If shopping for holiday gifts, deciding how much to spend on each person can be really hard. How much do you really want to spend on Aunt Susan who never fails to give you unsolicited advice on your love life? Should you splurge on your brother-in-law because you like him best sometimes even more than your sister?
Over the last 2 years, I’ve found a way to work around that painful exercise: I fix a single budget across the board, an outer limit, if you will for all my family and friends. This year, somehow, I’ve landed at $70. And I think that might just be the magic number! With a gift around $70, you’re giving more than a stocking stiffer, but not an investment item. You can afford something substantial and thoughtful; a present that’s more original and less fleeting than a bottle of wine although no one would scoff at that.
And as I’ve discovered, there are countless treasures to be found under the $70 mark, from specialty mustard to sheet pans and disposable cameras. And because I’ve done the homework, you don’t have to. So here are my 30 favorite gifts under $70, sorted from “price: low to high.You’re very welcome.
1. Row 7 Seed Company Robin’s Kosygin Squash
Founded by Dan Barber, the chef at Blue Hill at Stone Barns and a very talented seeds man Row 7 engineers a brand new type of produce optimized for flavor. Any ambitious gardener will jump at the opportunity to grow this sweet, little pumpkin that’s a cross between two beloved squash varieties.
2. Wiz Gear Air Vent Magnetic Phone Mount
This magnetic phone mount clips into your car’s air vent and attaches to your phone via a thin magnet you place at the back of it. Now you can follow directions or change the music without ever picking up your device.
3. Maldonado Sea Salt
Counting chefs and home cooks around the world as devoted fans, this 137-year-old English sea salt is a magical seasoning agent, with the ability to transform a dish instantly.
4. Parks Project Minimalist National Park Playing Cards
Playing cards never go out of style. This deck of 52 features contemporary artistic renditions of the country’s iconic natural wonders. As a bonus, a percentage of the sales go to the National Parks Conservation Association.
5. Ponce Prime Timber 2.0 Mechanical Pencil
Collectors of writing instruments will no doubt fawn over this wooden mechanical pencil (that also comes with a sharpener and extra lead). Its design is something like American schoolhouse meets Japanese simplicity and it glides across paper like a dream.
6. Catarrh A18 Watch Hat
A wintertime gem since 1987, the A18 is a classic beanie that started its life as utilitarian work wear but has come to symbolize stylish street wear.
7. Are aware Gradient Puzzle By Bryce Wilmer
This bright gradient puzzle is harder than it looks, but so much fun to figure out. Once finished, it turns into a colorful piece of art.
8. Fuji film Disposable Camera
You know how every time you go on a trip, you wish you had a disposable camera, but then never actually buy one? Well, now you can fill that void.
9. Gleam Painted Journal
Iowa-based letterpress studio Gleam specializes in beautiful hand-painted paper goods. This 50-page journal offers is just begging to be filled with poems or scribbles.
10. Eating The Sun: Small Musings On A Vast Universe By Ella Frances Sanders
Ella Frances Sanders uses intricate illustration and thoughtful articulation to ask and answer the big questions about the universe, the solar system, and the world, marveling at the way nature works in a way that’s both visually and intellectually powerful.
11. Seed lip Grove 42 Distilled Non-Alcoholic Spirit
Seed lip is intent on making sure that party goers who don’t drink don’t feel left out. Grove 42 is a zesty, citrus-forward non-alcoholic spirit that plays very nicely with tonic and an orange peel twist.