If you’re anything like me, you’ve suddenly realized that Christmas is only one week away and are now scrambling for last minute gifts! This year has flown by so quickly and I’ve been keeping myself so busy with work try to cram everything in before the break that the big day totally snuck up on me. In the spirit of my annual tradition of last minute shopping, this post will break down affordable gifts I’ve discovered this year for everyone in your life from family to friends to coworkers! A general rule of thumb for gifts is: get something you know they would like but wouldn’t want to spend the money on themselves. Online shopping is a great option because you can find unique items within any category that fall within any budget. The second rule of thumb, which is also easy to do online is: get personal! Personalized gifts are a great thing for friends you don’t hang with enough to know exactly what coveted item they’ve been wishing for. If your friend has a funny quote they always say, whack that on a mug or a t-shirt online! If they have a child or a pet that they adore, getting them a small token piece of jewelry with a name or initials of their loved one will always put a huge smile on their face!
For your familia and friends who are like familia, you have to put your heart into it because those folks are the ones who have put up with you for a long ass time and it doesn’t matter how wonderful you are, that’s a big ask. These are the folks that have seen you at your worst and just do it because they love you (and technically, if they’re family, they sort of have to) and this is one of the few times of year you get to give ’em a big old thank you. Putting your heart into it doesn’t mean you need to break the bank either! Some of my biggest winning gifts are tokens of lovely memories or creating new ones with activities we can do together. One year, I got my dad something nice from a shop and also got him a mug that cost next to nothing printed with photos of us all at my wedding and I’m sure you can guess which one meant more to him. I also surprised my mom and grandma with secret family portraits of us kids that we got coordinate and shot without them knowing. It had them in tears. The good kind. Definitely scored some major daughter/granddaughter points that year! I also love getting duo spa outings for my mama because she gets pampered and we get to spend one on one time together, which is the best part!
Ladies require some thoughtful creativity to shop for during the holidays but the options are endless so they’re also the most fun gifts to find! One item that I found that I will be giving to every girlfriend for the holidays/their birthdays (*spoiler alert*) is this gorgeous hidden jewelry candle from Etta French on Firebox. It’s beautiful modern design holds an incredible smelling candle that burns down to reveal a simple feminine piece of jewelry. It’s like two gifts in one dreamy pastel box! Another great gift option is a beauty kit. Almost every brand has one during the holiday season and I feel like the value is better than ever. A few makeup kits that I’m loving for my girlfriends this year are the Huda Beauty Contour & Strobe Lip Kit, Tarte Treasure Box Collector’s Set, Becca Glow on the Go Highlighter Set and Smashbox Light Your Look Kit. I would be STOKED to receive any of the above (e-mail me for mailing address deets… just kidding… or am I…) and I’m sure any gal in your life who digs beauty would be too! For tech-y pals, you can grab super cute portable charging docks or camera enhancing gadgets for their phone like selfie lights, lenses or magnifiers and projectors! And of course, a funny quote t-shirt or mug like my new favorite ‘Whatever, Fuck It’ mug will take an easy win every time!
Men are simple so keep your gift giving simple and focus on one thing you know they love and you can guarantee a win whether it’s a hobby, their career, a general interest or just an attribute of them. One of my brothers is a big fitness dude so while it may sound weird to some, I get him gift cards for protein and other gym rat stuff from his local vitamin shop and he’s stoked. That stuff is expensive and while I’d personally rather go on a clothing shopping spree, I know he appreciates it way more. Other great affordable gifts for fitness loving men are smart watches and headphones! My other brother is big into grooming and can grow an epic beard so I put together a bunch of men’s grooming products from a wicked company called Rugged & Dapper that smell great, do the job brilliantly and the streamlined packaging is perfectly rugged and dapper indeed. Another great gift is pre-paying for a haircut and shave at a cool local boutique barbershop to show you went the extra mile! Men’s grooming seems to be all the rage and why not encourage a good thing with a gift basket full of products that will leave the dudes you know looking, smelling and feeling good! Old school shaving kits are also a big win in this category. If they’re into photography, get them a hand-crafted camera strap, cool camera bag or book on the latest area of the craft they’re focused on because education is a gift that keeps on giving. For any other dudes in your life that you don’t know super well, a funny quote t-shirt or mug gets a good chuckle and a thumbs up every time and I found the most epic site for all that goodness called Firebox!
Shenae Grimes-Beech is an actor and YouTuber with a highly engaged community of like-minded women who are here to stand up for what they believe in and lean into discomfort, especially when it means doing the right thing.