2021 Forbes Holiday Gift Guide: An A-To-Z List Of Letter-Perfect Presents

2021 Forbes Holiday Gift Guide: An A-To-Z List Of Letter-Perfect Presents

With gift lists shrinking for Naughty and Nice, some fret missing sizes or, lordy, the price! So just pick a letter (or several for fun) and soon you’ll have presents for everyone. But better get hopping, the days are a-slipping. Dash on with your shopping—pay extra for shipping.

| A | Alhambra

“To be lucky,” jewelry designer Jacques Arpels once said, “you have to believe in luck.” Just in case, Van Cleef & Arpels began using the Alhambra talisman in 1968—a four-leaf clover motif inspired by the Moorish quatrefoil—and every year the jewelry maison releases a special holiday pendant. This year’s Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra pendant ($3,750) is made of Rhodonite and diamonds. And if pink isn’t quite right, you’re in luck—there are plenty of other color motifs.


| B | Beatlemania

If watching Peter Jackson’s astonishing three-part Beatles documentary made a Fab Four fan in your life curious about the origins of some of their other songs, then The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present by Paul McCartney ($100) is here to help in any way. Of course, not every hit can be plucked (and strummed) out of thin air in like “Get Back.” Some required, well, a long and winding road.


| C | Caffeine

For those who prefer a hands-free approach to their morning coffee, Jura’s new Z10 machine ($3,999)—the first with both hot and cold brew technology—requires merely lifting a finger. Just choose a drink from the touchscreen and the Z10 automatically takes care of everything— from grinding beans to frothing milk.



| D | Dialed Up

As with cars, the mechanics of a watch matter far more than what color you choose. But sometimes you have to admire the art of time—and that often means a dazzling dial. H. Moser & Cie Pioneer Centre Seconds Mega Cool ($15,300) features a radiant version of 2021’s signature color, green. Grand Seiko’s SLGH005 White Birch ($9,100) replicates the texture of bark found in the Japanese forests near where its timepieces are produced. And Harry Winston’s Emerald Collection watch in white gold and diamonds (price upon request) will leave anyone feeling good about the blues (or other vibrant hues).


| E | Enzo

Montblanc’s latest addition to its Great Characters collection pays tribute to Italian automotive entrepreneur Enzo Ferrari. In Ferrari’s signature red with its prancing horse emblem on the cap, the Montblanc Great Characters Enzo Ferrari Special Edition Fountain Pen ($1,135) also features a quote from the racing legend: “You cannot describe passion, you can only live it.”


| F | Face Mask

Way back in 2019, the words “face mask” conjured up quaint images of a football penalty or Jason Voorhees’ questionable fashion choices. Politics aside, wearing that other kind of covering has wreaked havoc on the skin, causing “maskne” and other blemishes. Dr. Dennis Gross’ DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro ($435) is an FDA-approved LED device that helps treat fine lines, wrinkles and improves skin tone. Think of the daily, 3-minute treatment as an about-face for the face.


| G | GPS

Playing “fetch” with a dog may fun but tracking down a lost pet never is. The Whistle Go Explore Health & GPS Pet Tracker ($149) attaches to the collar and provides real-time location updates every 15 seconds. The device also has activity goals for exercise (why should two-legged creatures be the only ones who count steps?), sleep and calories. It will even remind an owner that a vet appointment is coming up.



| H | Heavy Lifting

Press, curl and lunge in style with this weighted Bala Beam ($99). Available in 15- and 25-lb. models, and in a range of colors, the silicone-wrapped, recycled-steel bar’s ergonomic design also fits around the back of your neck for squats, making it the easiest part of a workout.


| I | Instant Gratification

Looking for an out-of-the-box gift for the artists on your list? Polaroid’s new Now+ i-Type Instant Camera ($149) is its most innovative yet. The famously analog camera has added Bluetooth technology to connect with an app so photographers can control shutter speed, double exposures and a self-timer.


| J | James Bond, Jr.

In celebration of Daniel Craig’s final mission in No Time To Die, the Little Car Company released a 2:3-scale Aston Martin DB5 Junior ($125,000), complete with rotating license plates, a smoke screen and toy machine guns—making it the perfect gift for spy kids (and adults) who appreciate a license to thrill.


| K | Kahlo

It’s been a good year for Frida Kahlo. Her 1949 self-portrait “Diego y yo” set a record in November for the most expensive work by a Latin American artist when it sold for $34.9 million. Celebrate the iconic Mexican painter with a limited-edition Lladró figurine ($4,000)—or get your hands on the record-breaking artwork itself in Taschen’s Frida Kahlo. The Complete Paintings ($200), which includes all of her 152 paintings with diary pages and rarely-seen photographs.



| L | Lego

Holiday shopping can actually be a snap—if you’re buying Lego. This year, the beloved Danish toy company released two sets inspired by…TV sets. The 1,326-piece Lego Ideas Seinfeld Kit ($79) recreates the ’90s sitcom apartment, complete with figures for Jerry, George, Elaine, Kramer and Newman. (There’s even a Festivus pole.) While the 974-piece Lego Queer Eye — The Fab 5 Loft ($99) lets Lego versions of Tan, Jonathan, Karamo, Antoni and Bobby give Kathi Dooley a mini-makeover.


| M | Mixology

Among the many global skill sets that improved over the past two years is at-home bartending. For those who still want to shake up their cocktail game, there are several new books that raise the bar on mixology. The Oxford Companion to Spirits & Cocktails, edited by David Wondrich and Noah Rothbaum ($65) is a comprehensive guide, featuring modern and vintage recipes for gin, rum, tequila, Irish whiskey, ouzo and just about every other spirit on earth. The team behind the Cocktail Codex—Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan—is back with Death & Co. Welcome Home ($40), which features some 600 recipes from their acclaimed bars—with an emphasis on batching and low-ABV cocktails. And in The Japanese Art of the Cocktail ($30), Masahiro Urushido and Michael Anstendig reveal the secrets of Japanese mixology based on recipes from Urushido’s award-winning Katana Kitten in New York.


| N | Neo-Classics

Time may be marching forward but watch brands (and collectors) are perpetually enamored of the past. Late last year, the Rolex Submariner ($8,100) got a much-lauded refresh that saw the removal (again) of the “cyclops” lens over the date. Meanwhile, Cartier debuted an innovative movement for its iconic Tank. The Cartier Tank Must SolarBeat ($2,900) features a photovoltaic cell underneath the numerals, which will power the quartz battery with sunlight for at least 16 years. And after Patek Philippe announced that it was discontinuing the much-coveted Ref. 5711, it saved the best for last—a Tiffany-signed Nautilus ($52,635) with a Tiffany blue dial that’s limited to 170 pieces to commemorate the 170th anniversary of their partnership.


| O | Open Wide

Escape from the jaws of virtual meetings—or simply rest your device while you work—with this Lalique crocodile smartphone and tablet holder ($1,495). Doubling as a crystal paperweight when not in use, it’s a sharp addition to any home office.


| P | Pop!

For some, the idea of “vintage pop” means the re-issue of Taylor Swift’s Red album. But for Champagne lovers, a vintage year means that the grape harvest was truly exceptional. (Non-vintage, or NV Champagne, is a blend of several harvests.) These three bottles are worth the investment whether you’re the buyer or have the cellar.

Bollinger R.D. 2007 ($289); Champagne Ayala blanc de blancs 2015 vintage ($70); Champagne Henriot Hemera Prestige Cuvée 2006 ($175).



| Q | Quiet Time

Turn any home into a house of Gucci with these geometric G print pajamas ($3,800). Cut from printed silk twill with archival details, they add a dose of glamour to any lounging experience.


| R | Rolling

Does someone you know roll old school? Then what better way to let them know it—and show it—than with a pair of chic lambskin skates by Bottega Veneta ($2,100).


| S | Slim Picks

Here’s the skinny on shopping for someone who has it all: Go small. The Razer Blade 14” Gaming Laptop ($2,199) is the slimmest available and doesn’t skimp on power. And for those who appreciate the intricacies of fine watchmaking, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar ($89,000)—which won the most prestigious prize in the watch world earlier this year—features a record-setting 2.75mm movement in a 5.8mm case. Or, provide a world of fashion inspiration with a little help from photographer Slim Aarons. Slim Aarons: Style ($85) collects the chicest portraits of the man who once said, “I didn’t do fashion. I did the people in their clothes that became the fashion.”


| T | Turntable

Pro-Ject’s most iconic turntable recently received a tune-up—and the results are pitch-perfect. With three height-adjustable feet, discreet buttons and enhanced mechanics, the Debut Carbon EVO ($599) is a smooth way to take old music for a new spin.


| U | UV Protection

For technology that you have to see to believe, smart sunglasses are a clear choice. Snap’s Spectacles 3 ($380) let wearers bring their memories to life with 3D and VR-compatible photos and videos that can be taken with a simple tap. Or, for a sound investment, Bose Frames ($199) pair the brand’s renowned speakers with polarized lenses. And Ray-Ban Stories Smart Glasses ($299), a collaboration with Facebook, offer the best of both worlds—able to capture pictures or play music with a click. 


| V | Virgil

The sudden death of designer Virgil Abloh last month left the fashion world in shock, but his groundbreaking work as the artistic director of menswear for Louis Vuitton and his own label, Off-White, will never be forgotten. While he leaves behind shoes impossible to fill creatively, there are still plenty of actual pairs to remember him by, including Off-White’s Out of Office Arrow Trainers ($580) and Off-White’s For Rainy Days Rubber Booties ($580).



| W | Water Power

Make waves—without needing any—with this electric surfboard from Swedish manufacturer Awake. Able to reach speeds of more than 30 miles per hour, the Awake Rävik 3 Electric Surfboard ($13,900) is sure to keep adrenaline junkies thrilled.


| X | XO

When it comes to decoding the alphabet soup of Cognac classification, just remember this—XO stands for “extra old.” What that means is that the eaux-de-vie have been aged for at least ten years—and in many cases much longer—making it extra smooth and extra delicious.

Frapin VIP XO Cognac ($169); Hine XO Cigar Reserve ($121); Bisquit & Dubouché XO Cognac ($220)


| Y | Yum

For those who like to give season’s eatings, feast your eyes on these ideas: The Eric Ripert Caviar Selection ($595) features three kinds of fish roe, blinis, crème fraîche and mother-of-pearl spoons from the renowned Le Bernardin chef. For a proper Southern spread that feeds 12-14, the Cajun Grande Boucherie Feast ($239) from Cochon Butcher in New Orleans includes everything from spicy sausage to a jambalaya-stuffed chicken. And for a sweet start to the new year, Jeni’s Glittering Holiday Collection ($68) features indulgent ice creams flavors, including Brandied Banana Brûlée and Gooey Butter Cake.


| Z | Zoom!

Elevate someone’s street style with the DAB Motors x Burberry Concept E-RS Bike (from $33,800). The limited-edition collaboration is geared for speeding down the runway with its monogrammed Italian leather seat and 125cc-equivalent motor. Enjoy the ride.


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