$25 And Under Gift Guide

After over a decade of blogging, I have a love-hate relationship with holiday gift guides. After all, how many years in a row can I recommend some iteration of the same thing? Aren't all these tchotchkes wasteful and guilt-inducing, especially with concerns about climate change? Am I being hypocritical in trying to live a more minimalist and clutter-free life, but at the same time recommending stuff for gifts? In that spirit, I thought long and hard about the picks in this year's gift guides. The items that made the cut are admittedly eclectic, but they strike a fine balance between reducing waste, being practical, and sparking joy. And in most cases they're tried, tested, and true by moi. Enjoy!

1. Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella ($25). You can always count on Sophie Kinsella to deliver a crowd-pleasing rom-com of a book, and the latest entry in the Shopaholic series is no exception. (I'm saving my more detailed thoughts for a book review round-up later this month!)

2. David's Tea White Mosaic Textured Nordic Mug ($19). Festive yet minimalist, this mug's built-in diffuser and lid allow you to skip the single-use tea bags.

3. Anthropologie 'Helena' Ponytail Holder Set ($18). As far as hair ties go, I mostly use basic black or spiral hair ties for sheer practicality, but I have a real weakness for pretty/silky/girly/floral scrunchies, which seem so appropriate for a relaxed bun or ponytail when I'm lounging at home.

4. Stasher large ($14.99) and small ($11.99) bags. These bags are a sturdy, washable, and reusable alternative to Ziploc bags and come in a variety of colours. They're great for packing toiletries and liquids when you're traveling too.

5. Rifle Paper Co. x Anthropologie spatula ($10). Practical? Check. Whimsical? Check. This silicone spatula is sure to delight the home cook on your list.

6. David's Tea Chai Loose Leaf Tea Discovery Trio ($25). Consumables and gourmet treats like tea, wine, chocolate, honey, fancy salt blends, sauces, or cooking oils are always a nice minimal waste gifting idea. I also like how these stackable tins are refillable when you visit David's Tea locations.

7. Fresh Minty Magic Gift Set ($25). Cold, drying weather means chapped lips, which means a luxe-feeling lip balm is always welcome.

8. Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice For Living Your Best Life by Ali Wong ($25). Like Christmas Shopaholic, I'm saving the full review for an upcoming book post, but suffice it to say that Ali Wong's author debut is as laugh-out-loud funny as her Netflix comedy specials.

9. Caboodles cosmetic case ($24). Now that 90s nostalgia has brought Caboodles back, I've been eyeing one of these cases for myself. For a zero waste alternative, consider sourcing a vintage Caboodles case in good condition from eBay or Etsy.

10. Craftedvan magnetic bookmarks (starting at $6.50). These adorable bookmarks are locally made and come in tons of designs—the hardest part will be choosing just one! I have the corgi and the red panda myself. They're perfect for avid readers or as a small gift you can slip into a greeting card envelope. You can find craftedvan bookmarks at indie shops on Main St. like Bird On A Wire Creations and Giving Gifts.

11. Ban.do 2020 desk calendar ($16). A pretty desk calendar enlivens a bland work space, is practical, and can be recycled at the end of the year. Bonus: You can frame or pin up your fave illustrations afterward.


  1. I'm gonna buy the Ali Wong book! Thank you so much for reminding me. I love your gift guide, this is a cosy introvert's dream gift list haha.

    1. LOL you're going to love tomorrow's gift guide then ;-)

  2. Ah, this is such a great Xmas list, Lisa!! Really excited for that book + those scrunchies are the cutest things ever. Hope you're having a great week!! xo

    My Curated Wardrobe

    1. Thanks, V! If you're a fan of Kinsella, you're going to love Christmas Shopaholic.

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