As a child, I remember working really hard to make my dad framed drawings each Christmas. Now, as an adult, I want to be able to get my dad the best gifts that I can find. The problem? I also have 8 other people to buy presents for. So this Christmas I’m getting creative. Not just with my parents, but with my friends and other family members as well. I want to get them the best gifts that I can, even while on a budget.
This list will be organized from most expensive to least expensive, so even if your budget is under $50, you will still be able to find some great gifts here. So without any further ado, here are the 10 best Christmas gifts for parents under $100, (and friends and family too!)
Almost everyone suffers from the dreaded buffering circle from time to time. Most people blame this issue on their cable provider. What they don’t know is that their router is usually the culprit. Your cable contract usually comes with a basic modem/router that functions as both the point that the internet comes into the house, but also the device that gives your home wireless internet.
If your parents are suffering from buffering or slow internet, chances are that their router has never been upgraded. Thankfully there is a great router that costs less than $100 that will pretty much guarantee that they will never have internet issues again.
The NETGEAR R6700 Nighthawk has your back. It’s designed to keep up to 12 devices working flawlessly, including smartphones, tablets, game consoles, PCs and more. Unless they have a huge house this router will provide stable internet anywhere in the home and also comes equipped with QoS or Quality of Service which means that the router will automatically prioritize their network traffic, meaning that if someone is watching Netflix in the living room and someone is downloading a PDF on their PC, the router will make sure that Netflix gets the traffic that it needs and their network traffic won’t all be randomly diverted to the download.
While all of this techno-babble means that you are getting one great router that will last forever, the other nice thing is that if your parents ever purchase their own modem, they can return all of their cable company equipment and ditch the $5 to $10 a month that they pay in their internet subscription, meaning that it will eventually pay for itself. Score!
2. Kindle E-reader ($79.99)
Everyone loves a good book. For some, the problem is that they can’t take their whole collection with them everywhere they go. Thankfully, Amazon’s budget e-reader might just be in your budget and will make the perfect present for your parents if they’re the book-loving type.
The Kindle comes packed with features like WiFi, weeks-long battery life, an easy-on-the-eyes screen, and if they have a Bluetooth headset they can even access their Audible books, meaning that they can listen to their favorite audiobooks without draining their smartphone battery life.
On top of all these great features, the Kindle also boasts 4gb of storage, which, while small for a smartphone or tablet, means that the Kindle can hold thousands of books. The only downside to the Kindle is that it can only hold a couple of audiobooks at a time, but the built-in WiFi makes it easy to swap out their audiobooks when they’re done.
3. Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt ($63.99)
Who doesn’t love a good slow cooker? I received a really good digital slow cooker a few years ago as a white elephant gift and it changed my cooking habits for life. I cook as much in the slow cooker as I possibly can and everything comes out delicious.
While slow cookers are really good tools to have in one’s kitchen, we’re in the future now and the Instant Pot Dui Mini has come to change the game once again.
So what makes the Instant Pot Mini so good? It’s also a rice cooker, steamer and, most impressively, pressure cooker. Pressure cookers allow you to cook many dishes much faster than a slow cooker would and they still taste great. The fact that it doubles as a rice cooker too is a bonus.
So why the Instant Pot? With over 28,000 reviews on Amazon, it still manages to maintain a 4 and 1/2 star rating and has landed itself a near-permanent spot on the Amazon bestseller list. If your parents like to cook, this is the present for them. Honestly, it might be a better present if they don’t like to cook as this will do most of the work for them.
4. All-new Echo Dot (3rd Gen) ($49.99)
This 2018 holiday list wouldn’t be complete without the brand new 3rd gen Echo Dot. Do your parents have a landline phone? Maybe a kitchen timer? Do they have a clock radio? Help them make the jump into the future with Echo Dot. The Echo Dot can replace all of these things and more with a cool voice assistant.
Alexa, the voice assistant that powers the Echo Dot, responds to voice commands like “play some music”, “set a timer for 20 minutes”, “set an alarm for 5:00am”. It can even control your lights with compatible smart bulbs like the Philips Hue. Alexa can also answer questions by pulling info from the internet, access your kindle audiobooks, prime music, create shopping lists and add to them and a whole host of other neat functions.
The best part about the Echo is that it works as a hub for other smart devices like smart door locks, cameras and it can even control your TV with a compatible Amazon Firestick, in fact, at the time of writing this, Amazon has an Echo Dot 2nd gen and Firestick bundle for just $39.98. If you’d like a bundled 3rd gen Dot and Firestick bundle, it can currently be had for $74.98, still, a steal if you intended to buy both already.
5. Fire TV Stick with 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote ($24.99)
If you are like me, you’ve been helping your parents make the switch from cable to streaming in order to save hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year. Thousands in some case. With services like Hulu Live Channels, Netflix, YouTube TV, and DirecTV Now, consumers have dozens of choices when it comes to streaming. The problem many consumers face is that they miss the traditional remote that comes with cable.
The Firestick gives consumers the ability to use these services with either a remote or if they’re used to something like the Xfinity voice remote they can use Alexa, the voice feature of the remote. If your parents have an Echo Dot they can also control their TV with no remote at all. Normally these two devices have a separate cost, but right now these devices can be bundled together to save a bit and get some extra functionality.
If all of this isn’t enough to convince you, the Firestick is also compatible with many of the apps that you’d find on Android and in the Amazon app store. This includes games, Prime content and more.
Do you remember the Coke vs Pepsi debate? They both taste the same to me but thousands of faithful soda drinkers disagree. If your parents happen to be Pepsi drinkers, or just want a small mini fridge for drinks, this cool mini fridge fits pretty much anywhere.
This portable mini fridge holds up to 6 cans and can even be powered by a cigarette lighter. If your parents like road tripping or own an RV, this will make the perfect gift to keep their drinks cold.
7. RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale ($27.99)
Virtually everyone that has lost weight, or is trying to lose weight, will tell you that it’s tough to do. There’s a lot to keep track of and sometimes it can seem hopeless. Thankfully, if either of your parents are trying to lose weight technology has made tracking weight easy with the RENPHO smart scale.
Compatible with Google Fit, Apple Health, and Fitbit, your parents will be able to track trends and a whole host of other metrics in order to see how they’ve been doing over time.
They will also be able to just check their trend at the end of the week instead of getting into the cycle of checking every single day and feeling sad if the number fluctuated in the wrong direction. In addition to all of this over 5,000 reviews have rated it over 4 and 1/2 stars and it’s certified by the FDA and only $27.99
8. Cards Against Humanity ($25)
Everyone knows Cards Against Humanity. A dark twist on Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity has a ton of funny fill in the blank combinations. The goal of the game is to have each player take turns reading out a fill in the blank card and then each player chooses the funniest response from their hand.
If your parents like card games and have an open mind and a twisted sense of humor, this will be a perfect game to play on Christmas day. This also leaves an opportunity to buy one of the many expansions for future gifts.
9. Anker Powerline+ II Lightning Cable (10ft) ($19.99)
One of the most common reasons for broken charger ports on phones is bending the cord in the phone while it’s charging. This happens because the cord that comes with most smartphones is really short, like 3′-4′. Consequently, one of the most common reasons for broken charger cords is being stretched.
Both of these issues can be solved with the Anker Powerline+ II Lightning Cable. This cable is not only 10′, meaning that you won’t have to stretch it to reach the comfy spot on the couch or in bed, but it’s also incredibly durable. One of the most durable charging cords on the market in fact.
Reviewers agree, and I just happen to own several of these bad boys and can happily say that I’ve never broken one in the years that I’ve bought this brand. When I received mine a few years back I even received a personalized message and warranty info along with an ask to review the product. These guys really want to know how they did and will help you out with any issues, although you are unlikely to have any.
Bottom line, if your parents own a smartphone, they need an Anker cord. This particular one is for iPhones, but don’t worry if you have a different brand, Anker makes cords for both newer and older Android devices.
10. Anker Dual USB Wall Charger, Powerport Ii 24W ($14.99)
Another great product from Anker, this 2 port charger makes a great stocking stuffer or small gift and will charge up to two smartphones or tablets.
This charger makes a great gift for the parent with too many devices or the traveling parent that has to stay in hotels for work or other travel.
So there you have it, this list contains a good spread of gift ideas to fit any budget. Let us know in the comments if you purchased any of these, or if you have an even better gift let us know as well!