Affordable Gift Ideas for The Ones You Love (and the Ones You Tolerate)

Ah, the holidays. A time of laughter. A time of cheer. A time when pouring a little somethin’-somethin’ into your eggnog/cider/coffee is totally acceptable. It’s also a time of generosity and giving gifts to all kinds of folks.

I love to shop for gifts. I love to make gifts. I love wrapping gifts (although, they usually look like they’ve been thrown around the house by my baby… I’m not the most skilled wrapper). I love watching people open gifts. But goodness gracious, I get a little anxious when I have to think about what each person might like. I love to look at gift idea lists. They can be really helpful. And sometimes, I find an item I think would be perfect for someone, then I realize the thing costs more than I’d be willing to sell my kidney for.

So… I present to you a list of gift ideas comprised of items that you can buy without having to sell your kidney. As I put this list together, it was important to me that I put items on their that I have used myself or given to others or at least that are from companies I trust and like. This list is organized into gifts for different kinds of people and interests. Each of these gifts is no more than $25, because, you know, kidneys are important.

*None of these links are affiliate links. I do not make a profit or get any rewards if you click and/or purchase any of these items via the links I’ve given. I just really like these products. I have either used each product or given one to someone.)

For the Cook/Baker/Foodie in Your life:

  1. OXO Good Grips Little Dustpan and Brush Set: This cute little mini broom and dustpan are great for sweeping crumbs, flour, formula, whatever off your counters. My husband used to make fun of me for buying one of these things. Last night, he finally tried it out, and said, “Okay, this thing is awesome.” Uh, yeah. I hate trying to clean flour off the counter because it either gets on the floor if I try to brush it into a towel with my hand or it becomes a thick, gloppy mess that sticks the the counter if I try to use water or cleaning spray. So, this little powerhouse duo is the answer!
  2. Crescent 10oz. Double Old Fashioned Glass(es): These glasses are perfect for cocktails, juice, ice water, whatever. We use these as our daily glasses, however, I think they are better suited for cocktails and such. They are pretty delicate, and we have lost a few due to chipping. But it’s taken years for them to get chipped. They are machine washable (score!) and just feel fancy.
  3. Layered: Baking, Building, and Styling Spectacular Cakes by Tessa Huff: This cookbook is chock full of recipes and guidelines for making some delicious and downright gorgeous cakes. The author does a great job of breaking down the instructions into easy-to-follow steps, and the pictures are fabulous. This book would be a great gift for anyone who likes to bake cakes or is considering doing so.

For the Person Who Could Use Some Stress Relief:

1. “This Annoying Life” Coloring Book : This brilliant coloring book by Oslo Davis is filled with pictures of obnoxious situations. Instead of stressing over them, though, feel free to scrawl through them, color them meticulously to help you feel in control, or rip that page right out of the book and burn it.

2. Piper & Leaf Tea: Y’all. Y’all. This tea is SOOOOOOO good. Piper & Leaf is based in my hometown, and it has grown into a brilliant Southern-based company. I went on a tour of their facilities about a year ago. They really take blending tea seriously, and they are good people. They were so friendly and passionate about what they do. Some of my favorite flavors are Cherry Christmas, Mistletoe Grove (caffeine free/herbal),

3. Natural Life Whale Folk Art Mug: I love drinking out of this mug. It’s a large-ish mug, so, you know, it holds lots of caffeine. And it says “go with the flow” on the inside near the top, which is a nice reminder for me to chill out. And can we talk about how darn cute that little whale is? She’s just so happy.

For Your Favorite Book Nerd:

1. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl: For the intellectual in your life who loves a good mystery. This is one of those books that really makes you slow down and think. Pessl uses witty prose to weave a truly fascinating tale. The book is separated into chapters named for different Great Books, and the book ends with a multiple choice Final Exam. It is my favorite book.

2. Library Candles by Paddywax: These candles’ scent are named after different authors. Each candle also has a quote from that author. And the candles themselves are aesthetically pleasing. Perfect for your favorite bibliophile.

3. Moleskine Book Journal: I love Moleskine journals. The paper is high quality, they are durable, and they are really minimal in their appearance (which I love). How awesome is this book journal? It looks like a great way to keep track of books you’ve read, books you want to read, and maybe even books you’ve read and would like to buy.

What about you? What are your favorite gifts to give?

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I'm a Jesus follower, wife, and mom. I have been caught in a Costa Rican riot, once accidentally insulted Gavin DeGraw, and really want to visit Lichtenstein. I love long, romantic walks through the rain forest. I make cakes sometimes. I'm a mess, and I'm learning to embrace that.

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