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15 unique gift ideas for hard-to-please people on your list

Shopping is going to be a little bit of a challenge this year. The pandemic has caused restrictions across the nation, which means it will be tough (and perhaps dangerous) to peruse the aisles of your local stores for the perfect gift.

If you’re stressed about crossing people off of your holiday list this year, don’t panic. There’s plenty to find online — it will just take some work to narrow it down. You can start with the 21 tech gifts you should grab before they sell out.

We’re here to help with even more suggestions, too — like the 15 gift ideas below. From dog cameras for pet lovers to the perfect coffee maker, these presents will help you knock out your holiday shopping from the comfort of your own home.

1. La Crosse Technology Wireless Forecast Station

Know any weather buffs? This La Crosse Technology Wireless Forecast Station is an awesome gift for tech and weather fanatics. It gives you info on temperatures, humidity and future forecasts in full color. The heat index and dew point are standard, too — and the display is easy to read and navigate.

It’s portable, too, thanks to wireless technology. You can use it indoors to prepare for your day, or you can take it with you to get a clear picture of the weather from wherever you land. Perfect for regular travelers or amateur meteorologists.

Promising review: “My husband, the weather buff, saw this at a friend’s house. He loved it because first it was wireless and second there was a prediction section. This was his Christmas gift and he loves it! It was so easy to set up if you follow the directions. Since it is right in our living room you can see the time and know what to wear when you go outside. A great purchase!!

2. Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker, Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker

The caffeine addicts in your life will go bananas over this Keurig K-Cafe Coffee Maker, Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker. This isn’t your old coffee maker by any means. It’s an amped-up, multi-functional coffee maker. You can use it to create full, rich coffee or whip up single-serve lattes and cappuccinos.

It’s basically your home barista in one machine — but you won’t pay those high coffeehouse prices to get it. It even makes cold beverages for those hot summer days when you need a jolt.

Promising review: “This is just what I needed! I only drink a cup of coffee a day — it’s usually a latte or mocha. I got the my K cup universal filter, I use my favorite Starbucks coffee and I get 2 espresso shots per use. The milk foamer is perfect — I’ve used half/half, heavy whipping cream, and almond milk — so far no issues with that. I get nice foam with all 3. Totally worth what I paid for it — in the long run I will save money and this machine will have paid for itself!”

3. Xyron Creative Station Small Label Maker

Buying for someone who loves to craft? This Xyron Creative Station Small Label Maker is a great gift for the people on your list who love to create. You can use this one machine to make wedding invitations, flashcards, handmade cards, labels or anything else you dream up.

That’s not all it does, though. This label maker also replaces glue sticks, spray mount, double-sided tape and other adhesives while creating labels and magnets or other art projects. It helps minimize waste, too — which means no more leftover scraps of paper to contend with.

Promising review: “I have used this machine for several weeks now. I absolutely love the versatility in the cartridges. I use it for card making and it is super easy to add adhesive before die cutting the paper. I find that the cartridges are reasonably priced and far cheaper than adhesive sheets by the paper crafting companies. My nine year old uses it with ease as well.”

4. Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi 8-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker

If you have people on your list who love to cook, you might want to consider getting them the Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi 8-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. This kitchen tool is awesome. It does everything you’d want: pressure cook, saute, slow cook, steams and about a million other things. You can even use it to ferment yogurt.

Those features are all super useful in the kitchen — and any amateur chef will love it. Even cooler, though? This Instant Pot is the first to have Wi-Fi built-in, which means you can control it with your smart device.

Promising review: “Excellent product. I love the Smart WiFi feature. It allows me to start and set the time, temperature, and pressure level for the recipes in the app. Once the lid is closed and the app gives the “cook now” command, I can be anywhere and the phone will notify when the time is up, even when I am away from my home. I wish we could add our own recipes in the app. I use it frequently and made different creations my family wants me to make again.

5. Echo Dot (3rd Gen) bundle with Amazon Smart Plug

Gadget fanatics will love this Echo Dot bundle. You’ll not only get the Echo Dot, but you’ll also get an Amazon Smart Plug. It’s the perfect start to creating a smart home — and that Echo Dot will let them listen to music, news, shop, organize schedules or control smart devices, just for starters. This bundle is a great way to introduce your loved ones to the benefits of smart devices without overwhelming them with complicated gadgets.

Promising review: “I bought this as a gift for my husband for Christmas. He loves gadgets. We’ve had so much fun with this as we put it in the living room next to the dining room and have music wars at dinner. I love calling out to Alexa to play various classical pieces as I’m cooking. Right now we have it programmed to turn the Christmas tree on and off and that has been a blessing. It takes 7 seconds for Alexa to wake up to take a command from start to start taking multiple commands. I got the Echo on Black Friday and will look for sales to get other plugs and perhaps even another Echo for downstairs for music.”

6. Or take it a step further: Echo Show (2nd Gen) with Philips Hue Bulbs

Want to give someone a high-tech version of the bundle above? This Echo Show (2nd Gen) with Philips Hue Bulbs gives you all the Echo Dot capabilities, with a few extra perks. You’ll get access to cooking shows that you can watch on the video screen, and you can use the Echo Show to control those Philips Hue Bulbs it comes with, too.

You can even make video calls from the Echo Show. This device bundle would be a great gift for grandparents or amateur chefs who love smart gadgets. They can stay connected with family via video calls and create dishes right along with their favorite chefs.

Promising review: “I have several of the Alexa devices (kindle, dots, spots, echo, original show) this device is different for 2 reasons, speakers and size of screen. This is a great kitchen companion. The screen is large enough to view from across the room. Before adding an ingredient to a dish, you can confirm the measurement without walking away from the stove, bowl, mixer e.t.c. It has great speakers so you can fill the room with sound as you prepare your gourmet dish.”

7. MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain

Do you have a partner or friend that constantly forgets to close the garage? The MyQ Smart Garage Door Opener Chamberlain would make a great gift for them this holiday season. You can use this garage door opener to open and close your garage door from anywhere. This device is compatible with most garage door openers, and it’s effortless to set up, too.

All you need to get going is the smart opener, Wi-Fi and your smartphone. You can even schedule preset times for your garage door to close or lights to turn on — and it works with Google Assistant, too.

Promising review:Very cool! Got it today and installed it. Took about 25 min, but I took my time through the instructions. Had to use the separate instruction sheet for Apple phones. Looks like it was a process to join the hubs wifi in order to enter my wifi router’s info. I was going to give it 4 stars since it was $100, but then I started playing with the app and it has some pretty cool settings. I like the warning beeps and light flashing to warn anyone the door is closing – smart. Learned I have a Lift Master door opener – 5 years in the house and never looked up to notice.”

8. Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set

Do your amateur chefs already have that Echo Show bundle? Well, get them this Rachael Ray Cucina Nonstick Cookware Pots and Pans Set instead. This 12-piece cookware set comes with everything you’d need to create gourmet meals. These pans are well-crafted, durable and heat evenly, so they’re the right choice for most kitchen whizzes. The spatulas this set comes with are pretty cool, too.

Promising review: “I waited a while to write this review because I’d had other enamel cookware before (a different brand) that I initially loved, but as I used it, it quickly became very scorched looking on the bottom. Since I display my cookware on hooks in my kitchen, this was very unsightly. Well, I’ve been cooking with my beautiful Rachael Ray Agave Blue enamel cookware for nearly four months and it’s still as lovely as the day I took it out of the box. It’s as functional as it is beautiful. I highly recommend the cookware and will buy more in the future.”

9. Roku Streambar

You know your friend with the home theater? They’d love this Roku Streambar. It’s the ultimate 2-in-1 entertainment upgrade. You’ll get premium sound and the streaming capabilities of a Roku in one device. You’ll even get vibrant 4K HDR picture quality from it.

There are more perks, too. This Roku Streambar can also work with your voice assistant to change channels, search for entertainment or control your streaming all with your voice. No remote required. Your buddy will love it.

Promising review: “I purchased because of it’s compact design and the audio mix coming from my LG TV made watching movies impossible. The stream bar solved my audio problem. I can now watch movies without turning the volume up for dialogue and down for action sequences. I also like the upgradeability of this device with wireless speakers and a subwoofer which I’m sure I’ll take advantage of overtime. I have not had an opportunity to play with the device so I can’t rate other features.”

10. Mixology Bartender Kit: 10-Piece Bar Tool Set

Amateur mixologist on your list? This Mixology Bartender Kit: 10-Piece Bar Tool Set will give them the power to whip up impressive, professional-quality cocktails from home. They’ll get everything they need with this set, from the shaker to the stirrer — and it looks great sitting on the bar top, too.

Promising review: “I gave this to my husband for Father’s Day, and it’s great! He loves it. The box in which it comes has nice, vintage branding. The items are a good weight. The gold is nice and shiny. I’m glad it’s bamboo — at least some sustainability. The only issue is that the shaker lid does stick really tightly when you shake it, which is good for preventing spillage but also difficult to remove when you’re done shaking. He and I have both had trouble with it. Overall, though, it’s exactly what I wanted!

11. iRobot Braava Jet Ultimate Robot Mop

Almost anyone on your list will love this iRobot Braava Jet Ultimate Robot Mop. Seriously — it’s a great gift. It can tackle all the messes on your hard floors, from dirt, grime and sticky spots to kitchen grease. Best of all? You don’t have to lift a finger to use it. Anyone with hard floors needs this robot mop.

Promising review: “I am thrilled with this new Braava. I had ordered the T380 or whatever it is called and it did not do much of a job cleaning my floors, nor did it connect to my phone and roomba; so I returned it. This new jet m6 is night and day above that one. It is mopping my floors as I type and getting them truly clean as my new roomba s9+ vacuums the other rooms before the braava gets to it. They work together which is a huge plus to me as I don’t have let the roomba finish before firing up the braava every day. I just turn them on and let them do their thing resulting in clean, shiny floors while I drink my coffee and get my paid work done.” 

12. Serta Reversible Sherpa/Fleece Heated Electric Throw Blanket

There’s nothing worse than being cold to the bone in winter. If you have cold-natured (or cold-climate) people on your list this year, you might want to check out the Serta Reversible Sherpa/Fleece Heated Electric Throw Blanket. This heated micro fleece sherpa is a great way to help them heat up quickly — and stay at the perfect temperature all day long. It’s really soft, too.

Promising review: “Let’s face it, it’s really for the dogs, but I’m always cold so it works for all of us! This is probably my 4th one to buy because to give them to other small dog owners as gifts.”

13. LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser  

If you’re looking for a gift to help your friends or loved ones chill out, this LEVOIT Essential Oil Diffuser might be right up your alley. The sleek, modern design fits in with nearly any decor — and it will fill the home with calming scents to help them relax. It’s great for college students who are struggling to chill out after important tests (and will look great in a dorm room, too).

Promising review: “I used another brand for about 6 months and it started making loud noise. So I bought this one. It was a little pricey to be honest, but when I got it, I realized it totally worth the value. It’s quiet, dispenses essential oil very gently, and actually makes air humid without wetting my night stand. I will come back for a follow up review in 6 months but so far it’s working great.”

14. Secura Electric Wine Opener

If you love wine, you’ll love this Secura Electric Wine Opener. This cordless wine opener makes a good gift for any vino drinker — and it looks cool, too. It can easily open up to 30 bottles of wine on one charge, and it’s a lot easier than using those hand-screw wine openers. No mess, no stress — just an open bottle of wine. Sounds great to us.

Promising review: “Bought this bad boy for work. The reviews were either great or people were upset about the battery. Ive had it at work over a month now and opened 1000s of bottles of wine with ease with it. I give this thing raving live reviews. I haven’t had a cork break off or any cork in the bottles since i purchased it. If the motor had gone out after 100 bottled I’d have called it worth my money but its still working 1000s later. It does seem to be going a little slower and the charger base is getting a tad finicky but I’ll just order another happily when it does go out.”

15. Furbo Dog Camera

The pet lovers on your list will love this Furbo Dog Camera. You can use it to livestream your pet’s activities while you’re away, reassure them via your voice or get notifications on your smartphone when they’re barking at something. It even has night vision if you need it — and you can the app toss your pets some virtual treats when they’re being very good dogs.

Promising review: “I bought this item for my girlfriend who is deployed overseas in Bahrain. She loves her dog more than anything so I knew this would be a perfect gift for her. The first night I had the Furbo I was awaken several times in the middle of the night by high pitched squealing and giggling of glee from my gf not being able to contain herself. She was so excited to see him, talk to him and give him treats and OH BOY does she like giving him treats! By the time she gets back from her deployment I am sure he will be overweight and wont be able to run to her when she gets home. Thanks Furbo, your product is awesome and we all love it!”

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