The Undefeated Holiday Gift Guide 2021 Edition
We’re back again with Black-owned and Black-centric items for all the folks in your life
It’s that time of year again! The time to shower our loved ones with holiday cheer, and with the year this has been, we could all use a little more. If you haven’t finished (or started) your holiday shopping yet, we’ve got you covered. The Undefeated has done the hard work and found the best gifts for the pickiest recipients, covering a range of prices. With a plethora of hot topic items, a slew of Black-owned treasures and the latest tech gadgets, we’ve compiled an impressive list of gifts for everyone on your list. Whether your recipient is working from home or just learning to read, we’ve got the perfect gifts for you. Or, if you’re making your own wish list, our gift guide is the perfect place to start.
Price: Starting at $2495
For the Peloton-obsessed spinner. And it’s bigger and better. OK, we know. There is this underground, members only-like obsession with Peloton. It’s been a thing since hitting the streets in 2014, and it catapulted in 2020 when stay-at-home orders were in effect across the globe. You can get connected to your friends and family with the Peloton Bike+. An upgrade for existing Peloton owners is in effect that allows a $700 trade-in rebate. New customers can receive $300 off for a new purchase and free delivery, a value worth $650. You’ll get all the bells and whistles — a larger screen with a rotating neck, which allows a much easier switch to off-bike workouts. It offers more speakers (front and rear) for those who like to get loud with it. The Peloton Bike+ also allows your instructor to adjust your bike’s resistance with the new auto-follow option on the resistance knob, and it’s compatible with the Apple Watch if you’re in the Apple ecosystem. And you can buy all the accessories.
Compared with a few other massage devices, this tops our list. The Theragun Mini is a gadget that can give you some much-needed comfort and relief at home. We discovered that Theragun makes this smaller version of the Theragun Elite. It’s lightweight, portable and stays charged for up to 120 minutes. It’s great for travel, hiking or post workouts. The Theragun Mini works in all sports. We can’t leave out the Bluetooth connectivity.
For that iPhone flipper! Every time Apple has a new product, some of our loved ones want it. The iPhone made our list last year and it makes another appearance. The iPhone 13 Pro tops the list this season. Let’s start here. According to the company’s environmental impact report, it uses more than 98% of recycled materials. It boasts a long battery life, 5G, better cameras, 3x optical zoom and the performance holds all the apps with no problems. On the downside, it weighs more and there is no USB-C.
For the Disney Princess fanatic. Whether you’re a parent, uncle, aunt or distant relative, you can still enjoy gifting this Disney castle. The Disney Princess Ultimate Celebration Castle is for children ages 3 and up. Standing 4 feet tall, the dollhouse features three stories with six rooms, including a bathroom with tub and sink. It has lights, can play music, and holds 29 accessories, including kitchen utensils. You can add to it each year by gifting Disney Princess dolls from the collection.
Apple’s AirPods Pro is the perfect gift for runners, workers and music lovers. They are the only in-ear headphones with noise cancellation capabilities that make for more focused workouts, workdays and jam sessions. The AirPods Pro’s silicone tips come in three sizes. The noise cancellation is my favorite feature when I want to tune out the world, and the transparency mode lets me ease sound back in at my discretion. The personal assistant function allows control of the headphone volume and track selections by voice command, making these headphones truly one of a kind. Ten out of 10, highly recommend it.
For the coffee lover: Keurig’s K-Supreme Plus SMART Single Serve Coffee Maker helps make coffee for one easier than ever. It recognizes specific K-Cup brands and adjusts settings for its optimal use. Whether I’m in the mood for a dark roast extra hot, or a light roast iced coffee, the K-Supreme Plus allows me to make the perfectly customized cup of joe every time. The smart feature allows storage of up to 10 personalized preferences and the option to schedule brewing in advance or cue up your next cup from anywhere. This is coffee making reimagined and it’s just the gift for your favorite java fan.
For the girls and guys on the go! The Fellow Carter Everywhere Mug is the perfect tumbler for those of us who like to keep their hot drinks hot and their cold drinks cold, which is basically everyone. The heat-lock double wall feature retains beverage heat for up to 12 hours and stays cold for 24 hours. The leak-proof seal eliminates spills, making it safe to throw in your bag and go. With more than 11 colors to choose from, this mug looks good and drinks even better.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fittest of them all? With the Mirror Smart Home Fitness System, it can be you. This innovative fitness system is taking home workouts to the next level, and putting a personal trainer in your reflection. Remember when the gyms were closed at the height of the coronavirus pandemic? Rough, I know. The Mirror Smart Home Fitness System makes it so that we never have to miss a workout again. Whether I’m in the mood for kickboxing, Pilates or yoga, my fitness goals are just a few steps away. The sleek design complements any home aesthetic and is far from clunky workout equipment, like bikes that take up too much space. Now I can join a variety of virtual fitness classes and monitor my progress without even leaving my home. Um, yes, please!
“Hey, Alexa, help me turn on my favorite shows and movies with even less effort!” With the new Amazon Fire TV Stick, this could be your reality. The new 4K Fire Stick with Alexa lets you access more than 1 million movies and television episodes all by voice command. It has more memory and more storage than my old Fire Stick and is noticeably faster in streaming and overall performance. The 4K ultra HD feature lets me binge-watch all of my favs in lifelike, crisp colors. And say goodbye to two remotes, as the new Amazon Fire Stick comes with volume control that makes the upgrade a win altogether. Now, Alexa can easily cue up your go-to apps such as Netflix, Hulu and Prime Video. Life just got a whole lot simpler.
BLACK-OWNED BY CATEGORY
Home and Design
Price: $42 to $70
For the scent-obsessed candle connoisseur. You know, the one who lives for a candle sale. Their home has three different scents going at once or they have a stockpile of candles. Sis (or bro) is likely all of us. If so, candles by Born Indigo are a great gift option. With all the new candles on the market today, Born Indigo sets itself apart from the rest. The candles are made using a custom blend of sustainable non-GMO, food-grade certified coconut wax. The wicks are lead-free and the oils are nontoxic and free of phthalates and parabens.
For the Beyoncé fan or the unapologetic feminist. We all have them in our lives. It’s our friends who have soaked in the energy that bleeds through when Beyoncé performs or gives it her all. She’s lived her life under a microscope and at the same time maintained a level of privacy. But when she opens herself to the world, like many other powerful entertainers, including Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Josephine Baker and more, she carves an identity that is unmatched. Enter this pillow design by Create the Culture. The owner offers the SLAY pillow to gift to that queen who wants to manifest her inner Beyoncé. And if you’re into crafts, you can order the DIY embroidery kit and make your own to design the Beyoncé gift that keeps on giving.
For the Black-owned bedding collector. The Grace Duvet Cover is not a bedding brand, but we found this item in the list of designs, which stays on par with the “Black Girl Magic” theme. The owner started her company by specializing in 100% handmade hand-painted jewelry. She has continued to expand her business into illustrations from her designs, and one illustration is this Grace Duvet Cover. It would add some spice as a gift to that friend who prefers an eclectic black-centric color palette for her decor.
Price: Starting at $60
For the entertainer and wine glass collector. We believe this could actually be listed under “pamper yourself with these gifts.” But we will digress. These are a newsroom fave and you’re going to love all the things from this company. The founder, Stephanie Hall, named the collection in honor of her grandmother, who often shopped for antiques. The items won’t disappoint, and if we could have one page dedicated to these products, we would. The handblown colored wine glasses come as stemware or stemless and can be purchased in uniquely hued colors. Set your table for COVID-19-safe holiday functions, family dinners or just a simple night in with friends.
Price: $18.00 and up
Co-owned by Hannah Diop and actress Issa Rae and founded in 2012, Sienna Naturals is a clean hair care brand for naturalistas that is scientifically proven to improve hair and scalp. The vegan brand is free of sulfates, parabens, silicones and is completely plant-based, down to the proteins used. Instead of synthetics, they use natural ingredients to break down dirt without stripping away your hair’s natural oils. Get the natural-haired girl or guy in your life these guilt-free products that are gentle to the hair and the environment. Sienna Naturals now has specially priced holiday gift sets that include shampoos, deep treatment masks, anti-breakage sealants and more, and feature “Issa’s Favorite Holiday Gift” set or the “Best Seller Stocking Stuffers.”
Price: Two bottles for $14.95
’Tis the season for seasonings. Vegan influencer Tabitha Brown has made her way from our Instagram timelines to our hearts, and now she’s blessing our tummies too! Affectionately known as “Auntie Tab,” Brown has teamed with McCormick to create the Sunshine seasoning that enhances any dish. If you’ve seen any of her cooking videos, it’ll be no surprise that the mixture includes some of her go-tos: garlic powder, ginger, thyme, turmeric and allspice, and she adds a bit of mango and pineapple powders for sweetness. She usually ends her cooking videos by telling viewers to “Have a good day, and if you can’t, don’t you dare go messing up nobody else’s,” and she says her seasoning is all about bringing that positivity to the kitchen. This Sunshine seasoning is currently sold out, but keep your eyes peeled for the fall drop.
The late actress, activist and lecturer Cicely Tyson is an American treasure. The wisdom she gained over nine decades, she now shares candidly and profoundly in her book, Just As I Am. She details her 60-year career as an actress, her upbringing, her family and friendships, her spirituality and gives us a closer look at the woman we’ve only gazed upon in wonder all of these years. She is authentic, witty and transparent in ways that keep you from wanting to put the book down. Her extraordinary life would be etched in our minds without her book, but this memoir will help keep her story alive forever.
It is nearly impossible to paint a full picture of the richness of African American history over the last 400 years, but The New York Times bestseller, Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 does a phenomenal job. It is beautifully and painfully written by a collective of 90 authors chronicling our story from the horrific years of enslavement to joyous times of achievement. Edited by How to Be an Antiracist author Ibram X. Kendi, and Set the World on Fire author Keisha N. Blain, it is a necessary addition to Black historical literature and the perfect stocking stuffer for your favorite history buff.
Stacey Abrams may be known for her political prowess and remarkable work in boosting voter turnout in Georgia, but with her ninth novel While Justice Sleeps, she may soon be known as one of the best authors of our time. If you’re like me and enjoy a brainy read, this sophisticated novel filled with twists and turns will be a page-turner for you. Her colorful characters and strong plot really showcase her legal background and knowledge of the political landscape. If you’ve ever wondered what happens when murder mystery meets the Supreme Court, then this book is the choice. Grab this book for yourself or for the suspense fiction lover in your life.
I’m sure you and your friends have had an in-depth conversation about the #Me Too movement. Well, for the friend who wants to continue the conversation, wait no longer — gift that friend with Tarana Burke’s memoir. Readers won’t get enough of this powerful memoir by the founder and activist behind the #Me Too movement. Burke’s journey holds a special place in the heart of America as her call to action in 2017 led women to embark upon a space where shedding painful accounts of sexual abuse and sharing their stories. After sparking one of the largest movements of this generation, Burke wrote her second book, Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement, published under Oprah Books.
It’s always nice to read a book that makes you feel like you’re having a face-to-face conversation with a close friend. That’s what readers will get from You Got Anything Stronger?, the sequel to Gabrielle Union’s 2017 book We’re Going To Need More Wine. You can buy this for more than one friend and read it together or give it to the person who needs some understanding of their own life, because it feels close to home. Union’s vulnerability on some of the most pivotal times in her life is accounted for, including becoming a new mom, depression, life’s lessons and more.
Tabitha Brown is a whole mood. We saw her wins grow from millions of TikTok followers to acting, and now she is a New York Times bestselling author of her book Feeding The Soul. This is just one part of her life that has us all cheering for her from the sideline. You can gift this to the loved one who shares a passion for life, a zest for change and needs as a bit of inspiration. The foodie’s book is a memoir mixed
in with some of her favorite recipes.
Price: $49 to $59
For your man. Just that simple. Most men have taken a liking to Uncle Nearest. It’s smooth and the backstory should be included in our history books. The most famous variations of the brand are the 1884 Small Batch Whiskey and the 1856 Premium Whiskey. Launched in 2017, it tells the story of former slave Nathan “Nearest” Green and his involvement in the distilling process of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. He was the first master distiller at Jack Daniel’s and taught the brand the charcoal-filtering process of the whiskey. Green’s great-great-granddaughter is the master distiller for the Uncle Nearest whiskey brand today.
For your friend who enjoys a good bottle of wine. The Black Girl Magic by McBride Sisters still tops our list. Black Girl Magic is a movement to celebrate the accomplishments, beauty and resilience of Black women and girls all over the world. It’s a mindset, a state of being and now, it’s a nice bottle of wine! The collection is produced by McBride Sisters, a wine company led by two half-siblings Robin and Andrea, oblivious to the other’s existence for half of their lives. Fate connected them as teenagers, and they learned that they shared a father and later, a passion for winemaking. The Black Girl Magic collection gives reverence to the culture and story of Black women and is affordable at less than $25 a bottle.
Price: $36 to $150
For the rum lover. This rum was picked because of its smooth, spicy taste. Recently, entertainer Ciara invested in Ten to One Rum, becoming co-owner. It comes in a dark, white and single cast. According to its site, it has no added sugar, color or flavoring, which means it’s 100% rum. Its ingredients across the brand hail from Barbados, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica. Individual blends include baking spice, banana peel, cedar, jasmine, vanilla, honeysuckle, lemongrass, white pepper and more.
Glamourina is the go-to activewear brand for culturally conscious women. Glamourina was created by two working moms, Nekol Gaskins and Kia Phillips, who understood that there is nothing like honoring your cultural identity while becoming a healthier you. They desired to create a safe space where Black women could feel confident no matter where they were in their fitness journey. With items ranging from $20 to $90, you’re sure to find an item within budget.
Price: $24.00- $100.00
Don’t just get your loved one just any sweatshirt or T-shirt for Christmas. Allow them to wear the culture with unique items from Melanin Apparel clothing. Pay homage to Nina Simone or Jackie Robinson with a one-of-a-kind graphic tee or blanket, or for a limited time, choose exclusive Christmas items from pullovers to pillows with a hip-hop twist. With items for children and adults, Melanin Apparel will help check everyone off your list.
Price: $100 and up
Brandon Blackwood is creating luxury for the next generation. Established in 2015, the Brandon Blackwood handbag collection includes wallets, small and large handbags, accessories and more. Blackwood bags are marked by their vibrant colors, and the limited amount of each makes his one-of-a-kind handbags all the more exclusive. For the fashionistas who are stylish and on the go, this is the perfect gift.
Price: Starting at $30
Description: Spotted on NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo during his first championship parade in the spring, and NBA stars Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, P.J. Tucker and Jordan Clarkson often during their arena entries, Tuff Crowd has become the league’s go-to lifestyle brand less than two years after being launched by nine-year NBA vet Brandon Jennings.
With an unmistakable collar stitch design inspired by the insight that people in a modern social media era often post selfies onto their Instagram stories, Tuff Crowd has become an extension of Jennings’ longtime effortless sense of style and monochromatic approach. Basics like black and white tees are offered with collar stitch accents, along with premium quality sweatpants and hoodies. Detailed cut-and-sew hats have also become a must-have from the brand.
The Doberman logo and Hostile Territory mantra speak to the “dog mentality” needed to take on your biggest challenges and daily aspirations ahead, with Tuff Crowd aiming to represent that underdog mindset in everyone.
TIDBITS UNDER $100
The pandemic turned us all into different people. For some, television became a staple in our homes, and what a great gift to give in a viewing experience for one year. Disney+ has something for everyone and can keep you watching at all times on a tablet, phone or smart TV. There is also an option to bundle it with ESPN+ and Hulu for a few extra dollars. This is impressive and thoughtful for a recipient of any age.
There are some gifts that are just right for everyone, and the Nulaxy A4 cellphone stand is one. This sleek stand is compatible with a wide variety of phones and tablets and allows for optimal hands-free activity while in use. Whether you are following a recipe and need to clearly see what’s next, or at work and don’t have time to keep looking down at your phone, it’s easy to see how this simple stand makes life a bit easier. It’s lightweight, adjustable and portable, making this an easy choice for that Secret Santa.
For the journaler on the move. This three-set travel journal set is small, lightweight and easy to throw in a bag. It includes three designs and it’s branded with these supercool themes that are sure to encourage anyone. The Act Up Sis, Stay Ready and Trust The Journey slim-lined travel journals set you on the path to get your life and thoughts together. Each book has 60-lined pages and is center sewn.
JUST FOR KIDS
The Gigabyte monitor is the perfect gift for the gamer. It is one of the only monitors with HDMI 2.1 ports, so that video game setup can be a breeze. It is a great match to Sony’s PlayStation 5 or Microsoft’s Xbox Series S and helps show quicker, sharper images. For those working from home, its built-in keyboard and mouse, and mouse switch, allow you to control two monitors with one keyboard and mouse, maximizing productivity.
Price: Starting at $299
This Christmas, we’re expecting lots of Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headset requests on wish lists. It’s most known for its virtual reality game capabilities that feel both lifelike and otherworldly. There are hundreds of games to choose from that fit your style and allow you to play with a stranger or with friends. Gaming is king, but the virtual reality possibilities are endless with Oculus 2. Enjoy a group workout or an escape room with friends. An underrated option is simply watching your favorite movies. You can adjust the screen to fit whatever size you want.
Description: The kids’ table may look a bit different this year as the Fire HD 10 kids’ tablet is keeping kids entertained this holiday season. Designed for children ages 3 to 7, it has subscription-packet options that are filled with educational content. Amazon offers one year of Amazon Kids+ that gives families access to more than 20,000 books, popular apps and games, videos, songs, Audible books and more, and it comes loaded with tons of apps you can download with just one click. With extensive parental controls, you can leave the tablet with your child. It has a two-year guarantee in case anything happens, and several colors to choose from.
THE SPORTS FAN
Founded in 2007, STATSports is the world’s leading player tracking and analysis provider in elite sports. They are like the dream-makers for young athletes. STATSports allows them to tap into the data to measure their performance across 16 metrics, giving them insights on how to train/play better, faster and stronger. It also helps parents and coaches navigate scholarships, national sports trials and more. STATSports is perfect for that splurge-worthy item to help any athlete train like a pro.
Photo illustrations by Máximo Tuja