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Some people are easy to shop for (think perfumed soaps and PJ sets), while others leave us scratching our heads. For recipients that pose a challenge to even the savviest shopper, here are 14 great gift ideas priced from just $5 to $50.
These elegant lotus flower earrings represent health, honor, and good luck, and are produced by a fair trade organization in India that creates employment for economically disadvantaged women artisans in a home-based sector. Need I say more?
Encourage the outgoing friend on your list to spread her social butterfly wings even further with this tongue in cheek card case that reads "Don't you know who I am?" A great gift for all your PR peeps, too.
What to get for the father (or grandfather) who only wants the pleasure of your company for the holidays? Why, L.L. Bean slippers, of course! These top-notch mocs are sure to put a smile on his face all winter long.
Fact: Moms love holiday ornaments. It's in their DNA. Add the words "hand made" and "opera" to a holiday ornament and you've got yourself a winning gift that's guaranteed to impress your Mom. Then again, she's impressed by just about everything you do, but that's beside the point.
She wears the latest styles, knows the chef at that new restaurant you just discovered, and lets you watch not-yet-released movies on her iPhone. But does the girl who has everything have a nifty hanger for keeping that beautiful Botkier off the floor? Perhaps, but I doubt she has one as sleek (and tastefully inconspicuous) as this.
She starts interoffice wars by constantly turning up the thermostat. She keeps a portable radiator under her desk. Yes, she is always cold—but she will call you God after you gift her with SmartWool socks! I should know, that girl was once me. Laugh in the face of frostbite.
Fashionistas and bookworms alike will love reading Closet Confidential, a laugh-out-loud guide to style written by the blogger behind Daddy Likey. I'm in the middle of this book and it's hard to put down. Winona is the Dave Barry of the fashion world (translation: beyond smart and hi-freakin-larious!).
Your BFB (Blogger Friend's Boyfriend The Sartorialist by Scott Schuman
(sale $16.50, amazon.com)
Behind many a great fashion blogger is a patient, supportive boyfriend or husband, a man who is willing to engage in "photo shoots" and tell you that high-waisted pants don't make you look fat, and that mustard yellow goes great with forest green. Inspire him further with the ultimate street-fashion photography book.
Something as simple as a cross-body bag that keeps hands free and keys within reach can make a big difference in a friend's life, especially when that friend is a new mom who's always on the go. Choose from five stylish color combinations.
Vegans can either make you want to eat a hamburger or these proponents of peaceful living can actually make you want to be a better you. The three vegans in my life make me want to do the latter. Treat the vegan, vegetarian or just plain ol' animal lover in your life to this handcut recycled aluminum necklace with a message that reads "No animals harmed in the making of."
Your BFF from Grade School Plush sushi
($9.99 each, thinkgeek.com)
There's little need to impress someone you've known since the 4th grade. Revert to childish behavior by gifting the friend you've had for years with something lighthearted and goofy, like these adorable smiling sushi pillows. They'll have you giggling like schoolgirls all over again.
My morning wouldn't be complete without my freshly ground, free-trade, French Press coffee. There's no substitute, and college kids need you to tell them this. Students who've recently completed a study abroad program (where everything was sooo much cooler) will be especially grateful to get a taste of "real" café back home.
Your Boss, Hair Dresser or Therapist Bird Vase
I'm not sure what those people have in common other than that they are very important people in your life and they would all certainly appreciate this cheerfully simple bird vase. Present this gift with a single flower stem so that it's ready to be enjoyed right away.
At first glance, hangers seem like a mundane gift. But these are no ordinary hangers: Huggable hangers keep clothes from slipping and double your closet space! Amazing, I know. I found mine super cheap at TJ Maxx (velvet hangers by Lauren Ralph Lauren, pretty much identical). Your Secret Santa will, well, hug you.
Eco-friendly, toxin-free, Swiss-made Sigg water bottles make great gifts for everyone on your list that likes to drink water. Get one for your brother, your brother's girlfriend, and your old college room-mate. Score extra points with recipients who actually like to exercise and/or recycle regularly.