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Learning to shop for the holidays creatively!

Christmas and Hanukkah are fast approaching, and like everything else in 2020, the holidays are looking like they will be celebrated much differently than in previous years and probably in future years to come. While most office holiday celebrations have been cancelled and cocktail dresses will remain on the hangers in our closets at least for the foreseeable future, Zoom holiday cocktail parties and smaller gatherings seem to be the new norm in 2020.

Although celebrations will be scaled back, we all still have gifts to exchange, Secret Santa names to pick and stockings to stuff. Due to the pandemic, widespread layoffs, work furloughs and other economic woes have forced many to lower their Christmas gift budgets significantly. However, we all still want to spread cheer and spoil our friends and family. Here are some creative holiday gift ideas and stocking stuffers ideas for under $30:

  1. Cocktail Gifts to Liven Holiday Zoom Parties

You might have come across drnxmyth.com online; they are a fresh craft cocktails company that allows imbibers from around the world to order delicious bottled cocktail creations from the world’s leading mixologists. Each bottled beverage arrives chilly and includes cold pressed ingredients without added preservatives or heat pasteurization.

Their delightful menu includes Cucumber Margarita, Strawberry Mojito, Apricot Rye Smash, Bourbon Sour, Rum Punch, Smoked Watermelon (a Mezcal drink), Ginger Drop (as their website describes, a lemon drop meets a Moscow mule, Eastside (a minty, cucumber gin drink), and more. And each bottle is $11-$12 (plus shipping) and makes the perfect accompaniment to your Zoom Holiday parties.

2. Gifts for the Coffee Lover

Over 50% of American adults drink coffee – so you likely can’t go wrong with a coffee themed present or stocking stuffer. There are so many ways you can go with this one. Think coffee makers, accessories, milk frothers, and more. Why not elevate your friend’s or family member’s morning coffee by giving them an affordable French Press or premium coffee. Check out this article for more latte-inspired holiday gift ideas.

Affordable Holiday Gift Ideas for Coffee Lovers
Find the perfect coffee holiday gift ideas for those who love coffee.

3. Stocking Stuffer for the Frequent Traveler – 2020 Edition

Pandemic or not, some people have jobs that require frequent travel or others are still opting to travel home for the holidays. Safety and protective measures have never been more important. Why not arm these travelers with a safety pack that includes PPE such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, wipes, toilet seat covers and more? Here is one for less than $20 that can be easily stuffed in a stocking: Safe Travels Essential Kit.

Safe travels PPE kit

4. Gifts for the Aspiring Chef

Are you looking for holiday gift ideas for someone who spends hours in the kitchen or who would rather binge watch episodes of The Food Network over anything on Netflix? Why not give them what they love? The Ninja Storm is an all-in-one 40 oz blender and food processor. It’s available in several colors to match almost any kitchen and it whips, blends, crushes ice and processes food in a jiffy. Check it out here. It’s available for only $29.98. As an added bonus, the retailer allows for flex pay options. And yes Christmas and Hanukkah colors are available.

Red Ninja Storm Food Processor, Ice Crusher and Blender
The Ninja Storm makes food prep easy.

Does the home cook already have all of the tools that could possibly be needed and then some? Instead of a kitchen appliance or culinary tool, why not surprise them with a variety of marinades, dips and dressings to enhance their recipes and post-pandemic entertaining.

Yo Mama’s Foods, not only has a memorable brand name, but offers healthy, low carb, diet friendly and tasty oils, sauces, marinades, dressing, and dips with no artificial ingredients. You can create your own delectable gift bundle of their goodies or purchase a bundled gift set. There dressing gift set is available for $27.98 plus 20% off your first order. Check it out here: Yo Mama’s Foods.

Yo Mama's Dressing Gift Bundle

5. Gift for the Ice Cream-aholic

Who doesn’t love ice cream? Well, there are probably some of us who love it more than others and may be prone to late night excursions to the supermarket or Dairy Queen to satisfy our frozen treat fix. This mini Dash My Pint Ice Cream Maker is the perfect gift for any ice cream lover out there. For starters, it’s the cutest ice cream maker on the market, is super easy to use (you freeze the cooling bowl overnight, add the ingredients, press a button and your own pint of ice cream is ready in just 30 minutes), makes just the right amount of ice cream and is available for under $20.

Dash My Pint Ice Cream Maker

6. Stocking Stuffer for the Beauty Obsessed

Do you know someone who spends more money on makeup and skincare than the GDPs of some countries? Fill their stockings with more of what they love with makeup bundles from Ipsy. You can choose a bundle (5 samples of mini or full size products in a snazzy makeup bag) for $12 and customize it with makeup, skincare and hair care add-ons that range in price from $3 to $18. Access to the gift options are available for members, but you can sign up quickly here.

IPSY makeup bag filled with makeup and skin care goodies

7. Gifts for the Health Nuts/Smoothie Makers

For the devoted smoothie makers in your life (Yes, I’m one of them as evidenced by my own daily supercharged smoothie ritual) or athletes, consider giving them boosters for their smoothies or powders to help them make the most of their sweat sessions. Bulk Supplements makes premium and high rated yet affordable powders and capsules that are lab-tested for purity. Pick a few and wrap them along with some smoothie or protein shake recipes. You’re bound to get a fist bump (well, maybe an elbow bump in the time of COVID-19) or a bicep flex for that one.

For the smoothie makers:

For the gym frequenters:

Bulk Supplements Whey Protein Powder

8. A Gift for the Wine Connoisseur in Your Life

Wine snobs, and I say that affectionately, are often accustomed to receiving bottles of wine or fancy wine openers as gifts. But, I bet they haven’t received any wine filters. These clever gadgets help eliminate headaches and other uncomfortable side effects experienced by many who drinking wine. PureWine’s filters remove histamines and sulfites which many are sensitive to and as a result – help make wine drinking more enjoyable for all. And you can’t beat the price. A single Pure Wine The Wave Purifier and Aerator is available for $11.99. Or if you prefer, they offer purifying wands that can be placed in each wine glass (sold in a pack of 10 for $19.99 or four for $11.99). You can find these unique filters here.

PureWine's The Wave wine purifier and PureWine's wine purifying wands

9. Turn Your Virtual Holiday Parties a Mukbang by Sending International Snack Boxes

It’s all the rage on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube; celebrities and pseudo celebrities record Mukbangs or eating sessions, which many times includes them chowing down on and sampling snacks from abroad. Some of the snacks featured are definitely intriguing – some in a good way and some in a bad way.

Well, now you can have your own Mukbang session by sending those on your virtual holiday party list a box of international goodies. Universal Yums lets you send a holiday-themed box filled with 6 unique snacks plus trivia, games and more starting at $17. They also have country-curated boxes. For example, the Italy box is currently available for purchase. Snackcrate offers a cheaper option of 5-6 snacks for $14 but without the bells and whistles that come with the Universal Yums boxes. Snackrate allows you to send vouchers to recipients that they can claim when they desire.

10. Holiday Gift Ideas for People Who Have Everything or Who Are Always Tough to Shop For

Shopping for certain people in our lives can be challenging each and every holiday season. No, need to despair though. Here are are a couple of holiday gift ideas for those difficult to shop for folks in your lives:

  • Hop over to Uncommon Goods for some truly unique finds. They have quite the assortment of gift options for under $30 (indoor herb gardens, brainteasers, therapy dough, bourbon infused coffee, poop bingo (what???) – I guess for the potty mouth in your life, root beer making kits, kabob grilling baskets, 100 things to do after quarantine game, mini terrariums, automatic pot stirrers, Italian cheesemaking kits and so much more! For additional cheer, Uncommon Goods is currently offering a $5 credit for signing up for their email list.
  • Go crafty! Check out Etsy for unique, homemade gifts based on their interests and hobbies.
  • Head over to Lulu’s Garden to browse their inventory of long-living succulent plants. Succulents make excellent decorative pieces and unlike most plants are extremely hard to kill. They require minimum sunlight and water and will be around for at least until next Christmas.

Happy (online) shopping!

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