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Ask Avery: Holiday Gift Guide — Under $50

blog by Avery Hartmans  • 

This time of year, we’re all trying to save a little money here and there, and not everyone can afford to drop hundos on loved — or not-so-loved — ones. Luckily for you, there are plenty of options out there that will keep a few extra dollars in your wallet, but still keep everyone on your list happy this holiday season.

The trick to getting the most for your money is not to spend it all in one place. One big gift is all well and good, but a few smaller presents in smaller boxes is a little more fun and takes a lot more creativity. Plus, two or three boxes seems a lot more substantial — and may even trick the recipient into thinking you spent more than you did.

Option No. 1: The Chocolate Enthusiast

If there’s anyone in the world who doesn’t like hot cocoa, I haven’t met them yet. Give the gift that everyone will love this season with the haute couture of hot chocolate — rich, flavorful chocolate for cocoa or mocha. And three pounds of it, nonetheless.

But what’s hot chocolate without a cool mug to drink it from ? Sleek, matte black mugs will make any beverage chic, and no one will be mad about some extra chocolate on the side. You may be treating them to a sugar crash along with their gift, but it’ll be well worth it.

Cocoa mix: Ghirardelli, $19.95
Chocolate: Godiva, $3.99
Mugs: Noritake, $11.99 each


Option No. 2: The Newbie

Whether they’re new to Buffalo or just new to winter weather in general, they’re definitely not ready for what’s to come. Prepare them with some cold-weather accessories that will get the job done — and save you from having to listen to them complain about how cold it is.

You can’t go wrong with basic knit gloves in a neutral color, and serious socks in winter hues are unbelievably warm but still fashionable. I’m willing to bet he hasn’t invested in serious boots yet, so if his feet get wet, wool socks will ensure they won’t freeze. Add a blue and red scarf to tie it all together and voila: a snow bunny is born.

Scarf: Forever 21, $10.80
Gloves: EcoRaggs, $15.95
Socks: L.L.Bean, $19.95


Option No. 3: The Girly Girl

Everyone has those days where nothing seems to be going right and you’re just a hot mess. Spilled coffee, forgotten deodorant, ripped seam, headache — you name it, it’s happening. On those days, you need a little something to help you pull yourself together and make it through the day before it’s time to either chug a cocktail or collapse on the sofa in a heap of misery.

Enter the Minimergency kit: a 21-piece lifesaver chock-full of everything a girl could ever need. It really is mini — about the size of a pencil case — and it’s packed with an astonishing number of items. Do you need hairspray, dental floss, clear nail polish, lip balm and a tampon? Oh, don’t worry, they’re all in your tiny, sparkly clutch along with anything else you could possibly think of. Just toss this into a gift bag along with a couple of fun nail polishes and any girl on your list will be simply delighted.

Kit: Pinch Provisions for J.Crew, $24
Nail polish: Sephora, $10.50 each


Option No. 4: The Little One

There’s nothing more fun than shopping for kids, especially if that kid might be cooler than you and can pull off awesome accessories. Treat your favorite tiny gal pal to a fun gift that will take her to school, a play date and home again in style.

A super cute polka dotted backpack will help her conquer the treacherous halls of elementary school, while sparkly gold sneakers will make her the envy of small fashionistas everywhere. You’ll definitely become her favorite big sister, cousin or aunt in her badass new get-up.

Backpack: ASOS, $36.28
Sneakers: Old Navy, $9.99


Option No. 5: The Hostess Gift

Yeah, you read that right. This is a hostess gift. I get it: men like beer, they like tough-looking things and they like bar accessories. But so do chicks, and if you have cool friends — as you should — they’ll appreciate your thoughtful alcohol-inspired gift.

A winter-themed bottle opener will be a hefty addition to their home bar, and weathered earthenware coasters will keep her coffee tables pristine — if she cares about such things. But the best part of your gift will be your thoughtful beer selection: no one is going to turn down a six-pack of a delicious holiday brew. Cheers!

Beer: Great Lakes Brewing Co., $10.99
Bottle opener: Anthropologie, $28
Coasters: Crate&Barrel, $9.95

TAGGED: christmas, gift guide, hanukkah, holiday shopping

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