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10 Gift Ideas Under $40

by Dominic DeGrazier Dec 24, 2008
Did you wait till the last minute? Here are a few gift ideas to help you out.

The thought is what counts most. Nothing is truer when faced with the Christmas gift-giving season.

What is your sister’s passion? Your friend’s daily regiment? Your father’s hobby? The total bill for presents can grow fast – at an alarming pace actually.

Here are a few examples of presents that will keep your wallet in check…along with your bank account.

1. A book

A good book is priceless in value, but can be bought for much less. If you have enjoyed time spent with a particular novel or story, why not buy the tale for someone else you think would appreciate it?

You can also choose from Best Of lists on the web, such as Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels of All Time.

A great example is George Orwell’s classic Animal Farm which can be bought for under $10.

Photo by Ian Wilson

2. Gift Cards

Sure, they can be perceived as a bit cold. So make it a warmer option by putting some thought into what the person likes along with a nice handwritten note.

Are they into motorcycles, but you don’t know the first thing about the industry? No problem. Take notice of what brand they wear or use a Google search to find the most popular motorcycle stores.

Websites like Moto Leather offer gift cards. From there, they can choose what suits them best!

3. Pictures

Everyone loves to see themselves – especially when the picture is flattering. If you have some good photos of your present-recipient, get them printed at a site like

Sites like Snapfish and Kodak gallery can also make the pictures into calendars, photo albums, posters and more.

Photo by adobemac

4. The Mug

Do they drink coffee or tea every morning? Perhaps they are Matador fans as well? Then they would enjoy a quality mug or two.

Price: $15.99 – $18.99 | BUY

5. Drink Up

So they like a cocktail every now and then? Perfect!

Give them another label than their usual, but one that is known for being of good quality. Sites like The Fifty Best’s Wine Detective will help out in deciding the proper brand.

They like smooth, clean tasting tequila? Try out Mission Liquor & Wines for ideas.

Photo by Lola Akinmade

6. 30 Minute Massage

Your friend has had a great, but hard and long year. What better way to treat them than to a massage? This present’s price depends on their geographical location, but deals for under $40 abound if you know where to look. Spa Finder maintains a comprehensive listing of spas and massage boutiques all over the country.

Photo by thomaswanhoff

7. Planning Next Year

Are they disorganized? Or maybe too organized? In either case, an elegantly designed daily planner for the upcoming year could be a welcomed gift. Amazon offers a plethora of daily planners.

Photo by the prodigal untitled13

8. For Smokers

How many times have you heard people ask for a light? Solve their search with a quality lighter such as the Zippo Lighter High Chrome Polished model for $13.85.

Editor’s Note – For family members and friends trying to kick the habit, books such as How To Quit Smoking Even If You Don’t Want To and smoking cessation kits like SmokeRX can get them started.

9. Magazines

So they are not fans of reading lengthy books. But they do like to be informed on the latest technology, or perhaps the newest fashions. Whatever their tastes and passions are, there is a magazine waiting to be subscribed to. Check out Mags Direct or other online magazine websites to buy year subscriptions.

10. Music

Many years ago my dad was introduced to Nirvana’s Unplugged album during Christmas time – it was a hit for him. Something that he never would have looked for on his own, but tunes he thoroughly enjoyed.

Do you know someone who loves music, but probably hasn’t heard of a particular group? Do you have an idea of the type of music they like?

Burn them a disc, buy them credit on iTunes, or grab the album itself from Amazon.

Community Connection

Need more gift ideas? Check out the articles below:

12 Stocking Stuffers for Travelers
Armchair Travel: Holiday Shopping
Top 10 Last-Minute Gifts for Your Favorite Traveler

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