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2020 Holiday Gift Guides

Updated: Nov 17, 2021

This post may contain affiliate links.

We hope these gift guides provide you with some ideas or inspiration for showing your loved ones appreciation this holiday season, but during these strange and difficult times, it's important not to feel pressure to spend money unnecessarily. Your loved ones will almost certainly appreciate a thoughtful note or phone call to check in on their health and wellbeing as much as any gift you can buy online or in a store.

If you are planning to shop for gifts this year, this is a great opportunity to show support to the small businesses that so desperately need it. We've tried to feature small businesses (and similar options from small businesses) where possible, but if there are small businesses that you love to support - please spread the word by sharing them in the comments! Happy holidays!

We're basically all homebodies these days, but even still, here are some thoughtful gift ideas in varying price ranges that anyone who loves to decorate, entertain, or just simply "nest" might enjoy.

ONE: Taper candles are a unique and affordable gift idea for anyone that likes to entertain or decorate. These floral pressed candles are a pretty option, and you can see our full roundup of other unique textured options here.

TWO: Adding a personal photo or a unique art print to one of these beautiful burl wood frames would make an easy and thoughtful gift idea. Here's a similar option from a small business.

THREE: This ruffled marble bowl is a stunning but functional statement piece that could just as easily hold lemons in the kitchen or work as a piece of art on a bookshelf. Here's a similar option from a small business.

FOUR: Try as we might, we have just never managed to find a more beautiful decanter. So, while you've seen it on our prior round-ups, you'll have to forgive us for including it again here. It's beautiful, functional, and perfect for a friend that likes to decorate their bar cart, indulge in the occasional homemade cocktail, or may just beginning to fill a new home with special pieces.

FIVE: Have a friend that's really embracing the pleated lampshade trend? This beautiful pleated desk lamp would be perfect for an office nook or even under a kitchen counter. Here's a similar option from a small business (we've ordered two from this Etsy shop in the past, but leave plenty of time for shipping!)

SIX: This double arm iron taper candle holder is a beautiful gift idea for someone who likes a minimalist but cozy aesthetic, and buying this (or any of the beautiful items) from June Home Supply is also a great way to support a small business.

SEVEN: While throw pillows can be an investment that depend heavily on a person's personal taste, if you're comfortable enough making this type of design decision for a friend, this is a beautiful neutral but patterned option that would match almost any decor.

EIGHT: If you're looking for something thoughtful but more affordable, this book serves up a ton of design inspiration and is also pretty enough to leave out on the coffee table.

NINE: Cutting boards are a great gift for anyone that loves to cook, entertain, or just decorate. This is a great option for someone that actually plans on putting the cutting board to use in the kitchen, while this one might be a better choice for someone who prefers form over function.

TEN: This set of knives is not only good quality, but has unique white handles that may blend more seamlessly into a bright white kitchen.

ELEVEN: These napkins are a pretty and practical stocking stuffer, or pair them with a cookbook (this is one of our favorites) to make a complete gift for a friend that likes to entertain. Here's a similar option from Etsy.

TWELVE: This copper kettle is a timeless option for the tea lovers in your life, and is pretty enough to leave out on the stovetop full time. Here's a similar option from Etsy.

Many of these gifts would actually be great for any member of the family, but we put the list together with the idea of tackling gifts for the especially hard to shop for adult men in your life. Whether it's your husband, father, or brother you're looking to shop for, many of these stay-home-friendly gift ideas are sure to be a hit.

ONE: The Ember Mug is a fun and convenient way to keep your coffee or tea at a stable warm temperature. The mug comes with a charging coaster and you control the temperature of your liquid of choice with an intuitive mobile app. This is a great gift idea for anyone (many of us) that are working from home these days.

TWO: We have heard nothing but rave reviews about these Ooni pizza ovens. If you already have a regular pizza night at home, why not make it a family activity with everyone topping their own small pizza and cooking them up in your own outdoor pizza oven?

THREE: If the man in your life is a gamer, or even just enjoys trying out new technology, you can’t go wrong with a VR headset like the Oculus Quest 2. Beyond fun games and interactive activities for the entire family, there are also great exercising apps available and opportunities to engage in socially distanced, virtual fun with friends that have their own headset.

FOUR: If your husband, dad, brother, or any man in your life enjoys firing up the grill in the summer, this variety pack of smoking wood chips would make a fun and creative stocking stuffer.

FIVE: Another practical and thoughtful gift idea is a subscription to the New York Times. If he already has a subscription to the newspaper, consider tacking on a subscription to the crossword puzzle! They’re a fun and interactive way to keep your mind sharp and tackle some brain teasers together over weekend coffee.

SIX: Consider gifting a Masterclass subscription to let him learn a fun new skill from top experts in the industry, like a cooking class with Thomas Keller or a design class with Kelly Wearstler. This is another thoughtful idea that’s a bit more personalized than a gift card, but still lets your gift recipient play a part in deciding how to get the most out of the gift.

SEVEN: This, this, or this 100 Movies scratch off poster is a creative and thoughtful gift to help take the indecision out of your movie nights.

EIGHT: You may have seen this Always Pan popping up all over shopping guides lately, and for good reason. The pan is meant to replace eight different kitchen tools, and can be used to braise, sear, steam, strain, sauté, fry, boil, and so on. Right now they are having a great Black Friday sale - $95 instead of the standard $145.

NINE: We realize this one may have caused you to do a double take, but yes, we’re still on the adult gift list. The thing is, there are a lot of men that would love nothing more than to spend some of their stuck-at-home free time revisiting their childhood hobby of crafting Lego structures - and this super popular model NASA Apollo Saturn V (recently relaunched by Lego after selling out in record time after its initial release) is the perfect mix of engineering challenge and outer space themed entertainment.

TEN: For anyone that grew up in the 80’s/90’s, this one is pretty self explanatory, but a classic Nintendo console (or really any gaming console) would be a big hit for any guy looking for a fun but safe at home distraction.

ELEVEN: If you’ve been spending a lot more time at home in front of your TV this year, maybe it’s time to invest in a quality sound system. Gifting your husband this minimalist and sleek sound bar may have the added benefit of replacing your current unsightly and bulky speakers. A win-win?

TWELVE: If any of the guys in your life enjoy cooking, treat them to an order of fancy Wagyu beef or seafood from a delivery site like Crowd Cow. This would be a great, stay at home friendly way to celebrate New Year’s Eve with your loved ones - cooking an indulgent meal together at home!

We have to admit, it's especially fun to pick out all of the soft, pastel, and adorably sweet gifts for the little ones in your life.

ONE: These adorable rockers come in a variety of "characters" - from clouds to rainbows, but this sweet elephant with a bow on its neck and this happy narwal are two of our favorites.

TWO: A musical toy like this pretty xylophone or this personalized version from Etsy would be a fun gift for a toddler to start to explore making sounds on an instrument a little less jarring than a drum.

THREE: You can't go wrong with a foldable baby gym, and bonus if it involves cute little toys to grab like this rainbow themed wooden gym or this similar version from Etsy.

FOUR: This bear is just as soft and cuddly as he looks, and is sure to be a cherished gift to any child on your list.

FIVE: This pastel puzzle (here's a similar, and more affordable option) would be a great option for a child whose parents are focused on Montessori style toys, and is pretty enough that it could stay out on display when it's not in use.

SIX: Gathre is a small, female owned business that creates beautiful and educational play mats and tapestries. In addition to this alphabet mat, this world map mat is another great option that doubles as a surface for tummy time and a placemat for arts and crafts.

SEVEN: Sarah & Bendrix is another female owned small business that creates special wooden toys like this castle and these adorable, personalized animals toy bundles.

EIGHT: If you're celebrating the holidays with a few sightly older children that will be eagerly expecting you to play with them and their new toys, this is a fun option for both kids and adults. For the less artistic, don't worry, the clay kit comes with an app that provides step by step instructions for creating the farm animals.

NINE (similar): Are we the only ones that always dreamed of a canopy bed growing up? Well, the next best thing would be a fun cloth reading nook for story time.

TEN: Beyond being beautiful and hand made, your purchase of a doll by cuddle+kind also provides 10 meals to children in need.

ELEVEN: A thoughtful gift for new parents that may be staying with you or other family during the holidays would be a travel play mat that can provide a soft and clean place for tummy time.

TWELVE: Now that we have all our Christmas orders in from this shop, we can officially share our best kept secret. This Etsy shop is run by a single mother that hand makes every toy. The shop has the sweetest toddler gifts, like mini bowling sets and rainbow stacking puzzles. But be sure to get your order in soon if you're hoping to receive your gifts by Christmas!


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