Receiving an unexpected gift strikes most people as sweet and well-meaning. For someone like me, who loves planning the perfect present during the holiday season, it’s a nightmare! Since I was caught out as a teenager by a gift I wasn’t expecting, I’ve made it my mission to have a selection of items on standby in case of a gifting emergency. Stock up on some of these goodies, which come in at under $30, for those unforeseen acts of kindness. In a year full of unpredictability, it’s always nice to be prepared.
Uniqlo HEATTECH scarf
What’s better than a warm, fluffy, and soft scarf made with HEATTECH thread, creating lightweight high-tech fabric that actually creates heat to warm you up? Its fibers absorb moisture that the body emits, and the fabric itself generates heat. The stylish scarf is a blend of acrylic and wool, comes in multiple colors and can dress up or down any outfit.
Sweet Water Decor Sweater Weather Candle
Bring the smell of fall indoors with this hand-poured, small-batch candle with woody, warm spice and citrus notes. The chic looking candle, made by Sweet Water Decor in Pittsburg, is made from a 100% natural soy blend and is non-toxic, cruelty-free, and has a burn time of more than 40 hours.
Tara's All-Natural Handcrafted Gourmet Sea Salt Caramels
Tara’s handmade gourmet caramels are made in the Rocky Mountains from a 100-year-old family recipe and have a homemade taste and color derived from crafting the candy in small batches. These soft, creamy salted caramel treats are free from artificial flavors, are gluten-free and kosher. You may need to stock up as they’re almost too good to give away.
Automatic Pan Stirrer with Timer
This nifty gadget is perfect for foodie friends who have their hands full in the kitchen or for recipes that call for continuous stirring. Think of it as a battery-operated sous chef, that you simply place in a pan with any simmering or low-heat liquid, set the timer, and carry on with the other tasks on your to-do list.
Elecstars Touch Bedside Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker
A Bluetooth 4.0 speaker to enjoy your music anywhere that’s also a dimmable night light, this handy gadget can provide you a perfect soft relaxing glow when you need to de-stress. Ideal for the bedside and bathing, the lamp can be adjusted to three levels of brightness and six colors to suit your mood or decor.
Solutions and Other Problems by Allie Brosh
Allie Brosh—beloved author and artist of the New York Times bestseller Hyperbole and a Half—returns with a new collection of comedic, autobiographical illustrated essays. Solutions and Other Problems features 1,600 pieces of art and includes humorous stories from the author’s childhood, as well as incisive essays on grief and loneliness and reflections on the absurdity of modern life.
The Golden Girls 500-piece Jigsaw Puzzle
What better way to say “thank you for being a friend” than the gift of a Golden Girls jigsaw? The 500-piece puzzle features the illustrated faces of Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche and is perfect for those who wish to take a break from screens over the holidays. Great for fans of the show or those who developed a new-found love for puzzles in 2020.
Outdoor Vacuum Insulated Wine Tumblers with Lids
Why drink your favorite wine or cocktail outdoors in a single-use plastic cup when you can sip from an insulated wine tumbler? Perfect for outdoor gatherings, these 12oz unbreakable, vacuum-insulated, dishwasher-safe beakers come in a pack of two and keep your drink perfectly cold with no condensation or sweating. They look pretty classy too!
Intelex Warmies Slippers
Warmies fully microwavable slippers combine the aromatherapy of French lavender and the therapeutic power of heat. The cosy slippers are plush and perfect for that friend who needs to relax and put their feet up. To heat, simply place the product in a microwave to release the wonderfully relaxing lavender aroma and comforting warmth.
Soap Distillery Elderflower Mimosa Soap Bar
Soap was once viewed as a dull gift, but if there’s anything society has fully embraced this year, it’s the need for clean hands. Instead of skin-stripping chemical detergent, treat a loved one to a soap bar that’s scented like a cocktail, featuring scents of elderflower, pear, and orange. These handmade, small-batch soap bars give a luxurious, velvety lather and feature naturally occurring glycerin, which draws moisture to your skin.
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