Forget the latest big-ticket, popular gift everyone will rush to buy on Black Friday (or, for the committed types, Thanksgiving).
Your friends, family and other loved ones will find just as much joy and surprise with these affordable yet unique gifts. We scoured the internet looking for some of the best and most interesting small gifts — perfect for stocking stuffers or even the main event — destined to create smiling faces this holiday season.
For the travel lover
If your friend or loved one is the dedicated traveler, help them document their journeys with this unique scratch-off map. As your friend traverses the globe, they simply scratch off where they’ve visited, revealing colorful splashes of color.
For the concertgoer
Concert people. Gotta love them. They’ll be front and center for their own personal close-up with their favorite star no matter how loud the music, how big the crowd or how expensive the ticket. Help your friend or loved one document their favorite concerts. It’s also great for sports games, theatre or other events.
For the irreverent one
We all have them — bad days at work or home that just make us want to throw our hands up in desperation. And, your friend? Well, she’s the queen of exasperation. Instead of letting her slip out a choice phrase or two next time, gift her this handmade “F-bomb” paperweight. She’ll smile, laugh a little and let the stress go.
For hometown pride
Some people just never let go. They’ll cling to their hometown pride no matter where they live. Give your friend or loved one a special smile on Christmas morning with a reminder of the city they love so dearly. These handmade coasters include maps of neighborhoods from popular cities including Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Philadelphia, San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, New Orleans, Minneapolis and Baltimore.
Give your summer-loving friend a pick up during the doldrums of winter. The warm weather will return soon enough and with this cool fruit tapping kit, your friend will be able to turn melons and other fruits into their own all-natural kegs.
Know a plant lover? Maybe even a young person who might enjoy growing their own small garden? This small planter comes in a recycled steel box with non-soil planting material that takes just 7-14 days to sow, sprout, grow and harvest your plants. Comes in two varieties. Spice kit: Chrysanthemum Coronarium (Shungiku Chrysanthemum). Brassica Rapa Nipposinica var. nipposinica (Japanese Mibuna Mustard), Raphanus Sativus var. longipinnatus (Daikon Radish). Veggie kit: Brassica oleracea sabauda (Red Acre Cabbage), Daucus Carota (Mini-Carrot Greens). Pisum Sativun (Tom Thumb Pea Greens).
For the book lover
Some people are crazy about their books, amassing whole personal libraries to rival even the most voluminous in the world. Gift your library-building, book-loving friend this quirky nod to their own favorite hobby. This personal library kit comes complete with retro-inspired check-out cards, self-adhesive pockets and a date stamp.
For the fanciful
A fun, rainbow-hued gift for the fanciful on your shopping list this year. Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind stoneware with a footed base.
Your friend or loved one knows everything about coffee. Their tastes are refined and only the best will do. Let them brew their own individualized mug with this single cup french press. The mini-brew mug takes just two or three minutes to give your loved one the best sip they can brew up.
For the learner
Every single issue of National Geographic since 1888 are encased in this six-disc boxed set, with over 1,400 issues, 8,000 articles and 200,000 photos exactly as they appeared in print. Compatible with all modern computer operating systems.
For the politico
This coffee mug comes with 29 classic campaign slogans from presidential candidates throughout the nation’s history. A perfect gift for history or politics lovers.
When history and sport combine
The New York Times offers several collections of its landmark and historic reporting, taking readers on a journey through time for their favorite sport. Collections include golf, boxing, football, basketball, hockey and baseball. Baseball, basketball, football and hockey collections by team.
— compiled by Matt Comer