So you have to buy a gift for someone you barely know—whether that’s a neighbor (Jane? Jean? Her name definitely starts with a J), your hairstylist, or a coworker you’ve spoken to once and drew for your office Secret Santa. Don’t stress. We’ve put together a list of small, under-$40 gifts for people you know little to nothing about. They’re just personal enough to let your giftee know you gave it more thought than an Amazon gift card.
Cookies that feel like clouds in your mouth are always a safe bet. These meringue-macaroon treats are gluten-free and made with egg whites, making them an even safer bet. Your giftee will be on—dare we say it?—cloud nine.($25; bunchesandbunches.bigcartel.com)
No matter how many totes they have, they can always use another. This sturdy, breathable one carries everything from groceries to dirty gym clothes. Even better: It’s washable and folds back into its pocket for easy stashing.($16; junes.co)
Wine gifts are usually pretty lame, but this one is actually useful. We’ve all had those nights where you want to pour a nice glass but don’t want the rest of the bottle to go to waste. This magical stopper will keep it fresh for the next go-round.($18; amazon.com)
Doodling, journaling, keeping track of finances—what can’t you use a notebook for? Even if they never find an excuse to open this one, they can at least admire that cover.($22; ofakind.com)
This cute and useful box makes passing notes fun again. It’s filled with Todd Selby-designed stickers and watercolor note cards featuring burgers and spaceships (our two favorite things, TBH).($11; amazon.com)
Honey is always a crowd pleaser, but this medicinal honey—handmade in the Catskills and packed with feel-good ingredients such as ginger and turmeric—will also help them fight off colds.($22; phoeniciahoney.co)
This funky little tile is more than just a coaster—it’s a 3D illusion. If your budget allows, stock up on more than one so your recipient can turn their coffee table into a piece of art.($18; areaware.com)
These playing cards work for anyone you know juuust well enough to know they value fine craftsmanship (so, everyone).($15; amazon.com)
Sure, a “happiness kit” is a little woo-woo, but this one is packed with good-smelling things anyone will appreciate (lavender, sage, cedar essential oil, palo santo). That said, if you know they own four salt lamps, this is for them.($35; blueribbongeneralstore.com)
Whether you need a gift for your cousin’s 4-year-old or your 40-year-old cousin, these two-colored, octahedron-shaped crayons will do the trick. Because coloring is fun and relaxing regardless of how old you are—and these are way cooler than a box of Crayola.($12; amazon.com)
Since you’re probably not going to splurge on truffles for a stranger, this hot sauce is the next best thing. The bottle alone makes it look fancy, and it goes well with almost everything.($18; amazon.com)
A pretty comb is something you’d probably never buy yourself, so essentially it’s the perfect gift. This circular one has extra-wide teeth to handle all kinds of hair (beards included).($18; poketo.com)
This playful moisturizer set says, “Hey, I may not know you very well, but I still care about your hands.”($24; amazon.com)
A mug might seem equally as thoughtless as a gift card, but stay with us. This stainless steel mug keeps drinks hot or cold for hours, locks to avoid leaks, and comes in eight colors.($24; amazon.com)
Most people we know never use actual vases for their flowers anyway. Upgrade their mason jar centerpiece with these colorful shapes—simply throw on top of a container, put the stem through, and voila!($38; shop.nordstrom.com)
Still in search of the perfect present? We’ve got tons more gift ideas right here.
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