Santa on a Budget: Gifts for $10 or Less

Like most New Yorkers, you have a generous spirit and enjoy gifting friends and family with thoughtful presents each year. But you also enjoy avoiding personal bankruptcy. With so many unpurchased holiday gifts and so many unpaid bills, what's a person to do? Fret not! We've uncovered five New York stores offering great gifts for $10 or less, so you can play Santa and pay your rent this year.

Updated: December 17, 2009

3-D Drawing Pad

Exit 9 Gift Emporium

64 Avenue A, New York, NY 10009

What's better than two dimensions? Three! This 3-D drawing pad ($7.50) includes 50 sheets of paper imprinted with a special pink and blue grid. Draw on it with a black marker and--voila--a simple sketch becomes a masterpiece with the help of an enclosed pair of 3-D specs. The artist on your list will love it.

Wine Glass Stem Markers

Moma Design Store Soho

81 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

It's a familiar predicament: You set down your drink to sample some hors d'oeuvres, and when you turn back to recover it, you can't remember which glass is yours. Spare your friends and family from this sort of unnecessary confusion (and help curb the spread of swine flu) by giving the gift of these stem glass markers ($9.95). They'll work like a charm--at least while everyone is still sober enough to remember what color marker they had.

Bottle Opener

Haus Interior

250 Elizabeth St, New York City, NY 10012

If you're a drinker, then owning a bottle opener is an absolute necessity. This $9 version of the handy tool--which is old-school cool with its wooden handle and bronze claw--would make any adult drinker happy. It's way more mod than its boring plastic and metal counterparts, and what better way to spread holiday cheer than with a gift that's both stylish and conducive to the consumption of alcohol?

Chocolate Bliss


484 Broome St, New York, NY 10013

When it comes to chocolate, it's all about quality. So skip the Russell Stover candy aisle at the drug store and head to this high-end Soho chocolate shop, where the treats are both mouthwatering and surprisingly affordable. Pick up a box of traditional biscuits au chocolate ($8); with each buttery bite of the delectable confections, your gift will seem all the more thoughtful. You might as well take advantage of the fact that those pesky New Year's resolutions haven't kicked in just yet.


Urban Outfitters

526 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011

Cool sunglasses are as integral to the perfect wardrobe as the right jeans. These unisex sunnies ($10) from Urban Outfitters are a wallet-friendly way to charm both the guys and girls on your shopping list this season. The standout white frames say ?I'm cool enough to rock something other than brown, black or tortoise shell.? While you're there, consider picking up a pair for yourself; the dark shades will come in handy for that inevitable hangover on Jan. 1, 2010.