holiday gifts 2023

65 On-Sale Gifts That Will Still Arrive by Christmas

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

Christmas is on Monday, so if you’ve yet to cross everyone off your shopping list, you’re just about out of time to get your last-minute holiday gifts. There’s still a teeny bit of time left to get a deal — and no one will need to know that you didn’t pay full price. Here, I’ve found dozens of actually thoughtful gift ideas, many of which we’ve written about before on the Strategist, that are sure to delight even the most hard-to-shop-for family and friends.

If you finish your shopping today, you should be able to get your gifts by Sunday, December 24. Amazon and Shopbop are your best bet to get gifts on time. Prime members still get free two-day shipping, so most things will arrive before the weekend, depending on your zip code. At places like Nordstrom and REI, we’re deep into expedited shipping territory — although some products are eligible for free in-store pickup within a day or two. (And when you’re getting a discount, that extra fee stings a little less.) This isn’t the time to dillydally, as stock and availability is constantly changing, so read on to shop.

A small (but powerful) clip-on Bluetooth speaker for the teen who tends to misplace things.


This best-selling scented balm that’s like “Ambien without the side effects” is a foolproof gift for everyone on your list. It’s 20 percent off when you apply the on-site coupon.

For the K-beauty buff, CosRx’s best-selling snail-mucin essence is nearly half off.


Pair Debby Ryan’s gratitude journal with this on-sale set of pens for the giftee who’s really into New Year’s resolutions.

The wooden foot massager I purchased nearly a year ago is just $20. It’s fun to roll around on after a long day, and stores discreetly under our coffee table — and it makes an excellent gift for an irritable relative.

A nice-looking, surprisingly affordable watch that would make a good gift for Mom.

Chom Chom Pet-Hair Remover
Photo: Retailer

As the owner of some very hairy cats, I’d love to get this hyped pet-hair roller.

For someone you really love, Bose’s recently-upgraded noise-cancelling QuietComfort headphones are a thoughtful choice.

Zulay High-Powered Milk Frother
From $10
From $10

I recommend this $10 milk frother for a sibling who has just moved into their first apartment. It’s battery operated, easy to clean, and inexpensive.

The Wordle-obsessed wife will love these not-too-challenging Times crosswords, recommended to us by literary critic Molly Young.

Tile Sticker - 2 Pack
$38 for 2
$38 for 2

This stickerlike tracker can be attached to a TV remote, headphones, chargers, or a glasses case — making it a great gift for a forgetful dad.


doomsday prepper’s favorite water-filter straw also makes a good gift for outdoorsy friends.


Don’t forget to get something for your fluffiest family members, like this cozy-looking foam bed.

This squeaky hide-and-seek dog toy is also delightful.

I bought these cool dinosaur-car hybrid toys for my younger brothers, which could also be divided between stockings.


A DIY kit for the tween who follows plenty of slime Instagram accounts.

They’ll cuddle up with these five-inch plushies for every Finding Nemo watch party from now on.

UNO Giant Game

Elementary-schoolers will love the (three times bigger) classic card game.

For the 4-year-old who’s just learning to read, this set of wooden letters with corresponding pictures lets them “build” words.

This wooden xylophone is a great choice for the 1-year-old who loves music (and hitting things).

Plush tools for the toddler who likes to “help” around the house.

If your preschooler still won’t take off their princess costume from Halloween, make sure they have the shoes to match.

Here’s an indoor activity you can do together: This kit comes with a block of sand for kids to excavate, revealing hidden crystals and gemstones.

Gund Flappy the Elephant

Here’s a mesmerizing singing elephant plush toy that earned a spot in the Strategist 100, our greatest-hits list.


This Beast Lab set was our toy writer’s pick for one of the hottest holiday toys this year. Kids combine a set of special powder packets into a giant test tube to trigger a mist-filled toy reveal: Here, they’ll get either the havoc hammerhead or mayhem megashark.


This magical genie lamp grants wishes and reveals an interactive pet when your kid rubs its light-up jewel.

A three-pack of scratch-art activity pads, each of which features a different Paw Patrol character — Chase, Skye, or Marshall — with dot-to-dot or stencil activities.


A squeezable Care Bears plush for just $10.

This two-by-three-foot floor puzzle will delight your preschooler. The dinosaur design is the cheapest, but there are a few more options (for a few dollars more), including a fairy-tale castle and a construction site.

Hape Penguin Musical Wobbler

This wobbly penguin toy is a nice gift for a toddler: It pops back up after your little one bats at it, and a built-in bell makes a tinkling sound as it sways from side to side.


We like this light-up drum that helps infants practice sitting up and plays music that won’t make you want to crawl out of your skin.

This farmhouse from Melissa & Doug offers all of the fun of a full-size dollhouse, but it closes up when it’s not in use to save space.

Tatcha Kissu Lip Mask

Tatcha’s lip mask would be a beautiful stocking stuffer, especially for the sister who feels like she’s a little too old for Laneige.

Solawave’s hugely popular LED skin-care wands are great for beginners — and it’s nearly half-off.


Here’s a cute green row counter on a string will make life much easier for your knitter. They can simply press the top down every time they finish a row.

Cricut EasyPress 2

And if you’ve got a hard-core crafter on your holiday shopping list, gift them the Cricut EasyPress 2. The ceramic-coated heat plate goes up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, has an auto-shutoff feature, and is easy to use.

Pair the Tile trackers above with this travel bag for the dad just getting into golf.

Just about any person with a beard would appreciate a new rotary razor.

Bodum Assam Tea Press

If they’re a tea person, they’ll love this transparent teapot that’s great for admiring their brew while it steeps.

Ninja AF101 Air Fryer

The college student with limited counter space will love this Ninja air fryer, which is the cheapest I’ve ever seen it.


You can’t go wrong with a pair of AirPods, beloved by teens, athletes, and tech writers alike.

Beats Studio Buds

But if you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, we also like the Beats Studio Buds. “I can go on runs with them or take calls with them,” Ghetto Gastro co-founder Jon Gray told us. “They stay in, and it’s not like I’m wearing a bulky set of headphones.”

Amazon Kindle Scribe - 16 GB

For the sibling who loves to annotate their books, our tech writer says the Kindle Scribe allows him to “drop a sticky note with handwritten text” right over any paragraph or sentence.


This camping lantern from Coleman comes with a lifetime LED bulb that will never need to be replaced.

UrbanStems The Wintergreen

At UrbanStems, you can send flowers to a long-distance loved for 20 percent off when you use our code STRAT20. Several of the brand’s holiday blooms are already on sale, so this seasonal bouquet is doubly discounted.

$55 at UrbanStems
with code: STRAT20

At Shopbop, order by December 21 to ensure your gift arrives in time. Paravel’s belt bag is the cheapest we’ve ever seen it. It makes for a nice minimalist diaper bag or a fanny pack for frequent travelers. (It’s on sale in blue, too.)

These unisex low-top Converse in an unexpected earthy brown are on sale. (Just be sure to ask your giftee their size.)

The always cold mom will love long underwear, and Smartwool’s merino layers are ideal for everyday use. (Though you will have to pay a little extra for expedited shipping from REI.)

At Madewell, use the code GETGIFTING to take 40 percent off your purchase. I spotted plenty of sweaters that would make excellent last-minute gifts for sisters.

$54 at Madewell
with code: GETGIFTING

I’ve been perusing the jewelry section for my own sister, where there are a lot of inexpensive (but expensive-looking) earrings.

$14 at Madewell
with code: GETGIFTING

An under-$50 wallet for the sibling who has been letting their cards languish in a Ziploc baggie.

$37 at Madewell
with code: GETGIFTING
MEATER Plus Smart Thermometer

Tom Colicchio–approved meat thermometer that will allow grillers to monitor internal temperature from their phone (up to 165 feet away) for “perfect meat every time.”

Several Boy Smells candles are on sale at Nordstrom and will arrived on time with expedited shipping or free in-store pickup. This one is a verdant mix of ginger, basil, fig, sage, tonka bean, and sandalwood (and it’s a nice gift for a co-worker or a hard-to-please mother-in-law).

$36 for 3

A new set of undies will always be much appreciated.

Here’s a practical stocking stuffer for the brother who practically lives at the gym.

An eyebrow pencil and hair-growth-serum set for the cousin with a full brow-care routine.


This hooded onesie for newborns would be a sweet gift for your bestie who just had a baby.

Attention to any family members reading this: I wouldn’t mind receiving this recycled-cashmere beanie — which comes in ten colors — as a stocking stuffer.

Today is the last day for standard shipping at Urban Outfitters; after midnight tonight, you’ll need to either pick-up in-store or pay for expedited shipping. For the tween with an Olivia Rodrigo fixation, this all-in-one set includes the latest Instax camera, two sticker sheets to decorate it, film, a free-standing frame, and photo album.