The ultimate 2021 Christmas gift guide

Reader's Digest Editors 25 November 2021

From enchanting novels to bass-shaking speakers and glorious food hampers, we've got you covered for Christmas

For beauty lovers: LookLit LED mask, £75

LookLit LED Facebask

LED face masks were all over Instagram in 2021, but can these simple wear-and-relax light treatments really offer visible results? In a word, yes. Tested on eczema-prone sensitive skin, the LookLit LED mask resulted in a noticeable reduction in problem areas within two weeks of use. Not only this, but the 10 minute mask time encourages users to build time into their routine purely for self-care—something just as valuable as the complexion benefits. 

The LookLit mask has a more affordable price tag than some of its market competitors and comes in stylish packaging, with easy care and recharge options. Its three different modes—yellow, red, and blue LED—target a range of different concerns, from breakouts to scars, eczema, and lymphatic flow. 

 

Kear gift sets, from €10.50

Experience the rebirth of Ancient Greek skincare with the 100 per cent natural, award-winning brand, Kear. Offering a wide range of unisex products such as balms, soaps and oils, this Greek brand taps into its heritage by using timeless ingredients as an ode to Mother Nature, as well as decorating their beautiful packaging with classical Greek patterns and shades.

Our favourite product? The humble SofiLip lip balm, made with olive oil, beeswax, sea buckthorn berry, calendula and essential oils. Though demure in appearance, it’s a moisture powerhouse that leaves your lips feeling nourished and hydrated with just one glide, meaning it’ll last for a very long time. It’s also synthetic fragrance free, making it the perfect choice for people who are allergic to or irritated by strong fragrances. But don’t just take our word for it; both Beauty Shortlist Awards and Natural Health Beauty Awards names it their Best Lip Balm of 2020.

This Christmas, check out Kear’s gorgeous gift collections, and you’ll be sure to find a timelessly luxurious treat for someone special.

 

For groove-lovers: Q Acoustics M20 HD powered speakers, £399

If you’re in the market for a shiny new pair of speakers that will deliver on multiple fronts but won’t break the bank, the elegantly understated M20 HD speakers from Q Acoustics should be firmly on your radar.

Not only does this powered music system deliver a full-bodied, immersive sound that boasts heavy-duty bass and crisp, sparkling high frequencies, you’ll find that it’s also endlessly versatile.

While it can beautifully recreate music with great fidelity and detail (really excelling at loud and vibrant pop and rock numbers), it’s also a perfect accompaniment for TV and gaming, its stereo soundscape complementing the action on-screen with deep warmth and verve.

The M20 is also incredibly versatile logistically, meaning it can effortlessly cosy up to any nook and cranny of your house: whether it’s walls, shelves or speaker stands, it’ll look and sound right at home.

Finally—and rather importantly—they’re speakers that are really easy to manage. The Bluetooth connection is reliable and straightforward, but you also have the option to wire them to turntables, TVs, and laptops through optical, RCA line-level, aux, and USB Type B connections. An all-round winner, if you ask us.

 

House of Marley Get Together Duo, £149.99

The Get Together duo speakers alongside Marley's vinyl turntable

Looking for speakers that burst with impressive bass, are easily portable around the house, and don’t break the bank? Look no further than Marley’s Get Together Duo. Made from sustainably sourced bamboo and boasting studio-definition sound, this is a speaker set that both looks and sounds great.

The beauty of these speakers comes in their size and companionship. While some speakers might be especially heavy to lift and move around, these are a breeze to shift from one room to another—you could try having one blasting in the kitchen while the other is playing in your bedroom.

What’s more, with the right speaker being truly wireless, you can bring it on road trips or on a beach holiday. Bass-tastic indeed.

For puzzlers: So Long 2021 Puzzle, £25

puzzle

The pandemic has made puzzlers out of us all, but if you're looking to switch things up from quaint landscapes and cute kittens, this quirky puzzle from Karibu—a gifting company founded during COVID to focus on the goodness of gifting—is just the ticket.

With a choice between 500 and 1,000 pieces, the fun doesn't stop when you complete this nostalgic puzzle. When you've finished piecing it together, see how many references to the events of the past year you can spot in the sweet illustration. And once you've finished, be sure to store it somewhere safe—a year this memorable will make for an entertaining puzzle to revisit for decades to come. 

Deliveries from Karibu are prettily and consciously packaged, so whether you're wrapping your gift at home, or sending it directly to a distanced giftee, you're sure to put a smile on their face. 

For fitness aficionados: HoMedics Pro Physio Massage Gun, £249.99

For the gym-goers out there, this is an all-around must-have. Tired of aching muscles following a workout? Here’s your long-awaited answer.

This gun contains six massage heads that all focus on different areas of the body, including an anti-cellulite head, and a freezable cold head that provides a cooling sensation.

The massage gun features three varying levels of intensity, which can all be easily switched between using the unique twist control at the base of the handle.

Perhaps the biggest draw is the hot head that can heat up to 47c in under two minutes that is able to provide relief to larger tissue areas carrying stress and tension. With this in hand, you won’t need to fork out on expensive massage appointments anymore either.

For wide-eyed dreamers: How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshino (English Translation), £14.99

This heart-rending novel is a perfect bedside accompaniment on cold winter nights. Narrated in two voices, ‘How Do You Live?’, tells the story of 15-year-old Copper (named after astronomer Nicholas Copernicus), who, after the death of his father, is forced to confront life’s big questions.

Meanwhile, his uncle writes to him in a journal, sharing knowledge and offering wisdom, although ultimately it is up to Copper to chart his way forward in life—which he does using the guidance of the starry night sky.

Originally published in 1937, this bestselling Japanese classic has been translated into English for the first time by Bruno Navasky. This edition additionally features a delightful foreword by the acclaimed children’s author Neil Gaiman and is a stocking filler for all ages.

For movers and shakers: LARQ Movement Pure-Vis bottle, £78.99

This easily portable and sleek bottle actively self-cleans and purifies water at the touch of a button.

Boasting a UV-C LED light that eliminates up to 99.9999% of viruses, bacteria, and bio-contaminants from water, it does so all in the space of 60 seconds. If you’re looking for an even more thorough clean, pressing the button (on the bottle lid) twice will activate Adventure mode, a clean that lasts for three minutes.

Its lightweight feel makes it easy to carry around the gym or even on runs, while its stainless-steel casing means it’s robust and can survive many drops.

It comes in various electrifying colours, such as onyx, clay, and pine amongst others. Alongside its sleek and thin design, it’s also able to hold either 710 ml or 950ml of water (depending on size) which is great for ensuring hydration throughout the day.

For foodies: Macknade Christmas Favourites hamper, £130

gift guide

Really make someone's Christmas with this best-of-the-best style foodie hamper from Macknade. Generously packed with sweet treats, festive tipples and Christmas nibbles, it's the perfect way to get your loved ones in the spirit of celebration. 

Presented in a beautiful, reusable wicker hamper, there's a real luxe feel to this Christmas hamper. 

For avid readers: Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Folio Society, £39.95

Noughts and Crosses Folio

A firm favourite modern classic, this young adult novel by Malorie Blackman found a second life during the pandemic, as the BBC adaptation of Noughts and Crosses had audiences new and old gripped to their televisions. 

Whether your giftee is a long-term fan, or new to the books, this stunning Folio Society edition of Noughts and Crosses is a real treasure. Introduced by Benjamin Zephaniah and with illustrations by Kingsley Nebechi, this striking edition brings the cult classic novel to life like never before.

 For the sweet-toothers: Festive Clemente & Cioccolato Panettone, £20.95 

Panettone is one of Italy’s most glorious Christmas delicacies and exports. This winter, Carluccio’s have delivered a panettone with a particularly delicious addition: pieces of clementine.

This citrus-tastic twist is made all the better with a rich dark chocolate glaze which coats the panettone almost entirely. Perfect as a gift or for the family to enjoy, this mouth-watering baked citrus affair is a must-have on any dinner table this Christmas.

 

For the tricky one: Bombay Sapphire x Kodak Create & Capture kits, £60

Bombay Sapphire x Kodak

The perfect choice for that impossible-to-buy-for friend, this stylish gift set contains a full-size bottle of the gin giants Bombay (70cl of Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Sapphire Sunset, or Bombay Bramble) and a Kodak Instant Printomatic camera in a matching colourway with an accompanying photo album. Your giftee can pour out a drink, snap some pictures and start creating an album of New Year memories instantly. 

To inspire them even further, each kit comes with a scannable QR code which will take your giftee to a portal of creative cocktail recipes and masterclass videos to try with their new spirit. 

Read more: 10 must-watch Christmas Netflix films

Read more: 8 most festive Christmas paintings

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