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Updated November 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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After going through an intensive research process to narrow down our short list of top products in this space, we tested the Roomba i7 to be sure that it’s worthy of our recommendation. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter and test to verify manufacturer claims.

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Buying guide for Best Christmas gifts

When the holiday season arrives, it’s time to start shopping for the people on your Christmas list. Finding the right gifts for everyone involves a fair amount of research, and shoppers usually consider at least a handful of products before finalizing their decision.

Many people gravitate toward classic gifts like electronics, toys, clothing, and kitchenware. Others prefer giving items from other categories, particularly those that appeal to the recipient’s interests or hobbies. If you’re not sure what to get someone, a gift card to a favorite retailer or restaurant is a suitable option that almost everyone appreciates.

There are a few ways to narrow your choices for the perfect Christmas gifts for everyone on your list. If you take an organized approach, including sticking to a budget and a timeline, you might even have a stress-free, more enjoyable holiday season.

Christmas gifts
There are several eco-friendly ways to wrap Christmas gifts, such as repurposing old gift bags or using newspapers.

How to buy the best Christmas gifts

Before you start adding items to your real or virtual shopping cart, first cross a few items off your holiday to-do list.

Set a budget

First, set a dollar budget and stick to it. It’s much easier to narrow your gift options when you know your spending ceiling.

The next thing you should budget is your time. Christmas shopping can be a time-consuming activity, especially when you’re juggling a busy schedule full of holiday parties and other commitments. Instead of waiting until Christmas Eve, block out a few hours in November or early December to get a head start.

Compare products and prices

Many retailers carry the same or similar products, so be prepared to crunch the numbers to find the best deals on Christmas gifts. In some cases, it’s better to buy a product with a higher price tag from one retailer if their coupons, discounts, or rewards result in the lowest final price. Look for online-only pricing and promotions as well. Depending on the retailer, you could receive bigger discounts when you purchase gifts online as opposed to in stores.

Research models and specs

For certain products, particularly electronics and toys, it’s wise to brush up on the newest models and specifications. Besides finding out exactly when a product was released, compare top-line specifications like size, capacity, memory, and speed. Another important feature to compare among models is compatibility. For example, newer devices might not be compatible with older accessories or software.

Consider popular gifts

Many holiday shoppers begin their search by researching the most popular gifts. Generally speaking, these fall into two categories: perennial favorites and holiday hot sellers. Other popular Christmas options include gift certificates, tickets, or trips. Handmade and personalized items like artwork or jewelry make great gifts for the right recipients. Less conventional yet still appreciated is a donation to a recipient’s preferred charity or organization in that person’s name.

If you’re looking for a screen-free Christmas gift for kids, good options include art supplies, books, and STEM sets.

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Popular varieties of Christmas gifts

Gift sets

Sets are available year-round from beauty, fragrance, and skincare brands. During the holidays, a brand might release special gift sets with fancy packaging or Christmas-themed accessories. Many sets include best-selling products, whereas others have limited-edition products — or shades in the case of things like makeup. Some gift sets are excellent buys since the total price ends up being less than buying the products individually.

Bundle packs

Electronics like video game systems, computers, and TVs might be sold in bundle packs during the holidays. Although they cost more than buying just the electronics, they often include worthwhile accessories like extra controllers, video games, or subscriptions to streaming services. The quality can be hit-or-miss with bundle pack accessories, particularly if they’re made by third-party or lesser-known manufacturers.

Giftable packaging

Many products sold during the holidays have fancy or holiday-themed packaging, which makes them presentation worthy. Certain items can be given as they are, such as gourmet chocolate assortments that come in elegant, ribbon-tied boxes. Other items may not have ornate packaging, but at the very least they’re sold in boxes for easy wrapping.

Christmas gifts
DID YOU KNOW?
To save big on shipping, use in-store and curbside pickup for Christmas gifts. It’s an easy way to bypass lines and crowds, plus you might be eligible for extra discounts or promotions.
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What you need for wrapping Christmas gifts

Wrapping paper and bags

You can find a nearly infinite array of holiday wrapping paper, sold individually or in assortment packs and small or giant rolls. Look for thick, durable paper, preferably with recycled content or sustainably sourced. If you’re not adept at wrapping presents, pop the item in a convenient gift bag. These easy options come in nearly as many colors and designs as wrapping paper too.

Tape

Tape is a gift-wrapping essential. Look for tape with an ultra-smooth finish that won’t show up and will make every gift look like it was professionally wrapped. Multipacks or giant rolls save money and will last through lots of celebratory gift giving.

Gift tags

Colorful self-stick gift tags make it easy for recipients to identify their gifts. Look for tags with a large enough blank space to accommodate long names or messages.

How much do Christmas gifts cost?

Inexpensive

Generally speaking, budget-friendly gifts cost $25 or less. Small gifts, such as candles, socks, and outerwear accessories, can cost as little as $10 or less. Some premium beauty and skincare items, including holiday gift sets, are often available in this range.

Mid-range

These gifts cost $30 to $60. Some of the most popular gifts in this range include video games, fragrances, and licensed toys. The range also includes a wide variety of quality apparel and accessories from popular brands.

Expensive

Expensive gifts start at $75 and can easily run as high as $500 and more. You can find premium skincare, fragrances, and small leather goods toward the bottom of the range. As you get closer to $500, you’ll find high-end electronics as well as designer handbags and jackets.

Instead of trying to wrap odd-shaped Christmas gifts with gift wrap, place them inside cellophane gift bags. These are available in an array of sizes, from treat bags to bags large enough to hold a bicycle.

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Tips

  • Save your receipts. Save the original receipt for each gift for easy returns. If you prefer to let the recipient handle a return, you can include a gift receipt with the item.
  • Check online wishlists. An easy way to find out what someone would like for Christmas is by looking up their online wishlists at various retailers, from online merchants to big-box stores to specialty shops.
  • Check for purchase limits. Some retailers limit shoppers to one or two models per purchase of popular products, such as trending electronics or small kitchen appliances.
  • Ship gifts directly from the retailer to the recipients. In some situations, it’s more practical to have the gifts shipped directly to the recipients rather than to you. Many people leverage this option for larger household items, such as furniture.
  • Add shipping to your budget. If you’re mailing gifts to recipients, be sure to leave room in your gift budget to account for shipping costs. Some parcels will be more expensive to send than others, particularly if they’re priced by weight rather than sent at a flat rate.
  • Remember to buy thank-you notes. Since you’ll likely receive a few gifts yourself, invest in a set of nice thank-you notes so you can express your gratitude in a personal way.
Christmas gifts
Pets are important household members too, which is why many people get them toys and travel accessories as Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers.

FAQ

Q. Do stocking stuffers count as Christmas gifts?

A. They might, depending on your household. Many people reserve stockings for tiny treasures like high-end electronics, jewelry, or self-care items. Stockings are also an ideal location for gift cards, which might get lost in the shuffle if they’re placed under the tree with larger gifts.

Q. How early should you buy Christmas gifts?

A. Some people start shopping as early as July! However, one of the drawbacks of shopping this early is that most items aren’t eligible for return after Christmas. Instead, many people begin Christmas shopping as soon as retailers announce their extended return policies. For many retailers, this begins sometime in October or November.

Q. What Christmas gifts are best for groups or households?

A. When you need to buy gifts for several people, it’s best to choose items that everyone can appreciate and enjoy. Board games and backyard games are ideal for many households, whereas food baskets and deluxe popcorn assortments might be suitable as department-wide office gifts for coworkers. Gift certificates to favorite restaurants or movie theater chains also rank high as popular group gifts.

Q. Besides my household and friends, who else should I buy Christmas gifts for?

A. Many individuals buy gifts for their coworkers and other people at the office, such as administrative assistants, delivery drivers, and security officers. Other people buy gifts for hairdressers, mail carriers, nail technicians, or massage therapists. It’s also common for children to buy small gifts for their teachers, babysitters, or coaches.

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