And to the people reading this who are on my Christmas list: This item here is not necessarily going to be a surprise-ruiner. I have other tricks up my sleeve this year....
You can make your own ring and decorate the box to put it in for a fairly small amount of money. And if you're a crafter who already has seed beads and beading thread and decorative trim in your arsenal, this idea will cost you almost nothing.
Beaded rings really are easy to make. They're a beginner-level project. Here's a link to instructions with pictures and all, for a simple ring, like the one pictured above, but with more focal beads:
Free Beaded Ring Pattern!
You can get seed beads, beading needles, and beading thread from someplace like JoAnn Fabrics for less than $15, and once you have all that, it'll go really far. I have seed beads I bought years ago that I'm still trying to use up. To say you could make a pile of rings with these materials would be an understatement.
The box is the funner part. ("Funner"? "More fun"? You know what I mean....) You can get little paperboard gift boxes at Michael's for 97 cents. Paint it with Sharpie markers, and decorate it however you like. For the one pictured here, I printed out the Santa image, and glued both that and metallic trim onto the box with craft glue.
Very simple, but so pretty! The only thing that could raise an issue is how to make the ring the right size for the recipient without tipping them off by having to measure their finger. Here's a link to a ring size guide:
Swanky Ring Size Guide!