Holiday Gift Guides 2016: Presents for $25 and Under

For those who want to keep the spending low, but the positive vibes high

The holidays can be an expensive time, so it’s always wise to have a budget of some kind—no matter how flush you feel on pay day. With that in mind, we have trawled the internet finding all kinds of goodies that are fantastic but affordable. From toys to books, games and grooming products, items that encourage creativity and organization, we have just about everything covered—for people of all ages, tastes and types. Check out our bursting $25 and Under Gift Guide in full in the BUY section. This year, perhaps more than ever, we also recommend keeping the spending to a minimum and consider price-matching your gifts with a donation to your favorite charity.

Rainbow Coin Purse

This cheerful coin purse ($25) is an ideal size for loose change, various trinkets and tchotchkes, and the bright rainbow is sure to provoke a smile—no matter how low the funds are inside. With a tip of the hat to the LGBTQ+ community, this embroidered purse is available in white denim or classic blue.

Copper Bottle Opener

When a souvenir bottle opener from your last vacation just won’t do, this minimal and stylish version from Kikkerland is a sleek alternative. The vintage-inspired, copper-plated bar accessory ($10) is a must-have for holiday parties where you want to impress your guests—especially as it appears more expensive than its price.

Fragrance No 1 Natural Deodorant

Despite all evidence that aluminum and paraben aren’t things that should be applied to the body every single day, most people do default to deodorant sticks featuring these ingredients—because they generally offer the most antiperspirant protection. After extending testing, we can testify that Journeymen’s Fragrance No 1 deodorant stick ($18) does offer the same antiperspirant protection most require out of a daily deodorant—and the cypress and cedar smoke scent lasts well into the work day. There’s an almost warming sensation when applying it. And the aloe vera, witch hazel, organic chamomile and essential oils make the experience altogether delightful.

David Bowie Retrospective and Coloring Book

It seems there will never be enough ways to celebrate the genius that was David Bowie, but the latest worthy addition is a lovely paperback coloring book ($11) by artist Mel Elliott. Not only does it contain plenty of illustrations featuring some of Bowie’s most iconic and daring looks to color in, this book also includes information about each costume, its era, designer and the alter-ego that went along with it.

“All My Plants Are Dead” Tote

Purveyors of goods for the introverted, cynical or sad, Stay Home Club joined forces with artist Kaye Blegvad for the tragically sweet “All My Plants Are Dead” tote ($24). Made in the USA and screen-printed in Montreal, the bag is big at 18 by 18 inches (with a six-inch gusset) so it’s large enough for all your gym gear, groceries—or even new unsuspecting plants.

Saul Bass: 20 Iconic Film Posters

Saul Bass, best known for transforming the way movies begin, was a designer of incredible versatility and imagination. His stunning concepts led him to work with legendary filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Otto Preminger and Alfred Hitchcock. This large-format book ($22) from Laurence King includes 20 removable movie posters, such as The Man with the Golden Arm; Anatomy of a Murder; Vertigo; Grand Prix; The Magnificent Seven; Schindler’s List and The Shining, to name a few. Each fits a standard 12×16-inch frame.

“Do Your Best” Pennant

Some of us need a little extra motivation to get out of bed on the best of days, so hanging this “Do Your Best” pennant ($16) somewhere you can see when you wake up isn’t a bad idea. It’s also a great reminder that your best can vary day to day, so it’s important to practice self care on the days you’re just not feeling it. Available in blue, black, orange or yellow, this felt flag is made in the United States and measures seven by 21 inches.

Push Trio Dishes

Available in brass, steel or copper, this trio of dishes (€18) which are joined together at their edges arrives the same as each other, but then the owner can press and push them in order to expand to the shape they want. Blending mathematics, design and a little customization, the Push Dishes measure 15cm by 20cm and are perfect for storing precious tchotchkes.

Charcoal Toothbrush

Made with traditional Japanese charcoal known as binchō-tan, this all-black toothbrush ($11) is the most stylish way to keep up your oral hygiene. Binchō-tan is known to be antibacterial and purifying, and there’s even activated binchō-tan charcoal powder in the soft bristles. All this means your gums and teeth will be healthy, and your whole mouth will smell super-fresh. Made in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, this toothbrush is the epitome of form meeting function.

Femme Film Socks

One-size-fits-most and (of course) entirely gender-neutral, these Femme Film socks ($9) celebrate movies that star women. Screen-printed on classic white crew socks, these socks boast titles like “Single White Female,” Sister Act” (and the superior “Sister Act 2”), “Working Girl” and more.

ANAXI Word Game

Where else can you get algae, guacamole, jello and snakes all in one place? ANAXI ($22)—a fun, creative, flexible, educational word game—rewards enterprising minds and unique thoughts. The more creative and weird your answers are, the better. While educational, it’s anything but dull, and can be played to kick off a work brainstorm, with kids or even as a drinking game. With 75 word cards, the possibilities are almost endless—and sure to be entertaining.

12-Piece Pencil Kit

Made in the USA, this 12-piece charcoal pencil set ($10) includes everything you need to start sketching except the paper. The kit has black and white charcoal pencils, sticks, a sketch pencil, plus an eraser and sharpener. Whether gifting to a child or adult, this present encourages creativity—and we could all use a little more of that.

Rad Women Worldwide

Writer Kate Schatz and artist Miriam Klein Stahl (who created the New York Times bestseller “Rad American Women A-Z”) have come together again for another feminist-leaning tome: “Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History” ($13). Featuring cut-out portraits and short profiles on everybody from Poly Styrene (lead singer of X-Ray Spex) to Malala Yousafzi and Chimamanda Adichie, the book will inspire and impress readers of all ages, races and genders.

“I’ve Done Everything” Mug

While David Shrigley’s mind goes to some strange and wonderful places, his work always manages to make us feel that we’re not alone. Like all his collaborations with Third Drawer Down, this “I’ve Done Everything / I’ve Done Nothing” mug ($24 AUD) is affordable and appropriate for almost anybody in your life—as long as they’re thinkers. Depending on which way you look at it, depending on the day of the week and your mood, this mug can be spun around to suit the moment.

Minimal Pencil Pouch

If you’re trying to be extra inspired or extra organized, this lovely minimal pencil pouch ($24) will surely give you a little motivation—whether you’re sketching, taking notes in class or brainstorming in a meeting. Available in blush, gray or emerald, these pouches can hold pens, pencils, headphones, keys and various other tchotchkes you might have to transport.

Stegosaurus Stuffed Toy

Designed by Sabina Gibson, this peach-colored Stegosaurus ($13) is much smaller, cuter and cuddlier than the real thing. Made for kids aged three and up, the jurassic creature has a wool felt body and polyester filling—so s/he is snuggly. Available on its own, or as a set of four (along with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, Brachiosaurus and Triceratops) this little pal will encourage tots to use their imagination and maybe even learn about the prehistorical world.

Sad Ghost Socks

For those who like a little angst with their apparitions, Sara M Lyons’ sad ghost socks ($12) will be a great fit. The artist/designer’s signature crying ghouls adorn these pale blue knitted socks—made for all genders. Also available are the pale pink happy ghost version—no tears—for more smiley spirits.

The Avalanches “Since I Left You” Vinyl Reissue

The Avalanches’ first record Since I Left You ($23), released in 2000, famously features a whopping 3,500 samples. With slightly fewer samples, the band’s second record came out this year, but—much to the delight of fans—the Australian group also reissued their debut on vinyl. Leading with the sublime title track, this record begs to be listened to in its entirety—thanks in part to the medley-style continuous flow of songs. Perfectly crafted, the cadence of this release has been considered much more carefully than many current-day releases.

Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image courtesy of Working Girls