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Failsafe Gift Ideas for Every Person on Your List

Even the most difficult people to please.

failsafe gifts
Morgan McMullen

Let’s face it: Holiday gift shopping can be a downright overwhelming pursuit. If the mere thought of figuring out a gift for every person on your list—particularly those who are very hard to buy for—triggers heart palpitations, fear no more. More than 26 hours of research went into putting together this year’s list of failsafe gifts that work for everyone. The result is a grouping of items that includes standout cozy pieces, quirky novelties you’ve likely never thought to gift before, reviewer-obsessed finds, and timeless pieces at every budget. Ahead, our roundup of the best failsafe gifts to shop now.

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Chic Pool Puzzle
Areaware
$25.00

When the aesthete in your life is feeling bored in the house (bored in the house, bored), this 500-piece puzzle will come in handy. 

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Stylish Fair Isles Socks
Mother Denim
$24.00

These fair isle socks that read "spirit guide" are a fitting gift for your go-to source of wisdom. In case my life coach, a.k.a. mom, is reading this, this is a shoutout to you!

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Mini Boxed Hoop Earrings
Soko
$68.00

Minimal yet playful, SOKO's boxed adaptation of classic huggie earrings pairs well with just about any look. In case you're unfamiliar with the Black-owned, women-founded, and sustainably-sourced brand, SOKO's pieces are handcrafted by artisans in Kenya.  

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AirPods With Charging Case
Apple
$159.00
$129.00 (19% off)

Few tech gadgets, if any, look as suave as AirPods. Boasting 169k exaggerations on Amazon (no exaggeration), now's a wise time to treat a loved one—and maybe even yourself—to a pair of the bestselling headphones. They're currently on sale for a limited time only. 

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Classic Core Sheet Set
Brooklinen
$139.00

As humans, we spend a third of our life asleep (or, at least, trying to fall asleep), so upgrading a loved one's bedding situation is a thoughtful move. This cotton sheet set from what's arguably the most beloved sheet brand on the internet includes a fitted sheet, top sheet, and two pillow cases.

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7/8 Jogger Travel Pants with Pockets
AJISAI
$31.00

These flattering $31 joggers, which I recently reviewed here, are the only pair of sweatpants I've ever loved. They're comfy enough for wearing around the house all day, but cute enough to get away with wandering around galleries in (with a mask on, of course). 

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BEST GIFT FOR ANY AGE
Tykho 3 FM Radio & Bluetooth® Speaker
LEXON
$59.99

Designed in France, this silicone rubber bluetooth speaker can connect with your phone to play music, in addition to functioning as a normal FM radio. Aesthetic appeal aside, the speaker has impressive sound quality, charges easily through a USB port, and offers 20 hours of battery life. 

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"Be the Change" Soy Candle
Natural Annie Essentails
$23.00

Surprise a changemaker you admire by way of a natural, 100 percent vegan soy candle. The scent is a dreamy bamboo coconut. 

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Pulcina Geometric Espresso Pot
Alessi
$90.00

This espresso pot from Italian design brand Alessi not only brews a perfect moka, but is kitchen counter eye candy. The recipient will want to keep this on display 24/7.

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Mixtape Potluck Cookbook
Quest Love Food LLC; Martha Stewart
$18.57

There are regular cookbooks and then there’s Questlove’s cookbook, which imagines the greatest potluck of all time and has celebrity recipe contributions from the likes of Amy Poehler, Gabrielle Union, Natalie Portman, Q-Tip, Fred Armisen, and so many more. For the chef in your life, this is sure to be a hit (pardon my extremely nerdy music pun).

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Wooden Beaded Coasters (Set of 4)
Amara
$28.00

Coasters are the rare decorative entity that nobody ever seems to have enough of, and yet nobody ever wants to buy 'em for themselves. Here, an earthy beaded set that looks far more expensive than its $28 price tag. 

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Safety Shield Hand Sanitizer Spray
DRIFTER ORGANICS
$10.20

It goes without saying that hand sanitizer is its own kind of "must" for 2020. Here, an option that won't leave hands sticky and smelling like an old bottle of tequila. Think: lavender with a pepper-y kick.

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Hand-Painted Planter Pots
PepperPalm
$32.00

For your loved one who has a small botanical garden growing in their home, check out Pepper Palms's bestselling hand-painted potter plants on Etsy. Reviewers consistently praise the pots for arriving fast and in perfect condition. 

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Tranquility PJ Set
Shimera
$34.97

For $35, this ridiculously soft pajama set is a steal. My sister and I both treated ourselves to a pair during quarantine, and sharing how good they are with the world feels like giving away a secret. Pro tip: If you're deciding between two sizes, go with the smaller one since the pants don't have a drawstring. 

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Get Lit Cannabis Candle Set
MALIN+GOETZ
$60.00

This bestselling candle from husband-and-husband-run, NYC-based brand Malin + Goetz just hits different. Capturing the joy of a lazy afternoon spent enjoying a great record, the THC-free candle has a subtly seductive scent with opening notes of bergamot, black pepper and orange, and a base of patchouli, cedarwood, amber, and musk.

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Reversible Throw Blanket
Areaware
$110.00

Stay cozy this winter with a fuzzy reversible throw blanket. It's a gift sure to be appreciated by anyone on your list as soon as it starts to snow. 

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Vintage Angels Sweatshirt
Fiorucci
$163.00

For the fashun lover, gift a sweatshirt that pairs just as well with sweats as it does with leather pants. Fiorucci's vintage angel motifs make a particularly special gift for sisters

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Signaturesoft 'Upstate' Sweatshirt
Lou & Grey
$69.50

This is the most comfortable sweatshirt I've owned during my 25 years on Earth. After being gifted one myself, it's become my go-to present for the ladies I love most. This sweater is warm without feeling heavy or sweaty, feels softer than butter on the skin, and comes in eight different colors. 

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GIFTS THAT GIVE BACK
The Mini Venice
DeMellier London
$395.00

DeMellier's royal-loved Mini Venie bag (Meghan Markle and Duchess Camilla have both worn this exact style) is a luxe gift that gives back. As part of the British brand's "A Bag, A Life" program, for every bag purchased, a donation is made to SOS Children's Villages—a charity that funds vaccines and medical treatments for children in over 136 countries. The Mini Venice comes in 12 other colorways as well, including some lovely faux-croc versions.

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Welcome to The Office Puzzle
Modcloth
$20.00

If The Office has remained their Netflix go-to for the past decade, here's another puzzle idea that'll be satisfying from start to finish. 

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Fashionable Slippers
UGG
$99.95

These fuzzy slippers will provide more than just a respite for her frozen toes. The flattering platform will make all of her roommates green with loungewear envy.  

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Power 7/8 Workout Leggings
Sweaty Betty
$75.00

To give you a sense of how popular Sweaty Betty's Power leggings are, one pair has sold every 90 seconds this year. I can personally attest to these being some of the comfiest leggings I've ever owned, and opted to wear them on a seven-hour flight. Solid colors are available as well. 

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High Waist Moto Leggings
Alo Yoga
$113.95

Since we're all wearing leggings more than ever these days, here's another pair with a cult-following that works for all-day wear. Katie Holmes, Bella Hadid, and Taylor Swift are only a handful of style icons to be spotted wearing this style. (If you're shopping for someone who's 5'4" and under, these come in a 7/8 crop on Alo Yoga's site as well.)

24 of 77
Reversible Wool Triangle Scarf
Wilfred
$68.00

This wool triangle scarf is soft on the skin, easy to style, and reversible. I own this in two of the 12 color ways it comes in and am tempted to buy a third. This will be a godsend for hiding the fact that she's still wearing pajamas during morning Zoom calls. 

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Chanel Le Vernis Nail Polish
Chanel
$28.00

The Châne d'Or (translation: gold chain) nail polish from Chanel Beauty's 2020 holiday collection is as glamorous as under-$30 gifts come. The polish is formulated with special pigments that allow for an even application and dramatic look.

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Lip Gloss + Haloscope Duo
Glossier
$32.00

If she loves a dewey makeup look, treat her to a bestselling set of plumping gloss and highlighting Haloscope that creates a lit-from-within glow.

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Mix & Match Eyeshadow Palette in True Neutrals
Fenty Beauty
$22.00

Just in case a makeup lover in your life has yet to try Fenty Beauty, introducing them to Rihanna's beloved line will be the beauty gift that keeps on giving. A personal Fenty Beauty favorite of mine is the True Neutrals palette, which contains six smooth, easily-blendable shades in a range of matte, shimmer, and glitter finishes that can be mixed and matched to create both natural and dramatic looks.

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Paper Mache Rainbow Giraffe Head
Caribbean Craft
$89.00

There is so much to love about independent brand Carribean Craft's upcycled creations. The ethos of the women-run brand is celebrating Haitian culture and empowering Haitian women. Here, a decorative paper mache fixture that'll add sunshine to any child's room.

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12-Month Appointment Notebook Bundle
Rifle Paper Co.
$30.00

Type-A people will lose their minds over this notebook set, which comes with a 2020 appointment calendar, a floral-printed pen, and three sheets (!) of stickers.

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Azul Face Pillow by Justina Blakeney® X Loloi
Jungalow
$89.00

Based on an original watercolor painting by Justina Blakeney, this decorative pillow will bring a cozy touch to any room the recipient places it in. 

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