It's the most wonderful time of the year, coupled with the most stressful. If shipping delays, price increases and the thought of setting foot in the mall have you wishing you could turn the calendar to January, you're not alone.
Traveling for the holidays may mean seeing people you don't normally see, visiting family you haven't seen in two years and buying presents for people who are hard to shop for. Here are 18 gift ideas for those people in your life.
Gifts for Your Bestie
DIY Succulent Terrarium Kit
Not everyone is cut out to be a plant person, but for the person in your life who would love to showcase some succulents, this terrarium is an easy, DIY project. Help your friend add a splash of green, even if they don't have a green thumb.
'HRH' by Elizabeth Holmes
The British royal family consistently makes headlines, which Americans tend to enjoy. While many of us may not consider ourselves royal watchers or up to date on fashion, we're hooked on the So Many Thoughts Instagram page. Author Elizabeth Holmes details all the looks and shares where to find similar styles. Last year, she published a book, "HRH: So Many Thoughts on Royal Style," and it's perfect for every coffee table, everywhere. Make sure you get one for yourself, too, so you can view the epic dresses of Princess Diana for years to come.
Socks & Underwear
Hard-to-shop-for people still need socks and underwear, but you can make it fun and surprising. Stance offers monthly subscription boxes of socks or underwear, with an option for everyone. For $19, you can choose between a monthly or quarterly subscription. You also can snag some fun holiday options without a subscription while ramping up your sock and underwear game.
Olive & June Manicure Kit
Salon dates are fun, but so are salon-quality nails you can do at home. Olive & June gives you that option with all the things you need for fun, pretty and affordable nails. Its manicure set includes a polish remover pot -- why didn't we think of this before? -- and their signature Poppy, which makes keeping the nail polish steady when using your nondominant hand. Manicure and pedicure kits as well as individual polishes are available online.
Aaptiv Gift Membership
Athletes and gym rats love new ways to work out and stay motivated. For the person constantly on the move, an Aaptiv membership will help keep them sweating. Unlimited access to more than 6,000 workouts across 15 categories are available on your smartphone for $50 for the year. The app works with android and iPhones.
Copper Cow Coffee
Fancy coffees are fun, and even funner when you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost. The Copper Cow coffees are single-serve, pour-over coffees that are sustainably sourced and customizable. They come in a variety of flavors -- including peppermint mocha and churro -- and can be paired with natural creamers. Variety packs and teas also are available from this female-owned company.
Gifts for Extended Family
Ticket to Ride Board Game
Board games are the perfect gift for the whole family. They promote spending time together and avoid the pressure of buying a gift for every person in that family. You also don't have to remember exact ages, just a range for your second cousin's kids. One great idea is Ticket to Ride, a strategic game where players connect cities on the map with trains. It's also educational. There's a variety of options, including Europe, Asia and a junior version for those families with younger kids. The game is available at Target and Amazon.
Put a twist on the puzzle-giving experience by upping your game from "dogs playing poker" to the Magic Puzzle. These 1,000-piece puzzles have games within games. Build the puzzle, which has more than four corners; go on a hunt for all the cool items on the list; and then prepare for your mind to be blown when you open the secret envelope at the end. It's a wonderful family activity that may just save the day.
Grandma may have taught you to play Canasta, but now it's your turn to teach her something fun. Beyond Uno Attack and Phase 10, there are the next-level card games that even those hard-to-please teenagers will enjoy. Options like Exploding Kittens, Unstable Unicorns, Taco vs Burrito and Farting Frenchies are guaranteed to have everyone laughing as they learn to play. These games are available at Target and Amazon.
Silly Scrolls Coloring Sheets
If small talk is something your family struggles with, consider a colorful distraction. These five-foot-long coloring pages are perfect for a lazy afternoon with family. Drawn by military spouse Tori Butler, prints are just $15 with free shipping. Custom orders are also available for $50. See what's available and place your order through her Instagram page.
Gifts for Tweens & Teens
'Game of Phones'
Yes, we don't really want them on their phones all the time, but if they're going to be anyway, let's make the best of it. This game brings teens and their phones -- and maybe parents, too -- together for a scavenger hunt. And one of the cards tells you to "text your parent," so this may be a winner.
As much as we tell them the things they are doing are what we did as kids, they don't believe us. This tie-dye kit has everything they need to create new outfits, make matching masks for their friends and create a mess in the kitchen. Maybe they'll even let you share in the fun.
Bubble-Wrap Phone Case
For a great stocking stuffer idea, this bubble-wrap phone case allows for fidgety fun and something different. The case is available for several iPhone sizes. There are also some silicone pop-it cases for android phones available.
Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
It's cool to drink water and put stickers on your water bottles -- another thing we did as kids that they don't want to hear about. But it's less cool when you find their water bottle collection under the bed. Prevent the grimy grossness by getting them one of these self-cleaning water bottles. The UV-C LED lights clean the bottle inside and out, and the bottle keeps drinks warm for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24. They'll love it, and you'll love it. It's available in several colors.
Ideas for the Office Gift Exchange
We're all about "working smarter, not harder," and everyone can use a smart plug to add to their collection. Ranging in cost from $10 for the Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini to the $40 Eve Energy Smart Plug & Power Meter, everything from the television to the bedside lamp can become voice activated through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. A variety of smart plugs are available on Amazon.
Tea Mug & Infuser
A beautiful and practical gift, the Sweese tea mug and infuser is great for the winter gift-giving season. The handle stays cool to the touch while the tea steeps, and it's dishwasher safe. It comes in a variety of colors -- check out the red or navy -- and you can pair it with some loose-leaf tea for the perfect gift.
Desktop Vacuum Cleaner
This small, desktop vacuum will become the most favored gadget in the office. It’s quiet and charges via USB cable. It’s perfect for getting the crumbs out of your keyboard or some quick cleaning at the end of the day.
Makeup Brush Cleaner
Did you know that cleaning makeup brushes is something you should do? Here's an option for the office party: the automatic brush cleaner and dryer from Senbowe. Plus, it has storage. An easy-peasy, practical and thoughtful gift. Lean makeup brushes are a must.