The Best Holiday Gifts for 2020
[This list of the best holiday gifts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you]
Hey fellow shoppers, welcome to the definitive best holiday gifts list for 2020. It’s definitive because my dog Teddy said so and that counts.
I don’t normally do these but 2020 is a year that requires some self and outward love in the form of stuff and I’m going all in on the gift giving this year. The holidays are quickly approaching and it’s time to show your loved ones how much they mean to you by buying them random crap you think they’ll enjoy. You can also buy yourself some stuff too, treat yo’self 2020!
This list of the best holiday gifts IN THE WORLD is meant to take that strain of picking the right gift off your back and make holiday shopping the easiest it’s ever been. You’re welcome.
I’m going to split this into various categories to make it easier to target specific people.
As always, since this is a financially minded blog, I’ll try to make these practical and useful for the long term. I’ll also tell you why I think it’s a good gift.
But first, here’s some some back story before we actually get to the good stuff. I remember when I was a child running through the woods of Poland and I got my first gift…nah, I’m just kidding, this isn’t that type of blog, here’s the list.
Entertainment and Tech Gifts for 2020
1. Ditch cable with the Roku Ultra
It’s 2020, time to stop giving money to those evil cable companies and give money to the evil streaming companies. Sure, there’s seemingly 27 streaming services now so how’s that better than cable. Well, for one you can choose to cancel and renew anytime you want which makes it much more cost efficient than cable. Do you even watch more than 3 of those 200 channels available? Plus commercials are so gross and you don’t have them when streaming.
Also, through family sharing, you can have multiple streaming services without everyone paying for each one. Hopefully the streaming services don’t catch on to sharing accounts because it’s a sweet deal! Right now, we have Hulu, Netflix, Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO on our Roku and we only pay for one of them. Try that with cable! The Roku Ultra is the easiest way to access all your streaming services in one place in a simple and powerful tool that is super easy to hook up.
Even those who are already on the streaming wagon will appreciate an upgrade as new features and improved speed make it a welcome addition. It’s a nice long term item too since my 1st generation Roku is still kicking.
Everyone’s at home and all the damn new consoles are sold out but the lite version of the Nintendo Switch is still in stock in most areas. Sure you can’t hook this up to the TV but if my wife is any indication, this is a couch machine through and through. The regular switch is available for those who want to play on the TV but let’s be honest, you’re probably buying this so you can have something else to do on the toilet besides browse your phone.
The switch might not be the best in terms of graphics or power or 3rd party game library but it makes up for it with usability, portability and some great Nintendo only titles. My wife has already put in 350 hours into Animal Crossing on this thing and that number will probably continue to rise. Seriously, someone people really really love that game for some reason.
Amazon’s Echo has a new look this generation but it’s still the same quality product at an affordable price. My first generation Echo is still kicking and I’ve added another dot to my bedroom to make it easier to ask Alexa dumb questions and set alarms and timers.
There’s a variety of looks, including a neat one with an LED clock and even a cute tiger design for kids!
Sure, it’ll annoy you a bit each time someone says anything vaguely close to Alexa on the TV(Schitt’s Creek anyone) but it’s a damn fine product with a pretty high quality speaker and solid smart home controls.
Let’s be honest, most of us don’t need our tablet to be a work horse. Spending $600 on an iPad and then using it to watch Netflix is a waste when this thing exists.
The Fire HD is a tablet designed for those of us who wants something cheap but flexible. It’s more than enough to cover the major fun stuff like streaming, reading, listening to music or playing lame but addictive mobile games.
5. Forgetful people will love the Tile item locator
As I get older, I’m more appreciative of crap that serves a purpose.
This little gadget is a sticker you tape onto a commonly lost item(or pet as I’ve known people to use them on their cats) which is then tracked for you via the Tile app. It’s like big brother for your remote!
Ah yes, technology, how would we find lost remotes with you?
Best Holidays Gifts for Your Home
1. Simulate sunrise and sleep better with this Wake Up Light
Sure, it kind of looks like a donut but it’s certainly a worthy upgrade for your boring old alarm clock.
This sucker wakes you up by simulating natural sunrise and is said to lead to a better night’s sleep and an easier morning. It also helps you fall asleep by reversing the morning routine and turning off the light as you slowly drift to sleep(or as you start to think about that awkward thing that happened in 7th grade for some reason, thanks brain).
2. Grow plants indoor with this smart garden
This high tech solution to the boring old indoor garden is a winner in my book.
Fresh herbs certainly taste better than dried and you can grow your own no matter the weather with this smart garden.
Sure, the yield isn’t huge bit it’s always nice to have something to take care of at home during the dark winter months and the tasty herbs and veggies are a nice bonus!
3. Save money with this smart learning thermostat
The Nest learning thermostat is in its 3rd generation now and the technology keeps getting better and better.
These learning thermostats can save you money in the long run by keeping energy usage low when you’re gone and automatically adjusting the temperature to where you want it when you’re around. This thing learns your schedule and programs itself to save you energy and also keeps you comfortable all year round.
After all, there’s no need to heat or cool an empty home and this thing will pay for itself many times over through its life span.
Yea, sure, it’s heavy as well, iron and it’s a pain to clean but there’s nothing better for a fantastic sear than cast iron.
If you take care of it properly, this thing will last forever and a good seasoned cast iron pan can cook many things better than the alternative. Plus, they’re not even that expensive.
Do make sure to look up how to properly care for one though as they do require some love versus your standard non-stick pans.
It may be a bit for work but the reward is well worth it as there’s nothing quite like a reverse sear filet prepared on a well seasoned cast iron pan.
5. Become hip with this bartender kit
This ten piece martini cocktail shaker set with a neat bamboo stand may be your first step towards becoming a certified hipster if you want that.
Throw away those boring old dad jeans, get your flannel and beard oil ready and then mix up the greatest martini on the block.
You’ll be the coolest guy on the block. Soon, slinging drinks at home just won’t be enough and you’ll find yourself working in an underground bar that only allows people in if they know the secret passcode. Oh how your life has changed and it’s all thanks to this gift set.
Or if that’s not your path, you can just make some kickass cocktails in your dank basement in style with this nice, high quality set.
Best Holiday Gifts for Comfort
1. Give the gift of a nice at home massage
A nice massage is one of the best ways to take care of yourself and this is one of the best at home versions you can get without breaking the bank.
This small simple little tool will allow you to hit those trigger points and let them know you mean business.
It’s great for people with chronic pain, muscle tightness or even those that just want to knead their body into oblivion show it who’s boss. This thing is quiet, has multiple speeds, multiple heads for varied massages and even comes with a lifetime warranty!
2. Sleep better and feel better with a weighted blanket
Is there anything better than a hug? I don’t think so! However, as sad as it is, we can’t all get hugs all the time. Perhaps this lady from this stock photo I got may have stumbled onto an amazing idea but for the rest of us, blankets are the next best thing.
Weighted blankets are finally starting to become more mainstream and it’s about damn time. These things are great for those suffering with anxiety and can help those struggling to get a good night’s sleep as well. They’re also quite useful for a lot of people who get overly stimulated and need reassurance.
Highly recommended for any anxious people in your life.
Targeting about 10% of body weight when looking at weighted blankets.
If you’re not familiar with a bidet, here’s an introduction, it sprays water up your butt and makes for easy no fuss cleaning without the need for toilet paper.
This one isn’t too expensive, is easy to install and has good pressure that makes for a nice experience on the toilet seat. Plus you won’t have to worry about toilet paper hoarding because you’ll be a using a lot less of it. On top of that, you can feel like an old aristocrat because it’s so fancy to get water sprayed at your butt.
It’s good for the environment and even better for you. No lie, it’s one of the best holiday gifts on this list.
4. Change the way you #2 forever
While we’re on that subject. Let’s talk about the plastic invention that changed the way I go to the bathroom even more than the bidet.
It’s the squatty potty and it’s a toilet stool that changes the way you sit on the toilet and makes for easier #2s.
It’s a game changer and you and everyone you know should have one. I know it’s a weird gift so maybe give it in private and not in front of everyone cause no one wants to hear you talk about how it puts you in a much more natural position. It’s true but maybe Aunt Erica doesn’t want to hear that while she eats her dessert as the kids open their presents.
Yes, those are $20 socks and yes they’re worth it.
Merino wool is not your grandma’s itchy wool, it’s comfy and soft and thick. It limits sweating, keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Hell, it even does well when it’s wet.
Darn Tough makes some of the best socks in the world and they back it up with a lifetime warranty that actually has value. I have a dozen or so of these socks(buy them on sale) and I’ve had them for years now. However, when one of my wife’s socks began to tear, we just sent it back to them and they send us a coupon to buy a new pair of socks on their website, easy as 2+2.
Sure, the up front cost is high, but the lifetime cost is well worth it as these are socks you’ll almost never have to replace. Plus, they’re the most comfortable socks I’ve ever worn and cotton socks are now dead to me!
Best Holiday Gifts for Growth and Improvement
1. Get a Kindle to read to your heart’s content
Reading is cool and it makes you a better person. It’s true, I read it in a book once.
The Kindle still remains one of the best purchases I’ve made in my life. I use it almost every night and have gotten so much out of it that I recommend it to everyone at all times.
The best part about it is that by using Libby, you can get eBooks for free through your library and never have to buy anything anymore. The amount of money we’ve saved because we’re able to borrow books via libby and have it on our kindle in seconds is big.
Not only are you saving money but you’re also getting a better experience. Books at your finger tips in seconds, the future is here! I know some people still like the tactile feeling of a book but for me, it’s eBooks forever!
2. Invest in your future by getting a great investing book
The Bogleheads Guide to Investing is my go to when it comes to recommending an investing book for anyone.
It’s a simple, enjoyable read that outlines all you need to know to manage money well and be a successful investor.
It’s a perfect gift for anyone graduating college or for anyone who’s just starting or re-starting their life journey because investing should definitely be a part of it. This books makes that part of life very easy.
I wrote about my experience with this journal recently and it’s really been a boon during this tough year.
I’ve never found a lot of success in the self-help world but this thing really does give you a simple way to build towards a different mindset which can be especially huge in today’s world.
If you have someone in your life that needs a boost and is open to something different, this might be a great gift for them this year.
4. Help find a new hobby with board games
I was never a board game guy but some friends introduced me to them a few years ago and now I’m knee deep in the board game world.
The reason I like board games is simple. They’re a hobby that allows me to use my brain and enjoy time with friends without spending a ton of money. Many of us spend way too much time watching TV or playing video games these days and a good board game is the perfect antidote to that.
The best part is that the games have a ton of replay-ability so you can get your money’s worth from most of them. I suggest Catan as a good entry level board game and Codenames as a good party game. However, do note that there’s hundreds of fantastic board games out there so if you really get into it, be wary of your collection getting too big!
5. Workout with a simple yoga mat
Here’s the deal, these days everyone is spending $2,000 on some random Peloton machine that will eventually serve as a place to hang clothing.
If you want to get into a good workout routine, start small with a simple yoga mat and some youtube videos. You can do stretches, dances and other solid exercises without spending thousands of dollars and incurring monthly subscription fees.
If you find yourself still working out and doing a ton of stuff after those few months then maybe invest in something bigger but there’s no point in starting with an expensive machine if you don’t know if you’ll even stick with it.