Stocking stuffers: 7 great gifts for $25 or less

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2021, our list of ideas, by topic, by recipient and by price, to help you discover the perfect gift.

It’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money on holiday shopping to make an impression on the people you care about. In reality, affordable gifts can have a big impact on people while saving money too. If you’re looking for unique holiday gifts under $25, we’ve got plenty of ideas, ranging from toys to headphones for everyone on your list, from kids to adults.

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Tamagotchis have been around for close to a quarter of a century, and they’ve never really gone out of style. These electronic pets — which you wash, feed and “train” — are equally good for younger Pokemon fans and nostalgic older folks. 

Looking for more toy ideas? Hot holiday toys for 2021


This gift card has everything a coffee connoisseur, or at the very least a Starbucks lover, could want. You can obviously put more money on this card, but adding at least $25 is a good compromise between showing you care and not breaking the bank to give someone a great drink or two. Check out this gift card list for more ideas.

Amazon/Screenshot by CNET

This charming lamp is a fully working night light for kids and a great way for adults to navigate a dark room. To appreciate a lamp like this, you need a specific personality or a fondness for pastries. Not only is it appealing to the eye, it’s simple to use. Just buy some AAA batteries, insert them and the lamp is ready to use.


This is a fantastic stocking stuffer for younger children age 6 and older. With a magnifying glass and a magic pen to help decipher 24 pages of pure mystery, kids can learn critical thinking in a fun way.

David Carnoy/CNET

True-wireless headphones like the AirPods can run you anywhere from $129 to $250, if not more. These Mpow models don’t sound as good as those pricey Apple or Beats models, but for under $25, they’re not half bad. (Trust me, CNET reviewers have tried them.)


Some Lego sets cost upwards of $100, but this truck brings the fun for just $20. It even has a pull-back motor for racing (and crashing) action. Recommended for kids age 7 and up.


Everyone, young and old, can use this mascara. The price makes it a good choice for makeup newbies, and beauty pros will enjoy its quality. 

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