What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

The Art of (Small) Gift Giving – Stocking Stuffers, Hanukkah Gifts, and Hostess Presents



If you’re looking for one of my typical, snarky posts, you’re about to be disappointed. Today, we’re going snark free.Yesterday was Black Friday, which officially begins the feeding frenzy that is holiday gift shopping. I don’t really buy into Black Friday, and I hate crowds. Therefore, I do most of my shopping online, and I start early. My Christmas present shopping began a month ago, but I held off until now to post these ideas because I didn’t want to be one of those people who rush the season. However, I’ve been working on this post for six weeks, so you know I’m not fooling around!

I love giving gifts, and I think I’m pretty good at it. This year, I decided to pass on some of my brighter ideas to you lovelies. Call it a thank you for periodically clicking on my posts and being sweet and playing along.

Nearly everything listed below is $50 or less. These are intended as Hanukkah gifts, as stocking stuffers, as workplace secret Santa gifts, as host-or-hostess gifts, or as fun little additions to bigger gifts.  They are listed by recipient, and I recommend you browse the whole list. Also, if I’ve written a note after the title, it’s because I have seen it in person, own one myself, or have previously gifted the item in question, and I am personally vouching for its awesomeness. At the very least, this may give you some ideas.

Important note: I am very interested in hearing your best budget gift ideas, too, so if you have any faves, please share them in the comments!

For the Eaters:

Williams Sonoma Finishing Sauces (I cannot overstate how unbelievable their French Truffle Finishing Sauce is. You only need a tiny bit of it to get a big effect, so it goes really far, too.)

Mexican Chili Chocolate (We grind this up and put it in our coffee on the weekends, and it’s amazing!)

Lemon Olive Oil and Fig Vinegar Set (There is nothing you can get from O&Co that won’t make people happy.)

Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate-Covered Marshmallows (I die for these. Twice, I’ve tried to give them away and twice I failed and ate them myself.)

Grilling Rub Collection (This stuff is impossibly good and loads of fun to experiment with.)

Magnetic Silicone OXO Potholders (We are in love with ours!)

Beef Jerky Sampler Pack (Another winner from the same people who brought you the Pig of the Month Club.)

Baked By Melissa Mini Cupcakes (I don’t care that cupcake are over. These teensy things are very good and really fun to receive.)

Stainless Steel Soap (It may be science, but it seems more like magic. Negatively-charged steel completely removes food smells from hands and looks great on the counter.)

Anything from Salem Baking Company (Many of their products come in beautiful reusable tins, and their products are classic and delicious.)

Bourbon Smoked Sea Salt (I know it sounds overly fancy, but this stuff is impossibly good. We have been known to just eat it on its own like candy. Remarkable in burgers, outstanding in egg salad, and I don’t even want to tell you what it does for roasted potatoes.)

Sander’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels (I am not exaggerating when I say these are so good, whoever you give them to will immediately either threaten your life or propose marriage. Often, they will do both, in that order.)

For the Drinkers:

Personalized Wine Opener

Flexible Wine Glasses (We love these. Especially great for campers, kayakers, and klutzes.)

Non-Cutesy Wine Stoppers (These work beautifully, are dishwasher safe, and are easy to spot when you need them.)

Himalayan Salt Shot Glasses (If it’s tequila drinkers you’re visiting, these will certainly be a hit.)

Sake Set (Makes a great hostess set accompanied by a good bottle of sake.)

Wine-Themed Coasters

“I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence” by Amy Sedaris (I received this as a gift from my sister a few years ago, and I still enjoy it!)

Wine Fixers/Enhancers (I have it on pretty good authority that they actually work!)

Pink Glass Elephant Ornament (Perfect accompaniment to a nice bottle of something potent.)

Freezable, Collapsible Wine Bottle Chiller (This regularly comes on our longer kayak trips!)

Red Solo Cup Shot Glasses (The perfect accompaniment to a nice bottle of something shootable! For example, Three Olives Chocolate Vodka, which is tastes like dark chocolate and is perfect straight out of the freezer. Our shot glasses and our chocolate vodka get together a lot more often than I’m willing to admit.)

House-Related Gifts: Suitable for house warmings, hostess gifts, neighbors, office grab-bags, and most mothers-in-law

The Best Looking Doorstop in the World (Okay, this one is a few dollars over budget, but it really is stunning.)

Mini Magnetic Air Plant Terrarium

Personalized Three-Letter Scrabble Sign

Frank Lloyd Wright Guest Soap

Handmade Tile Key Holder (I have this one, and it is unbearably beautiful.)

iPhone App Magnets (Seriously adorable. Everyone wants to play with them.)

Solar-Powered Tea Lights

Mini Table-top Table Tennis

Mercury Glass Vase

Gifts for the Girly-Girls:

Sparkly Wristlet Bag

Mini Eye Brush Set

Sephora Scent Sampler

Hand-Painted Folding Fan (I have one in every purse. Especially appreciated by women of a certain middling age.)

Black and Gold Minimalist Earrings

Burt’s Bees Tips and Toes Kit

Shoes Mini Wall Calendar

Fashion Emergency Kit

Faux-Python Navy Clutch

Intelligent Woman Flask

Gender-Neutral and Guy Gifts:

Leather-Covered Mini Tape Measure (Another permanent purse staple of mine.)

Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo (Mine was a gift, and I’ve used it every day since!)

Black safety pins (I know it sounds like a weird gift, but there’s not a New Yorker out there who doesn’t want them.)

Leatherman Wingman Mini Multi-Tool (I gave a bunch of these for holiday gifts last year, and I loved them so much, it was hard to give them away.)

Baseball Glove Oven Mit

LED-Lighted Baseball Cap (Even if this only gets used when the power is out, it’s still going to be indispensable.)

Set of Mini Bicycle Tools

Travel Grooming Kit

Pocket Fishing Pole

Emergency Sewing Repair Kit (No office should be without one!)

Strong Mini Flashlight (We have these planted all over the house.)

Luggage Scale

External Device Battery Charger

Professional Poker Set

Waterproof Binoculars

Emergency Googly Eyes (I got these for my birthday, and I'm already nearly out of them.)

Emergency Googly Eyes (I got these for my birthday, and I’m already nearly out of them.)

Gifts for Silly People: Many of my friends fit into this category, as do I, so I thought it was worth including

F-Bomb Paperweight

Kinetic Sand by Brookstone (I am unable to explain how satisfying this stuff is. I just know that no matter who picks it up, they can’t put it down. Oh, and no mess.)

Wearable Unicorn Horn

Cards Against Humanity (For the horrible people in your life. We enjoy the heck out of ours!)

WTF Stamp

Zamboni Desk Vacuum

Retro Goggles (Because everybody deserves something useless and fantastic in their stocking.)

Snarky Sticky Notes

Cedar Thumb Piano (A.K.A. Kalimba)

Justin Bieber Pinata

Gifts That Give Back: If you would like to give a socially-conscious gift, whether by purchasing items or making a donation, these are the items and organizations I came across and verified this year that I think would make good and interesting gifts

Finnegans Ale (Finnegans donates 100 percent of profits to local food shelters.)

Bamboo Cutting Board (All proceeds benefit the World Wildlife Fund.)

Water is Life (As seen in my post Drinkable Gifts Only.)

FEED Apron (For each apron purchased, FEED will donate 14 meals to deserving families in the US.)

St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital

Hand-Painted Mortar and Pestle (25% of the proceeds go to Unicef.)

American Cancer Society Bathrobe & Slippers

Toms Shoes (For every pair you buy, Toms donates a pair to an impoverished child.)












Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

20 thoughts on “The Art of (Small) Gift Giving – Stocking Stuffers, Hanukkah Gifts, and Hostess Presents

  1. Thanks for the gift ideas. I was a bit nervous to read this post when you stated categorically that it would be snark free. I thought, no, that’s not possible. It can’t be snark free! Nonetheless, I dove in, and was glad–even if it was snark free.


  2. No snark. but plenty of smile-worthy goodness. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Super helpful. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Etsomnia™ Volume XIX: Bad Gift Edition | My OBT

  6. I’m a bit late to see these. However, they’re great gift ideas.


  7. Pingback: OBT Greatest Hits of 2014! | My OBT

  8. well, dammit, I would hit your snark-free post first! Frank Lloyd Wright guest soap…in the shape of Falling Water?? Awesome ideas, btw!


  9. Pingback: The Art of Gift Giving – 2015 Edition | My OBT

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