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1. The value of custom Christmas gifts

8 best Christmas gifts for every budget [2024]

Updated Jan 15 2024

With the holiday season fast approaching, both ecommerce entrepreneurs and individuals seeking the perfect gift for loved ones find themselves in the hustle and bustle of festive preparations.

For the savvy shopper, the question isn't just what to buy, but also what's trending and offers the best value across various budgets. And while most small businesses spend these months stressing about stock quantities and navigating the challenging world of couriers, Gelato customers have a unique advantage. They can sit back, sip their cocoa, and relax knowing that all the heavy lifting is being handled for them.

Whether you're strategizing your store's holiday offerings or you're an individual wanting to know what the most-loved gifts are in different price ranges, this is the perfect time to get inspired. With that in mind, we’ve crafted a guide that not only assists retailers in showcasing standout products but also aids shoppers in finding the perfect presents for every budget.

Main takeaways from this article:

  • Custom Christmas gifts add a personal touch, enhancing the emotional connection for both individuals and businesses.

  • A range of budget-friendly to premium gift options ensures everyone can find the perfect Christmas present.

  • Staying updated with trending Christmas gift ideas ensures relevancy and appeal in your gift selection.

  • Incorporating top design elements can elevate the perceived value and desirability of custom Christmas products.

  • Leveraging print on demand services allows for unique, tailor-made gifts that celebrate the festive spirit.

The value of custom Christmas gifts

Christmas, the season of giving, is not just about exchanging presents; it's about exchanging memories, emotions, and love. One way to make this season even more special is by giving or receiving custom Christmas gifts. This personal touch can add immense value, both for the individual gift-giver and for businesses.

For gift-givers

When you gift something customized, you are giving a piece of yourself, showcasing the thought and effort you invested. A unique gift tells the recipient that they are unique, cherished, and worth the extra effort. For many, a personalized gift becomes a keepsake, a memento of a particular time, person, or feeling. These gifts resonate with emotion and often become treasures that are cherished for years to come.

For businesses

Online sellers have a fantastic opportunity here. Businesses that offer customized products can witness increased customer loyalty, higher customer satisfaction, and potentially, a greater market share.

Additionally, it's crucial to allow shoppers to personalize your products with their own phrasing and imagery. This helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors, establish a customer-centric brand image, elevate the overall shopping experience, and increase the chances of repeat business and referrals.

In the sections to follow, we'll share tips on creating effective custom designs for each gift. Whether you're an ecommerce business owner aiming to maximize your holiday sales or an individual searching for that perfect present, we've got you covered.

8 best Christmas gifts to satisfy every budget

Navigating the vast ocean of Christmas gift options can be overwhelming, especially when considering varying budgets. So, we've curated a list of the best gifts to fit every pocket, whether you're searching for popular products to sell this holiday shopping season or the perfect present that won't break the bank.

Under $20

Looking to spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank? Whether you're an ecommerce store aiming to offer affordable yet charming products or an individual on the hunt for cost-effective gifts that still make a big impression, our selection of gifts under $20 will hit the mark. These items offer both practicality and festive flair, ideal for Secret Santa exchanges or stocking stuffers.

1. Mugs

Personalized mugs are an evergreen gift, perfect for any occasion. Whether it’s Christmas, teacher appreciation day, or a family member’s birthday, you’ll be hard pressed to find someone that doesn’t love a good mug.

Typical price: $10-$15

Best for: Coffee lovers, tea aficionados, teachers, co-workers, and basically anyone who enjoys a warm drink.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Seasonal colors: Opt for classic Christmas colors like red, green, gold, and silver.

  • Design placement: Remember that mugs have a wraparound space. Create designs that either wrap beautifully or have a focal point that sits perfectly when the mug is held.

  • Quotes & typography: Christmas puns or heartwarming quotes can make morning coffee feel festive.

  • Temperature reactive: Temperature-reactive mugs can reveal hidden Christmas images or messages as the mug heats up with a hot drink.

  • Hot cocoa inspiration: Incorporate images of hot chocolate, marshmallows, or candy canes, celebrating the warm drinks of the season.

2. Phone cases

Beyond mere protection, phone cases today are an expression of an individual’s identity and style. Whether it’s for parents looking to safeguard their devices from small clumsy hands or for the fashionistas who like to match their phones to their outfits, phone cases speak to a vast demographic and offer a great way to showcase your designs to audiences of all ages.

Typical price: $10-$20

Best for: Smartphone owners, tech enthusiasts, fashion-forward individuals, and anyone seeking to blend functionality with personal expression.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Subtle festiveness: As phone cases are used daily, subtler Christmas elements like snowflakes, mistletoes, or minimalist Christmas trees can be chic.

  • Protective aspect: Play with designs that incorporate elements of protection, like a Santa's belt holding the phone or reindeer guarding the sides.

  • Holiday glitter: Introduce shimmer or glitter elements in the design which can give a festive touch without being overboard.

  • Seasonal transition: Create designs that can transition from Christmas to winter smoothly. For instance, a snow-covered landscape with a hidden Santa's sled can be apt for Christmas but still relevant post-holiday.

3. Tote bags

A blank canvas teeming with possibility, tote bags are one of the most sought-after accessories of the past few years, making them a great gift for a range of individuals. Environmentally friendly and endlessly versatile, these bags have become a must-have accessory in a world moving towards sustainability.

Typical price: $15-$20

Best for: Eco-conscious shoppers, bookworms, those always on the move, or anyone who loves a chic and functional accessory.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Practical festiveness: Think of designs that align with the bag’s purpose, like shopping. Maybe Santa's sack or a sleigh filled with gifts.

  • Large art: Use bold and large Christmas illustrations, as the tote offers more canvas space. Trees, wreaths, or even a festive town skyline work great.

  • Eco-holiday: Promote green holidays with designs showcasing sustainable Christmas practices.

  • Quotes and messages: Incorporate festive quotes or messages like "All I want for Christmas is you" or "Deck the Halls." These can resonate with both individual gift-givers and shoppers who like a bag that expresses their holiday spirit.

  • Interactive designs: Think of designs that can be interactive or multi-functional. For instance, a tote bag with a printed advent calendar or one with attachable/detachable festive patches or pins. This allows the user or gift recipient to engage with the design and make it their own.

Under $40

Navigating the middle ground between budget-friendly and premium gifts? If you're a business owner wanting to elevate your offerings or someone looking for a thoughtful present that offers a little more luxury, our curated list of gifts under $40 has got you covered. These products are perfect for close friends, family members, or valued customers who deserve something special.

4. Calendars

Calendars are more than just date-keepers; they're daily reminders of treasured moments, inspiring quotes, or artistic illustrations. Whether they’re filled with funny photos of friends or a collection of family snaps, each month brings a new memory or a touch of inspiration.

Typical price: $25-$30

Best for: Parents, grandparents, friends, and office colleagues. They're especially valuable for those who cherish organization in a visually pleasing manner.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Monthly themes: Make each month's page resonate with its specific festive moment, from snowy January landscapes to December’s twinkling lights.

  • Advent style: For December, consider an advent-calendar-inspired design, encouraging the user to engage daily.

  • Photo integration: For businesses, consider designing a template that lets customers overlay their photos on wintry or festive backgrounds.

5. Photo books

In this digital age, the tactile pleasure of flipping through a photo book, reliving memories, and sharing stories is unparalleled. It's a tangible walk down memory lane that can be cherished for generations. With 1.72 trillion photos taken worldwide every year, most of us won’t have any problems filling the pages.

Typical price: $25-$30

Best for: Family members, especially grandparents, couples commemorating anniversaries, or parents marking a child's milestones.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Seasonal dividers: Divide sections with festive dividers like Christmas wreaths or ornaments.

  • Narrative flow: Use photo books to visually tell a story. Maybe it’s the journey of an elf or the family's holiday traditions over the years.

  • Borders & overlays: Consider decorative borders like twinkling lights, holly, or ribbons.

  • Festive filters: Offer a set of seasonal filters or effects that can be applied to photos, turning them into vintage Christmas postcards, snow globe scenes, or classic sepia holiday memories.

Gelato’s premium photo books make the perfect keepsake for family members and loved ones.

6. T-shirts

T-shirts are a staple in nearly everyone’s wardrobe; ones with custom designs are a timeless expression of individuality. Whether it's a shirt with a small logo or a massive illustration, there’s room in everyone's closet for a stylish tee, making custom t-shirts a profitable product for any ecommerce business.

Typical price: $25-$40

Best for: Everyone! Especially for groups commemorating a special event (like family reunions), fans of particular pop culture phenomena, or individuals who love to wear their heart (or humor) on their sleeves.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Centric designs: The middle upper chest is prime real estate. Festive emblems or playful characters work well here.

  • Puns & humor: Incorporate fun holiday puns. "Sleigh my name" or "Fleece Navidad" can make for a light-hearted festive shirt.

  • Customizable names: Include the recipient's name for an added touch of personalization, like "[Name]'s Christmas Crew."

  • Nostalgic Christmas movies: Incorporate iconic scenes, quotes, or characters from beloved Christmas movies. This taps into shared cultural moments and nostalgia.

  • Hand-drawn elements: Hand-drawn or sketch-like designs can offer a homely and personal touch. Consider sketches of classic Christmas elements like stockings, chimneys, or roasted chestnuts.

Gelato offers a complete range of customizable t-shirt options for both adults and children.

Under $60

Ready to indulge in gifts that offer a sense of opulence without splurging excessively? This section provides options that combine quality with festivity. These gifts are ideal for those who are looking to gift something extra special this holiday season and make recipients feel truly cherished.

7. Sweatshirts and pullovers

Sweatshirts and pullovers are the epitome of comfort meets style. They're not only functional, keeping you warm during the colder months, but they also offer a canvas for showcasing personality through designs or slogans.

Typical price: $40-$60

Best for: Teens, college students, and anyone who cherishes a blend of fashion and comfort. They are also perfect for fandom members, sports enthusiasts, or simply anyone who enjoys a good cozy layer during chilly days.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Ugly Christmas sweater: Play off this popular theme with intentionally over-the-top festive designs.

  • Comfort imagery: Think of cozy fireplaces, snow-covered cabins, or steaming mugs. Convey warmth both visually and physically.

  • Personalized monograms: Add personal monograms with festive designs, like one's initials inside a wreath or snow globe.

  • Iconic characters: Feature Christmas characters like Rudolph, Frosty, or the Grinch in the design, possibly even in unexpected places like the arms or back.

8. Wall art

An elegant addition to any home, customized wall art is an excellent gift for art lovers (they especially make great housewarming gifts). With customization, wall art becomes not just a decoration but a conversation piece, reflecting one's passions, memories, or artistic inclinations.

Typical price: $45-$60

Best for: Newlyweds, homeowners, college students looking to spruce up dorm rooms, or anyone with an appreciation for aesthetics and personalization.

Design tips and ideas:

  • Timeless imagery: Wall art tends to stay up longer. Go for timeless Christmas symbols like serene snowy landscapes or abstract festive patterns.

  • Typography pieces: Create typography-focused art featuring heartwarming Christmas sayings or song lyrics, perhaps with snow-covered lettering or holly embellishments.

  • Collage elements: For personal customizations, offer a design where families can insert various pictures in a festive collage format.

  • Mood & lighting: Incorporate designs that play with ambient lighting, like silhouettes of Santa's sleigh against a moonlit sky or a twinkling star atop a Christmas tree.

  • Photo collage: Create wall art where families can insert their annual Christmas photos, offering a nostalgic journey through past holidays.

Gelato’s wall art offering includes framed posters, posters with hangers, canvases, and prints made from aluminum, acrylic, foam and even wood. It doesn’t matter what your style is; there’s something for everyone.

How to find trending Christmas gift ideas

Being in tune with the latest trends ensures that businesses remain competitive and individuals find gifts that resonate. Here's how to identify those hot commodities:

Use trend research tools

Trend research tools like Google Trends, Trend Hunter, and Pinterest Predicts can offer insights into what people are searching for and talking about. You can input specific keywords related to Christmas gifts or just general holiday themes to see which products are gaining traction.

Look at social media

Social media platforms, especially Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, can be goldmines for spotting trending gifts. Influencers, unboxing videos, and hashtag challenges can highlight products that are creating buzz.

Engage in online communities

Websites like Reddit or niche-specific forums have communities where people discuss their latest finds, wishlist items, and gift recommendations. Subreddits like r/giftideas or r/christmas can be especially helpful during the holiday season.

Seek feedback

For businesses, tapping into their customer base through surveys or polls can be enlightening. For individuals, simply asking friends or family about their holiday wishes can provide inspiration. This direct feedback can offer insights into potential gifts or products to consider.

Analyze historical data

Reflect on previous years' hits. While each year brings fresh trends, certain gifts remain timeless. Marrying this historical data with new trend insights ensures a balance between tried-and-true favorites and fresh finds.

Subscribe to trend newsletters

Various newsletters, tailored to specific industries or general gifting, spotlight trending items. Subscribing can keep you updated and filled with gift ideas throughout the festive season.

Monitor retail giants

Retail giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target often have sections dedicated to top-selling or trending items. Monitoring these can give you a good sense of what's popular on a larger scale.

While tapping into trending gift ideas is invaluable, it's equally crucial to ensure chosen products resonate with your brand or the recipient's preferences. Prioritize quality, authenticity, and satisfaction in your choices, and you're bound to make the festive season memorable and successful.

How to design best-selling custom Christmas products

The holiday season is a time of tradition, but it also presents an opportunity for creativity and innovation. If you want your online business to stand out, selling custom Christmas gifts can be a game-changer.

Here's how to craft designs that are bound to be best-sellers:

Understand your audience

Before anything else, you need to know who you're designing for. Research your target demographics and consider their interests, age group, cultural background, and preferences. A design that resonates with millennials might differ from one that appeals to baby boomers.

Stay updated with design trends

While classic Christmas themes like reindeer, snowflakes, and Santa hats are timeless, there are always new design trends emerging. Check design platforms like Behance or Dribbble and follow popular design blogs or magazines to stay updated.

Blend tradition with modernity

Consider merging classic Christmas symbols with modern design elements. For example, a minimalist reindeer outline against a geometric backdrop can be both familiar and fresh.

Offer personalization options

Offer options for customers to personalize their products to include names, dates, or special messages, making it more unique and special for the gift recipient.

Test and gather feedback

Before fully committing to a design, consider creating a few prototypes and sharing them with a select group of customers or on social media. Gather feedback and make necessary adjustments based on the reactions.

Collaborate with artists or designers

Consider partnering with local graphic designers and artists to create exclusive designs. This not only supports other creators but also introduces a fresh perspective and unique style to your products.

Prioritize quality

Ensure that the design printing or implementation is of high quality. A beautiful design loses its charm if it fades after a single wash or wears out quickly.

Diversify your range

Offer a variety of designs that cater to different tastes. From quirky and whimsical to elegant and subtle, a diverse range increases the chances of customers finding something they love.

Tell a story

Design collections that tell a story or convey a particular theme can be particularly engaging. This could be about the joy of winter, the warmth of family gatherings, or the magic of snowy landscapes.

Package with care

The presentation can amplify the appeal of your product. Consider special holiday packaging, with details like festive ribbons, eco-friendly wrapping, or a small thank-you note, to make unboxing a delightful experience.

Promote with engaging content

Once you have your designs ready, showcase them in context. Photoshoots with models, setting scenes that evoke holiday feelings, or creating video content that highlights the beauty and uniqueness of your design can be compelling.

By placing the customer at the heart of your design process and focusing on authenticity, quality, and originality, you can create custom Christmas designs that not only sell but also become memorable gifts cherished by their recipients.

Celebrate the holiday season with print on demand

The joy of the holidays lies not just in gift giving and receiving, but in the thrill of selecting the perfect gift that resonates and makes memories.

As we've journeyed through gifts catering to various budgets, the underlying sentiment remains consistent: thoughtful offerings, whether grand or simple, always leave a lasting impact.

With Gelato's print on demand platform, this becomes even more effortless. Businesses can seamlessly integrate bespoke designs, tailored for their audience, making their offerings stand out during the festive season and throughout the year. Meanwhile, individuals can craft a unique gift, adding personal touches that loved ones will cherish for years to come.

So, whether you're looking to elevate your business or searching for that perfect custom gift, let Gelato be the wind beneath your wings this holiday season.Sign up for Gelato to start designing.


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