These Covid times can be hard. And then there’s the gift giving. Well fear not, dear reader.
Whether you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, a Chanukah gift, a secret Santa idea, or simply a nice present at a nice price, here is a list of 12 fabulous gift ideas all under $25. Use the websites provided you’ll be supporting some small hometown businesses, underrepresented entrepreneurs and LGBTQ+ companies.
Let’s start with something tasty. Ioka Valley Farms is a family business which offers many pure maple syrup products. Pure maple syrup is unrefined, all natural, and a single ingredient food. One item they use their syrup for is their award-winning maple cream. Gooey and delicious, you can eat this right from the jar. Thicker in consistency than maple butter, maple cream is perfect to spread on toast, crackers, and fruit, or to drizzle over ice cream. This sweet treat is sure to be a palate pleaser to anyone who receives it.
$9.25 for a ½ lb jar, $17.50 for a 1 lb jar
*Honorable mention to Ioka’s Bourbon-Barrel Aged Maple Syrup. Gift it to any grownup that enjoys a hot toddy, a kick to their sundae, or a mixer with vodka. $15 for a 6.6 oz bottle
Queerios Bakery makes some delicious desserts that will tempt any recipient’s sweet tooth. Check out their chocolate-covered pretzels or chocolate-covered strawberries, but it’s their hot cocoa bombs that are…well, the BOMB! Beautifully decorated or simply covered in white, milk, or dark chocolate, these flavored treats are a great way to say “happy holidays.” Choose from Swiss miss, peppermint, pumpkin spice and mocha flavored or a vegan version that is non-dairy hot cocoa oat milk flavored. You can get these customized with a name or saying and colored in red, pink or purple. Run by 2 Peruvian queer folk, their tagline says it all: Made with love for our community.
$12 for 2 hot cocoa bombs, $14 for 2 customized cocoa bombs, $16 for 2 vegan hot cocoa bombs (minimum shipping order is for 2, but they’re yummy so feel free to order more)
Shoelaces can be complicated for young children, tiresome to tie for teens, and a stretch for older folx. And if you have arthritis, like me, tying laces on a bad day can be agony. That’s where these no-tie elastic shoelaces from Laceez come in. Practical and stylish, these laces add slip-on convenience to most any shoe. In basic black, pristine white, and a bunch of bright colors for kids, these stretchy shoestrings make it easy for everyone!
$12.99 for a single pair for kids, $20 for an adult 2-pack
Fashion and fashion accessories have often been a part of queer identity. Using vintage and unsold inventory pieces to create handmade jewelry and unique accessories for all genders, no one understands this better than the team at Wild Fancy Designs. Many of their pins, earrings and necklaces speak directly to the LGBTQ+ community. Whether you know someone who identifies as a daddy, a feminist, a cat lady, or a trans vampire, there’s a gift idea for them. And WFD makes it easy to shop for earrings as many of their earrings are sold as singles, allowing you to mix and match unique pairings. Check out this pair of popular singles: lipstick + dagger earrings. Choose sterling silver, gold-tone, gold-filled or hypoallergenic niobium for the ear hook material.
Honorable mention to the dangly pronoun earrings at $18 – $19.50 for a single earring
$13 – $14.50 for a single earring depending on the material you choose
A little meditation can go a long way to helping one relax, much like a cup of soothing tea, rich coffee or delicious hot cocoa. Queery has combined the two with their Queer Zen mug. With its striking Zen circle motif and progress pride flag colored lotus flower, this ceramic mug brings to mind a sense of peace and serenity. Everyone needs to take the time to savor their beverage of choice and this mug is the ideal gift for someone who needs a little “calm” in their life! It makes an even more enjoyable present if you fill it with herbal tea bags or decadent chocolates. It’s both microwave and dishwasher safe.
$14 for the 11 oz mug, $16 for the 15 oz mug
Calendars are a useful and fun gift, and with 2021 about to start now’s the time to give one. TF Publishing offers a slew of witty and wonderful 12” x 12” wall art calendars. From bearded babes to unique unicorns, playful pigs to furry friends, there’s something for everyone. Why not go for the Pride calendar? Affirming and inspiring with its rainbow designs and powerful quotes for each month, a portion of the proceeds from this purchase also goes to The Trevor Project. Providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project is most certainly a worthy organization.
$14.95 – Pride Wall Calendar
We could all use a bit of self-care these days. How about relaxing with some Pinch Me Therapy Dough? That special someone can renew, replenish, and rejuvenate with Therapy Dough; this professionally developed, soft, pliable dough is infused with calming aromatherapy. Thirteen stress-relieving formulas, with scents like melon, citrus, vanilla, and grapefruit to choose from. Simply massage the dough between your fingers and let the tranquility begin. Pinch Me also supports the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that supports veterans with PTSD, so every purchase helps fund their mission to pay it forward. You will not only be helping a small business, but a good cause as well.
Please note: Not recommended for those with wheat or scent allergies.
$14.99 for a 3 oz jar, $24.99 for a 10 oz jar
I got introduced to Lemongrass Spa about a year ago and I’ve been enjoying their products ever since. A favorite is their Cherry Almond Prebiotic Body Wash. Formulated to cleanse skin while locking in moisture, this shower must-have is chock full of natural ingredients, plus it’s gluten-free, GMO-free and cruelty-free. And who wouldn’t want to come out of the shower smelling like cherry biscotti…good enough to eat! Perfect for everyone. If Cherry Almond doesn’t strike your gift recipient’s fancy, choose from a variety of scents such as lavender mint, spearmint eucalyptus, or tea tree & citrus. Knowledgeable consultant Kim can help you find just the right product for that special somebody.
$15 for an 8 oz bottle
Life Elements gives you the Healing Honey Stick, a balm for a whole variety of ills from dry skin, chapped lips, minor cuts, insect bites and burns. Made with a mix of nature-produced ingredients such as raw honey, beeswax, bee pollen, and royal jelly, the Healing Honey Stick is rich in moisture and packed with essential oils, vitamins, and minerals. It’s also certified cruelty-free and contains no petroleum, mineral oil, lanolin, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, or dyes. With colder weather approaching, who doesn’t need a soothing moisturizer for face, hands and lips?
As with all skin care items, it’s a good idea to test for sensitivity before use.
$18 for a 2 oz stick.
Cross stitch kit
With their modern twist, these are not exactly your grandma’s cross stitch kits. Believing that art should make a statement, and crafting should be for everyone, Zoe Frost started Junebug and Darlin. Combining nature, queerness and a good old “buck the system” attitude, this queer femme artist often incorporates her own artwork into these needleworks. My personal favorites are the pronoun cross stitches (choose from THEY THEM THEIRS, SHE HER HERS, or HE HIM HIS). Whether you pick a fancy floral, a fierce statement, or a combination of the two, you’ll find a wide variety of shapes and sizes, many with LGBTQ+ themes. A great gift and fun activity, these kits are 100% handmade and come with all of the supplies needed to create a complete cross stitch.
$20 for a basic 5” hoop Cross Stitch Kit
An easy way to help the environment is to use less plastic, so why not get someone this high quality, reusable tote with a hand-lettered design? In bold black and white, this handy tote has double-stitched seams for strength and a lined interior. It’s soft and durable and has a 1-inch wide carrying strap. An amazing gift for a friend or relative who is “FEARLESSLY AUTHENTIC.” Brought to you by The Crafty Queer, this tote comes in 2 sizes. Plus they have other totes to choose from.
$22 for the 13” x 13” tote, $30 for the 16” x 16” tote (slightly over budget, but great for that super shopper)
Looking for a chocolaty treat? Then try Five North Chocolate. Their chocolate snacks are the healthier kind: plant-based, low in sugar, and made with Fair Trade Certified™ 72% cacao! With flavors like pistachio sea salt, goji berry and cinnamon almond you can’t miss. To add to all of that you’ll be supporting a certified LGBTQ+ business that supports cacao farmers around the world by making their deliciously nutritious snacks. Fun fact: FNC is the first brand ever to feature the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce seal on a packaged good.
$22.95 for a 3-Pack Sampler
Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a friend, family member, spouse, child or even for yourself, this list gives you plenty to choose from. You’ll be supporting small businesses and LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs without breaking your bank account. Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season.
All prices quoted are in US dollars and do not include shipping and additional costs.