Last Minute Gift Ideas Under $25 That I Really Bought

Here’s a list of last-minute gift ideas under $25 that I actually, personally bought and can recommend wholeheartedly.

A few quick notes:

1. I’ve listed the price of each product as of December 15, 2023, but note that prices change without notice.

2. These are all items I really purchased with my own real money that I really like and continue to use. For real. None of these products are sponsored. They all contain links to Amazon where I have an affiliate account, and I may earn a small percentage of any purchase you make. I also may not. I think there’s a way to look up which products might make me money, but I don’t do that, so your guess is as good as mine. Either way, your purchase price remains the same. Full disclosure, I’ve received $133 total in “commissions” for 2023, so, like, $11.11 per month, so this is clearly not a money-making venture. I’m just hoping to help you out if you’re stumped.

Ready? Here we go. 


Stainless Steel Throwing Knives and Sheath $20: My teens have spent countless hours maiming trees with these and come back inside joyful and only slightly bloody, usually not from the knives. Disclaimer: knives, danger, throwing, etc. Choose your teens wisely.

Unsharpened (no blade) Butterfly Trainer Knives, set of 4, $22: My fidgetty kid has broken every fidget ever made including the “unbreakable” ones. These, however, have held up to all abuse as my teens flick them open, spin them, drop them, shut them, and repeat. All the teens adore these. 

Wax Seal Stamp Set $20: I purchased this for myself, so it doesn’t necessarily belong in the teen section, but it DOES apply to anyone who’s artsy and who loves the fantasy asthetic. 

Sealing Wax $9: Along with the above, I love this set of sealing wax in 12 different colors.

DND Metal Dice $20: Heavy metal DND dice in a choice of colors and a super cool display tin.

Dice Display and Storage Case $20: Too many DND dice already? Get ’em a nice case for their favorite set. 

DND Dice Jail $17: For when your dice are behaving badly and need to get their shit together lest you be eaten by a fire-breathing troll. My role-playing children love this. IDK, friends. Don’t ask hard questions.

Erasable Highlighters $7: Great stocking stuffer for your high school or college kid.

Reversable Octopus Plushies that Show Your Mood $10: You know, like, turn them one way, and they’re happy. Then the other, and they’re sad. My personal favorite is the one that’s angry and then rage. It makes me giggle.


Cuticle Oil $7: The jar puts the “cute” in cuticle, and the oil itself feels lush, especially in the winter when skin cracks and peels. This comes in myriad scents like milk & honey, lavendar, green tea, vanilla, and pomegranate, but lemon is my favorite so far. 

Healthy Hoof Cream Nail and Cuticle Care $7: If you have weak, thin nails that need strengthening, this stuff is a miracle in a plastic tub that works in a surprisingly small amount of time. Like, in less than a week, you’ll see a difference with daily application. Was it originally formulated for horses? Yes. Do we care? Not if it works.

Curel HydraTherapy In-Shower Lotion $10: I was bad at remembering to use lotion after showering, and at the same time I hated having itchy, dry skin. Enter: In-Shower Lotion. I put this on at the end of my shower. No need to rinse. Just lotion, towel dry, and go. My skin is SO MUCH HAPPIER.

Juno & Co. Cleansing Balm, $15: Fair Warning: I’ve become somewhat of an evangelical about this stuff, but, in my defense BEHOLD, I BRING YOU GOOD NEWS OF GREAT JOY. I bought this as a make-up remover and was astounded at how gently and thoroughly it worked. A pea-sized amount of balm, warmed in my hands, removes every trace of all make-up including the waterproof mascara I always use. It doesn’t get in my eyes, is soothing on my skin, and when washed off with water, there was ZERO TRACE of any remaining make-up on my towel, which is a first for me. Then, I found out it’s also a cleanser, and I’m in love. If I leave Greg and remarry, it will be to this balm. (And also to this CBD relief balm, which magically removes my lower back and shoulder pain. We’ll be a threesome, me and the two balms.)

Ultra Hydrating Epsom Salt $7: WHAT DO MOMMIES WANT? A BATH! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW! This particular epsom salt is coconut lime scented, and not everyone is into smells, so know your audience. But even plain epsom salt sends the “go relax” messages, and I don’t know a human alive who doesn’t need to hear that.

Satin Heatless Hair Curler $10: I don’t use a hot hair curler anymore. I just stick my hair in this at night and Voila! perfect curls in the morning with zero effort. Fluff and go.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask $24: Someone recommended this overnight lip mask on Prime Day, and I bought it on sale, and now I love it so I’ll keep buying it which is annoying because it’s expensive. On the bright side, my lips are never, ever chapped anymore. On the dark side, money. 

Detangling Hair Brush $7: Made from bioplastic and without animal hair bristles, this brush is 100% recyclable and vegan, as well as certified carbon neutral. As importantly, it works well for detangling.


Travel Pillow $20: I’ve traveled the globe, and I’ve tried every travel pillow there is…foam, air, beads, etc…but my favorite is this one because it’s–wait for it–just a miniature stuffed pillow, and, in the end, that’s what I want. Something washable to use on a plane, train, or in my bed. I take this everywhere I go.

Mini Backpack $20: Great as a purse, carry-on personal item, or daypack, I particularly like that I can throw this in the washing machine as needed. I’ve received so many compliments on the simple, streamlined looked, and it’s super versatile. Comes in 25+ colors.

Laptop/Tablet Carrying Case $12: The CUTEST little boho/retro canvas bag carries all my electronics when I travel–tablet, keyboard, cords, and kindle. The inside is soft and lined and has two sections, and the outside is water repellent. 

Mulberry Silk Scarf $18: This scarf is made from 100% mulberry silk (super high quality), and it’s large at 35″ square. I use it as a headband, ponytail tie, belt, scarf, hat band, and nighttime hair wrap for curls. It comes in multiple designs, but the solids are my favorite. A little bit of luxury for a great price.

Adorable, Foldable Straw Hat, $24: Stylish and practical, I use this hat to walk through outdoor markets, sit by the pool, and ride in boats. I just roll it to put in my carryon or tote bag, and it pops back into shape when I unroll it. 

BEVERAGE and kitchen

Spanish Drinking Chocolate, $10: If you’re a North American who’s traveling and wondered why why WHY we don’t have drinking chocolate like they do in Europe, look up drinking chocolates. This one is Spanish and you simply grate as much as you like into hot milk. (Hint: grate a lot ;)) Amazing.

Lipton Soothe Your Tummy Herbal Tea $10/4 boxes: Listen. This stuff is witchcraft. It’s a potion you brew that makes upset tummies better within 10 minutes. I have no other explanation. I can’t say I love the taste of ginger + fennel + peppermint, but I DO love the results of a small cup brewed with 2 tea bags. Even my kids call it Magic Tea. 

High Quality Oolong Tea, $14: This is a loose-leaf “milk” oolong tea from Taiwan, named thusly for its milky, silky taste and mouth feel (no dairy, to be clear). Delicious. Decadent. 

Yorkshire Gold Black Tea, $10: For black tea lovers, these tea bags come packaged in a gift tin and are a blend from three origins grown in the top 10 tea gardens in the world – Assam for richness, Kenya for vibrancy, and Rwanda for its beautiful golden glow. 

Narrow Head Scraper Spatula $17: These are the only spatulas I use now, and I don’t know why spatuals aren’t always this shape. I was given one as a gift several years ago, and now I give them as gifts, too. The handle is stainless steel, and the head is removable for cleaning.

Stainless Steel Wooden Handle Whisk $16: Because whisks get janky, a replacement is always nice, and this one looks and feels luxurious.


Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set $15: Padded grips make these rainbow (also in other colors) crochet hooks easier to grasp and use, including for those of us whose finger joints are starting to show their age.

Lighted Crochet Hook Set, $21: For those nights when you want to watch a movie with the lights off but still crochet, the tips of these hooks light up–two brightness settings–to spotlight your work.

Feels Like Butta Lion Brand Yarn $7: I admit I’ve become something of a yarn snob, and my small stash is mostly likely to be filled with bougie, handspun, small farm fibers. But I make an exception for this yarn because it’s super soft, machine wash and dry, and simple for beginners because it doesn’t split. Due to easy care, nice feel, and availability, I’m crafting my family’s stockings out of this as the extended family grows.

Uniball Vision Elite Rollerball Pens, Set of 8 Colors, $17: For the diary writer, bullet journaler, or calendaring specialist in your life, I cannot recommend these pens more highly. The ink flows beautifully (airplane cabin pressure won’t cause leaks), and the writing feels oppulent. 


Titanium Pruning Shears $20: Both the enthusiastic and reluctant gardener (I am the latter) will appreciate a tool that makes the job easier. 

Anti-Snore Nose Clip $7: Greg and I are both snorers. It’s not pretty, but it’s true, and my children report that I’m especially terrible. These are little magnetic clips you wear like a bull nose ring (very cute when paired with nightguards on your teeth, braces on your wrists, and an eyemask…so sexy). Thing is? They work. They don’t eliminate snoring, but they greatly reduce the amount and volume of it. I can think of no scientific explanation for this to be true, so I assume these are infused with magic. Greg reports it’s stopped my apnea, too, and since I like breathing, even when I’m asleep, I’m a huge fan.

Yoga Pillow $25: Very firm and filled with sustainably harvested buckwheat hulls for a nice texture, this pillow makes yoga more accessible for those of us with joint pain who aren’t as bendy as we used to be. It helps my posture while sitting criss-cross and eases spine stress, as well as lifting the ground a liiitle higher when I need help touching my toes.

Lens Cleaning Cloths, Pack of 6 $10: These Japanese microfiber cloths clean glasses like a dream and are easily washed and reused. Great as a stocking stuffer for your glasses-wearing folks.

Sunburst Tiara/Headband $15: I mean, on the one hand no one needs this stunning metal halo-style tiara. But on the other hand, yes we do. 

Satin Pillowcases, Set of 2 $12: Your curly hair will thank you! Satin keeps your coils coiled without making them frizz out. 

Enamel PopSocket, $17: This one is particularly annoying because my kid kept telling me to buy a PopSocket to make my phone easier to hold and to prop up, and I kept telling him NO I DO NOT NEED MORE GADGETS. Then I found these lovely, grown-up, enamel PopSockets and bought one because I guess “pretty” is a good enough reason to buy stuff. (Feel free to roll your eyes at me.) Problem is, my kid was right. This really does make my phone easier to use. Kids these days, amirite?

Personal Vibrating Device $27: There are too many reasons to buy this to list them all. And yes, I know I went $2 over the price limit I set, but that is $2 well spent, I promise. This little player is super soft and squishy but she packs a solid punch with 6+ speed and pattern settings. Add in rechargable and waterproof, and we have a winner! My favorite part, though, is how she’s advertised: “Ultra Soft Squeeze Ball with Vibrating Physical Therapy Hand Exercisers for Hand Fidget and Relaxation.” Suuuure. 



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