Ask Avery: Holiday Gift Guide — Under $25
blog by Avery Hartmans • December 13, 2013 @ 8:14am
If your finances are anything like mine, there’s no way you’re dropping dollars this Christmas.
As great as it would be to buy everyone on your list an expensive gift, sometimes your bank account just won’t permit it — which is why you need a few solid options that are inexpensive without being cheap.
The thing to keep in mind if you’re going the $25-and-under route is to look for quality. Obviously this gift isn’t costing you a lot, but no one has to know that. It’s possible to be thoughtful, pick out a nice gift and make your loved one happy, all without bankrupting yourself. Consider this a challenge.
Option No. 1: The Freshman
For those of us who spent high school inside reading a stack of books every weekend, drinking games weren’t really in our repertoire upon entering college. And although by second semester most people have figured it out, give your favorite freshman the helping hand he or she may desperately need with a set of drinking game coasters.
Not only will these coasters provide the rules to all the games college students know well and love hard, but they are actually functional, since they’ll help save that high-quality dorm room furniture from being ruined by Solo cup rings. OK, maybe no one except the most type-A of students will care about things like that, but if that’s the case, he or she could definitely use a drink. Bottoms up.
Urban Outfitters, $18
Option No. 2: The Star Wars Nerd
I had originally picked out this Star Wars cookbook with a child in mind, until I realized that adults would probably be equally excited about this. If you choose to buy this for a 35-year-old man, no judgment — but I hope you realize that he is a gigantic nerd.
Not only do Star Wars puns abound in this cookbook, which provides the recipes for Wookie Cookie Bowls and Darth Chocolate Mud Pie, but it also comes with lightsaber-shaped popsicle trays. Your man friend may be about to geek out over this for hours, but hey — anything to get him in the kitchen.
Option No. 3: The Ice Princess
We all have that friend, sister or cousin who can only politely be described as spoiled. Not only does she get everything she wants, but she goes everywhere and does everything all season long. For this high-maintenance chick, the best option is a sparkly necklace.
It may be impersonal, but it’s pretty, it’s shiny and it will keep her distracted and — hopefully — grateful for at least a few minutes. Plus, with all the holiday parties she’s invited to and all the dates she’ll probably go on this season, she’s going to need a statement piece. Plus, if it’s this pretty, she’ll never know that you didn’t max out your credit cards for her.
Option No. 4: The Homebody
For the record, there is nothing wrong with staying at home instead of going out at night. Being introverted doesn’t make you that weird. For the girl who prefers a cozy night in rather than a wild night downtown, get her the gift you know she’ll really use: the perfect pair of slippers.
Slipper booties are essential for their added level of warmth. Not only will her toes be super warm, but her ankles won’t even know what hit them when she puts those bad boys on.
Plus, if she chooses to invite company over for once, she can put on a chic lounge outfit along with her new slippers without losing out on comfort or style. There’s just no going wrong with footwear this cozy.
Option No. 5: The Writer
Whether your loved one is a professional or just someone with a lot of feelings, everyone needs to get their thoughts on paper once in a while. But personal blogs are so over and a legal pad is way too boring. The solution: a cool — if arrogant — notebook.
The perfect notebook can be a game changer when it comes to journaling, and at the very least it will make your writer crack a smile every time he or she cracks the cover. And since ballpoint pens are for plebeians, treat them to fun marker pens in bright colors. Their journal entries may not be Pulitzer Prize-worthy, but at least they’ll look good.