As the holiday season comes roaring in, Santa’s feeling a bit stressed. There’s a lot to do before the sleigh can be loaded for the reindeer-powered ride around the globe next month. The Jolly Old Elf was anything but jolly when he told the Deseret News he could really use some assistance.
It turns out that not all of Santa’s helpers have pointy ears and hats tipped with jingle bells.
So we’ve been scouring store shelves, raking in product pitches and talking to our kin and pals to figure out what would be welcome beneath a Christmas tree in 2022.
Maybe your tree.
If you’re stumped, too, we have a few suggestions. Prices are shifting, so what we list is a price you may be able to beat. Happy holidays indeed!
The Judy Mover Max emergency kit go bag supports four people for 72 hours in an emergency. $195. Kit includes hand-crank radio, 101-piece first-aid kit, a multitool, water with a 5-year shelf life, KN95 masks, glow sticks, meal replacement bars (also 5-year shelf life), ponchos, hand warmers, emergency gloves, biohazard bags, hand sanitizer, wipes, tissues and more.
For the nervous-at-night tyke, try Bruno, one of the Bedtime Defenderz. $29.99. He’s soft and squishy enough to cuddle, but looks plenty fierce to stand guard at night. And each of the Defenderz has a backstory. This guy grew up among flowers and trees.
Marvin’s Ultimate Magic: 400 tricks and illusions, price varies as kits contain a different number of tricks. A delightful array for would-be magicians as young as age 6 with supplies to pull it off and detailed instructions.
Celebrate individuality. Glossier You perfume, $64, is a personalized perfume that’s unique to everyone who wears it. Its official description heralds a “spicy top note” that leads to the “heart of the scent” from ambrette seed, ambrox and white floral.
The award-winning Hess Flatbed Truck with Hot Rods. $41.99, will light up the holidays with flashing lights, realistic sounds, a loading ramp, plenty of batteries and a pair of hot rods. Available only from Hess, this little delight won both the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio’s Platinum Best Toy Award and Toy Insider’s 2022 Top Holiday Toy Award.
With the Ellie Rose Quartz holographic wireless charger, $39.99, you just put your Qi-compatible device (Apple or Samsung) on the charging pad. It works through the phone case for a fast charge. Compatible with USB-A wall adapters or power sources.
This multitasking Capri 2-in-1 Garment and Duffle Bag, $119, by Brouk and Co., works hard. It unzips to change from a duffle to a hanging travel bag with compartments for shoes, jewelry and more.
With the Klutz Lego Make Your Own Movie, $24.99, for kids ages 8+, your budding filmmaker can stop-motion animation. Ten “Mini Movies” walk you through using a phone, tablet or computer to create short clips with easy instructions. It includes six background settings and 36 Lego elements.
For the older budding filmmaker, Sundance online courses through the Collab will guide you through whatever catches your creative fancy, from screenwriting to directing, producing, even marketing. Prices and duration vary.
This folding tumbling mat by Hearthsong Toys, $84.98, provides a safe place to practice gymnastics, martial arts, cheerleading or yoga on a durable, thick-cushioned vinyl surface. It folds to move and store and has sturdy carrying handles. Clean it with a damp cloth.
Forget a bulky wallet. WalleyGrip2 thin pocket “wallet” attaches to any cellphone, $49.99. WallyGrip holds up to three credit cards and cash. Features include a kickstand, MagSafe-compatible magnet and fraud-prevention RFID insert — in a wide range of colors.
The Sensibo Air Pro, $159, is a smart A/C controller/thermostat with a built-in air quality sensor. Sensibo says you can control your AC with your phone, save money on energy bills and know the quality of the air you’re breathing.
The iPlay, iLearn Unicorn Bouncy Pal, $29.99, is an inflatable toy that provides a stable ride. There are eight animal options (zebra, cow, horse, bull, unicorn, fox, reindeer and dragon), each with a removable plush cover and its own hand-held air pump.
The F22 Raptor Remote Controlled Plane Kit by PowerUp Toys, $89.99, includes one laser-cut 3/16-inch white Maker Foam sheet, quick-connect foam balsa and cardboard wings, and a Powerup 4.0 twin motor Bluetooth module. Features include an onboard flight computer, autopilot assist, gyro and accelerometer with fly-by-wire capability and flight telemetry statistics. Plus, you can capture video.
Tired of being tired? The LectroFan Evo Sound Machine, $49.95, generates multiple realistic fan sounds, different white noises and ocean sounds to block the types of noise that break concentration and chase away sleep. Features include a timer, headphone connector and portable speaker.
Sweet! The Peppermint Candy Snow Sled, $30, for those ages 3+ is made of durable PVC material and can handle cold to minus 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Easy to deflate and store, this sled can carry up to 225 pounds.
Let laser tag come to you with the Laser X Revolution, $80, for four players. Team up or play as individuals, with blasting power up to 300 feet away and quick-slide reload.
This basic Connetix Rainbow Mini Pack, $35, ages 3+, is an introduction to magnetic tile play. Kits of different sizes let kids — and adults — create, limited only by their imagination. Build castles, animals, vehicles with these durable, beveled tiles, which are nontoxic.
What’s cooking? The GoSun Pro Pack portable solar oven, $79.99, uses the sun to cook a meal in 20 minutes or to boil water. The package includes Go Silicon baking pans, a solar dial and a carrying bag.
Sore back or headache? The CranioCradle, $49.95, was crafted “to feel like therapeutic hands under the body.” It can be used to relax muscles, relieve aches, pains, headaches and more — or just to stretch and chill for a few minutes. Use it under your neck, behind your back and under your hips to stretch and soothe an achy body.
For a sweet holiday greeting, send a Chip Chip Hooray Box from cookie delivery company Chip Cookies. A dozen gourmet cookies for $36.50. Different selections, including a festive four-pack and cookies with holiday sparkle are also available.
For visibility from different angles, the Lumos Ultra Smart Bike Helmet, $119, has front and back LED lights that boost safety when cycling, skating or skateboarding in low light. And with a smartphone, you can customize the pattern of the lights. It’s chargeable, too.
The North Pole Gnome, $34.99, is a cuddly Santa’s helper who travels with a story to read and has a hankering to be hugged. His creators say he’s “tasked with monitoring the naughty meter,” a cuddly, playful pal who can help kids “do the right thing.”
Grabease ergonomic self-feeding set, $35, is easy on little hands, the “first patented ergonomic safe self-feeding utensils recommended by occupational therapists,” according to the company’s web description.
Need an icebreaker during the hectic holiday gatherings? TableTopics, $25, has designs for different types of gatherings. We’re fond of the Family Gathering pack, which includes 135 questions to get the conversation going with thought-provoking questions, tips and scenarios.
The KidiStar DJ Mixer by VTech, $53.99, has a turntable, built-in songs and 2,000 sounds so kids ages 5 to 10 can DJ to their hearts’ content.
Your spirits — and your keys, license, etc. — won’t be dampened outdoors with the Yeti Sidekick Gear Case, $50. This waterproof bag is roughly 11 inches by 3 inches by 7 inches and has loops so you can wear it on a belt if you want.
The Voited Cloudtouch indoor/outdoor camping blanket, $135, is a 4-in-1 insulated, water-resistant blanket for indoors or out. Take it camping or put it on your bed. Recycled ripstop on one side and luxurious fleece on the other. It’s machine-washable, stain-resistant and durable.
Who wouldn’t hug Huey Hare from Bunnies by the Bay? The prices for the cuddly critters vary along with their sizes and styles — and not all are rabbits, either. Supremely cuddly and easy to spot clean.
With the Merriam-Webster’s Word Puzzle Adventures, $12.99, grade schoolers will enjoy the animals and rocket illustrations as they do word searches, rhymes and generally playing with the English language.
With Dock and Bay reusable makeup removers, $16, a clean face is a cinch. Wet them and wipe off that makeup, then toss them in the provided bag and launder.
Miniature can be mighty, like this Satsuki Azalea bonsai, $41, from Brussel’s Bonsai. These beautiful little plants have been popular in Japan for hundreds of years and thrive indoors — or out if it’s warm enough — blooming May through June. The complete kit shown is $61.
Satisfy a craving with the Stonewall Kitchen Holiday Jam Tree, $16.95, which includes three small jars of their bestselling spreads: Wild Maine Blueberry Jam, Raspberry Peach Champagne Jam and Holiday Jam.
Bring the sky indoors with the Smithsonian Planetarium Projector, $80, for ages 8+. You can project the night sky on a ceiling, complete with planets, stars, asteroids and more. Amazing and educational, the slide discs show star patterns of the Northern Hemisphere.
What’s cooking? With the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker, $219 (but price deals abound), you can cook food to the perfect temperature every time.