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    27 Gifts For People You Didn't Expect To Get You A Gift

    ~Stay~ ready so you don't have to ~get~ ready when Great Aunt Tammie or weird Tim from accounting shows up with a surprise gift for you.

    by ,

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    This is the aunt/cousin/play-cousin/in-law coming into the family holiday function beaming and bearing gifts you didn't expect.

    We TV / America's Next Top Model

    Imagine how happy they'll feel when you whip out the thoughtful gift you got ~just~ for them — even if you only knew you were giving it two seconds ago. Look, that's life baby so be prepared. Here's a whole list of gifts you can keep in the stash so you aren't caught slipping this holiday season.

    1. A chunky cable-knit infinity scarf that'll keep any neck warm in chilly temperatures., Amazon

    Promising review: “I bought this as a Christmas present for my mother. Although she resides in Texas, she gets cold very easily. Initially, when she received it, she protested saying she was too old to wear something trendy (she is 63). Upon insisting that she at least try it, she did and a smile crept over her face. She said it kept her warm while also looking very flattering. My mother is a religious woman and was thrilled to note that she could also use this as a head covering if she needed to at a prayer meeting. We also noticed when worn around the neck in one loop versus two, it could also function as a shawl for a salwar khameez (Indian outfit). Overall, we both noticed this scarf not only does its job which is to keep the wearer's neck warm, but it is also customizable to where you can get some extra protection from the cold for your ears, shoulders, and head as well. I liked it so much I am ordering one (possibly two in different colors) for myself!” —Rachel

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99 (available in 40 colors).

    2. A copy of Cravings: Hungry for More because it combines two things that so many people love: Chrissy Teigen and eating. The book is filled with recipes for quick cooking so it'll be good for anyone — even people who aren't master chefs or don't have time to make a five-course feast.

    Urban Outfitters

    Some recipes in this book are for her Uncle Mike’s banana bread, garlic soy ribs, clam chowder, and cauliflower mashed "potatoes."

    Promising review: "I have always been a picky eater but when I ordered the first Cravings book, I was pleasantly surprised by how many dishes I was willing to try. As soon as I saw the second book was going to be released, I knew I had to purchase. The recipes in this book check all the right boxes for me: comfort + flavor coupled with Chrissy's sense of humor. The pictures are vibrant and the recipes go into great detail for those who may not know their way around a kitchen. My only question is when is book #3 coming out??!!" –Nikole Marie

    Get it from Amazon for $16.49.

    3. A set of cat pens that'll make for some ~purr~ty-looking desk swag and also smooth writing.,

    Promising review: “These pens are super cute and I was very impressed with how well the ink flows out of them. I took them to work and have gotten so many compliments on them. Everybody knows which pens are mine since I am the resident cat lady and lover of all cute things in the office. I always smile when I see their little faces looking out at me from their pen holder. It's like they're saying, 'Come play with us and write wonderful messages.' I couldn't be happier with these little guys.” —Goldie

    Get a set of six from Amazon for $5.99.

    4. A food-inspired pin set because, listen, food will always be the gifting answer. ALWAYS.

    You could totally give these as a set, or split them up and give them to friends individually.

    Get a set of six from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 18 different sets).

    5. A travel mug to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. You'll be blessing someone with the gift of convenience and warm whatever-their-drinking that actually stays warm.

    Promising review: “Excellent. The mug is truly leak-proof, easy to use, keeps drinks hot and cold as long as promised, and is beautiful. The lip edge feels good against your mouth, very smooth. It is not heavy to hold full even though the cup is metal. The cork lining of the handle is very comfortable. There is a satisfying 'pop' sound when you slide the leak-proof lid open. It also fits my car cup holders, a bonus I couldn't have predicted!” —India

    Get it from Amazon for $13.38+ (available in six colors and two sizes).

    6. A Godiva hot cocoa canister with a stunning gold design that'll look fancy and thoughtful instead of a last-minute gift for a person you didn't have on ~the list~. I won't tell if you don't!

    Promising review: “I read that America's Test Kitchen rated this as the best hot cocoa mix in a taste-testing and so I ordered this. I made a mug of this alongside a mug of Swiss Miss and the differences were incredible: The Godiva Dark Chocolate looked like a cup of coffee when compared to that other stuff and tasted like rich, dark chocolate and not like overly sweetened cocoa milk. It costs more than other products but you are definitely getting more REAL chocolate packed in there.” —Lewis Bailey

    Get it from Amazon for $23.97.

    7. Smartphone gloves with faux fur cuffs and a dainty bow design so a person can stop doing that awkward half-hand out maneuver to work their phone in the cold. These look fancy and super warm.


    Promising review: "I purchased these because it has already snowed three times here in New York and it is still October! Somehow, I am always running out of gloves so these will be staying in my car. I love how they look. They are sleek and fashionable but also functional. I love that I can use my phone as well as the touch screen in my car while still wearing them. They fit perfectly. The material is warm but not bulky so they’re fine for stuffing into pockets or a small purse. Overall a great deal!" —NR

    Get them from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in six styles).

    8. A long-lasting soy candle because everyone can use a candle in their home or office. It'll give their space a nice scent and create a chill vibe with the warm glow of the light.


    Promising review: "I love this candle! It is highly scented so you can actually smell the scent of the candle when its burning and it fills the room. The packaging of this candle is so simple and stylish as well that it goes with any style of decor. I also really appreciate that it comes with a lid--I have stopped buying candles without a lid because the smoke from blowing out the candle isn't fun just after you've been enjoying the scent of your candle. I would definitely purchase another candle from this company." —Kaylee Domire

    Get it from Amazon for $14.95+ (available in multiple scents).

    9. Mermaid makeup brushes that any beauty lover will be happy to splash in their makeup bag.


    The set includes a large powder brush, a cheek brush, a highlighter stippling brush, a domed shadow brush, and a pencil brush.

    Promising review: “These brushes are SO SOFT and really are eye-catching. I love seeing them they are just so gorgeous.” —ksemo22

    Get it from Tarte for $25 (originally $42).

    10. A set of cozy socks that look so warm and comfy, the person you give these to just might make themselves at home and put 'em on immediately.,

    Promising review: “First let me say, I am a sock person in the wintertime, hardcore. While socks do not touch my feet during the summer months, I have issues with anemia and once the snow begins to fall my poor toes get cold rather quickly. I happened to grab these on a lightning deal and they are FANTASTIC! Soft, warm, and the patterns are adorable! These shall be my go-to winter socks for years to come.” —Mombie

    Get a set of four pairs from Amazon for $14.99 (available in 17 styles).

    11. "Shhh! I'm reading" socks that readers will ADORE and slip on whenever they want to dig into their favorite book in peace.

    Promising review: "These appeared exactly as advertised and arrived as stated. I love to wear them as they are comfortable and allow me to read in silence. Haha. When my husband tries to interrupt my reading, I hold up my 'Shhh!' foot and he knows to leave me be. Love them! LOL." —Dee Smith

    Get them from Amazon for $11.99.

    12. A gradient puzzle that made Oprah's 2018 Favorite Things List. It's beautiful, will give a person a fun project to work on in one sitting or over time, AND when the puzzle's complete, it'll make for great wall decor. Win win win.,

    Check out the rest of Oprah's 2018 Favorite Things list AND our favorite things on Oprah's 2019 Favorite Things list.

    Get it from Amazon for $15+ (available in seven colors and three sizes).

    13. A set of hand creams that each come individually packaged so you can gift one to different people or ALL to one lucky person. Either way, someone's going to have their winter dryness problem ~handled~ ever so sweetly.

    The scents include lemon/ginger, aloe, lemon/olive, coconut, lavender, avocado, and green tea.

    Promising review: “I am super picky about hand lotion and I love these! They smell great — light and pretty. They are moisturizing without being slimy, love, love, love!!” —Gabe L.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.98+ (available in 5-, 7-, and 21-packs).

    14. A pack of sheet masks since we all have skin and we all need to take care of it, right? Dropping these masks into a small gift bag with a sweet note about how the person you got it for deserves to relax, relate, and release will have 'em feeling all special inside. They'll never suspect that you forgot all about them and that's exactly the way things need to be, right?! Exactly.,

    Promising review: “I have been using these face masks for about two weeks now. A friend of mine recommended that I try these for my acne-prone skin. I have never tried any Korean skincare products before. I've only used drug store and Sephora skincare but it has done nothing for my skin. I decided, why not? It's cheap, I have nothing to lose. After my second mask, I felt a difference in my skin. It was so soft and smooth. My acne has been clearing up. I can't say that it is because of these masks alone (because I simply don't know) but if you are considering it, just buy it! It's fun and easy to do. Also a good way to de-stress and just chill out for 20 minutes or so.” —Mai

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in a pack of 16).

    15. AND — a scalp massager to keep that "treat yo' self" gift theme going. There's no better way to show some love this season than to encourage someone to step up their self-care game.

    Several reviewers noted that it helped them to soothe their dry, itchy scalp due to different conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

    Promising review: "I cannot explain how good this feels when you're using it! It relaxes you and for sure is better than just using your fingertips to shampoo your hair. It actually goes down to the roots and makes sure that it gets into all the spots it can to clean your hair. I can tell you right now that my hair has never felt smoother than after I started using this product." —Romie Patel

    Get it from Amazon for $6.98.

    16. A tub of thinking putty for anyone who loves a relaxing distraction. It'll be perfect for fidgety busybodies who always need to keep their hands occupied OR they could just regift it. Whatever. It'll be outta your hands and the gift exchange process will be off of your conscience!,

    Promising review: “I saw this in a magazine and my inner child cried out for it. I'm so glad I did. I keep this on my desk and when I'm concentrating or sitting on conference calls I pick it up and play with it. It not only helps distract that part of my brain that needs to do something, but it really does help me think. The putty stretches, breaks, tears, can be shaped, and flattens on its own. It doesn't stain or lose color, at least it hasn't yet. I wouldn't let it sit on fabric or carpet or you may never get it out, but on a desk it's fantastic.” —Rob S.

    Get it from Amazon for $13.95.

    17. A set of agate coasters that are classy as all heck and will fit into a home no matter what the style is.


    Promising review: “Ok... I don't often leave product reviews, but these are AWESOME!! I'm obsessed with them. I ordered the natural tan/brown. They are the most beautiful pieces of agate, one even has a patch of druzy quartz in the middle. IMO they appear as though they are worth far more than what was paid. I should mention, they have clear silicone bumpers on the bottom so there is no need to attach felt or worry about scratching. Since they do not have felt on the bottom, they look translucent and beautiful on a glass table. Each coaster is the same size and about 4.5 inches across making them plenty big enough for even large mugs or glasses.” —BrenPro

    Get a set of four on Amazon for $24.95 (available in four colors and three sizes).

    18. A bottle of Mike's Hot Honey because once again, food is never NOT the answer. This'll make anyone who loves spicy and sweet stuff smile most definitely.

    Promising review: “It's just the right amount of heat to make it interesting, but not so hot that it'll interfere with other flavors. One of my peeves about spicy versions of normally non-spicy items is that it's often all about the heat but the flavors imparted by the chiles aren't particularly noticeable or interesting. This honey has a great chile FLAVOR to it, in addition to the heat, but it doesn't overwhelm the flavor of the honey at all. I like it on buttered toast and on fried chicken equally well, and this has definitely become a staple 'sauce' for me!” —S. Ferguson

    Get it from Amazon for $8.48+ (available in four quantities).

    Also, peep our full review of Mike's Hot Honey to get more spicy details!

    19. A faux-fur blanket that'll be a foolproof gift because it's soft, snuggly, warm, and all that good stuff. Who's not going to welcome this new cuddle buddy?,

    Check out what another BuzzFeeder has to say about this blanket.

    Promising review: “My boyfriend likes to call this blanket his 'Game of Thrones cosplay blanket.' It's a big, luxurious, and suuuuper soft blanket. Honestly, I use this more than he does and I bought it for him as one of his Christmas gifts! It's a heavy enough blanket to keep you warm while you're sleeping during the winter nights, but light enough to casually tow around the house when need be. The size of the blanket is perfect and my boyfriend and I both love that it has two different sides for texture. I prefer the sherpa and he prefers the other faux fur side. Would recommend this to anyone who is considering buying a perfect gift (for either yourself or a loved one!) because it is perfect!” —Scotty Bear!

    Get it from Amazon for $23.00+ (available in five sizes and 18 colors).

    20. A Bob Ross coloring book filled with illustrations of the show's actual paintings. Folks can tap into their creativity while getting lost in their own thoughts the Bob Ross way!,

    Promising review: “I was amazed when I found this coloring book! I grew up watching Bob Ross with my dad on public television and I knew I just had to have this. The coloring book is beautiful and you can make it however you’d like. (Remember, there’s no mistakes, just happy accidents). It’s also filled with his own quotes, which makes it perfect.” —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $10.19. You also might wanna snag a set of oil pastels for $4.99 (with 50 in a pack) or colored pencils for $8.90 (with 50 in a pack).

    21. A real leather journal that'll make for a classy way to jot down to-do lists, journal entries, and whatever else a person deems worth jotting down.,

    Promising review: “This is seriously THE most beautiful notebook I have ever seen in my life. The leather is undoubtedly real and is so soft to the touch. It has a subtle earthy, leather scent that sets the mood for your journaling or writing time! The wrap-around closure string on this notebook gives off really retro vibes. Just looking at the notebook makes me want to write! The pictures don't do it enough justice. The paper in this journal is of unbelievable quality. They are thick and borderline cloth-like, and writing in them makes me feel so inspired. They are a more cream color than straight-up white like the pictures show, which I personally prefer because it looks so much more vintage and romantic. The only con I can think of is that now, I will never be able to purchase any other journal because it will never compare to this one. I'll probably end up with a bookshelf of these by the time I retire.” —AdoraMeow

    Get it from Amazon for $22.95+ (available in two sizes and two gift sets).

    22. A double-walled water bottle because everyone needs water and why not give 'em a water bottle that doesn't sweat? Sigh. It's the little things that'll count the most.,

    Promising review: “I primarily use this bottle for water and occasionally for my morning coffee. The first time I added ice with my water I was shocked that the ice remained even in a hot car. The bottle didn't sweat at all and my water was icy cold. What prompted this review was my using it for coffee yesterday. I'm not sure what kind of black magic these things are made with, but my coffee remained too hot to drink all day. Now, roughly 24 hours later my coffee is barely cool enough to drink. I'm completely floored at these bottles' ability to maintain temperature. I currently have two that I've covered in custom vinyl stickers and will likely purchase more in the future. These bottles are top-shelf for quality and completely reasonably priced. If you're on the fence, BUY IT. You'll be coming back to buy more in no time.” —Joel

    Get it from Amazon for $14.99+ (available in five sizes and 43 colors) AND add a pack of Bottle Bright cleaning tablets for $8!

    23. A kitty spoon that'll hang on the side of tea and coffee cups so someone can stir, sip, and hang it when they don't need it. This thing is su-purr cute!, Amazon

    Promising review: "Love this little spoon! It fits perfectly on the edge of my coffee mug. Now, I no longer have to go searching for a spoon to stir my morning coffee! Since it sits on the edge of the cup, my fingers don't get sticky from a wet handle. Plus, it's absolutely adorable and makes me think of my own kitty while I'm away at work. This spoon has become an essential part of my morning routine." —Brianna S.

    Get it from Amazon for $1.01.

    24. A waterproof speaker for nightly sold-out concerts people like to put on in their showers. Trust me. This is going to be a platinum-selling HIT with whoever gets it.,

    It comes with a metal hook to hang it on the shower curtain ~and~ a suction cup to stick it to the wall.

    Promising review: "I bought this speaker to use in the shower so I can listen to some bops! The quality of the speaker and battery life are amazing. I usually don’t have to charge it for a while! I definitely would recommend this speaker to a friend or someone you know with good music taste!" — Jasmine

    Get it from Amazon for $22.99 (available in three colors).

    25. A set of succulents (yes, real ones!) that'll make anyone smile who adores plants ~and~ help make a difference for pets in need.,

    The Plants for Pets brand donates a portion of their profits to help animals find homes. These succulents are beginner-friendly and also come with a 30-day guarantee.

    Promising review: “I was slightly wary about how buying succulents online would turn out. These arrived today and I am completely impressed with how well they shipped. Each and every succulent was intact and beautiful. They also included one extra in the case that any of the plants were damaged during transit. The care guide included is very thorough and is very useful for someone just getting started with plants.” —Eileen

    Get a pack of five from Amazon for $15.25.

    26. A microwave popcorn maker to make movie night an even more fun and yummy experience.

    The popcorn maker is also collapsible so it'll save space and won't be just another item crowding up a person's kitchen. ALSO, to make this an even more fun and thoughtful gift, throw in some popcorn seasoning!

    Promising review: “Initially, I was going to buy a hot air popper but then I saw this and bought it instead. It is so easy, just put the popcorn kernels in the bowl, set the lid inside and pop it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. When the popping slows down, take it out and you are done. Add butter and salt or whatever you like on your popcorn. No more splattered oil and greasy pan to clean up. Less expensive than prepackaged microwave popcorn and I control what goes on when it's done.” —Bill G.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.90 (available in 11 colors) and a popcorn seasoning variety pack for $12.59.

    27. A set of playing cards that are just stunning for no reason at all. The person could actually play with them or keep the pretty deck on their desk for decoration!,

    Promising review: “I find myself distracted by the intriguing and intricate artwork both on the front and backs of the cards. They are soooo interesting. I bought them as a gift for my husband who collects cards but have found these may be my favorites of all and now my cards. They are also coated so very easy to shuffle and deal. LOVE THEM!!!!!” —KM

    Get a pack from Amazon for $9.97.

    Look at you being a gift-givin' boss this holiday season — even if no one surprises you with a present and you end up keeping all this good stuff to yourself.


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

    Allison Krausman / BuzzFeed

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