As the holidays approach and the year winds to a close, we wanted to offer our annual gift giving guide to help make holiday shopping a little easier and hopefully inspire some Christmas cheer. This year, we've done things a little differently. We've put together a short list of staff favorites under $30, and then we've also gathered items we think would go great together and wow anyone who receives them.

Gifts Under $30

Call 'em stocking stuffers if you want to, but we call 'em good gifts at affordable prices!

Let's start with Blackwing Pencils: A set of 12 comes in at $24.95 and they come in a variety of lead hardnesses. Stylish and classic, you can't go wrong with a good pencil. So, you really can't go wrong with 12 good pencils.

If you need a good everyday writing ballpoint pen we recommend a pen that can write anywhere, including outer space. Fisher Space Pens come in a variety of styles and finishes, and the pressurized refill writes upside and even under water. The Cap-O-Matic model starts at $18.25, while the Bullets start at $28. As an added bonus, some finishes like raw brass are naturally antimicrobial. And some models allow for personalization at no extra charge; just look for the Engraving checkbox on the product page.

Another good ballpoint is the Faber Castell N'ice (pictured below) for only $19. The ergonomic shape of the pen makes it easy to hold and the shiny silver finish is very eye catching. It comes with a Faber Castell Extra Broad ballpoint refill, so it will write a wide, smooth line right from the jump. If your person prefers gel ink, it uses a Parker-style refill so there are lots of refill options available.

Appropriately named, the Smitten on Paper Velvet Notebook for $28 has had us smitten since we first saw it. This unique notebook offers three kinds of paper in one convenient place. The top of the page is graph paper, the bottom is lined, and if you use the back of the page, it's blank, making this notebook perfect for planning, journaling, and doodling. The cover is made of suede-like finish, accented with gold foil lettering for a classy look.

Think all fountain pens are expensive? Think again! Platinum offers 2 models that make the cut for this list. Coming in at $10 is the Platinum Prefonte. Available in 2 different nib sizes and 5 different semi-transparent colors, this lightweight pen is perfect for beginners or for everyday use. Our other pick is the Platinum Plaisir. Made of anodized aluminum, this pen is also lightweight and available in 2 nib sizes for $22.

Don't forget the ink! We offer samples of almost every color we stock and many of the bottles are under $30.

Finally, we love the Brumate Hopsulator Slim which starts at $26. Perfect for the person on the go, this drink insulator keeps slim cans cool. Sold separately, there's also a matching lid that can turn your insulator into a portable cup. Made of durable stainless steel and coated with a variety of colored finishes, we can personalize this item at no extra cost.


Bundle It Up!

If you want to coordinate your gifts, we've come up with a few ideas that we think will impress!

Pen & Ink: Whether you're shopping for a new fountain pen user or a seasoned collector, we think that anyone and everyone could use a TWSBI. They're easy to use, reliable writers that hold a ton of ink. You don't have to fuss with a converter or cartridges, you just need a bottle of ink and you're ready to go! A TWSBI Eco paired with a 30ml bottle of Monteverde ink (in a matching color, if you want to be a little extra) will cost $40.99.

Pen & Paper: We came up with 2 ideas for a pen and paper combo.

First up is the Lamy Studio with a Lamy Hardcover Notebook. We love the Lamy Studio for its modern design, many colors, and balanced weight. Available as a ballpoint pen, a rollerball pen, or a fountain pen, there's a Lamy Studio for everyone. The Lamy notebook offers a unique dotted grid paper, 2 bookmarks, elastic closure, and a pen loop. The notebook with ballpoint pen is $89.00; with rollerball pen its $97.00; and with the fountain pen its $104.00.

The other combo we like is the Pineider Full Metal Jacket pen paired with a leather journal from Cavallini & Co. Quality Italian craftsmanship and attention to detail are present in both items. The Pineider pen is made of a high quality resin available as a ballpoint pen, rollerball pen, or fountain pen. The leather-covered journal is available in 2 sizes that feature warm, ivory paper and a wrap-around tie closure. The journal with the ballpoint pen is $182.95; with the rollerball pen it's $190.95; and the fountain pen with a steel nib is $230.95 or upgrade to 14k gold for $430.95.

Wax Seals & Stationery: Fine stationery is both a joy to give and receive. There's something so satisfying about writing on a nice piece of paper and reading a heartfelt letter written on nice paper is also thrilling. We love the stationery choices from San Lorenzo Paper; their classic aesthetic and gold foil details are really stunning. Add a unique wax seal and a complementing wax color, and you've got a knockout gift for as little as $29.20.

Plan Ahead: 2021 is on the way! If you know someone who is a busy bee, someone who's been trying to get more organized, or someone who is just plain hard to shop for, we think a Kokuyo Jibun Techo planner paired with a limited edition Caran d'Ache Claim Your Style ballpoint pen is the way to go. Jibun Techo planners come in several styles and colors and offer a wide range of features to help keep life on schedule. While we've paired it with a ballpoint pen here, the paper is very fountain-pen friendly. The Caran d'Ache pen is a good everyday carry pen made of aluminum, finished out in bright and exciting color combinations. Depending on what style of planner you choose, this combo ranges from $80.50-$104.50.

The Pen Aficionado: Okay, so this gift doesn't have to be just for pen aficionados, but we know they would love it. We don't know of many people that wouldn't love this combo-- a Galen Leather A5 Zippered Folio, a 3-pack of Galen Leather A5 Notebooks, and a Kaweco Special Fountain Pen. The Folio is expertly crafted from quality leather and designed with functionality in mind. Make it extra special by having us personalize it at no extra cost. The notebooks are made of high quality Tomoe River Paper and fit perfectly inside the Folio. And finally, the Kaweco Special Fountain Pen is a well balanced full-sized pen that uses standard international cartridges or a converter. We're partial to the limited edition blue pen released for 2020 which comes in at $251.00 when paired with the Galen products. Or you can go with a classic Brass Kaweco Special for $281.00.

Shaving Supplies: If you've run out of ideas on what to get for Dad, or you know someone who's quarantine beard has gotten out of control, we have you covered. We carry classic safety and straight razors, as well as the shave creams, beard balms, and beard oils to go with it. The products pictured here from Proraso and Parker Shaving total up to $94.75.

For more gift ideas, click on the Gifts/Engraving button on the menu. There you can find all sorts of items, including Gift Cards. And, don't forget to look through our clearance section we call Grandpa's Basement for some great deals on various items.

That's our 2020 gift guide! We tried to change it up this year and offer some fresh ideas. If you want to see previous gift guides, here is our list from 2019 and 2018. As always, if you have questions feel free to reach out to us at