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America's middle class is smaller than ever

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Woman at Bank of America ATM

All of the talk about America's shrinking middle class appears to be ringing true.

For the first time in more than 40 years, the middle class is no longer a majority in the US, according to data released by the Pew Research Center.

This year, "120.8 million adults were in middle-income households, compared with 121.3 million [adults] in lower and upper-income households combined."

The Pew Research Center drew that conclusion based on an analysis of federal government data from 1971 to 2015.

For the report published Wednesday, the organization defines middle-class Americans this way: annual income of about $42,000 to $126,000 for a household of three, in 2014 dollars.

middle class income falls Pew Research CenterThe organization noted that during the 1971-2015 period, the share of upper and lower-income households rose as the middle class declined.

And while the upper-income bracket apparently grew more than the lower-end, more money shifted from mid-level households to those in the upper bracket.

A downside and an upside

The report finds that middle-class Americans earned 4% less income in 2014 than they did in 2000. Wealth in this group (assets minus debts) also declined.

Because of the housing crisis and the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, median wealth for the middle class dropped by 28% overall between 2001 and 2013.

Despite the relatively grim findings, the Pew Research Center determined that median income for the middle-class household income has grown 34% overall since 1970.

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NOW WATCH: JIM CRAMER: 'YOU SHOW UP AND THAT'S THE REVENGE'

Adidas created this 3D-printed shoe out of the plastic waste we throw in the ocean (ADS)

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Adidas 3D printed shoe

Adidas and Parley for the Oceans, an organization dedicated to reducing plastic waste in oceans, have collaborated to create a 3D-printed shoe made out of recycled ocean plastic.

The shoe is just a prototype, but the goal is to demonstrate how the industry can "rethink design and help stop ocean plastic pollution," according to Adidas.

The prototype has an "upper" made of ocean plastic and a 3D-printed midsole of recycled polyester and gillnets, a type of fishing net.

Adidas has pledged to take other steps to reduce plastic pollution like phasing out the use of plastic bags in its retail stores. Adidas says this particular goal will be achieved by the end of the first quarter of 2016.

As The Verge pointed out, the shoe's design is based on the Adidas Futurecraft 3D, a 3D-printed shoe meant to show a potential future of on-demand shoe customization. 

Here is what the Adidas and Parley for the Oceans' prototype shoe looks like:







See the rest of the story at Business Insider

13 things you should never do at the office holiday party

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party

'Tis the season for office holiday parties, which can be fun and festive if everyone is on their best behavior — or disastrous when too many people decide to let loose.

Unfortunately, the latter happens far too often.

"People need to remember that although the holiday party is a time to celebrate, this activity is still a business event and how you behave matters," says Barbara Pachter, an etiquette expert and the author of "The Essentials of Business Etiquette."

"People have said and done all sorts of inappropriate things that have impacted their career by not following simple etiquette rules," she adds. "For example, it is important to stay sober. One young man got drunk at his holiday party, cursed out his boss, and got fired on the spot. The next day he couldn't understand why his badge didn't work. He had no recollection of the previous evening's events."

According to a new CareerBuilder survey, a whopping 66% of employers say they'll throw a holiday party this year. If your company is one of them and you want to keep your job and reputation intact, here are some simple etiquette rules to follow:

SEE ALSO: There are 21 rules for surviving your Wall Street holiday party

DON'T MISS: The 27 jobs that are most damaging to your health

1. Don't skip it.

Unless you already have other plans that night that you absolutely cannot miss or change, show up to the office holiday party.

"You may not want to go," says Pachter, but it's important that you show your commitment to the company.

"Your absence will be noticed, and most likely, noted by your boss and other higher ups," she adds.



2. Don't dress inappropriately.

The party may not take place during traditional work hours — but that doesn't mean you should dress like you're going to a nightclub.

Wear work-appropriate clothing. Since it's a special occasion, it's fine to take it up one notch, but don't go over the top.

"It is a party, but your attire needs to be suitable for a business event, not a nightclub. Don’t wear anything that is too short, too tight, too low, or too anything," advises Pachter.

Also, if you normally wear a suit to work, don't show up to the office party in jeans and a T-shirt.



3. Don't fail to prepare your guest or significant other.

Many times significant others are included or you're allowed to bring a guest.

Let them know about appropriate dress and topics of conversation to stay away from, says Pachter. Also, make sure your guest follows all the rules: "His or her behavior will reflect on you."



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

These are some of the best ways to help reduce risk when shopping online

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PayPal_1_worriedOnline shopping has made it easier than ever for people to find and purchase anything they could possibly want — from groceries and books to big-screen TVs.

But on the downside there are plenty of cyber criminals out there— doing everything from stealing your personal information to making unauthorized transactions from your bank accounts.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, more than 17 million Americans experienced identity theft in 2014, a number that's only going to get larger as a growing number of people make the internet their No. 1 shopping destination. Fortunately, there are a number of ways consumers can take to protect themselves from being taken advantage of online.

Be smart

The best defense is using a strong, unique password for every one of your online accounts When you use the same password for several websites, your entire online security is as vulnerable as the weakest site you log in to. That's why it's important to limit your exposure by selecting a different password every time you sign up for a new service. Then, write these passwords down on a piece of paper stored safely inside your home. This ensures that you’ll remember all of your information — without requiring you to keep it in an online file that’s susceptible to hackers.

It's also important to make each password as difficult as possible for someone to guess.  Use long, complex strings of letters, numbers, and special characters. 

Another way to limit your risk is by working with a trusted payments processor. PayPal uses the latest antifraud technologies, from checkout to delivery, to help protect your transaction every step of the way. 

There's also PayPal's Purchase Protection feature, which can give customers a full reimbursement any time an eligible purchase is made and when the item purchased turns out to be damaged, not received at all, or different from how it was described by the seller.

Of course, a secure payments processor can only do so much all by itself. Fraudsters are constantly on the lookout for software bugs that will allow them to hack into your computer or mobile device and install a virus. Reduce your risk by regularly updating your operating system and popular applications such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Reader, and Google Chrome. There are a number of ways to update your system software and finding the right antivirus program for further protection.

Don't forget the basics

Lastly, even if your computer is secure, there's nothing stopping a criminal from stealing your wallet, eavesdropping on your phone conversation with a credit-card representative, or picking a letter from your bank out of your trash.

A good way to help guard against offline theft is by shredding important papers, leaving seldom-used credit cards and identification documents at home, and keeping an eye on who's around when you divulge sensitive information.

While cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to commit identity theft crimes, taking these steps will go a long way toward protecting your information and ensuring a happy, secure holiday shopping season.

Learn more about how to make online shopping safer. 

This post is sponsored by PayPal.

Find out more about Sponsored Posts.

SEE ALSO: 4 things everyone hates about online shopping

Join the conversation about this story »

9 hot toys every kid wants this year

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r2d2 gift guide

Whether you have a niece, nephew, or your own children to buy gifts for this holiday season, we're here to make your shopping a bit easier.

We've put together a collection of nine toys that kids are clamoring for this year, pulling from lists compiled by Toys R Us, Target, and Amazon to make our picks. 

From the ultimate Batmobile to an artistic gel-based 3D printer for kids, these crowd-pleasers will help the little ones in your family start off the new year in a fun-filled way.

SEE ALSO: 18 perfect holiday gifts for every type of mom

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Kids can now build their very own robot.

For ages: 8-13

The Meccano Meccanoid G15KS Personal Robot is a 4-foot robot that can be taught how to dance and tell jokes.

Using Learned Intelligent Movement (LIM) technology, it can learn how to move by either watching you or by being manipulated. It's good for both a family-bonding activity and a solo project for the ambitious engineer in your family.

Price:$299.99



LEGOs will never go out of style.

For ages: 8-12

With so many great bits to choose from, including a submarine, scuba scooter, collapsible shipwreck, and incredibly detailed marine figurines, children can use their imagination to explore the deep sea.

This set is loaded with the latest in high-tech toy diving equipment, like a remote-control submarine and a winch system that can lower it into the water.

Price:$121.37 

 



This singing and talking bird can interact with kids.

For ages: 5 and up

Little Live Pets Clever Keet responds to voices and enjoys learning new words. Kids can play their favorite music and watch it dance, or take it on the go using the toy perch. It can even ride in its very own cart.

The kit comes with one Clever Keet bird, a playground, and an instruction booklet.

Price:$44.99



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The 20 best-selling books of the year

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Jessica Knoll Luckiest Girl Alive

One surefire way to find a great book to read is to see which ones top the best-seller charts.

Amazon recently released its list of the 20 best-selling books of 2015, and chances are, if you haven't already read a few of these yourself, you know someone who has.

It's not too late to read — or reread — the bestsellers of the year. Keep scrolling to see which books made the list.

SEE ALSO: The 17 best books of the year, according to readers

20. "A Spool of Blue Thread" by Anne Tyler

"A Spool of Blue Thread" spans four generations of the Whitshank family — a loving group of people who share laughter, tender moments, milestones, and the challenges of growing up — but just like any other family, they also experience disappointments, heartache, jealousy, and deep-rooted secrets.

From Baltimore in the 1920s to the summer in 1959 when Abby Whitshank fell in love with Red, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Tyler paints an intimate picture of a flawed, but close-knit, family.

Buy the book here »



19. "The Stranger" by Harlan Coben

Adam Price is living the American Dream, with a big house, beautiful wife, great job, and two wonderful kids. Then he runs into The Stranger and learns a secret about his wife, Corinne, that could unravel everything.

No one knows who The Stranger is. He appears out of nowhere and disappears just as quickly, but not before leaving people, like Adam, in the dust. "The Stranger" is another dramatic cliffhanger from prolific suspense writer Harlan Coben.

Buy the book here »



18. "The Crossing" by Michael Connelly

Even though Harry Bosch retired from his detective job with the LAPD, the work isn't over: Bosch's half-brother is an attorney who believes his client has been framed for murder, and he need's Bosch's help now more than ever.

Bosch takes the case as a favor to his brother, but when the real killer discovers that Bosch is hot on his trail, a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse ensues.

Buy the book here »



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Here's the most important anti-aging product that most guys didn't know they needed

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Eye Cream

You moisturize, you scrub, you wash, you cleanse — you're probably doing enough to take care of your skin, right?

Not quite. You're forgetting one very important thing, according to Chris Salgardo, president of skincare brand Kiehl's and author of the new men's grooming and skincare guide "Manmade."

Eye cream is a lot more important than you might realize.

"Nothing gives away aging prematurely or wherever you are in your life than lines around your eyes," Salgardo told us.

That's because the skin around the eyes is actually thinner than the rest of the skin — even for men who, in general, have thicker skin than women.

Failing to take care of that area will lead to cracks and lines in your complexion before you know it. Applying a good eye cream regularly can prevent the lines of expression on your face from settling in, stopping your face from forming wrinkles, bags, and crows feet that make you look older than you really are.

Salgardo encourages men to be liberal with their eye cream, as it's hard to use too much of a good one.

Kiehl's, of course, makes a great eye cream ($30), but others — like Jack Black ($24), Clinique ($30), Bulldog ($12) — can be had for less, and are also effective.

SEE ALSO: I tried the $300 tool that claims to be 'the best razor on Earth' — and it was a terrifying experience

DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: You've been tying your scarf all wrong — here's how to keep your neck warm all winter

I reviewed every major dating app from a guy's perspective — here's what they were like

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Master of None

Since Tinder was released in 2012, dating apps have become an undeniable part of our popular culture.

Even if you don't use them, you've probably heard about friends meeting girlfriends or boyfriends on apps like Tinder, Hinge, or OkCupid. And the fact that they would even admit that says something. 

But what are these dating apps actually like to use?

My colleague Maya Kosoff reviewed many of the most popular dating apps a few month ago, but when talking about them, we noticed there were some big differences in our experiences. And many of them boiled down to gender. Maya had to deal with things I never did, like being bombarded with gross messages from guys. I had my own set of challenges.

To get a snapshot of what the dating app scene is like for guys, I compared the free tiers of six popular dating apps: Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, OkCupid, The League, and Coffee Meets Bagel.

Here is what I found:

SEE ALSO: A 22-year-old made the ultimate guide on how to use Snapchat

First we'll look at Tinder, which kickstarted the dating app craze and has had its "swipe right/left" interface copied by most of its competitors. The first thing you should do on Tinder is set your preference for distance, gender, and age range.



Next up is your profile. Tinder recently changed its interface to more prominently feature your job and education, which are pulled from Facebook. You can stop the app from displaying these snippets, but you can't alter them without changing your Facebook. Tinder CEO Sean Rad told me his team added these elements because they rounded out the few basic factors people use in deciding whether to go on a first date with someone. You probably don't want to choose a picture of you and a dog (like me) because my friends say it has become a bit of a cliche.



Now it's time to swipe. Tinder shows you a small clip of "smart text" below a potential match's profile, which consists of whatever the app thinks is most relevant. In the example below, it's showing this woman's work info, but it could also show your education, or things you have in common. Swipe right for "yes," swipe left for "no." You can also "super like" by hitting the blue star. Normally Tinder only notifies the parties if you both say "yes," but with a "super like," it lets your match know no matter what. I have had good luck with "super likes," but my colleague Maya thinks they make you seem a little desperate. Regardless, on the free tier, you only get one "super like" per day, and a finite number of "likes" in general. So choose wisely.



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KOBE BRYANT: How the highest-paid player in the NBA spends his millions

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Kobe Bryant and Vanessa

Kobe Bryant is the highest-paid player in the NBA, and the third-highest earning player in league history.

While Kobe has an insane work ethic and at times appears completely consumed by basketball, he does find time to enjoy life, including nice houses, fancy cars, and even a helicopter.

He's living the life — saying and doing whatever he wants in endlessly entertaining fashion.

Let's take a closer look at how Kobe spends his millions:

He went to high school in the Philly suburbs, but he grew up in Italy. He loves Italian cars.



He once walked into a Ferrari dealership and wrote a $329,000 check for a 458 Italia.

SOURCE: TMZ



He also owns a Lamborghini, a Bentley, and a Range Rover.

SOURCE: Pricing Insider



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

11 gifts women REALLY want for the holidays

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travel gift guide

It can be tough to pick out gifts for the women in your life. Whether you're buying for your wife, girlfriend, sister, or mom, the pressure can be immense. 

Lucky for you, we're here to help. We asked the women of Business Insider what they really wanted for the holidays, then found the best place to buy them. 

If you have a special lady to buy a gift for this year, take advantage of our free advice. 

SEE ALSO: 14 awesome gifts for the foodie in your life

"I'm asking for a subscription to Amazon Prime."

Frequent shoppers will love the convenience of a Prime membership. 

"I already order on Amazon a ton, so I want it mostly for the faster, cheaper shipping," one BI reporter told us. "But I'm also looking forward to all the movies and TV shows available on the streaming service." 

Price:$99



"I really need a fashionable gym bag."

A high-end, stylish gym bag is an essential she probably wants, but wouldn't want to splurge on herself. 

One BI staffer has her eye on the neoprene and leather gym bags from New York City- and Southampton-based boutique Bandier. 

Price:$240



A Cartier Love bracelet "would be such a special addition to my collection."

The Cartier Love Bracelet, a shackle-like bracelet that comes in yellow, pink, or white gold, has been popular among socialites and trendsetters since the '70s. It's definitely a statement piece — but it's not cheap. The price varies depending on the style and the number of diamonds, but be ready to drop at least $1,600 on this one. 

"I've wanted one for years and years. I'm not sure if I can say that it will make my life better, but I love jewelry, especially jewelry with a story and meaning," a BI staffer told us.

Price:$1,630 - $40,400



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 11 most underrated ski resorts in America

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Alpine Meadows

Snow has already start to hit parts of the US, and naturally, that means that we're thinking about ski season.

Vail and Aspen may have the cachet that comes with being glamorous, high-end ski resorts, but they also have crowds and incredibly expensive hotels, restaurants, and lift tickets that can cost upwards of $800 per day.

But not all ski resorts are that expensive — or that pretentious.

We found the 11 most underrated ski resorts in the US. These mountains are (relatively) cheap, crowd-free, and get tons of powder. They also have cool towns that will keep you entertained when you're not on the slopes.

SEE ALSO: 10 extravagant ski lodges that will bring your vacation to the next level

Bridger Bowl, Bozeman, Montana

Daily lift ticket:$54

Mountain stats: Bridger Bowl has about 2,000 acres of skiable terrain and an average snowfall of about 350 inches. The peak summit elevation is about 8,700 feet and there's a vertical drop of about 2,600 feet. But best of all: The mountain is rarely crowded.

Vibe: Bridger Bowl is located just 20 minutes from the town of Bozeman, which is home to Montana State University. It's a cute college town with several bookstores, record shops, art galleries, coffee shops, and vegetarian cafes — things you wouldn't find in most other Montana towns. Head to Montana Ale Works for an Après-ski beer.

There's a thriving arts scene here, too, which culminates at the Emerson, a former school that's been converted into a cultural space where artists and designers can showcase and sell their works.



Red Lodge Mountain, Red Lodge, Montana

Daily lift ticket:$53

Mountain stats: With over 1,600 acres of skiable terrain and an annual average snowfall of 240 inches, Red Lodge Mountain offers some stellar skiing. The peak summit elevation is over 9,400 feet, and the mountain has a vertical drop of about 2,400 feet.

Vibe: The town of Red Lodge is one of the coolest ski towns in America— but most people haven't even heard of it. It's a unique mix of old West and sophisticated modern, where cowboys, skiers, ranchers, and more meet and mingle. There are great restaurants, shops, art galleries, and even a well-respected microbrewery (Red Lodge Ales) to keep you fed and entertained.



Schweitzer Mountain Resort, Sandpoint, Idaho

Daily lift ticket:$73

Mountain stats: Schweitzer has 2,900 skiable acres and 92 trails, plus open bowl skiing. It gets about 300 inches of snow each year, and the longest continuous trail is about 2 miles long. Besides downhill skiing, visitors can go cat skiing, snowmobiling, Nordic skiing or snowshoeing.

Vibe: Located in Sandpoint, in northern Idaho, Schweitzer offers a wide range of trails for all skill levels. Visitors can stay in Schweitzer's rustic, European-style village or in nearby Sandpoint, which has a very family-friendly small-town feel.



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The 10 biggest television events of 2015

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katy perry super bowl 2015

Nielsen released its annual "Tops of 2015: TV and Social Media" report this week. In it they reveal the top-10 most watched television events of the year. 

Sports dominated with eight of the most watched telecasts, all of them either a college or NFL game or post-game show during January and February 2015. Each drew upwards of 28 million viewers. "The Blacklist," the only television series to have an episode make the list, got a giant bump from airing right after Super Bowl XLIX coverage. 

Scroll through for the biggest TV events of the year:

SEE ALSO: The 20 best-selling books of the year

SEE ALSO: The 7 most memorable speeches of 2015

10. College Football Playoff semifinal: Alabama vs. Ohio State

Date aired: January 1

Average number of viewers: 28,468,000



9. AFC Divisional Round Playoff post-game: Colts vs. Broncos

Date aired: January 11

Average number of viewers: 28,581,000



8. The Blacklist

Date aired: February 1

Average number of viewers: 30,489,000



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Here's what a one-bedroom apartment looks like in America's most expensive rental markets

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Miami

With rents on the rise in several of America's largest cities, it's always helpful to know what your money can get you.

The sad truth, however, is that it'll go a lot farther in some cities than others. A one-bedroom apartment in New York City, for instance, goes for about $2,000 more than the same-sized apartment in Dallas.

With the help of real estate marketplace Zumper and its December national rent report, we've compiled a sampling of one-bedroom listings in the 20 most expensive markets in the US.

Each listing is within $100 of the respective city's median rental price.

SEE ALSO: Here's what a four-bedroom home looks like in America's most expensive markets

SEE ALSO: A New York City apartment is renting for $300,000 a month

20. AUSTIN, TEXAS: Luxury one-bedroom apartments are available at The District at Soco for just over $1,100.

Rent: $1,166/month

Neighborhood: South Congress

Each unit features a gourmet kitchen with a built-in island countertop, a dishwasher, and stainless steel appliances.



19. MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA: This updated apartment is just three blocks from Lake Calhoun.

Rent: $1,145/month

Neighborhood: Cedar Isles

This apartment building has laundry rooms on every floor and a brand-new fitness center with a sauna and indoor pool. The units feature a spacious bedroom and bathroom.



18. DALLAS, TEXAS: Rent a one-bedroom in a gated community with a fitness center, clubhouse, and pool for less than $1,200 a month.

Rent: $1,175/month

Neighborhood: Deep Ellum District

These units have contemporary finishes, custom kitchens, and in-unit washer-dryer connections. The surrounding community is home to Baylor students and young professionals.



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15 stunning photos that show how Dubai has become the 'Manhattan of the Middle East'

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Dubai

Just 15 years ago, Dubai was a sparse desert outpost. Today, it's home to the 2,716-foot Burj Khalifa — the tallest building in the world — the 1,358-foot Princess Tower, and more than 150 other towering skyscrapers. Multimillion-dollar apartments and a bustling tourist scene have put Dubai on the radar of the ultra-wealthy.

Some are even calling Dubai "the Manhattan of the Middle East," but its year-round sunshine and warm weather is an advantage that even New York City can't beat. Trendy restaurants and bars, water sports, and other attractions keep both the locals and foreigners happy, and its skyline is a new level of urban beauty.

Ahead, see 15 photos of what life is like in the United Arab Emirates' biggest city.

SEE ALSO: Incredible pictures give a totally unexpected perspective into how the 1% lives

The skyscrapers of the Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers districts have been described as having "Manhattan-style" architecture and amenities.



The real estate market is similarly hot. Recently, a 12,400-square-foot apartment in the downtown area of Dubai came on the market for $15.25 million.



Apartment complexes in the Marina generally have luxurious accommodations with skyline pools and concierge services.



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20 fun gifts for $20 or less to please almost anyone in your office

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office holiday party

Ideally, you'd draw a name for your office White Elephant, Secret Santa, or Secret Snowflake gift exchange, and, after painstaking research, find the perfect purple, ergonomic pen for Cathy from accounting who loves bright colors. It only costs you $6, and everyone is impressed by your thoughtfulness and diligence.

The reality is probably different.

If you draw a recipient, you might not know them well ... or at all. Maybe you can't find anyone to tell you anything about them other than "He leaves at 6:02 to catch his train home." Maybe you're doing a White Elephant exchange, where anyone could end up with your gift in hand.

No matter your situation, we've rounded up 20 fun, festive — or at least useful — presents you can contribute. And they're all $20 or less.

SEE ALSO: 8 documentaries that will make you smarter about money

Keep commuter pockets toasty with hand warmers.

If you live and work in the Northeast or Midwest, there's no such thing as too many ways to get warm in the winter.

Price:$3.99



Know immediately who left their notebook in the conference room.

Because it's bound to happen.

Check it out in red, aqua, yellow, white, and gold, too.

Price: $11



Provide festive footwear with classic Fair Isle socks.

Everyone can find a use for festive socks ... even if it's just a re-gift to their uncle.

Price:$8



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This startup will fund your wedding, but if you divorce you have to pay them back

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Wedding Couples Love

Do you think your love is forever? Well this startup is willing to put up the funds for your wedding if you think it is.

SwanLuv is currently accepting applications from soon-to-be-wed couples who think they’ve found everlasting love, Geekwire reports. After you’ve filled out the form, the company will make its own assessment of your bound and give out a loans of up to $10,000 to fund your dream nuptials.

The catch? If you get a divorce, you have to pay the loan back — with interest. The couples that do stay together will never have to pay a cent. But in a depressing twist, it’s the couples that part that end up funding the blissful couple's wedding day. (This sounds like it has potential for a reality show spin-off.)

The Seattle-based company mines online data and uses algorithm software to “quickly assess applicant risk to determine funding offers,” then sets the interest rate based on how strong your relationship is.

While SwanLuv will obviously profit off the doomed marriages, it seems that SwanLuv is rooting for you. Its website says it will provide free marriage counseling to participants. 

With only 65 days to go until its official launch, Avy hopes the first payments will start going out in February.

Still think your relationship with your future bae is strong enough to stand up to the challenge? Now you can actually bet on it.

SEE ALSO: The Grade is a dating app that lets you submit reviews of people you've dated

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why absolutely everyone needs a prenup

The largest happiness study ever reveals a surprising disconnection between health and happiness

An Instagram star with more than 150,000 followers quit his office job to travel around the world

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Lisbon Portugal

Allan Edward Hinton has always been fueled by wanderlust. He traveled far and wide in his late teens and early 20s, but after an eight-year stint in London, he was ready to start exploring again.

Hinton saved up, quit his office desk job, and took off.

"I had been stuck in the trap of ongoing, un-fulfilling marketing jobs," Hinton told Business Insider. "I earned decent money, but something just wasn't right. I needed to get away to gain perspective on life."

Hinton's gorgeous travel photography has earned him more than 150,000 followers on Instagram — a follower count that has helped land him a variety of paid gigs while on the road.

In this year alone, he's traveled around South America, Europe, Central America, and the United States.

Keep scrolling to see Hinton’s amazing photos from around the world and learn more about his journey.

SEE ALSO: The 22 best small towns to visit in your lifetime

Hinton is originally from Letchworth in the Hertfordshire county of England, just north of London. He attended university in Newcastle, and at 19 spent three months in Thailand.



After graduating, he went backpacking around Asia for seven months, traveling from India to Japan. When he got back, he immediately started to save up for his next adventure.



"It's so very hard to save in London, but it is possible if you're strong, make some sacrifices, are disciplined, and your goal is exciting enough,” Hinton said. “Also, after my first job I had a redundancy package, and this helped me immensely. I put all the cash into a savings account, which I called 'my South America fund,' and didn't touch it until I left the country.”

Oh London, how I have missed thee! It feels great to wander around one of my favorite parts and soak you up again slowly.

A photo posted by Allan Edward Hinton (@chaiwalla) on



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We went on a hunt for NYC's best brownie — here's what we found

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IMG_3136.JPG

If you're going to indulge in a baked good, you might as well make it worth your while.

At least, that was our thinking when we began our hunt for New York City's best brownie.

After some research, we came across Fat Witch Bakery, which had received top ratings on both Yelp and Foursquare.

Keep scrolling to see our thoughts on this bakery's famous brownies.

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Welcome to Fat Witch Bakery. The small shop is located in New York City's Chelsea Market.



The bakery calls its brownies "legendary." It was rated one of the best places for brownies in NYC by Foursquare.



Their brownies boast all natural ingredients and no preservatives.



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Twitter took over a baseball stadium and threw a raging holiday party

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Twitter held its holiday party last night in AT&T Park, the baseball stadium where the San Francisco Giants play. 

The hash tag #celebrate was displayed everywhere, and Twitter employees took it to heart. The company does have some things to celebrate, including the triumphant return of cofounder Jack Dorsey as CEO, but overall it's been a tough year — the CEO search dragged on for a long time, and Dorsey has made some cuts at the company since returning.

Nonetheless, it looks like a good time was had by all...

 

SEE ALSO: Facebook recreated the roaring '20s for a blowout, Great Gatsby-themed holiday party

Center field was a dance floor.

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A colorful #celebrate sign gave the command.

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People took it to heart.

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