You don’t have to go broke shopping for holiday gifts. There are all sorts of things you can get for $10 or less – we’ll call them $10 treasures. Here are 25 affordable ideas for hostess gifts, secret Santas, mail carriers, manicurists, the neighbor, the school bus driver and the stockings of your favorite people. You also might be able to find some of these things on sale, which makes them an even bigger bargain. Happy shopping, and don’t forget to buy yourself a little something nice, too.
FLORAL MOTIF THUMBTACKS
Great for: A teacher or organized office mate. Tacking up photos, work schedules or homework will make the person who receives these cheerful thumbtacks very happy. $5.95 at Catching Fireflies, www.catchingfireflies.com.
VETIVER SOAP BY ELIZABETH W
Great for: Luxury lovers. Triple-milled, rich and featuring shea butter, it smells woodsy but soft. $9 for a 3.5-ounce bar. Hanan Cosmetics, 248-644-0277.
‘101 THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO’
Great for: Everyone – especially know-it-alls who don’t know as much as they think they do.
Author Michael Powell tells us how to unclog a bathroom sink, peel onions without tears, pitch a tent and avoid a hangover. $7.95 at Barnes & Noble (www.bn.com), Borders (www.borders.com) and www.amazon.com.
TRAVEL COFFEE MUG
Great for: A friend on the go. Keeps coffee warm, and it’s the right size for a car’s cup holder. In solid or bright colors with happy messages. $5 at Old Navy. To find a store: www.oldnavy.com.
HELLO KITTY ORNAMENT BELL
Great for: Fans of the white cat; aspiring figure skaters. All dressed up, Hello Kitty – who is celebrating her 35th birthday this year – is ready to take a turn around the rink. $7.95. To find a store: www.sanrio.com.
POLAR BEAR ERASER
Great for: An error-prone friend who likes bears. Two percent of the proceeds from the sale of this oversized eraser (5-by-3-by-2-inches) in the shape of the bear is donated to the Center for Biological Diversity, which works to maintain animal habitats. $10 at www.priscillawoolworth.com.
INSPIRATIONAL TAPE MEASURE
Good for: A handyperson who really isn’t so handy. Housed in a leather case imprinted with one of three messages: “Rome was not built in a day,” “Go the distance” or “Think big.” $10 at www.garnethill.com.
Great for: Fraidy cats. Slip one on your fingertip and see the light. $10 for a set of four at Restoration Hardware, www.restorationhardware.com.
COLORED WOODEN PENCILS WITH BARK
Great for: Artsy folks. Set of 12 for $5.99 at Leon and Lulu, www.leonandlulu.com.
TWO-PACK OF TEA
Great for: Anyone in need of a spot of holiday cheer. Two flavors – orange spice and winter chai. Each comes in a silken infuser that looks like a pyramid. $5.50-$6. For stores: www.teaforte.com.
CAT YOGA POSTCARDS
Great for: Friends of felines. 32 cards, 16 poses in all, including a cat in the Dynamic Spinal Twist stretch, the Plow Pose, the Cobra Pose and more. $8.95 at Shine, www.shopshine.net.