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Best Unique Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCSD chapter.

The holiday season is here! Shopping for gifts can be stressful, and lots of gift guides suggest the same ideas over and over, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are my favorite unique and memorable gift ideas for everyone on your list!


Custom Tote Bag or Bucket Hat

Tote bags and bucket hats are very on-trend right now, so customizing one for someone is the perfect way to show how much you care. 

Fun Jewelry Box

Having a nice way to store your jewelry is essential, and you could pair one of these fun jewelry boxes with a new bracelet or pair of earrings to make an amazing gift.


Hair Masks

Face masks are always a popular gift, but it’s time we turn our attention to our hair! Hair masks are a great way to practice some self-care. The linked article has options for every hair type!

Sustainable Beauty Box

Give the gift of helping the planet with this eco-friendly beauty box! This can be customized depending on your budget and personal preferences, but here are some starter products to include.

Food + Kitchen

Mini Waffle Maker

Mini waffle makers are perfect for the breakfast lover in your life. They’re easy to use, take up very little space, and don’t require much clean-up. Check out these fun holiday options, or get them the original in their favorite color so they can use it all year round.

Funny Produce Bags

These produce bags make amazing gifts for anyone who loves farmers’ markets, picnics, or just wants to live a more sustainable and plastic-free life. The designs are both cute and guaranteed to make your recipient laugh!

Heart-Shaped Tea Bags

For any tea drinkers in your life, check out these adorable heart-shaped tea bags. You can choose the flavor, thread color, and even customize the tag to make a super thoughtful gift!


Portable Hammock

Who doesn’t love hammocks? These portable hammocks come in a wide range of colors and are great for anyone who loves spending time in nature. Take them to the beach, the mountains, or even outside of your dorm room!

National Parks Pass

This gift is on the more expensive side but is guaranteed to create priceless memories. The U.S. Park Pass covers entrance and amenity fees at more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the country for an entire year. The pass is applied per vehicle, so it’s perfect for the whole family to share. This is a great way to give the gift of travel without having to plan an elaborate vacation.

Music + Pop Culture 

Record Coasters

These record coasters are a very cool addition to any music lover’s home. They’re made from real recycled records and each pack is unique, so you never know which genres of music you may get!

TV Show, Movie, or Music Merchandise

Anyone would love a cool piece of merchandise based on their favorite TV show, movie, or musical artist. I love looking on Etsy for these because there are lots of unique options from small businesses! Here are some of my favorite finds.

Room + Home Decor 


Candles are a super common gift, but there are a ton of ways to make them more personal! From Homesick Candles that are themed by cities and special events, to Birthdate Candles that have unique scents for each day of the year, there’s a candle for everyone on your list.

Custom Collage Wall Prints Pack

Collage walls have been very trendy recently, and a perfect DIY gift for a friend would be creating their very own wall prints pack! You can search Pinterest for cool images of all of the things they love: TV shows, songs, zodiac signs, dream vacation destinations, movies, funny cartoons – the possibilities are endless. After downloading the images, print them using FreePrints or at your local CVS or Walgreens, and tie them together with a bow. Here are some Pinterest boards for collage inspiration!

Fun Lamps

Fun lamps are great gifts for any college students looking to brighten up their dorms or apartments. You don’t have to know too much about a person’s decorating style to know that they would appreciate one of these!

Books + Journals 

New York Times Birthday Book

For any history lovers in your life, the New York Times Custom Birthday Book would be a super meaningful gift. It contains the front page of the New York Times from the day the recipient was born, followed by the front pages from each of their birthdays until this year. Since this book gets longer with every birthday, I recommend getting this for a parent, grandparent, or other older relative so there’s more to look at!

Journal with Prompts

Journaling is an amazing way to capture memories, express your emotions, and improve your mental health. I always love receiving journals as gifts because you can never have too many, but a way to make this a little more interesting is to include prompts for your recipient. This is perfect for someone you know who wants to start journaling but doesn’t know where to begin. You can also give a prompts card if you don’t want to write in the journal directly.

Annotate your Favorite Book

Continuing with the personalized theme, annotating a book is special for both you and your recipient. Leave notes, jokes, doodles, sticky notes, or whatever else comes to mind in the margins while you read to give someone the experience of reading the book with you!

Local bookstores to buy from:

Moon Planner

This planner is super cool and would make an excellent gift for anyone interested in astrology, the moon, poetry, art, or staying organized! It has everything a typical planner has with the added bonus of information about the moon’s phases, as well as beautiful artwork, poems, and writings by women.


Painting Supplies

For anyone in your life interested in painting, these three gifts will definitely be a hit! Paint-by-number kits are fun for those who want to start their creative journeys, and the palette and paintbrush rests would be appreciated by any experienced artist.

Collage Book

This book would make an amazing gift for anyone who likes scrapbooking or making collages. It comes with over 1,500 images to cut out and could be used to create cool vision boards, birthday cards, or wall art!

Plants + Animals

Sunflower Growth Kit

This gift is an awesome choice for all of the plant lovers in your life. The kit comes with everything they need to start their own sunflower garden, but you could also get them a growing kit for their favorite flower or plant!

Symbolic Animal Adoptions

Adopting an animal symbolically through the World Wildlife Fund is a super meaningful gift for anyone who loves animals and would also be great for someone who doesn’t want or need any material things. All of the proceeds go towards protecting wild animals and their habitats. There are lots of animals to choose from, and each adoption kit comes with a stuffed plush, species card, and adoption certificate!

Fun + Games

Karaoke Microphone

Karaoke is such a fun activity to do with friends, so give the gift of good memories with this karaoke microphone! It comes with a phone holder to display song lyrics and tons of fun sound settings.

Party Games

Party games make a great gift because you can play them after giving them! I love this gift especially for college students or anyone who hosts events a lot. Here are some of my favorites!

I hope this list inspired you to find amazing gifts for all of your family and friends. Have an amazing holiday season and remember to show people you love them in whatever way you can!

Melanie is a junior majoring in Communications at UC San Diego. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, journaling, and exploring San Diego with friends!