Finally sorted out your naughty-or-nice list? Before you max out the credit cards, discover great holiday gifts that are both affordable and unique. “Lucky” magazine’s Allyson Waterman shares presents for under $30, $50 and $100:
Now is the time to make your list, and do not procrastinate one more day. The closer to Christmas, the more we panic, get desperate and spend way too much money. This year, you don't have to break the bank to find something special. Below are smart shopping tips for the holiday season:
- Go personal. So many people are cutting back this year, so go for items that are special. LUCKY loves the photo books and the wooden puzzles.
- Create a budget. When you're shopping, stick to spending money on the actual gift. Don't waist time getting caught up in the little stuff, or else before you know it, you'll be spending $100 on junk.
- Shopping online. It's a fantastic way to do your shopping, unless you are the type of person who will not return items you're not happy with. This is not the time to experiment. If Internet shopping is for you, it's so easy to shop with a click. Before you know it, your gift will be wrapped and at your door without your having to leave your home or office (just make sure you leave enough time for delivery).
$30 and under:
Tiffany & Co. playing cards
Tiffany & Co. / www.tiffany.com; $30
Tiffany & Co. can monogram! Which makes this such a classy and classic gift.
Portable stereo speakers Fashionationstyle.com; $15
These are great for any age and come in a variety of colors.
Various candlesticks (of various sizes in clear glass and silver)CB2 / www.cb2.com; $4 - $6
CB2 is a new destination from Crate and Barrel with stores open in Chicago and New York. Candlesticks are a great gift in either a set of two, or they can be bundled for a larger, more lavish gift. Either way, they're so affordable.
Classic/vintage board games (Operation, Boggle, Sorry!)boardgamesrus.com; under $25
e.l.f. Cosmetics Holiday Beauty Grab Box (fill any container with $1 products from e.l.f. cosmetics)e.l.f. / www.eyeslipsface.com; $25
$50 and under:
Personalized hometown puzzle
SkyMall / www.skymall.com; $39.95
Puzzles are full-family fun and always a great activity to do when the whole family is lounging around.
Animal alphabet wooden puzzle
MoMA Store / www.momastore.org; $48
All purchases support the exhibitions and programs at The Museum of Modern Art. Another example of a puzzle, but for kids. A classic, timeless present.
Missoni perfume charm necklace
Saks Fifth Avenue / www.saksfifthavenue.com; $50
This perfume comes in a solid form. It's very 1950s, where you put a dab behind your ears. Plus, when the perfume wears out, the jewelry is still fantastic.
Jewel bud vases
Red Envelope / www.redenvelope.com; $40
Patent leather planners
Horchow / www.horchow.com; $50
Personalized photo books (a variety of ways to showcase your digital photo albums)flickr.com; under $100
Anyone can jump online to create one of these personalized photo books with captions, descriptions, or memories. These are all beautiful, professional-looking photo books. The Web site has several examples of how to design a book that's unique for you.
Planet Earth - The Complete BBC Series
BBC Video / amazon.com; $54.99
This astonishing 11-part BBC series is brilliantly narrated by Sir David Attenborough and sensibly organized so that each 50-minute episode covers a specific geographical region and/or wildlife habitat (mountains, caves, deserts, etc.).
Andy Warhol watches
MoMA Store / www.momastore.org; $95
Watches are a really special gift, and so many are NOT affordable. People wear jewelry in different ways, and anyone can wear these colorful watches. Plus, this is a great price point for any watch.
Handmade stationery (20 cards and envelopes in various designs/colors)Mrs. John L Strong / www.mrsstrong.com; $75
Sur La Table / www.surlatable.com; $169.95
The AeroGarden grows a variety of vegetables, flowers and herbs simply, easily and naturally right on your kitchen counter without dirt, weeds or mess. NASA-tested aeroponic technology grows plants in water, nutrients and air. Even if you have a complete black thumb, this is fool-proof. And it's great for the winter.
Cashmere leggings (in a variety of colors - gray, red, green, blue, etc.)J.Crew / www.jcrew.com; $150
Leggings seem to be a style that's not going away. Not many people buy leggings for themselves. These are comfy and cozy and great for wearing out or around the house.
Cloud 9 Living Experience gifts (gift certificates)Cloud 9 Living / cloud9living.com; $150 and up
Cloud 9 Living is an experience gift company that transforms unique and memorable experiences into unforgettable gifts. Whether it's sky diving or cooking lessons, formula racing or a day at the spa, our gifts are guaranteed to be extraordinary. To redeem a gift certificate, log on to the Web site, select the Experience of your choice, and you'll receive a confirmation for your booking within 48 hours.
Glass tray (with monogram design)Superdeluxe / www.superdeluxenyc.com; $156
Flip Video camera (portable and plugs directly into computer)Flip Video / flipvideo.com; 30 min: $150 / 60 min: $180
For more great gift ideas and shopping tips, visit “