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5 gifts available for under $30

Gifts that won't break the bank.

5 gifts available for under $30

With the holidays fast approaching, people are preparing for "the most wonderful time of the year." But, given all the gift-giving, it can also be "the most expensive time of the year." While shopping for others and finding a great gift is what the holiday spirit is all about, it can leave you feeling stressed about how much you're spending. Well, we're here to help with five hand-crafted gifts for under $30 from the Upworthy Market. When you buy from Upworthy Market, you're getting goods that do good. That's because every purchase you make directly supports artisans from all around the world.


1. Cotton Backpack

This handcrafted cotton drawstring bag by the House of Antigua Artisans is chic and lightweight. They use traditional looms and methods to create fabulous contemporary accessories. This handwoven cotton backpack in black with red and yellow accents is just right for the gym, library or farmer's market. The bag has polyester cords that adjust both the shoulder strap length and the bag's opening.

2. Silver Ring

Using the lost wax casting technique, Alon Diller of Mexico creates a subtle but elegant band ring for men or women. The ring surface is textured to resemble the bark of a tree, while the band's edges are polished to a high shine.

3. Bottle Opener

Entertain your dinner guests with this creative wine bottle holder. To enjoy the treat within, you will have to solve the puzzle of how to open the bottle holder. Thai artisan Waraporn Khamsuk handcrafts the puzzle from raintree wood with a white cord. The bottle holder will fit a bottle with a 3-inch diameter and 12-inch height.

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4. Shoulder Bag

Thai artisan Jiap Rojjana designed this stunning cotton blend shoulder bag that closes with a coconut shell button. Gold, scarlet and blue designs stand out against a black background, creating a bold and eye-catching look. Orange and white embroidery completes the design. The inside of the bag features a black cotton lining and a zipper pocket.

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5. Worry Dolls

Dressed in a variety of colorful dresses, 12 Guatemalan worry dolls are here to preserve ancient Maya traditions. Legend has it that the Maya Sun God gave princess Ixmucané the gift of solving people's problems. With time people started making dolls in Ixmucané's honor and they would tell her their woes, hoping she would solve them through the dolls. 'This tradition is still alive,' says Ana from the Lopez Garcia Family. 'The idea is to have many worry dolls and trust each one with whatever troubles you. Once you've told them, you put them under your pillow. It is said that during the night, while we sleep, the dolls will whisper the solution to our troubles. For us, crafting the worry dolls - muñequitas quita penas - is our main source of income.It allows us to provide our children with an education as well as a job for all of us.' The set of 12 arrives in a pedal-loomed cotton pouch.

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Kevin Bacon's farm songs have become a social media favorite.

When Beyoncé dropped two songs from her upcoming album of country tunes, Renaissance: Act II, she may not have expected to make history, but that's exactly what happened. Her first single from the album, "Texas Hold 'Em," shot to the No.1 spot on the Billboard country music charts, making her the first Black female artist to hit that top spot. The catchy tune also topped the Billboard Hot 100 the last week in February 2024, a week after it debuted at No. 2.

Presumbaly, Queen Bey didn't expect her song to become an Irish stepdance hit, though that's also exactly what happened. And surely she didn't expect it to be sung by Kevin Bacon to a bunch of farm animals, yet that also has happened.

Perhaps we should all have expected that, though. There's a precedent here, after all.

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Courtesy of Woodell Productions

This speech had all the things, and the Maid of Honor wasn't even there

May we all have a best friend like Ally Lothman.

Lothman had just given birth to her first child (according to Today.com) and was unable to make it to the wedding of her lifelong best friend Michelle Levenson. But Lothman’s Maid of Honor duties were still gloriously fulfilled.

A now-viral video, posted to TikTok by wedding photography and videography company Woodell Productions, shows that even though Lothman couldn’t celebrate in person, her FaceTimed wedding toast managed to bring everyone at the reception—along with everyone who watched online—to tears.
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Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Pop Culture

People think everyone should experience these things 'at least once in their lifetime'

Things like seeing an eclipse and having a true best friend make life worth living.

Representative Images from Canva

Here are some things everyone should experience once in their lifetime

If there’s one thing human beings all have in common, it’s our shared impermanence. No matter our race, gender, social class, wealth status, health regimen, moral code, political leaning, or any other divisive element, we all get one life. One life to hopefully fill with as many memorable, soul nourishing, expansive experiences as possible.

But let’s face it, there are more experiences available that there are days and hours in which to do them. Therefore, we have to use discernment. So, which experiences are truly must-haves in our all-too-limited time on this planet?

The answers to this question are undoubtedly personal, but perhaps some things, just like the inevitable exit of mortal coil, are universal.

According to a recent discussion on Ask Reddit, here are things one must absolutely “experience at least once in their lifetime”:
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Family

Helicopter's thermal imaging helps save a young autistic girl lost in a Florida swamp

“I just love how the deputy greeted her. What a beautiful ending. You guys are the best!”

A deputy locates a missing girl in a Florida swamp.

A 5-year-old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) wandered off into a swamp near Tampa, Florida, around 5:00 pm on Monday, February 26. The good news is that the girl was saved in about an hour thanks to the work of some brave sheriff’s officers and their incredible thermal technology.

The girl wandered from her home and was quickly reported missing by her family to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff quickly dispatched its aviation unit that used thermal imaging technology to scan the nearby swamplands to try to find the young girl before nightfall.

Thermal imaging technology captures images based on the heat emitted by objects, allowing us to see temperature differences even in the dark, making it super handy for night vision and heat detection. The thermal technology helped the officers quickly identify the girl from high above the trees.

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Family

10 things kids get in trouble for that adults get away with all the time

Why do we expect children to have more self-control than grown-ups?

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

Kids know when we're being hypocritical.

Raising kids is tough and no parent does it perfectly. Each child is different, each has their own personalities, strengths and challenges, and each of them requires something different from their parents in order to flourish.

But there's one thing that parents have long said, with their actions if not with their words, that justifiably drives kids bonkers: "Do as I say, not as I do."

To be fair, both moral and actual law dictate that there are things that adults can do that kids can't. Children can't drive or consume alcohol, for example, so it's not hypocritical for adults to do those things while telling kids they cannot. There are other things—movies, TV shows, books, etc.—that parents have to decide whether their kids are ready for or not based on their age and developmental stage, and that's also to be expected.

But there are some gaps between what adults do and what they expect kids to do that aren't so easy to reconcile.

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