Gifts say as much about the giver as they do the recipient! A bottle of booze means, "I hope you'll open this and drink it with me." Bath products mean, "I wish you would relax and be nicer." And the dreaded gift card means, "I didn't bother to pick out a gift for you." (Ouch.)
Instead of those tired ideas, choose a gift that's unique and says you care about that person's happiness! I'm here to help with gift ideas that are not only thoughtful, but stand out in a good way. Bonus: They're all quite affordable, too! There's a designer lunch box perfect for coworkers, the accessory every tween and teen girl wants right now, and a bit of decor for grown-up nerds. Oh, and I'm quite certain you know someone who will appreciate this ridiculously fishy item.
We hope you find these handy products as awesome as we do. Just an FYI: we participate in affiliate programs, and may receive a share of sales from links on this page.
This Waterproof, Anti-Theft Backpack Purse
via: AmazonThis backpack purse is perfect for someone who travels or commutes. It has many thoughtful design features, including zippers in the back to prevent pickpocketing, versatile straps so it can be carried multiple ways, and a cute pompom attachment. Comes in 14 colors.
This Balloon Dog That Lasts Forever
via: AmazonYou may recognize this balloon dog as being inspired by the art of American pop culture artist Jeff Koons (the full-sized version sold for $58 million)...or you might just be reminded of birthday parties and carnivals! Either way, this 10" resin sculpture is an affordable, whimsical piece of art that doesn't take itself too seriously.
These Bible Highlighters Won't Bleed Through Thin Pages
via: AmazonThese waxy, acid-free highlighters are specially formulated for thin Bible pages--no bleeding, no smearing. This new product is already racking up quite a few positive reviews. One Amazon customer says, "As a huge nerd I have used just about every highlighter available and these are the BEST!"
This Buddha Board Promotes Creativity and Mindfulness
via: AmazonI've spotted Buddha Boards in some interesting locations recently: a dentist's office, a tiny coffee shop, and a friend's living room. People can't resist picking up the brush and painting with water. Knowing any design will soon evaporate frees you to exist only in the present moment, which is a very relaxing experience.
This Grass Growing Kit for Your Favorite Kitty
via: AmazonGrow a bit of fresh green grass in this cute planter for your cute cat! The included seed packet is a blend of oats, wheat, rye, barley, and flax--all safe and healthy for pets, providing necessary vitamins, minerals, live enzymes, and fiber.
This Spoon for Cereal Lovers
via: AmazonHe hunts down killer apps. His fiercest weapon is his intellect. He attacks a bowl of Froot Loops to fuel himself for a long night of video games and Internet surfing. He's a cereal killer, and he deserves this spoon.
This Clip-On Lens Set for Phone Camerasclip-on camera lenses makes an inexpensive gift that's fun to experiment with. The set includes a wide angle, fisheye, and 10X macro lens. All of them clip on to give an instant upgrade to the phone's built-in camera.
This Phone Mount Fits in a Car Cupholder
via: AmazonDock your phone in a convenient spot while driving with this cupholder phone mount. Thanks to the adjustable base, this gadget fits in just about any car, truck, or SUV's cupholder, and the gooseneck flexes so you can get your phone at just the right angle.
These Custom Photo Socks Are Delivered in About a Weekcustom photo socks of my smiling face to a few lucky friends. I still laugh every time I think about it. Surprise and delight someone on your list with this ultimate non-returnable gift!
That's No Moon...It's a Death Star Popcorn Maker
via: AmazonYou don't know the power of the dark side. It's crunchy, salty, and irresistible once you get this Death Star Popcorn Maker! It looks like an awesome 9" Death Star on your kitchen counter, until you take off the top half to reveal an air pop popcorn maker and serving bowl. Makes one serving at a time, because Darth doesn't like to share.
These Feather-Shaped Bookmarks Only Cost 20 Cents Each
via: AmazonThis pack of 30 feather-shaped bookmarks would make a sweet gift for a teacher, or you could include one with every book you give as a gift. Each one is printed with a unique design and bright colors.
These Hilarious (and Weirdly Comfortable) Fish Flops
via: Amazon"Mom! Moooom! Buy me these fish flops!" So said my teenager, who found them on Amazon and just HAD to have them. We ordered them. They are funny, bizarre, and surprisingly comfortable. We're going to buy more for Christmas gifts!
This No-Frills Pedometer
via: Amazon / MermalarThere are plenty of step-counting gadgets on the market--watches, bracelets, rings, etc.--but sometimes you just want the simplest version possible. The FitBud Pedometer can clip on your clothes or slip into your pocket. All it does is count steps, so it's as easy to use as reading a number!
This Card Game for Donut Lovers
via: AmazonThis gift is meant for someone who loves donuts and needs a little more fun in their life. Go Nuts for Donuts is an easy-to-learn card game for ages 8 and up, and yes--it's actually fun for adults to play. One word of warning: playing this will definitely make you crave donuts!
This Highly Rated Portable Bluetooth Speaker
via: AmazonGive a gift that's earned a 4.5-star rating among nearly 15,000 reviews on Amazon! This portable, wireless, Bluetooth speaker is small enough to fit in your bag easily, yet delivers a rich sound that reviewers call "plenty loud" and "superb." It comes in five fun colors.
This Trendy Water Bottle on Teen/Tween Wish Lists
via: AmazonIt may look like any other water bottle to ordinary adults, but to tweens and teens, it's the must-have accessory to show you've got Greta Thunberg-level environmental awareness. They're also virtually indestructible, keep drinks cold all day, and come in a bunch of cute colors.
These Japanese DIY Candy KitsI've given these Japanese candy-making kits as gifts several times, and they're always a huge hit! Everything is included to make sushi, donuts, and cakes--all from sweet gummy candy. It's basically a craft project and dessert rolled into one!
This Kate Spade Lunchbox
via: AmazonFor your stylish friend who appreciates name brands, this Kate Spade lunchbox elevates an everyday packed lunch into something with a little more style! It's also plenty practical: lightweight, insulated, with a waterproof lining.
via: Amazon / Rob K.A useful gadget for your favorite fix-it guy or gal, this laser level uses bubbles and laser lights to measure distances and find straight lines. Amazon customers say, "this laser level is an excellent value for the price" and "all functions work great!"
via: AmazonThe last gift anyone expects is a baseball cap with a built-in LED light! So it'll be a surprise, but a welcome one. This hat lights up evening walks, reading, and repair jobs in dim conditions. One reviewer suggests personalizing the cap with a patch to make it more individual.
This Ship in a Bottle for LEGO Experts
via: AmazonThis project requires patience, fine motor skills, and a love of LEGO. The Ship in a Bottle Expert Building Kit comprises nearly 1,000 pieces and takes several hours of dedicated work. The result in a whimsical display piece worth bragging about!
This Make-Your-Own Ukulele KitDIY ukulele kit includes all the parts needed to construct an unfinished, real working ukulele. Customize the wood with stain or paint to make it truly your own!
This Cupcake Pan for Tiny Bundt Cakes
via: AmazonThis nonstick cake pan would make a thoughtful gift for a friend who loves to bake! Pair it with a recipe book or spatula set, then begin dropping hints that you hope they'll bake up some mini bundt cakes to share.
This Mood-Matching Lipstick Set
via: AmazonWeird, fun, and totally unique! This gift set includes 6 lipsticks in wild colors that transform on the lips to universally flattering shades. Amazon reviewers report that they "love how pretty the colors come out" and "I'm completely blown away by how long lasting they are."
These No-Slip Sunglasses for Runners
via: AmazonAffordable, flattering, and oh-so-practical, these sunglasses for runners are designed with outdoor exercise in mind. They are lightweight and polarized, and won't slip or bounce while running.
This Paper Airplane That Really Flies
via: AmazonForget drones; this year's hottest flying toy is a kit that makes paper airplanes really fly! You get a lightweight, Bluetooth-enabled flying base that supports any paper airplane body you build. Use an app on your smartphone to control the plane once you launch it by throwing it like you would any paper airplane.
This Paw Print Frame
via: AmazonThis paw print frame includes air-dry impression material, directions, and a folding frame designed to hold a photo and paw print of a furry friend. It makes a sweet gift for anyone who loves their pet!
via: AmazonFans of The Big Bang Theory will recognize this awesomely nerdy tissue box cover from Sheldon and Leonard's apartment! Made of sturdy plastic, it looks just like an oversized Rubik's Cube and has a neat little magnetic door on the bottom so you can easily refill with a fresh tissue box.
This Throw Pillow Cover Invites Guests to Sit, Stay
via: AmazonAdd a comfortable and welcoming message to the living room with this embroidered cotton throw pillow cover. Note that this is just the cover and you'll also need an 18" square pillow insert. One 5-star reviewer says, "Very good quality fabric and embroidery detail."
These Tiny Little Tea Bag Holders
via: AmazonThis might be the cutest gift idea on this list--and also one of the lowest priced! Give tea-drinkers this set of 10 teeny-tiny silicone snails that perch on the edge of a mug to hold a tea bag in place.
This Sparkly, Sparkly License Plate Frame
via: AmazonMy mother-in-law gave me this sparkly license plate frame as a gift, and I LOVE IT. It's so extra, so shiny, so fabulous on the back of my minivan. As my friend Heather told me, "That thing should be obnoxious, but somehow it isn't. It's kind of great." Exactly.
This Subversive Embroidery Kit
via: AmazonWork out your frustrations with this embroidery kit, which includes cloth printed with the pattern, hoop, needles, thread, and instructions. Easy enough for beginners and subversive enough for bad-ass bitches.
This Tetris-Style Puzzle for Solo Play
via: AmazonI could tell you that this colorful Tetris-style puzzle is fun and challenging. I could also tell you that it's good for people to manipulate 3D shapes in the real world and not just on a screen. But the real reason to buy this gift is because your kid will shut up and play alone for long stretches of time. Worth. Every. Penny.
This Delicious Thai Iced Tea Set
via: AmazonThis Thai iced tea set is a unique and delicious gift! The set includes five individually wrapped tea drops and five sweetened condensed milk packets. Together, they make a decadent drink like you'd get from a Thai restaurant or boba shop.
This One-Size-Fits-Most Viking Beanie
via: AmazonMade from stretchy acrylic yarn, this cozy beanie is cleverly designed to look like a viking's helmet. Amazon 5-star reviewers say that it's, "fun and warm," "awesome," and "well-made."
These Travel-Friendly Wine Wings
via: AmazonAn ideal accessory for wine-tasting trips or anyone who travels with alcohol! Wine Wings are reusable plastic protectors that cushion bottles and prevent leaks during transit. They've earned an impressive 4.8-star rating on Amazon!
These Peaceful Yoga Joes
via: AmazonThis whimsical gift combines nostalgia for plastic soldiers with an appreciation for mindful stretching. Packaged in a mini yoga studio (a clear plastic box with bamboo floor), the nine Yoga Joe figurines inspire peace and playfulness.