Last-minute Christmas gift ideas – 2019 holiday presents

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For the Jo in your life

March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women

$21.95 | A century and a half after its publication, readers still obsess over “Little Women.” Its devotees include these four contemporary writers, who offer personal insights on what the March sisters mean to them.

For the history buff

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West

$30 | At 86, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian continues to deliver definitive accounts of America’s past. In this case, he turns his attention to the trailblazers who settled the Northwest Territory.

For the Toni Morrison fan

The Source of Self-Regard

$28.95 | Before her death this year, the Nobel Prize-winning author of “Beloved” released this collection of essays and speeches that are just as moving and incisive as her celebrated fiction.

For the historical-fiction connoisseur


$27 | Obreht made a splash in 2011 when she published her stunning debut, “The Tiger’s Wife,” at just 25. Her follow-up — a tale set in the unforgiving landscape of the 19th-century American West — again demonstrates Obreht’s remarkable talent.

For the lover of moving memoirs

The Yellow House

$26 | Broom links her moving meditation on her family’s history to the house where she grew up — a home, bought by her mother in a once-promising New Orleans neighborhood, that would be destroyed decades later by Hurricane Katrina.

For the “Song of Ice and Fire” obsessive

A Game of Thrones box set

$195 | HBO may have wrapped up its treatment of George R.R. Martin’s novels, but the book’s fanatics are still waiting. To hold them over until Martin’s next installment, distract them with this lavish collector’s edition.


from The Folio Society

For fans of family drama

The Dutch House

$27.99 | The best-selling author of “Bel Canto” and “Commonwealth” returns with another irresistible novel this year: the story of a couple of neglected siblings growing up in an extravagant estate.

For the globetrotter

Booked: A Traveler’s Guide to Literary Locations Around the World

$29.99 | For some readers, the printed page isn’t enough. With this book, they can continue the story by going to the source, whether that means Forks, Wash. (“Twilight”), Segovia, Spain (“For Whom the Bell Tolls”) or London (“White Teeth”).

For the poet

An American Sunrise

$25.95 | Harjo made history this year when she became the first Native American Poet Laureate of the United States. Her most recent collection considers the bounty of her homeland but also the injustices suffered by her ancestors.

For the cheeky bookworm

Literary Insults Chart

$25 | Why reinvent the wheel when so many talented writers have already come up with the perfect put-down? Just remember that whoever you give this to may use it against you.

For the hard-core gamer

Activision: Sekiro Shadows Die Twice

$59.99 | Notoriously difficult and made by the Dark Souls creators, it’s the perfect gift for anyone who thinks life and its games are too easy.

For the horror lover

Capcom: Resident Evil 2

$59.99 | A horror classic gets a once-in-a-generation update for its old-school scares, becoming one of the best zombie titles ever made.

For lovers of supernatural phenomena

505 Games: Control

$59.99 | This psychological, paranormal thriller may initially disturb and confound, but it’s also one of the year’s mos
t intoxicating power fantasies, giving you the abilities of flight and telekinesis.

For those who want to squad up

Ubisoft: The Division 2

$59.99 | Grown out of Fortnite? Bring your squad to Washington to play the year’s best squad-based shooter, with a live service that promises hundreds of hours of play.

For the modern-day role player

Sega: Judgment

$59.99 | A former lawyer doles out street justice in a twisting conspiracy thriller that involves a series of murders. Imagine a modern-day Final Fight with Final Fantasy trappings.

For the Pokemon trainer

Nintendo: Pokemon Sword/Shield

$119.99 for both, $59.99 each | It’s more Pokemon, but it’s bigger and better than ever in the series’s first all-new game for a home console. This means players will see the largest, most sprawling Pokemon world yet. (Release date: Nov. 15.)

For anyone who needs an introduction to Mario

Nintendo: New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe

$59.99 | Mario games are often gamer training wheels, and the latest 2D installment invokes the best of the series’s past while remaining accessible to players of any age and any skill level.

For the little adventurer

Nintendo: The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

$59.99 | The remake of the 1993 Game Boy classic introduces basic Zelda concepts, all told in what remains one of Link’s best adventures even after decades of release.

For the speed racer

Activision: Crash Team Racing — Nitro Fueled

$39.99 | If Mario Kart is too easy, Crash Team Racing is kid-friendly while adding tons of game types, content and challenge to players. Some may argue it’s even better.

For the one who’s always making excuses

Capcom: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

$29.99 | One of the most popular visual novel series ever, this is a Carmen Sandiego for modern times. Each game presents logic puzzles that play out like court dramas. It’s fun for the whole family.


from digital shops (not available for physical sale)

For the hot sauce fiend

Brooklyn Brew Shop: Fermented Hot Sauce Kit

$40 | Brooklyn Brew Shop is known for its beer-making kits for all levels of homebrewers. This year, spice is in style, so turn to hot sauce for a fun, hands-on challenge.


from Brooklyn Brew Shop

For the global palate

Lao Gan Ma: Spicy Chili Crisp

$7.57 for a 7.41-ounce jar | This unassuming chili condiment has a massive cult following. Crunchy and not-too-spicy with an electric scarlet hue, it can top eggs, ice cream and more.

For the Netflix watcher

Penguin Random House: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: A Collection of 20 Prints

$15.92 | Samin Nosrat’s knockout cookbook and Netflix series “Salt Fat Acid Heat” are full of cooking revelations. This collection of prints from her illustrator translates Nosrat’s wisdom into beautiful, informative decorations.

For the coffee connoisseur

Atlas Coffee Club: 3-Month Gift Subscription

$60 | Picking coffee for someone who loves it is difficult, so leave it to a subscription service. Atlas Coffee Club curates from all over the world, meaning there is something new to try every month.


from Atlas Coffee Club

For the chocoholic

Harper Macaw: Rainforest Origin 5-Bar Gift Set

$45 | Giving a gorgeous, high-quality set of chocolates is always a good move. Bonus: Harper Macaw is committed to ethically sourcing cacao and supporting rainforest conservation, making these bars even sweeter.

For the wannabe Vermonter

Runamok Maple: Sugarmaker’s Gift Box

$32 | There’s a world of difference in maple syrup quality, and Runamok
Maple knows that. This set draws together its team’s favorite infusions for a variety of fascinating flavors.

For the sweet tooth

Sugarfina: Design Your Own 8 Piece Candy Bento Box

$65 | Sugarfina’s rosé gummy bears are wildly popular, so add them into a set of treats — designed like a bento box — for someone particularly sweet.

For the entertainer

Crate & Barrel: Denim Apron

$39.95 | With a real leather neck strap and high-quality cotton, this durable chambray-like apron is a classy addition to the home chef’s kitchen wardrobe.

For the home bartender

Cocktail Punk: Basic Bitters Set

$32 | If someone in your life wants to learn to make cocktails, this collection is the perfect starting point. There are also several other sets for those ready to experiment.

For the creative cook

Curio Spice Co.: Pickling Kit

$18 | Pickling is hot right now — literally. Your loved ones can get in on the trend with this kit, which includes two blends: hot Moroccan, with chilies and rose petals, and mild Madagascar, with wild pepper and turmeric.

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For the cook who has it all

La Tourangelle: Fall/Winter Gift Trio

$30.99 | They might already have a sous vide and every type of artisanal vinegar, but do they have these gorgeously nutty oils that add a layer of unexpected warmth to any dish?

For the phone addict

Georg Jensen: HK Clock With Alarm

$104 | The blue light on smartphones interferes with sleep, but many users rely on the devices’ alarms to wake up in the morning. Help them make the bedroom a phone-free zone with this handsome analog clock.


from Finnish Design Shop

For the friend you’re missing

John Harrison and Vanessa Whalen: Long Distance Friendship Lamp

Set of two, $170 | Show someone you care with this long-distance WiFi-enabled lamp. Touch it when you’re thinking of them and it will light up. Touch it again, and it will change colors.

For the person out in the heat

Spice of Life: W Fan

$37 | Anyone who works or plays outdoors — landscapers, sports enthusiasts, beach lovers, dog walkers — will appreciate this wearable, rechargeable fan, which will keep them cool for up to six hours.

For the desk worker

Cubii: Underdesk Elliptical Machine

Cubii Jr., $249; Cubii Pro, $349 | Talk about multitasking. This mini-elliptical allows workers to exercise while seated at a desk. Be aware, however, that some testers of the Cubii Pro, which we tried out at The Post, bumped their knees.

For the green thumb who needs to chill

Modern Sprout: Unwind Live Well Gift Set

$50 | A scented candle, pillow spray and cotton sleeping mask will help the recipient relax while the lavender, known for its calming properties, grows in its passive hydroponic pot.

For the friend who doesn’t have time for a bath bomb

The Herbal Zen: Shower Steamers

$14.99 for 10 | Is your giftee stressed? Low on energy? Fighting a cold? There’s a shower steamer for that. Post testers gave thumbs up to these tabs, which release fragrant essential oils as they dissolve in the shower.

For the woman who deserves a bit of luxury

Lunya: Washable Silk Tee Set

$198 | Washable silk offers the perfect blend of lushness and practicality. This sumptuously soft sleeping ensemble will keep her relaxed yet extravagantly comfortable without requiring any special care.

For the bold personality

Izzy Wheels: Wheelchair Wheel Cover

$152.63 | Two sisters created Izzy Wheels with the tagline, “If you can’t stand up, stand out.” The dozens of wheelchair
covers, designed by various artists, are sure to reflect the bright personalities of those using them.

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For the aromatherapy fan

Homesick: Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser and Oils

$89.95, plus $9.95 per 15-milliliter fragrance bottle | Homesick, known for candles with scents reminiscent of locations and memories, has added oils and a sleek diffuser. Although Post testers didn’t think “Washington, D.C.,” smelled like the city, they liked the scents.

For the workout enthusiast

Lululemon: Self-Care Line

$12-$28 | Lululemon expands from fitness attire to self-care with these unisex products that won approval from male and female Post testers. They’ll take you from the locker room to the outside world feeling (and smelling) your best.

Because men deserve to be pampered, too

Jaxon Lane: Bro Mask

$28 for four | Why should women have all the skin-care fun? This hydrating mask has glowing reviews and has won multiple awards.  If your recipient is new to masks, there is a YouTube video explaining how to use it.

For the beauty-obsessed mom or mom-to-be

Hatch: Belly Mask

$12 | Hatch Mama is bringing self-care to motherhood with these biodegradable “belly facials.” They moisturize and help minimize the appearance of stretch marks and scars during pregnancy and postpartum.

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For the minimalist music lover

Ikea: Symfonisk Table Lamp with WiFi Speaker

$179 | This may look like your typical Ikea lamp, but it’s actually a Sonos WiFi speaker. You can stream music from services such as Spotify or Pandora, and two lamps can be used together to create stereo sound.

For the nostalgic gamer

Sega: Genesis Mini

$79 | People love nostalgia and cute portable things. This miniature version of the classic gaming system connects to a monitor or TV and has two wired controllers to play old-school games such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Ecco the Dolphin.

For the chatty chef

Google: Nest Hub Max

$229 | If your loved one is comfortable with an always-on microphone and face detection, this is the best smart display on the market. It shines in the kitchen, where it can show step-by-step recipes or let a baker make a call with messy hands.

For the fitness buff

Beats: Powerbeats Pro

$249.95 | There is no shortage of wireless in-ear headphones, but anyone who likes to jump or dance or head-bang will need something that holds on for dear life. These headphones combine decent audio quality with a smart over-the-ear design.

For the binge watcher

Disney: Disney+ Streaming Service

$6.99/month, $69.99/year | There’s a wave of streaming services launching this year, but Disney+ is the best subscription to give any Star Wars, Marvel or Simpsons fan. It costs less than Netflix and includes features such as unlimited downloading for those extra-long flights.

For the chic charger

Courant: Catch:3

$175 | At first glance the Catch:3 is an attractive catchall tray. But it can do something far fancier than hold your change: The Italian leather tray also charges any device that’s compatible with Qi wireless charging.

For the photographer who loves prints

HP: Sprocket Portable Photo Printer

$129.85 | This gadget takes the images on your phone and prints them out. It may seem old-school in the era of Instagram, but there’s something deeply satisfying about holding pictures of family members, pets or perfect sunrises in your hand.

For the audiophile on the go

Bose: Portable Home Speaker

$349.95 | This high-end Bluetooth speaker runs on batteries and can connect to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s also water-resistant and lightweight at 2.34 pounds, so it is ready to take any pool party to the next level.

For the non-tech-savvy relative

Quarto: Password book

$10.99 | It’s not secure enough for everyone and should be stored in a safe place, but this notebook is a sound option for people who struggle with using password managers or reuse the same password for everything because they can’t remember new ones.

For the phone addict

Light: Light Phone II

$350 | To curb technology overuse, you could turn on screen-time settings or move to the woods. Or you could try this petite device, designed to do the basics and little else. You can make calls or send texts, but you can’t check Instagram or email.

For the year-round daydreamer

Rifle Paper Co.: 2020 World Traveler Desk Calendar

$16 | Cubicle-bound? Cross off the days until your next trip with this inspirational — and aspirational — travel calendar featuring Rifle Paper Co.’s bright, splashy colors and bold designs.

For the easily chilled passenger

UGG: Duffield Travel Set Soft Pouch

$98 | Wrap up and zone out with this fuzzy blanket and eye mask set, which does double duty as a pillow when tucked into its handy travel pouch. Bon voyazzzzzzzzz!

For the fastidious packer

Container Store: Fish Toothbrush Holders

$6.99 (package of two) | Protect your toothbrush from the churn of your toiletries bag with these simple but effective toothbrush covers. Flip your fish over and its suction-cup “tail” becomes a nifty holder.

For the caffeinated sightseer

AeroPress: AeroPress Go Travel Coffee Press

$31.95 | If FOMC — fear of missing coffee — is keeping you at home, toss this in your carry-on and go. This brand new travel press comes in a compact carrying case that doubles as a mug.

For the practical yet stylish tourist

Baggallini: SecurTex Anti-Theft Slim Crossbody Bag

$98 | It’s time to ditch that fanny pack: This slim crossbody bag has a sleek, streamlined look that belies its utilitarian function: protecting your valuables while you see the world.

For the dedicated journaler

Travel Listography: Exploring the World in Lists

$16.95 | This volume from the Listography series is a great way to keep a record of your travel goals — old ones met and new ones set. Its list format is perfect for scribblers in transit.

For the beauty-conscious jetsetter

Aesop: Departure Kit

$53 | No matter where we’re going, we all tend to get there looking tired, dehydrated and disheveled. This kit allows users to get out ahead of travel’s wear and tear.

For the eco-minded imbiber

Zoku: Pocket Straw

$29.99 (set of three) | These silicone-and-stainless-steel straws come with carrying cases small enough to slip into a pocket or purse, allowing you to sip your way around the globe without leaving a trail of plastic behind you.

For the impulsive traveler

Lo & Sons: Catalina Deluxe Weekender

$143-$158 | This bag is not for the indecisive: It comes in two sizes, three materials and 14 colors. Whichever you choose, the zippered bottom compartment will keep your shoes separate from your clothes.

For the plugged-in vacationer

Anker: PowerCore 13000 Portable Charger

$37.99 | That feeling you get when your battery dies and you need driving directions or e-tickets or that once-in-a-lifetime selfie atop the Eiffel Tower? You’re done with it.

For the host or hostess

Crate and Barrel: Oven to Table Serving Bowl Set

$29.95 | We liked this set for its classic simplicity and clever combination of form and function: The acacia stand (both figuratively and literally) elevates the bowl, which is dishwasher-, microwave- and oven-safe to 400 degrees.

For the gardening novice

Modern Sprout: Eco Planter Grow Kit

< span class="gg-price">$25 | We all know someone with green-thumbed aspirations. This passive hydroponic kit makes it easy, with a reusable canning jar and steel net pot, plus growing medium and seeds (choose from basil, parsley, mint and cilantro).

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For the new homeowner

Berkley and Bean: First Home Ornament

$22-$46 | This custom keepsake would also make a thoughtful housewarming gift. Choose from four recommended labels or write your own. You can also add multiple tags with each key. (Order by Dec. 18 for Christmas arrival.)

For the map nerd

National Geographic: “My Town” Map Coasters

$49 | U.S. Geological Survey maps are the source for this set of four custom coasters, made of marble and backed with cork. They’ll show three square miles around the U.S. address of your choice. (Allow one to two weeks for delivery.)


from National Geographic

For people who fidget at the table

MoMA: Fold-by-Number Cloth Napkins

$42 | For all of MoMA’s seriously impressive art, we were tickled by the playfulness of this six-napkin set. Each 20-inch napkin has built-in instructions for a different folding design.


from MoMA Design Store

For the outdoor entertainer

Kooduu: Synergy Pro

$139-$249 | This multitasking party machine is a portable wireless speaker, an LED light and an ice bucket (or a planter). The two smaller sizes fit one wine bottle, and the largest fits two.

For the stylish dog owner

The Foggy Dog: Waste Bag Holder

$24 | Finally, a gift for dog lovers that isn’t meant for dogs. Choose from dozens of prints to find the perfect waste bag holder for the dog owner, or owners, in your life.

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For the tidy-er

Hay: Rainbow Tray

$15-$20 | This iridescent stainless steel tray could add a bold touch to a desk, vanity or entryway drop zone, while providing a dedicated place for keys, jewelry or trinkets.

For the poet

Skeem Design: Poetry Fireplace Match Bottle

$46 | The 120 matches in this mantel-worthy bottle are silk-screened with a thought-provoking poem by Sean Kearney. Print the poem (which is on the product webpage) onto a gift card for full effect.

For the on-the-go friend

Corkcicle: Rifle Paper Co. Canteen

$34.95 | We’re big fans of Rifle Paper Co.’s stationary and decor, so we are all over this collaboration, which puts five Rifle Paper designs on a triple-insulated, 16-ounce stainless steel bottle.

For the wine lover

Floor 9: Stemless Wine Glasses With Metallic Brushstroke Designs

$50 | This gift-ready set elevates the usual wine glass by giving each a different color and gold brushstroke design (hand wash only). Pair it with your favorite bottle.

For the Insta photographer

Framebridge: Gift Card

From $39 | Let your recipient choose one of the many photos cluttering up their smartphone to be printed with a frame of their choice and delivered. Easy. Prices start at $39 for a 5-by-5 framed Instagram print.

For the fragrance fanatic

Otherland: The Threesome Candles

$89 | Focused equally on scent and design, Otherland unveils new limited-edition candles every season, allowing you to curate your own collection. This gift set comes with your choice of matchbox message (such as “hot mama” or “bravo!”).

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For the creative thinker

Djeco: Kinoptik Robots

$26.99 | Arrange the 60 magnetic arms, legs and various odd parts to make a robot, then bring it to life by moving a special lens over your creation.

For the vroom-vroom enthusiast

Mattel: Hot Wheels Track Builder Vertical Launch Kit

$48.88 | Kids will love the amazing stunts their cars can perform and parents will like that the four-foot-tall launcher doesn’t mar the wall. Add more tracks for even more fun.

For the pinball wizard wannabe

Blue Orange: Tumble Maze

$27.99 | Position the walls so the steel marbles roll into designated slots. Forty setup cards will challenge your logical thinking. Play solo or take turns.

For kids who need a cuddle

Cuddle & Kind: Violet and Elliot fawns

$55-$75 | These adorable fawns are part of a series of hand-knitted dolls crafted by women in Peru. The company provides 10 meals to children in need for each purchase.

For budding musicians

Manhattan Toy: Musical Lili Llama

$49.99 | This colorful musical activity center includes a five-bar xylophone, two mallets, clappers and a tail that becomes a maraca. Chicken- and tiger-shaped activity centers are also available.

For little racers

Viking Toys: Cute Riders

$64.99 | Six sweet-looking animals are ready to take toddlers and preschoolers for a spin. The animals’ ears double as handles, and there’s a hiding place for toys under their saddle.

For the bouncy personality

Hasbro: Tiny Pong Solo Table Tennis

$19.99 | Tennis anyone? This handheld solo version lights up and announces the score as you play. Toy testers couldn’t put this game down once they started playing.

For the budding movie mogul

Lego: ‘The Lego Movie 2’ Movie Maker

$49.99 | Restage the 2019 film or direct your own version with this 482-piece, prop-filled kit. An accompanying app lets kids make their own movie, using a smartphone.

For the voracious gamer

Gamewright: Sushi Roll

$24.99 | Combining the fun of the hit Sushi Go! card game with the action of rolling dice makes this new offering a delectable treat. Play it once and you’ll be hungry for more.

For the crafter

Craft-tastic: Unicorn String Art

$19.99 | Two canvases, glitter paper, 100 pushpins and more than 45 yards of yarn and thread add up to hours of creativity. Use their patterns (unicorn and heart) or draw your own.

( founder and CEO Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post. We review all products with the same critical eye.)

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


A novel? A history? A poetry collection? It’s hard to know how to please your favorite bookworm. Let us help break it down.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


Getting someone something tasty is always a good bet, whether they love to cook, love to eat or just need a little flavor in their life.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


With gifts that combine form and function, this list is worth saving for the next housewarming party, graduation or even wedding season.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


Here’s your opportunity to treat friends and loved ones with the kinds of thoughtful items they aren’t likely to buy for themselves.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


Everyone loves getting a bit of technology for the holidays. Whether it’s something futuristic for early adopters or a simple but useful gadget for novices, tech reporter Heather Kelly has something for you.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


A four-point travel to-do list for 2020: plan, embark, explore, remember. The gifts here will give your globe-trotting family and friends a head start on all four.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post


Toy expert Stephanie Oppenheim helped KidsPost choose this sampling of the year’s best toys, games and crafts.

Illustrations by Taylor Rose for The Washington Post

Video Games

Gaming reporter Gene Park reveals his picks for kids and adult gamers. It’s the last holiday season before we see the new PlayStation and Xbox machines next year, so studios are giving all they can.


Projects editors: Alexa McMahon, Kendra Nichols; illustrator: Taylor Rose; art direction and development: Jake Crump and Joanne Lee; photo editor: Moira Haney; copy editor: Thomas Heleba; editors and reporters: Nicole Arthur, Christina Barron, Elizabeth Chang, Lena Felton, Heather Kelly, Stephanie Merry, Stephanie Oppenheim, Gene Park, Kari Sonde, Marylou Tousignant, Joe Yonan; editorial aides: Hau Chu, Nicole Chung, Nina Zafar, Helen Carefoot, Anying Guo; photographers: Bill O’Leary (Control, Spicy Chili Crisp), Ross May (Pickling Kit, Eco Planter Grow Kit, The Threesome Candles, Waste Bag Holder, Belly Mask); other photos from retailers.

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