You might think tech journalists are so jaded by writing about new products all year that we'd ask for something completely different at Christmas. But you'd be wrong.
In fact, pretty much the whole Tom's Guide team is hoping for something we've seen and used this year, but had to return. We don't get to keep all this stuff, you know.
So in our letters to Santa we'll be asking for everything from a Nintendo Switch OLED to an iPad mini 6 to a smart washing machine. Oh, and a PS5, but that's not going to happen.
So if you haven't yet found what you're looking for among the best Christmas deals, maybe you'll get some inspiration from our own wish list. Pressed for time? Also check out our best online gift cards guide.
Apple MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021
Let me start by saying that the MacBook Pro 2021 14-inch is maybe overkill for what I do on a daily basis, but I don’t care. Now that I’ve tried this laptop I can’t go back to other MacBooks with fewer ports, less speed and cruddier screens. The MacBook Pro 14-inch 2021 starts with a bright and colorful mini-LED display that makes everything from photos and videos really pop, and I appreciate the 120Hz refresh rate. You also get an HDMI port and SD card slot, and Apple has finally given us a 1080p webcam for sharper video calls. Thanks to its M1 Pro chip, this machine doesn’t flinch when I have dozens of tabs open while editing photos, and we got a very strong 14 hours of battery life in our testing. In short, I’d very much like one of my own, please. — Mark Spoonauer
Nintendo Switch OLED
It’s been eight years since I last bought a console and 15 since I shelled out for Nintendo hardware, but this Christmas I’m asking for a Nintendo Switch OLED. Why? Well partly because the state of PS5 restocks makes it almost impossible to get hold of Sony’s next-gen gaming behemoth, but mainly because I really, really want to play Breath of the Wild and, when it arrives, Breath of the Wild 2. That, and the fact that I’ve seen the difference the Switch OLED’s upgraded screen makes and it’s tipped me from ‘I kind of want a Switch’ to ‘I must have one!’ — Marc McLaren
Apple Watch SE
I don’t typically want for much around the holidays, even though my wife insists on finding neat and thoughtful gifts for me each year. But I made the switch to iPhone in 2021 and I’m a big smartwatch fan, so the obvious next step would be an Apple Watch. I currently have a Galaxy Watch Active tied to my iPhone 13 Pro Max, and it’s technically serviceable. But it lacks many of the Apple Watch’s features and I think Tizen is generally a clunky smartwatch OS. My wife and I decided to keep things small this year on account of both of us working on two huge tattoo projects. Even so, I’d love to see an Apple Watch SE (or Series 7), though I highly doubt I will. As for purchasing one myself, I’ll hold off until I get a shiny new CPU for my gaming PC. — Jordan Palmer
Oculus Quest 2
I've only ever tried VR a handful of times, but I'm becoming more and more convinced that this is the direction that gaming is heading. And one of the best examples of VR gear around right now is the Oculus Quest 2. My favorite aspect of it is that it's an all-in-one affair, so you don't need a PC or console to run games on it (although you can buy a cable to link it up to your computer if you want). Plus unlike the elusive PS5 or Xbox Series X, it's still fairly easy to find the Quest 2 in stock. It would make a great left-of-field choice for a lucky gamer in your life. However if I find a Quest 2 in my stocking this year, I'm going to have do some furniture rearranging to make sure I have the space to use it properly… — Richard Priday
Back in 2015, I made the catastrophic error of dying my naturally blonde hair dark brown after a breakup. It’s a classic move that features in every rom-com ever written, but for me, it would be a decision I’d moan about for the next six years (fun, I know). Unlike Anne Hathaway or Julia Roberts, I didn’t sway off into the sunset with a perfect ponytail, instead, my roots grew out lighter than my hair, I didn’t recognize myself in photos, and when I eventually tried to strip the color out, my hair was a dry, brittle mess. Sob story over, this year, I’m hoping to unwrap the Dyson Corrale — a cord-free hair straightener that would be lightweight enough to stick in my gym bag, and which promises to cause 50 per cent less heat damage than traditional straighteners. Yes, $500 is a lot to spend on straighteners, but you can’t put a price on a good hair day, right? — Jane McGuire
Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven
I’ve been feeling pizza envy ever since my colleague Mike Prospero taunted us with pictures of the delicious pies he made with his Ooni Fyra. To cure my FOMO, the outdoor pizza oven is going on my Christmas wish list. I have grilled pizzas on the charcoal grill in my backyard, but it can end in tragedy — I’ve witnessed dough simply melt through the grates. An Ooni would never do me dirty like that. The Fyra runs on wood pellets, which would give my pies that unmistakable wood-fired flavor. I’m already dreaming about crispy crusts and topping combinations for spring and summer pizza parties. — Kelly Woo
Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine
Typically, I’m not a morning person, and so cannot function without my regular mocha, cappuccino or any other caffeine-containing beverage. And while I currently have my trusted pod espresso machine at home, nothing beats the barista-style taste and aroma to rival my favorite coffee shop. The trouble is, I can't find a barista-style machine that won't take up half of my kitchen worktop. So this Christmas, I’m hoping to find a Breville Bambino Plus Espresso Machine under the tree. Not only does it make quality coffee, but has a nice, user-friendly, compact design. What’s more, it comes with an automatic milk frother and adjustable milk temperature, which is perfect for all of my favorite milky coffees. Granted, it costs an eye watering $499, however, it will probably save me money on all those coffee shop visits in the long run. — Cynthia Lawrence
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
I love my 2019 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, but I’m not a fan of its slow response time and now-archaic microUSB charging. I had my eye on the Kindle Paperwhite 2021 during Black Friday, but couldn’t justify buying a device that offers minimal upgrades at best (as described in our Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2021 review). Though I can admittedly afford the latest Kindle Paperwhite, I’d feel bad for making such a frivolous purchase — so I’ll wait for a model that offers significant upgrades to my e-reader. But if someone wants to buy one for me, I won’t stop them. — Tony Polanco
I've had a want for a scare in my video games for quite some time. And since I've already played Resident Evil Village, I've turned my focus to Samus Aran's latest adventure. Metroid Dread pits Aran against what lurks inside the unexplored ZDR planet, where the E.M.M.I. research robots hunt her down and force her (and you) to be stealthy. There's also the question of the Chozo race, which may not be as much of her foe as you might think. The game looks to have an amazing aesthetic and, as our Metroid Dread review noted, tight gameplay. — Henry T. Casey
Vari Electric Standing Desk
As we approach the New Year, I'm reassessing my home office, and I think it's time to get a new desk. The Vari Electric Standing Desk has caught my eye thanks to its powered height adjustment and otherwise simple, sturdy design. With built-in cable management and custom height pre-sets, it seems like the best way to elevate my home office and improve the ergonomics for my day-to-day. — Brian Westover
A robot lawnmower
After reviewing the Husqvarna Automower 435X AWD, I realized what my life was finally missing: a robot lawnmower. I was skeptical at first, but the Automower saved me from having to lug a lawnmower around my yard every weekend during the summer — and that meant I had more time to enjoy my Saturdays and Sundays. Plus, because the robot lawnmower cuts grass into little pieces, there was nothing for me to clean up afterwards. Yes, they’re expensive, but could be cheaper in the long run over paying for a lawn service. — Mike Prospero
Sony PlayStation 5
Would it be passé to say I want a PS5 for Christmas? I know it won’t happen — a good PS5 restock is hard to find on the best of days, let alone the holidays — but a man can dream. Personally, I’ve been dreaming of a PlayStation 5 ever since I saw how good it makes games like Ghost of Tsushima and Death Stranding look, not to mention actual PS5 exclusives like Ratchet & Clank or the Demon’s Souls remake. It looks like I’ll be dreaming a bit longer, as I doubt we’ll see enough PS5s on store shelves to satisfy demand until late 2022 at the earliest. — Alex Wawro
Retro gaming consoles have been around for a while, but there's none so elegant-looking as the modernist yet evocative Analogue Pocket, a stylish update to the Nintendo Game Boy series of decades past. The $209 Pocket plays most Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance cartridges right out of the gate, and has optional adapters for Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket Color and Atari Lynx cartridges as well. — Paul Wagenseil
Apple iPad mini 6
The iPad mini 6 is a device I want far more than I actually need, but isn’t that what a wishlist is for? I’ve always loved the compact form factor of the iPad mini range significantly more than its oversized siblings, and as our iPad mini 6 review will tell you, the latest model is the best yet. I’m still making do with an iPad mini 2, which is starting to audibly groan with age. Plus, experiencing the mini 6’s A15 Bionic processor and gorgeous 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display first-hand has made me long to upgrade even more. It's pricy at $499, but if it gets even a small reduction in the best Christmas sales, the temptation may become too great to resist. — Rory Mellon
Microsoft Surface Studio 2
Through working at Tom's Guide, I discovered my dream all-in-one computer, the Microsoft Surface Studio 2. It has all the style and functionality of an iMac, but with a gorgeous built-in graphics tablet — it’s everything I could want, and would be a huge upgrade from my current setup. For me, asking for a gift that costs $3,499 at base price is a little exorbitant, so it remains just a wish for now. But hey, maybe by next Christmas I'll have saved enough to buy one for myself. — Millie Davis-Williams
Apple Watch 7
As I write this I’ve just moved from the Google Pixel 6 Pro to the iPhone 13 Pro, and am a little smitten. It also means the door is finally open to me getting an Apple Watch. While you can technically use an Apple Watch without an iPhone, it didn't seem to make sense to me. Yet I’ve long lusted after the Apple smartwatches of my friends; I’ve got a Wear OS Fossil smartwatch, but it really doesn't impress me. But now that I’ve moved back to iOS, I feel it might be the time to consider an Apple Watch. And it would make sense to go all in and get the Apple Watch 7, with its refined design and larger, always-on display. Maybe when Santa visits me, I might finally get the one smartwatch I’ve wanted for far too long. — Roland Moore-Colyer
Samsung WF45A6400A smart washing machine
Having just moved into an empty house in my native England, after living overseas for several years, being able to buy my very own appliances is a lot more exciting than it should be. Top of my list is a smart washing machine from Samsung, like the WF45A6400A that features in our list of the best washing machines. Being a busy, working parent-of-two (chihuahuas), I love Samsung’s Auto Dose feature, which lets you top up the detergent container once a month without having to fill it before every load. Samsung’s smart washing machines also ping your phone when the wash is done, which would tell me it’s time to fill the machine up with more chihuahua-soiled linens. — Dale Fox
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Formerly Editor in Chief (U.K.) on Tom’s Guide, Marc oversaw all gaming, streaming, audio, TV, entertainment, how-to and cameras coverage, and was also responsible for the site’s U.K.-focused output. He is now U.K. Editor in Chief on TechRadar. Marc previously edited the tech website Stuff and has tested and written about phones, tablets, wearables, streaming boxes, smart home devices, Bluetooth speakers, headphones, games, TVs, cameras and much more. He also spent years on a music magazine, where his duties mainly involved spoiling other people&rs