OK, so real talk. If your budget for gift-giving is $100 for a special someone, they’re probably not the inflatable arms guy from the corner car dealership. Whether a family member, ride-or-die friend, or serious boo, they’ve probably been in your life for a minute, which is 10 years in Dog Math, as we all know, which means they deserve a holiday gift that will sweep them off their tuchus.
We found the best gifts for under $50, took an eggnog break, and found the best gifts under $20. Now, in lieu of suggesting gifts that will cost you a ball of twine and your soul [Cursed Crab Chair has entered the chat] we realized that there are ~select~ few friends, family members, and lovers who we’d like to give something really nice. Something from our favorite cookware brands, top-rated air purifier companies (hey, every friend group has one), and CBD wellness sites, you know?. We’re perusing our favorite Black-owned businesses, sniffing out the best remaining Cyber Monday deals, and throwing down coins for gifts that keep them on their toes; the kinds of gifts that say, “Do I love you? Maybe. Do I know you? Better than yourself.”
Open up that carpet bag, because here are the best holiday gifts for everyone, all for under $100.
They’re the salt to your pepper
These salt and pepper shakers are by Le Creuset, which is like the Hermès of cast iron cookware, and they look as if they’ve been dipped in a sunset and polished to a fine sheen by the breath of Julia Child herself. They’ll be the perfect pop of color, floating around the kitchen table.
So they know they’re family
Because they have many, many plants—but they don’t have this one. Can you imagine the daily joy of watering your own personal olive tree? Your giftee will feel transported to an island in Greece, or a villa in Northern Italy; they’ll feel like a rich Malibu mom, or anyone who uses the word “summer” as a verb.
Let’s hit the steakhouse, baby
Betsey Johnson is the master of over-the-top personality-ware that packs the perfect main character energy that we need for our winter soirées. These crystal martini hoops are perfect for the person who can't wait to ask for extra olives.
Jackie O’s favorite dishes
We could write a whole thesis about the cultural staying power of majolica Lettuceware, which was popularized in the 1950s in America by designers like Dodie Thayer and coveted by the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. It’s very classy, a little weird, and will impress any rich Connecticut aunt who visits your abode.
A puffer, but make it a headscarf
Make your babcia proud. This is the headscarf to rule all headscarves, because it’s literally made out of puffer material that will make your sweet cheeks and ears feel like they’re getting swaddled everywhere you go, no matter the temps.
A mellow CBD tincture that tastes like butter
One of our editors tested this Standard Dose CBD tincture for you, and crowned it “the workable tincture” for its gentle and calming (but not too calming) effects. CBD consumption by way of dropper is not only, in their opinion, one of the easiest and most effective ways of ingesting CBD, but it will also make you feel like a mamma bird feeding yourself a worm. The bottle is also really beautiful, and the MCT oil in the mixture matures its color into a beautiful shade of light pink over time.
Can you stand it?
Yes, you can. This Japanese tempura shrimp phone stand looks good enough to eat, and satisfies our craving for more interesting, aesthetic tech accessories. It’s 2021, for crab cake’s sake! We can do better than making everything rose gold.
This top-rated air purifier
Because everyone knows someone who has the perfect go bag prepped, and a short list of the best air purifiers for fire season. The Levoit has a 4.8-star average rating on Amazon from over 45,000 reviews, praising the fact that it never quits, is hella quiet, and has thoughtful additions like a nylon mesh pre-filter that “does a fantastic job catching larger particles,” according to one customer.
The host with the most
Picture it: You lock eyes with a sweetie across the room at the holiday party. No words are necessary as you slither on over, bearing a single cornichon skewered with a gemstone as an offering of your affection. Of course you fall in love.
For the mushroom head
Goblincore, but make it fashion. Mushrooms are having a major cultural moment right now, whether they’re in the kitchen, guiding spiritual/wellness endeavours, or popping up in designer collections, because they’re the SAUCE, dude. We want them hanging on our favorite psilocybin lover’s neck, hanging on their wall in the form of a beautiful print, or sitting jauntily upon a shelf as an objet d’art.
They always pick the restaurant
Looking for the best gifts for people who love food for under $100? Gift them a veritable smorgasbord of tasty treats with this round up gift food ~connoisseur~ box, which includes José Gourmet sardines in olive oil; Carbone marinara sauce (yes, from the Italian joint in NYC that you always see on @deuxmoi); wild albacore tuna,; funfetti snickerdoodle cookie mix (yup, this is not a drill); organic olive oil by Pineapple Collaborative; and one of the sexiest, best non-alcoholic aperitifs out there, Ghia, which looks like it waltzed right out of James Bond’s Amalfi Coast pantry. Definitely getting one of these boxes for ourselves, because the picks are that great and the savings are wild (one bottle of Ghia alone goes for about $45 at our local fancy supermarket).
They’ve swallowed the red pill
They probably invest in crypto and NFT art, which means they also need a 3D-printed squiggle ring. What else will they wear to the Matrix reboot on opening night?
A Stanley Kubrick-worthy clock
In other post-post-post-modern news, we’re declaring that clocks are back. Not just the wall clocks, but the good old fashioned, Don Draper-era nightstand clocks that remind us of our own delicious mortality, like this flip clock crafted by one of the world's original flip clock manufacturers, which has been in business since 1956.
A robot pet feeder
Let’s get real, here. You’re a busy bee, and so is your fluffy companion. You both deserve an inoffensive looking robo-butler that dispenses Fluffy’s food like clockwork, so y’all can keep cuddling on the couch, uninterrupted (and so that little foolio doesn't wake you up at 6 AM every day).
Is this heaven or Las Vegas?
Definitely heaven, although that would depend on how well you swaddle your giftee in in this Cocteau Twins woven blanket while they reminisce for when Coachella used to be one weekend.
A sexy candle
Designed by the founder and CEO of Black Owned Everything, the Boe candle will cast your home in a complex, layered aroma of woodsy scents, nutmeg, patchouli, and sandalwood. We’re hungry, and we’re horny? Some candles really do work magic.
They’re a space cadet
Every friend group has one: the cosmic buddy who always loses their lighter, but knows the best shows going down on the weekend; the friend who never remembers exact birthday dates, but has memorized the astrological placements of every Grateful Dead member. They deserve a kaleidoscope, because they are a kaleidoscope.
Happy shopping. Can’t wait to dry each other’s tears at the next White Elephant party.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.