gift guide 2016

The Under $50 Gift Guide

Thanksgiving is barely over, postelection anxiety has just begun, and maybe you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the prospect of checking off every dad, mom, co-worker, and teen on your holiday-shopping list. In that spirit, we present the 46 gifts ahead, all neatly organized by price and less than $50.

A Book of Tweets
$0 at wikiHow

A Book of Tweets

Bind every tweet she’s ever sent, because the internet is a fickle place.

Essential Lipstick
$1 at e.l.f.

Bargain Red

A classic red lip — for only a dollar.

European Union flag
$3 at Amazon

Pre-Brexit Flag

To commemorate a time before “Leave,” an EU flag with the inclusion of the U.K. 

Novelty Coat Hanger
$6 at Typo by Cotton On

Party Hangers

For the host juggling lots of guests’ coats, consider these oversize-animal-head coat hangers.

Disney “Tsum Tsum” Figures
$13 at Amazon

Pooh Parade

It’s one thing to collect Disney Tsum Tsum characters; quite another to stack them in lots of crazy, fun displays.

Volcanic Ash Soap
$8 at Amazon

Icelandic Volcano Soap

Contains charcoal as well as volcanic sand, ash, and soil, said to absorb toxins and produce collagen.

Night Nurse
$9 at Boots

Night Nurse

The British version of Nyquil, called Night Nurse, is so much better, but you’ll have to get someone to bring it back for you.

Noodle Pin
$10 at Poketo

Noodle Pin

This playful accessory is straight out of BoJack Horseman.

Sigrid Calon Memory Game
$8 at Amazon

Speak, Memory

Sigrid Calon’s memory game: 52 paired cards in fluorescent, Risograph-print-inspired patterns.

Travel Spork
$13 at Amazon

Travel Spork

A lightweight titanium spork, available in great anodized colors, for the practical backpacker.

Beechwood Hedgehog Tabletop Brush
$19 at Amazon

Hedgehog Table Brush

An unusually shaped beechwood tabletop brush is a memorable hostess gift.

Cricket Bolognese
$10 at One Hop Kitchen

Cricket Bolognese

Futuristic vine-ripened tomato sauce loaded with ground insects. And of course, it’s gluten-free.

Juggling for Beginners
$10 at Q.E.D.

Juggling Lessons

A gift with a quick payoff: The fundamentals of the basic “cascade” pattern can be mastered in a half-hour.

Connétable Sardines - 2013 Vintage
$11 at Zingerman’s Mail Order

Vintage Sardines

Aficionados of aged canned fish — the flavors deepen over time — know that 2013 was a very good year for sardines

Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemon
$12 at INNA

A Jar of Lemons

For those not quite ready to batch their own salt-preserved Meyer lemons, this Inna version is the next best thing.

Cactus Soaps, set of four
$13 at Etsy

Succulent Soap

Cold-pressed cactus soaps — in scents like cherry blossom — for the guest bathroom.

Levoons Measuring Spoons
$15 at Amazon

Neo Measuring Spoons

Levoon handles squeeze together to scrape off excess ingredients and show portions as small as millimeters.

Standing Pen Circle from Areaware
$15 at YLiving

Handy Pens

These standing wooden ballpoint pens stay upright when not in use.

IncrediBuilds: Great White Sharks 3D Wood Model
$12 at Amazon

3-D Shark Model

No glue or tools required to assemble this great white, which comes with laser-cut wood sheets and crafting ideas.

$16 at Saxelby Cheese

Cheese of the Year

The most exciting cheese match-up of 2016: Cheesemakers Jasper Hill use Transmitter’s H1 Harvest Zinfandel beer to create its peachy, creamy, and smoky Transmitter Willoughby cheese.

Green Bell Nail Clipper
$15 at Amazon

Superior Nail Clipper

They may not get excited about seeing a nail clipper in their stocking, but just wait until they experience the satisfying heft and springiness of this Green Bell model, made in the city in Japan famed for producing samurai swords.

Rembrandt Extra-Fine Artists’ Oil Color 40 ml Tube - Cadmium Orange
$19 at Amazon

Alex Katz’s Orange

For the grown-up just learning to paint: Alex Katz uses this particular pigment of cadmium orange by Rembrandt’s Artists.

The Laundress X John Mayer Out West Duo
$19 at Spring

John Mayer Laundry Detergent

Yes, that John Mayer.

Natural Himalayan Hand Carved Salt Lamp
$19 at Bed Bath & Beyond

Salt Therapy

The healing treatment du jour: a lamp carved from Indian rosewood and 100  percent pure Himalayan salt.

Razorba Back Hair Shaver
$18 at Amazon

The End of Back Hair

The Razorba is a plastic wand that grips any disposable razor and shaves those hard-to-reach places.

Pop Art Lace Shoe Charms
$20 at Top Man

The Millennial’s Brooch

Kids these days will love accessorizing their white Stan Smiths with a flash of Pop-art-inspired shoelace charms.

Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders
$21 at Amazon

Oh, the Places You’ll Go

The Atlas Obscura cele­brates over 700  of the world’s strangest sites, like Spain’s Baby Jumping festival.

Bird Beak Scissors
$22 at Perch

Prettier Scissors

From a new brand launched in the name of more thoughtfully designed desktop goods, scissors that look like a bird.

Senquio Inflatable Lounger
$24 at Amazon

Inflatable Lounger

It works as patio furniture or an extra bed for guests.

Fat Brad, the Cookbook
$25 at Long Prawn

Brad Pitt Has the Munchies

Brad Pitt eating scenes — the seafood bisque in Fight Club, etc. — reimagined in Fat Brad, the Cookbook.

Pewter Saltine Cracker
$27 at The Line

Keepsake Saltine

A pewter saltine cracker — just because — from artist Herbert Hoover, who casts his work in New York City.

Self-Defense Claw
$29 at Tiger Lady

Pussy-Grabber Defense

Arm a woman you love with TigerLady retractable handheld claws that’ll also snag her assailant’s DNA.

Plantation O.F.T.D. Overproof Rum
$32 at Astor Wine

Really Strong Rum

138-proof rum created by a supergroup of bartender luminaries, including David Wondrich and Martin Cate.

Platform Bowl
$32 at Good Thing

OCD Fruit Bowl

Type A’s can display highly organized fruits with the Platform bowl, which stacks in up to four tiers.

Color Puzzle
$40 at Domino

Swedish Puzzle

Designer Clara von Zweigbergk was inspired by a similar one she made from watercolored chipboard at age 8.

$40 at Table of Trash

The Periodic Table of Trash

It includes an array of New York City trash in categories such as Food, Hygiene, Municipal, and Vices.

Dinner Plate
$42 at Store, 144 Tenth Ave., nr. 19th St.; 212-242-4853

Dead-Celebrity Dinner Plates

For Prince and all the other stars gone too soon, a tribute in the form of vintage-style plates created by L.A. artist Angela Rossi.

Buly 1803 Crème Pogonotomienne Shaving Cream
$44 at Mr Porter

Vintage Shave Cream

The cream is infused with smoky-scented and naturally antibacterial hinoki wood and moisturizing sweet almond oil, but really it’s all about the packaging.

Coach Mini Wallet in Daisy Field Print Coated Canvas
$45 at Spring

1930s Wallet

Coach splashes on a floral inspired by a 1930s French paper sample.

Yodeling Lesson
$45 at The Unicorn NYC

Yodeling Lessons

At the Unicorn, Jess Labus teaches Swiss yodeling for beginners and experienced singers.

Beaded Flower and Vase
$45 at Love Adored

Beaded Flowers

An everlasting bouquet of vintage French daisies; Japanese brass vase sold separately.

Verre Rouge
$46 at Laurence Brabant & Alain Villechange

All-the-Way Wineglasses

For your Aunt Sue who prefers an extra-full wineglass, these borosilicate glasses with hollow stems are just the thing.

Maple Wine
$50 at Enlightenment Wines

Next-Level Wine

These newly released Enlightenment maple wines are fermented exclusively from raw maple syrup and well water and aged for over two years in a single Tuthilltown bourbon barrel.

Buly 1803 Oub Tortoiseshell Toothbrush
$50 at Mr Porter

Handsome Toothbrush

Like classic tortoiseshell sunglasses, for the man who prefers to look stylish even in the bathroom.

White Ash Edition
$50 at Canadiano

Wooden Coffeemaker

Made of ash trees from Canadian forests, this new pour-over model may be the most minimalist coffeemaker yet.

Bosch GLM 20 Compact Laser Measure
$48 at Amazon

Digital Tape Measure

The handyperson in your life can forego clunky tape in favor of the newest Bosch laser measure GLM 20, which shoots a beam of up to 65 feet with the push of a button.

*This article appears in the November 28, 2016, issue of New York Magazine.

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The Under $50 Gift Guide