Finding the perfect gift for everyone special in your life can be, frankly, a nightmare. Some people are easy to shop for, but others in your family or social spheres might be less forthcoming about their desires. You could do the leg work of asking what might make them a happy camper over the holidays, but who has time for that? That’s a rhetorical question. No one has time for that, except for us.
Our team of writers at The Verge huddled for weeks to come up with the definitive list of gift ideas that you’ll find below. There are gifts for gamers, aspiring podcast hosts, parents, board game connoisseurs, musicians, and much more. Given that we cover tech primarily, you know we’ve got you covered for all of this year’s desirable gadgets. But our team is also comprised of cooks, campers, photographers, fitness enthusiasts, and more, so expect a varied and inspired selection of gift ideas.
Under $20 $20 to $50 $50 to $150 $150 to $400 $400+
Anker PowerPort III Nano Charger
If your friends are traveling this holiday season, a good-quality iPhone charger will be a much appreciated gift. This Anker charger is small enough that you can easily lug it around and is capable of fast charging some of the latest iPhone models – including the iPhone 13 lineup.
8BitDo SN30 Pro
Whether your giftee games primarily on a Nintendo Switch, PC, or smartphone, they’ll need a solid controller. 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro is tough to beat, both in terms of price and functionality. It stacks up to pricier models for less.
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1
Not everything has to live on the ‘gram. With Fujifilm’s colorful Square SQ1, you can capture and print square portraits of your cat, friends, or anything your heart desires in a matter of minutes. The one-touch selfie mode and mirror just gives it a 21st-century twist on the classic Polaroid cameras your mom grew up with.
Nintendo Switch OLED
The latest version of the Nintendo Switch is also the greatest. The OLED model brings a larger, brighter screen to Nintendo’s latest handheld, as well as 64GB of built-in storage and a wired LAN port for the dock. Any gamer that has suffered through this past year will likely tell you how owning a Switch helped them retain their sanity, making this handheld an excellent upgrade for current Switch owners and newcomers alike.
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
The first entry in novelist Marlon James’ Dark Star trilogy is not always an easy read. Yet, while his vision of a fictionalized Africa can be unsettling and visceral, it’s also utterly beguiling, an imaginative story that owes as much to African mythology and religion as it does the fantasy epics that came before it.
Apple iPad Mini (2021)
The latest iPad Mini is the most powerful and feature-packed version yet. It has an elegant design, a fast processor, and might end up being your loved one’s favorite gadget.
It’s always a good idea to make sure your home office has some greenery to keep the mood up. Snake plants are an excellent choice for budding plant enthusiasts, namely because they’re relatively easy to keep alive if you’re not the green thumb type.
Microsoft Surface Pro 8
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 8 is the new version for which Surface fans have been waiting a long time. It combines a refreshed design with a fast, 120Hz variable refresh rate screen and a new stylus. It’s the ideal 2-in-1 computer.
Essentially Groundhog Day by way of Quentin Tarantino, Deathloop is the latest hit from Bethesda game studios. It pairs a flashy, ’70s-inspired aesthetic with unique time-loop mechanics that have players learning from their mistakes and trying new paths with each new playthrough.
Logitech C920S Pro HD
The Logitech C920S Pro HD is a webcam that’s practically become synonymous with the new work-from-home ecosystem. This no-nonsense webcam takes up very little space and simply needs to be plugged into an available USB port to work. Plus, the webcam’s 1080p, 30fps capture speed means it can even give some built-in laptop cameras a run for their money.
Puffin beverage vest
Arguably functional but definitely adorable, the Puffin beverage vest might be cutest coozie we’ve ever seen. This beverage accessory is available in a variety of colors and styles, including flannels, parkas, and life vests.
Aukey Basix 10,000mAh power bank
Where we’re going, we don’t need cables. Everyone should own a power bank, and the Aukey Basix wireless charging model is one of the most veratile, allowing you prop up your device while wirelessly charging it.
Loved ones with iPhones will appreciate receiving AirTags as gifts while they travel this holiday season. You can clip the ultra wideband-ready Bluetooth tracker to your suitcase, backpack, keys, and other accessories and easily keep track of their locations on your smartphone. Note, however, you’ll need to buy a separate AirTag loop accessory to attach the AirTag to anything.
Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder
We admit the Krups Silent Vortex Electric Grinder isn’t silent, per se. However, multiple Verge staffers can attest that it is one of the quieter and more efficient coffee grinders we’ve come across, a no-frills model that consistently produces even grounds without waking up the whole household in the morning. The sizable, stainless-steel grinding bowl is also dishwasher safe, rendering cleanup a breeze.
Take a double dose of nostalgia with the RD-D2 Tamagotchi. Your very own droid counterpart to clean, play with, and love. Help R2 learn new skills and unlock mini-games to play. Sometimes the real epic saga is the friend you make along the way.
Price: $20 to 30
There’s a reason these headphones appear on numerous “best headphones” lists across the internet. These wireless headphones from Sony provide amazing sound quality, the ability to pair simultaneously with multiple devices, and industry-leading noise cancellation. These features and the ability to last for up to 30 hours on a single charge make these headphones well worth the sizeable investment.
Sonos’ smallest speaker, the Roam, is a worthy addition in dad’s repertoire of gadgets. It’s a Bluetooth-ready speaker for on-the-go adventures, and it supports Wi-Fi connectivity, so it can fit right into a larger array of Sonos speakers.
Black Diamond Wiz Headlamp
Stop having your kid carry around a flashlight with their hands and strap one to their head instead. This simple LED headlamp can be attached to a head, an arm, or wherever really. But the Black Diamond Wiz headlamp is a great, kid-friendly solution for illumination when a conventional flashlight simply won’t do.
Price: $20 to $30
GaleForce 9 Dune board game
The new Dune movie has finally arrived — err, half of it anyway — and if you’re looking for a way to further experience Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, there’s GaleForce Nine’s Dune. The 2019 version modernizes the 40-year-old strategy game, but you’ll still encounter plenty of deal-making and backstabbing as your faction vies for control of the most precious resource in the universe: spice.
The Verge retro wordmark shirt
Verge merch is back, baby! Celebrate the recent 10th birthday of your favorite website with this retro-styled cotton shirt. The Verge spends each day exploring the crossroads of tech and culture, and this shirt is right at the intersection of comfort and style.
GoPro Hero10 Black
For loved ones who are more adventurous, GoPro’s latest action cam, the GoPro Hero10 Black, is a gift they’ll appreciate. It’s a versatile camera, one that’s even able to record underwater footage. What’s more, the 2021 version features a new processor that lets the camera shoot in higher frame rates while rendering it possible to upload videos to the cloud as you charge.
2021 Apple iMac
Apple’s redesigned 2021 iMac makes a great gift for those looking for a computer. It’s sleek and stylish and comes equipped with Apple’s blazing-fast M1 processor, as well as a good camera, keyboard, mouse, trackpad, display, speaker system, and microphones.
Kiriko Classic Bandana
Proving that bandanas come in more than just paisley, Kiriko’s classic bandana comes in a wide variety of styles and prints that are classy as hell. With bandanas that look — and feel — this good, you’ll be finding new excuses to wear one every day.
HP Spectre X360 14
We once called the HP Spectre X360 14 the best 2-in-1 you can buy, and we stand by that statement. This beautiful touchscreen laptop offers amazing battery life and a brilliant display, and while these features certainly don’t come cheap, the flexible laptop is well worth the investment.
Purist insulated mug
We know: there are a lot of options when it comes to choosing a water bottle. Thankfully, Purist Collective’s bottles stand out in a couple of key areas. Not only are they vacuum-sealed and double-walled, but they feature interchangeable lids and a glass interior, meaning they’ll shed that bitter coffee taste when washed.
Lego Space Shuttle Discovery set
If recent releases have taught us anything, it’s that Lego thrives on nostalgia. The new Space Shuttle Discovery set, built to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle launch, is a 2,354-piece marvel, complete with a small-scale Hubble Space Telescope and two stands for displaying your creation once assembled. Needless to say, it blows that Lego coup your dad had as a kid out of the water.
iPhone 13 Pro
The iPhone 13 Pro has the best camera for capturing stills and video, and its triple-camera array offers a plethora of options for a beginning YouTube or TikTok creator.
Dart Zone MK-3
The Dart Zone MK-3 scoffs at Nerf “blasters” and their “safety precautions.” This SMG-style dart gun features options for semi or fully automatic fire and even comes with different calibers of ammunition. Powered by a pair of AA batteries, the MK-3 puts so much foam down range that it even comes packaged with safety goggles.
Price: $130 to $168
Instant Pot Duo
If you’ve ever seen a recipe and thought, “How do I make this with relative ease and without dirtying a ton of cookware?” the Instant Pot is your answer. This six-quart model — which can function as a rice cooker, pressure cooker, and other tabletop appliances — is the gift that keeps on giving, and you and everyone you know should have one.
Price: $89 to $90
WD Black SN850 SSD (500GB)
If you haven’t invested in an M.2 SSD yet, it’s about time you did. The WD Black SN850 is one of the better options on the market, and its price reduction has made it far more accessible. M.2 SSDs are the easiest way to expand the storage on your PC and can even be added to your PlayStation 5, provided the model you purchase comes with a heatsink.
Price: $100 to $170
Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership
Nintendo’s Switch Online service recently added Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games to its offering (for an extra cost), and even better, it released modernized controllers to make playing them feel just like you remember them back in the day.