Skip To Content

    We hope you love our recommendations! Some may have been sent as samples, but all were independently selected by our editors. Just FYI, BuzzFeed and its publishing partners may collect a share of sales and/or other compensation from the links on this page.

    55 Unexpected Gifts That'll Put Santa To Shame

    Commemorative Taylor Swift tickets, Renaissance cat calendars, Love Island tumblers, and tons of other fun items your giftee had no idea they needed.

    1. A good ol' game of Cat-Opoly for the board game nerd who's also o.b.s.e.s.s.e.d. with their cat. The game works like classic Monopoly except properties are out and rare breeds (see: abyssinians, tonkineses, and Turkish vans) are in.

    cat themed monopoly with cat locations and cat-related charms
    Amazon

    Promising review: "Very entertaining! We gave this to our neighbors on Christmas Eve and they loved it. We played it that night. I love the unique metal playing pieces and cute game cards. The graphics are good and the board laid flat even though it was split and folded in quarters. It was a good buy!" —French Toast

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $20.99.

    2. A custom Pokémon card in the likeness of their pet!!! You can choose their Pokémon type, species, attacks, rarity, and more.

    dogs on pokemon cards
    cat Pokemon card
    Wild Pets Creations / Etsy

    This is already the coolest gift ever but you can also upgrade with a holographic design! PS: Wild Pets Creations is a small biz from Stephanie Parcus.

    Promising review: "Beyond THRILLED with this card! I don’t know anything about Pokémon but wanted to make this a very special gift for my partner and his beloved pup. Stephanie was super sweet and helpful, assisting me with choosing the right pic and getting the right details. I had to give it to him early cuz I was just too excited! It is amazing quality and absolutely perfect! He loves it so much! Thank you, thank you!!!" —Jennifer Wilson

    Shipping info: As this item is handmade, reach out the the Etsy seller for more specific shipping timelines/options.

    Get it from Wild Pets Creations on Etsy for $35.25+ (originally $47+; available in three sizes and with or without a holographic design).

    3. Mystic Maze — a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle with all sorts of optical illusions and more than 50 easter eggs for your friend to discover along the way. And, perhaps best of all, NO PUZZLE DUST. Yes! That's a promise!

    paper bag filled with puzzle pieces next to the box showing a scene of a maze with magical creatures in it
    close up of the puzzle showing a little witch doing a spell in castle next to a restaurant and someone riding a tiger

    Fun fact: This was the most funded puzzle on Kickstarter, raising over $3 million. You can check out the Mystic Maze puzzle in action on TikTok, too (but warning: it will spoil the surprise!).

    Promising review: "Just got this puzzle for something to do at home over the holidays. Seriously... I have never seen a puzzle quite like this! It’s very impressive and exceeded my expectations already. The packaging is beautiful inside and out. Everything about it shouts quality. I particularly liked the envelopes inside for the puzzle pieces and mystery. Heavy weight and substantial. The one holding the 1,000 puzzle pieces stays closed with Velcro! How cool! And the secret mystery envelope has a cool string loop tie. Makes you remember you can’t open it until the puzzle is done. The whole vibe of The Mystic Maze is quality and fun, and also looks like a challenging puzzle. Highly recommend!" —Kyle Fletcher

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $22.97 (also available in an island theme).

    4. And — to go with the above — a puzzle plateau so no pieces go missing. That name really has a ring to it, huh?

    The puzzle plateau with its drawers pulled out and holding pieces
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This was a gift for my mother. She called to tell me that by using the drawers for the puzzle pieces, she was able to work her puzzle with comfort and ease...no more standing over the puzzle pieces spread across the table, looking down for hours, which always hurt her back. She put her puzzle together much faster than usual, and all from the comfort of her chair! She loved it!" —chris winters

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99.

    5. A variety pack of Reese's candies sure to please the peanut butter lover among you. The 30-pack comes with the classics (see: Reese's Pieces, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese's Big Cups) and a few we didn't even know existed (hiya 👋🏻 Reese's Sticks, Reese's White Peanut Butter Cups, and Reese's Take 5 Bars). 🥜

    the variety pack box. with a bow on it
    Amazon

    Promising review: "I ordered this variety pack for my husband as a Christmas gift. He loves Reese’s so this is the perfect gift. I was pleasantly surprised to see the how carefully this product was packaged. It arrived in a box that had insulation AND a reusable ice pack! The ice pack was still partially frozen so I have no doubt the product never melted. This was a huge concern as I live in South Florida and it is hot. I highly recommend this product and will definitely order again in the future." —Mstank

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $35.31.

    6. An ugly Renaissance cats calendar that'll straight up make them LOL on the first of every month when they flip to see what 16th-century painters thought a cat looked like???

    the january and february pages, which feature renaissance-era illustrations of cats that don't look like cats at all
    Decor Hardcore / Etsy

    Decor Hardcore is a small business based in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    Promising review: "My brother, sister, and I decided to buy fun esoteric calendars for each other for Hanukkah. My sister is a huge cat lover and this made her day. 100 out of 10 would buy again!" —Gwendy7769

    Shipping Info: Orders ship from North Carolina so delivery time varies based on your location. Check the listing for an estimated delivery date.

    Get it from Decor Hardcore on Etsy for $26.51+ (originally $31.19+; available in two sizes; there's also an ugly Renaissance dog paintings version).

    7. A pound of cereal marshmallows if they're really only buying Lucky Charms for the charms (duh) and tossing away the rest. 😬

    Reviewer with the bag of cereal marshmallows
    up close shot of the colorful marshmallows

    The delish treats come from Medley Hills Farm — a family-owned and operated small business based in Ohio.

    Promising review: "Amazing! I put them in hot chocolate, Rice Krispies treats, other cereals, or just eat then by the handful. Impulse buy that totally worked out." —Maddison Helsel

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    8. A color-changing glass tumbler designed with ICONIC Love Island sayings including "I've got a text!," "Crack on," and, ofc, "Gave me the ick." Your reality TV binge partner is just certain to squeal with delight. 

    A gif of the tumbler with quotes in heart bubbles changing colors
    The Real Houselights / Etsy

    The Real Houselights is a Connecticut–based small biz making home goods inspired by pop culture (and as you may have guessed — Bravo in particular). 

    Promising review: "Super super cute. I got these for a love island bachelorette party and they are a huge hit. Amazing quality and fast shipping. Definitely recommend" —Ashlyn Gerber

    Shipping info: Check the listing for estimates to your area; current shipping time is as little as 3–4 days.

    Get it from The Real Houselights on Etsy for $20 (available in frosted and unfrosted glass; comes with a plain wooden lid, but also available with bejeweled lids for $30).

    9. A pair of on-trend ball and chain hoops to zhuzh up your BFF's ear stack. If they've been itching to add to their collection, you can even treat them to a piercing sesh at a Rowan location near you.

    gold ball and chain hoop earring
    Rowan

    All piercings at Rowan are done by licensed nurses so there are nooo sketchy piercing guns or shaky-handed piercers involved 🚫 I recently went in to get my upper helix pierced (at the Williamsburg, NYC location) and it was such a smooth experience, not to mention the earring selection was super fun to look at as I waited for my nurse to set up our station. I have 10 ear piercings already,  including a mid helix, so my nurse worked with me to find the perfect placement. From there, the actual piercing process was swift and as pain-free as possible considering needles are involved. Healing has been going really well and I've been using their aftercare solution to make sure it stays that way!

    Promising review: "These ball and chain earrings are a perfect staple for any outfit! They are super fun and I’ve gotten many compliments. I’ve been wearing them daily and like my other vermeil earrings, they are not irritating to these sensitive ears!" —Annabell L.

    Shipping info: For orders of $150 or more, shipping is free. For orders under $150, shipping is a flat fee of $5.00 via USPS, $12.00 for Expedited 3-day FedEx Shipping, and $25.00 for 1-2 business day Express FedEx Shipping.

    Get a pair from Rowan for $39 (available in gold or silver).

    10. A clever mug — that looks like a whole pot of coffee — for the caffeine lover who's always glued to their brew.

    model holding the coffee mug
    Amazon

    Some reviewers even use this to store and display beans!

    Promising review: "I bought this mug for my dad who just started at an office job. He absolutely loves it! He enjoys making dad jokes about drinking a whole pot of coffee in the morning. The silicone lid is great to keep it warm and makes it easy to drink out of. It's made of thin glass, so it's not as sturdy as a mug and it gets hotter, but it's great quality and made well." —tess

    Shipping info: Free expedited Prime shipping available for Prime Members, and non-Prime shipping options will still arrive by Christmas (see Amazon's full shipping information here).

    Get it from Amazon for $24.97.

    11. The Office Clue Edition for those who hate Toby Flender