The holidays are right around the corner, which means it's time to start thinking about the perfect presents for the people in your life. Sound daunting? Trust me; I get it. I usually don't even start shopping until the weekend before, and at that point, I'm so stressed out and desperate to be done that I just give up and buy everyone gift cards. A 10-year-old would like a $10 gift card for Pottery Barn, right?
This year, though, I actually decided to try. I compiled a list of 36 unique gift ideas for under $30 bucks. You might want to bookmark this page now, just in case.
We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: We participate in affiliate programs and may get a share of the revenue from your purchase.
This Therapy Light That Cures Winter Blues
via: AmazonAm I the only one who tends to feel pretty bummed out during the low light of winter? It gets dark at 4:30, and I usually end up going to sleep at 8 because I'm so exhausted and mentally drained. If you have someone in your life like me, get them this therapy light. Not only does it provide light exactly where they need it, but it also has three different light settings to banish the winter blues.
This Cat Toy That Uses The Power Of Lasers
via: AmazonI don't have a cat, but my best friend is basically a crazy cat lady. She's constantly talking about her cats, buying them little outfits that they hate wearing, and worrying if they're getting enough exercise and attention. So, obviously, I bought her this cat toy, which uses a cool laser to provide endless hours of entertainment. I don't know who was more excited: her or her cats.
This Security System That's Shockingly Inexpensive
via: AmazonI have a friend who recently bought a house and has been thinking about investing in a home security system. The problem is that security systems tend to be extremely expensive, and not only require a large one-time payment but include a monthly charge as well. So when I stumbled across this Kangaroo home security device that you install yourself (for only $29.99!), I knew I had to grab one for her.
This Wireless Doorbell That's Easy To Install
via: AmazonDon't you hate it when you're waiting for a package to arrive but don't want to be stuck downstairs all day long? This wireless doorbell allows you to be anywhere in your house and still be able to hear the doorbell ring. I bought this for my friend who's completely addicted to Amazon and probably gets a package delivered every single day.
This Desk Organizer That Holds A Variety Of Electronics
via: AmazonLet's face it: Our electronics basically rule our lives at this point. If they lose power, we're pretty much screwed. So why not help your loved ones stay fully charged while providing them a lovely organizer to do so in? This charging station features spots for multiple phones and tablets, as well as a smartwatch. Plus, the wood construction adds a touch of modern elegance that looks great on a desk or bedside table.
This Plant Holder That Also Plays Music
via: AmazonWhen the weather turns frightful, I like to surround myself with as many potted plants as possible so I can remind myself that spring is just around the corner. (I know, it's a lie, but I have to cling to something when it's 20-below outside) This plant holder not only holds plants but also plays music and acts as a nightlight. So, basically, it's the perfect gift.
This Universal Remote Attachment That Upgrades Your Fire Stick
via: AmazonI went to my parents' house the other day and was appalled at the number of remotes in their household. Just trying to turn on the TV was a challenge, and from there, figuring out how to turn on the sound and access Netflix seemed as difficult as solving a Rubik's cube with my eyes closed. As soon as I got home, I bought them this universal remote attachment for their Amazon Fire Stick. Now, if I can only teach them how to use it...
These Headphones That Are A Must For Travel
via: AmazonMy cousin is a huge traveler. She's always telling me about her amazing adventures, and while the trips always sound amazing, the long plane rides get old pretty darn quickly. These cozy phones are a travel essential. Not only do they help to block out the noise of fellow travelers, but they're comfy enough so you can fall asleep wearing them. How brilliant is that?!
This Backpack Will Charge All of Your Devices
via: AmazonI'm a freelance writer, so my laptop is one of my most prized possessions. If it gets broken or stolen, I'd be in serious trouble. That's what makes this backpack such a game-changer. It's specifically made to keep your laptop safe and has an anti-theft design that gives you major peace of mind. Oh, and did I mention it has a built-in charging port?
This Pancake Pan That Makes Breakfast Extra Fun
via: AmazonCan we all just admit that breakfast is the best meal of the day? And can we also recognize that pancakes are an ideal food choice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner? Now that that's out of the way, check out this adorable pancake pan. It has silver-dollar pancake spots built into it, each one featuring a different emoji face. Who says you can't play with your food?!
This Kitchen Bowl That's Insanely Clever
via: AmazonYou know that one person in you're life who's constantly inviting you over for dinner and always makes those really impressive meals that make you feel bad about your complete lack of kitchen skills? Give them this strainer. The nesting bowls makes it a cinch to strain grease from meat, water from pasta, and a variety of other cooking tasks.
This Surge Protector That Triples Your Outlets
via: AmazonHere's a piece of advice: Don't buy a house that only has roughly one outlet per 1,000 square feet. I know the repercussions of this choice because I did this, and every day is filled with constant electrical rearranging in order to make everything work. If there's someone in your life with this same problem, buy them this surge protector, which not only protects their electronics but also gives them access to WAY more outlets than before.
This Tactical Fighlight That You Want In An Emergency
via: AmazonGive the person you care about the gift of safety with this two-pack of tactical flashlights. These things aren't messing around when it comes to an emergency. The LED bulb provides a super strong beam that can be customized to your brightness needs, and the five different light modes (high, medium, low, strobe, and SOS) mean you're prepared for anything.
This LED Compact Mirror That Also Charges Your Phone
via: AmazonLooking for the perfect gift for that special someone who always looks fabulous and loves to multitask? This handy gadget was made for them. Sure, at first glance, it might just look like a compact mirror with an LED light in it (which, by itself, is still an awesome product), but look closely, and you'll see that it's also a power bank that keeps your devices charged. Beautiful!
This Mini Humidifier That's Oh-So Portable
via: AmazonIt gets dry in the winter, and I definitely notice that my skin is much more rough and itchy than it is during the warmer months. And while most people have a humidifier blasting in their homes in an effort to combat winter dryness, you can't take it with you. That is, until now. This portable humidifier works anywhere and keeps you hydrated on-the-go.
This Ingenious Cutting Board That Has A Built-In Strainer
via: AmazonI have a confession to make: I have a complete obsession with cool kitchen gadgets. Whenever I come across something fun and exciting with a ton of features I immediately buy it, which is probably the reason why my cabinets and drawers barely close anymore. Got a friend or family member who loves kitchen gadgets as much as I do? Buy them this cutting board, which fits right over your sink and has a built-in colander.
This Hair Wrap That Dries Hair 10X Faster
via: AmazonI have a LOT of hair, and if I want it to dry naturally I basically have to wait 12 hours. So, when a friend told me about hair towel wrap, I was skeptical. "It works," she said, "Trust me." So I bought it, wrapped up my long heavy locks, and within a half-hour, my hair was almost completely dry. I knew I had to buy one for every one of my long-haired BFFs.
This Crock Pot That Features A Locking Lid
via: AmazonIf there's one thing I would grab if my house were on fire (other than my family members, of course) it would be this crockpot. I have a 6-month-old son, so cooking elaborate dinners every night is simply not an option. But with this kitchen miracle-worker, all I have to do is dump in some ingredients, turn it on, let them cook overnight, and I have an elaborate-tasting meal the next day with minimal effort. Plus, it makes a perfect gift because it seems like it'd be much more expensive than it actually is.
This Immersion Blender That'll Make You Feel Like A Kitchen Pro
via: AmazonOh, look! Yet another cool kitchen gadget! This one simply has no business being under $30 dollars. It's an immersion blender, meaning you can blend things directly in the pot you cooked them in without having to put them into a blender or food processor. It's taken my soups and sauces to the next level, and I've already bought one for both my mother and mother-in-law.
This Camera Tripod That Has A Remote Function
via: AmazonMy sister-in-law is young, trendy, and totally famous on Instagram. She has a ton of followers, gets hundreds of likes on every one of her pictures, and takes photos that I'd have no idea how to duplicate. So I figured if anyone needed a selfie stick that doubles as a tripod and features a remote control option, it would be her.
This Phone Stand That Has Retro Charm
via: AmazonMy husband is, in a word, a huge nerd. (Okay, so that's technically three words, but who's counting? Probably him. Because he's a nerd.) He's obsessed with all gadgets, computers, and anything retro, so when I saw this super fun phone holder, I knew that it would make the perfect gift. Just slide your phone in and it instantly becomes a big, clunky computer straight out of the early '90s!
This Dog Leash That Illuminates Nighttime Walks
via: AmazonMy dad is completely obsessed with his dog. As he should be, of course, because Chester is adorable, but I always know exactly what types of gifts he'll like when the holidays roll around. If it's dog-related, he'll be happy. This dog leash has built-in LED lights, so nighttime walks are 100% brighter, safer, and more fun. Plus, there are a variety of cool colors to choose from.
This Bonsai Tree Kit That Both Adults And Kids Would Love
via: AmazonLooking for a gift that an entire family would love? This Bonsai Tree Kit is just the ticket. It includes everything you need to grow four beautiful bonsai trees in your very own home, and both adults and kids alike will anxiously await every new sprout and branch. Talk about a unique gift! I might have to buy one of these for myself!
This Pistachio Bowl That Has A Built-In Shell Holder
via: AmazonMy brother is a pistachio nut nut. (See what I did there?) We have a Christmas tradition where I buy him a massive bag of pistachio nuts, and he proceeds to eat the entire bag throughout the day and leaves his shells all over my house. This year, I decided to put an end to the endless sea of shells with this clever bowl, which features a built-in shell container.
This Yarn Organizer That's A Crafting Essential
via: AmazonI've never met anyone as passionate about knitting as my sister-in-law. She's an extremely talented seamstress, and I often see her at family functions with her knitting needles, creating some kind of masterpiece. The minute I saw this yarn bag organizer, I knew I had to get it for her. It has a built-in spot for yarn and keeps your projects from getting destroyed when you're out and about.
These Flameless Candles That Add Major Ambiance
via: AmazonCandles are always a great gift. They add lovely warmth, flickering light, and instantly make your space 100% more inviting. Ya know what else they do? Make it 100% more of a fire hazard. That's where these flameless candles come in. They still create the same warmth and light but do so without an actual flame. They even still flicker! Plus, the remote control means you can change the settings from anywhere in the house.
This Water Bottle That Keeps Drinks Insanely Cold
via: AmazonI have this thing about lukewarm beverages: They disgust me. I cannot drink them, and if my glass is not nearly overflowing with ice when I go out to eat, I always (politely) ask for more. So, as someone who appreciates a cold drink, this water bottle really speaks to me. Give your loved ones the gift of a cool, refreshing drink this holiday season with this insulated travel mug.
This Electric Toothbrush That's Surprisingly Affordable
via: AmazonWhen you think of electric toothbrushes, you think "expensive," right? Think again! This Philips Sonicare Essence Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush is somehow both extremely effective and shockingly inexpensive. It has all the bells and whistles of a traditional (aka expensive) electric toothbrush but without the hefty price tag. Just be sure to give it to someone who won't be offended by receiving a toothbrush as a gift.
This Travel Pillow That Can Be Used A Variety Of Ways
via: AmazonNormal travel pillows are great and all, but they pretty much only come in one shape, and if it's not the shape you want, you're basically screwed. Enter this Twist Memory Foam Travel Pillow, which can be, well, "twisted" into a variety of different shapes and positions so you can figure out exactly what's comfortable for you. Because sleeping on a plane is hard enough.
This Pour-Over Coffee Maker That Brews An Impressive Cup
via: AmazonMy best friend recently had a baby, and the last time I saw her, she looked pretty darn exhausted. So when I was pondering what to get her for Christmas, I realized that it had to be coffee-related. That's what makes this OXO BREW Single Serve Pour-Over Coffee Dripper so perfect for her. As a former barista, she appreciates a good cup of Joe, and once you go pour-over, you never go back.
This Potato Masher That Pulverizes Spuds
via: AmazonIt's almost Thanksgiving, and though I go to my parents' house in Minnesota every year and lay around while they cook the entire meal, I do have one job to do: mash the potatoes. And it's because of this yearly tradition that I realized how awful their potato masher is. Upgrade your mashing game with this Potato Masher, which vows to leave no lump left behind.
This Electric Foot File That Transforms Rough Footsies
via: AmazonWhen the temperatures plummet, it can be tough to keep your feet in sandal-ready shape. But what about those tropical beach vacations that you take in February in order to escape the cold for a few days? This electric foot file is perfect for that friend or family member who desperately needs a pedicure for their upcoming trip but doesn't feel like shelling out $50 bucks.
This Phone Sanitizer That Sends Germs Packing
via: AmazonTake a moment to think about your phone. Just imagine all the germs and bacteria it's currently covered in. Pretty gross, right? Wouldn't it be nice to completely obliterate all of those germs and not have to constantly bring something so disgusting so close to your face all the time? This cellphone sanitizer is perfect for the germaphobe in your life.
This Digital Tape Measure That Ensures An Accurate Measurement
via: AmazonI am not what one would call "handy." I wish I were since I recently bought a house that's nearly one hundred years old and having any type of handiness would be very, well...handy. My father-in-law, on the other hand, is extremely handy, and he's all about being as precise as possible when it comes to DIY projects. This digital tape measure was made for him.
This Roku Express That Makes Streaming Easy
via: AmazonThere's that old saying that goes, "Buy someone a gift that you'd like to receive yourself," which is my mentality this year, since I bought this Roku Express for my mother-in-law even though I really, really want one for myself. Although I guess since it's only $24.99, I could buy one for myself too and call it an early Christmas present!
This Rolling Pin That's Both Beautiful And Brilliant
via: AmazonThis Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin is more than just a pretty face. Sure, with its multicolored rings, it looks amazingly sleek and pretty, but the actual design of this cool kitchen tool is ultra clever. It features 1/16, 1/6, 1/4, and 3/8-inch discs that can be switched out depending on your desired dough thickness. How cool is that?!