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Like most of you, many of my friends and family are far away this holiday season. This means a lot of things, but one pressing consequence is that I have many snail mail deliveries to prepare for. While I’m more than happy to chop wrapping paper off of this year’s budget, I still want my recipients to have a fun unwrapping experience. So I went on a mission to find brands with the best unboxings to help keep the holiday spirit alive. Read on for the 9 best unboxing experiences you can gift this year.
Whether out of excitement or necessity, home-cooking has become more prominent than ever, and chances are—your gift recipient could use some oil. But not the $10 oil you get at Trader Joes (no hate, it does the trick) to whip up some scrambled eggs. I’m talking about the luxurious, decadent olive oil, the one that can truly elevate a dish. Brightland’s The Duo pairs their two best-selling, 100% extra virgin olive oils together to create the perfect pantry must-have. The two oils serve different purposes, but are both made in California with heirloom olives in a certified organic mill. It’s the gift for any chef in your life—and their beautifully branded packaging does all of the gift-wrapping for you.
I wrote an entire review dedicated to this iconic lunchbox, so you know I had to include it here, too. While I would recommend this as a gift regardless of their packaging, Inka’s unboxing experience was truly top-notch. There’s something about multiple layers in an unboxing experience that just makes you feel like a kid on Christmas morning. With perfectly modular packaging, Inka’s Lunch Kit comes with a purse, two adjustable straps, three food containers, two napkins, and a silverware set. Each item is in its own box within the larger (and gorgeous) Lunch Kit box—so it really feels like you just received seven gifts instead of just one. A perfect gift for your friend that still has to go into an office every day, or for the avid picnic go-er.
2020 has shown just how unpredictable life can be—enter JUDY: a new emergency preparedness brand out to help you prepare for what you can’t predict. Nothing shows someone you care quite like an emergency kit, but the truth is: they’re usually...ugly. JUDY changes that, with expertly-curated preparedness kits that are both chic and comprehensive. The Safe, their largest kit, is not only a thoughtful gift for a friend or family member, but an incredibly fun one too. I had a blast looking through and figuring out how to use all of seemingly obscure items (like a JUDY-branded hand crank radio)—so much so that I almost forgot about all of my 2020 disaster anxiety.
I’m a big believer in practical gifts. Of course, it’s great to get someone something they might not usually buy for themselves, but that doesn’t mean the gift can’t also be useful—or in this case, essential. Ritual revolutionized the wellness and supplement space a few years ago, and they continue to pioneer and impress with every product launch. Their Essential for Women vitamins are a perfect gift—their bottles and clear capsule concept make for a showstopping medicine cabinet staple, and their packaging (both educational and beautiful) is the icing on top. They also have Essential for Men vitamins, and recently added Teen vitamins (for her and him) to the mix, so you can cover the whole fam in one fell swoop.
This gift could be sent to me in a garbage bag and I would still be in heaven. Eat Behave launched in August of this year with a huge splash. Yes, their unique, loud, and cheeky branding was enough to get me hooked, but as a sour candy addict—it was truly their product that got me excited. The brand makes sweet and sour gummy bears, but with one big difference: they have only 3g of sugar, 90 calories, and 6g net carbs per bag. Plus, they feature fancy fruit flavors like raspberry, passionfruit, and lychee. The brand messaging is all about indulgence and treating yourself to the good stuff, and their unboxing reflects just that.
There’s something about modular packaging that I just can’t get enough of, and Blueland’s Clean Up Kit does it so well (and sustainably, too). The carbon-neutral brand has entirely recyclable packaging; that and the reusable bottles will help your recipient significantly lower their carbon footprint (a gift in and of itself). While the packaging itself is very sleek, it’s the bottle and tablet concept that really makes this unboxing so fun. The process is reminiscent of the Coca Cola and Mentos science experiment you did in elementary school (just without the explosion part). Fill the bottles with water, plop the tablets in, and let the magic show begin.
Alcohol is always a go-to, good gift to give. For the most part, it’s easy to shop for—you probably know (at least at a high level) what liquors your recipient does and doesn’t like, and even if you don’t, everyone loves a well-stocked bar cart (even if only for optics sake). This year, you won’t be able to stop by CVS on your way to the holiday party to pick up a last minute wine gift bag, but you can still make sure your bottle arrives in style. Haus is a low-alcohol apertif brand with unique flavors like Peach Passionfruit and Ginger Yuzu. Their packaging is—for lack of a better word—glorious; lifting the bottles out of their box almost felt like I was stealing a precious diamond from its stand at the museum. If you’re shopping for someone extra picky, elect for their newest SKU, The Sampler Kit, instead.
Sundays for Dogs, a veterinarian-founded dog food brand, is a great choice for the pup (or pup-owner) in your life. The air-dried kibble alternative is gift enough itself, but its the packaging and added branded collateral that sets this dog food apart. The dog food box comes in an adorable cereal box, a big deviation from the plastic packaging most dog food brands use (also makes for a great photo opp…). Each container comes with a sticker sheet, a card to help you transition your dog to Sundays, and a newspaper called “The Sundays Paper” that features entertaining content for you and your dog and features thought-leaders and community members in the furry friend space. If only your pup could read.
Billie, a body-positive bathroom brand that launched with the “Project Body Hair” campaign in 2018 recently extended their product line with three new products: dry shampoo, makeup wipes, and lip balm. We were already huge fans of their body lotion, shave cream, and of course—their Pink Tax-fighting razors, but this newest line takes things to the next level. The products themselves make for great stocking stuffers, but their curated holiday gift sets, The Life Of the Party Set and the Smooth Operator Set, can stand alone as a main gift. Wrapped in a Bilile gift bag with branded tissue paper, it’s like you spent the extra $ at the department store to get your gift gift-wrapped (except you didn’t ;)).
Whether you’re a mall shopaholic or not, there’s probably (at the very least) a slight relief at being able to take all of your holiday shopping online. But convenience shouldn’t forbid you and your loved ones from the pure glee of ripping up wrapping paper to reveal the perfect gift. So this year, let the brands do the hard work for you, and head into 2021 with some much-needed rest.