It's the most wonderfulllll time of the yearrrrr! I know, I know, it's barely spooky season or even Fall for that matter, but I. am. ready. This is about the time of year I start looking ahead, making my list, and checking it twice — a la the Jolly Old Elf himself. But, can I let you in on a little secret? While I'm looking for the best gifts for the loved ones on my list, I can't help but sneak a few things on my own list as well. It's like sharing, right?! One for me, one for you, two for me, two for you ...
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That mentality is also the basis for this list of Amazon finds that do double duty: You may love them for yourself or envision the perfect person to gift them to. Let's start with No. 13, which is great to keep or give to the entertainer in your life. No. 19 is all about putting people in their place (you'll see what I mean). And, No. 22? Let's just say someone will "thank you for being a friend." Get ready to bulk up your
, er, gift list ... or both!
Light It Up
Why am I in love with lightboxes? Seriously, every time I spy one on Amazon or come across one in Target, I just have to stop and look at it. I love this marquee lightbox for the strong ladies in my life because it comes with 210 letters and 90 emojis as well as markers and transparent cards that let you create your own message. Get it up and running with six AA batteries or use the included USB cable.
The Go-Anywhere Massager
Who doesn't love the gift of massage? I don't know a single person (myself included) who wouldn't be happy with a gift that promises soothing heat and deep-tissue kneading massage. This massager pillow is perfect because it can go from couch to car to office in a size that's about a quarter of that of a regular pillow. It features adjustable straps and two modes: massage with heat and kneading massage.
Be The Salt And Light
If you're looking for a unique item to add to your living space (or a gift list), consider this Himalayan salt lamp . There have been a lot of health claims made regarding Himalayan salt lamps and while there's been no real research to prove things like better air quality and better sleep, they do provide a couple of benefits like creating a nice ambiance or limiting light to help you fall asleep more quickly. It's also just a really cool art piece and conversation starter.
A Colorful Bedside Companion
Remember the days of white night lights and boring alarm clocks? Fast-forward to 2021 and we have limitless, non-boring options to choose from like this multicolored night light that doubles as an alarm clock . This unit does other things, too, like working as a traditional lamp, serving as an MP3 player, and working for hands-free calling. The rechargeable battery has a three-week life in standby mode.
Drawing A Blank-et
What if you could combine the comfort of a blanket with the flexibility of a hoodie? Now you can. This wearable blanket hoodie will keep you cozy whether you're sitting on the couch or headed outside for a football game. This one beats others I've seen due to its longer length. It also has button-up slits on the sides and an included belt so you can cinch in the waist.
If you're going to gift someone knives, be sure they like you — really, really like you. This 12-piece knife set includes six dishwasher-safe knives and six color-coordinated sheaths. Make this purchase and you'll get an eight-inch chef knife, eight-inch bread knife, eight-inch slicer knife, seven-inch santoku knife, five-inch utility knife, and a three-and-a-half-inch paring knife.
Double The Dart Fun
Add some fun to your basement, backyard, or playroom with this double-sided dartboard set . This set uses magnetic darts instead of traditional darts so it's safer for kids to participate in. When you're finished playing, simply roll it up to store it safely away. The set includes a traditional dartboard on one side and a target bullseye on the other. This one is great for all ages.
Dock It All
Wouldn't it be great to have all of your important stuff in one place when you're trying to get out the door? Purses are good for that, but not everyone wants to carry one. This wood docking station holds it all, from your phone and AirPods to your keys, glasses, and watch. It's made of solid wood, has cut-outs for things like your charging cable, and works with all varieties of smartphones.
A Year's Worth Of Candles
You can never go wrong with candles , OK? And, this set of 12 is unique in that it's made of soy wax and comes in various patterns and scents like Mexican orange blossom, beach holiday, lemon verbena, twilight lavender ane more. Each candle is designed to burn for up to 10 hours but has a compact size of just two-and-a-half ounces, which is perfect for any space.
Make Your Shower The Bomb
All the cool kids know about bath bombs already, but what do you know about shower bombs? These shower bomb steamers add aromatherapy to your shower so you can infuse your showers with scents like lavender, lemon, vanilla and rose. Each shower steamer is imprinted with a friendly smiley face for that perfect pick-me-up at the end (or start) of a long day.
On The Hook-ah
When I tell you that you can
buy anything on Amazon, I'm not joking. This
two-hose deluxe hookah
includes a sturdy glass bowl, vase, hookah stem with an ashtray, synthetic leather hoses, punctured aluminum foil covers and disposable mouth tips. A ball-bearing air plug inside the hose automatically closes when it's not in use. Use it solo or share it with a friend.
Plant A Tree
Got a friend with a green thumb? Give them the gift of growing their own
. This kit includes four types of seeds, biodegradable growing pots, soil disc, plant markers, clippers, and an instruction booklet to get them started. You don't even have to be all that great at growing things to give this a go. Just add "The Karate Kid." (That's an 80s reference many of you are probably too young to understand. Sigh.)
Meat For Cheese ?
I know charcuterie boards are everywhere right now, but this cheese board and knife set is a tremendous gift that keeps giving. Not only do you get a grooved cheese board with a slide-out knife drawer, but the set also comes with its own segmented fruit tray as well. Build them a board by adding your own meats, cheeses, and nuts, or gift the board as-is for food fun they'll enjoy for years to come.
Mug For The Camera
Camera pro or just someone who enjoys capturing special moments? This camera lens coffee mug is a cute play on a camera lens but works as a beverage container for both hot and cold drinks. This set includes a waterproof lid and spoon. If you like it too much to use it for drinks, consider adding it to your workstation as an out-of-the-box pen/pencil holder.
Years ago, karaoke machines were only found in bars or were too large to be moved around. The good news is that it's the 21st century and an entire karaoke machine can now be stuffed into a Bluetooth-enabled portable microphone . Play and record any song from providers like Spotify, YouTube, or Apple Music and let your kids (or your kids at heart) belt out the hits.
Try A Tub Tray
Bath time is a full experience for me — book, fan, drink, you know the drill. This bamboo bathtub caddy is a great partner for those times you want to unwind and soak away your troubles. This tray is expandable up to just over 41 inches, with compartments for everything from your iPad to your phone to your wine glass. Wait, did I say "wine?" Wine and bath time go together like peas and carrots.
This lighted makeup mirror is going to make someone very happy and by someone I mean you ... unless, of course, you opt to gift it. It features a 12-inch screen with 24 bright LED bulbs smart control adjustable brightness. You'll also get a detachable 10x magnifying mirror so you can get up close and personal with your eyeliner, brows, or unwanted hairs.
A Sudsy Snooze
Sorry, but I have bath time on the brain, apparently, with the second bath-related product on our list — this bath pillow from Everlasting Comfort . The strong suction cups on the back fit any type of tub, spa, or jacuzzi and stay in place so all you get is comfort. A large side pocket holds tub accessories and they'll even throw in a loofah to complete your bathing experience.
X Marks The Gamer's Spot
Nobody hates having "their spot" taken more than someone watching sports or a gamer focused on leveling up. This gamer's pillow cover tells people not to get too comfortable with added pockets for their game controller and the remote. There's an included pair of socks as well that displays the words "I'm gaming" on one foot and "Do not disturb" on the other.
It's Time To Drink
What do you get for the woman who has everything? This wall-mounted mug- and stemware holder explains the best way to tell time: Coffee or tea in the morning, wine in the evening. Made of wood and shipped in a gift box, this set includes all of the materials necessary for installation but does not come with the mugs or stemware pictured. Now it can be wine o'clock anytime.
Speaking of wine, have you ever wanted to tote a bottle with you somewhere? This wine tote carrier bag is adorable in floral- or wine-themed patterns and stretches to hold a standard-sized bottle of wine. This purchase will net you three carrier bags so you can keep one and gift one (add a bottle, please!) with an extra to spare. Not bad for $13.
Somebody is going to want to sing, "Thank you for being a friend," if you show up with this utensil set emblazoned with pictures of everybody's favorite — "The Golden Girls." Made from eco-friendly bamboo, this set contains five different utensils including a soup spoon, slotted spoon, slotted spatula, single-hole spatula, and forked spoon. Just hand wash when you're finished using them and let them air dry.
Grooming For Guys
Guys like grooming too, O.K.? But, we often forget about them when we're racking our brains trying to come up with a unique gift idea for them. This luxury spa set is one he won't see coming and includes body wash, two-in-one shampoo/conditioner, moisturizer, post-shave lotion, and a few other goodies. One reviewer said, "My son and son-in-law loved the gift sets and commented that the smell is wonderful. I would certainly order this again."
Put Your Name On It
The first time I had my very own office I was beside myself with joy. The first thing I wanted to do was put my name on it — literally. This desk name plate has an acrylic body in a variety of designs and font choices to really let your (or their) personality shine through. You can customize it right on Amazon's website for a thoughtful gift or a chic addition to your own desk.
Claws For A Cause
If you could give the gift of claws, why would you ever gift anything else? I kid, of course, but these garden gloves (with claws) are the ultimate companion for the people you know who love digging in the dirt. It's a much more natural motion, of course than using regular gloves with tools. Reviews are great, too, like this one: "O.K., finished the weeding of the huge yard ... I could not have gotten done that fast without these gloves. Plus, saving my nails!"
Your Initial Purchase
Few gifts impress more than customized or personalized ones because it shows that not only were you thinking of them, but you were really thinking of them specifically . This embroidered canvas tote bag is adorned with an initial of your choosing. Beyond that, it's a high-quality bag that utilizes a heavy-duty cotton canvas and has a top zipper and exterior pocket for added convenience.
A G&T Sampler
I'm seriously considering this gin and tonic infusions kit for the inevitable white elephant gift exchanges that occur over the holidays. This cocktail infusion kit consists of cassia cinnamon, orange rind strips, Jamaican pepper, cardamom, star anise, hibiscus flower, and juniper for myriad drink flavor experiences. Add a favorite bottle of gin and you have a complete gift at your fingertips.
To A Tea
Listen, nobody's tea — anywhere – is as good to me as the stuff I can make at home. With this loose-leaf tea steeper tumbler , I can take my tea on the go, even if it's not finished steeping. This is made of bamboo on the outside and has a stainless steel interior as well as a removable steeper and lid. The 17-ounce size is perfect and the insulation will keep your drink hot or cold for 12 hours.
A Bell For A Bottle
Exercise fanatics and CrossFitters, get excited! Now you can pump a little iron (literally) while opening your favorite bottle with this novelty kettlebell bottle opener . Coated with the same durable enamel and made from the same materials and processes as a genuine kettlebell, your friends and family will get a kick out of this themed opener. Don't try it on wine bottles, though — not nearly as cool.
Everybody knows that your voice in the shower is like a combination of Whitney Houston and Adele. What is it about the acoustics in there, anyway? This Bluetooth shower speaker will let you sing along with your favorites with robust sound quality and complete portability. Think outside the shower, too; this little guy is great for camping, the boat, or the beach.
Make Room For Art
You can't afford a van Gogh ... or a Basquiat ... or even a Banksy, but you can do the next best thing: Display them on your television. This BillionDollarArtGallery gift includes 500 pieces of the world's most iconic paintings, loaded onto a USB drive that can be inserted right into a port of your device. It's like visiting the best art museum in the world without leaving the comfort of your couch.
When I was a kid, we did a lot of things to our bikes, but — this is the one thing we needed that would've taken our rides to the next level. These LED lights dress up your bike , with easy installation right inside your wheels. It fits any bike size and is waterproof just in case. Choose from color-changing, multicolor and patriotic sets or opt for a solid color like orange, pink, blue or white.
Beauty In A Barrel
If you travel with a lot of cosmetics, skincare, or hair care products, you know the struggle of finding just the right container to transport all of them in. This travel cosmetic bag barrel is filled with shockproof cotton and has three built-in mesh pockets and four elastic bands to store your goods in a way that protects them from tipping over or colliding with one another. It comes in blue, green, peach and pink.
This Gift Is Cheesy
This is the cheesiest gift on this list and for good reason — it's a cheese-making kit . Try your hand at making mozzarella, chevre, goat cheese, queso blanco, queso fresco, mascarpone, and ricotta with enough ingredients to turn 20 gallons of milk into preservative-free cheese in as little as 20 minutes. You're not going to want to go back to storebought cheese after this one.
Scratch The World
"scratch the world" map print
is one of the coolest things on my list, if you asked for my opinion (which you didn't, but you're getting anyway.) Visit a place and scratch off its gold coating to show that you really get around! It includes countries, cities, and states so you can get as specific or as broad as you want. Printed on silk art paper, it is a piece of art in itself.
Just when you thought there was no way to keep your beer cold to the last drop, someone comes along and invents chiller sticks for bottles . And, here I sit, working my butt off with no million-dollar ideas. Sigh. Anyway, these sticks slide right down into the bottle and won't water down your drink as ice cubes will. One purchase will net you two sticks so you're going to want to add a couple to your cart.
Socks They Won't Hate
"No one wants socks for a gift," will never be said again once you gift these vintage wool crew socks that come in a ton of fun colors and patterns. These socks will keep your feet toasty warm whether you're hanging out on the sofa watching Netflix or heading into the great outdoors for some fresh air. One set includes five pairs, which reviewers call "comfortable, durable, and a very good buy."