20 Thoughtful Gifts We’re Giving for the 2022 Holiday Season

20 Thoughtful Gifts We’re Giving for the 2022 Holiday Season

Every holiday season, the Mental Floss team works hard to find the best present for each person on your list—be it for a baker, a climber, a co-worker, or even a Dolly Parton super fan. All that retail research comes in handy when we’re shopping for our own friends and family. Here are 20 gifts that we’re giving this year, from the zany (a unicorn head squirrel feeder) to the practical (a multi-purpose ceramic pan).

unicorn head squirrel feeder

Charming or alarming? (Not mutually exclusive.) / Mcphee/Amazon

Hell no I’m not buying this for anyone. Except possibly my mortal enemy! Enjoy, Jake Rossen. —Jennifer M. Wood, Managing Editor and Noted Squirrelphobe

Buy it: Amazon

nomadix banana leaf towel

There are dozens of patterns to choose from. / Nomadix/Amazon

My brother loves camping, especially camping that involves nearby lakes and naturally-occurring hot springs—which makes this Nomadix towel the perfect gift for him. According to the company, its small-loop microfiber terry cloth allows it to absorb four times its weight in water (and it dries four times as fast as regular towels, too). Plus, it’s resistant to dirt, sand, and pet hair, so my brother can use it on his dog, too. —Erin McCarthy, Editor-in-Chief

Buy it: Amazon

seirus magne mitt trail glove

Hello! / Seirus/Amazon

Normally, I absolutely detest gloves—I always end up pulling them off so I can grab my phone or something out of my bag. But this year I’m going to be spending Christmas in Iceland (and hiking there!), so a good pair of gloves is a necessity. I opted to treat myself to Seirus’s Magne Mitt Trail gloves. They’re warm, waterproof, and they have a magnetic closure that can be easily pulled open to free your hands—the better to access my phone or camera when I need to. —E.M.

Buy it: Amazon

wonder wild hat

You don’t have to act wild when you wear it. / Wondery/REI

This adorable hat—created by the BIPOC-owned and -run Wondery, an apparel company that encourages women to get outdoors—is the perfect gift for all the ladies on my list, whether they prefer to spend their time outside on the beach or in the mountains. —E.M.

Buy it: REI

Poop Bingo game

Not for the easily grossed out. / Uncommon Goods

There are several kids in my life who are going through that “I love poop!” phase, and I’m getting this bingo game for every single one of them. The game features 24 animals and purports to be full of “strange but true feces [facts],” making it fun for the whole family. —E.M.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

Tub of Maldon Sea Salt

Generic table salt can’t compare. / Maldon/Amazon

My father is notoriously difficult to shop for, so my new strategy is getting him a nicer version of something he already uses every day. Maldon is as fancy as salt gets, and this bulk tub packs over 3 pounds of the pyramid-shaped sea salt crystals. The container is reusable, and with its green diamond design, it’s pretty enough to sit on the kitchen counter. I also know it’s something my dad will actually use—even if it takes him until next Christmas to finish it. —Michele Debczak, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

Two drinking glasses on table.

Studs indeed. / PNKJ/Amazon

My brother moved into his first solo apartment earlier this year, so I know I can’t go wrong with a belated housewarming gift. These textured drinking glasses will immediately class up any kitchen. The set comes with six vintage glasses weighing nearly 1 pound each. It’s something my brother would never splurge on for himself, which makes it a great gift in my book. —M.D.

Buy it: Amazon

pelican sport wallet

Not just for people who play sports. / Pelican/Amazon

The compact Pelican is an easy way to combat Fat Wallet Syndrome (FWS) in older men, while being plenty roomy for credit cards and cash; plus it is also virtually crush-proof. It’s a gift most dads (including mine) will find useful. —Jake Rossen, Senior Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

macrame fruit hammock

They’re cozy. / Lesli Lenover/Uncommon Goods

For anyone who likes more creative kitchen storage solutions, this macrame fruit hammock keeps fresh fruit off countertops. —J.R.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

good night ohio board book

Best enjoyed while wearing footy pajamas. / Good Night Books/Amazon

My 3-year-old nephew has become very interested in Ohio lately—no doubt because his favorite aunt happens to live there—so I’m excited to give him this book for Christmas. The whole Good Night Our World series is great for any geographically curious young bookworms on your list. —Kerry Wolfe, Staff Editor

Buy it: Amazon

belgian chocolate-dipped caramel apples

Stop drooling. / Harry & David

Gourmet treats are my go-to gift for loved ones who say they already have too much stuff. You can’t go wrong with a crisp apple wrapped in chewy caramel and dipped in rich Belgian chocolate! —K.W.

Buy it: Harry & David

cabinet of curiosities sticker book

A butterfly collection that doesn’t require dead butterflies. / Andrews McMeel Publishing/Amazon

I’ll be buying this book of 1000-plus stickers based on items in the Smithsonian’s collections for my GF, who creates handmade collages with paper, stamps, and other ephemera. She’ll get to play around with stickers depicting old maps, vintage animal illustrations, precious gems, old typefaces, and more. I might steal a few for myself. —Kat Long, Science Editor

Buy it: Amazon

cat laptop scratching pad

Peep the mouse. / Uncommon Goods

My nephew and brother-in-law have a kitty named Jasper who loves to poke her nose into whatever they’re doing on their laptops. This cute laptop-shaped scratching pad, which comes with a fish “screensaver” and “mouse” toy, will keep her occupied during normal business hours. They can even insert their own printed photos in the “screen.” —K.L.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

anthropologie sophie faux fur blanket

Gotta catch ’em all. / Anthropologie

My grandmother gifted me one of these faux fur blankets for Christmas last year and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I was the only one who got it, so I’m planning to gift one to my sister this time around. This blanket is incredibly warm and has been an absolute dream to snuggle with on cold nights. One side is made of soft faux fur, while the other has a plush, velvety lining that’s equally smooth to the touch. It’s also surprisingly large, so my boyfriend and I can share it when we’re on the couch watching movies with no issues. It feels decadent in a way that’s totally delightful, and I think my sis will love having one of her own now (especially considering she steals mine whenever she’s visiting). —Shayna Murphy, Commerce Editor

Buy it: Anthropologie

lights, camera, accordion! weird al yankovic photo book

He’s weird, all right. / 1984 Publishing/Amazon

One of my close friends is a huge “Weird Al” fan and has been for years. I know he doesn’t have this book yet, and I think it’ll be a real treat for him because it offers all sorts of behind-the-scenes photos of the parodist’s career, all snapped from someone who was there to see it unfold: Al’s drummer, Jon “Bermuda” Schwartz. The book also includes some untold stories, and seems like a great companion piece to Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, which my friend really enjoyed. —S.M.

Buy it: Amazon

blue yeti nano premium microphone

Because someone on your gift list definitely has a podcast. / Logitech/Amazon

My boyfriend’s birthday is in December, so this will be a combination birthday and Christmas gift to him. He’s talked about starting a podcast, and after speaking with a few folks I know who already do them, Blue Yeti is a brand that comes highly recommended for its ease of use and broadcast-ready sound quality. I like this model in particular because it’s a little more compact than the standard Yeti but still works for Macs or PCs, plus you can use Blue VO!CE vocal effects with it to give recordings a bit more of that professional-sounding polish. —S.M.

Buy it: Amazon

cover of 'The Curious Movie Buff: A Miscellany of Fantastic Films from the Past 50 Years'

Don’t worry, we included your favorite movie. / Weldon Owen/Amazon

I’ll be gifting this book to a few folks on my list this holiday season who are self-proclaimed movie buffs. It’s packed with film trivia, history, and fun lists that I think they’ll get a kick out of. Plus, it’s a chance to share a little more of Mental Floss with them, and give them a closer look at the kind of work we do on the site. —S.M.

Buy it: Amazon

cuisinart two-slice compact toaster

‘Tis the season to get toasty (sorry). / Cuisinart/Amazon

This is an early Christmas gift to my sister and also myself, because we live together in a tiny apartment and needed a compact toaster that would take up as little counter space as possible. The New York Times review site Wirecutter named it the best toaster currently out there (which is why I bought it), and I think it lives up to the hype. Toast: good. —Ellen Gutoskey, Staff Writer

Buy it: Amazon

ember smart mug

Pairs well with toast. / Ember/Amazon

The Ember Mug is ideal for Goldilocks and also anyone who likes to nurse the same cup of coffee for the entire morning. You set the temperature of your beverage in an app and then the magic mug and its coaster will conspire to maintain it for literal hours. My best friend’s partner bought her one last year and I know correlation does not equal causation but they’re getting married in six months. —E.G.

Buy it: Amazon

our place always pan

Not Angela’s actual kitchen. / Our Place

I’m a big fan of gifting things that 1. I myself love, and 2. are of everyday use. That way every time they use said thing, they are thinking of me. The Always Pan is something I use daily, makes for a perfect gift, and will have your loved one thinking really nice things about you. —Angela Trotti, Social Media Manager

Buy it: Our Place