Up at the North Pole, a few cookies might be enough to bribe Santa and his elves to leave the perfect present on Christmas morning. But down here in New York, we’ve got to be more practical about what ends up under the tree. How can you stretch your holiday budget so you can splurge on the ultimate gifts for VIPs, while still treating everyone else to a little something?
No need to fret—we found plenty of holiday-worthy items that can fit any budget. From the inexpensive ($30) to the indulgent (more than $500,000), these items are sure to get you in good with all.
AFFORDABLE GIFTS FOR HER
You can find something special for every lady in your life without spending a fortune. Homesick Candles ($30 each), available at Bloomingdale’s, offer a thoughtful way to remind the recipient of her favorite places. The scent of the NYC candle is inspired by Central Park, department stores and the concrete streets of the city—perfect when she’s missing the Big Apple.
If you’re looking to gift a fashionista something that will never go out of style, Casio has got you covered. The brand’s vintage digital watch in rose gold ($65), available at Macy’s Herald Square, has an 1980s-esque boxy look and large face.
Perhaps she’s more of a homebody and would love something cozy. The NYC-based knitwear designer, Verloopknits.com, offers warm lounge slippers ($38) that will keep her toes toasty.
LAVISH GIFTS FOR HER
If you’re looking for luxury, start with a trip to Bergdorf Goodman for the Artis Elite Mirror 10-Piece Brush Set ($360). These beautiful cosmetics brushes in distinctive oval shapes will bring Hollywood glamour to the lucky recipient’s vanity.
Art and culture buffs will cherish a Hilma af Klint-inspired fine wool scarf ($245) from the Guggenheim Store. The swirling designs from the Swedish artist will look striking against a winter coat.
Gift-givers with bottomless bank accounts can splurge on Bovet’s Récital 22 Grand Récital ($502,200) at Cellini. The collectible platinum watch features a hemispheric map of the Earth orbited by a glowing moon, resulting in an out-of-this-world timepiece.
AFFORDABLE GIFTS FOR HIM
Goodies for guys can be surprisingly budget-friendly. Just $29 per month can get him a subscription to Watch Gang, a club that sends members a watch from top brands, like One Eleven and Pulsar, that he can keep each month. Plus, he’ll have a chance to win high-end timepieces (Rolex, anyone?) in weekly raffles.
Foodie gents will dig a box of K + M Extravirgin Chocolate ($60 for four bars) from Dean & DeLuca. A collaboration between chef Thomas Keller and olive oil producer Armando Manni, each smooth bar is a blend of single-origin cocoa beans and extra virgin olive oil.
Nothing beats the gift of rest and relaxation. A packable Casper Nap Pillow ($35), from the Casper store, will help him catch some Zs when he’s on the go.
LAVISH GIFTS FOR HIM
Want to spoil a man you love? The Silk Dot Robe ($495) from Paul Stuart will make him feel like royalty. The luxurious pattern and high-quality silk elevate this garment above your standard bathrobe.
Fine writing instrument maker Graf von Faber-Castell has teamed up with luxury car maker Bentley to create a luxurious fountain pen ($450) that’s perfect for professionals, available at Fountain Pen Hospital and Altman Luggage.
Design-focused gents will appreciate an Eames Radio ($999) from the MoMA Design Store. A reboot of a popular radio from the 1940s, this limited-edition version boasts classic mid-century modern design with technology from today for crisp sound.
AFFORDABLE GIFTS FOR KIDS
You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to low-cost presents for little ones. NYC-based toy company Yottoy has brought R.J. Palacio’s “We’re All Wonders” ($19) to life with a plush toy of the protagonist, Auggie ($23), available at West Side Kids.
A future astronaut will be captivated by a star map ($60) from TheNightSky.com, which shows exactly how the night sky looked from a particular place on a custom date, such as a birthday.
What teen girl doesn’t love trying out different skincare products? The Kiehl’s x Andrew Bannecker Smooth Skin Delights Kit ($35), available at Kiehl’s, allows them to sample two hand creams and a salve. Plus, proceeds from each kit help provide 1,000,000 meals for people in need through the hunger-relief charity, Feeding America.
For musically inclined kids who aren’t quite ready for an electric guitar, give them the next best thing: the Fender Venice Soprano Ukulele ($59.99) from Sam Ash. They’ll learn how to play Hawaiian-inspired tunes from the pint-size instrument in a flash.
LAVISH GIFTS FOR KIDS
Know some kids on Santa’s extra nice list? Treat them to the Harry Potter Hogwarts Express Set ($275) from JuniperBooks.com. It puts J.K. Rowling’s famous series in artful book jackets that look stunning on a shelf.
LEGO kits are a perennial hit. With more than 1,200 pieces, the LEGO Cargo Train ($229.99), sold at the LEGO Store, will keep kids entertained for weeks as they construct a train with a working 10-speed engine.
For the ultimate gift for creative kids, Hammacher Schlemmer has something that can’t be beat: the World’s Largest Illuminated Light Peg Mural ($10,000). The larger-than-life mural, which mounts to a wall, can depict changing works of art that will be fun for the whole family to create.