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The Coolest Holiday Gifts (In Alphabetical Order)

Emily Ruane

The holiday season is nothing if not overwhelming. Not only are there endless RSVPs to juggle, outerwear decisions to make and ever-shrinking travel budgets to negotiate, there is the often-herculean task of shopping for gifts. With more eye-catching and entertainment-providing presents on the scene than ever, it’s very easy to get lost in a sea of face masks, succulents, zodiac swag, and adult puzzles. (Which, by the way, all make for excellent gifts.)

So far, we’ve rounded up trinkets in a lot of categories: stocking stuffers, earth-friendly accessories, howl-inducing white elephant gewgaws, and self-care essentials for the harried holiday do-gooder. (We even have a fancy hub for the best of the best at every budget, based on what we’ve been scoping out all year long.) For this 26-item list, we used the alphabet as our guide, and sussed out the most impressive pieces we could find from alpha to omega. If you’re in need of a little respite from the weeds of shopping, click through for some levity — and maybe you’ll find what you’ve been looking for.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

A: Alpaca-in’ Heat

Suffering from cashmere fatigue this season? Oh — you’re not? While we recognize that it’s impossible to tire of the classic goat-hair fiber, we’re really partial to its alterna-teen cousin alpaca this season. It’s a hypo-allergenic, hyper-insulating wool-like substance that will keep you just as snuggly, and has a lower-impact footprint than most other wools.

Everlane The Oversized Alpaca Crew, $, available at Everlane

B: Barrettes that Blossom

Sure, an ethereal, Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque hairpiece might not be for everyone — but you know just the person who’s going to flip for it. (Clip for it? Sorry, had to.)



& Other Stories Pearl Branch Hair Clip, $, available at & Other Stories



C: Celestial Chandeliers

These prismatic, eye-catching Kendra Scott earrings are likely to disappear in a flash from Nordstrom Rack’s ever-changing inventory, so if you know someone who’s cool enough to pull them off, nab these danglers now.

Kendra Scott Charmian Drop Earrings, $, available at Nordstrom Rack

D: Divining Dishware

Your tarot-obsessed bestie certainly has all the decks she needs, but does she have a set of pint glasses declaring her expertise in soothsaying?



Kaelin Tillery and Richard Duggan Tarot Card Tumblers, $, available at Uncommon Goods



E: The Everyman Everybody Necklace

Unisex jewelry designer Ariel Neman just launched a group of link-heavy, borrowed-from-the-boys chain necklaces — exclusive to Urban Outfitters — that we’re eyeing for their strong layering potential. The sturdy, gold-plated designs have a timeless feel that will appeal to giftees both male and female.



R By Ariel Neman Culture Necklace, $, available at Urban Outfitters



F: Fluff The Haters

We don’t care what anyone says — Ugg reached icon status a long time ago. We love watching the brand riff on their tried-and-true (and sometimes vilified) designs. Who wouldn’t want a pair of cherry-red, foot-swallowing mules this holiday season?



Ugg Fluff Yeah Genuine Shearling Slide, $, available at Nordstrom



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G: Gift You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself

The brand's iconic logo is more relevant — and comfier — than ever as part of this PJ set.

Gap Logo Pajama Set, $, available at Gap



H: Herbal Home Infusions

Described by one Walmart shopper as “a screaming deal,” this set of four framed illustrations (on sale for $32!) might just satisfy the decor needs of your aspirationally bohemian cousin.



Flower Home by Drew Barrymore Set of Four Botanical Prints, $, available at Walmart



I: In The Know

Yes, we know your plugged-in sister always hops on the limited-edition Vans collaboration before anyone else does, but does she know about the corduroy and fleece pair that are exclusive to Madewell? Knock her socks off this season with one of the latest cool-girl styles from this quick-to-sell out collaboration.

Madewell x Vans Unisex Classic Slip-On Sneakers in Corduroy and Sherpa, $, available at Madewell
J: Jeweled Skin

For the millennial pink-obsessive in your life, the Dreslyn has assembled a warm-hued gift set complete with everything a beauty enthusiast might need to maintain their rosy outlook, including Herbivore Botanical’s exfoliating masque and a super-moisturizing “miracle” bar from Joanna Vargas.

The Dreslyn Home Nude Gift Set, $, available at The Dreslyn
K: Keepsakes à la Key Biscayne

Jonathan Adler’s cheeky, poppy home accents will brighten up any room or bedside table — we’re particularly drawn to the tropical, Art Deco tones of his “Miami” trinket box.

Now House by Jonathan Adler Miami Decorative Box, $, available at Amazon
L: Lengthy Layers

Thanks to strategically placed seams and an elongated silhouette, this Lululemon turtleneck will play nice with layering pieces or look elegant on its own. We love the extra-long sleeves and hem — we bet the recipient will, too.



lululemon Full Day Ahead Turtleneck, $, available at lululemon



M: Medallions Colores

Sure, the locket is a classic gift, but why not mix it up this year with an opera-length style enameled in an eye-catching hue? Bonus for any Europhiles: these layerable ones from indie online boutique Beklina are made in France.



Beklina French Enameled Lockets, $, available at Beklina



N: Neat Freak

Lo & Sons premium leather essentials don’t come cheap, but we spotted a sweet discount on a slim, elegant travel wallet that will satisfy the most organized, card-carrying minimalist.



Lo & Sons The Leather Wallet, $, available at Lo & Sons


O: One In A Million

This sizeable cheeseboard measures almost 10” in diameter — big enough to accommodate your Humboldt Fog spread; or, as one satisfied Anthro customer pointed out, your crystal collection. Assembled from a composite of multi-hued agate slices, no two plates are exactly alike — perfect for that person in your life who is truly like no other.



Anthropologie Composite Agate Cheese Board, $, available at Anthropologie



P: (The Most) Punderful Time Of The Year

Unfortunate Portrait’s cheeky play-on-words t-shirts are a longtime source of Shopping team entertainment, and we were very happy to see that they brought their pithy sense of humor to a deck of pop culture-themed playing cards, replete with references to everything that shaped us growing up, from Clueless to “Sk8er Boi.”

Unfortunate Portrait Unfortunate Portrait Playing Cards, $, available at Shopbop

Q: Quilt-y As Charged 

Give the gift of something totally unique with California-based Carleen’s patchworked tee. Each USA-made recycled cotton top is adorned with one-of-a-kind, vintage fabric — scraps from actual quilts that designer Kelsy Parkhouse salvages from flea markets.



Carleen Lavender Patchwork Boxy Tee, $, available at Carleen



R: Restoration Hair-wear

This Art Nouveau-esque hair fork is made from reclaimed Indonesian wood, meaning no two combs are exactly alike. For every one purchased, Etsy seller Saya Designs will plant eight new trees in a local micro-forest.



Saya Designs The Barrette Hair Fork, $, available at Etsy



S: Snowbird Stash

Know someone who’s sneaking off to the Sunshine State for a “working” vacation post-holiday? Help them maximize the perks of that panhandle timeshare with a place to stash their remote office gewgaws and their sunscreen.

Supergoop! The Tech Kit, $, available at Dagne Dover
T: Touchable Trousers

An on-trend alternative to the tried-and-true pajama pant, Herschel’s soft fleece loungers give off a cool-kid edge — even when thrown on for the early-morning dog-park run. 



Herschel Sherpa Pants, $, available at Need Supply


U: Under the Sea

A clean, California-made hand-soap and lotion set — created by Malibu-based Osea for luxe-linens brand Parachute — will satisfy the picky skincare nerd in your life.

OSEA Nourishing Hand Soap + Cream Bundle, $, available at Parachute Home
V: Vinyl, Baby!

A gift both unique and utterly classic, the Vince Guaraldi Trio’s soundtrack for “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has been the accompaniment to many a holiday season since it first aired on TV in 1965. Your music-snob bestie will appreciate the nostalgia-driven tunes and the throwback format.

The Vince Guaraldi Trio A Charlie Brown Christmas LP, $, available at Urban Outfitters

W: Weekend Warrior

Surprise the impulsive jet-setter in your life with a cute, roomy duffle to accompany them on all of their world travels in 2020.



ban.do Getaway Duffle Bag (Bonjour), $, available at Amazon



X: Xanadu You Love It?

Lustrous, space-age color brings some roller-disco fever to a handbag essential from Coach.



Coach Metallic Colorblock Card Case, $, available at Coach



Y: The Yin to Your Yang

A kooky, cheerful layering piece that will impress any fashion nerd on your list. We’d layer the cropped sweater over a button-down now, Clueless style; and wear the top solo when the weather warms up, making this year-round sweater a gift that keeps on giving.



Staud Sleeveless Nat Top, $, available at Staud



Z: Zero Impact

Fjallraven’s universally-beloved Kanken backpack gets a sustainable update with a new recycled-polyester fabrication and a reduced-water dye process.



Fjällräven Re-Kånken, $, available at Zappos



A - Amateur Astrologist

Carolyne Faulkner is the in-house astrologer for the Soho House Group so her word is pretty much law.

Carolyne Faulkner The Signs: Decode the Stars, Reframe Your Life, $, available at Amazon

B - Boot, Scoot, and Boogie

Get your giftee a sturdy seasonal shoe by opting for an ethical brand known for its product quality.

Everlane The Day Boot, $, available at Everlane

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C - Comfy & Cozy

This super-soft flannel PJ set is the sort of thing they'll never want to take off.

Gap Cozy Flannel PJ Set with Eye Mask, $, available at Gap



D - D.I.Y. Your Own Custom Denim

Have a crafty friend? Gift them this easy embroidery set so they'll never have to shell out hundreds of dollars for trendy jeans again.

Apprvl DIY Learn Embroidery Kit, $, available at Apprvl

E - Eliminate The Guesswork

The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of eliminating indecision. Seriously, all bickering couples should use these trusty die to avoid those, "I don't know what do you want to eat?" fights.

W&P Design Do Something Travel Dice, $, available at W & P Design

F - Friends First

Ditch the obvious friendship bracelets for a necklace set that properly describes the true nature of your friendship.

Wildfang Thelma + Louise Friendship Necklaces, $, available at Wildfang

G - Gift You’ll Want To Keep For Yourself

Hands, meet accessible warmth.

Coach Oversized Muffler with Shearling Pockets, $, available at Coach

H - Homebody

We all have that pair of sandals; the ones we wear to throw out the garbage, pick up ice cream at 2 a.m. in, wear when there's nowhere important to go. Let your giftee's at-home sandals look a little chicer than the average.

Birkenstock Arizona Shearling Sandal, $, available at Urban Outfitters

I - Instagram Approved

Susan Alexandra is unstoppable. You don't just have to splurge on one of her Instagram famous bags to give someone one of her cute designs this year.

Susan Alexandra Scarlett Freshwater Pearl Drop Earrings, $, available at Nordstrom

J - Jet Set

Our friends and family who are constantly on the go often already have their loyal luggage set. Instead, gift them a mini Away kit with samples of some of the best skincare products on the market right now.

Away The Beauty Set, $, available at Away

K - Knowledge Is Power

Introduce them to a genuinely good book.

Yale University Press The Anthology of Rap, $, available at Barnes & Noble

L - Lunchtime

Help your friends jumpstart their resolution to bring their meals to work instead of ordering lunch with this cool container.

Alessi Food à Porter, $, available at Alessi

M - Make It Mini

We'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t love a cute dumpling bag.

Cuyana Mini Bow Bag, $, available at Cuyana

N - Nomophobic Necessity

Some people have a fear of heights, some people have a fear of going too long without their phone. Keep your friend from nomophobic anxiety by letting their fingers have 24/7 access to their device, even in the blistering cold.

& Other Stories Leather Fingerless Mittens, $, available at & Other Stories

O - On The Run

Whether your giftee is constantly on the go, commutes by foot, or an aspiring hypebae, they'll love these Bandier exclusive Fila's.

Fila x Bandier Disruptor II, $, available at Bandier

P - Pretty In Pearls

These are not your grandma's pearls. Up someone's style with this fun (and affordable!) pearl necklace that'll go great with all of their holiday looks.

Roxanne Assoulin Princess Pearl Necklace, $, available at Roxanne Assoulin

R - Right On Time

Subtly throw shade at a friend who's always late or give the gift of a fun watch to someone who enjoys being prompt. Both parties will take to Skagen's fun new collection of colored watches.

Skagen Aluminum Yellow Silicone Strap Watch 41mm, $, available at Macy's

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S - Sweater Weather

For the friend whose sweater game is *always* on point.

Gap Stripe Crewneck Pullover Sweater Tunic, $, available at Gap



T - Three Gifts Are Better Than One

Why give one gift when you can give three? Baggu's set of cosmetic pouches is so good, we'll be buying one for them and one for ourselves.

Baggu Flora Cosmetic Pouch Set, $, available at Anthropologie

U - Underneath It All

Bras aren't traditionally a gift given in platonic relationships but just about every woman would be stoked to finally receive a bra that finally fits well. Thank you, ThirdLove.

ThirdLove 24/7™ Perfect Coverage Bra, $, available at ThirdLove

V - Vision In Velvet

Comfort is key, but you may as well do comfort while looking fly.

Topshop Velvet Puffer Scarf, $, available at Topshop

W - What’s Gucci?

The Holy Grail of presents. While you won't be gifting this to everyone this year, we're sure there's someone special who's deserving.

Gucci GG Marmont Mini Round Shoulder Bag, $, available at Gucci

X - X-tra Fuzzy

These cute furry cuffs can add an extra oomph to an otherwise simple coat or sweater.

Mango Fur Zipped-cuff, $, available at Mango

Y - You Go Girl

Encourage a gal pal who's a workout fiend or a sister who's just starting out on her fitness journey with a pair of cool gloves that'll provide some much needed motivation.

Everlast Star-print Leather Boxing Gloves, $, available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Z - Zzz Ya Later

Have a friend who still has yet to take down her Breakfast At Tiffany's poster? This gift will earn you a lifetime of brownie points.

Morgan Lane Breakfast At Tiffany's x Violet Grey Mask, $, available at Morgan Lane

Artful Decor
When we're spending wisely, art is unfortunately one of the last things we buy for ourselves. That being said, a great print, statue, or other pice of decoration makes for a great gift.

Chasing Paper , $, available at Chasing Paper
Bling Bling
While taking someone skating is a good gift on its own, this holiday season, we're talking a different kind of ice. Help your friends bling out with some jeweled earrings, a necklace, or a ring.

Hortense , $, available at Hortense
Comfy & Cozy
Beanies are cute, but who doesn't already have one or two of them in their closet? This unexpected, pastel yellow, faux shearling cap is sure to impress.

Lykke Wullf , $, available at Lykke Wullf
Do Good
The holiday season is equally as much about giving as it is receiving. For an easy way to give even more this year, find gifts and brands that help a charitable cause. Westward Leaning is selling a special limited-edition holiday pack that benefits the Snow Leopard Trust. For every unit sold, the brand will contribute $25 towards sponsoring the adoption of a wild snow leopard.

Westward Leaning , $, available at Westward Leaning

Westward Leaning , $, available at Westward Leaning
Eye Spy
I spy with my little eye, a pair of sunglasses so good you'll want to give them to someone on your list, and to yourself. No shame in that.

Krewe , $, available at Krewe
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Fuzzy Fleece
Keep your best friend looking trendy AF all season. Start with this seriously cozy teddy coat to give 'em just the right dose of winter white, plus a warm layer to snuggle into.

Gap Sherpa Coat, $168.00, available at Gap.



Generation Of Nostalgia
Add a little throwback to your gift with the newly released Sega Genesis. And you won't have to worry about tacking on any additional costs for game cartridges, either: This console comes pre-packed with games ready to play.

Sega , $, available at Urban Outfitters
Home Is Where The Chic Bathmat Is
Bring a little character into someone's home with this smile inducing boob bathmat.

Cold Picnic , $, available at Lisa Says Gah
It's Lit
Candles set all of the moods, whether it's a dinner party...or something a little more intimate.

Sunday Forever x Surf Lodge , $, available at Sunday Forever
Just In Time
Time is of the essence. If you have a friend who is always late, give them the gift of time...keeping, that is. It's on-trend, can be worn day and night, and will subtly hint how much you hate waiting for them at the coffee shop.

Daniel Wellington , $, available at Need Supply Co
Let it Grow
Put a little life in their lives with a set of cute as hell, low-maintenance succulents. Leave it up to them to decide whether they should leave 'em at home or spruce up their desk at work.

The Sill , $, available at The Sill
Mini Bag
Skip the heavily logo'd tote bags this time around. The best bags now come in mini form. A top handle clutch will get them through every event for the next year.

Staud , $, available at Staud
Not Today, Boys
Help a girl out by gifting them a do-it-yourself "Smash the Patriarchy" embroidery kit. Once they finish, it'll be the ultimate decor piece.

Wildfang , $, available at Wildfang
Oversized Scarf
Keep them warm this winter with a cozy and chunky knit scarf. For extra brownie points: Michelle Obama's been spotted wearing this exact one.

Eugenia Kim , $, available at Net-A-Porter
Portable Party
They can bring the party everywhere they go — even to the campground. This UMA speaker is half 360 degree surround sound fun, half practical lantern.

Pablo Design , $, available at Pablo Store
Quick Getaway
For someone always on the go, a chic carry-on is a must. The roller bag from Raden comes with optimal interior space, USB charging ports, and boasts TSA-approved dimensions (a.k.a you'll never have to check your carry-on at the gate again).

Raden , $, available at Raden
Roll Bounce
Want to gift them something super memorable? Look no further than these vintage inspired roller skates.

Moxi , $, available at Urban Outfitters
Sock It To Me
We'd like to take back all the years we thought receiving socks was the worst possible outcome during the holidays. With socks as cute as these collection, we're putting them at the top of our wishlist.

Hansel from Basel , $, available at Hansel from Basel
The Accessory Everyone Wants
Every few seasons, we see a cult product appear that just won't quit. To be the champion for your giftee's Instagram game, give them the ultimate 'It' bag.

Cult Gaia , $, available at Cult Gaia
Unicorns, Duh
We all have a few unicorn-obsessed friends who own one too many bubblegum pink plushies. Gift them a horned friend that's actually useful like this 2-in-1 ramen bowl.

Smoko , $, available at Smoko
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Velvet Booties
Inspire your giftee to take more style risks this year by offering up these velvety boots. The maroon color delivers a subtle but game-changing alternative to standard black ones. Not to mention, they'll look good on anyone.

Gap Velvet Ankle Booties, $118, available at Gap.



"What's Gucci?"
The Holy Grail of presents. While you won't be gifting this to everyone this year, we're sure there's someone special who's deserving.

Gucci , $, available at Net-A-Porter
X-tra Fuzzy
Try something exciting and unexpected that will also be the finishing touch for all their fancy holiday party outfits.

Wild And Woolly , $, available at Wild And Woolly
Yearly Planner
Do everyone a favor and help them get their year in order. The famous Ban.do planners are the best out there and give you a multitude of ways to personalize them. Before you wrap it up, don't forget to mark your birthday and a couple of other "holidays" that involve you two going to dinner.

ban.do , $, available at ban.do
ZZZ, Goodnight
If you're buying a gift for someone who lives in a city and the bright lights creep in (even through black-out shades), this is the gift for them. Everyone needs their beauty rest.

Morgan Lane , $, available at Morgan Lane

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