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I’d say that Friday kicks off the Christmas shopping season, but that’s no longer true. Christmas shopping starts pretty much after Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals have changed to weeklong deals. No matter how you feel about it, Christmas shopping season has arrived. I’ve never enjoyed being out in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. It stresses me out. A lot. In fact, this week I have planned well to avoid having to do any in-person shopping for at least a week.
However, I LOVE online shopping. I’d say at least 75 percent of my Christmas gifts are bought online. I love most being able to sit in my house and find all sorts of good deals and favorite products that I can order and have show up at my door. But even with that said, I still have to know what to get and that can be the biggest challenge of all!
So, I’ve put together a list with some of my favorite products that would make great Christmas gifts or stocking stuffers for less than $20 each. I’ve got something for pretty much everyone on your Christmas gift list from your mom to your kids’ teachers to your husband to your best friend. And if you want to snag a couple of these items for yourself, go for it! They are all priced well to be easy on the budget.
For your best friend or mom (or yourself!)
For a year, I’ve been carrying this Befen Leather Wristlet Clutch Smartphone Crossbody Wallet in purple. And I love it! It holds my phone, everything I’d carry in a wallet and then some. It has three sections inside plus an outside pocket. The inner sections are all covered with a zipper so nothing falls out and the outside pocket, which is designed for a cell phone, has a magnetic snap to keep it secure. Inside, I use one section for my cash and primary cards. Another side holds my less used cards and some coupons. A third zippered section in the middle is great for my other stuff like medicine, nail clippers, hand cleaner, ink pen, bandaids and lipstick.
I started out carrying this purse inside a bigger one. But I soon realized this smaller purse works almost all of the time. Nowadays, I seldom carry a larger purse. The purse is my go-to, everyday purse. And even when I do take a larger purse for some reason, the purple one fits right down inside of it so I don’t have to switch everything in and out.
Of all the purses I’ve ever carried, this one is my favorite. It’s concise and functional. I’ve been carrying it for a year and it is showing only minimal wear, which is remarkable considering all I put it through. I also love that it’s so light I can wear it across my body all the time. So when I’m grocery shopping, I don’t have to worry about wandering away from my cart and leaving my purse unattended, because it’s on me. It makes my achy fibromyalgia shoulders and back happy as well.
For your kids’ teachers (or pretty much anyone!)
I love stainless steel tumblers. I’m not sure love is a strong enough word, actually. I use one every single day. I love it for ice cold water, because that’s what I drink most, but these cups work well for anything hot or cold. And they’re a perfect gift for pretty much anyone, including your kiddos’ teachers, babysitter, postal carrier, hairdresser, best friend, mom and on and on the list goes. Really, who couldn’t use a cup that keeps their beverage hot or cold all day long?! When these cups first came out, they were mostly plain stainless steel, but now there are all sorts of fun options.
The first one I love is this Trek Princess Glitter 30-ounce Stainless Steel Tumbler Cup, because I love sparkle! It comes in almost every color under the sun, which is also awesome and easy to match to whomever you’re giving it to. (Purple is my personal choice!) And I am a fan of the 30-ounce size, because it holds enough to not have to constantly refill, but it’s not so huge it’s hard to carry.
If you’re gifting to someone who doesn’t like sparkle (which baffles me that such people exist!), check out these cool Pandaria 30-ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Tumblers in a wide array of prints and color options. I love the Starry Night one, but there are colors and prints that would work for any gender and all sorts of interests.
For your baking friend
Honestly, I don’t buy many cookbooks any more because of the plethora of recipes online. I love Pinterest for organizing them! However, after reading so many of the Hannah Swensen cozy mystery books by Joanne Fluke (which I recommend if you are looking for easy, fun books with intrigue), I kept wanting to try the recipes included. The main character in the series owns a cookie shop and there are all sorts of yummy recipes as a result. As the series progresses, the recipes go beyond cookies to breads, cakes, pies and savory dishes as well. I decided I might as well just buy the Lake Eden Cookbook. I’m glad I did.
I’ve used multiple recipes from it and even found my favorite ever chocolate cake recipe in its pages. It is one cake I gladly make from scratch because it’s easy and so scrumptious. You don’t have to be a reader of the book series to appreciate the recipes. The cookbook has some text written about the characters, but I’ve never read it! (And I enjoy the series.) I just really like the recipes most. The cookbook is basically compiled like it’s from a variety of small-town folks who appreciate good, filling dishes that don’t use a huge amount of ingredients or things that are hard to find. It’s practical and also has very detailed directions for each recipe.
And if you feel like adding to the cookbook gift, some nonstick Rachael Ray bakeware like I told you about last week in the pumpkin bread recipe would go well with the cookbook. While an entire set of the bakeware starts around $40, you can get a 9×13 rectangle pan or a set of 3 cookie pans (these cost more than $20 by 99-cents) for less.
For your fellow mom (or dad!) friend
Can we all just agree that kids are messy eaters? We are constantly battling crumbs at our house. At 5 and 9, my kids are old enough to get in on the action with sweeping the floor and wiping down the table as part of their chores. A couple of months back, my husband ordered up this Copper Chef Crumby mini vacuum that’s made crumb clean-up easier. It sweeps up crumbs from the table and is perfect for little hands to use! It eliminates the struggle of trying to wipe crumbs from the table into your hands to carry to the trashcan. I have trouble with that myself sometimes; my kids struggle even more.
This little vacuum, however, works well. We use it on our kitchen table and chairs. We got a new table and chair set a few months ago when we moved, but the bristles are soft enough that it doesn’t leave any scratches or marks on my table, which was important to me, too. Any parent with kids would love this! And being able to use a gadget helps the kids get more excited about helping with clean-up.
For your geek or gamer friend (or husband)
I’m going to be honest and tell you this is on my wish list for Christmas and may end up being something I order for my husband (here’s hoping he misses this post!). I know we’d both love either one of these fun coaster sets. I just have to decide which one.
First are the Paladone Nintendo NES Cartridge Coasters. How cute are these?! They look like old school Nintendo cartridges that any kid from the 1980s would love. I kind of want to order them and see if I can blow into them to get them to work. (And if you understand why I’m saying that, this is totally something you should order!)
The other set of cool throwback coasters I found look like floppy disks. They are so cute! There are a few different option of these available, but I like this six pack of floppy disk coasters the most because they don’t have anything written on the label. You could totally use a Sharpie and customize the labels for yourself or just leave them blank. They come in more fun colors than I remember any of my floppy disks ever being!
For your husband, dad or brother
A couple of years ago, my husband first ordered a multi-tool to carry in his pocket. When that one broke, he ordered this Gerber Splice Pocket Tool. It comes in handy all the time. He uses it for all sorts of things from cutting down straws for our kids at restaurants to opening packages or other random tasks that come up. Men tend to like tools that have so many components and options and this one certainly does that. It’s a great gift for pretty much any guy on your Christmas list.
For your daughter
When my daughter was almost 6, we got her ears pierced. Once she was able to start changing her earrings, we learned pretty quickly that anything not gold-plated made her ears break out in a rash. Both my mother-in-law and one of her sisters are the same way. They basically have an allergy to metals. We even tried the hypo-allergenic metals and silver-plated. All of them hurt her ears.
However, buying gold-plated jewelry for my then kindergarten-aged daughter to wear to school wasn’t something I had expected. I went in search of earrings she would like but also I wouldn’t have to stress about getting lost. I looked locally and didn’t find a pair of gold-plated, girls’ earrings under $50, which seemed steep to me. I decided to check out Amazon and was so pleased to find a variety of gold-plated girls’ earrings for under $20. They make a nice gift for any age. These dangly, multi-colored flower earrings are one of my daughter’s favorite pairs that work well with different outfits. At $8.88, they are priced well for a stocking stuffer!
And just like her mama, my daughter loves sparkle. One of her other favorite pairs is a little pricer at $18.99, but still an incredibly great deal for gold-plated earrings. These dangly earrings with multi-colored hearts are versatile. My daughter loves multi-colored earrings because she can leave the same pair in for a few days at a time and know they will match whatever she’s wearing.
Another great find for girls is this unicorn tape dispenser. My daughter loves unicorns, which is why we got it for her. I knew she’d like the tape dispenser and use it, but I didn’t count on how much she would use it! It’s been a few months and she uses it at least a few times a week. It was definitely worth the price we paid and looks cute on her desk as well.
For your son
I’m not sure boys ever stop loving dinosaurs. I mean, they really are cool. While this T-Rex Jailbreak Fingerling is on my son’s Christmas list this year, my husband also thinks it’s pretty awesome. It reacts to sound, motion and touch. The cage will fit two fingerlings if you want to buy another dino Fingerling. My son also really wants a dragon Fingerling, because he loves dragons, so I have a feeling if he fits a second Fingerling in there, it will be a dragon one instead of another dino.
Another option for boys (or girls!) of any age are these mesh squishy balls. My son first got one a few months ago. Our whole family liked it so much that I ordered a 12-pack and both my husband and I keep one at our desk. They work well to add into a gift or make great stocking stuffers. I’ve found them to be great to play with while I’m thinking or even while I’m listening to someone talk. I did accidentally pop one of these guys and slime oozed out, but so far neither my husband nor kids have done that, so I may have extra stress I’m working on! 🙂
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