We're Calling It Now: These Will Be the Biggest Holiday Gifts This Year

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After the bleak 2020 holiday season, we're extremely ready to return to safe family gatherings, festive events, and gifts that aren't focused on quarantine. Last year was all about puzzles, cozy goods, and virtual experiences — and we don't want to revisit that time.

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Now, we're expecting presents to celebrate our regained access to travel, live entertainment, and hosting guests. The pandemic has taught us to appreciate and maximize our homes, though, so we still predict popularity for home fitness equipment and edible treats, too. Curious what other gifts will be big this year? Read on and find out.

1. In-Person Experiences

With the return of travel, restaurants, and live entertainment, in-person experience gifts are going to be huge this holiday season. You can book your favorite person an Airbnb experience or a Resy culinary event, buy them tickets to a concert or a sports game, or treat them to a National Parks & Federal Recreational Lands Annual Pass. (Just make sure safety guidelines are in place and take note of what your gift-ee will be comfortable with.)

2. Entertaining Essentials

Now that we can gather together indoors, dinner parties are back! That means hosting essentials like funky Slash Objects placemats, graphic Dusen Dusen napkins, elegant Estelle Colored Glass cake stands, and this viral Fredericks and Mae cutting board will be sought-after presents this year.

3. Outdoor Adventure Gear

When indoor restrictions forced people to confront the great outdoors, camping and hiking spiked in popularity. Adventure activities show no sign of slowing down, so top-notch gear like YETI hard coolers, ENO hammocks, Black Diamond trekking poles, and REI Co-op tents will be in high demand.

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4. Calming Comforts

Even though we're (hopefully) through the worst of the pandemic, the trauma has lasting effects. We think soothing gifts that target mental health, wellness, and overall relaxation will be quite common. From meditation subscriptions like Headspace and Calm to Vitruvi essential oil diffusers to Golde turmeric latte blends, these presents bring tranquility.

5. Edible Treats

The holidays always have been and will be a time to gorge on delicious food — and gift it to others. If you're looking to stock your loved one's pantry with goodies, opt for Fishwife smoked albacore tuna, Pineapple Collaborative pink salt, or Fly By Jing trio of Sichuan sauces. Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate Mochidoki ice cream or Big Fat Cookies. Plus, a full Cowgirl Creamery spread never disappoints.

6. Fitness Luxuries

Both at-home and in-person fitness presents are bound to be coveted this holiday season. Everyone who bought a Peloton bike or a Tonal machine in the past year won't stop raving about it, so those who didn't definitely still want one. Gym memberships and class packs for IRL workouts will likely be common as well.

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7. Small Business Buys

If there's one thing we know, it's that the pandemic has been rough for small businesses. We anticipate holiday shoppers will show support for independent business owners by gifting their products to family and friends, from artisan-crafted ceramic mugs to handmade soaps.

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Morgan Goldberg is a writer based in Los Angeles. She likes pasta, hiking, and crossword puzzles.