The truth is I’m not a good gift giver. If you just tell me what you want, I will buy it for you! But observing you and knowing what you want? I’m so sorry, I’m gonna miss all the hints and clues. I really like straightforward conversations, please and thank you.
One thing that helps me buy better gifts for others is when strangers on the internet share their gift ideas. Zero percent sarcasm intended in that sentence. If someone else could narrow down all the ideas to ones they know are good, I will listen to them and buy those things.
So that’s what I’m doing here. Maybe that’s helpful for you, too? If not, move along, you naturally good gift giver. We don’t like your kind here. (My friend Jessi is like this. She better not be reading this.)
This is a very random collection of things we love in the Graham house, gifts we’re giving to others, or gifts we’ve received that were a hit. I think you’ll find something for everyone here, that’s how unnecessarily confident I am about this collection. The only rule is everything has to be under $50.
Okay, here we go. (Some of these are affiliate links, FYI.)
Hair Scalp Massager (link)
I bought this after a friend shared it was working for her curly-haired child who wasn’t great at getting his hair clean. I have a child that struggles with this too. Let me tell you, it’s amazing, it feels great on your scalp, and even people who feel like they’re good at getting their heads clean will love it. I’m obsessed with it. Shove this in everyone’s stockings or just buy it for yourself. Trust me.
Flameless Candles (link)
I love these flameless candles, because you can put them on a shelf or table you wouldn’t normally trust a candle on. They look like real candles, the batteries last forever, and if you forget about them, they won’t burn your house down. Always a bonus. I have some in the middle of my kitchen table and early mornings when it’s still dark outside, I love to turn them on as I putter around the kitchen.
Electric Milk Frother (link)
Hey, this is a coffee game-changer. It’s inexpensive and makes everything better. Obviously, you should buy a few for yourself and friends. I’m putting one in my stocking (yes, I buy my own Christmas presents; no, I feel no shame about this) so I can have one in the camper. There were a couple tense weekends in the woods this summer where I didn’t have it with me. (The trick to make it magical: pour the creamer in your cup, warm it up slightly—you want it warm, not hot!—then tilt the cup at an angle and froth. Boom. Heaven.)
Kids Headphones (link)
Do you know a kid who always needs headphones but can never find them or keeps breaking them because you keep buying crappy ones? Hi, it’s me. I bought both girls a pair of these when we were doing virtual learning and they held up to the wear and tear of careless kids, connected to all our devices, and didn’t hurt their ears after an hour of use. If you have a picky kid, you know how important that is.
Bluetooth Shower Speaker (link)
We’re a family who plays podcasts, audiobooks, and music when we shower. Okay, except Chris Graham. Everyone else normally has something playing from a phone or device while we’re getting clean. This shockingly inexpensive bluetooth shower speaker pairs easily with our devices. It’s got a suction cup so you can hang it on the tile in your shower and the volume is great. And when someone in your family tries to remove this from the wall and breaks the back, it still works if you set it on the shower shelf. Noice.
Pacific Pup Dog Ropes (link)
I order these for our dogs about once a year. You can buy dog ropes anywhere, but I love these specifically because they support a nonprofit dog rescue that saves dogs from a high kill dog shelter. Eventually, my dogs will shred these to pieces and the strings will cover my house, but it’s totally worth it.
Facial Ice Roller (link)
The Graham girls love this ice roller. It’s good when you’re hot, when you ate too much sodium the night before, or, because of pre-teen hormones, you cried yourself to sleep last night. It feels good and, possibly just in your head but, it makes your face feel tight and fresh. A great stocking stuffer for teen girls, they love this stuff.
Ditty Bags (link)
Don’t call them man makeup bags, but that’s what they are. The description says it’s great for “your gear.” *eye roll* If you have someone who travels a lot or camps often, this set of three waterproof sacks are a great idea. Chris uses them constantly.
Slim Leather Wallet (link)
Speaking of Chris Graham, he hates carrying a bulky wallet. He really doesn’t have much to fill a wallet, just a few cards, his license, and some cash, so a few years ago, he ditched the traditional wallet and got one of these. It’s the perfect size, comes in a ton of colors, and is really durable. And, this detail isn’t for everyone, but the gap at the bottom is perfect to hold an AA coin.
Bissell SteamShot (link)
Okay, technically I’m getting this for Christmas, but the review are amazing and a friend swears it’s magical. I’m buying it so I can clean inside my windows, in between the screens and glass where they always get dirty and never seem to be that clean even after wiping them out. It also works on tile, grout, and in all those tricky-to-reach spots around sinks and tub. I turned 40 last month, and I’m excited to get a cleaning product for Christmas. This is who I am now. (Word of caution: don’t give this to a significant other unless they ask! It might not go well!)
Electric Blanket (link)
Okay, so if this is still on sale, it fits in the under $50 category. If it’s not, let’s just pretend. If you live anywhere cold, I believe you should have 1-10 electric blankets. On your bed, on your couch, in your WFH office. Fill your house with them, this is the only way to survive the winter. The girls took theirs camping this fall and just when I thought there wasn’t any place cozier to use an electric blanket, we discovered a chilly camper in the middle of the woods is another perfect spot.
Gold Case Turkish Towels (link)
Have you used turkish towels before? I received some from a sponsored campaign three or four years ago and have been hooked ever since. We use them as beach towels, hand towels, bath towels, and kitchen towels. They get better with age and are highly absorbent. Plus, their hand towels are bigger than a normal hand towel, which I love. If you have someone who loves home goods, get them a set of turkish towels. They’ll love you for it.
Immersion Blender (link)
I’m not sure how I went so long without an immersion blender; probably because I thought they were expensive and it never felt like a good time to buy one. About two years ago, I ordered this one from Amazon, and I’ve never regretted it. If you make a lot of soup or sauces, this will change your life. I feel like that’s an exaggeration, but it’s not. My life was just really boring before this blender. This one comes with attachments that make it a blender. The newer version comes with a milk frother too, which mine didn’t come with, so ordering this one would kill two birds with one stone.
Remote Control Cars (link)
About six months into the pandemic, we ended up ordering these Sharper Image remote control cars from Wal-Mart. I tried to talk Ellie out of it, because for $10 I felt like we were just wasting $10 on a car that would either not work or only work for a few days. And here we are a year and a half later with these awesome cars the girls still play with regularly and love. I don’t understand the voodoo exactly, but these cars should probably be way more than ten bucks. Don’t tell anyone that, but do buy them. We took them camping in Iowa this fall, and the girls drove them ] around the campground endlessly. If you follow me on IG, you know that’s true. My girls love these.
Concrete Head Planter (link)
On a girls’ trip this summer, I picked up one of these concrete head planters at a local garden center. Since then, my mom has made countless comments about how she wants one and so I ordered her one for Christmas. (See how just telling me what you want works??) This is the one I ordered, it has arrived, and it’s great. If you’re looking for a small statue planter, this is it.
Good Morning Coffee Mug (link)
My friend Chelsea has this mug, and I love it. I ordered a few for friends; I got the bigger size (15 oz) and they are perfect. Obviously, this is not for everyone, but for those special people, this will be a big hit.
Clear Stackable Storage Containers (link)
I got these for my birthday, and I love them. They’re great for bathroom, kitchen, or office organization. They’re sturdy and perfect for stacking. I organized our medicine cabinet, my beauty stuff, and some pantry odds and ends with the four I got, and I’m going to order more. I know you can find cheaper ones, but these are worth the expense and really well made. If you have someone in your life who loves to organize or wants to but doesn’t know where to start, a set of these would be a good gift.
Magnatiles are expensive, and it hurts a little to buy them, but my girls are ten years into playing with them, so I feel confident in telling you it’s a good buy. There are lots of knock-off versions, but the original are best. This set would make a great starter gift to build a kid’s collection. My girls are 10 and 12, and they still find a million ways to use them.
Acrylic Window Bird Feeder (link)
How many bird feeders are too many bird feeders? Don’t answer that. It might make me take some down. Anyway, I got one of these for our living room window and while no birds have noticed it yet (WTH, birds??), it makes me so happy it doesn’t even matter. If you have a bird lover in your life, gift them this adorable birdhouse and a bag of birdseed. Guaranteed to make middle aged humans everywhere very excited.
Mildliner Highlighter/Pens (link)
If you have a teenage girl or adult women who loves office supplies, please stop looking for a gift idea and buy these immediately. Your search is done. I’m serious, take a break. This is it: any color, any set. Finished.
Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful (link)
I had this on my list when I started, but talked myself out of it and deleted it. But now it’s back. It’s called a sleepover mask, but I use it as my nighttime moisturizer and it’s just so, so good. It’s the best moisturizer I’ve ever used and that’s saying something. I gave this as my favorite things gift to my friends last year; I’m convinced everyone should have it. Grab it and put it in some stockings. Grab one for yourself too, Santa told me it’s okay.
Wool Socks (link)
My philosophy is you can never have enough warm socks. I plan on never leaving my house this winter and a good pair of socks is crucial to achieve this level of hibernation. I can’t find my favorite sock from Costco, but the ones I’m linking are now on my Christmas list. Who am I kidding, they’re already in my cart. Someone you love will need them as well, trust me.
Add this to anyone’s stocking or gift exchange; I keep one in my office window and we have one in the living room. The unexpected joy that arises when the sun hits the prism and we have a room full of color is worth way more than the cost of this two pack.
Tie Down Straps (link)
The final suggestion is a great gift for anyone who travels, carries home too much from Lowes, or likes to live on the edge and pick up random furniture off the side of the road. Chris has a set of these, and he’s adding to his collection with these this year.
Okay, that’s it! Whew. I hope you found at least one thing to help you check off your holiday shopping list. And if not, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what to tell you. Maybe just go with God and some gift cards.