Holiday shopping can be a challenge. For some people on our list — loved ones who already have it all, or friends who are minimalists — it’s just tough to know what to buy.
In other cases, we may simply struggle to come up with ideas for that special gift.
Whatever the reason, these off-the-beaten-path shopping spots offer gifts any recipient on your list is sure to remember.
This online and brick-and-mortar store sells gadgets and gifts of every kind — from remote-controlled spy tanks to body massagers. Their products tend to be on the more expensive side, but Brookstone often offers sales and clearance discounts leading up to the holidays.
This online marketplace allows artists, crafters and other creators to sell handmade items (and resell vintage items) directly to e-shoppers.
From one-of-a-kind jewelry to hats for cats, Etsy offers almost too many handmade options from which to choose. If you can’t decide, they also offer gift cards.
Can’t find what you’re looking for at Etsy? Check out “8 Unique Places to Buy Handmade Goods Online.”
Chances are good that this online store stocks the candy your gift recipients remember eating as a kid. You’ll find candy from every decade from the pre-1920s through the 1990s.
Check out this online store if you’re shopping for a child or for a grown-up who is a kid at heart.
This company describes its products as “tools for efficient living.” Its focus on simplicity and functionality makes simplehuman a good place to shop for people who are hyper-organized, or who recently moved into a new home or will soon do so.
This online store is to nerds what Perpetual Kid is to adults who are kids at heart. You’ll find everything from Star Trek Enterprise pizza cutters and Star Wars Death Star waffle makers to canned unicorn meat and beer-scented soap.
If you’re unsure what to buy the wife or girlfriend this year but have a few hundred dollars to blow on 5-foot-tall roses, this is your site.
This online store’s unique gifts reflect its focus on creative design, craftsmanship and innovation. Take, for example, plush internal organs, dachshund-shaped oil and vinegar bottles, and an “F bomb” paperweight.
If you get stumped, the gifts section allows you to narrow options based on factors such as the person for whom you are shopping or how much you want to spend.
Perhaps you’ve seen this company’s TV commercials featuring its 5-pound gummy bears. The self-described purveyor of “curiously awesome gifts” also offers flat-rate shipping and “Shop by Recipient” options.
If you can’t find something for a bacon-loving friend or relative among this company’s bacon-flavored beverages, pancakes or sweets, you could gift a subscription for a bacon-of-the-month club.
This website is a great place to shop for intellectual gift recipients who appreciate literature, philosophy, psychology or politics. Obamacare Mints, anyone? The treats promise to “take away the bad taste of the health care debate.”
This company makes environmentally friendly products — primarily shelving and storage — for people who “appreciate frustration-free essentials.” That means Way Basics’ storage solutions can be stacked and arranged to suit various needs — and assembled with “no tools or hardware needed.”
This company makes customized stuffed-animal versions of pets. You submit photos of the pet and choose a few customization options (like ear and tail position). Then, Cuddle Clones sends you a “clone” of the pet.
If you’re skeptical, check out the photo gallery for side-by-side comparisons of pets and clones.
If Uncommon Goods’ plush internal organs aren’t uncommon enough for your scientifically or medically minded gift recipient, check out this website. You’ll find stuffed “animals” resembling more than 100 types of microbes and other organisms — like E. coli, bed bugs and even sexually transmitted diseases.
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