There are certain annual signs that mean the most wonderful time of the year is upon us. Sure — there’s the weather getting colder, food getting warmer, lights twinkling in the trees and familiar holiday tunes ringing out everywhere. Christmas, Hannukah, New Year’s Eve and other joyous occasions are headed our direction — and while all of these signs are great, there’s one we’ve been eagerly anticipating. It’s the gift guide to end all gift guides — Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2020. She may not be Santa Claus, but she is the next best thing.
As per usual, Oprah’s annual list is a warm hug of goodies approved by Oprah herself. This list is released around this time every year, and through it Oprah urges everyone to treat themselves and their loved ones to something nice. This year has been a doozy and a half — and we’re so excited that Oprah has yet again blessed us with her go-to items for healing, relaxing, pampering and getting all cozied up.
Oprah’s list of favorite things spans across a wide range of categories from tech gifts to foodie favorites, apparel, pets and more. We’ve pined through her list and picked out our favorite items that include everything from a dog sweatshirt to a chef-grade spice set, so you can zero in on the best of the best and save yourself time this shopping season. There’s something for everyone on this list, and you can rest assured knowing it’s all Oprah-approved. So, if they don’t like it, they can take it up with the gifting queen herself.
This year, Oprah put special emphasis on Christmas gifts from black-owned brands and businesses, and most of the gifts on the list come from one of them. So, in addition to knowing your gift has her seal of approval, you’re also most likely uplifting marginalized communities through your purchase. The ultimate win-win. Without further ado, we present our favorite things from Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2020.
1. Mirror Home Fitness System
Yup, Oprah likes the Mirror, too! If you’ve been on the fence about whether this smart gym system is worth the investment, then you’ve got your answer. This incredibly unique workout streaming system features a library with more than 50 types of workouts from cardio to yoga, strength, boxing and more. You and up to five members of your household will get access to unlimited classes with the purchase, as well as the award-winning slim, sleek Mirror. The Mirror has advanced camera technology as well as machine learning that gathers information about you and your body so it can give real-time feedback based on the goals you set.
2. Yedi Total Package Air Fryer
Naturally, an air fryer, the comfort food gadget of 2020, is on Oprah’s list of favorites. This one is perfect for food-lovers of all kinds who want to eat a bit healthier, as it produces fried food with 85% less fat than traditional deep frying, and with very little oil. It has a dehydrator that’s great for making dried fruit snacks, and a rotisserie that can do whole roasts, tenderloins, kababs and more. It comes with 11 different accessories for all of these options as well as a recipe book for easy reference during cooking.
3. Chef Kenny’s Ultimate 5 Spice Gift Set
This spice set was created by celebrity chef Kenny Gilbert and includes low-sodium, freshly ground spices for all your holiday recipes. The kit covers a variety of dishes and includes Fried Chicken Seasoning, a Moroccan spice blend, Cinnamon Coffee Rub, Raging Cajun and Jerk Spice. This set invites everyone to “Cook Like the Big Dogs” and comes with recipe cards to refer to during your Kenny-inspired creations.
4. Cup of Té Luxe Organic Tea Set
A good luxury tea set is always one of the top gifts for her during the holiday season, and 2020 is no different. Is there anything better than curling up with a book and cup of tea when it’s snowing outside? Not really. This set comes with three decaffeinated and three caffeinated ethically-sourced loose leaf teas, with more than 120 servings of tea in the complete set. The decorative tins are beautifully made, and the flavors range from Noms Berry Delight to Zesty Lemon Ginger, Cream of Earl Grey and Cha Cha Chai.
5. JUDY Emergency Preparedness Kit
We’ve written about JUDY at SPY before, we’re big fans and feel validated that Oprah is as well. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to be prepared for the unexpected. This kit is one of their biggest ones, and it comes stocked with everything up to four people would need for 72 hours of self-sufficiency. It includes six pre-packed kits inside for warmth, safety, first-aid, food and water. The waterproof bin is sturdy and compact so you can store it anywhere in your home easily. Give the potentially life-saving gift of emergency preparedness with this Oprah-approved JUDY kit.
6. E Marie Travel Boss Blanket Set
Sanitation while traveling has become a hot topic of discussion during 2020, and this blanket set aims to keep you comfortable and safe during any journey. It comes with a blanket and eye mask as well as a safe-keep bag for both so you don’t need to borrow one from any airline. The eye mask is lined with comfortable jersey fabric, and everything is machine-washable so you can freshen it up after you arrive at your destination.
7. Hydroponic Mason Jar Garden Cocktail Set
This woman-owned business from AZ is all about eco-friendly, easy, beginner-friendly gardening in your kitchen. All you need is a little bit of water and sunlight to create a whole garden of cocktail herbs with no grow lights or expensive setup necessary. The glass mason jars won’t leech harmful chemicals into your soil and the packaging is made of compostable biofilm materials made in the USA. This company offers a cocktail herb set as well as a garden pizza set — so you can choose based on the age group you’re buying for.
8. Studio Badge Afriyie Concrete Serving Platter
These serving platters are beautiful, and perfect for displaying a dessert creation or appetizer platter this holiday season. It’s 12-inches in diameter, so there’s plenty of room and the unique geometric design really pops. These platters are 100% handmade by local artisans in Ghana, West Africa, and are made of local African materials including Ghanaian teak and concrete.
10. Cangshan Thomas Keller Steel-Forged 3-Piece Knife Set
This knife set is the ultimate chef’s gift of 2020, as the knives were designed by Michelin-starred chef Thomas Keller. The set includes a 3 1/2″ paring knife, an 8″ chef’s knife and a TAI walnut knife block. These gorgeous steel chef’s knives are the real deal — they’re made of Swedish Damasteel RWL34 powdered steel known for its strength and hardness. The 6-stage heat treatment the blades have received has also created a Rockwell hardness rating of 61 +/-2, so the blades have incredibly sharp edges. The white polymer handles are contoured for a comfortable grip and a stainless steel end cap on each knife adds balance.
BOOKS + ENTERTAINMENT
11. Very Venice Modern Monet Paint by Numbers Kit
Paint by numbers for adults are also a favorite around here, but the ones that Oprah picked out this year from Modern Monet are stunning. This Venice one is great, and perfect for unwinding after a day (and year) of staring at screens. No other tools are needed to create this masterpiece as all the materials you need come with the kit. This brand is owned by the same people as Picasso Kits, the paint by numbers on Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2019 list.
12. A Kids Book About Series
This book series is centered on creating beautiful, accessible and kid-friendly books that ignite empowering, challenging and crucial conversations for children and their parents. Gift a few to your parent friends or buy a few to enjoy with your own child. There’s a time and place to start discussing racism, money, failure, gratitude and other important topics with your young one — and these books can help jumpstart this process.
13. Ubuntu Life Suede Men’s Lamu Mules
These shoes come with the message “Ubuntu” which is a Zulu word meaning “I am because you are.” Every purchase of these shoes supports meaningful, purpose-driven employment in the Maai Mahiu region of Kenya, and the signature beaded tab on each one is made by Maasai Maker Mums of Kenya. The mule shoes are comfortable, casual and perfect for wearing around the house. They include genuine Kenyan leather with a nubuck finish and jute soles with vulcanized rubber crafted for durability. They come in a variety of rich colors including Chestnut brown, indigo, sand and mustard.
14. Sorel Women’s Waterproof Conquest Sneaker
2020 has been the year of COVID-safe outdoor adventures, and if your hiking shoes have tired old soles it’s time to replace them with an Oprah-endorsed pair. These hiking shoes from Sorel are waterproof and long-lasting with micro-fleece lining for ultimate dryness. The rubber outsoles protect your feet during longer walks and the 1.5″ heel height makes for comfortable all-day wear.
15. Cozy Earth Ultra-Soft Bamboo Jogger Pant
2020 has also been the year of sweatpants and loungewear, and these pants from Cozy Earth are perfect for relaxing in. The bamboo in the material keeps you cool while the chic design and pockets give you the convenience you need to live in them. Bamboo naturally regulates your body’s temperature and is moisture-wicking, so you won’t overheat. They’re form-fitting, flattering and great for hot flashes if someone you know is going through postpartum or menopause and needs some cooling pajamas to sleep in. The jogger pants all have a crew neck top counterpart, for balancing purposes.
16. FootNanny Starter Kit Bundle
Speaking of tired soles, your feet could always use some pampering — and this home pedicure hit is the perfect self-care gift this season. The goal? Smooth feet. The strategy? Eucalyptus cream, a FootNanny Green RESCUE Bugger and one pair of white cotton socks. This kit has enough material for 30 pedicures inside so it’ll last well into 2021.
17. House Dogge Hoodie
Lastly, a dog hoodie, because why not. (No, that’s not a mispelling, it’s really called the Dogge Hoodie.) The messages on these dog hoodies evoke an influencer-esque vibe and we’re into them. You can choose if your dog is more of a “Blessed” “Grateful” or “Loved” D.O.G and choose between three standard sizes from there. It’s a great gift for pet owners and your dog-obsessed friend who’s always looking for their pooch’s next fashion statement.