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It’s not easy to guess what every man, woman and child in your life wants for the holidays. Maybe a gift card is too impersonal, or you want something that’s larger than a stocking stuffer and that won’t break the bank, either. That’s why we’ve taken care of the virtual browsing and rounded up some of the most unique gifts that’ll cost you less than three Benjamins, including a more-than-just-a-gift-card present that comes wrapped unconventionally.
From hands-on kits for watch aficionados and beauty buffs, to literally cheesy customizable gifts and luxury fragrances that can spell out your giftee’s name, keep reading for some of the best gifts under $250 for every type of recipient — then check out more shopping guides for taking care of the techies, luxury lovers and others on your “Good” list.
Moncler Pour Femme or Homme Eau de Parfum with LED Screen
The best unique gifts are the ones that are completely unexpected — like Moncler’s luxe eau de parfum with an LED screen that you can program with a custom message. Available in Pour Femme (a floral and musky fragrance with notes of powdery snow, bergamot, jasmine and vanillin) and Pour Homme (a woody scent with notes of alpine green accord, cypress, cedarwood and vetiver) options, this is one way to make a statement — say, that long-planned proposal?
Truff Hot Sauce Variety Pack
One of Oprah’s favorite things, Truff’s gourmet truffle hot sauce variety pack will also be a culinary treat for the ones on your list with a palate for luxury and spice. This three-bottle set includes the Original Hot Sauce (a truffle and chili blend), White Truffle Hot Sauce and Black Truffle Oil. Gift sets are also on sale for 20 percent off through Dec. 5 with code GIFT20.
Rotate Watch Kit
Timepiece-loving tinkerers will appreciate Rotate Watches’ hands-on kit, which comes with everything DIYers need to build their own watch, including a Seagull ST3600/ETA 6497 with 17-jewel mechanical movement, a 44-millimeter sapphire glass case with a clear back, genuine leather straps and more. Engraved monograms are also available.
For the ever-curious knowledge seeker, a one-year subscription ($180) to MasterClass lets them learn from the best of the best. The online learning platform’s Hollywood instructors include directors Martin Scorcese and James Cameron, screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, actresses Helen Mirren and Natalie Portman, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Steve Martin and many others; there are also plenty of five-star teachers in design, music, science, politics, business and many other categories (think Beyoncé-loved florist Maurice Harris, star baker Joanne Chang, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, sleep expert Matthew Walker, and soon, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to name a few). And for a limited time, you can two memberships for the price of one during MasterClass’ Black Friday deal.
Whisps Custom Cheese Carving
Delight the fromage fanatic in your life with a custom cheese carving ($200; pre-made options start at $50) modeled after their pet, favorite object or even their own head. Cheese crisps brand Whisps will carve almost anything into an approximately four-pound edible masterpiece made of 100 percent cheddar. Your finished piece will measure about 6.75 inches by 2 inches by 2.5 inches and will be shipped next-day air for maximum formaggio freshness.
Bloomscape California Burst Terrarium
For the nature enthusiast or budding botanist who wants to enjoy the outdoors year-round, send them this California-inspired terrarium designed by by Right Side Hand via online plant delivery service, The Sill. It’s a great evergreen alternative to fresh-cut flowers (though those are allways appreciated, too), and the glass cloche arrangement features a colorful pincushion proteo and craspedia billy buttons surrounded by dried baby blue eucalyptus, statice and other florals.
St-Germain x Anna Sui Elderflower Liqueur and Tote
Keep your most stylish spirits enthusiast’s cocktail cart stocked (and fashionable) with this bottle of St-Germain Elderflower liqueur that comes dressed in a limited-edition Anna Sui tote. The colorful carryall was inspired by the blossoms (which are handpicked every spring) that are used in the artisanal French liqueur brand’s tropical and sweet concoction.
23AndMe Personal Genetic DNA Tests
Shopping for an amateur genealogist or health enthusiast? For the giftee who wants to dig deeper into roots or genes, one of the most unique gifts is a personal genetics test. 23AndMe’s ancestry and traits kit lets people discover their ancestors’ origins from more than 2,000 regions, find long-lost relatives and explore the traits that make them unique (including your musical skills or your taste and smell preferences). The AncestryDNA + Traits test reveals in-depth historical insights, a precise ethnicity estimate, over 35 of your most interesting personal characteristics (such as the genes that influence your appearance and health). Both testing kit companies use secure databases and encrypt your data to protect your privacy.
Nailmatic DIY Nail Polish Kit
The mad beauty scientist can whip up their own lacquers with Nailmatic’s DIY nail polish kit, which lets hands-on mani mavens mix up five out of 20 different plant-based shades.
Man Crates Lump of Coal Gift Card
For the giftee who’s been equal parts bad and good, Man Crates’ Lump of Coal lets them work for their present. It comes with safety googles, a Ball-Peen hammer and a faux brick of coal which breaks open to reveal a gift card code that can be redeemed at your recipient’s choice of a store or eatery, including Amazon, Buffalo Wild Wings, DoorDash, Gamestop, Home Depot, Nike, Morton’s Steakhouse, Petco, REI and more. If you’re looking to pick up other gifts from Man Crates, you can buy select items and get another for 50 percent off with the code CRATEDEAL50.
Joie de Weed Rolling Tray Gift Set
For the pal who’s known for loving “herbal remedies,” Joie de Weed’s stylish rolling tray gift set contains chic accouterments for the cannabis connoisseurs on your list.
Long Distance Touch Bracelet Set
When you can’t give your loved ones a hug IRL and video calls aren’t cutting it, this long-distance touch bracelet set lets you send a thoughtful embrace via your wrists. Sync the rechargeable devices (which come on waterproof silicone bands) to the accompanying smart phone app and tap your bracelet to send a “message” to your partner, friend or family member, whose accessory will light up and vibrate.
Diguo Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
For java devotees with a taste for steampunk or antique design, Diguo’s balancing siphon coffee maker doubles as an art piece for brew connoisseurs. This eco-friendly brewer comes with a washable natural cloth filter that delivers bold flavors, and it can make one cup of drip coffee or about three espressos at a time. It features rose gold-plated hardware and a wooden base; a stainless steel vacuum flask, siphon pipette and filter head; and a borosilicate brewing flask with a medical-grade silicone seal.
Moma Design Store Gustav Klimt’s “The Sunflower” Art
Don’t have a million-dollar budget? You can still be a benefactor to your favorite art lover’s home collection with the Museum of Modern Art’s collection of prints and home goods, which are available at Nordstrom. Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s “The Sunflower” will fit right into giftee’s contemporary halls and walls (there are also display-worthy Yayoi Kusama skateboards, framed Jean-Michel Basquiat prints and Mondrian-esque vases, among other picks).