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It’s that time of year again, gift giving season! I’ve found an array of budget friendly options that you’re friends and family will love. Whether you are buying as a part of your family’s holiday traditions, participating in an office gift exchange, trying to impress in-laws or a new boss, or plan on attending an array of celebrations and want to indulge in host/hostess gifts, you can’t go wrong with any on this list.
Let’s begin with nature lovers. Nature inspired and woodland chic items are all the rage right now! For those in your life that enjoy a good owl, tree, or other woodland creature, the following picks are for you. Do not get turned off by Anthropologie’s ultra lux items when shopping for gifts on a budget. If you hunt around enough at the store you can find many chic and affordable options. For example, this branch monogram piece ($24) is super charming and you can choose 2 (perfect if shopping for a couple) and still be within your budget of $50. Monograms have such a personalized touch and will be well received along with adding an exceptional piece to any décor. Next I perused the always appealing and affordable Pier 1 Imports where I spotted the most adorable bird soap dish with blue (soap) eggs ($15.50). This is sure to please the eye and nose of the nature lovers in your life. I continued my search at Urban Outfitters and found a woodland chic jewelry stand ($39). This piece is so attractive it could be used purely as sculpture or even a tabletop Christmas decoration by adding some small kitschy ornaments for the season!
Shifting gears to the other side of the spectrum, let’s appease the technology-obsessed individuals. I began with finding this very affordable Apple iPod Shuffle at Target ($44.99) available in a variety of colors. A cute idea may be to even add some of your recipient’s favorite tracks to add a sentimental touch to a high tech gift. You can grab this adorable little speaker ($24) to attach to your phone/mp3 player. Not only will this improve the sounds for anyone’s MP3 player but also add a decorative kitsch to any table or desktop! I also found a crochet media protection case ($14) both gadgets available at Urban Outfitters, the speakers in a few different “creatures” for your tech and nature lovers alike.
Now to appeal to the hip tea drinkers in your life (coffee is so 10+ years ago). It’s all about quality teas and dainty tea wear! How about a delicate sugar bowl from Anthropologie ($18)? This is sure to add a delight to any tea setting. Back over at Pier 1 Imports I found an incredible deal on a tea set ($25)! This set includes 4 mugs and a teapot with storage stand in a delicate floral pattern. This piece will be the envy and talk of any future tea parties. In case you would rather give something to actually go in the teapot, check out Tea Harbor. There you can peruse and inhale the enticing scents of their extensive tea collection. They offer not only a wide variety of tea but also plenty of knowledge on everything “tea.” If you are unsure of what to buy try a gift card! You can also take part in a very cool in store service, where they maintain a log of all teas you have purchased.
Just Grapes of Chicago
If your circle requires something a little stronger than tea, I hand-picked a variety of goods appealing to the wine lovers. First I headed to Anthropologie to spot the most unique wine and bottle stoppers ever ($16/ea). These stoppers resemble statues from a period past and come in a few different options. These stoppers will evoke guests to inquire, “where on earth did you find that?” Next, I found beautifully feminine floral stemware at Pier 1 Imports ($8/ea) along with a brilliantly modern deco inspired silver wine rack ($44.95). Both are chic and lavish, but incredibly affordable. That can be your little secret! If you are looking to fill the wine rack and stemware, look no further than Just Grapes of Chicago. This is one of the best all around wine experiences and at the best price. Just Grapes offers the city’s first and only automated self-serve tasting machines with prices varying from $.50 to $5.00/taste. Saturdays are free if you would like to sample wines before committing to gifting the wine. You can purchase wine tastings, retail wine, beer and spirits, and even wine classes ($50/session). If you want to purchase a gift that keeps on giving, they offer wine memberships with home delivery ranging from $25-$75 per membership.
Baker and Meowsky
Next I handpicked items for those gifting to the pet lovers of the world. Check out this delectable ceramic cat food storage canister by Martha Stewart for Petsmart ($18.39). Never has pet food storage been this fashionable and would look right at home on any countertop. If you want your dog or cat to look dapper but not have to wrestle and contort their body into silly costumes, then peruse Silly Buddy on etsy. They are based in Chicago and offer insanely adorable collars with smart bow ties ($40). Available in a variety of colors and patterns, they even offer regular collars in a variety of colors and patterns without the bow tie. In most cases they can do a leash in a matching color/pattern. Finally if you prefer pet boutiques, like Barker and Meowsky, the name is almost as charming as their actual products. They offer a nice variety of beds, carriers, clothes, grooming products, bakery treats and seasonal holiday items.
HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS
Pier 1 Imports
Finally when you are buying for the person(s) in your life that thrives on being the “hostess with the mostest,” you can bet they will appreciate gifts that help them accomplish just that. I started with Anthropologie and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to find many items within budget. I found a wide variety of unique and stunning aprons ($32-38/ea). They came in a variety of color and patterns, cuts, and details. Some had pockets and ruffles, while others were two-toned and came in varying lengths and could almost pass as a dress (well the front of a dress!). Also at Antropologie I found a chic recipe journal where your hostess can artfully keep all of her favorite recipes in one organized book ($48). Finally I found an inexpensive tasting party kit ($24.95) at Pier 1. This will excite any hostess and this set is very neutral so pieces can easily be added and integrated in the future.
Missy Pegues is a stay at home mother running an online vintage clothing and accessories site through http://www.missevintage.etsy.com. Her deep-rooted affection for fashion, particularly vintage and vintage inspired pieces have blossomed into an interior design hobby. She finds many parallels in designing a space as with designing a great and fashionable look.