Holiday gift trends for 2021: Trending gifts for the holiday season

It's time to start your holiday shopping, and the Shop TODAY team found the best gifts of the season.

Shipping delays are a thing right now, so if you want in on this holiday season’s hottest swag, it’s time to put together your shopping lists. To get insight into the biggest trends for holiday 2021, we reached out to Lindsey Smecker, a trend forecaster with ESP Trendlab.

“Overall, we’re finding that consumers are buying less but better,” she said. “Better quality and better for the environment. The importance of sustainability continues, and there is a general back-to-basics spirit.”

She said some of the best gifts this holiday season are those that make a home a haven. “Our home has become our sanctuary, a safe space away from the outside world,” Smecker said. “More people are seeking pieces that create a clean aesthetic and soothing ambience.” She also sees a new hybrid style of streetwear where function meets comfort. “We see organic, neutral and even undyed shades paired with natural materials.”

Scroll down to get an inside track on some of the biggest trends this season.

Don’t forget to check out Shop TODAY’s 2021 Gift Guide to find the perfect present for everyone on your list!

Nike Blazer Mid ’77 Vintage

It seems there’s always a Nike shoe that’s trending, and this dress-up, dress-down model is no exception. “These ’77 vintage-inspired Blazers are the perfect high-top sneaker for hybrid in and out of office lifestyles,” Smecker said. They come in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes. Tip: There’s even a “design your own” option, which allows you to specify everything from the sole to the backtab and swoosh color.

Set Active Sportbody Leggings

Set Active Sportbody Body Bra

Upgrade their athletic wear—and help them ditch all that blah black—with a cute new hue. “This is the perfect athletic set for hi-low styling,” Smecker said. “You can wear it to your yoga class at 6pm and then out for drinks at 7pm paired with a blazer and baseball cap.”

Northface Sherpa Nuptse Jacket

Warm and fuzzy meets stylish with this snuggly coat. “It features NorthFace’s iconic silhouette, with 100% recycled Sherpa fleece and high-quality materials that combine to make this the warmest and trendiest jacket to cocoon in,” Smecker said.

Aime Leon Dore Baseball Hat

Baseball caps are a must-have accessory this season, and Smecker liked that this brand mixes heritage and uniform. Recipients will love that it’s a fancy take on a classic—and that it’s a good way to disguise a bad hair day.

Chillhouse Nails

Childhood favorite press-on nails are back but being done in a new way. Chillhouse’s vibrant, funky designs are beloved by teens and adults because they’re nontoxic, reusable, no-mess, and there’s no drying time needed. They’re also available in bundle packs for those who like to switch up their nails often.

Smiley Slippers

These retro, comfy-cute slippers will start their day with a smile. Give them with smiley face socks and you’ll get extra points.

Etsy Beaded Necklace

Colorful beaded necklaces are the Gen Z “It Girl” accessory this holiday, according to Smecker. For a take on a childhood friendship bracelet, try this one with the ubiquitous smiley face.

Chicwish Stitch Flowers Hand-Knit Chunky Cardigan

“Chunky, bright, color-blocked cardigans and knitwear that looks handmade and unique will be trending this winter,” said Smecker. With stripes and puffy sleeves, this snuggly sweater will become their go-to wardrobe staple.

Reversible Octopus Plushie

These TikTok-famous mood-tracking stuffed animals remain as popular as ever. Kids (or adults) can show whether they’re happy, ecstatic, grumpy or straight up $*&@#! without having to utter a single syllable.

Smart Sweets

A great stocking stuffer for someone who’s health conscious but still has a sweet tooth, these plant-based gummies are inspired by childhood favorites. Think cola gummies, peach rings, sweet fish and licorice twists with less sugar and fewer harmful ingredients.

Saje Positively Poosh White Diffuser Kit

This is perfect for someone with a work-from-home hybrid schedule who’s looking to find their Zen amidst the chaos, according to Smecker. It’s a super-quiet model that humidifies while infusing the air with plant-based essential oils and a calming atmosphere.

Cowshed Hand Wash

Not surprisingly, the pandemic has caused many people to adopt better hygiene habits and become focused on keeping germs at bay. Giving the gift of fancy, upscale hand soap makes hand-washing feel luxurious rather than like a tedious necessity, Smecker said. Reviewers love that the fresh, citrusy scent acts as a pick-me-up.

Etsy Ceramic Vase

When opting for a home gift, think the simpler the better: “For interior trends, we look to the idea of a blank slate, inspired by minimalist Scandinavian design with natural materials, shapely forms and irregular detailing,” said Smecker. “These chalky, matte white ceramic vases are the perfect decor piece to freshen up any room.” Giftees will love their unexpected shape and that their accessible size works everywhere from countertop to desktop.

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