It’ s Christmas time again! Time for more mass-produced toys, clothing that all looks the same, and just plain generic gifts.
But wait! This year you can break away from the crowds of Christmas cattle and find your presents off the beaten path with Blast Magazine’s Top 10 Christmas Gifts You Won’t Find on Amazon.com. It comes with a gift and price range for everyone. There also won’t be any drones coming to your house, so that’s a bonus.
Without further ado:
Pillow Fort Construction Kit
Price: $125-$999, depending on size and material
For a child in your life. Or an adult. This is a judgment free zone. These sets of “Squishy Forts” take the classic childhood pastime to a whole new level. The basic set includes 6 column pieces, 4 wall pieces, and one ottoman storage container.
The kit also comes as a large advanced set or a larger architect kit. You can even get it in leopard print if you want an extra classy fortress. The business was launched on Kickstarter and has great plans for future expansion, so you’re buying a unique toy AND donating to an inspired entrepreneur. Yay you!
Scrabble Tile Necklace
Nice and inexpensive aren’t typically two words that go well together in the jewelry world. As a rule, if you want something cheap you have to settle for a Claire’s product shaped like a puppy. Or Harry Styles’ face. If you’re looking for jewelry on a budget this holiday, subvert expectations and head to HomeStudio on Etsy.
Etsy is kind of the eBay of handmade and vintage items, with thousands of individual sellers marketing their unique products. It’s a great tool at Christmas time (but always remember to check a store’s reviews). HomeStudio has over 500 beautiful necklaces for sale with designs ranging from cute animal cartoons to book quotes-all on the back of a scrabble tile. The necklaces are cute and, most importantly, incredibly unique. With a price tag that comes in under $10 (without shipping, but still), they’re the perfect choice for the shopper with great taste and a lot of people to buy for!
A Pac-Man Ukulele (or other custom instrument)
Price: $600 (other products vary)
Because why be a nerd or a hipster when you can be a nerd AND a hipster? My attention was first drawn to this clever yellow uke, but don’t feel limited to just this design.
Etsy.com has a wonderful store called Celentano Woodworks that specializes in custom and wacky musical instruments. They do everything from cupcake guitars to Roc em Soc em Robot ukuleles. It’s a nice way to fuel a friend or family member’s love of music without getting them the same old gift. And if this site doesn’t trip your trigger, there’s no shortage of novelty instruments to be found elsewhere.
Handmade Vegan Body Butter
When it comes to bath and body product gifts, most people just head straight for the aptly named Bath & Body Works or some similar chain. They have perfectly decent products, but people tend to get them a lot as gifts and they lose their magic. If you’re in the market for a lotion for a special someone, why not try something a little more original?
The popular Etsy store Savor dedicates itself to creating a unique line of handmade bath and body products. Try the “Custom Crema Body Butter with Organic Shea and Cocoa Butters Vegan Lotion”. Unlike any chain lotion, this stuff is custom made to fit your wishes. You get to choose your three favorite scents from over 80 options and they’re used to create a special lotion just for you. The ingredients are listed on the site and, best of all, its vegan nature makes the lotion accessible to the most animal friendly among us. If you’re looking to be romantic this holiday season, don’t settle for the old fashion way.
Price: The price of yarn
Yes, I’m going to be this cheesy. Even if you aren’t someone’s adorable grandmother, it’s 2013 and it’s totally okay for you to break the mold and knit! Christmas marks the end of the holiday season where snow is magical and the beginning of the winter season where it’s cold and wet and disgusting. Giving someone something to keep warm in will be much appreciated! Plus, the time you put into it will make it far more meaningful then a mass-made hat or mittens.
If you’re like me and always have trouble deciding what to get your friends and family, then this totally ridiculous but actually fantastic store may be the right call for you. Of course, you’ll also need friends and family with a good sense of humor. Something Store is an online shop where you purchase an item for $10. The catch? You’ll have no idea what that item is until it arrives. It won’t be under a $10 value and it won’t be weapons, pyrotechnic devices, or cable descramblers, but that’s really about all the site guarantees. Examples given include anything from a box of chocolates to a Kindle. I probably would not bank on getting a Kindle, but if you want to give a gift with a funny story attached, this is a good choice.
Price: The price of the ingredients
This is seriously one of the best presents you could give someone and an easy option for any gift-giver. Obviously it’s better if you can cook, but honestly, can’t everyone make rice crispies? I know that personally there is very little I love more than good food, and it’s certainly a cheap gift. The only cost involved is the ingredients, which, unless you make Lobster and Caviar probably won’t cost that much. However, despite the cheap cost no one will ever feel like you skimped on them if you take the time to make them a dish.
A Framed Photo
Price: Varies by frame, easily under $10
And you thought I couldn’t take the cheesy to a new level after the knitting thing! Christmas is a time to think about those you love. As cliché as it is, there is nothing wrong with getting someone something that helps them to do just that! It’s a nice way to avoid the commercialism of Christmas; you’re giving a memory and a feeling, not a product.
A Personalized Phone case
Or, if you like the idea of a framed photo but want something a bit more original, you can spend a bit more and get a personalized phone case at Village Vinyl (Etsy again…). A phone case is something practically everyone wants and needs from time to time because they either break or get sick of the old one.
At Village Vinyl you can order a personalized phone case with a photo of your choosing on it. It’s the framed photo of the digital era!
A Threadless T-Shirt
To be honest, I’m cheating a little here. Some of these pop-up on Amazon. I’ve been good all the way to number 10, so you’ll have to forgive me. However, you should go to the giant Threadless website instead. It’s much cooler. It’s a t-shirt store made up of clever and witty designs created by users. The user’s submissions are voted on to see what designs will be produced. The designs are quirky, stylish, and varied. Your friend or family member will love the shirt and the story that comes with it. Most designs come in a variety of shirt styles, like tank tops and hoodies.