For small-space city dwellers, minimalists, and reformed hoarders, holiday-season consumption can feel stressful and unnecessary. And besides, if you’re traveling, bringing gifts to and from just means an extra checked bag or two. This year, when my family chose to do a destination Christmas in Sicily, I suggested that we give each other tiny gifts instead of our normal exchange. In order to accommodate objects of all shapes, the rule is that the sum of the dimensions (length, width, height) cannot exceed ten inches. Additionally, the gift must cost less than $40 — with unofficial bonus points for the most clever, smallest, cheapest gift. For my competitive and creative family, it’s turned out to be an amusing shopping challenge, and it gives me peace of mind knowing that I’ll have control over my suitcase space. If you, too, wish to downsize and gamify your holiday shopping, I’ve got 50 extremely small gifts to surprise everyone on your list with.
I’d give this to someone who wishes they had a real log cabin. Paine’s classic balsam-fir incense is best burned in this tiny log cabin, where the smoke billows out of its chimney. This set is an all-in-one kit to turn your home into a cozy winter wonderland.
An obsessive toothpick user will appreciate that this personalized leather holder takes their favorite oral-hygiene task very seriously. You can even personalize it with their initials for added effect.
Helen Levi’s famous swirly Beach Mug comes in a size that’s a mere 1 inch by 1.25 inches, and according to her product description, “would be best suited holding 10 teardrops, or a drink for a pet hamster, or a fairy’s brew.”
A very delicate porcelain vase, in a variety of colors and shapes — well-suited as a bud vas, or a hiding spot. I’m gifting one of these cuties to someone with a penchant for collecting colorful vases this year.
Little linen coasters are a compact and stylish way to keep marks off of a coffee table. Fog Linen’s sets come in a variety of lovely stripe and check patterns and lend themselves to a more grown-up cottagecore aesthetic.
Fold up these small papers like an accordion, light the end, and they’ll release the resin-y, spicy fragrance the 800-year-old Officina Santa Maria Novella perfumery is known for. Gift these to a jet-setter who cares about home fragrance.
Your aunt who’s obsessed with season two of The White Lotus will love this Sicilian soap that comes in its own tin. Ortigia makes luxury olive oil soaps in fragrances inspired by the Sicilian landscape.
These very, very small plastic capsules hold just enough water-activated face washing powder for a single use and are a useful and cute thing to keep in an overnight bag or gym bag. They’re a cult-favorite Japanese beauty product for their cleansing power and convenient and compact packaging.
Gardeners love the variety of heirloom, native, and specialty plants offered by Hudson Valley Seed Co., especially when they come in their beautiful art packs, which feature work by artists all over the country.
A level is something that everyone occasionally needs, but might not have room to store. This one is very small and magnetic, and stows easily in a pocket for when inspiration strikes to hang something properly.
A middle-schooler with a favorite mechanical pencil will love this little pack of high-tech colored Japanese leads in seven different hues. They can be used in any standard mechanical pencil that takes 0.5-mm. lead.
This isn’t the smallest tarot deck around (this one is), but it’s the most compact one that’s still shuffle-able, with cards measuring 2 inches by 3.25 inches. A regular tarot user would love this for travel.
Leatherman makes the most functional and durable multi-tool devices on the market, and this one is small enough to put on a keyring or tuck into a pocket. It has all of the tools you’d need for a weekend of fishing or camping.
People tend to think of golf balls and ties as typical and lazy dad gifts, but what about a silly novelty ball-maker for the putting green instead? That’s a golf tool that they’re sure to not lose to a course water feature.
I have yet to find smaller notebooks that are as useful as these 3.18-inch-by-2-inch Rite in the Rain ones that feature smooth, water-resistant paper – originally designed for rugged outdoor use, but popular with daily pocket-notebook users.
The smallest gift you could possibly give a gamer is a die, and dice shopping is especially fun if that gamer loves D&Dand might appreciate a special new D20. URWizards sells hundreds of dazzling resin, glass, and stone dice to suit all personalities and preferences.
Caran d’Ache Neocolor II pastels are rich, soft water-soluble wax crayons that can be used for drawing and painting. They’re a uniquely versatile medium that would be appreciated by artists of any age.
Hafod Grange is a Welsh botanical paperweight specialist that is most known for its stunning dandelion model, which is a true marvel of craftsmanship. It ships from the U.K., but has reasonable shipping fees.
[Editor’s note: Hafod Grange lists all prices in pounds, so the price shown here is an approximate conversion to U.S. dollars.]
Tiny Doll House is a shop with an unbelievable selection of exquisitely detailed dollhouse miniatures. Pick out something specific to the person you’re gifting to, like a favorite food or household product.
Anyone who loves eating fish straight out of the tin knows that a tiny party fork is the best for picking the last mussel out of the corner. This set will look especially chic alongside their Fishwife on a snack platter.
[Editor’s note: This party fork set is currently sold out, but we’ll keep an eye out and update this story when it’s back in stock.]
In the ’80s and early ’90s, Lenox made an adorable and detailed collection of spice canisters shaped like little buildings. They’re no longer manufactured, but are readily available on Etsy for around $30.
[Editor’s note: Birdie’s China Nest is currently taking a break, according to the shop’s Etsy page, so these jars are currently unavailable. Sign up to get notified when they’re back.]