Small Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

A small gift sits wrapped on a table surrounded by candy canes

The holiday season is filled with events and gatherings that call for exchanging gifts. 

You need small, reasonably priced gifts for those occasions when a little something should be exchanged; small gifts that are not necessarily cheap or frivolous, but rather are thoughtful and considerate. Gifts that won’t break your budget or be disliked by the recipient is the goal because of course you want to gift items that are appreciated and used. 

So in today’s post, we’ve compiled a list of small gift ideas, all under $25, so you’ll be ahead of the game and ready for gift-giving this holiday season. 

(See all of our gift guides here to find a gift for everyone on your list!)

What small gift ideas can I have on hand, at the ready?

Being prepared for the holiday season with small gifts is a life saver. 

Small gifts are perfect for those occasions where you receive a last-minute invite to a holiday party or a friend and their partner have decided to drop by unexpectedly. In these instances, you don’t have time to go out into the crowds, shop and search for, then wrap a gift. Each and every time you need a small gift... That’s a recipe for a stressful holiday season and just not efficient or the best use of your time! You need something right in that moment, no time to waste. 

Anticipate that there will be a handful of instances when you will need a quick gift at the ready. Having a gift on hand, stashed in your closet or cupboard for just these occasions will save you time and minimize stress — both of which are super important during such a busy time of year.

Here are 5 small gift ideas that you can have ready to go when you just need a little something on the spot. They’re gender-neutral and 99% sure to please anyone:

  1. Homemade gifts and a note or holiday card. If you knit dish cloths, make soap, preserve fruit, make holiday ornaments, or paint/sketch, a handmade gift is a lovely way to share something special and unique. Add your holiday card or a personalized note and you’re good to go!
  2. Holiday goodies. As long as you or your family won’t break into the stash first, holiday popcorn tins, chocolate boxes, and snacks are great options to have on hand. Buy a few to stock away!
  3. Winter survival kit. Make some nice hot chocolate mix, or buy coffee or tea, add a mug and hand warmers to keep them warm through the cold. Perfect for men and women alike. 
  4. Paper products or writing essentials. A simple and stylish notepad paired with a beautiful writing tool is a useful gift set to give anyone, like this Lucky Stars Notepad and the Pigma Micron .45mm Assorted Color 6-Pack.
  5. Face sheets or foot masks are popular skin care remedies and great for the cold winter months when skin is dryer and needs extra attention. Put together a variety for a little pampering kit. 

I was invited to a holiday get-together, what should I bring the hosts?

Whether you’re invited to a big potluck style holiday party or a small, last-minute get-together, you’ll want to have a little something for the host and their family. Choose from any of these thoughtful and useful small gift ideas:

  1. Nice wine, coffee, or tea are easy options to keep extras of during the holidays such that you can bring what will be most appreciated by the hosts. Add some festive wrapping, bows, or buy seasonal flavors. 
  2. Everyone can use a new dish towel, so why not take the simple item another step by wrapping it around something for the kitchen like these slow cooker spice blends or something for the home like a beautiful a candle; it elevates the gift with that little something extra.
  3. Bath sets like this Twilight Wood lotion, body wash, and fragrance mist make for a relaxing evening in after the host pits on a fun event; it will be a much appreciated splurge for the host that does it all!
  4. A holiday plant like these amaryllis bulbs or tabletop cypress are also easy to keep during the month at home and give out as the occasions arise. 

What are some small gift ideas for kids or teens? 

Gifts that work for any age group are helpful time savers during the holidays; they are versatile and can even work for adults too (the ones that are kids at heart).  Whether you want to give the hosts’ little ones or teens a gift or they’re coming over to your house, you’ll be ready with these ideas:

  1. Puzzles such as triazzle are challenging and fun for everyone, and you can pick a design or image that caters to the age group or likes of the recipient. 
  2. Coloring books or books encouraging drawing like the 642 Things to Draw or the Ink+Volt Inspirational Coloring Book are the kind of gifts that cross all age groups and encourage creativity and fun. Pair the coloring books with fun OOLY Yummy Yummy Scented Glitter Gel Pens or colored pencils to let them express the designs through vivid colors. 
  3. Something fun that they can work on over time, like this 100 Things to Do scratch off poster.

I’ll be seeing my friend/family member’s new male spouse or partner and I want to give them a little something, but I don't know them that well. What are some small gift ideas I can gift him?

If you don’t have time to ask for ideas or simply want to have easy, more masculine gifts on hand for the unexpected gift exchange, here are some ideas to explore:

  1. The local hardware store always has handy things in stock; if you're not sure what the person may like, a gift card is a quick gift. 
  2. A shaving set is an easy gift to have on hand for men of all ages. 
  3. A cozy hat to keep them warm is simple and easy, especially one-size-fits-all types like a beanie

What about gifts for pets? My friends cat/dog is their world, and I couldn’t possibly overlook them. 

Pick up some dog or cat treats, little toys, or if you know the breed or size, a cute sweater. Ideally, you’ll have a sense of what they like, so you can order or pick up their favorites in advance. Birds and fish, turtles and bunnies like treats too!

I’m looking for a gift for my beautician or postman/woman; just a little something to acknowledge that their services are appreciated this time of year. 

The next time you get your hair done, meet a vendor, or see the postal worker delivering mail, it may be the perfect time to give them a small gift. Add a thank you note to make it more personal. A lot of the above ideas will work perfectly, but also consider these ideas too:

  1. Send them to the movies with movie passes to give them a break off of their feet.
  2. Make a donation in their name to a charity or local nonprofit. 
  3. Or help them stay warm and cozy with a simple scarf.
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