When you're balancing work deadlines, laundry, what to wear at the office holiday party, whether to get a light lamp to stave off SAD this year, and all the rest of what life throws at you in December, it can be a challenge to come up with creative gift options for everyone on your list.
Here are a few thoughtful ideas that will stand out from the pack:
1. A cool subscription box
There is literally a subscription box for every interest, and many are wildly inexpensive for what you get. This is the gift that keeps on giving, because when you gift someone 3 months, they've got even more presents to look forward to.
See them all in one place at My Subscription Addiction; it's got searchable categories and promos. A few examples:
GlobeIn: Created to help link artisans from the third-world with consumers from the first-world, this box delivers hand-made products from around the world, and is used to help fight poverty. You get some really beautiful items, including jewelry. $10/month
Petit Vour: Vegan (cruelty-free) beauty & makeup products. $15/month
Craft Beer Club: Creative, unique craft beers, 12 to a box. $42/month
SockFancy: Funny, fun socks. $11/month
Love with Food: All-natural, organic snacks (there's even a gluten-free box option). $9.99/month
BarkBox: Cool stuff for dogs. $29/month
Note: If the actual box doesn't arrive by Christmas, just wrap up a sample of one item from the box and explain the gift.
2. LEZÉ the Label pants
If you've got a professional young woman in your life, she'll appreciate these stylish pants designed by a Millennial woman "out of a burning desire to wear PJs to work."
They're chic, comfortable, wrinkle-free, and completely work-appropriate so you really could wake up in them and roll out to the office without changing. Made from 100% sustainable materials (including polyester yarn gleaned from recycled plastic bottles), they've even got a bit of coffee yarn, which repels smells, keeping them so fresh and so clean.
They're so cutting-edge they're still being sold on Kickstarter, where they're currently 1,437% overfunded. Looks like there's a market for this.
3. A non-lame board game
Most people either have or have heard of Cards Against Humanity. Here are a few other creative options that'll get their attention:
Cards Against Muggles - For the Harry Potter Fan. $9.90 (Note: you have to print these cards out yourself, which is why it's so inexpensive. You can do so at Kinkos or Staples, etc. for ~$30.)
What Do You Meme: For the meme-obsessed. It's absurdly fun. $29.99
Joking Hazard: For those who like comics (especially Cyanide & Happiness). $20.00
4. A high-quality, portable bluetooth speaker
Whether it's to play a podcast louder while you cook in the kitchen; watch a movie with friends on a laptop; or get the party started, everyone can use a good, portable speaker.
This one is water-resistant (good for repelling spilled drinks) and wireless with a 10-hour rechargeable battery. $24.99
5. A generic GoPro
If you've got an adventure-loving young adult in your life, this is what to go for. GoPros are usually $300, but this one has all the same features (and an identical 4-star rating on Amazon) for just $74.99. It's another gift that'll keep on giving, and if you go in on it with someone else, it'll be just $37.50.
6. Judgmental: Your City. Judged
This is a hilarious book with insider tips and gossip about practically every city in the U.S. It's both funny and informative, labeling things like "The Worst Trader Joes Ever" in SF, and "Where Suburbanites Buy Drugs" in Chicago. Great for anyone who has moved from one city to another (or is considering it). $11.31
7. Remote-controlled off-road car
You're never too old for a remote-controlled car, and this one is particularly epic. It's 4-wheel-drive, shock-proof and all-terrain, meaning it won't break like other remote-controlled cars, plus you can drive it in sand, grass, wet mud, or marshy land. It goes up to 23 mph, which is absurdly fast when you're actually out there zipping it around the neighborhood.
Pro tip: if you're shopping for siblings or friends, get each of them one and they can drag race. $35.99
8. A Polaroid camera
No, not a real one -- it's a new-school version of the old-school version -- a digital camera that can make instant, high-quality prints (without having to shake it, shake shake it). $54.99
9. Homemade infused vodka
A creative DIY option, you only need 3-5 days to infuse vodka, so you could get started on the 22nd and still be good for Christmas. Just get pretty jars at a store like Ross or Michaels and go to town. You can make everything from pomegranate- or date-infused vodka to more classic options like strawberry or clementine. Pro tip: add fresh rosemary or sage for extra panache. $5-15/jar, depending