I love the idea of gift-giving, because it's awesome to watch someone you love unwrap a thoughtful gift. When it comes down to actually shopping for a present, though, I often find myself hopelessly lost. You might be wondering where to even find unique best friend gifts, but they're out there if you're willing to look.
Gift cards are my go-to for most people, even though they're often thought of as impersonal. Gift cards are especially easy when it comes to friends, but I want to challenge myself this year, and you should, too. Instead of picking up a Starbucks gift card on Christmas Eve, try finding something unique and personalized for your closest friends.
The first step to figuring out what to get someone is considering what they enjoy. Maybe your best friend is super into traveling the world or spending time with their pets. Once you have a category in mind, it's pretty easy to find a sweet gift that they'll be sure to remember forever. I won't fault you if you end up going the easy route and picking a gift card — no one will ever turn down free money — but if you want to get creative this year, I've got you covered.
1. A Beautiful Scratch-Off Travel Map
This is the ideal gift for a world-traveling best friend. They'll get to scratch off all the states and countries they've visited, which makes this the most fun wall decoration ever. The map is brightly colored, features cartographic details, and is printed on sturdy, extra-thick paper.
2. A Tile Finder For Lost Keys
If your BFF forgets things easily, Tile is the perfect gift. It's a Bluetooth tracker that you can attach to your phone, keys or anything else that's easily misplaced. Double press the button and the phone will ring — and there's even an option to find the tile if they lose that.
3. An Adorable Cat Jewelry Dish
This super-cute ring holder keeps your friend's rings in one place — and organizes other small things (like earring studs) at the base. It's made of sturdy ceramic, and is glazed so it won't scratch over time.
4. The Homesick Scented Candle For Their Home State
If you've ever moved away from home, you know just how bad you can long for your home state. This soy wax candle will remind your pal of their home state comes in every state (and even some regions, like Southern California). It has over 60 hours of burn time, and is handmade in small batches.
5. An Essential Oil Diffuser Necklace
If you have a friend who loves essential oils, this necklace is a brilliant find. It comes with oils like peppermint and lavender (perfect for staying calm) that you add to the removable, reusable pads — then place them in the cute necklace for aromatherapy all day.
6. A Fruit Infuser Water Bottle
The older I get, the more I appreciate practical gifts meant for everyday use. This water bottle is super useful for people who love flavored water — stick herbs, fruits, or citrus into the diffuser, and you'll get spa water without having to chew on the rinds or leaves.
7. A Relaxing Pillow Mist
This pillow mist is a blend of lemongrass and jasmine — which helps add calmness to any space and block out negative energy. It's safe to use right on linens or you can spray it directly into a room.
8. A Unicorn Wine Holder
This wine bottle holder perfectly fits your friend's favorite Merlot or Cabernet — and it looks like a cute little unicorn. Use it to spice up any kitchen: it adds magic to any space.
9. A Set Of Magnets That Look Like Dog Butts
These magnets are absolutely adorable — they look like little dog butts, and the pack of six also includes a little fire hydrant. They're sturdy, and a unique and conversation-starting way to keep track of your grocery lists.
10. A Soft And Cozy Blanket
As someone who's always freezing regardless of the temperature, I'm obsessed with this blanket. It's incredibly soft microfiber, machine-washable, and comes in a variety of colors. The 70- by 60-inch size is perfect on a bed or on the sofa.
11. A Peel-Off Face Mask
This illuminating peel-off mask is made with pearl powder — so not only does it look fancy, but it gently exfoliates and brightens dull skin. It's cruelty- and paraben-free, and keeps skin radiant and firm. One reviewer writes: "I have super sensitive skin that reacts to almost everything, but this mask has kept my skin super soft, and blemish-free."
12. A Wine-Themed Adult Coloring Book
Studies have shown adult coloring books are good for your mental health, so this is a fun book guaranteed to make your friend laugh as they wind down and de-stress. A reviewer who gifted it writes: "Funny and funky. My friend loved it."
13. These Deliciously Gourmet Sandwich Cookies
If your best friend loves sweets or cookies, you're about to change their life. This gourmet gift basket features 12 deluxe sandwich cookies, and you'll probably be tempted to keep it for yourself. They come in a beautifully wrapped box and have unusual flavors that reviewers love (think one covered in sunflower seeds). These aren't suitable for anyone with a nut allergy, however.
14. These Sloth Picture Hangers
I personally love sloths — and these adorable picture hangers, which come six in a set, are a perfect way to decorate a cork board or a desk. Include some of your favorite pictures of the two of you for a fun, customized present. They're sturdy, too, so they'll last a long time.
15. A Fun Elephant Coffee Mug
This elephant mug is seriously adorable, and it's a perfect gift for your favorite animal lover. It holds 10 ounces of coffee, and is both dishwasher- and microwave-safe.
16. A Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp
This lamp is the perfect present for anyone who wants to add some positive energy back into their home — it also supposedly helps clear the air and makes it more breathable. The neem wood base is 100 percent antibacterial, and each lamp is completely unique.
17. A Fun Outdoor Wine Table
This portable, foldable wine and snack table is so versatile — use it on a picnic or on the couch for an easy way to eat cheese and sip on some wine. It has little slots for two wine glasses and a wine bottle, and the chrome-plated legs fold down, so you can store this easily.
18. An LED Lamp And Bluetooth Speaker
This fun table lamp flickers like a flame thanks to warm LED lights — and it connects to your phone via Bluetooth to play music. The powerful bass works with devices up to 33 feet away, and it's the perfect addition to any outdoor party or picnic.
19. A Wearable Accessory For Perfect Manicures
This silicone ring is easy to slip on your fingers (and take off when your nails are dry), and it's the perfect manicure accessory — it helps you paint your nails without a flat surface, and the bottle will be right in your reach. It fits most bottle sizes, too.
20. An Emoji Cap
If your friend is on the athleisure trend or is always texting emojis, this fun dad cap is sure to be a hit. It's sturdy, and one reviewer writes: "This is one of my favorite purchases."
21. Rich Merlot From 40-Year-Old Vines
If your friend is a red-wine lover, this rich 2013 Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot will certainly do the trick. The brand's website provides delicious meal ideas, so your BFF doesn't have to worry about figuring out what to serve with the merlot. And if they're really into wine, they can download a factsheet and trace their bottle all the way back to the vine.
22. A CraveBox Full Of Fun Snacks
Whether your best friend has a sweet or salty tooth, this care package is incredible — it comes with tons of snacks for late-night study sessions or long days at the office. Regardless of what you end up picking from this list, you'll definitely win this holiday season as long as your gift is thoughtful.
Additional reporting by Alida Nugent and Eden Lichterman.
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