45 Christmas Gift Ideas Under $25 (They’ll Absolutely Love)

This is a fantastic list of Christmas gift ideas that are under $25 - aka presents that fit my budget! I have to be a certain amount of cheap on gifts when I have a huge list to cover every year. I definitely don't want to go into debt for Christmas. Pinning this for later!

We’re back with our Christmas list again for 2016.

We’ve updated the list with five more gift suggestions.

Are you looking for a few Christmas gift ideas to help complete your list? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

Every Christmas season I wait too long and end up having trouble deciding what gifts to get my family, friends, and co-workers. This year I thought I would be pro-active and make a huge list of several, reasonably-priced ideas to choose from before I do my shopping.

I’m a big fan of the consumable gifts that don’t add to the endless junk we Americans have, so I’ve included many in this list. Hopefully you’re able to find a few Christmas gift ideas from this list that will bring joy to those around you.

1. Blender – A blender is one of those small appliances many people would like to have, but maybe can’t justify buying because of how much they think they’ll use it. Blenders are great though and encourage healthy eating (i.e. fruit smoothies or make your own baby food) and a more exciting cooking experience (i.e. mixed frozen drinks, shakes, etc.). Here’s a personal size blender: Black Hamilton Beach Personal Blender with Travel Lid [$13.59].

2. Bottle of Wine / Unique Selection of Beers – This consumable (always a plus) gift is a great idea if you are spending the evening with the recipient. You may even be invited to partake. Many different varieties of wine can be had for under $25 a bottle. As for beer, I like the idea of visiting a place like World Market, who will let you create a mix of foreign beers to purchase by the six pack. Slap on a bow and you are good to go. Always drink responsibly. Want a wine accessory instead? Try this Electric Wine Opener with Chiller by Oster [$24.97].

3. Book – Most books will easily fall under the $25 level. Fiction, non-fiction, biographies, guides, cookbooks, etc. When all else fails, go for a coffee table book. I like this highly-rated coffee table book, Planet Earth: As You’ve Never Seen it Before [$24.06].

4. Hat/Gloves/Scarf – Since the Holiday season usually means cold weather, get your friend or loved one some combination of a hat, gloves, or scarf. This is usually a safe buy because they are often easy to fit without knowing the exact size. This year the animal hat/scarf combos are very popular. Here’s one that actually has mittens too: Husky Animal Hat with Mittens [$24.99].

5. 529 Plan Starter – Have someone in your life that could use a college savings plan? Help them get started by contributing $25 in their name. This is a great gift for grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Be sure to run it by their parents so you don’t step on any toes. The College Advantage plan will contribute an additional $50 to help you get started as well. That’s a total of $75 towards someone’s future education costs.

Multi Tool Pliers - Christmas Gift Ideas6. Multi-Tool – Guys love gadgets. The ultimate gadget is the multi-tool or Swiss army knife. These are perfect for the kitchen drawer, glove box, toolbox, tackle box, garage, etc. Everyone could use a multi-tool to help them make quick repairs on the fly. Entry level tools and knives can be had for around $25. Check out the Suspension Opening Butterfly Multi-Plier with Sheath by Gerber [$22.36].

7. Game Tickets – Here’s an excellent, consumable gift. With plenty of college bowl games and other sporting events around the holiday season, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. This is a gift you can take advantage of as well. Buy two tickets (one for you too) and you’re in on the fun.

8. T-Shirt – A t-shirt makes a great gift because it can be personalized for the recipient. And who couldn’t use another t-shirt in their collection? Create an original t-shirt at a place like ShirtCity.com.

9. Board Game – Games bring the whole family together. They are perfect for the Holidays when family members may have a lot of free time to hang out. Check out the very popular Quirkle from Mindware [$17.95].

10. Soap and Lotion Bundles – This is another favorite of mine to give. Who doesn’t need soap and lotion? It’s another consumable gift too. Leaves no clutter. Many places create several different gift packages under or around $25. Check out this Lavender Bath and Body Gift Basket [$19.99] which includes body lotion, bubble bath, shower gel and bath fizzer.

11. Gift Card – I love gift cards because they allow the recipient to have some say in the specific gift that they receive. Instead of a specific DVD, give a movie theater gift card so the recipient can see the movie they want. Instead of a piece of clothing, give a department store gift card so the recipient can buy what they want. I love gifts cards for: restaurants (I like to eat!), movie theaters, and electronic stores. Check out a place like PlasticJungle.com where you can buy unwanted gift cards at up to 30% discounts. Be careful with gift cards though: they can be perceived as impersonal, and they can also have expiration dates or fees affecting their usability.

12. Crock-Pot – Share your love of easy-to-make, no-mess home cooked meals by giving your friend or loved one a crock-pot. A three quart size should be plenty for most families. Make the gift unique by creating a crock-pot recipe book to go along with the appliance. If you don’t have many recipes on your own, search online to add to the collection. Stainless Steel 3-Quart Round Manual Slow Cooker by Crock-Pot [$19.99]

13. Annual Magazine Subscription – If your friend or loved one has a hobby or interest, odds are there is a magazine geared towards that particular subject. It might be a good idea to also purchase one from the news stand so that you have something physical to wrap and give them along with the annual subscription. Magazine subscriptions can be found online for very cheap. Here’s a subscription to Real Simple [$23.88].

14. Earbuds – Just about everyone has an iPhone, iPod, or some other hand held digital device. Apple and other manufacturers don’t spend their time designing the best pairs of stock earbuds. In fact, I think they are really uncomfortable. Save someone’s ears this holiday season by giving them a nice pair of earbuds or headphones. Check out these stylish Noise-Isolating Earphones from Ultimate Ears [$19.99].

Luggage Locator - Christmas Gift Ideas15. Key/Luggage Finder – This is probably the most unique Christmas gift idea on my list. They now have a device that fits on your key ring that, when active, will emit a sound when you are near your luggage tags. With this device you will never have trouble locating your luggage in the airport again. And it also works in the opposite direction, so you can find your keys when you lose them. Buy the Tile Mate – Key Finder. Phone Finder. Anything Finder  [$24.95]

16. Poster or Print Art – A great gift for kids would be a poster. Who doesn’t want a life size image of Justin Beiber on their wall? For the grown-ups, look for art that you think they might find interesting. There is even a nice service by some online print shops where you can create a collage of pictures and print it out poster size. Try this Japanese Vinyl Wall Art Decal from The Custom Vinyl Shop [$22.99].

17. Photo Book – Upload digital photos to a place like ShutterFly.com and create a photo book. The books are printed and mailed to you or your recipient. Easy and creative.

18. Stock – Want to encourage investment and give the gift that keeps on growing? Great idea! Use the gift of stock to help someone get going with investing. A service like the one offered at www.SharesWell.com is probably a good solution to make this happen. They allow you to give even if the recipient doesn’t have an account there or at a broker yet.

19. Candy or Specialty Food – At a loss for gift ideas? Get them some food! Treat your family or friends to a nice box of chocolates (e.g. See’s Candies), or pick up a specialty food basket from Hickory Farms or Harry & David. Here’s a See’s Candy 1lb. Chocolate & Variety [$16.50].

20. CD Box Set – Even though we’ve long since entered the digital age with music, some music lovers will appreciate the physical box set of CDs with all the artwork and accompanying materials. Here’s a nice one: Queen – Greatest Hits I, II & III – The Platinum Collection [$16.99]. That’s still cheaper than buying all of the songs in mp3 format.

21. Christmas Ornament – Start a tradition within your family. Give an ornament to a family member for their Christmas tree. Something with a personal note or picture would be ideal. Here’s a nice one: Angels Embrace Ornament from Willow Tree [$15.96].

22. Thermos or BPA Free Water Bottle – There are a ton of new, healthy, environmentally-safe food and water storage products on the market today. Odds are your friends or loved-ones might need an upgrade. Get a coffee or soup thermos, or invest in a new water bottle. My friend really likes this  CamelBak eddy .75L Water Bottle [$13.99].

23. Theme Baskets – Along the same lines as the subscription option above, if you know what interests those on your gift list have, it will be easy to design a gift to suit them. Why not create a gift basket of sorts around a theme. For the fitness junkie, throw together a gym bags worth of workout gear and equipment. For the aspiring cook, get a set of mixing bowls, some utensils and maybe even cookbook (try Half Priced Books). This gift says you respect them for their interests and want to encourage their efforts.

24. Picture Frame – This is an ideal Christmas gift idea if you know the person well enough to put a picture in it (i.e. picture of the grand kids for your parents). If you are simply giving the frame itself, make sure it’s exceptional or unique in some way. Most can be had for under $25. Here’s a Linear Wood 8×10 Matted Black Frame from Malden [$17.38].

25. Stationary – If your recipient loves to write letters, give them a stationary set. But don’t settle for something boring. Find a creative set like this Animal Greetings Mix & Match Stationery by Junzo Terada [$8.95]. Who knows, you may get to experience this gift for yourself as your loved one uses this stationary to thank you for the gift.

26. Toiletry Bag – Let the frequent traveler in your life know you want them to travel in style. A nice bag can make life on the road a bit easier to bear. Check out the Ogio Doppler Shave Kit [$19.30].

27. Slippers – Don’t let the feet get cold this winter. Invest a few dollars towards keeping your loved one’s feet warm and cozy all season long. Check out these Sand-Colored Venus Shearling Women’s Slippers from Tamarac by Slippers International [$20.78].

28. Money Maze Bank – Here’s a creative way to give cash or a gift card – enclose them in a money maze and have a grand ole time watching the recipient get to their gift. After the fun of the initial gifting, the Money Maze can be turned into an actual piggy bank with built-in security feature. Here’s one for $5.35.

29. Journal – If you can’t think of a specific book to purchase, why not go for a journal instead and let your friend or family member do the writing. A good writer will work through several journals throughout the year, so have a spare around will come in handy. Here’s a XL Soft Cover Ruled Notebook from Moleskine [$13.57].

Holga - Christmas Gift Ideas30. Holga Camera – Here’s another unique gift. Know any aspiring photographers? Holga cameras are a specialty camera that many people want to have in their arsenal of cameras. And lucky for you, they cost no where near the price of today’s high end digital SLRs. This one comes in a bit higher than $25, but it’s the cheapest Holga I could find: Holga Camera [$29.99].

31. Coffee Beans – Adventurous coffee drinkers will appreciate this gesture. With thousands of coffee varieties, manufacturers, and flavors on the market, you’re sure to find something interesting and new. Here’s a 32oz bag of Cameron’s Organic French Roast Whole Bean Coffee [$18.84].

32. Blanket – The great thing about a blanket is that it’s practical and it’s one size fits all. Keep your family or friends warm this holiday season with a nice blanket. If you are feeling a bit silly, give them a Snuggie or Slanket instead. Here’s a nice Grey/Green All-Purpose Blanket from JJ Cole Collections [$25.71].

33. DVD Sets – Know someone who loves movies? There are a million DVD titles on Amazon.com to choose from, increasing the chances that you’ll find something valuable for your recipient. There are actually quite a few movie and TV sets for less than $25. I want the Peanuts Holiday Series DVD Set [$20.49] which includes Charlie Brown Christmas.

34. Netflix – Netflix service can be gifted using gift cards purchased at select retailers (I get mine at Kroger). This is an inexpensive gift that can provide hours and hours of frugal entertainment. I’m currently using my subscription to power through early seasons of The Walking Dead. What will your recipient use it for?

35. Wallet / ID Case – Wallets make a great gift because they tend to wear out every few years or so and you gotta have some place to hold all that cash money! I prefer a money clip style slim wallet, but both that style and the traditional tri-fold can be had for under $25. Here’s one: Nautica Men’s Milled Passcase Wallet [$19.16]. Designer ID cases for women are really popular right now too. Here’s an example: Vera Bradley Zip ID Case [$12.00].

36. Golf Balls – Have an avid golfer in the family? Get them more of what they need to help improve their game. As an occasional golfer myself, I can tell you I appreciate having plenty of golf balls handy for my next round. I’m not sure these are legal, but I like the looks of the Self-Correcting Golf Balls by Polara [$24.95].

37. Gadget Case – Everyone has some type of smart mobile device these days, but they don’t all have a nice case or cover to properly protect it. There are all kinds of accessories for the people in your life with an iPhone, Droid, Kindle, or iPad. Check out this Pink Incipio Clarion Folio Fire Case

38. Flowers and Vase – I like this gift because it combines a temporary item with a permanent one. The flowers will fade, but the vase or planter will be around for whatever the recipient has in mind.

39. Handmade Jewelry or Box – Instead of picking out something from a big box jewelry store or some piece that everyone has, find a nice handmade, unique piece of jewelry to give as a gift. There are some nice handmade jewelry boxes out there as well. Here’s a nice one: Wooden Jewelry Box with Brass Metal Inlay [$16.00].

40. Donation “In Your Name” – For someone that has everything they need already, consider a charitable gift in their honor. Most charitable organizations will give you something nice to present to the recipient. Couple this with a nice card or small gift card and you are good to go.

41. Theater Tickets – I’m not talking about the movies. Although I love a simple movie theater. I mean the real deal theater for an off-broadway production, opera, ballet, or other fine arts performance. It might be a challenge to find tickets for less than $25, but if you do, it will surely be a one of a kind experience for your friend or family member.

42. Pen & Pencil Set – Believe it or not, you can get a nice pen and pencil set for less than $25. This is perfect for the student, writer, or business owner in your life. Check out this Classic Pen & Pencil Set – Black w/Silver Inlays & Etched Cross [$16.95].

43. Cell Phone Speaker Amplifier – I just received one of these as a gift and I love it. It works perfectly with my Republic Wireless phone. We keep it in the kitchen and it turns our Pandora or Spotify listening into something the whole family can enjoy. I swear, it’s magic. Here’s one for $18.95.

44. Semi-Personalized Towel Set – Spend a little less on a personalized monogramed towel set by just opting for the first letter of your recipient’s first or last name. Since these are pre-made, no customization is needed. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be well received and look great in a home.

45. Flask – For those that like to imbibe, you might want to help them step up their alcohol-smuggling style with this flask: The Original Shot Flask – 8oz Hip Flask with a Built-in Collapsible Shot Glass – Stainless Steel with Premium Bonded Leather Wrapping [$25.00].

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Last Edited: March 13, 2017 @ 9:31 pmThe content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, podcaster, FinCon Founder, husband, and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. Listen to the new podcast, Masters of Money!


  1. Love these ideas – but especially the photo book! Photos are some of my most precious items, and the time it takes for someone to put a book together really makes this a wonderful gift option!

  2. The Black_one says:

    That was an ignorant statement. I
    hope you have matured since 2011.

  3. I think one of the best gifts to give this Christmas is a book. They last for a lifetime and something that your special someone can turn to during depress times.

  4. Peony plants -they’ll grow for decades. Brooks Gardens has peony gift cards.

  5. Hahah you lotion and soaps… They do cause clutter at our place normally we use what we purchase and then when it runs out we buy more. So specialty soaps or small lotion bottles accumulate…

    Still good comprehensive list.

  6. Thanks for this thoughtful post. Books are my favorite gifts to give, especially illustrated ones.

  7. brokeandbeau says:

    I’m a fan of netflix or hulu plus or spotify plus subscriptions.  At less than $10 a month you can give someone a couple months worth of unlimited entertainment.  Talk about bang for your buck!

  8. If you know the family well enough to put their photo in a picture frame, another option is a dry erase refrigerator calendar with their photo as a background image. 

  9. Tahnya Kristina says:

    I love this post because I am always looking for gift ideas, not necessarily for my family because they always have very specific wish lists, but for that one office Secret Santa gift exchange that I always get pressured into.  I would love to get books for Christmas, definitely under $25.

  10. I like the beer idea.
    And mini is iPad MINI Protective Leather Rotary Case With Belt Buckle for $26, really a cool case

  11. Magazine subscriptions are my go-to gift for all ages, really.  Last year, my sister gave my 4-yr-old a subscription to Highlights for little kids, and she loved it!  So this year, I’m giving my nephew a subscription to National Geographic Kids.  He loves wildlife, so this is right up his ally.  That’s the thing with magazines – there’s something for everyone.  And if you look hard enough, you can often get a Buy One Get One Free subscription and get one for yourself in the process.

  12. Love the beer idea. I do the same thing, but I do the 6 local breweries that do a winter seasonal. Then make custom 6 packs and tie a bow or an ornament to the box.

  13. I prefer giving traditional games that don’t go out of style like chess, dominoes, checkers. nexus gadgets has a number of good priced games. They also have gifts for other occasions, like talking ornaments if you, like Guy poster above, prefers stuff for the tree.

  14. I would reccommend a gift basket. They come in a variety of themes. I especially love the chocolate filled baskets. I always always get a huge thank you when giving a gift basket

  15. In our family, we get ornaments whenever we travel someplace. It’s wonderful to remember all of our trips when we decorate the Christmas tree.

    I also like to buy ornaments of things each family member is especially interested in each year. It’s a great way to remind us of how we’ve changed, and what our interests were from year to year.

  16. Great list! I think board games are especially a good idea. I’d also recommend a gift card from MetroFlats…you can get them under $20.

  17. The Holga! That would make a great gift!