Upgrade Your Life

Great Gifts for Under $25

Becky Worley
Upgrade Your Life

Tick Tock: The holiday countdown is in full swing. You have just a few days to come up with the perfect gift without breaking the bank. So here are my best bets for under $25.

Touchscreen Gloves $19-22
Taking off your gloves to text or dial is a pain. So glove makers have figured out how to put special material on the index finger and thumb that lets you swipe away at the screen without getting cold fingers. In years past, these gloves have cost over $70. Now, Amazon is offering Manzella Touch Tip Gloves for just $19, and Swypegear has a cute green pair for just $22.

Wireless iPad Keyboards $25
Another item that's dropped way down in price: wireless iPad keyboards. The cheapest I could find was a $39 version from Targus but then I got crafty. The HP Bluetooth Keyboard was intended for the now discontinued HP TouchPad, but it works with both iPad and iPhone, and its price has been slashed. I found it online for just $25.

Cocoon Grid-it $15
The Cocoon Grid-it is an ingenious way to keep all your tech gear organized. It is a flat board with about 20 overlapping elastic bands. Tuck you earphones, gum, lip gloss and pens in there, then throw it in your purse.

Sip N' Go Collapsible Water Bottles $17.50 for 4
Carrying a bulky water bottle that you've drained to the last drop is a pain, so the collapsible water bottles form a site called Fab are pretty smart. When you're done you just roll up the plastic water bottle, snap it shut and it could even fit in your pocket (but the hard plastic spout might bug you if you sit on it). You have to create a log-on with fab.com, but you can find the bottles here, on sale until Dec 20th.

Fun Kids' Cleaning Tools $8
Getting your kids to pitch in on the cleaning is tough, but make it a gift and a little more fun and you might have a chance. Fab.com (sign-in required) offers super cute cleaning tools, like a Walrus Dustpan and Broom, a Skunk Duster, and a Flamingo Dish Brush.

Aerolatte $20
When it comes to latte, I am a foam snob. I think the foam from my fancy espresso machine is too airy and not creamy enough, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Aerolatte delivers that creamy, perfectly-peaked foam just like a professional barista.

Urban Ears Bagis Locking Earphones
The Bagis in-ear headphones come in cool colors, have great sound and they lock together like Legos so you can wear them around your neck or wind them up and snap shut for easy storage. They retail for $35 but I found them at Barnes and Noble for $24.

Skull Candy Uprock On-Ear Headphone $25
On-ear headphones are back in style… and expensive. Beats by Dre start at over $150, making this $25 pair from Skull Candy look like a steal. They also come in blue, pink, and standard black.

Star Trek Baby Feeder $19
Parents who love Star Trek will love receiving this replica Enterprise with an attachment where you change out the included baby spoons. If you know a devotee who wants to start brainwashing their kid early in preparation for their first trekkie convention, this is a must-have gift.

Jakks B.I.G. Power Hand $18
This foot-and-a-half long glove turns any kid's hand into a gargantuan mechanical hand. Little fingers go into a glove that then pulls the massive fingers and gives very lifelike, responsive control over the mega hand. Excellent for creeping out older sisters.

Awkward Family Photos Game $24
You love the website awkwardfamilyphotos.com, so why not play the game? Great fun with older teenagers and adults. The photos will have you laughing hysterically, and the game play elicits great storytelling from the players.

Prank Packs 3 for $20
I couldn't resist prank packs. These are fake gift boxes; you pack a real gift in there — something nice — but the recipient sees the box and thinks you've given something ridiculous, like a whole-family Snuggie or an in-shower coffee machine. Prank Packs were created by alumni of the comedy site The Onion, and they certainly live up to the premise of the product: "Just pack your real gift inside, sit back, and revel in their half-hearted enthusiasm." That is, until they get the joke.

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