The countdown to the most festive time of the year has begun and we’re here to help you sleigh the gift giving process.
2020 has been up there with one of the craziest years in history but despite how the last few months have played out, this Christmas can still be the most one magical yet, even if that means it’s going to be more intimate than usual.
The festivities may be taking place virtually this year, but it’s still important to nail the gifting exchange - even if it via Zoom - and find that perfect present for your partner, parents, grandparents, and children to cue squeals of delight.
For the ES Best Shopping Team, Christmas is when we're in our element - so leave your gifting woes to the experts, and check out our ultimate selection of the best presents to suit each and every person on your list.
We have gathered the best gifts to give Santa a run for his money.
See the best broken down by category.
Lockdown essentials for the hobbyist
Up their tech game
Practical but fun
Home is where the art is
Eat, drink and be merry
Go forth and shop the best gifts for your clan this Christmas.
See more of our designated gift guides here:
Lockdown essentials for the hobbyist
Kindle Oasis 32GB WiFi
With millions of books, newspapers and audiobooks at your fingertips, Kindle has revolutionised the way that we read with a lighter, more compact device for on-the-go. The Oasis has an adjustable warm light that is ideal for just before bed or when you can’t sleep as well as being waterproof – so you can devour the latest gripping novel while you’re in the tub. It also works with Audible and you can connect wireless or wired headphones as well as speakers so you can switch between reading and listening with ease.
Puzzles - Ravensburger Looking Good London 3,000 pieces
During the first lockdown, we harked back to more wholesome past times, which included puzzles – so much so that they sold out everywhere. Give your family, friend or loved one a real challenge with this epic 3000-piece puzzle; just think about putting together the sky or water. There are also plenty other beautiful illustrations and for every level – shop them at Selfridges here or see our selection of the best jigsaws for adults.
Bakedin Bread Baking Club
From puzzles, to sourdough starters, we've all tried our hand at something different this year. Encourage good habits with a subscription service from Bakedin. Not only will their monthly package create continual excitement but as the generous gift-giver, surely you will be at the top of the list to enjoy the fruits of their labour – it’s a true win, win.
The boxes are compact enough to fit through the letterbox and contain all the correctly-measures ingredients needed to whip up masterpieces that would give this year's GBBO contestants a run for their money. The subscription is for three months and it will auto-renew after that, but you can cancel at any time. If they’re still yet to master the art of sourdough, give them a helping hand in the form of this bread proofing basket at John Lewis (£18).
Marcato Atlas 150 Wellness Pasta Machine
Creating delicious, fresh pasta dishes is much easier than seems, and with this pasta machine, they can master the Italian speciality. Whether it’s lasagne, spaghetti, ravioli, fettuccine, or tagliolini, this gift will kick start a passion for homemade pasta. Sit back and wait for the theme night invites.
Veja Campo Textured-Leather Sneakers
Elevate their footwear collection with a nod to sustainability. Eco-conscious footwear label Veja is a fan-favourite among the fashion set but they also are created with minimal environmental impact. You really can’t go wrong with this universally appealing white leather pair that have a variety of colours for the logo detailing. These all-rounders can be dress up smart or casual and worn with everything from dresses to jeans. They are also unisex with an almost identical pair for men – shop at Mr Porter (£115) here.
Hatton Labs Edge Chain 925 Sterling Silver
The BBC’s Normal People pulled the nation's heart strings in so many ways but the surprising hero of the series was a bit of a wild card. Connell Waldron's chain became such an icon that it spawned its own Instagram account, much to the delight of thirsty fans everywhere. The slim silver necklace became the must-have men's accessory over the summer, and demand is still going strong. Gift the look to the man in your life with this iteration from Hatton Labs. This one is crafted from sterling silver with a delicate, yet rugged look.
Nintendo Switch 1.1 32GB Console with Joy-Con in Neon
Gaming addicts everywhere will appreciate the Nintendo Switch and particularly the 1.1 model with a battery battery life and more on-the-go flexibility. If they’re more of an Xbox or Playstation devotee, check out the latest models, the Xbox Series X and PS5 available to pre-order now.
Ienki Ienki Michlin Quilted Jacket
Worn by the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Irina Shayk and the Hadid sisters, the Ukrainian outerwear label IENKI IENKI offers cosy puffers with Arctic-style construction. Not only are the coats super comfortable, warm and made with a sustainable and vegan fabric but they are also very stylish and form-fitting with a belt that cinches the waist. Available in a an assortment of colours.
Up their tech game
Apple iPhone 12
After much hype, Apple finally revealed the iPhone 12 in October and there are four different models to choose from; iPhone, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Mini and iPhone Pro Max. You really can’t go wrong with this gift and there are devices at a range of price points.
Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Pro 2
Welcome to the future with these electric scooters that have become one of the most sought-after modes of travel. The Xiaomi M365 Pro has a maximum speed of 15.5 mph and has a range of around 28 miles on a full charge. It is also easy to store and transport with a compact folding.
LARQ Insulated Self-Cleaning and Stainless Steel Water Bottle with UV Water Purifier
We could wax lyrical all day about this bottle (and we have, much to the exasperation of the ES office). It keeps the water cold for 24 hours or hot drinks for 12 but most impressive of all, it uses UV technology to purify and clean the inner bottle with a self-cleaning function. It removes 99.9 per cent of bacteria and viruses and does so automatically to ensure that your bottle and the beverage inside is fresh and odour-free. Perfect for the home office, it's rechargeable through a USB but the battery life is impressively long-lasting so you won't have to juice it up often.
Beats Powerbeats Pro Wireless Bluetooth Earphones
Wireless headphones have come on leap and bounds, as shown from Beats. While AirPods and the AirPods Pro may be popular, these take it to the next level with premium sound and a handy ear cuffs to ensure they stay firmly in place even during high intensity workouts. They are available in a range of colours and have a battery life of up to nine hours.
Sonos Beam Compact Smart Sound Bar
Transform your home into a cinema-worthy set up with the help of Sonos. The Beam sound bar provides epic sound quality and can be paired with other speakers from the brand to create a surround set-up. It connects to your TV through an HDMI cable and then you can control it wirelessly through the free app.
Calling athletes everywhere, the Theragun is an absolute game changer. Whether you go to the gym once, every so often or train every day, your recovery will be undeniably better by incorporating the Percussive Therapy Massager. The device comes at all different price points, each of which varies in specs but it essentially works as a deep muscle massage, stimulating circulation and releasing tension. Shop more muscle recovery gadgets here.
The latest smart wearable from Fitbit takes the step counter to the next level with a whole host of additional hi-tech features. First and foremost, choose between the colours on offer – the chic lunar white and soft gold, or the sleek carbon and graphite.
Next, make the most of the health tracking to keep on top of your wellbeing. It monitors your heart rate and thus can detect stress, tracks your skin temperature, your sleep to give information about your stages and scores, wake you up with a gentle alarm and even gives you a six month subscription to Fitbit Premium with fitness and nutrition programmes. It is even water resistant. The battery life lasts for six days and it charges up at an impressive rate.
Men’s Health Cast Iron Dumbbell Box Set
When the nation plunged into lockdown back in March, dumbbells were one of the hardest items to track down as many sought to use the time to become prison-fit. As we're still spending more time at home, it’s important to create an at-home workout when winter weather means you can't take it outdoors. For the fitness buff, this set from Men’s Health will go down a storm. They have a variety of different weights that can be mixed up but total 18kg but there are heavier ones available too.
Garmin Forerunner 45 Music
When gyms closed and we were confined to our homes, there was a huge running boom. With easy-to-follow apps like Couch to 5K, those of us who thought running was too hard or not for us discovered a newfound love for cardio workout.
Gift the Garmin’s Forerunner to build on their new-found skills. It has GPS so you can track and deep dive into your stats and progress like your heart rate, speed, distance, pace, intervals and more. The watch itself is lightweight and will sit seamlessly under your top without rubbing or irritation. There is also the added bonuses of stress tracking and an energy monitor so you can determine when is best to pound the pavements based on your energy. You can also control the music playing on your phone so you can run without interruption.
Gaiam Be Free Reversible 6mm Yoga Mat
In these uncertain times, any form of stress relief is welcome. Yoga boasts a host of healing benefits, from mental to physical. Whether they are an expert yogi or just mastering their Downward Dog, the stylish yoga mats from Gaiam will be a great gift.
Pair with the brand’s versatile Studio to Street bag that has a compartment for the mat (£42.49).
Solve Winter Blues
The White Company Sleep Well Set
The power of sleep can never be underestimated and this set from White Company is ideal for those who need a little extra help to drift off. The natural remedies in this calming set include six soothing essential oils like lavender, chamomile and clary sage in the form of a candle, body cream, bath soak and sleep mist.
Neom Wellbeing Pod Essential Oil Diffuser
Upgrade the tranquility of their home set up by gifting the NEOM Wellbeing Pod Essential Oil Diffuser that only needs to be connected to the mains and paired with any of the brand’s 100 per cent natural essential oils to instantly boost their mood. Each oil has a different effect whether to help catch Zzz’s, unwind, or prepare to conquer the day. The diffuser has adjustable settings with a timer and LED light for ambiance.
Mela Weighted Blanket
For the uninitiated, a weighted blanket feels like being cocooned in a giant hug. While it offers all the cosiness of a traditional blanket, it is comforting and can reduce anxiety. To solve winter blues, Mela is on hand with its super soft iteration that can promote better sleep. See more weighted blankets here.
Lumie Bodyclock Spark 100 Wake up to Daylight SAD Light
For anyone suffering with Seasonal Affective Disorder, Lumie Spark 100’s wake up clock will bring a touch of sunshine to their mornings and evenings. You start the day with a sunrise that wakes you up in the most gradual and peaceful way possible (but don’t worry, there’s also an actual sound alarm just in case). It changes from a warm glow to bright day light that can boost mood, energy levels and productivity. In the evening, you can unwind gradually with the sunset feature that signals your body to produce melatonin. Shop more sunrise alarm clocks here.
Ugg Scruff Slipper
A surefire crowd pleaser, no one can resist the cosy charm of these Ugg Scuff slippers. Whether you are shopping for your partner, dad, grandpa or the female Scuffette equivalents for the lady in your life, they offer universal appeal. The slippers come in a variety of colours with the brand’s signature wool lining. They slip right on and have a rubber sole which means they're perfect for taking out the bins or popping to the shops if they need to – but they are best worn indoors.
Sleeper Black Tie Feather-Trimmed Pajama Set
Party-ready pyjamas, we are fully obsessed with this day-to-night set from Sleeper. The PJs are finished with feather fringing at the trousers and cuffs putting a highly agreeable “Black Tie” twist to sleepwear. Shop more women’s pj sets here.
Practical but fun
Philips Airfryer XXL
The Philips Airfryer offers a healthier alternative to traditional oil frying. It is also quicker with delicious crispy food in a fraction of the time it would take in the oven. The device will allow you to bake, roast, and grill to your heart’s content with more flavoursome meals. It’s even big enough to cook a whole chicken! Shop more air fryers here.
Waterpik Black Cordless Plus Water Flosser
Let’s be real, flossing is not fun but putting a hi-tech twist on the chore may just make it so. Waterpik’s Water Flosser has a compact design, rechargeable battery and most importantly, deep cleans between the teeth and at the gumline in those hard to reach areas. It works through water pressure and pulsations that massages for improved oral health. Shop more water flossers here.
Phlips Lumea Prestige IPL
File this under things they’ve always wanted but haven’t bought themselves. The Philips Lumea is a game changer in the hair removal sphere. One of the best at-home IPL machines on the market, it is a safe, easy and effective way to defuzz – not to mention virtually painless. Find out more about IPL and shop more models here.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7
WFH-ers fall into two camps, love it or hate it and if it’s the latter, it probably has to do with their at-home set-up and most likely, it is tech related. Ease their frustrations with a new laptop and Microsoft has just the thing. The Surface Pro 7 is the ultimate all-rounder. It’s a tablet and a laptop with a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, 10th Gen Intel® Core™ processing, and Windows 10. It is lightweight and slim for easy transportability. Shop additional budget laptops here.
Mincing Mockingbird Business Bullshit Journal
Bring a touch of humour to the stress of working life with this journal from MincingMockingbird. It has a vintage-inspired design with premium gold letters spelling on the front.
Nespresso Essenza Mini Coffee Machine
The humble coffee machine has become one of the most important pieces of kitchen tech with this new WFH mandate. Upgrade their cup of Joe with the Nespresso’s small but mighty Essenza. There are two cup sizes, a patented systems to offer the optimal temperature and an endless number of pods to choose from.
Home is where the art is
Anissa Kermiche Jugs Jug Ceramic Vase
Whether it’s the Jugs ceramic jug, the Love Handles ceramic vase or the Popotin pot, Anissa Kermiche’s pieces have become cult items of decor to own for the houseproud. The designs are elegant and chic and will be sure to go down a treat with your recipient - but you better be quick, they sell out fast. Shop more stylish vases here.
Les Ottomans Palm Tree Large Ceramic Candlestick Holder
For tablescaping done right, head to The Ottomans for a whole host of interesting, charming pieces that are anything but ordinary. The bold homewares label offer candlestick holders, pillows, trays and tablecloths with vivid, eye-popping prints. We particularly like the Palm Tree inspired candle holders that come in two sizes; medium (£160) and large below. Shop more candlestick holders here.
Eat, drink and be merry
The Smart Garden 3
For the hopeless amateur gardener who has been known to kill a cactus in their time, this Click and Grow Smart Garden gives them the opportunity to grow their own herbs and veggies with ease.
Encourage their green fingers with LED grow lights, and a self-watering system so no matter the weather, the plants will flourish. You can choose over 50 pre-seeded plant pods.
Shop more indoor herb gardens here.
Bombay Sapphire - Home of Bombay Hamper
There are few greater pleasures of an evening than sinking into a perfectly mixed G&T, and for that reason, you can always find a bottle of Bombay Sapphire in our drinks trolley. If you feel similarly, this hamper will make you feel as though all your Christmases have come at once.
From Bombay Sapphire’s Laverstoke distillery is this stunning hamper, filled with enough of the spirit to sink a Royal Navy battleship. There are five bottles: the classic Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Dry, Bombay English Estate, Bombay Sapphire East and Bombay Bramble to keep you well hydrated through the festive season. A bar spoon and cocktail measure, or jigger, finishes the set. An exceptional gift for the best of friends.