So, you’ve done it again: waited until the bowels of the Holiday Season™ are upon us before devoting time to pondering how you’ll make your friend, family, and partner happy through a material sign of affection that murmurs, “hey, kid, I know ya.” Normally, this means its time to start an IV drip of coldbrew and obsessively stalk the Instagram accounts of your loved ones in hopes of finding a breadcrumb of info that might help you figure out what the hell could possibly make this person smile through their Seasonal Affective Disorder. Will it be a body pillow? A Shrek butt plug? A vintage $800 promotional button-up shirt from Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 film adaptation of Romeo + Juliet? There are too many options, and yet sometimes it can feel like there are none. You’re sweating. You’re ready to drink a whole bottle of weed lube. (Don’t do it, babe.)
We’ve been hustling our cabooses off, looking at every sale section under a microscope and trawling every fancy store like it’s our job—oh, wait, it is—so that we can rest assured that our gift ideas are literally the best ever. Yes, we can confidently declare: WE HAVE THE BEST GIFT IDEAS! [Bangs giant gong…]
Look no further. Don’t listen to anyone else. Those people are squares; they have no sauce; they want to hurt you! We’re here to French kiss you and make you look like the best friend, brother, sister, dad, coworker, wife, transcendental meditation coach, dodgeball teammate, or polycule member ever, bestowing the best gifts for people who love tech, for people who love to cook, for people who love to eat, for people you don’t wanna spend a lot of money on, for people who deserve something XXXtra special this year, and so on and so forth.
Welcome to the complete, ultimate, 2022 VICE gift guide. Choose your own adventure below.
The Best Gifts by Price
Operating on a budget? Not a bad idea, even if your budget is “a lot.” Whether you’ve only got magic beans or you’ve got a Scrooge McDuck swimming pool full of gold coins, we’re on it when it comes to finding unique gifts.
- Looking for the best gifts under $20? We scoured the shop-o-sphere and found wonderfully weird candles, meat-shredding claws, and lucid dreaming tea, alongside dozens of other great gift ideas.
- Stuffing some stockings? We found 26 of the best presents that will fit in a giant sock, and good news: They’re all under $25. Check out the best stocking stuffers under $25 here, from boozy truffles to cooling lube to gold cheese graters.
- Ready to spend a little more? Peruse the best gifts under $50 for every lovable weirdo.
- Ah, down to spend the big bucks this year? Our ideas for the best gifts under $100 have something for everyone, from 3D-printed rings to salt and pepper shakers that will become family heirlooms.
- While you’re here and paying attention, don’t sleep on these 21 Gift Ideas That Are Gonna Sell Out (So Buy Them Now).
The Best Gifts for Every Type of Friend
If your friend group looks anything like ours, it’s kind of like a cross between the cast of Grey’s Anatomy and the Garbage Pail Kids. Each bud has their own distinct personality and flavor (LOL thinking about the true freakazoids in the group text), and when spending our hard-earned cockles, we want to make sure we’re hitting the right notes. That’s why we’ve made it easy to find on-point offerings for all the homies.
- Not sure where to start? Go, go, go to our guide for The Best Gift for Every Freaky Friend in Your Squad.
- If you need to consult the stars, blast off to The Best Gifts for Every Friend Based on Their Zodiac Sign, so your decadent Tauruses and emotional Cancers all have their bases covered.
- The Best Gifts for a Friend Who Just Got Their Own Place will come in handy, because even though we’re jealous, we love to flex with a genius housewarming gift.
- Part of (or shopping for) the alphabet mafia? Make a queer friend, sibling, or lover happy with The Best Gifts for Every Queer Person in Your LGBT+ Crew, from milk frothers to all-gender vibrators.
- The Best Gifts for Your Friend Who Wants to Be Don Draper, because Mad Men may be off the air, but mid-century modern appeal isn’t going anywhere.
- The Best Gifts for Your Grumpy Punk Friends Who Are Ready to Have Nice Stuff, from Pettibon prints to nice boots and fancy deodorant.
- The Best Gifts for Cat Lovers, from ridiculously cool African woven cat beds to catnip-filled blunts.
- The Best Gifts for Music Lovers, From Metalheads to Rap Moguls, meant tracking down sick audio tech, the best albums of the year on vinyl, and perfect Megan Thee Stallion-inspired, rhinestone-encrusted cowboy hats.
- Dealing with one of those friends who has everything? They may have a Tesla, a diamond pinky ring, and every pair of Yeezys, but we’re willing to bet they don’t have a sick knife roll, an instant seltzer machine, or a limited edition Leica camera in Vans’ iconic checkerboard print. The Best Gifts for the Friend Who Has Everything really delivers.
- The Best Self-Care Gifts for a Friend Who Never Treats Themselves are here for that bud who’s the sweetest ever but never stops and rocks some good old-fashioned self-indulgence. Make ‘em feel special with silk pillowcases, wine flights, and a heated shiatsu massager.
The Best Gifts for Every Family Member
One hit-or-miss thing about the holidays: spending time with family. Of course we want it to go as smoothly as possible, and to feel like one of those hyper-wholesome clans that all wears matching flannel pajamas. (Actually, do we want that?) No matter whether your family is ultra trad and cheery or deeply dysfunctional, these gifts are a great way to say “maybe I didn’t choose you, but I do love you.”
- 69 Gifts for Moms leave no stone unturned, from spaetzle makers and wine-mom paraphernalia to muscle-man body pillows and an instructional manual for writing romance novels.
- The Best Gifts for Dad (That Aren't a Grandchild) has got you covered for your papa, whether you’ve got an ex-hippie dad, a toxic-masculine (but lovable!) gabagool-scarfing dad, or a dad who’s always hanging by the grill.
- Heading home for the holidays? Here Are the Best Last-Minute Gifts to Bring Your Parents, since you’re going to eat everything in their fridge.
- The Best Gifts for the Random Obligatory Kid in Your Life were designed for that nephew, cousin, friend’s kid, or whatever precious little human goblin in your life deserves a cool prezzie. Dinosaur pajamas that you can color in? A break-your-own geode kit? Wait… maybe we want this stuff for ourselves.
The Best Gift for Your Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Husband, Wife, or Miscellaneous Boo
Whether this person is brand-new to You World, a long-term lover, or a forever partner-in-crime, we thought it all through so you can just sit back, smash that “add to cart” button, and look like an A+ mate.
- The Best Gifts for a Cool Person You Just Started Dating are affordable, lighthearted, and curated to be a little sexy without being too clingy.
- The Best Gifts for Your Girlfriend, Lady Friend, or Neighbor's Wife are the gifts for her, the one who is living proof that indeed Ariana was right—god is a woman.
- The Best Gifts for Your Boyfriend, Husband, or Deli Man will make a dude feel like even though he just got a bed frame three weeks ago and (probably) can’t bench-press 300 pounds, he’s cherished.
- Want to know what’s really tried and true, when it comes to gifts for guys and gals? Check out The Best Gifts for Men, According to the Real Guys Who Received Them, and 11 Hot Girls Tell Us the Best Things They’ve Ever Been Gifted.
- Is it approaching half a decade since you started dating your significant other, and you can’t yet spring for a beach house, but need to show that you really, seriously, still go mushy for this person? No prob: Consult The Best Gifts for Someone You've Been Dating Forever and Is Expecting Something Nice This Year, Dammit.
- Thinking kinky? Squirm over to The Best Gifts for Every Ho-Ho-Horny Partner.
- We even consulted ultimate sax crooner Kenny G for his tips on the best romantic gifts. If Kenny G can’t help you pick something with a big wow factor, maybe no one can.
The Best Gifts for Food Lovers
- Did they get into cooking during the dark times of mid-COVID, and now they won’t STFU about how much they love making their own hard cider, double-boiling chocolate, and julienning carrots? That’s chill; next time they make a dank lasagna, they’ll save you a slice if you get them the best kitchen gear and cookware gifts of 2022.
- Are they less of the bread-baking type, more of the eats-Nutella-out-of-the-jar variety gourmand? Hook up your homie/sibling/parent/barista with a pick from our rundown of the best edible and drinkable gifts, from top-notch soup dumplings to wine advent calendars and Japanese snack boxes.
- Is this person physically incapable of having a basic conversation until they’ve turned into that GIF of Sylvester the cat in a caffeine psychosis? Do they namedrop Blue Bottle, Counter Culture, and La Colombe like they’re close personal friends? Mosey on over to our haul of the best gifts for coffee lovers.
- Are they all about cocktail hour, but not to such a debilitating degree that you would feel irresponsible getting them an alcohol-related gift? OK, great! Pour ‘em a gift from our guide to the best boozy gifts.
- Are they a dedicated vegan who’s pretty annoying to pick a brunch spot with, but still a lovable person who’s cool AF (and who knows, might legitimately be morally superior)? Our guide to the best gifts for vegans has everything from fancy avocados and CBD matcha to essential cookbooks and cult-fave kitchen tools.
- We’ve even uncovered the most out-there presents for true next-level food freaks, from spaghetti sweatshirts to a year’s supply of Castelvetrano olives (the best olives, duh).
- Still undecided, but know it’s gotta be an amazing food gift? Check out our full collection of gift guides for food lovers here.
The Best Tech Gifts
There’s a reason that Black Friday tech deals have people acting totally nutso in the name of a flat-screen TV or fancy set of speakers: We all love the feeling of being wowed by technology. That’s why tech gifts are a surefire way of showing off that you’re in the know and got The Thing of the Year, big or small.
- Looking for all the major stuff, aka the newest laptops and smart TVs, the highest-fidelity headphones, and the smart home and wearable tech that seems to be hot-today, ubiquitous-tomorrow? Peep The Best Hot-Ticket Tech Gifts of 2022, and upgrade away.
- The Coolest Tech Gifts That We Didn't Even Know Existed (But Want Now) include temperature control mugs, robot bartenders, a gadget that instantly tells you why your car’s acting weird, and “smart” yoga pants (whoa!).
- The Best ~*Aesthetic*~ Tech Gifts for Your Friend Who's Always on Their Phone are here to make tech interesting again, since we’re all kind of tired of glossy white plastic.
- The Best Tech Gifts (and Anti-Tech Gadgets) for Your Favorite Luddite are ideal for the friend who’s always deleting their Insta accounts, and include dumbphones, meditation pebbles, DIY Bluetooth speakers, and yodeling pickles.
Gifts for Everything (and Everyone) Else
Alrighty, you want to cover alllllll the bases before you pull the trigger and head to checkout. No prob—in fact, we encourage this degree of overthinking, since we’ve already done it for you.
- The Best Practical Gifts, Because We All Have Enough Crystals, offers proof that even though we all have to wash our hands, grocery shop, and open finicky jars, we can do it with ease and style. Just promise you shall gift no more whiskey stones.
- Doing a Secret Santa thing with your drinking buddies, coworkers, or harem of lovers, and have no clue what Rando Jason might enjoy? Don’t sweat it; here are the Best Secret Santa Gifts (That Make It Look Like You’ve Been Paying Attention).
- Shopping for Gifts? Grab One From Our Favorite Black-Owned Brands—we’re talking velvet headwraps, fancy coffee, superb skincare, and the coolest bike basket we’ve ever seen.
- Puff, puff, pass the holiday spirit with the Best Gifts for Your Stoner Pals, and if you’re dealing with one of those cannabis connoisseurs who only dabbles in the amazing stuff from the fancy dispensary, go with The Best Gifts for the Sophisticated Stoner in Your Life.
- Ready for the most cursed White Elephant gift ideas ever? Click, and don’t say we didn’t warn you.
There you have it: so many unique gift ideas that you never again have an excuse for hitting the mall in utter desperation at 4:30 PM on Christmas Eve. You’ve got this, kids. Add to cart, get it outta the way, and reap the appreciation from people whose love language is receiving presents… and even those who are more the “acts of service” type, or whatever.
Happy holidays, from your loving team at VICE’s Rec Room.
This story is being continuously updated as we find more amazing gifts for your entire brethren.