The holidays are approaching at warp speed (if you don’t believe it, we think the calendar will probably back us up). Personally, we always look forward to this time of year—gathering with friends and family (usually after too long), crackling fires, cheesy decorations, and hopefully even cheesier snacks. Eggnog. Childhood ornaments. Old photos of good times and bad haircuts. Wading through the Great Wrapping Paper Sea. Even mall Santas manage to give us nostalgic holiday feels. Magic crackles in the air, whether it’s the aroma of your mom’s famous apple pie, that sharp bite before it snows, or the anticipation of waiting for someone to open the gift you know is going to knock their socks off.
Everyone wants to give great gifts—the surprising, face-illuminating, “how-the-heck-did-you-think-of-this” kind. The kind your recipient didn’t even know they even needed (and now can’t live without). The kind that elicits exclamations of WOW or SO COOL or I NEEDED THIS. The kind that they just have to start playing with ASAP, that rekindles fond memories, or that reminds them of you. We’re all about the joy of finding and giving the perfect gifts, so we took out some of the guesswork and rounded up a few of our favorites. Let the magic begin.
It’s a Wonderful Life Brass Bell Ornament
Surprise the movie buff in your world with a beautiful ornament from the same makers as the bell in the classic holiday film. Made in the USA of silver-plated brass and steel, these bells have been crafted by the same family-owned biz since 1832.
Paint by Shadows Kit
Whether they’re a painting novice or a pro looking for a relaxing project, these paint by shadows kits will delight your giftee with the magic of color and mindfulness. Each kit comes with multiple canvases, brushes, and all the paint they’ll need to create their masterpiece.
Handmade Holiday Flat Candle
Perfect as stocking stuffers, for the gift swap, or for a new-ish acquaintance you’re not sure how to buy for, these festive flat candles are a unique way to brighten up their season. Hand-painted in Lithuania, unscented, smoke-free, self-extinguishing— and WOW-inducing.
Wooden Model Building Kit
Both kids and adults will love piecing together these complex wooden models—maybe even, dare we say… together? Each model starts with flat, unfinished, laser-cut parts that don’t need any glue or tools for assembly, and your giftee can customize them with paint or stain.
Wandini LED Levitation Wand
This mesmerizing wand creates a magical multi-color light show faster than you can say abracadabra. Slip on a finger strap and spin the light-up wand to amaze onlookers with an eye-catching visual effect. (And if the adults end up playing with it even more than the kids—welcome to the club.)
Giant Peanut Butter Cups
These are not your regular convenience-store peanut butter cups. Handmade in Swampscott, Massachusetts with delicious peanut butter from Teddy’s in Everett, these colossal confections come in different flavors to please everyone, from milk chocolate to dark salted pretzel.