holiday gifts 2021

Every Holiday Gift Guide From the Strategist (So Far)

From still-in-stock toys for every age to non-boring stocking stuffers.

Video: Joe Lingeman
Video: Joe Lingeman

Christmas is this Saturday, which means we’re officially in last-minute holiday-shopping territory. At this point, most retailers’ drop-dead shipping dates for December 24 delivery have already passed. Lucky for you, we’ve found lots of great gifts that aren’t subject to shipping delays including excellent e-gift cards, actually enjoyable virtual gifts, and subscription boxes that keep on giving. Plus we’ve rounded up 60 gifts that haven’t fallen victim to this year’s supply-chain struggles and, as of today, will arrive before Christmas.

Of course, we know the perfect present is always worth the wait. So for those set on finding a just-right gift no matter when it arrives, we’ve pulled together a guide to the best Strategist-approved gifts for every person on your list, whether you’re looking for something to gift your sister who started (in-person) college this semester, your world-traveling cousin (who is still stuck at home), or your child’s teacher. As of now, many items in these guides will still arrive before Christmas. However, stock and shipping times are changing rapidly, so while we’re continuing to update these guides with in-stock products and to make note of any that will arrive after the holiday, we suggest you don’t dillydally. And as always, if you want to stay on top of our gift coverage, sign up for our newsletter so you won’t miss a thing.

The Best E–Gift Cards

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Gift cards don’t always have to be disappointing, last-minute gifts — especially in a year when shipping gifts to your recipient is the norm — so we scoured the internet for the best e–gift cards for everyone, from Madewell to Disney+ and including this BaubleBar gift card, which can be used for custom accessories like bracelets and hair clips. Find more e–gift card gifts here.

The Best Gift Cards From NYC Small Businesses

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Or, you can support a local business by buying a gift card. Here, we’ve uncovered some of the best small businesses you can support from clothing stores, to bookstores, and handmade accessories from local artists like Lolo and Friends. Find more gift cards to NYC small businesses here.

The Best Virtual Gifts

Photo: retailer

The past two years of living and working at home have led to a renaissance in immersive digital classes and experiences that can be delivered with the click of a button and enjoyed right at home, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorite virtual gifts ranging from dance classes to dining experiences. For the person who wants to spend their holiday break learning something new, consider Masterclass — or find more virtual gifts here.

The Best Subscription Boxes

Photo-Illustration: Strategist; Photos by Retailers

If you’re out of ideas of what to give as a gift or want to avoid a shipping-delay nightmare, subscription boxes are your best bet. We curated a list of some of the most giftable subscription services around, from Brother Vellies’ handcrafted home items for those who love surprises to this Trade Coffee subscription for the coffee drinker looking for a new brew. Find more monthly subscription gifts here.

Trade Coffee
From $54
From $54

The Strategist’s Supply-Chain-Proof Gift Guide

Illustration: Kate Dehler

If you’re worried about beating the supply chain, check out our careful curation of gifts you can shop for — and ship — right now. Each item — including Taylor Swift’s cat backpack and these trompe l’oeil coasters that double as trivets — was handpicked by a member of our team from our catalogue of stories across 12 categories, and our staff will be checking it daily to make sure that everything featured will get to your door and be under your tree in time for December 25. Find more supply-chain-proof gifts here.

The Top Tech Gifts for 2021

Photo-Illustration: Strategist, Photos: Retailers

It’s hard to keep track of the newest tech gadgets in the best of times, and this year, supply-chain issues threaten to make it even harder to find the hottest tech gifts. If you’re really at a loss, try gifting this inexpensive and underrated smart plug that will let them control the lights, coffee maker, curling iron, and more from your phone. Find more tech gifts here.

The Top Kid Toys for 2021

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Much like gadgets, the most covetable kids toys are also experiencing supply-chain issues (and already, one of our picks for the hottest holiday toy — the Magic Mixies Cauldron — is only available from third-party sellers). But there are still lots of gifts that you can buy now, so you can avoid disappointment in December — like this Paw Patrol learning watch that’s also available in blue and red. Find more kid toys for the holidays here.

The Best Gifts for Moms

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

There’s no one-size-fits-all gift for moms. Some moms are finishing up college, while others are becoming first time grandparents. But everyone has to sleep — and these buttery-soft, wrinkle-free Eberjey pajamas should please even the hardest-to-shop-for mother. Find more gifts for every type of mom here.

The Best Gifts for Dads

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist. Photos: Retailers