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It’s not easy to guess what every man, woman and child in your life wants for that special occasion. Maybe a gift card is too impersonal, or you want something that’s bigger than a breadbox and that won’t break the bank, either.
Whether you’re shopping for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or graduation gifts, we’ve taken care of the virtual browsing and rounded up some of the most unique presents that’ll cost you less than three Benjamins.
From DIY kits for watch aficionados and beauty buffs, to luxury fragrances that can spell out your giftee’s name, keep reading for some of the best gifts under $250 for every type of recipient — then check out more shopping guides for taking care of the techies, luxury lovers and others.
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses
For the music lover who prefers to listen to their favorite tracks discreetly without earbuds, gift them Bose’s cool audio sunglasses. Available in small and large sizes, these stylish frames have open-ear Bluetooth headphones that let wearers tune into their playlist and surroundings.
Artifact Uprising Scrapbook Album
When framed photos aren’t sentimental enough, make your giftee a personalized scrapbook album through Artifact Uprising (which has plenty of other options ranging from custom calendars to wall art). The book comes with adhesive photo mounts and offers memory-jogging prompts, you can choose your favorite fabric color for the cover and paper type. The four-ring book has enough space for more than 60 photographs — you’ll also get a promo code for 10 free everyday prints.
Yeti Roadie 24 Hard Cooler
A pricey drink holder might not be the first item on their list, but it’s one of the best gifts for $250 that’ll upgrade their next tailgate party, picnic or camping trip. The Yeti Roadie 24 cooler comes in several cool colors and can keep 24 pounds of ice or about 18 cans cold for days. This model is 10 percent lighter and keeps contents 30 percent colder than the Roadie 20, and it’s incredibly durable and lightweight for its size. (Get extra points by gifting it with their favorite drinks.)
Victrola 8-in-1 Bluetooth Record Player & Multimedia Center
This eight-in-one record player and Bluetooth speaker by Victrola lets audiophiles listen to almost all of their favorite formats in a retro-cool entertainment station. It’s got a CD and cassette player, FM radio and auxiliary and headphone jacks so they can plug in and play from another device. Plus, your giftee can record music from their 33s, 45s or 78s and covert it into MP3s so they can take their rare tunes with them.
Wedgewood Wonderlust Dinnerware
For the Bridgerton-obsessed host who loves throwing a good tea party, a set of colorful Wedgewood plates — available at the Netflix show’s charming pop-up at Bloomingdale’s — will give their fête a fashionable Regency London finishing touch that’ll impress the Ton. The Wedgewood Wonderlust collection ($55 to $200) also includes bone china teacups, mugs, coupe plates, lidded bowls, saucers and more inspired by Japanese gardens.
Funboy x Cult Gaia Luxury Pool Lounge
Upgrade their next pool party and gift them this luxury inflatable pool lounge from Hollywood-loved brand Funboy’s collaboration with starry label Cult Gaia. It’s got enough room for two and features artful graphics that encapsulate the fashion brand’s resort-ready aesthetic.
Petrossian Royal Ossetra Caviar
For the fanciest friend or family member you know, Petrossian’s Royal Ossetra Caviar (available in 1 to 4.4 ounce tins) lets luxury-loving foodies give their meals a Michelin star finish.
Yina Gua Sha Discovery Set
Inspire maximum R&R through traditional Chinese medicine with Yina’s Gua Sha discovery set, which includes a Bian stone massage tool, your choice of a botanical serum that fits their vibe (Fortify, Clarify or Regenerate) and the Recovery body treatment that helps to boost elasticity and circulation.
Gentleman’s Hardware Portable BBQ
Whether they’re regular campers or beach barbecue pros, this portable BBQ by Gentleman’s Hardware is ready for your giftee to grill wherever they’re heading.
Moncler Pour Femme or Homme Eau de Parfum with LED Screen
The best unique gifts are the ones that are completely unexpected — like Moncler’s luxe eau de parfum with an LED screen that you can program with a custom message. Available in Pour Femme (a floral and musky fragrance with notes of powdery snow, bergamot, jasmine and vanillin) and Pour Homme (a woody scent with notes of alpine green accord, cypress, cedarwood and vetiver) options, this is one way to make a statement — say, that long-planned proposal?
Truff Hot Sauce Variety Pack
One of Oprah’s favorite things, Truff’s gourmet truffle hot sauce variety pack will also be a culinary treat for the ones on your list with a palate for luxury and spice. This three-bottle set includes the original hot sauce (a black truffle and chili blend), white truffle hot sauce and black truffle “Hotter Sauce.”
Diguo Belgian Luxury Royal Family Balance Siphon Coffee Maker
For java devotees with a taste for steampunk or antique design, Diguo’s balancing siphon coffee maker doubles as an art piece for brew connoisseurs. This eco-friendly brewer comes with a washable natural cloth filter that delivers bold flavors, and it can make one cup of drip coffee or about three espressos at a time. It features rose gold-plated hardware and a wooden base; a stainless steel vacuum flask, siphon pipette and filter head; and a borosilicate brewing flask with a medical-grade silicone seal.
23AndMe and Ancestry Personal Genetic DNA Tests
Shopping for an amateur genealogist or health enthusiast? For the giftee who wants to dig deeper into roots or genes, one of the most unique gifts is a personal genetics test. 23AndMe’s ancestry and traits kit lets people discover their ancestors’ origins from more than 2,000 regions, find long-lost relatives and explore the traits that make them unique (including your musical skills or your taste and smell preferences). The AncestryDNA + Traits test reveals in-depth historical insights, a precise ethnicity estimate, over 35 of your most interesting personal characteristics (such as the genes that influence your appearance and health). Both testing kit companies use secure databases and encrypt your data to protect your privacy.
Rotate Watch Kit
Stumped on what to get your favorite real-life Doc Brown? Time-obsessed tinkerers will appreciate Rotate Watches’ hands-on timepiece building kit, which comes with everything DIYers need to create their own accesory, including a Seagull ST3600/ETA 6497 with 17-jewel mechanical movement, a 44-millimeter sapphire glass case with a clear back, genuine leather straps and more. Engraved monograms are also available.
For the ever-curious knowledge seeker, a one-year subscription ($180) to MasterClass lets them learn from the best of the best. The online learning platform’s Hollywood instructors include directors Martin Scorcese and James Cameron, screenwriter Shonda Rhimes, actresses Helen Mirren and Natalie Portman, actors Samuel L. Jackson and Steve Martin and many others.
There are also plenty of five-star teachers in design, music, science, politics, business and many other categories (think Beyoncé-loved florist Maurice Harris, star baker Joanne Chang, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, sleep expert Matthew Walker, and soon, former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, to name a few).
Bloomscape California Burst Terrarium
For the nature enthusiast or budding botanist who wants to enjoy the outdoors year-round, send them this California-inspired terrarium designed by by Right Side Hand via online plant delivery service, The Sill. It’s a great evergreen alternative to fresh-cut flowers (though those are always appreciated, too), and the glass cloche arrangement features a colorful pincushion proteo and craspedia billy buttons surrounded by dried baby blue eucalyptus, statice and other florals.
Nailmatic DIY Nail Polish Kit
The mad beauty scientist can whip up their own lacquers with Nailmatic’s DIY nail polish kit, which lets hands-on mani mavens mix up five out of 20 different plant-based shades.
Man Crates Smash & Grab Gift Card
For the giftee who loves to Hulk-smash their way to a surprise, Man Crates’ concrete-covered gift card lets them work for their present. It comes with safety googles, a Ball-Peen hammer and a concrete break which breaks open to reveal a gift card code that can be redeemed at your recipient’s choice of a store or eatery, including Amazon, Buffalo Wild Wings, DoorDash, Gamestop, Home Depot, Nike, Morton’s Steakhouse, Petco, REI and more.
Joie de Weed Rolling Tray Gift Set
For the pal who’s known for loving “herbal remedies,” Joie de Weed’s stylish rolling tray gift set contains chic accouterments for the cannabis connoisseurs on your list.
Long Distance Touch Bracelet Set
When you can’t give your loved ones a hug IRL and video calls aren’t cutting it, this long-distance touch bracelet set lets you send a thoughtful embrace via your wrists. Sync the rechargeable devices (which come on waterproof silicone bands) to the accompanying smart phone app and tap your bracelet to send a “message” to your partner, friend or family member, whose accessory will light up and vibrate.
Moma Design Store Gustav Klimt’s “The Sunflower” Art
Don’t have a million-dollar budget? You can still be a benefactor to your favorite art lover’s home collection with the Museum of Modern Art’s collection of prints and home goods, which are available at Nordstrom. Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s “The Sunflower” will fit right into giftee’s contemporary halls and walls (there are also display-worthy Yayoi Kusama skateboards, framed Jean-Michel Basquiat prints and Mondrian-esque vases, among other picks).