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Failsafe Gift Ideas for Every Person on Your List

Even the most difficult people to please.

failsafe gift ideas
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. Months 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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Cinnamon, Clove, and Lemon Body Wrap
Feel Good Hug™

This body wrap pillow actually feels like a warm hug when heated up in the microwave, which makes it a thoughtful idea to send a loved one you might not be able to see this holiday season. The gentle notes of cinnamon have a relaxing and soothing effect too. 

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Functional Fragrance
The Nue Co

This crisp, woodsy unisex fragrance was designed to help people concentrate and re-center during stressful times. Here, a thoughtful gift for anyone on your list who's working from home with their partner. I've been spritzing this on every day the last few months and can attest to the scent being conducive to productivity. 

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Classic Bathrobe
Parachute Home

Parachute’s unisex bathrobe had a 2,000-long person waitlist before it launched and has consistently been a bestseller since. If you’re after a luxe, hotel-like robe for anyone on your list, look no further.

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Beats Flex Wireless Earphones
Beats amazon.com
$39.99 (20% off)

The newest Beats are the brand's most affordable option ever. I was lucky to be able to review these a few weeks back, and can attest firsthand to how sound quality and comfort haven't been compromised for a $50 price tag. Delivering 12 hours of battery life, and charging rapidly fast, these bluetooth wireless headphones are the most impressive affordable option out there.

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Women's Plush Slipper Socks (Set of 6)
Toes Home amazon.com

Amazon reviewers are also low-key obsessed with this set of fuzzy socks, which happens to be a steal at this price. (Think 2.3k ratings and counting, with an average of 4.6/5 stars!) A handful of designs are available, but the heart motifs here are especially kitschy-chic.

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Leopard Recycled Faux Fur Quilted Scuff Slippers
MADEWELL nordstrom.com

$40 $28 (30% off)

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

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Aries Pendant Necklace

Have an astrology lover on your list? French ready-to-wear brand Maje makes surprisingly affordable jewelry, which includes this line of Zodiac coin pendant necklaces

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Black Croc Willow Card Holder

$219 $145 (31% off) 

With six card slots in the back, this leather beauty will be able to hold all of your credit cards, random small bills, and business cards exchanged at networking events. Its sleekness is reserved for a sophisticated individual (cough cough) like you.

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Gisele Long PJ Set

The expression "soft as butter" gets thrown around way too much, but in the case of female-founded lingerie and loungewear brand Eberjey, it's completely apt. Here, a chic pajama set she'll be able to enjoy for years to come. 

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Vegan Velvet Red Matte Lipstick
Mented amazon.com

Founded by Amanda Johnson and KJ Millers, Mented Cosmetics is a vegan, cruelty-free makeup brand beloved for their inclusivity. Oprah herself is a fan—the brand's Lipstick Trio made her Favorite Things list this year.  The trio is currently sold out, but you can still treat the lipstick lover in your life to this bold and classic red shade.

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Classic Greek Michelangelo David Bust

Nothing subtly says "I'm an Intellectual" like having a decorative bust of a Greek god on display in one's home. Your loved one won't see this gift coming, but they'll love it all the same.

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Pure Silk Adult Pleated Face Covering

Nordstrom reviewers are obsessed with this washable silk face mask from cult-favorite brand, Slip. As one shopper wrote, "If you’re getting acne from your mask then you need this mask. It’s easy to wash and feels soo smooth on my skin." *Adds to cart.* 

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7/8 Jogger Travel Pants with Pockets

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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UGG Kadence Faux Fur Zip Hoodie
UGG nordstrom.com

Fleece jackets have had a major glow up since you were in middle school. (Editor's note: I relate!) This hooded number from UGG will be a go-to cozy staple all winter long. 

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Marvelous Pets Custom Pet iPhone Case

If half their camera roll is filled with pictures of their dog (which, fair), surprise them with a customized phone case featuring their pet. Cases can be made for pretty much any iPhone or Samsung model, and the turnaround time for this top-rated Etsy seller is about two weeks.

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Pro UV Smartphone Sanitizer & Universal Charger
PhoneSoap amazon.com

File this nifty tech gift under universally useful gifts for 2020. In just five minutes, PhoneSoap's Pro UV smartphone sanitizer is able to kill up to 99.99% of germs thanks to its powerful UV-C light.

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Sheep Storage Container
QP amazon.com

Whether you're shopping for an aunt that does her own thing or a friend with a unique Instagram aesthetic, this sheep storage containers just hits differently. This can be used for holding Q-tips, paper clips, etc.

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Set of Six Geo Stacking Coasters
MOMA DESIGN STORE nordstrom.com

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, a vibrant set from the MoMa Design Store that looks far more expensive than its $28 price tag. 

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An Architecture-Inspired Kama Sutra
Miguel Bolivar

This creative Kama Sutra from London-based architect Miguel Bolivar is for cultured significant others only. Each sex position is inspired by a famous building or furniture design with detailed data and annotated scale drawings.

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Gold Round Signet Ring

If you're after a gift with a personalized touch, Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton-beloved jewelry brand Missoma offers engravings at no extra cost on a range of pieces, including this 18-carat gold vermeil signet ring. 

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Diamond Signet Ring
Aurate New York

This Art Deco-inspired 14k gold and diamond signet ring is simply beautiful. Sizes four through 10 are available, in addition to half sizes.

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The Hygge Game

Containing 330 questions that are thought-provoking yet not mentally draining (i.e. "What's the most annoying sound?"), this game will be fun to play on FaceTimes with loved ones and at future dinner parties.

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Outdoor Picnic and Beach Blanket
Roebury amazon.com

For the nature-loving couple on your shopping list, this waterproof and sand proof outdoor blanket (big enough for 2!) can be used for picnic and beach trips as well. Even better? It includes a compact tote which will make transporting it a breeze.

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Tykho 3 FM Radio & Bluetooth® Speaker

Another Lexon favorite, 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 is splash-proof in case you want to bring it poolside. 

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Slow Factory x Brightland: ARDOR

As if Brightland's olive oil wasn't drool-worthy enough on its own, it comes in packaging so chic your loved one will want to use it as a vase afterwards. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from this limited-edition bottle benefit The Slow Factory Foundation, a 501c3 public service organization that works at the intersection of climate and culture. 

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Women's Condor Low Top Sneakers
Veja farfetch.com

These ridiculously comfy sneakers from Meghan Markle's favorite sustainable shoe brand work for running errands and running distance alike. They're a splurge you can feel good about too as Veja makes their sneakers with rubber instead of plastic. 

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Power 7/8 Workout Leggings
Sweaty Betty

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 and most flattering leggings I've ever owned, and how they're well-suited for every pursuit from running to yoga to Netflix surfing. 

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Muse Sweatpant
Alo Yoga aloyoga.com

If you're after a luxe-feeling loungewear gift, these best-selling joggers are made from a dreamily soft ribbed knit. As one reviewer put it: "They are flattering, lightweight, and just detailed enough to make you feel “dressed” while wearing sweats."

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Bold Herringbone Chain Necklace

Herringbone chain necklaces look good on everyone, in addition to pairing well with nearly everything. If she doesn't already have one in her jewelry box, Mejuri's gold vermeil option is the perfect length. 

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Women's Cashmere Hoodie

This luxe cashmere hoodie works with everything. Your loved one will be able to wear this  while lounging around at home, on Zoom calls, or with a pair of cool leather pants when we're able to be more social again. 

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Men's Cole Haan x Hasan Minhaj 4.ZERØGRAND Hiker Boot
Cole Haan colehaan.com

Whether he's an outdoorsman or a Brooklyn native, these hiking boots from Hasan Minhaj's collaboration with Cole Haan are sure to be a hit. 

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Men's Fam Jam Microfleece Pajama Pants

For the guy on your list who insists he doesn't need new pajamas, but you know absolutely does. Nine other colors and patterns are available as well, in case you're after something less minimal.

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Now's The Time Watch
Daem Watches

If he's an art lover, the creations from Brooklyn-based men's watch label Daem Watches in collaboration with the Basquiat Estate are otherworldly. Here, a one-of-a-kind piece that reads "Now's The Time."

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Slippers For HIm

Gift a good man in your life the slippers he'd never treat himself to that will change his life. Or, at the very least, keep his toes warm all winter long.

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Pre Shave Oil for Men

Gifting shaving cream is so last year. This year, treat him to a priming oil from top-rated Amazon brand Bevel to use before he shaves. Reviewers rave about how this priming oil works for even the most sensitive skin. 

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Aventus En Voyage 5-Piece Coffret Set

Creed's colognes were originally made exclusively for King George III and his royal court back in 1760s Paris. If you're after a luxe-feeling gift for him, this limited-edition set of the brand's beloved Aventus scent (think: notes of bergamot, musk, and pineapple) is it.

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Neon Acrylic Cactus Sculpture

This handmade acrylic cactus sculpture is another smart art gift that looks way more expensive than it actually is. Standing 5.5 inches high, it'll bring a punchy splash of modernity into your loved one's home. 

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Twist Candle

If buying the aesthete on your list a work of art skews out of budget, this sculptural candle from Instagram-loved Dutch artist Lex Pott is the next best thing. It burns evenly, too, in case your loved one wants to use it as more than tabletop eye candy.

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Custom Family Portrait Drawing
Love Becca Designs

Not sure what to get that distant family member on your list? Opt for a custom illustration, which are available from an Etsy vendor that has over 400 glowing reviews.

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Andy Warhol Domino Set

The recipient of this creative and colorful Andy Warhol domino set doesn’t even have to be into gaming. It's a fun gift for a family, grandparents, and art lovers alike.

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Sierra Baby Alpaca Hat
Peruvian Connection

Didn't have time to knit a homemade gift this year? (It's okay, same.) This soft woven hat has you covered. Peruvian Connection is known for its long-lasting knits made from baby alpaca and merino wool, so this hat won't look gross by the end of the season. 

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Ray-Ban Women's Blaze Sunglasses

Ray-Bans last forever, which is a good thing because this pair's classic shape will outlast current eyewear fads. A thoughtful gift for the woman who birthed you or your best friend. 

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Wool-Blend V-Neck Cardigan
Scotch & Soda

Who couldn't use a pop of color these days? This knitted cardi from Amsterdam-based brand Scotch & Soda is pure joy. 

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Savage X Fenty Unlined Microfiber Bralette
Savage X Fenty

Nobody's wearing underwire these days. Gift her a bralette that'll look and feel amazing. 

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Bowie Sleep Mask

Women-founded and ethically sourced, niLuu uses PETA-approved vegan silk that feels amazing on the skin. This luxe eye mask is a hit not just for the David Bowie-inspired aesthetic, but because it's as gentle on the skin as it is on the planet.

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Perfect Black Leather Booties

The perfect black bootie doesn't ex--. Swedish brand Vagabond makes some of the most under-the-radar chic yet affordable leather boots out there. Like the Brooks above, these fit true to size if you're shopping for the shoe lover whose size you know by heart.

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Little Feminist Book Set
$11.33 (24% off)

Teach them about inspiring women while they're young with this adorable book set that highlights major accomplishments by female artists, pioneers, leaders, and activists.

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Sodastream With Co2 & Glass Carafes

Kiss wasteful plastic bottles of seltzer from the grocery store goodbye. Set in a sleek monochromatic design, this SodaStream kit includes everything you need to make seltzer at home, including a carbonator.

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DIY Chocolate Truffles Kit

Presented in a nifty set, this DIY chocolate truffles kit includes everything you need (sans kitchen appliances and cream) to make 36 truffles.

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AirPods With Charging Case
$128.98 (19% off)

Few tech gadgets, if any, look as suave as AirPods. Boasting 169k exaggerations on Amazon (no exaggeration), treat a loved one—and maybe even yourself—to a pair of the bestselling headphones. 

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Signaturesoft 'Upstate' Sweatshirt
Lou & Grey

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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Love Greeting Card: You're Hot/Flamin' Hot

This greeting card doubles as framable art. If you're looking for a card to go along with your gift, Prosterity Paper on Etsy easily makes some of the most creative stationary out there. They also carry more traditional holiday greetings cards as well.

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'Esquire' Subscription
Hearst Magazines
$15.00 (64% off)

Give the modern man in your life a one-year print subscription to Esquire if he fancies award-winning journalism and conversation-starting articles. From interviews with iconic actors to style tips to political deep dives with legendary columnist Charlie Pierce, this is the most impactful $6 gift for men out there. 

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Marie Claire One-Year Print Subscription
Hearst Magazines
$10.00 (79% off)

Not to brag or anything, but if you're shopping for a sister, co-worker, friend, or neighbor who loves being in the know of the latest fashion trends, career tips, and issues facing women around the world, gift her a one-year print subscription to Marie Claire

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