Check your list to see who’s been naughty or nice, because only those who have been on their best behavior will find these gifts under the tree. I have curated some of the most unique, fun, and indulging gift ideas for the holidays. There’s something on this list for everybody. Some ideas are definitely for those who think outside the box, but there are also practice gift ideas.
Clothing and Footwear
Indulge your family or friends with some of these luxurious items.
- Barbour – Their olive green waxed cotton jackets for men and women are a classic look in Europe. It’s weather-resistant, warm, and country elegant. Located at Palmer Square.
- Burberry – Most would love this ultra soft cashmere scarf. Choose one in the classic pattern, but a color that suits your loved one’s personality.
- Frette – A unisex bathrobe made from plush cotton terrycloth with a shawl collar. They won’t want to take it off.
- LL Bean Handsewn Slippers – Premium leather gives these moccasin slippers for men a classic boat shoe appearance.
- J.Hillburn Made-to-Measure Suit – These suits for men guarantee a perfect fit. J. Hillburn is one of the top in the business, and stylist Vicky Corrodi is right here in Princeton.
- Nike Free 4.0 ID – In addition to running and training, low profile sports shoes are great for touring a city, yet they don’t have the usual aggressive styling of some running shoes. Consider this customizable model for women (also available for men).
- J. Crew Pajamas – The Dreamy Cotton Pajama Set for women are comfortable enough to lounge in all day.
- J. Crew Union Suit – A one-piece suit for men with a button front and a rear fireman’s flap that can be worn as pajamas or under clothing in winter for extra warmth.
- Pole + Swede Slippers – Women’s slippers made with soft leather and a plush fur cuff, they’ll become your instant go-to’s. The insole features moisture-wicking sheepskin for warmth, breathability, and comfort. Variations in fur color and leather make every pair one-of-a-kind.
- Unisex Onsie Pajamas – The plush animal versions are all the rage with tweens and teens. This is just an example of what’s available.
What do you give a person who has “everything” or just doesn’t want more “stuff”? Memories. They are always priceless. You just need to know if that person is an adrenaline junkie, wants VIP treatment, or looking to try something new. Some of these experiences will astonish you.
- Aston Martin on Ice– This will be like out of a scene from a James Bond movie for one day only this year in the U.S.
- Amazing Escape Room – A team will be locked inside for 60 minutes while they collectively try to figure out how to escape. The room contains clues and hidden items. Anything that’s not glued or bolted down can be moved and may be an integral piece in your quest to escape. Choose from five different rooms, including the Secret Agent and Hemingway rooms.
- elements – The Chef’s Tasting or Grand Tasting is a 13 – 20+ course indulgence for which most must venture to New York to experience (e.g. Per Se). Michelin Star worthy Scott Anderson’s modern approach to cuisine will astound everyone at the table. Consider adding the wine pairing.
- Fly High Watersports – You might have seen flyboarding or hoverboarding on vacation. Now’s your chance to gift it to someone. Fly High Watersports at The Jefferson House on Lake Hopatcong offer 45 minute gift certificates.
- New Jersey Motorsports Park Formula One Racing – They could race an open-wheeled, open cockpit car that’s like a rocket on wheels., and can drive five laps at 150 mph.
- Philadelphia Zoo Overnight – The Spend the Night at the Zoo program offer an overnight that includes a complimentary evening snack and activities. Dinner and breakfast can be purchased. Adult overnights feature a happy hour (cash bar) and light dinner in exotic settings, encounters with animals, a tour, a meet & greet with zoo experts, and more. Breakfast can be purchased.
- Body N Balance Salt Cave – They offer natural salt therapy. They will sit or recline in a low light closed public room. In the 45 minute session, they will breath in a fine salt aerosol. The Himalayan Salt charges the air with negative ions in a high concentration. Primary benefits are to relieve stress and respiratory aliments, but salt therapy can help other ailments as well.
- World View Stratosphere Travel – Don’t wait for Richard Branson to get them into space. World View will give them the opportunity to lift-off in a capsule and ascend for up to two hours to an altitude of just over 100,000 feet, almost twenty miles high, atop 99% of the Earth’s atmosphere. Stay for two hours experiencing mind-boggling views of Earth. Descend back down to within 300 miles from the launch pad, where a private aircraft returns them back to the launch pad.
- Waterfall and Adventure Rappelling – This is nice for the adventurous nature lover. They’ll get to rappel down a 60 foot waterfall.
- Zero G– They take passengers in flight with 15 maneuvers, each creating weightlessness for about half a minute. They can float, spin in the air, and feel like an astronaut for a day. Two flights leave out of Newark in early June.
Those who have refined palates and are detail oriented, these gifts might fit the bill.
- Breville One-Touch Tea Maker – This Breville water kettle cooks the water to the proper temperature settings for the type of tea, then the basket containing the loose leaves is lowered into the water for the correct steeping time, and then raises leaving a perfect kettle of brewed tea.
- Chef’s Table at Nicholas – Sit in the kitchen and watch the magic happen, and then dine on some of the best food in New Jersey.
- Carter & Cavero – Choose one of the many gift packs of olive oils and vinegars, have a custom gift pack made, or purchase a gift card.
- Croissants – A homemade certificate for these fresh Parisian-style croissants from The Little Chef Pastry Shop is sure to please.
- Gift Card – Choose from local favorites Agricola, Ajihei, The Bent Spoon, Eno Terra, Lindt Chocolate, Mistral, or The Peacock Inn.
- Small World Coffee Backstage Pass – They offer an off-site tour to see how their beans are roasted and blended, plus they’ll get to taste a number of coffees.
This is a more practical category for those who aren’t as adventurous or tech savvy.
- Bamboo Bath Caddy – The caddy has expandable sides, and is made from 100% natural eco-friendly bamboo with chrome accents. This multipurpose expandable caddy places bath time accessories within easy reach. Features include a built-in soap holder, book/tablet support, and a slide-in glass holder for stemware.
- Corkcickle Air – Keeps wine at the proper temperature while entertaining, and aerates it straight from the bottle.
- The Laundress New York – The Wool and Cashmere Gift Bag will help care for the cashmere Burberry scarf on the list, as well as other wool and cashmere items at home. You can mix and match from all laundry products listed on the site to create a gift basket. Here is a guide to cashmere care you can share.
- Olsson’s Fine Foods – The Petite Maison Cheese Knife Set is great for cheese lovers. This five-piece rosewood set is made for soft, semi-soft, hard, and crumbly cheeses, and includes a serving fork.
- Streamline Luggage – Gorgeous vintage-inspired steam trunks with wheels.
- Tabletop Bio-Ethanol Fireplace – This is an example of table top fireplaces that are decorative and a conversation piece.
Here are some of the hottest tech for 2015.
- 27″ Retina Display iMac – This computer has the 6th generation Skylake processor, a crisp retina 5K display large enough to comfortably work on two spreadsheets at a time, and a fast 7200 rpm hard drive. A work horse!
- Amazon Echo – Voice command allows you to access audiobooks, control home automation (e.g. turn off lights), gives information (i.e. opening hours and location, of shops or restaurants), music (including local radio stations like WPST or WWFM), news, sports, traffic, weather, and more through the speakers of the cloud-based voice service.
- Bose QuietComfort 25 – The best noise-cancelling headphones out there. They are super comfortable since they don’t apply a lot of pressure on the head or ears making them perfect for long flights, commutes, or for those who are in louder environments.
- Electric Self-Balancing Personal Vehicle – The Sharper Image offers a Segway-like vehicle that makes it fun to do errands in town, ride on cleared paths in the woods, or tour other towns.
- GoPro – Hero 4 Black is an action camera that offers 4K UHD capture for cinema quality video. Smooth slow motion, 12 MP stills, twice the dynamic range for outstanding audio, and manual controls to adjust image quality.
- iPad Pro – This tablet screen is the size of a small laptop. Along with the keyboard and great apps, it could be a decent laptop replacement, and it’s certainly nice to watch video content.
- Microsoft Surface Book – Microsoft’s best 2-in-1 laptop to date.
- Streaming Video Boxes – Roku 4 can play back 4K UHD content, offers hundred of channels to view on demand and games to play, voice command, and a remote with an earphone jack. If you are part of the Apple ecosystem, consider the Apple TV 4th generation, which has its own App Store. It doesn’t support 4K UHD video content, but it has a great user interface, a touch surface on the remote for scrolling, popular video streaming apps, quality games, and Siri for excellent voice command.
- PhunkeeDuck or IO Hawk – These are the original self-balancing scooters, but you can also find models for less at The Sharper Image, at a Quaker Bridge stall and in other malls, on Amazon and eBay. Soon to be seen throughout town and the rest of the country, these are great for tweens and teens.
- 3D Magic 3DMaker – With the craze of 3D printing, this is a much cheaper experience of creating 3D art.
- Beats by Dr.Dre Solo 2 Headphones – Good audio, but more a fashion statement coming in lots of colors. You can buy the newer Solo 2 model or the older Solo 1 model at discount prices through Groupon or eBay.
- Cuddly Comfier – Cute plush toy animal chairs that kids find very cozy.
- Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo – Adorable 13-inch robot-like toy for toddlers. It sings and dances, has learning and games modes, and will record words and play back in song.
- Leapfrog LeapBand – It’s like a combination of a Fitbit and Apple Watch for kids.
- Lulu Jr. Crayola Story or Comic By Me Kit – Create your own hard cover book or comic book.
- Meccano MeccaNoid G15 KS – An amazing STEM toy that allows tweens and teens to build the 4-feet tall Meccanoid robot, or the 2-feet tall and more reasonably priced G15. It tells jokes, exercises and more through voice command, and an app.
- Razor GFD Fury – Motorized go-cart that reaches speeds of 12 mph. Cool for older kids.
- Rockin’ Rider Domino Stable Horse – Plush ride-on horse that neighs when you pull its reigns, snorts when you pat its snout, and sounds like it’s galloping when you tap its hindquarters.
- Shrinky Dinks Bake and Shape 3D Jewelry – Place Shrinky Dinks shapes into silicon molds, bake, and decorate to make bracelets, rings, and earrings.
- Signals Storyblocks – Mix them up and make a funny or silly story.
- Skyrocket Candy Craft Chocolate Pen – Draw shapes, write messages or fill candy molds with detail using this pen filled with melted chocolate.
- Star Wars BB-8 by Sphero – It’s an app-enabled droid that adapts its personality through interactive play. This version requires a smartphone to operate it, and is more appropriate for tweens and teens. There is another model from Hasbro that is a Target exclusive that is larger, less expensive, and has a remote control that is better for kids.
- Zoingo Boingo Pogo – A pogo stick with a ball at the bottom instead of a stick, which is better for the joints.