautiful recipe binder that I’ve filled twice now with all of my family’s best recipes. When I moved into my own apartment, I wanted a way to keep track of all of my mom’s dishes so I could recreate them in my new kitchen. Then, when my cousin got married this fall, I bought another and added recipes from my family, her parents, our grandma, and others, so that she and her partner could bring some of our family into this new one she was starting. —Eliza Laycock, SELF social producer and editor
Brooklyn Brew ShopBrooklyn Brew Shop x TALEA Beer Making KitMy partner loves to work with his hands, and he also enjoys craft beer. This kit gave him and his roommates a fun project to do on the weekend; they loved the sense of accomplishment when they drank the finished product, and it was actually palatable. —Sarah Madaus, SELF commerce writer
EtsyThe Nuu Shop Custom Embroidered Varsity CrewneckI love Etsy for its wide selection of personalized gifts. I recently gifted this minimalist crew neck to my brother for his birthday and customized the print with the name of his university. I also got one for myself and it’s easily become a staple sweatshirt in my wardrobe this fall. —Jenifer Calle, SELF senior commerce editor
Harry & DavidHarry & David Fruit of the Month ClubIt’s the gift that keeps on giving! When I was in college living in a dorm room and eating every meal at our dining hall, my mom got me a three-month subscription to Harry & David’s Fruit-of-the-Month. The joy that this box of fruit brought me was unparalleled. I’d get winter citruses delivered to the mail room from January to March, and they were always so fresh and delicious. I love subscription boxes as gifts because each month is a new surprise and you get to try out all sorts of things! —Laycock
AmazonPickled Stamps Custom Return Address StampWhen I became a homeowner, I wasn’t expecting any sort of a housewarming gift, let alone a personalized one. But my good friend, unprompted, sent me a very thoughtful present that I never would’ve thought of for myself: a custom return address stamp. She got to choose from a bunch of styling options (and for me, sent a floral design). It’s an affordable, sweet way to celebrate anyone’s new space, and I use it any time I send a letter. —Griggs
Alluring BodyAlluring Body VVS Diamond Nose StudI’d wanted to get my nose pierced for probably a solid decade at the time, but I just wasn’t able to pull the trigger. My then-boyfriend (and now-husband) gave me the best possible gift: a gift card to the piercing place, knowing that it would give me the not-so-subtle push I needed. I ended up getting it done and loving it—especially after it healed and I was able to switch out the piercing to this really delicate stud. —Christa Sgobba, SELF food and fitness director
AmazonDewalt 20V Max Cordless Drill KitMy dad gave me this Dewalt drill when I moved into my new apartment, and it has made all of my home projects so much easier. I also just feel more like an adult now that I have a drill—and a solid, heavy-duty one at that. —Madaus
HugimalHugimal Charlie the PuppyThe Hugimal Is basically a weighted blanket in stuffed-animal form, and I’m giving the bear model (so cute!) to my friend’s toddler for Christmas this year. They’re marketed as a stress relief product for kids and adults, and I honestly may have to get one for myself, too. I was skeptical at first, but they do, indeed, feel like you’re getting hugged. I may not be a stuffed-animal adult, but I’m definitely a needs-a-hug adult. —Keller
A Few of Our Editors’ Favorite Gift-Worthy ProductsAs editors, we’re lucky enough to try a lot of different products—many of which are meh, but a few of which really stand out in their ability to soothe, organize, and ultimately add joy to our lives. Below, you’ll find some of these products (as well as its accompanying reviews), all of which would make excellent holiday gifts for your loved ones (or birthday, anniversary, and anytime, too).Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyNekteck Shiatsu Neck and Back MassagerThe magic is in the massager’s shape, particularly the handle straps. With the massager resting on your shoulders and your hands or forearms looped through straps, you can hold it in place, maneuver it to the perfect spot, and adjust the pressure by pulling it against your body. As for the actual massaging, it’s done with eight kneading massage nodes, and the intensity is adjustable between three-speed levels. Using this bad boy is part of my nighttime routine several times a week, and it never fails to loosen me up and chill me out. —Anna Borges, former SELF senior health editor, in a review
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyApple Watch Series 8From the SELF 2022 Home Fitness Awards: “It might be easier to list the things this watch doesn’t do, versus the things it does—that’s how extensive the features are. In addition to numerous workout modalities—everything from indoor and outdoor runs to kickboard swimming, yoga, HIIT, and more—this watch comes with improved battery life, crash detection, temperature sensing for deeper insights into menstrual cycle tracking, and more detailed sleep stages. If you’re already living in the Apple universe with an iPhone, the watch feels like a bit of a no-brainer.”
Nordstrom / Amanda BaileyDyson Airwrap Gift SetThe Dyson Airwrap Complete is a multi-styling at-home hair tool that can create a variety of looks based on the attachments (and techniques) you use. Now that I own one, I can’t imagine paying to get a blowout again. In fact, I now like the way my hair looks after an Airwrap session more than it does when I get it professionally done. —Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF’s associate director of special projects
AmazonW&P The Popper Microwave BowlThe Popper is a small, soft silicone bowl with a vented lid. On the lid itself is a slight indentation, which cleverly holds exactly the amount of popcorn kernels that will fit, popped, within the bowl (so that I don’t have to use a measuring cup). Once I’ve poured the right increment into my bowl, I stick on its lid, put it in the microwave for about two minutes, and, presto, I have fresh popcorn that snugly fits inside my bowl. This useful gift is just what I needed for the days when I’m craving an afternoon snack or nibble to pair with Netflix. —Griggs
Our PlaceOur Place Mini Always PanThe Our Place Mini Always Pan is the same as its larger counterpart, except with a diameter of 8.5 inches and a total length of 16.9 inches. It comes with a built-in spoon rest (plus a beechwood spoon that nestles perfectly), a spout, and a longer stay-cool handle. It’s lightweight like the original, heats quickly and efficiently thanks to its aluminum construction, and has the same nonstick ceramic coating. I cook nearly every day, and this pan has helped me whip up citrusy pork tacos, pancakes, apricot and chickpea tagine, scrambled eggs, brown butter gnocchi, and more. It boils, sautés, braises, sears, and strains as well—if not better—than my original Always Pan. —Madaus
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyTherabody Theragun MiniFrom the SELF 2022 Home Fitness Awards: “Theragun offers a unique percussive massage (read: rapidly tapping or lightly hitting your muscles) that’s designed to break up tightened fascia and ease sore muscles. The end result is similar to what you might get after a good foam rolling session, but the massage itself will obviously feel totally different. The Theragun Mini packs the same punch as its larger counterparts, but comes in a smaller package with an easy-to-hold angular shape.”
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyTrade Coffee SubscriptionTrade Coffee is a company that offers a curated coffee subscription service that focuses on connecting coffee drinkers with coffee roasters located throughout the United States. Flexible with both pricing and scheduling, a Trade Coffee subscription also helps support local roasters and their communities. It’s a good fit for coffee enthusiasts who like to make their coffee at home but may be interested in exploring different roasters located throughout the country. —Brittany Natale, SELF freelance writer
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Buds 2 ProI was really excited to test and review these earbuds. At around the same price as the AirPods Pro and Pixel Buds Pro, the Samsung Buds 2 Pro fall into a competitive space and land somewhere in the middle. They’re more advanced than the Pixel Buds Pro and they feel better in my ear than the AirPods Pro. It comes with great ANC quality, and smart earbud features like Intelligent Conversation Mode and Voice Detect. —Calle
NordstromSlip Pure Silk Queen PillowcaseNight after night, my skin and hair literally glide over my Slip silk pillowcase instead of catching, which used to happen quite often when I slept on cotton pillowcases. These days my hair feels way less dry and is definitely more manageable thanks to this wonder-working silk pillowcase; I even invested in the matching eye mask. —Tiffany Dodson, former SELF commerce writer, in a review
AmazonMaxi-Matic HyperChillerFolks, I can say that this is my final iced coffee maker. I brew my hot coffee, pour it directly in, let it sit there for less than a minute, and ta-da, out comes iced coffee. Magic. Honestly, I’ve considered buying a second one just so I can have a dedicated chiller for coffee and one for alcohol to cut down on how often I have to wash it. It is that good. —Borges in a review
BokksuBokksu Classic Gift BoxI was sent a package from Bokksu, a Japanese snack subscription service. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was delighted to find the box stuffed with goodies sourced directly from snack makers in Japan. The snacks ranged from savory (tiny pickled plum-flavored potato sticks, crunchy edamame crackers, roasted sesame-seed rounds) to sweet (a pear and cheese biscuit, handmade yuzu-sake hard candies, freeze-dried strawberries filled with chocolate, matcha chocolate stick cakes, and more). There was even a genmaicha brown rice green tea. My favorite aspect of the Bokksu box was that there were a few samples of each of the 15 snacks, leaving enough for me to send my parents too. —Griggs
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyEmber Temperature Control Smart Mug 2As someone who is very, very passionate about hot drinks, I was honestly thrilled to be gifted an Ember Smart Mug a few Christmases back. I never would have bought a pricey, Bluetooth-enabled, self-heating mug that comes with its own charger/coaster for myself, so it felt extra special to receive. And, like the best thoughtful gifts, I actually use it on a regular (daily) basis. —Sara Coughlin, SELF senior commerce writer
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyKindle Paperwhite 8 GBThe Kindle Paperwhite is light enough to effortlessly balance in the palm of my hand and is also good on the go, since it’s thin enough to slide into my purse without taking up much space. Although it’s a slender electronic device, the Kindle is highly durable. It’s waterproof and it has expertly survived multiple accidental drops out of my slippery fingers. The Kindle’s helpful anti-glare screen ensures I don’t struggle while reading for long periods and it has an easy-to-use interface. This tablet gets major props for not only saving me time and energy but also shelf space. —Dodson
LaylaLayla Weighted Blanket (20-Pound)If you’re looking for a weighted blanket that is soft, versatile, easy to keep clean (it’s machine-washable!), and very, very effective at delivering on the promise of cocooning you away from the world under a solid mass of coziness, the Layla weighted blanket is my recommendation. —Borges
Courtesy of the brand / Amanda K BaileyMaude VibeIf you’re skeptical of vibrators, I promise, that the Maude Vibe is an excellent, easy-to-use vibrator for beginners as well as anyone with a nightstand stuffed with sex toys (bonus: It’s under $50). I find myself more often than not reaching for the Maude, as it provides a “wowza” feeling that my fingers just can’t—or another human, for that matter. —Griggs
CameoCameo Gift VideoIf you’re surrounded by people who always say they “don’t want anything” for a gift, Cameo is your solution. You can find celebrities of every stripe on the platform, ready to record a personalized video message just for your giftee (even better, a Cameo file won’t end up as clutter in their home). I gave my partner a Cameo from Mick Foley, hardcore wrestling legend, a few years ago and I’m still trying to top that gift. —Coughlin
The Best Gifts of 2022Now that we’re deep into gifting season, our commerce team has gotten a peek into the gifts that our readers are shopping. These are some of the top-clicked and purchased products—just in case you’re in need of some inspiration.AmazonBindle Bottle (24 oz.)A great gift for fitness and wellness enthusiasts alike, this clever insulated water bottle has a secret compartment for them to stow their keys, cash, earbuds, and more (meaning they can go hands-free).
BombasBombas Gripper SlippersThese fleece-lined toe-warmers are the perfect combo of your favorite socks and slippers (meaning you won’t slide around when wearing them).
NordstromNordstrom Moonlight Eco PajamasOur readers (and editors) love the soft, stretchy material of this PJ set. It doesn’t hurt that their button-down style dresses them up, nor that they come in a range of patterns and colors.
The Birthdate Co.The Birthdate BookThe friend who tags you in astrology memes will be over the moon about this customized birth chart, which comes in the form of a highly fancy bound book.
AmazonWthn Prosource Fit Acupressure Mat and Pillow SetFor the friend or family member with a tense back and shoulders, gift this acupressure mat, which is covered in nodes that increase circulation after they’ve laid on it for at least 10 minutes.
CourantCourant Mag:2 Essentials Wireless Charging StandHere’s a techie gift: a stand that wirelessly charges their phone and AirPods simultaneously—and that also acts as a stand for their FaceTime calls and TikTok videos.
EtsyCara Concept Live Edge Solid Wood Bathtub TrayThis gorgeous bath caddy elevates any bathtub and is the ideal surface for the essentials needed for a self-care soak.
Uncommon GoodsUncommon Goods Mindfulness Card SetIn this card deck are a series of present-minded prompts that guide the recipient towards mindful moments.
AmazonQubii Photo Storage DriveNot only does this handy device act as a phone charger, but it also backs up their phone and its photos at the same time.
HuckberryFlikr Fire Personal Concrete FireplaceAll this countertop fireplace requires is rubbing alcohol and a match to create a cozy little fire for a s’mores-stuffed date night.
AmazonKitchen Gizmo Snap N Strain StrainerThis silicone strainer clips onto any pot to drain water and is so much more space-efficient than a colander.
PhilipsPhilips SmartSleep Therapy LampFor the decidedly not morning people in your life, consider a sunrise alarm clock, which gently rouses them with the glow of a sunrise (and sounds of nature, if they want). It has a sunset setting for before bed, too.