2023 Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for $25 or Less
I wouldn't call these gifts for $25 or less cheap gifts, both because I think their quality is pretty decent, and because, what the hey, inflation?! When did $25 become cheap? Oh, and - side rant - when did twenty-five-frikkin'-dollars become the price of: a 3-pack of socks; a 2-pound bag of cat food; a car wash; the per-person "privilege" of having a restaurant hold your reservation; and a bowl of ramen? A good bowl of ramen, with homemade noodles and broth, mind you, but still! I walked out of Ramen Star with a Veggie Ramen Bowl for She-Ra: Princess of Power and a loaded Signature Ramen Bowl for myself, and after tax the total was over $60!
Anyway, while $25 isn't exactly a bargain when you have to buy gifts for 25 different people, it's where we're at in 2023. Also, I'll draw your attention to the part of the gift guide title that comes after $25, the "or less." I really mean that, dudes and ladies. Of the 20 gifts I've included in my roundup, at least half of them are well below $25 and, in my option, great options for those of you with long buying lists.
Note: All gifts for $25 or less are priced as they were at printing on November 24, 2023. Pricing, and availability, are subject to change.
Rugboard Tempered Glass Cutting Board
You know I have to say it: the Rugboard will really tie your meals together. ... Or at least encourage your guests to pee on them. While not specifically a nod to The Big Lebowski like The Dude's Rug Cutting Board, no one who knows the cult classic, or has spent any time with The Dude that is I, will look at the Rugboard and not think of The Dude that is Jeffrey Lebowski.
And for those not familiar with the film (i.e., people under 30 and your mom) the Rugboard's fetching appearance and versatility in the kitchen still make the tempered glass cutting board a great gift for your girlfriend under 30 and your mom.
Victoper 200,000-Lumen Spotlight
Here's a little something for your next interrogation. The Victoper 200,000-Lumen Spotlight doesn't just illuminate, it does the Lord's work. With advanced P70 light chips whose irradiation distance reaches 2,624', it proclaims, "Let there be Light!"
While God himself doesn't power Victoper's LED spotlight, the 12,000 mAh rechargeable battery that does is still pretty strong, and can run up to 14 hours in Weak Light mode. The torch has 6 modes in total: Strong Light, Weak, Light, and Strobe on its primary round beam; and Strong Light, Weak Light, and RED-BLUE Strobe on its pair of square sidelights. Victoper also includes 3 color lenses with each spotlight, so you can blaze your 200,000 lumens in blue, red, or yellow, in addition to its default white.
Kerye Folding Hand Saw
How do you pronounce "Kerye," the name of this folding hand saw? I sure hope, in a nod to Mister Mister, it's "Keer-ee." As in, Kerye eleison down the road that I must travel / Kerye eleison through the darkness of the night / Kerye eleison where I'm going, will you follow? / Kerye eleison on a highway in the night.
But it's probably not. In my experience, not too many things are done in a nod to Mister Mister.
The Kerye Folding Hand Saw is nearly pocket-sized at 6.3" long when shut. Its 3-sided serrated saw blade measures 5.5" long, and 0.23" thick, and is made of SK5 steel. Used for woodworking, home repairs, or outdoor pursuits, the blade can cut through materials ranging from soft woods to hard woods to PVC piping, thanks to different shaping on 2 of its sides. One side has triple- and the other double-beveled teeth.
Hexcup Reusable Beer Pong Cups
Hexcups add 6 distinct edges to the rims and bodies of your standard circular red party cups. The honeycomb-inspired design allows you to set up "a perfect beer pong rack every time," removing gaps between the cups to facilitate faster play and reracks. The bottoms of the cups are also reinforced and slightly raised with an embossed hexagonal shape to prevent cup movement during games.
Hexcup Beer Pong sets come with 22 Hexcups and 3 pong balls.
Corn on the Cob Grilling Basket
Corral a quad of cobs with the Corn on the Cob Grilling Basket from Charcoal Companion. It has a nonstick coating on its wire cage, and a sturdy hardwood handle to make cooking your golden boys a little more controlled, efficient, and mess-free.
I do wonder what happens when you get the odd ear out, the one that's appreciably fatter or skinnier than the others. Does the Cob Grilling Basket lose its grip on the less thicc corns, and dump them out the ends if you don't perform your flip with perfect speed and precision?
The Hammer Fist is a grip tool with three steel strike plates, all positioned at different angles for driving in a nail, and all with surface areas small enough to indicate to me that whenever your hand is beating like a hammer, your heart will be too. Because how many pounds until you end up just off enough that it's your un-Hammer-fisted flesh hitting the hardware instead?
Hammer Fist creator Timothy Scott Stuart built his design around the olden days practice of hammering objects with a rock. Its name comes from the Hammer Fist Strike used in martial arts. In addition to hammering, the Hammer Fist has several other functions that make it, despite my ragging, a pretty cool multi-tool.
Hidden Image Soy Sauce Dish
You don't need a magic eye to see the hidden images in IPPINKA's soy sauce dishes, just a hungry mouth ready to receive some salt-kissed sushi.
The soy sauce dishes are traditional in shape, size, and white porcelain composition - they are even made using authentic Seto-mono, a Japanese ceramic produced in Aichi, Japan. But in place of smooth, flat bottoms, the dishes have 3D-printed reliefs of Mt. Fuji, Torii Gate, or - since they are made in Japan, after all - an adorable puppy or kitty.
Interactive Glow in The Dark T-Shirt
The Interactive Glow in The Dark T-Shirt from Illuminated Apparel will have its wearers beaming. A great gift for kids and teens (and also probably people on mushrooms, ye who live in psilocybin-legal states) the DIY fashion statement is essentially a simple tee with blank white "canvas" across the front.
Shirts also come with a glow pen you, or those you trust not to doodle a penis on your chest, will use to light up the panel with glow-in-the-dark designs. Drawings glow for around 5 minutes before fading away, and leaving the panel ready for the next piece of illumination inspiration.
Compact, simple, and ready to perform the grand trick of nuke-and-char, the clamshell design of the Microwave Toaster nestles your bread between a pair of grill plates that heat up and sear it to toasty goodness.
In addition to preparing single slices of sandwich bread for butter and jam, the Microwave Toaster is a great tool for making microwave grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis. It is heat-resistant up to 425 degrees F, and can also go in the oven.
FUNBRO Miniature Pocket Knife
With its wee 1.63" length and mighty mite cutting capabilities, this miniature pocket knife looks fun, dude. So why the H-E-Double-Tanto-Blade is it called FUNBRO? Absolute hogwash. It should be the FUNDUDE Miniature Pocket Knife.
Or maybe I should just make my own teeny-tiny 26-gram folder and name it that. Don't worry, FUNBRO, mine won't be a complete copycat. I'll just borrow your stainless steel handle design, gear switch opening mechanism, inch-long utility blade...oh, and lanyard hole. And then I'll make it a totally unique piece of FUNDUDE merch by...are you ready?...notching out a bottle opener on the side. Mwah! EDC chef's kiss!
Eggler Egg Cracker, Peeler & Slicer
I'd dig it if the Eggler were a new McDonald's character who steals McMuffins, but I must say, I like it almost as much that the Eggler is actually a new 3-in-1 kitchen tool from Dreamfarm that cracks, peels, and slices hard boiled eggs. If it works - and let's be honest, all we all really care about is if the peeling paddle attachment truly makes de-shelling the egg as easy as disrobing a Cutie Clementine, as Dreamfarm suggests in its promo photos - my Roll-It Garlic Peeler better scoot a little closer to the Chef'n Cob Corn Stripper, and make some room for the Eggler in my food prep drawer.
Fuzzy Ball Instant-Dry Hand Towels
These Fuzzy Ball Towels look more like what I'd use to suds up and wash my body than to dry it almost instantly. But I guess they have magical microfiber properties that suck up water with a quickness, and also their Fuzzy Ball name definitely checks out, so everyone is going to want to touch and caress them. Hopefully with wet, clean hands, not dry, dirty ones.
Fred Chill Out Googly Eyes Eye Mask
Fred's Chill Out Googly Eyes Eye Mask soothes your swollen and weary sockets, and provides an escape from the world...without letting the world think for one second that you've taken your eyes off of it. Because you haven't. This swapping of your iPad for eye pads is temporary. Ten minutes max to address those dark circles and hunched-over-a-device headache. Five if you hear too many dings and pings coming in on your watch while you're rejuvenating.
On second thought, can't they make these Googly Eyes Eye Masks with some cutouts in the pupils so you're not, like, blind and completely removed from society while you use them?
Motion Activated Keyhole Light
As someone who has poked, rooted, fumbled, and F-bombed around the front door many a night, seeing this motion activated keyhole light brings me a surprising, yet I think also appropriate, amount of joy. It operates wirelessly on a single AA battery, and either tapes or screws onto your keyhole-d door, so it won't fall off when bumped, or go without a fight if the kids try to steal it.
Affirmators - Help Yourself without the Self-Helpy-Ness
I'll say it up front: Affirmators! are not my thing. Even if they claim to be 50 Affirmation Cards to Help You Help Yourself without The Self-Helpy-Ness, Affirmators! are not my thing. But I think my sister-in-law would dig them. And they would definitely make great gifts for the girlfriends - every one of them, past, present, and future - of my friend Cornelius. The self-help-mantra-bubbly-and-bendy-in-yoga type is 100% his type.
Nail Grooming Kit
I'm not grossed out by this nail grooming kit - this extensive nail grooming kit - per se, but...gah! Did they have to make a photo compilation of all the gross-out things you can do with the different tools in it? Including filing calluses, scraping dead skin off nasty cracked heels, and, in a surprise twist!, popping zits?
Yes, that's right. Mixed in with the manicure / pedicure implements in the nail grooming kit are a few for other areas of your body. Hopefully it's clear what is for the what, and your wife doesn't end up digging out blackheads from her face with the same one you used to dig out dirt and fungal matter from your toenails.
I've Venn Thinking Game
I've Venn Thinking about how to describe I've Venn Thinking, and I'm gonna go with this: a party game similar to Cards Against Humanity, but that trades in the fill-in-the-blank / Mad Libs feature for...are you ready for it?...Venn diagrams.
But don't worry, the I've Venn Thinking Venn diagrams don't require you to answer logic puzzles or IQ test questions, just to come up with the best reason that Tom Cruise and the month of February, or Kim Kardashian and The Incredible Hulk, are related. You can choose answers from 520 pre-printed similarities cards, or make up your own.
The Unkillables is a book detailing 40 Resilient Houseplants for New Plant Parents. Or, I would add, previous plant parents who have failed miserably raising them in the past, and know just how many more than 40 species fall into the killables category. Speaking from experience, I'm pretty sure you won't find Fiddle-Leaf Fig, Dracaena, or Elephant Ear plants flourishing within the pages of The Unkillables.
Examples of what you will find include the Snake, the Yucca, and the Areca Palm plants, all low-maintenance potted pals that will thrive in various home environments.
Ultra Low Profile Offset Screwdriver Set
Sure does suck when you need to screw, but all the tools you've got to do it with are just too big. Too long. Too high-profile. Am I right, dudes? Am I right, ladies? Am I right, Henry Cavill? So let's all take a moment to thank Japanese brand ANEX for the Ultra Low Profile Offset Screwdriver Set, a short and stubby trio of tools that will ensure we can all screw anything, anytime, anywhere, no matter how tight the space.
Tooletries The Harvey Toothbrush & Razor Holder
The Harvey has a thing for shiny objects. Glass shower doors, polished mirrors, glistening tiles, metal razors, and sparkling clean teeth. The first three, the Harvey loves to plaster himself all over, sticking strong without adhesives or suction cups, just a bit of silicone-grip technology. The razor, the Harvey likes to cradle in one of his arms, holding it securely and conveniently until you need it. And the sparkling clean teeth? Here's the Harvey lookin' at you, kid. Right after you've brushed your pearly whites, and replaced your toothbrush and toothpaste into the Harvey's other arm.
Made by Tooletries, the Harvey is a multi-purpose toiletry caddy for the bathroom, or anywhere else you've got a shiny surface, and want to stick a toothbrush and razor. It's easily removable, no gum or crud left behind, and can be repositioned or reused elsewhere. Choose from charcoal, grey, and white colors.