Grab some mistletoe, thick socks and some emotional endurance, because the holidays are here. We could all use a little comfort and joy this year, so spread some good cheer with this list of potential presents that won’t break the bank. This gift guide should have something for anyone in your life who needs a little pick me up this season, whether that’s your mother, your hairdresser, a beloved frontline worker, or even yourself.
Eat and Be Merry
Julia Child once said, “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Give the best people in your life something to snack on this season.
Native Harvest Maple Syrup (starting at $8.95)
Add a little sweetness to your life with his maple syrup harvested under the Maple Syrup Moon from the trees growing on Ojibwe territory as part of the White Earth Land Recovery Project.
Compartes Chocolate (Starting at $9.95)
Why choose between donuts, coffee and chocolate when you can have all three at once? Compartes Chocolates combines s’mores, churros, cereal and even superfoods into delicious bars sure to sate any sweet tooth.
Marshall’s Haute Sauce Gift Pack ($35)
Spice things up with these small-batch sauces. Their Smoked Habanero Barbecue is just the right amount of spice for whatever you’re cooking up, while their Habanero Carrot Curry packs a flavorful punch. Try four of their classic flavors with the Gift Pack ($35).
Bryant Terry’s Vegetable Kingdom ($18.69)
Help kickstart those 2021 resolutions with this plant-based cookbook from the James Beard award–winning educator, chef and author Bryant Terry. Recipes like Warm Butter Bean Salad with Roasted Bell Peppers and Caramelized Leek and Seared Mushroom Toast prove that going vegan doesn’t mean sacrificing much of anything.
All in One Breakfast Sandwich Maker ($27.94)
Perfect the art of the breakfast sandwich with this Hamilton Beach gadget that promises perfect egg-and-cheese on a roll in just five minutes. Pair this sandwich maker with a Bloody Mary kit from Harry & David, which comes with all the accouterments (minus the vodka) and brunch all day, any day.
You may not be able to travel for a while, but your mouth can go around the world with this snack box filled with a variety of sweet and salty snacks from various countries.
Hawa Hassan and Julia Turshen, In Bibi’s Kitchen ($21.95)
This sumptuous cookbook celebrates family and tradition through recipes collected from grandmothers from eight African nations: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea.
Sometimes in this life you just really want to eat some pie. Luckily, Round Top, Texas’s bakery delivers, so grab a Sweet and Salty Pie from Royer’s Cafe and brighten someone’s day.
Toast the Season
Make merry this holiday season and then raise a glass to the end of 2020.
Liqs Whiskey Fireshot shots ($6.99)
If there ever was a year to stuff adult stockings with shots, it’s 2020. Liqs come in flavors like vodka lychee grapefruit and whiskey fireshot, perfect for staying inside when the weather outside is frightful.
Sojourner Truth drinking glass ($16)
Rosé all day with Sojourner Truth with this wine glass emblazoned with the words of wisdom from a woman who dared. Other options include Marie Curie, Clara Barton, and Susan B Anthony who are all worthy of a toast.
Five Drinks Co Cocktails ($9.99)
With everything 2020 has doled out this year, who wouldn’t be thrilled to unwrap a mojito this year? This line of ready-to-drink canned cocktails, including Gin & Tonic, Margarita, Moscow Mule, Paloma, Watermelon Vodka Soda and Mojitos make it easier than ever to get through the holidays.
Ivy’s Tea Co. C.R.E.A.M. Tea ($12.50)
This collection of tea and honey will thrill any tea lover looking for something more interesting than plain old black or herbal. Pour a cup of C.R.E.A.M. tea add some Crime honey ($12), and stir with a trap teaspoon ($14) and sip while listening to “Christmas in Hollis”
If you know someone craving bubble tea and trying to minimize their contact with others during the pandemic, this kit is for them. The set comes with both black tea and rooibos chai, as well as tapioca pearls and two reusable stainless steel straws for all your boba needs.
La Colombe’s Local Roasters gift box ($42)
Give the gift of caffeine with this assortment of roasted and blended by local coffee roasteries in Philadelphia, Chicago and L.A.. Pair it with a KeepCup, a stylish way to cut down on waste, for a perfect present for a coffee lover.
Avoiding Cabin Fever
When you’re tired of walking in a winter wonderland—or the weather outside is just a little too frightful—you’ll be hanging out indoors. These gift ideas are perfect for curling up by the fire, snuggling in bed or keeping busy while waiting for the snow to melt and a vaccine to arrive.
Upgrade from your Rubik’s Cube to this set of six handcrafted puzzles perfect for whiling away the winter hours.
Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales ($49.88)
Marvel’s latest for the PS4 lets players swing through Harlem with Into the Spiderverse’s Miles Morales as he tries to save his city and get used to his new powers.
Get the left-handed writer in your life a little something to make their scribbling easier—a kit with pencils designed for left-handed folks who don’t want to end up covered in graphite while writing thank-you notes.
Humans by Brandon Stanton ($17.50)
The latest book from the creative mind behind the popular Humans of New York project, serves as a reminder that this planet is populated by humans with real thoughts, feelings and stories that connect us all.
JBL Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker ($29.95)
Blast your yacht rock favorites in the bathtub with this super portable, waterproof bluetooth speaker, which comes in a variety of party-pretty colors.
RHONY Real Housewives of New York Adult Coloring Book ($15.99)
Everyone’s favorite guilty pleasure jumps off the TV screen and onto the page with this coloring book that is perfect for Bravo fans. If you want something slightly less drama-filled, color some happy little trees with the Bob Ross Coloring Book.
Julia Rothman’s Ocean Anatomy: The Curious Parts & Pieces of the World Under the Sea ($15.26)
Go deep-sea diving in the pages of this invitingly illustrated book, which is an educational adventure for sea lovers and landlubbers of all ages.
Everyone needs a flashlight (heck, everyone needs two flashlights!) and this drop- and water-resistant version certainly fits the bill.
Victrola Vintage Bluetooth Portable Suitcase Record Player ($49.99)
Take your tunes to go with this portable record player that not only spins vinyl (the Mariah Carey reissue, maybe?), but also comes with Bluetooth to pump out your favorite playlists.
These gorgeously colored puzzles offer a fun twist on an old favorite with quirky images and cheeky themes, like the Meta Puzzle, which is a puzzle about doing puzzles. Plus, these puzzles come with a playlist to accompany all your hard work.
Give the entire history of art in this exquisite and in-depth book that includes 600 works of art from painting and sculpture to textile and ceramic all selected by curators and art experts from around the world.
Retro-Bit RES Plus 8-Bit Console ($37.99)
If you know someone with a stash of classic NES games but no way to play them, help them get their game on with this handy throwback console. It’s sure to satisfy all their Super Mario Bros., Punch Out, or Ninja Gaiden needs.
Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half ($16.20)
Get the reader in your life the book that TIME said was the “novel of the year.” The story of twin sisters grappling with identity and race has made this eloquent tale one of the most buzzed-about books of the year and a surefire crowd pleaser.
The colorful decorative tiles in this game, inspired by the Moorish designs in the Alhambra palace in Spain, are sure to please art and design lovers, while the deceptively simple game makes it fun for the whole family.
Adrian Tomine’s The Loneliness of a Long-Distance Cartoonist ($22)
Through autobiographical sketches, cartoonist Adrian Tomine drafts a portrait of his life from childhood to the present day. It’s a book that is both personal and relatable, making it an excellent gift.
Dolly Parton’s Songteller: My Life in Stories ($30)
Say hello, Dolly with this new memoir from the Appalachian songbird. The book takes readers on a journey through the beloved singer’s life from a small cabin to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Paint & Plant Pizza Herb Growing Kit ($24.99)
Put those kids to work growing herbs for the kitchen with this adorable gardening kit. Not only will it give everyone a new activity to keep them busy, it’ll also hopefully provide some fresh herbs for delicious winter cooking.
Swap the average snowglobe for one filled with Martian dust, perfect for anyone dreaming of a trip to the red planet. Add a Moon Lamp ($19.88) to bring joy to anyone with stars in their eyes.
Hey Google, what’s a small yet stylish smart speaker that won’t break the bank?
Musicals: The Definitive Illustrated History ($40)
The lights on Broadway are dark right now, so dive into this glorious history of musical theater as the world waits for the Great White Way to reopen.
Sure this is meant for children, but we’ve all been spending a lot of time indoors lately and might appreciate a little space to call our own.
Hiking trips are the perfect way to get out of the house and maintain social distance, and Lifestraw is the perfect addition to any hiking, camping or traveling bag. It removes around 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria without batteries or chemicals, just in case you find yourself in need of it.
Self Care and Comfort
If there is one thing that 2020 has taught us it’s that self care is an important part of survival. Help the people on your list take a moment for themselves, even if it just means using nicer soap or looking at a pretty planter.
Pick the perfect lotions through this company’s climate quiz, which will determine exactly what skin needs to thrive, whether you’re in dry desert heat or a frigid icy clime. Lotions start at $35.
Ilia Eye Love Clean Eye Makeup Set ($45)
In these days of constant face masks, you can make sure your eyes stand out with Ilia’s clean, cruelty-free makeup kit complete with liner, mascara, and eye tint. $45.
Parachute Classic Slippers ($39)
Shoes are so unnecessary. Slippers, though, are mandatory. Parachute’s classic variety will make you feel like you’re at a spa, a hotel or anywhere that’s not your living room.
Green Gorilla CBD Gummies (Starting at $5.99)
Give the gift of chill with these organic CBD gummies from Green Gorilla. To kick up the calming, pair with their CBD balm ($19.99) and a DIY massage for a truly relaxing experience.
Whiskey and Woof Candles ($18)
This candle collection is inspired by two of the best things on the planet—whiskey and puppies. Sip some bourbon while lighting a Bon Vivant candle ($18), which smells like whiskey by the fire or curl up with a good book and Elle, a sandalwood and cedar-scented candle ($18) named for the owner’s French bulldog.
Clean Greens Anti-Pollution Face Mask ($34)
Maskne is real, but this cleansing face mask from Golde can help, as it is packed with natural chlorophyll to help your skin glow under that mask.
Sound Oasis GTS-2000 Deluxe Glo to Sleep Therapy Mask ($31.29)
If you’ve been struggling to sleep, this mask not only blocks outside light, but uses soothing red and blue pulses to lull you to slumberland. Want a more low-tech version? Try Lunya’s Washable Silk Sleep Mask ($48)
Since washing your hands is all the rage these days, make it good for both you and the planet. Common Good’s elegant glass dispenser ($15) and refill pouch full of bergamot-scented eco-friendly soap ($21) does just that.
Get your nails done without a trip to the salon. Simply upload photos of your nails to the company’s website and they will create made-to-order gel-polish stickers that can be applied at home and peeled off when done.
Minimalist gold earrings ($37.95)
Add a little sparkle and joy with these sleek, modern drop earrings. They not only look good, but have the added benefit of helping UNICEF fulfill their important mission of improving the lives and health of children around the world.
Two-Tone Planter (Starting at $19.81)
This minimalist planter is a stylish way to show off your at-home garden, whether you have one plant or a virtual jungle.
Marvis Royal toothpaste ($10.50)
Why let your loved ones settle for regular toothpaste when they can have royal toothpaste. Italian toothpaste maker Marvis has a limited edition Royal toothpaste ($10.50) with hints of tangerine and lemon or add a little variety to a morning routine with a flavor collection ($36) with licorice, aquatic mint, ginger and more.
Chanel’s Ultra Hydrating Lip Color ($38)
While Chanel handbags and clothing may not fall into the $50 and under category, you can add a little glamour to someone’s life with the gift of Chanel lipstick, which comes in 28 shades.
Every dog is a good dog, which means every dog deserves a present. BarkBox should do the trick with a set of toys and treats that are the right size for the pup. Want something a little more bespoke? The Dash Express Dog Treat Maker lets you make dog biscuits at home ($29.99).
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