It’s December, and the holidays are here. We hate admitting it, but they are. We’ve already ate some Christmas cookies, and we’ve got some lists going. But it’s looking expensive. So, we thought about the idea of “must-haves.” Sure, if you can afford ’em and you want to get something high-end for someone, that’s cool, but there are really great second-best items that are just as good and sometimes less than half the price. And it’s the holidays, and things sell out, so you have that to contend with, too. So, take a look at our second-best gift guide – we know you’ll find something that someone will love, even if it isn’t exactly what they wanted.
These second-best gifts will save you a ton of money this Christmas
Second-Best Smart WatchSmart watches are super-popular. The Apple watch is the must-have (starts at $449 at Apple), but if you're looking for an activity tracker that's super-stylish and practical, the Withings Activite Pop ($130 at Best Buy) is the second-best option.
Second-best savings: Save $319 by going with the Withings Activite Pop Apple/Withings
Second-Best Instant PicturesPeople want memories, and they want them in all forms. The Polaroid Zip ($245 at Amazon) let's you print from your smart phone, or you could just go old-school with the Fujifilm Instax Mini ($88 at Walmart or $100 at Indigo).
Second-best savings: Save between $145 and $157 with the Instax. Polaroid/Fujifilm
Second-Best Dutch OvenWhen it comes to Dutch ovens, it might seem like there's no greater brand than Le Creuset ($400 at The Bay). But there's also Lodge, which is literally half the price ($199 at Sears).
Second-best savings: Save $201 with Lodge. Le Creuset/Sears
Second-Best Ice Cream MakerThe Breville Single Scoop ($500 at The Bay) has been called the best ice cream maker on the market today, but it's also super-expensive. If you want ice cream that is quick and easy, people will love the Yonanas ($58 at Walmart), which skips all the dairy for frozen bananas. Affordable and healthy.
Second-best savings: $442 when you go with the Yonanas. Breville/Yonanas
Second-Best HeadphonesSo, someone wants crisp sound, do they? Well, Bose's QuietComfort headphones ($330 at Dell) are definitely world-renowned and they're probably on someone's list. If you want good sound for less money, you could go with a second-best option: uBeats by Dre in rose gold ($100 at Apple).
Second-best savings: Save $230 with Dre. Bose/Beats by Dre
Second Best Tab-TopYou could have a tablet and a laptop, but what if your laptop were a tablet, too? Well, the wait is over. The Microsoft Surface Pro 4 ($1,179 at Microsoft) is at the top of the line of the tab-top market. But it's certainly rivaled by other players, like Asus' Transformer Book ($400 at Best Buy).
Second-best savings: $779 when you go with the Asus. Microsoft/ASUS
Second-Best Matcha Tea MakerMatcha tea lover wants Sharp's Tea Cere ($429 at Amazon)? Well, it may take all of the grunt work out of making matcha, but if you're looking for something cheaper, nothing beats the traditional method ($35 at David's Tea).
Second-best savings: Save $394 when you go with David's Tea's matcha essentials kit. Sharp/David's Tea
Second-Best Baby SootherBaby waking up all the time? Well, get a new parent the Watch Over Me Dream Station mobile ($61 at Amazon), which senses when baby wakes up, and then prepares a light and sound show to lull your prince or princess back to sleep. Or, for something with less bells and whistles that's just as effective, the Baby Shusher ($31.50 at Canadian Tire) senses when your baby wakes up and then uses rhythmic "shushing" noises to get your kid back to sleepytown.
Second-best savings: Save $29.50 with the shusher. b.kids/Canadian Tire
Second-Best Coffee MakerTech blogs around the world have named the Bonavita 8-cup coffee maker ($224 at Amazon) the best coffee maker of 2015. But, believe us when we say that coffee fiends will also love the Hario ceramic pour-over cone for a consistent cup ($25 at Indigo).
Second-best savings: Save $199 with Hario. Bonavita/Hario
Second-Best VapourizerKnow someone who loves marijuana? Know someone who loves marijuana and The Weeknd? Well, The Weeknd collaborated on a vapourizer with Pax ($420 (ha) at Pax Vapor). But there are so many good value vapes on the market, so you could get someone a Chloris ($114 at Cloudpenz) and they'd love it just the same.
Second-best savings: Save $306 if you go with the vape that's not made by a celebrity (but is still good). Pax/Cloudpen