The holidays are coming up fast. No doubt you are making a list and looking for inexpensive-but-crucial stocking stuffers and gifts for friends, neighbors, teachers and party hosts.
Finding thoughtful, inexpensive gifts is one of the season’s biggest headaches. We’re here to help. We scoured the universe for ideas and came up with these great gifts. At the time we checked, each of these treasures was under $25.
Following are the 42 best gifts under $25 this holiday season.
The holidays are nearly upon us, and the Super Bowl isn’t far behind. The lucky recipient of this gift will be ready for all upcoming occasions. This set of four elegant white B. Smith porcelain bowls is just right for serving nuts, olives, pretzels and other appetizers. Each bowl is 5 inches in diameter by 2.75 inches tall. At Bed Bath & Beyond.
Find a local community food bank in the Feeding America network and make a gift of $25 (or more) in someone’s name that will reach people who need help securing adequate, healthful food. Use the link to find a food bank near your home and to volunteer to help. The Feeding America network secures and distributes 4 billion meals annually in the U.S. through meal programs and food pantries.
There is no need to pull your hands out of your pockets or remove globes to listen to music on the go. This black knit beanie has built-in Bluetooth headphones. The device holding the music stays snugly in your pocket or purse.
The hat connects to Bluetooth-enabled media player devices — whether it’s a tablet, iPhone, iPad, Android, laptop or PC. At Amazon.
Someone on your list — maybe a millennial, but it might just be a boomer or anyone who loves design, Disney or the Mickster — will be thrilled to receive this gleaming, fire-engine red Disney Classic toaster. It toasts two slices at a time, imprinting a Mickey design into the bread! At Bed Bath & Beyond.
You know the problem: Headphone cables wrapped up in knots. A stylish solution: Wraps, the cloth-wrapped headphones that double as a fashion accessory. Each comes with small, medium and large silicon tips for the earpieces and a 24-month warranty against faulty products. Choose headphone wrist wraps in different colors from Wraps, with a microphone or without. Click here for more details.
Here’s a great gift for a teacher or workplace Secret Santa. From B. Witching Bath Co., you get a Spa Tonic Sugar Scrub and Brush Gift Set, including bath brush and exfoliating sugar skin scrub. At Bed Bath & Beyond.
Who is the breakfast monster in your life? He or she will be thrilled to receive this gift. Drop all the components of a traditional breakfast sandwich — egg, English muffin, cheese, Canadian bacon — into the trays, let it cook, then remove the sandwich, assembled and ready for breakfast. Click here for more details on Amazon.
Winter holidays are a celebration of light, so no gift could be more appropriate than light itself. These decorator beeswax candles with clean-burning all-cotton wicks, have been hand-rolled and “braided, twisted, painted and even studded to a glossy finish,” says the Grommet. In other words, quite deluxe. At the Grommet.
Not the gift for everybody, but the wacky charm of this Kate Aspen Rustic Charm Antler Bottle Stopper will be perfect for someone you know. At $2.79 each, you can give the recipient a whole herd! Or use these sweet stoppers atop a gift bottle of homemade schnapps, syrup or hot chili oil. At Bed Bath & Beyond.
Someone small will love snuggling with this 12-inch-tall, super-soft “Bashful Bunny” by Jellycat. At Nordstrom.
This gift set will be welcome in any kitchen. It includes a wooden spoon, salad tongs and spatula bundled with a 14.5-inch-by-11.5-inch bamboo cutting board. The cutting board has a drip groove around the entire edge. At Amazon.
Yummers! Great for work colleagues and Secret Santas, this attractive set of five popular treats in small, personal-sized packages includes:
- Brown & Haley Almond Roca Butter Crunch (2 pieces)
- Yogurt Covered Pretzels (4 ounces)
- Chocolate Chip Cappuccino Cookies (4 ounces)
- Gourmet Caramel Popcorn (5 ounces)
- Double Dipped Milk Chocolate Peanuts (2.5 ounces)
This durable refillable leather journal (in black, brown, deep blue, red and sky blue) will thrill an adventurous and imaginative young person. Adults, too, will enjoy the journal’s flexibility and handy size — perfect for recording travel memories. Inside the retro-look cover is a three-ring binder, so users can swap pages in and out and add extra pages (also available from the merchant). At Amazon.
A thoughtful personal care gift for women or men, this kit is perfect as a stocking stuffer. The boxed set includes six trial sizes of Burt’s Bees products for hands and feet:
- Almond Milk Hand Cream
- Honey Grapeseed Hand Cream
- Coconut Foot Cream
- Hand Salve
- Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
- Pomegranate Lip Balm
Natural ingredients include vitamin E, botanical oils and rosemary extract. At Amazon.
This fun 5-ounce flask holds just enough schnapps to warm you up on a chilly winter outing. Included are a funnel to help fill it and two shot glasses. All are stainless steel.At Amazon.
This 32-ounce (4 cups) infuser has a thumb-releasing flip-top lid and two no-slip grips for convenience and stability. The large infuser rod runs the entire length of the bottle. The manufacturer describes the equipment as FDA-approved, BPA-free and leakproof. Fill the infuser with fruit, lemon or lime slices, cucumbers or herbs and spices. The infuser fits into a water pitcher and can be cleaned in a dishwasher. A book of recipes is included. At Amazon.
An excellent learning gift at an affordable price, this Snap Circuits Jr. kit gets kids “age 8-108” engaged in hands-on learning, designing and building working models of electrical circuits. No tools are needed: The parts snap together to make electronic connections. The kit comes with 30 parts and instructions for 100 projects, including a photo sensor, a flashing light and an adjustable-volume siren. Uses two AA batteries (not included). At Amazon.
This is a good choice for the handymen and handywomen on your list. It also works for sewers, quilters, crafts fans and anyone else who must keep screws, nails, pins, drill bits and other miscellaneous metal materials at hand while working. At Amazon.
A good choice for teacher gifts, this Tea Forté World of Teas sampler box contains 15 pouches of sustainably harvested loose-leaf tea, giving your recipient three chances to try each of five blends:
- Bombay Chai
- Moroccan Mint
- African Solstice
- Estate Darjeeling
Each pouch contains enough loose tea to brew a 12-ounce cup or pot. At Amazon.
Lavatools’ PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer responds in three to four seconds with a readout. The 1.4-inch display makes it easy to read at a glance. The tool is magnetic, for convenient storage on the oven, grill or refrigerator, and it has a lifetime warranty. It would make a good gift for grill fanatics, and the manufacturer also says it is “perfect for fryers, bread, candy, coffee, and homebrews.” Six colors are available: chipotle (red), butter, indigo, milk, mint and sesame. At Amazon.
La Chatelaine offers these three 1-fluid-ounce tubes of nourishing hand cream in a handsome gift tin. The cream contains 20 percent shea butter, vitamin E and organic argan oil. The vendor describes the product as: “Cruelty free, no BHT, Parabens, Phthalates, Phenoxyethanol, DEA, Propylene Glycol.” At Amazon.
Flybar, inventor in 1918 of the pogo stick, makes this beginner My First Flybar foam model for ages 3 and up that squeaks when you bounce. Flybar says it’s safe and durable and can support up to 250 pounds (in case the grown-ups want to get in on the fun). The company also says, “My First Flybar Foam Pogo Jumper is made from a soft durable foam base, a strong stretchy bungee ‘spring’ and soft comfortable foam grip handles. Great for indoor and outdoor use and won’t scuff or scratch any surface! Meets all CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) Safety Standards.” At Amazon.
Give the gift of nature with this small (5.9-by-5.2-by-3.9-inch) acrylic bird feeder. To keep squirrels out and offer maximum visibility, attach it to a fixed window (not a sliding or moveable one) with the accompanying suction cups. The removable bird feeder includes removable seed and water trays and instructions for downloading an e-book, “Attracting Birds to Your Wild Bird Feeder.” At Amazon.
A great inexpensive gift for those who like their brews and sodas nice and icy. Picture your friends and loved ones enjoying a super-chilled beer in the summer heat. The set includes two stainless steel “sticks” filled with thermal coolant gel. The dishwasher-safe sticks are kept in the freezer and dropped into a beverage glass or bottle. Users can drink right through the stick or pour from a chilled bottle (shown above). Comes with a bottle opener and carrying bag. At Amazon.
Don’t forget the pooch when you’re shopping for gifts. Buzzy and Flossie will love this wacky puzzle. You put kibble and treats in through the flaps, and they rattle tantalizingly around inside the ball and fall out as the dog nudges the toy across the floor. Unlike round treat balls, this one offers is extra fun because of the geometric shape that makes it bounce unpredictably, keeping the dog alert and entertained. At the Grommet.
26. Paper robot kit
These charming, inexpensive and simple paper robot kits — called Piperoids — are the brainchild of Japanese designer Takashi Tsunoda. The kits allow you to make one 4-inch paper robot character and its 1-inch “pet.” Each package includes instructions and five paper pipes with pre-cut holes for assembly. Only scissors are required for assembling Piperoids. At the Grommet
Cate & Levi’s environmentally responsible children’s products include these personable handmade puppets crafted from recycled sweaters. “Every design is special, and no two walruses, dogs, giraffes, monkeys, dragons or dinosaurs will ever be the same,” says the product description at the Grommet.
A great gift for geeks, students, art collectors and the simply curious, PatentPrints technical drawings are stylized prints of blueprints and schematics from patents on inventions that are familiar and beloved objects. They include a drawing from the patent on a golf club and the schematic for a Ford transmission (above). The prints are on matte card stock. The Grommet’s customer service folks can help with special requests for prints of patents outside the company’s product line. At the Grommet.
The OWLet 9 LED Animation Kit allows you to build an animated electronic light display. The lights turn on automatically in the dark, and their pattern changes with varying levels of room light. For ages 9 and up. Adult supervision is recommended, and several tools are needed, including a soldering iron. The manufacturer recommends it as an introduction to robotics and electronics, saying it takes about 30 minutes to put together. At the Grommet.
The Hydaway collapsible water bottle cleverly solves a problem that most of us have encountered: How can you keep a water bottle tucked away until you need it? Bottled water is expensive, environmentally destructive and usually unnecessary.
Enter this tubby little lightweight bottle. It pinches into a flat disc that fits nicely into a pocket or purse, or clips onto a backpack. It weighs 6 ounces and, according to developer Niki Singlaub, is leakproof, BPA-free, stable and dishwasher-safe. It fits in most cup holders, and its wide mouth accepts ice or a scrub brush. At the Grommet.
For the cool kid on your holiday gift list — or the cool kid in you. Hickies flexible elastic laces transform lace-up shoes into slip-ons, keeping them securely on your feet. No more stepping on your untied shoelaces. No more lacing shoes, for that matter. Hickies can be used to replace laces on any shoe with eyelets. In colors, white and metallic. At the Grommet.
One of these six-bracelet sets of leather cord bangles adorned with gold- or silver-colored metal accents is sure to make someone happy. Choose from various colors. At the Grommet.
These handmade Sweet Jules Caramels are made in Minnetonka, Minnesota, from cream, cane sugar, butter, corn syrup, cane syrup, dark chocolate, pecan halves, vanilla bean and sea salt — and finished with Fleur de Sel (French sea salt). A half-pound box contains 16 pieces, a 1-pound box contains 32 pieces. At the Grommet.
Give the indie look with no tattoo commitment: The flower bracelet and other lightweight bracelets by Parisian designer Batucada have a rubber feel, yet are made from 100 percent recyclable plastic (PVC). The designs have their origins in nature and cultural traditions. At the Grommet.
This is a great gift for travelers, campers, hikers, backpackers and anyone assembling a disaster preparedness kit. The lightweight filter is a hollow tube that works like a straw. It provides clean water for a year — a minimum of 1,000 liters. The straw weighs 2 ounces and measures 9 inches long by 1 inch in diameter.
The Grommet says the LifeStraw “has been shown to trap 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites such as Giardia.” At the Grommet.
36. Cheesemaking kit
Urban Cheesecraft produces seven cheesemaking kits. Three of them — Burrata & Mascarpone, Mozzarella & Ricotta or Paneer & Queso Blanco — are now priced at just under $25.
Depending on which option you choose, the kit includes cheesecloth, a dairy thermometer, vegetarian rennet (a coagulating agent for making vegetarian cheeses), citric acid and cheese salt. You provide a gallon of pasteurized milk. The project takes about an hour. At the Grommet.
37. Pet mini speaker
Affordable and adorable, this itty-bitty little Bluetooth speaker goes everywhere. The crazy little thing even doubles as a camera remote that you can use to fire off selfies from a Bluetooth-enabled camera. My Audio Pet includes a rechargeable battery and comes in seven colors/designs. At Amazon.
To. Die. For. (Seriously.) Splash it on a salad or sprinkle it over fresh fruit. A mango, banana, pineapple or strawberry drizzled with a bit of this stuff will make you rethink dessert. Not a coconut person, you say? Try this mild white balsamic vinegar in more than a dozen other flavors. Cara Cara Orange Vanilla, for instance. Or Cranberry Pear. At Drizzle.
Young learners from about age 7 and up will have fun and benefit from this 162-tile set that turns addition, subtraction, multiplication and division into a game. The Grommet says it promotes arithmetic skills, cooperative play, visual processing, sequential thought, focus, recognition, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. All that and a sweet blue whale pouch for storage. At the Grommet.
Give Squirrel Brand Italian Black Truffle Almonds to your discriminating friends and clients. A lot of luxury — 18 ounces — in a can. “These almonds, seasoned with Italian sea salt and black Abruzzi truffles, are as chic as they are addictive,” says O Magazine. At the Grommet.
41. Portable battery
The myCharge AMP Mini Rechargeable 2200 mAh Battery is an excellent gift for anyone who uses a phone, electronic book reader, computer, tablet or gaming device. This little rechargeable battery has a USB port on one side and a mini port on the other. Charge it from the wall, then carry it in a purse, backpack, pocket or suitcase for backup power on the plane or wherever you cannot plug into a wall. It’s a particularly good gift for students and travelers. At Amazon.
42. 3-D puzzle
A small marble and about 23 feet of track are packed into this transparent 8-inch spherical Perplexus puzzle. Remember those small, flat maze games from your childhood that challenged you to tilt the surface until the ball rolls where you want it? This takes that maze game to three dimensions and will drive your friends and family members — young and old — bonkers. At the Grommet.
Did you find these ideas helpful for the people on your shopping list? What’s the best under-$25 gift you’ve ever received? Share with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.