2020 Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Affordable Items That Will Spruce Up Any Space
With everyone indoors, these ideas will brighten up a dorm room or a home
A lot of things may have changed in 2020, but there’s one thing that doesn’t change: the desire to give rad gifts to the people you love this holiday season. However, if your brain’s a little fried from, you know, everything, and you don’t know where to begin, we’re here to help. All week, BU Today will provide affordable ideas for what to get everyone on your list, from the hardest-to-please to the person who’s happy with anything.
We’re kicking our series off with gifts that can spruce up most any living space, whether it’s a dorm room, an apartment, or a house in the suburbs. On Tuesday we’ll bring you ideas for gifts that will keep your friends and family entertained, Wednesday, gifts that keep it local, Thursday, gifts that will make the folks on your list look good, and Friday, gifts that give back.
Help make sitting and staring at a computer screen all day a little comfier with something plush, such as this Wu-Tang–inspired tiger pillow from Tigersheep Friends ($50) on Etsy, or a giant succulent from Green Philosophy Co. ($38). After all, nothing says “I care about you” like the gift of lumbar support.
Keep those you love caffeinated this winter with an easy-to-use coffee maker. French presses are as uncomplicated as it gets while also giving kitchen counters a touch of sophistication. Check out the options from Bodum, which include regular French presses ($15) as well as iced-coffee makers ($24).
Got a pun lover on your list? Get them a pegboard lightbox. They’ll be able to make any punny statement they want—and then light it up for everyone on their Zoom call to appreciate (or judge). We like this version from CottonOn ($30), which comes in 12 different color combos that look good switched on or off.
Speaking of Zoom backgrounds, why not get your friends and family something to make their walls pop? Society6 is full of posters and prints that’ll do exactly that, including this vintage-looking Ba Sing Se travel poster print (starting at $13)—great for anyone who binged ATLA and The Legend of Korra during quarantine.
In the midst of a pandemic, with everyone largely confined indoors, it’s nice to have something green to nurture. Happily, there are plenty of companies that will ship you live, already-potted plants, saving you the mess of having to wrangle something into a planter yourself. One such company is The Sill, which carries chic planters for houseplant favorites like parlor palms (starting at $38) and easy-to-care-for philodendrons (starting at $54).
This is for the friend whose pet has their own Instagram profile. Help them keep their living room and page fresh with a photo shoot–ready item that doubles as furniture, like this ottoman with a pet cave from HuiDao ($37).
We know what you’re thinking: a doormat? Really? But with months of snowy boots and muddy shoes ahead, a doormat is a pretty darn thoughtful gift. Pick something fun, like this evil-eye festooned mat from World Market ($17), which will stop both snow and bad vibes from crossing the threshold. Or opt for something cheeky, like the “Ciao Felicia” mat from Effortless Composition ($40).
Know someone who could use a little help staying organized? Opt for a functional present in the form of a tray. With tons of designs to choose from, an acrylic tray like this one from Society6 (starting at $22) will keep both office supplies and toiletries contained—but it works just as well for breakfast in bed.
Give the gift of warmth this holiday season. An oversize throw blanket will make even the biggest Grinch on your list smile. Bright and plush, we bet a fleece throw like this one from Urban Outfitters ($44) will do the trick.
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