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The 33 most unique gifts you can buy anyone this holiday season (seriously)

Surprise him or her with these clever gift ideas ... like socks personalized with their dog's photo!

Take the unconventional route with these anything but ordinary ideas for him and her.
Take the unconventional route with these anything but ordinary ideas for him and her. (Photo Illustration: Amanda Garrity/Yahoo News; photos: Tidbyt, Amazon, Rellery and Minted)

There's no one quite like [insert gift recipient's name here]. While they'll happily accept anything you give them, that doesn't mean you should go with something generic. Instead, shop from this list of unique gifts to really wow your loved ones this holiday season.

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How exactly do we define "unique"? Some of these cool gift ideas — the handy golf ball retriever, for example — are made for niche audiences and interests, whether you're shopping for a trendy teen or newly minted grandma. Others are simply new-and-improved variations on classic standbys (say, a jigsaw puzzle that doubles as a murder mystery game).

The outdoorsy ones will get plenty of use out of the floating backpack cooler and pocket blanket. Homebodies, on the other hand, will keep cozy all winter with the comforter-inspired robe and tabletop fire and s'mores kit.

As Yahoo's gifting editor, I will do everything in my power to steer you away from basic (read: boring) gifts. I've searched high and low to compile a list of out-of-the-box gift ideas that you probably haven't seen before. Trust me, even the hardest-to-please person on your list — ahem, your mom or dad — will find something to love about these finds.

Unique gifts for everyone

Who wouldn't love the portrait treatment for their fur baby? Upload a photo of a beloved pet — any species! — and get a completely custom, hand-painted watercolor portrait to hang on the wall. Size options range from 5x7 all the way up to 24x36.

$58 at Etsy

No coffee shop nearby? No problem! Add coffee grounds and hot water to your favorite to-go mug, give it a good stir and filter out particles with this stainless steel straw.

$27 at Amazon

Pull a card from this deck to get the conversation going. Each card will prompt couples with a question in one of six categories: health, finances, work, relationships, personal growth and mindfulness.

$21 at Amazon

S’mores aren’t just a summer thing. In fact, this portable tabletop roaster mimics the campfire experience for up to three hours — all crackle, no smoke. Opt for the bundle, which comes with four skewers, three cans of gel fuel and a bamboo tray to lay out all the ingredients.

$120 at Terraflame

Renowned chef José Andrés’s nonprofit World Central Kitchen has traveled the world, providing aid to those who need it the most. This cookbook highlights the food they’ve discovered along the way, along with personal favorites from supporters like Michelle Obama and Guy Fieri. Best of all: All author proceeds will go toward World Central Kitchen’s emergency response efforts.

$25 at Amazon

Alleviate minor aches and pains with this weighted wrap. Pop it in the microwave for two minutes to activate heat, or stick it in the freezer for an hour or two for cold relief.

$20 at Amazon
Uncommon Goods

Dust this Christmas tree with wax snowflakes, then let it burn to fill your home with the aroma of Fraser fir trees.

$35 at Uncommon Goods

Keep tabs on your home team, the stocks you’ve invested in or the upcoming weather on this customizable smart display. Curate a newsfeed out of the hundreds of Tidbyt apps, then set a schedule to ensure that you actually see them.

$179 at Tidbyt

Give pottery a spin before you head to the wheel. Make your own trinket dishes, planters or vases by using the materials and instructions in this beginner-friendly kit.

$65 at Amazon

Now, their best buddy will always be with them. Send in a funny photo of their fur baby and this Etsy maker will print it on a pair of colorful crew socks.

$16 at Etsy

As they piece together this 500-piece puzzle, they’ll solve one of two mysteries: the combination to Uncle Gregory McGough’s safe or the truth behind the death at the international clairvoyants’ convention.

$19 at Uncommon Goods

Store all your keys on this brass key ring, featuring red, blue, black or white enamel. Light, strong and sturdy, it’s very easy to use and weighs little even when loaded. "No more broken nails getting keys on and off,” one satisfied shopper wrote.

$20 at Craighill

Part of the joy of reading a good book is sharing it with others. Your bookworm can mark their favorite reads with this self-inking stamp to help the borrower remember whose library it came from. 

$21 at Etsy

Put your favorite family photo at the heart — get it? — of this 252-piece puzzle. My suggestion: Go with a snapshot they haven’t seen in a while so it takes some time for them to piece it together.

$42 at Minted
Uncommon Goods

The next time you’re cooking up something in the kitchen, you’ll be reminded of the place you call(ed) home. Each stoneware spoon rest is sculpted by hand, which means no two will look the same. Talk about a one-of-a-kind gift!

$28 at Uncommon Goods

Unique gifts for her

Fun to build, beautiful to display, and lasts much longer than a real orchid plant would — this best-selling Lego set makes a great addition to a deskside or windowsill plant menagerie, or even a stylish dining table centerpiece. The set comes with 608 pieces, including the flowers.

$40 at Amazon$40 at Walmart

Divide bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings and hair accessories into the three compartments in this faux leather travel case. Leave it open when you’re staying put, then roll it closed when you’re ready to hit the skies.

$17 at Amazon

Finding a signature scent is no easy feat. Instead of putting all your stock in one fragrance, sample six of Tocca’s top scents — some are light and fresh (Stella and Lucia), others are a bit more sultry (Cleopatra and Colette).

$59 at Amazon

Oprah Favorite Things 2023 list is in, and this dynamic duo made the cut. Pack makeup into the small pouch and stuff it inside the larger drawstring one, which also turns into a chic crossbody thanks to the removable strap.

$35 at Amazon

This weighted silk eye mask made Oprah’s Favorite Things 2022 list, and thousands of Amazon shoppers agree that it’s worth the hype. “I feel like I am in a spa. It blocks out all light and smells amazing,” said one well-rested reviewer of the lavender-scented mask. Remove the inner pouch to make it lighter or slide in the cooling gel mask to wake up tired, puffy eyes.

$20 at Amazon

Want to carry the cloud-like comfort of your duvet with you wherever you go? Look no further. Target shoppers say this is the “best robe ever” due to its warmth, weight and deep pockets. “I cannot wait to survive the winter in this,” one wrote.

$40 at Target

Take a cue from Rellery fan Selena Gomez and engrave this gold or silver necklace with your birth flower. For something less conventional, pick out the flower that corresponds with your anniversary or child’s birthday.

$135 at Rellery

Bucket hats in winter? Walmart is making it a thing with this sherpa one, available in solid neutrals or a cozy plaid.

$13 at Walmart

Pick between a three-, six- or 12-month subscription (starting at $49) and Rocksbox will do the rest of the work for you. Each month, they’ll send a box of hand-selected baubles — earrings, rings, necklaces, bracelets, you name it — to the recipient, who has the choice to keep them for good with their monthly membership credit.

$49 at Rocksbox

Unique gifts for him

A perfect gift for the gamer who grew up playing Super Mario, Donkey Kong and Legend of Zelda and now just needs a place to set a drink without damaging their coffee table. This cheeky set of 8 coasters is designed to look like the nostalgic Nintendo game cartridges of yore.

$13 at Amazon

Give his timepieces a designated place to rest. Go with the larger box if his collection is on the bigger side (up to five watches) or if he has plans to expand it soon.

$99 at Pottery Barn

This flying camera captures photos and videos from the sky. It comes with high praise from Yahoo’s tech editor Rick Broida, who called it his “favorite gadget of 2023” (and let’s just say he’s tested quite a few). And if the price tag is deterring you, take it from Broida who said “there's no other flying camera that's as smart and easy to use as this one.”

$479 at Amazon

Keep this waterproof cooler on hand to store beer, wine and refrigerated snacks on the fly. Choose between four sizes, the largest of which can hold 18 cans and keep it cold for up to 24 hours. And if you’re planning to head into the water, no worries because it can float right beside you.

$68 at Amazon

Tell him to keep this pouch in his backpack so he’s ready for anything, anywhere. There’s a durable blanket with built-in sand pockets inside.

$25 at Amazon

See if he can handle the heat of the 10 hot sauces in this collection, ranging from a relatively mild smoky bourbon blend to a fiery ghost pepper concoction.

$40 at Man Crates

Rather than bending down to pick up each ball he hits, he can simply use this bestselling grabber tool to retrieve it from the ground or the hole.

$21 at Amazon

This is one of those things you’ll be happy to have — especially the next time you drop your keys between the seats or a tiny screw behind an appliance. Switch on the light to track the item down, then extend the flexible neck until you can reach it.

$25 at Amazon

Build your own wooden plane with this kit, then fly it up to 20 mph using the PowerUp app. Analyze thrust levels, turn angles and speed changes while it's in the air. 

$125 at Huckberry

Your Holiday Shopping Guide: See all of our gift guides in one spot. We've got gift ideas for all the different people in your life — men, women, teens, kids, you name it.