A Practical Christmas Gift Guide 2020

Although Christmas will be different this year, there is still excitement to be found in the planning and giving of gifts. Of course, gifts are low on the list of importance when celebrating a holiday with friends and family, however, it is one way to give someone else a bit of happiness. I’ve never been one to plan very far ahead when it comes to buying and wrapping christmas presents, but I am starting to understand why so many people choose to get it done so early, especially if you’re gifting to several people. If you do plan on giving gifts this year, you can make online orders and send directly to the recipient (a lot of websites have some kind of gifting option: gift notes, special wrapping, etc) or, if you live nearby, you can do a gift drop off (if you’ve ever wondered how Santa feels, I imagine this is about as close as it gets; trying to deliver gifts and leave without coming into contact with anyone).

I wanted to keep these gifts as practical as possible (maybe I missed the point with some), but the theme is items that will be useful and hopefully make someone’s life a bit more comfortable, or at least bring some joy. I’ve also kept most of the items under $50, but there are a few free and lower cost options as well, so there is something for any budget.

Our Favorite Buys from Local Shops

If you’re in Tulsa or surrounding areas and want to support some local businesses this holiday season, these are by no means all of the wonderful shops, but definitely some of our favorites! 


Humorous mugs and hand poured candles from The Nest Tulsa

Art & coffee from Shades of Brown

DIY Pizza Kits from Andolini’s $25 (call the location closest to you to ask about the kits!)

Local Hannaford honey, baked goods, Ali Made Bone Broth, and more from Grassroots Ranch

The Succulent Shop 


Candles, soaps, jewelry and more at Made

Books from Magic City, Fulton Street, Whitty Books


Tulsa coaster from Ida Red

Small & Thoughtful 

Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: Adopt an Orphan $50/year

I’ve done this before (I adopted an elephant!) and you get an adoption certificate and monthly email updates. It truly is one of the sweetest gifts, for all parties involved.

Recipe Cards $13.99 & Wooden Recipe Box $34.99

For the person in your life that has been doing a lot of creative cooking/baking this year!

Personalized Recipe Cards 

From you, to all- for that endlessly asked about recipe. You can also go with hand written for an extra lovely personal touch!

Personalized Christmas Ornament (Etsy is a good place to shop)

Framed Photo  Note: My wedding photographer took great family photos so I put them in frames and gave them to each family as a small gift. 

(Walgreens photo is an easy way to upload photos online and get them shipped to your door to frame as gifts!)

Uncommon Goods is a great website to search for unique gifts. 

A small jewelry dish $16


Hand Soap


House Plants: Check out your local nurseries or garden centers to find seasonal options. If you want to go with something easier to take care of, look for succulents (bamboo and aloe are small, pretty, and are relatively easy to take care of as well). 

Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Maria Kondo

Faux Fur Textured Blanket $24.99

Gravity Weighted Blanket $79.99

Aura Cacia Relaxation Kit $19.99 (on sale for $11.24!) & Essential Oil Diffuser $27.99

Board Games

Kitchen & Cooking




Sustainable Buys 

S’well Water Bottle $35

Ecowaare Reusable Mesh Produce Bags (pack of 15) $15.99, but on sale for $9.99!

ReZip Lay Flat Leak Proof Lunch Bags (set of 5) $19.99 *

Bee’s Wrap Assorted Pack  $18 (vegan option $15)

Brita: Extra Large 18-cup Water Filter $24.99 *

Zero Waste Dental Kit $25

Package Free Lunch Bundle $38.95 

Package Free: Zero Waste Lunch Kit $50 

U-Konserve: Mini Stainless Steel Containers $19.99 *

Zoku Straws (3 pack) $29.99 *

Headbands of Hope Face Mask Lanyards (set of 2) $19.95


Buying someone a fragrance can be a risky gift option, unless you know exactly what the person you’re giving to likes; If you know what they wear, replenishing their favorite perfume/cologne is a good choice. If you’re not sure but still want to go with a fragrance option, opt for perfume or cologne discovery sets. Giving a gift card along with the trial sets (not necessary, but a nice touch) is also an option to allow the recipient to choose their own full size fragrance once they try the travel sizes/trial sets. 

Nest New York: Mini Rollerball Trio $18

Le Labo: Discovery Set $30

Ellis Brooklyn Chronicle Fragrance Discovery Set $22 *

Sephora Men’s Cologne Sampler Set (comes with a voucher that can be exchanged for a full size cologne from the set) $68

Killian Mini Perfume Sampler Set $30

Acqua di Parma Colonia Pura (men’s cologne, but this is a good unisex fragrance, in my opinion) $66






Like perfume, makeup can be a tricky gift option if you don’t know what type of products and colors/tones/shades to look for. If you know the person you’re gifting to enjoys makeup, these are some fun, safer options! Of course, if you know they are always trying new products, or if you want to save yourself the worry of getting something they might not enjoy as much, gift cards are always a good choice!

Sephora: Gift Card





Other Beauty Buys

Sienna Byron Bay Glass Nail File $18

Conair Light Up Makeup Mirror $39.99

Yu Ling Jade Roller $34.67 *

Orly Breathable Nail Treatment + Color $9.99 

Kitsch Spa Headband $18

Spa Headband $8

NYX: Eyeliner Sharpener $5


Most of us have been spending a lot more time outside this year than usual, so we might be lacking some fun and useful items to bring along on our outdoor adventures, both for this coming winter and the warmer months next year.

Grill Accessories 

Free/Homemade/Low Cost 

Thoughtful, individualized messages (email, text, phone calls, etc): Christmas is a time to be thankful for togetherness and family time, and while it’s nice to get and give gifts, the best thing we can do is let people know we’re thinking of them. Simple individualized texts, emails, or even a quick phone call to catch up are all great (and free) ways to connect this holiday season. 

Paperless Post : A fun way to send cards online. Click the “free” box in the filters option on the left-hand side of the screen, or add some customizable elements (names, photos, writing, colors, envelopes, etc). I used Paperless Post to send a birthday card and loved it (so did the recipient)! I will definitely be using this many times in the future for all kinds of occasions.

Baked goods: Homemade baked goods are a fairly cost effective and yummy gift! You can pre-make and freeze large batches of homemade cookie dough and bake fresh the day before (or day of) you plan on gifting.

Other Options

  • Homemade cards: use whatever paper or card-stock you have around the house to write a warm holiday message.
  • Swaps: My fellow Tulhoma writer, Bethany, had a great idea for a family book and wine swap! It’s so nice to pass on something you’ve gotten use out of, and get to enjoy something that someone else has once loved as well.
  • Recipes: I mentioned this in the small and thoughtful section above, but gifting a recipe is a wonderful personal gift that is still low cost. You can also write down some words of wisdom (e.g., household tips).
  • Gift bags: If you are looking for a way to gift to several people but don’t want to spend the money on so many individual gifts, gift bags are a great way to save and still give thoughtful items. Look for affordable gift sets and reasonably priced items (e.g., hand sanitizer, lip balm, maple syrup, chocolates, bath salts, face masks, mini candles, hand lotion, socks, etc). You can also add some local goodies and/or homemade baked goods as well! I usually put 3-5 items in each gift bag, then throw in a personalized holiday card. I really love giving this way because it allows me to purchase nice quality products with a much lower overall cost. Plus, it is fun to organize and put them together on a cozy winter day/night!

Subscriptions/Gift Cards 

If you’re not sure what to get someone, gift cards are always a fantastic way to give someone the gift of getting what they need. Subscriptions are a fun idea as well- just be sure you are getting something they’re interested in since it will get to be enjoyed for an extended amount of time.  

Target, Walmart, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond, Container Store 

Book of the Month.. For the book worms in your life. $49.99-$169.99

NYT Cooking.. For the avid cooks you know. $40/year 

Skillshare.. For the eager student

DISCLAIMER: this post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links marked “*”. 

Are you someone who likes to plan gifts months in advance or do you leave it last minute? What are some of your favorite gifts you’ve either given or received?

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