10 Kids Reveal the Best Holiday Gifts They’ve Ever Received

updated Nov 11, 2022
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Credit: From Left to Right: Hammacher and Amazon

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Much like last year, the threat of looming shipping delays spooked us all into starting the holiday shopping season earlier, some would say than ever before. And the world was quick to oblige, coming to the rescue with shopping guides that seemed to drop well before Halloween and spooky season had come to an end. It has all resulted, at least for me personally, in a case of gift-giving fatigue.

With so many gift guides vying for our attention, it’s officially time for another take — especially where our littlest and merriest are concerned. That’s why Cubby is going straight to the source for much-needed advice on all things holiday gifts. Below, 10 kids share the very best presents they’ve ever received — just in time to add them to our shopping lists. 

1 / 10

Six-year-old Charlotte throws her arms out wide and nearly tumbles backward when attempting to describe the size of this toy unicorn. When I ask her what made this gift such a special one, she regains her footing and volleys back, “Who doesn’t want to ride a unicorn?” A truly unanswerable question. <Clicks “add to cart.”>

2 / 10

Danny, who is about to turn 9, remembers unwrapping his first superhero action figure — a poseable Batman from DC Comics — and thinking, “This is so exciting!” What does he love most about this one? “His knees bend, so all his jumping looks realistic,” he says.

3 / 10
was $99.99

This full-size wizard chess set is a plastic replica of the one you’ll see in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Ten-year-old Olivia says, “I like [it] because I’ve always thought playing chess seemed cool and using the same set they had in the Harry Potter movie made it one step cooler.”

4 / 10
was $38.85

After spending an eternity reading the LOTR trilogy with her dad, my 7-year-old received this gift beneath our Christmas tree. She says, “It made me feel loved because I could tell my dad put a lot of thought into it.” To a casual fan like me, the ring is a solid replica, featuring the telltale Elvish markings and a silver chain to ensure this precious gift never leaves your little one’s sight.

5 / 10
was $24.99

For Kyle, a paleontology-loving 8-year-old, this fossil kit from National Geographic was a dream come true. “I like it because even though you know the fossils are somewhere in the clay, you don’t know exactly where [they] are, and it’s fun to look for them,” he says. Each kit includes a chisel, brush, and magnifying glass alongside a brick hiding 15 fossils from dinosaurs, sharks, and other creatures.

6 / 10

Truth be told, by the time 5-year-old Isobel settled on how old she was when she received this gift, (“I was 3… no! I was 4. Wait! Was it this year or last year?”) she didn’t have much time to describe it to me. All we really need to know is that this mechanical, interactive bear is a playmate by day and a soothing device by night. With more than 100 sounds and movements and a selection of gentle lullabies, Cubby has captivated Isobel for two years and counting, her mom gratefully reports.

7 / 10
Hammacher Schlemmer

Violet, age 8, received an indoor jungle gym last year to help shake free of cabin fever. “It was hard not going anywhere during the [early days of the] pandemic,” she says. “So it was so cool to have something fun to do at home.” For families short on space, this doorway contraption is a dream come true, meaning kids can wiggle, swing, stretch, and climb while barely taking over your living space. This kit includes a swing, hanging rings, ladder, and trapeze bar; and it mounts securely to a door frame without bolts or screws.

8 / 10
was $69.99

Let’s face it: marble runs are mesmerizing. So when 5-year-old Tod chimed in with this gem, I couldn’t wait to check it out for my own kids, too. What’s so great about this 150-piece set? Aside from it being completely customizable, Tod says, “it goes ‘zoom, zoom, zoom.’”

9 / 10

For 3-year-old Teddy, the choice is simple: this build-anything rabbit from the hit Netflix show, The Octonauts, has been his best gift yet. His mom agrees, if only because he attempts the bunny’s southern accent as he plays.

10 / 10

When he first saw Nintendo’s Labo Variety Kit, 12-year-old John remembers thinking, “Cool, a bunch of cardboard.” It wasn’t until he really dug in that he discovered he could use that cardboard to build things like a fishing rod, piano, or motorcycle to take his Nintendo Switch play to a whole new and immersive level.