Yippee! This is one of my favorite posts of the year.
I love collecting really awesome gifts that don't break the bank, but don't look like you went shopping at the dollar store either (not that I'm saying anything bad about the dollar store - it's my favorite place to buy Ella puzzles to do doing quiet time).
Here are twenty items for this year (if you need more ideas, check out the 2013, 2012, and 2011 guides too. I looked back at them last week and it was quite tempting to pat myself on the back because there are some seriously good things on those old guides too):
2. Patterned Wood Clips ($3.99) - I like these kinds of clips way better than paperclips, and they're just a fun addition to any desk. If you're feeling extra kind, clip them to a cute notepad or set of cards.
3. Strainer ($3.99) - I use mine ALL the time and often wish that I had two.
4. Luggage Tag ($4.95) - If you travel a lot, this is a fun way to spice up your luggage. And make it easier to spot at baggage claim.
5. Headphone Splitter ($4.80) - We have a splitter that we use all the time when we're traveling, but it's not nearly this fun looking.
6. Children's Long-Sleeve Apron ($3.99) - Lunch time or craft time, this thing is a life saver for your messy toddler.
7. Wireless Laptop Mouse ($3.47) - For those of us who hate working on a trackpad, this little mouse is perfect for stuffing in your laptop bag.
8. Digital Timer ($2.99) - This flat has no timers and I'm constantly missing having one. This one comes in three different colors and has a magnetic back.
9. Sparkler Candles ($2.09) - We bought these for Ella's birthday cake this summer and at first I thought they were totally lame (they just kind of burn for ten seconds or so) but once they started sparking, they were fantastic.
10. Ice Cream Scoop ($1.79) - You can never own enough ice cream scoops. Also, trying to scoop ice cream with a regular spoon just means you end up with bent spoons (yes, every rental house we've been in for the last six months has had wimpy spoons).
11. Wire Hair Tie ($1.80) - For those of us not doing complicated hair styles from Pinterest, at least we can have some fun bit of hair accessorizing.
12. Mini LED Flashlight Keychain ($4.39 for 10) - They're so cheap, you can get one for everyone's stocking (or two for everyone's stocking if you don't have ten children).
13. Digital Christmas Market Advent Calendar ($4.00) - Every year, Bart's parents send us this digital advent calendar and every year it's a highlight for me. It's so cute and sweet.
14. Owl Measuring Spoons ($4.99) - You can never have too many measuring spoons and you can REALLY never too many cute measuring spoons.
15. Tortoiseshell Eyeglasses ($4.90) - I frankly don't get the appeal of fake glasses, having gotten my first real pair some two decades ago, but if you've harbored a lifelong dream of wearing glasses, here's your chance to wear some.
16. Popsicle Molds ($1.99) - Great for summer popsicles or rescuing the last bits of smoothie.
17. Mobile ($4.95) - How could you not want to hang this up immediately?
18. Braided Hairband ($4.95) - My braiding skills are minimal to say the least, so this is the perfect solution for me.
19. Canvas Mustache Pencil Case ($4.99) - I can't get enough of pencil cases - they're just so dang useful.
20. Shape Sorter ($4.99) - My girls both love playing with this every time we go to IKEA (which we basically treat as our personal play room when we live near one).
If you have other $5 or less excellent gift ideas, you know I want to hear them. Or check out the 2013, 2012, and 2011 guides for even more ideas.