2022 Holiday Gift Guide: Staff Picks

by Kailee Morel
Wrapped gift boxes with string lights

This year, our staff has hand-picked our holiday gift guide to find the most unique/fun gifts of the season. We hope our list will give inspiration and insight into the season’s best gifts, from luxury self-care items to the hottest new tech gadgets. You may find a few usual suspects, but you’ll also find some unique brands that we use and personally vouch for.

BillyKirk Large Leather Valet Tray

BillyKirk is a Jersey City leatherworking duo founded by brothers Chris and Kirk Bray. The two brothers founded their brand in the ’90s, opposing fast fashion and mass production (and inferior quality items). Each piece of leather these guys make can also be emblemized or embossed to customize it to the individual receiving the gift. When it comes to uniquely-designed leather gifts with character, BillyKirk is a great local brand to buy from. Their valet tray is a great example of how simple, quality gifts never go out of style.

Purchase here.

NOMATIC Travel Pack 20L

The NOMATIC Travel Pack is the perfect carry-on backpack for short trips. It’s made with durable, water-resistant materials and can expand up to 50 percent with over 20 unique features. The bag features magnetic water bottle pockets, RFID-safe storage, hidden pockets, and more.

With two sizes, 20L and 14L, capable of transforming into a suitcase with a few quick snaps, this might be one of the most essential travel luggage pieces we’ve ever used. Design-wise, this piece exudes class and luxury while also being super functional. As the name suggests, this travel pack can take you just about anywhere.

Purchase here.

Manta Blue Light Blocking Glasses

Blue light-blocking glasses are an excellent gift for someone who is always working on the computer or anyone who tends to stay up looking at screens. Manta’s blue light-blocking glasses are proven to effectively filter out blue light, which is known to disrupt sleep. They are comfortable and have a customizable fit. There’s a reason why blue light glasses have become so popular in the last few years – because they work. And Manta’s rendition is one of the best we’ve come across since this trend caught fire.

Purchase here.

Manta WEIGHTED Mask

The Manta Weighted Sleep Mask is a 100 percent blackout mask that contributes to deeper sleep – above and beyond the basics of sleep masks. It’s also insanely comfortable, with soft and breathable materials that place no pressure on your eyes but still give you that weighted feel to help with issues such as migraines. The purchase of a Manta sleep mask comes with earplugs and a case to keep the mask protected. The Manta Weighted Mask is one of the best home gifts we’ve received in 2022.

Purchase here.

Squishmallows

Squishmallows are ultra-soft plushies that come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. They make great pillows and have become a collector’s item for people of all ages. But, if you need a gift for a kid this holiday season, you can’t go wrong with a Squishmallow.

Purchase here.

Canadian National Exhibition 2022

Cribsi’s Appolia Rectangular Ceramic Baking Dish

Cribsi’s Appolia Rectangular Ceramic Baking Dish comes in a set of three for $124.95. With three different colors (Terracotta, Ecru, Slate) and three sizes, the set is perfect for the baker in your life. Most importantly, this set is made with 100 percent natural materials – as many of today’s modern cookware are made with harmful metals. Cribsi’s baking dishes not only come with a hip meets classic look, but they also retain heat better than any baking dish we’ve used in recent memory.

Jono Pandolfi Sapphire Tea Set

We’ve heard it time and time again. “You eat and drink with your eyes first.” And for this Sapphire Tea Set from Union City, NJ designer studio, Jono Pandolfi, there’s certainly a lot to enjoy even before you’ve taken your first sip. This series is a callback to the brand’s roots, as Pandolfi himself got his start making teapots in college. Now, one of the country’s most iconic ceramicists, the studio has created their Couple Collection – any of which makes for the perfect holiday gift.

Purchase here.

Flîkr Portable Tabletop Fireplace

This tiny fireplace is powered by isopropyl alcohol and is a perfect centerpiece for the winter season. It provides ambient lighting and actually heats up an area. The portable fireplace comes in three different base colors and starts at $125. This might be one of the coolest (or hottest) gifts we’ve come across this holiday season.

Purchase here.

100 Movies Scratch Off Poster

The 100 Movies Scratch Off Poster doubles as an art decor piece and features 100 must-see movies. It’s the perfect list for a movie marathon or at-home date night. It features classic films like Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo and modern movies like Pixar’s Up. 

Purchase here.

Hagibis Cleaning Pen for Airpods

The Hagibis Cleaning Pen is a 3-in-1 tool with soft brushes, a metal tip, and a sponge, making it easy to reach the small pieces in Airpods. It’s the perfect stocking stuffer. 

Purchase here.

BlissLights Sky Lite 2.0 – RGB LED Laser Star Projector

The BlissLights Sky Lite is a star projector that transforms walls and ceilings into a colorful galaxy. You can control the projector through an app, or with the buttons featured on the actual projector. 

Echo Dot

It’s nothing new, but the Echo Dot continues to re-invent itself and prove why it’s a household essential. And it’s still got several different generations of the Echo Dot for you to pick from. Some feature a digital clock, but each Echo Dot works as a speaker and voice-activated smart tool. They come in colors like glacier white, charcoal, deep sea blue, and more. 

... Echo Dot ...

Theragun Mini

The Theragun Mini is a pocket-sized massage tool that provides relieving muscle treatment. There are three different massage speeds, and is 20 percent smaller than the original model– so you can customize your portable massages.  

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Dyson’s Supersonic Hair Dryer has been the it-product for several years. With fast hair-drying technology and no extreme heat, it’s the perfect gift. The holiday gift set comes in five different colors and includes five attachments. 

Cuisinart PERFECTEMP Electric Cordless Kettle

The Cuisinart Electric Cordless Kettle has fast-heat technology with a concealed heating element to prevent mineral build-up. It keeps water heated for thirty minutes, making it easy to go back for a second cup of tea. The kettle is made with beautiful stainless steel and has six pre-set temperature features. 

Bartesian Premium Cocktails on Demand

This cocktail machine lets you make over 50 types of cocktails at home with the press of a button. Cocktail capsules are sold separately, but they offer variety packs and a classic collection– meaning customizable cocktails with premium ingredients. 

Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker

The Hamilton Beach Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker is an excellent gift for someone who loves easy and mess-free meals. You can cook eggs, toast bread, and melt cheese with the same machine. The parts are removable which allows for easy cleanup. 

Purchase here.

Book of the Month Subscription

Book of the Month is a subscription service that lets you pick one or more books every month. A three-month subscription for their gift package is only $50; they also offer six and twelve-month subscriptions for the book lovers in your life.

About the Author/s

Kailee Morel is a senior at New Jersey City University where she majors in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and minors in Political Science. Kailee has completed an internship as an Editorial Assistant with Memoir Magazine and is currently the Editor-In-Chief of NJCU's Hype Literary Magazine and an Editorial Intern with New Jersey Digest. She also participates as an Event Host with the NJCU English Dept.'s Student Events and Publications Committee. Kailee has developed her craft to produce content that uplifts the messages of writers.

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