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Unexpected Gifts That’ll Put Santa To Shame


Unexpected Gifts That’ll Put Santa To Shame

Dear Santa, you can stay in the North Pole this year.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1. A subscription to Candy Club for people whose sugar tooth can never be satisfied.

You can send your hungry recipient all types of sweets, from gummies to taffy to licorice to chocolate covered everything. I’ve tried one of these boxes and confirm it’s a wonderful gift! All the candies I tried were top-notch.

Get it from Candy Club for $29.99+/month.

2. A custom pet portrait that will depict their pooch to be the royal rascal they know their pet to be.


Get it from HommeSurLaLune on Etsy for $80+ (available in seven sizes and four body types). See more styles here.

3. A hot sauce so good, they’ll do the truffle shuffle after eating it.


Promising review: “This is what you get if truffle and Sriracha had a baby, but 10x better. I highly recommend because it helps my food taste better for my boring diets.” —Linzy nguyen

Get it from Amazon for $17.98.

4. A golden brownstone chocolate bar for the person who is always walking down certain city blocks and sighing wistfully. They may never own a real brownstone, but they can at least have the chocolate version.

Harlem Chocolate Factory

These chocolate bars organic and locally sourced ingredients from New York. The company is Black woman-owned — the founder and head chocolatier Jessica Spaulding has been working with chocolate since she was 9 years old. Her and her co-founder Asha Dixon’s products were even selected as one of Oprah’s Favorite Things.

Get it from Harlem Chocolate Factory for $12.99 (available in milk or dark chocolate) or get the Golden Brownstone Gift set on Amazon for $50 so you can share with everyone you know!


Get it from Amazon for $35.99 (available in three designs).


I have this blanket and practically live under it. It’s luxuriously soft and gently crushes me to sleep. Just note that the size of the blanket changes depending on the weight, so the 15-pound option is only wide enough to cover one adult.

Get it from Bearaby for $269+ (available in three weights and five colors).

7. A mini claw machine for the person who is constantly losing all their spare change to The Claw. Now they can hone their skills at home and get some candy (or small toys) for their efforts.


Reviewers say this thing is loud, but you can remove the bottom and detach the two yellow wires connected to the speaker to fix that. Get some prizes here!

Promising review: “I have two boys, ages 10 and 11, who love this claw machine. I buy small candy bars (mini, not fun size) and gummies because the claw won’t pick up/carry bigger pieces of candy because it’s too heavy. My kids placed a shortened wooden skewer in the slot and use it as a lever to activate it instead of using the coins. It was a great buy!” —C.F.

Get it from Amazon for $54.97.


Get it from Amazon for $19.95 (also available in two other styles).

9. A casual little bee house they can set up to invite tiny, flower-loving friends to their lawn.


It’s made from FSC certified wood and offers a great home for all their buzzing buds.

Get it from UncommonGoods for $40.


It comes with four Beatle minifigs, a Jeremy figure, two display stands, and all the pieces needed to recreate the submarine. The top is removable and the minifigs can even fit inside the cockpit. There’s also four rotating periscopes, two rotating propellers, and an adjustable rudder.

Get it from Amazon for $189.99.

11. A cute corgi item for the dog lover in your life who can’t get over those fuzzy butts.

thousandskies, BoxLunch, Amazon

12. A trendy paperclip bracelet made even cooler with an oversized pop tab charm. Anyone else used to wear pop tabs on chains as a kid? This is the adult version!


13. A 2021 Jeopardy! calendar with a different question and wager amount each day, so you can keep track of your hypothetical score throughout the year.


Reviewers say that haven’t found any repeat questions so you can get this every year and become a trivia champ.

Get it from Amazon for $11.76.

15. A subscription service that sends them coffee and a classic book, plus some other goodies to help them get into the reading mood.


The starter box has a book, a couple of book-themed items, and the choice of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. Upgrade to the standard box for a book, the selected drink, a snack, a mug, a bookmark, and one or two bookish items.

Get it from Cratejoy for $39.99+/month.

16. A funny zip-up hoodie featuring the best Ice Cube/Ice-T collab anyone could ever hope for.


Get it from TeeFury for $45 (available in sizes S–3XL and four colors).

17. A custom reel viewer that doubles down on nostalgia by letting them view their old photos in the coolest way possible.


This viewer comes with a redemption code, so your recipient can pick what images they want to immortalize in their new gizmo and then send in to be turned into reels. Soooo much better than a family photo album, just saying.

Get it from UncommonGoods for $29.95.

18. A personalized cookbook for your own personal Chrissy Teigen so they can keep track of all their favorite recipes.


This fancy hardcover book has 216 pages just waiting to be filled with their delicious food creations. It has template space for over 80 recipes with places for ingredients, instructions, reviews, and images.

Promising review: “Gave this to my lovely wife for her birthday. She had been looking for a cookbook to write down recipes she loved or invented. The quality of this book and slipcover are such that someday our children or grandchildren will inherit the family recipes. Neat layout, with options that other books don’t have.” —Bladesmith

Get it from Amazon for $28.51.

19. The Truth Deck — colorful oracle cards that will help them with various challenges and obstacles they might face. These work a lot like tarot cards but come with text instead of the Major/Minor Arcana, making them easier to use.

Pretty Spirits

Pretty Spirits is a Black-owned brand created by twin sisters. It’s a great choice for anyone who doesn’t want to study tarot but could use some spiritual guidance. You can find the glossary of card meanings here.

Get a 100 card deck from Pretty Spirits for $50 (available in five colors).

20. A fun book filled with comics that tell them what they already know: Cats are weird.

Chronicle Books

Get it from Amazon for $13.43, Barnes & Noble for $13.61, or Bookshop for $13.75 (to support local bookstores).


This USDA Certified Organic and Fairtrade coffee is one of the strongest in the world. There are 59 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce of coffee.

Get the coffee for $19.96 or the keychain for $14.99, both from Amazon.

22. A city map rocks glass to give to the person who just moved to a new city or is just really into the one they’re living in now.


There are also pint glasses for beer (and juice) drinkers.

Get it from UncommonGoods for $16 (available in 24 cities).

23. An absolutely gorgeous pack of candles from Otherland in lots of velvety winter smells everyone will enjoy.

The box is half the gift! I got the three-pack of their summer scents and the box was so pretty, I was forced to keep it forever. You can pick three candles from their holiday series or some from their core collection.

Get a custom gift box from Otherland for $36+ (available in sets of one or three).


It comes with 1,000 pieces. Tell them I said good luck!

Get it from Amazon for $29.99.

25. Scrabble string lights — I don’t need to spell out why this is the perfect gift.

It comes with 10 light blocks and 60 letter stickers.

Promising review: “Used this for our game night and it was a hit! Love it and it looks beautiful all lit up. I like the fact that we can use it over and over.” —Momof3

Get it from Amazon for $23.68.,

Promising review: “It arrived earlier and seeing everything now it was worth the wait! They are very nice and I’m excited to try everything. :)” —Kayleen L

Get a box of 30 from Amazon for $17.99.

27. A wow-worthy bookshelf game that transformed all the board game classics into decor-worthy tomes you can proudly display on your shelf when not in use. Anyone wanna play a gorgeous round of Clue???


Get one from Anthropologie for $40 (available in four games) or three (Clue, Scrabble, Monopoly) from Amazon for $99.95.

28. Jerky of the Month Club — a service them sends them a whole slew of jerky to try. They’ll want to thank you, but they’ll probably be too busy chewing.


You can order two, four, six, or eight bags in each box. Your recipient can expect new jerkies in each box!

Get it from Cratejoy for $18+/month.

29. A box set of either Calvin and Hobbes or The Far Side. Studies have shown that either purchase increases happiness by 110%. Can’t argue with that (totally made up) data.


Get Calvin and Hobbes for $69.99+ (available in hard or soft cover) or the Far Side for $59.80 from Amazon.


Get eight from Amazon for $11.42 .

31. A pack of hot chocolate sticks that they can dip and swirl in their mug for a sweet drink any time.


Get it from Food52 for $24+ (available in three-flavor assortment and packs of 4, 6, and 12) or something similar from Amazon for $19.99.

32. A Marshall Stockwell portable Bluetooth speaker so they can feel like they’re jamming out with a tiny, baby amp.


The speaker can play about 25 hours on a single charge. It even comes with a red case.

Promising review: “I love the Marshall brand of home speakers. This is my second Marshall product. It always links to my phone without any hesitation. I love that it also has a microphone so you can actually use it to talk to people, not just listen to music. It also has a USB charger so you can charge your phone with it. I use it as my nightstand speaker. Great set-up, great look!” —Luis Barrera

Get it from Amazon for $199.77.

33. A dishwasher-safe airtight cold-brew maker that’ll allow them to keep a caché for morning juice ready to go in the fridge.


Promising review: “I received my first Takeya cold-brew maker as a gift for Christmas. I like it so much I bought another. It’s easy to use and very easy to clean, plus it makes my morning coffee more palatable. It was well-packaged, has easy-to-follow instructions, and will get lots of use at my house. One of the best features is that it can be turned upside down with no leakage.” —J. Lloyd

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in four sizes).

34. A legit wooden crate filled with a variety of different types of popcorn for the big snacker in your life.

Man Crates

This crate has seven types: toffee, chocolate drizzled caramel with sea salt, Kentucky bourbon and black pepper, pop on the cob, habanero, BBQ, and kettle corn. Some are pre-popped and others need a little heat. Don’t worry, it comes with a crowbar to help open it.

Get it from Man Crates for $49.99.


Promising review: “I bought this for my girlfriend because she is absolutely in love with shiba inus. Honestly, she loves them more than me… just sometimes, I hope. Anyways, like the other helpful reviews here have stated, this definitely runs small. Other than that little sizing issue, the material is super soft and comfortable. VERY, VERY warm, very cute, no complaints about anything else. Makes for a great gift!” —James Lee

Get it from Amazon for $21.99+ (available in sizes S–XXL and two colors).

36. An unofficial cat-themed Monopoly game to play when you two want to learn about cat breeds while buying up real estate.


Promising review: “This is the cutest game ever. I bought it for a friend’s birthday because she’s a cat lover. We opened it immediately and played for four hours straight because it was just so much fun. Same as your standard Monopoly but cat version. The property cards are all different cat breeds and on the back they have cute facts about cats. The houses are fish bones and hotels are litter boxes. Lots of fun for friends, family, etc.” —Katie

Get it from Amazon for $24.99.

38. A dog toy shaped like a sloth riding a rainbow. A repeat: a sloth riding a rainbow!


Get it from ModCloth for $15.

SkettiStainStudio, ToxicTrinketsShop

40. A beauty box filled with goodies from all sorts of Black-owned businesses so your beauty-loving recipient can try out a whole bunch of new brands all at once.


What’s amazing about this box is that you pick what goes in it! You can pick at least three items from the wide selection of beauty items.

Get it from Glory for $38+/box.

41. A miniature book charm featuring an iconic quote from the story. Your favorite bookworm can wear the pendant on a necklace, charm, or favorite bookmark.


Some notable titles include The Little Mermaid, Little Women, and The Secret Garden.

Get it from VintageCharmedBooks on Etsy for $38 (available in many different titles).

Toynk, SweetCargoCo

The “mystery” box is not actually a mystery. It comes with a bumper sticker, Dwight bobble head, lanyard, mug, and writing pad. The care package comes with two random stickers, microwave popcorn, airheads, Twizzlers, Slim Jims, Fancy Feast Kit Kat bar, and other snacks that you can choose in the listing. Some snacks will be decked out in themed packaging like Threat Level Midnight and Professor Copperfield’s Miracle Legumes.

Get the mystery box from Toynk for $49.99 or the care package from SweetCargoCo on Etsy for $40+ (available with or without drink option).

43. A cool kit that lets them make slime they can legit draw on with chalk art markers. How cool is that???

Kiwi Co

It comes with ingredients to make two types of slime: glow-in-the-dark and chalkboard.

Promising review: “The chalkboard and glow slime were super fun to make and play with. Loved how easy it was to make!” —Jacqueline

Get it from Kiwi Co for $24.95.

44. A set of Himalayan salt glasses to make tequila and mezcal shots go down smooth thanks to the salt-infused finish. Licking salt off their hand is a thing of the past, thank goodness.


The salt is naturally antibacterial so they don’t need to wash them. Just store in a dry, cool place.

Promising review: “We use these for special occasions and to taste new tequila brands. To clean, you simply rinse the salt cup under water. Super fun and easy to use! Will definitely give this as a gift to friends in the future.” —JENINNM

Get a set of four from UncommonGoods for $28 or something similar from Amazon for $19.75.

45. One Gotta Go — a simple and fun card game that pushes players to say buh-bye to one item out of four. Having to choose between gingerbread or sugar cookies? Tough call.

One Gotta Go

One Gotta Go is a Black-owned business that seeks to give friends and families something to do besides sit next to each other on their phones.

Promising review: “Honestly I was not expecting this to be that wild of a game. I have been collecting different card games during this quarantine season and I got this on a whim when I saw an ad for it. Even when I got it in the mail, I was not that excited to play. I happened to have this deck of card in my bag when I went to my family’s house this past weekend. Someone mentioned that they wanted to play a game, so I pulled this out fully expecting it to land flat. But as SOON as we started playing the arguments were on! Everyone making a case for why they picked what we picked, swaying others to agree with us, even diving into the possible societal repercussions of our selections, I LOVE THIS GAME. We ended up playing for a good three hours.” —Amaka Ezeonyebuchi

Get it from One Gotta Go for $25.

46. A fun and beautiful board game where the point of the game is basically to become a thriving forest. *wistfully stares out of the window*


Basically you’re growing trees. Each player starts with two. The trees absorb light and get light points, which can be used to disperse seeds. There is a “sun” rotating around the board, so players have to time and position everything properly to get the most sunlight.

Promising review: “Don’t be fooled by the beautiful artwork, or the adorable little illustrated animals hidden within the components, Photosynthesis is a vicious abstract strategy game, and it’s probably the best use of thematic gameplay for any tabletop game in 2017, worthy of being equated with other top tier uses of theme in designing gameplay, such as Shadows Over Camelot, Blood Rage, and just about anything produced by Fantasy Flights.” —Paul Bulger

Get it from Amazon for $35.40.

47. Wine decanters that aerate as you pour, so your recipient can turn even the cheapest of wines into something extra drinkable.


Promising review: “These wine aerators are FABULOUS! I do wine demos for different wineries and I don’t always have time to let a bottle of wine breathe properly before a demo starts. These greatly enhance the flavor and it makes all the difference in the world. My sales numbers increased greatly. And you can’t beat the price!” —Ash Bash

Get a set of two from Amazon for $15.99.

48. An adorable set of Tea Drops — loose leaf tea that’s been pressed with raw sugar, and aromatic spices — for a cute and easy tea session.


Sampler includes eight tea drops, two of each: Energizing Matcha Green Tea (caffeinated), Calming Rose Earl Grey (caffeinated), Refreshing Citrus Ginger (caffeine-free), and Cooling Sweet Peppermint (caffeine-free).

Promising review: “Tea Drops + an electric kettle makes for a super simple and mess-free way to prepare your tea. Especially in the mornings when you’re getting yourself together or in a hurry. Taste is on point, doesn’t need any sweeteners. Overall very smooth teas. You do get a few tea particles at the bottom of your cup, which I thought might be an issue, but it turned out not to be troublesome at all. I would definitely recommend it!” —Arpan

Get the pack of eight from Amazon for $16.99+ (also available in packs of 25). Make it a gift set with an electric kettle and really cute tea cup.


Promising review: “Great product! They fit comfortably, are very cute and don’t shrink in the washing machine. I think they are priced fairly and I received them in the mail very quickly. I love these!” —Marcie

Get it from Amazon for $10.99+ (available in six styles).

50. A Pokémon card with their actual pet on it! They even get their own moves like Ankle Bite or Supersonic Bark. This is a gift they will never trade (not even for a first edition Charizard).


Every aspect of the card is custom so you can pick the moves, the type, stats, card rarity, and more. This is already the coolest gift ever but you can also upgrade with a holographic design.

Get it from WildPetsCreations on Etsy: the custom illustration style for $81 or the photo style for $32+ (available in three sizes).

51. A long-lasting temporary tattoo kit for when they’re bored of their current ink situation and wanna mix it up — for a little bit, at least.


Apply the ink with a stencil, and the tattoo will develop over the next day to look like the real deal.

Promising review: “I purchased the kit for me and my GF. This was my first time with this kind of tattoo making, so I wasn’t sure what to expect aside from having a lot of fun. Well, we had way more than fun as we started inking each other. The tattoo making process is really easy. My tat is now six days old and still looks dark and sharp.” —Golan

Get it from Amazon for $19.99+ (available in two sizes).

52. A classic Pendleton blanket from the National Park collection for outdoorsy folk who love to snuggle.


Promising review: “I have had my eye on this blanket for years. After a long wait and saving of pennies I finally purchased the Pendleton National Park Blanket Collection in Acadia. I use it everyday as a throw over my comforter because I am always cold. I constantly get compliments on my bedding and Pendleton made my dream bedroom come true. Be mindful this is dry-clean only. Be careful with the wool to not damage the quality. This is as an investment, you’ll have it forever.” —Jean Vandekieft

Get it from Backcountry for $199+ (available in 15 styles).

53. An Owa Haircare set so you can give the gift of nice hair this holiday season. It comes with a tote, wide-tooth comb, and waterless shampoo that lots of people on the BuzzFeed shopping team swear by!

Owa Haircare

Everyone I know who has tried this powdered shampoo loves it, including me. It lathers up nicely, lasts forever (still working on my first bottle nearly a year later), and makes my hair super soft. I highly recommend!

Get it from Owa Haircare for $49.

54. And a Baby Yoda sweatshirt to wear now until the end of time. I mean, just LOOK at it. Now I need nuggets.


It’s available in both crewneck and hoodie.

Get it from ChristaShop99 on Etsy for $15+ (available in sizes YS–5XL).

Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!


Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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