Cool Tech Gifts Under $30 He’ll Love

Cool Tech Gifts Under $30 He’ll Love

Swat! Swat! I watched rapturously as my sister clicked around the screen. We had just gotten our first computer, a PC that came with a few floppy discs, including our favorite new game, Swat the Fly. God forbid we actually help our mom swat flies when summer rolled around, but this was cutting-edge technology! How far we’ve come since that first computer! These days, I have not one but two laptops, a smartphone, an e-reader…the list goes on…

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Creative Out-of-the-Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

Creative Out-of-the-Box Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I’ll never forget my first Valentine’s Day in high school. I was sixteen years old, head over heels for my high school sweetheart, and thrilled to finally be allowed to go on a date on a school night. I waited nervously at the window for him to drive up in his parents’ car, clutching a handmade card and the gift I’d bought him—his favorite cologne and chocolates. When he finally arrived, he came to the door with a dozen…

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National Have Fun at Work Day Game Ideas

National Have Fun at Work Day Game Ideas

I smelled the burning coffee before I saw it. My coworker Jana looked up from her desk and asked if anyone else smelled something funny; I took a big whiff, then bolted out of my chair and sprinted to the breakroom. It was January 2nd, and in my sleepy post-holiday state, I had forgotten to put a coffee filter in the machine! Going back to work after the holidays is always interesting. Summer is far away, everyone’s a…

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The Most Creative Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Your Next Party

The Most Creative Gift Exchange Game Ideas for Your Next Party

Gift exchanges aren’t just for Christmas, silly!”, my coworker Kathryn laughed as she closed her laptop and got up to refill her coffee. She had just told me she was planning a getaway weekend for the girls at our office at her parents’ lake house. But when she told me she was organizing a gift exchange for the occasion, she immediately picked up on my puzzled look. A few weeks later, ten of us ladies were tearing open…

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Relaxing After the Holidays: Gifts to Give Yourself

Relaxing After the Holidays: Gifts to Give Yourself

Let’s face it, the holidays can be draining. Now, I absolutely love Christmas and New Years, but by the end of the festivities, I am utterly exhausted. All the shopping , traveling, cooking, feasting, and visiting really takes it out of me, and I crave some quality downtime. It’s like I need a holiday from the holidays! Last year, I decided to do just that when the festivities were over. I wanted to start the year feeling rested and rejuvenated rather…

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Four Pampering Gift Ideas for Her Healthy New Year

Four Pampering Gift Ideas for Her Healthy New Year

Every January, as I sweep up balls of wrapping paper and Christmas cookie crumbs, I ponder how I’ll make a positive change in the coming months. Making New Year’s resolution is a fun and inspiring tradition for me, but my sister has been staunchly against resolutions for years, insisting no one ever keeps them anyway. However, this year brought some fairly serious health scares to my sister and she finally gave in, agreeing to make some resolutions to improve…

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Health and Fitness Gifts for Him to Kick Off a New Year

Health and Fitness Gifts for Him to Kick Off a New Year

I love my brother Sam, but wow, is he a pain to shop for! One year, I bought him a video game, but he never played it. His girlfriend Kelly later told me, in whispers, that he only played first-person shooters. I had gotten him the wrong kind of game! Then last year, he grew a beard, which he really got into. So I bought him a fancy beard grooming kit, complete with oils and brushes. When…

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Funny and Festive Secret Santa Game Reveal Ideas

Funny and Festive Secret Santa Game Reveal Ideas

“Please tell me! Pleeeease!” my niece begged over the phone. We were two weeks away from Christmas, and she was dying to know who drew her name for our family’s big Secret Santa game. “The surprise is part of the fun,” I explained, knowing full well that hearing such words was agony to a seven-year-old. I remembered how, when I was a kid, my sister and I would conspire with our cousins to trade gift recipients and…

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Easy Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

Easy Last-Minute Christmas Gifts

“They’re here! They’re here!” my kids squealed, running between the just knocked-upon front door and the kitchen, where I was elbow-deep in sugar cookie dough. My sister was slated to arrive for a Christmas visit that night, but she was two hours early. Not to worry! I thought, remembering all the time we spent meticulously cutting out and decorating cookies when we were kids. I wiped the dough off my hands and ran to the door, flinging…

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Hanukkah Gift Giving Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Hanukkah Gift Giving Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

My best friend Sadie married the kindest, funniest, most thoughtful man. We always say she won the lottery with Evan! And while there are many things I admire about their relationship, what I find most interesting is their unique holiday traditions. Evan’s mom’s side of the family is Jewish, so Sadie celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas every year. As you can imagine, their December is jam-packed with celebration, gift-giving, and delicious feasts. A few years back, the two of…

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Manly Secret Santa Gifts for Guys

Manly Secret Santa Gifts for Guys

“Ah! Socks!” My father-in-law had just opened his present and was genuinely happy to see the gift inside. As a kid, I hated getting socks for Christmas, but my father-in-law, an avid outdoorsman, always needed thick wool socks to keep his feet warm and dry. As I’ve learned over the years of shopping for guys with traditionally masculine interests, it’s important to try to get inside their heads—just because socks seem boring to me doesn’t mean they…

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The Best Useful and Creative White Elephant Gifts Ever

The Best Useful and Creative White Elephant Gifts Ever

I wasn’t expecting to find a literal wrench in my stocking, but I was ecstatic. “How did you know?” I asked my mom, the de facto stocking-filler in our house, who usually defaulted to playing cards and candy. “I didn’t,” she replied, then explained how she’d decided to give us random home improvement supplies. And it just so happened I was building my first toolkit! In addition to my wrench, spread out among the family there was…

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Ten Thoughtful Gifts for the Dad Who Wants Nothing

Ten Thoughtful Gifts for the Dad Who Wants Nothing

Soap on a rope. That’s what I got my dad for Christmas every year until I was well into my teens. I’ve always loved picking thoughtful and unique gifts, but when it came to my dad, I was stumped. The man, a minimalist at heart, wanted nothing. Every year, I’d listen intently to everything he said, looking for hints as to what he might like, but I never got so much as a clue. Come December, I…

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Emulsive Hosts Global Exchange of Gifts For Film Photographers Who Love Their Art

Emulsive Hosts Global Exchange of Gifts For Film Photographers Who Love Their Art

“The machine-gun approach to photography—by which many negatives are made with the hope that one will be good—is fatal to serious results.” – Ansel Adams Decades ago, master photographer and industry influencer Ansel Adams may have used a special lens to catch a glimpse of the future when he made this statement about film photography. But could he have ever predicted just how far his art would come in the Digital Age? It’s hard to imagine, but…

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Hilarious Office Party Gift Exchange Ideas for Creative Coworkers

Hilarious Office Party Gift Exchange Ideas for Creative Coworkers

There were doughnuts everywhere. Garlands of paper doughnuts in festive colors hung from the ceiling, doughnut ornaments graced the boughs of the Christmas tree, and doughnut-themed cups and plates sat stacked at the snack station. The piece de resistance was the doughnut wall which is just what it sounds like—a wall with fresh, gourmet doughnuts hung all over it. I’d spent all November planning a office gift exchange party for my coworkers, and my vision had finally…

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A Guide to Buying Christmas Gifts Throughout the Year

A Guide to Buying Christmas Gifts Throughout the Year

My husband sat on my enormous suitcase, which bulged cartoonishly at the seams, while I struggled to close the zipper. The telltale crackle of wrapping paper and ribbons being crushed created a worrisome soundtrack. I was headed across the country to visit my family for Christmas, and I was determined to bring all the presents I had collected over the year. (Next Christmas, I bought more travel-friendly gifts .) As usual, I’d been hoarding gifts since the end of…

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How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done Early: 5 Easy Tips and Tricks

How to Get Your Christmas Shopping Done Early: 5 Easy Tips and Tricks

T’was the night before Christmas, and I was incredibly unprepared for the following day’s festivities. Despite my best intentions to get my shopping done early and enjoy a quiet Christmas Eve in front of the fire, I found myself in a mall. I dashed from store to store in a frenzy, not at all sure what I was looking for. I needed something—anything—for my dad, brother, and sister-in-law. As I weaved my way through the Christmas Eve…

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Phish Chicks Group Hosts Music-Themed Gift Exchange To Celebrate Band

Phish Chicks Group Hosts Music-Themed Gift Exchange To Celebrate Band

It’s not just the music; it’s the lifestyle. And for the past three decades, the rock band Phish has created a community of devoted, and some might say obsessed, fans all over the world who can’t get enough of the band’s groovy jams. If you love them, it’s easy to get lost in the band’s music as you soak in the love and happiness they bring with them on tour. Over the course of the band’s time…

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Creative Gift Exchange Variations You Can Play Year Round

Creative Gift Exchange Variations You Can Play Year Round

The swan glided toward me moving to the beat of the music. Jingle Bells blared through the gymnasium speakers as I eagerly awaited my turn to hold the swan, made of white chocolate, of course. It was the yearly Red Stocking Carnival, a holiday charity event held at my school, and I had entered the cakewalk. If the music stopped while I held the life-sized candy swan, it would be mine. Much to my shock, I actually won!…

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Personalized Gifts for a Wedding That Newlyweds Will Fall in Love With

Personalized Gifts for a Wedding That Newlyweds Will Fall in Love With

No gifts. That’s what my husband and I stated on our wedding invitations. We’d already been living together for a couple of years before we got married, so there wasn’t really anything we felt we needed once we tied the knot. Of course, our generous friends and family showered us with beautiful presents anyway. They weren’t your traditional gifts, though. There were no fine china sets, vases, or salad bowls. The gifts we received were personal and came…

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Housewarming Gift Registry Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of a New Home Wish List

Housewarming Gift Registry Etiquette: The Do’s and Don’ts of a New Home Wish List

I was totally lost and had only been out of my car for 10 minutes—everything looked the same. The blinding white light overhead only made my head hurt more as I scanned the horizon for a familiar landmark. I was at a big box home goods store trying to pick out a housewarming gift for a family friend, but I was ready to just sit down in the middle of the aisle and call it a day. Housewarming…

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Hilariously Funny 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Guys

Hilariously Funny 40th Birthday Gag Gifts for Guys

We couldn’t find the cake. Somehow, while we were at dinner, the entire three-layer banana cake had completely disappeared. It was my dad’s 40th birthday and, even though the rest of the night had been great, the missing cake put a damper on the evening. It wasn’t until later that night that we discovered what had happened—when I woke up to my dog Judy sitting next to my bed, breathing hot banana cake dog breath right into my…

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Surprise 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her New Decade

Surprise 40th Birthday Gift Ideas for Her New Decade

As I walked into the party and took in my surroundings, the first word that came to mind was “fabulous.” It was my friend Susan’s 40th birthday and her husband had thrown her a party to celebrate. There were fancy mocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres; everyone was dressed to the nines. In my twenties at the time, I had no idea that forty could be this fabulous! What impressed me most about the evening wasn’t the drinks or…

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The Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for a First Home

The Best Housewarming Gift Ideas for a First Home

I remember feeling so proud as I stood in my 500-square-foot apartment in a run down three-story walk up, waiting for my guests to arrive. I didn’t care if it was small and a little sketchy because it was mine all mine. I’d just moved into my very first apartment—and it was time to celebrate. Of course, my new place didn’t really start feeling like a home until the night of my housewarming party. It was a…

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