holiday gifts 2019

54 Surprising, Delightful, and Weird Holiday Gifts Under $50

From an aesthete’s Tums to hyperrealistic ceramic peanuts

Photo: Joe Lingeman/JOE LINGEMAN
Photo: Joe Lingeman/JOE LINGEMAN

Typically, we share recommendations for the best products, period — it doesn’t matter when they came out as long as they are exceptionally useful, beautiful, surprising, or otherwise worth recommending. This year we have gone in a different direction, focusing almost entirely on the world of the new. Here, you’ll find a wide assortment of recently released things for every person on your list, from mood music for a plant owner (a rerelease of a 1976 record that apparently helps monsteras and ZZ’s grow) to a big-dog-specific tote for a pit-bull parent. Plus, of course, hundreds of other ideas, from a vase that grows an avocado (seen above, $45 from to a handful eerily realistic ceramic peanuts to a Lucite cat bed that could easily double as a side table. Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here, too.

Zooey Deschanel’s Butter Lettuce

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Lettuce Grow Rex Butter Lettuce

To be grown in her newly launched self-watering vertical garden.

Downtown Cowboy Hat

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Spray Rodeo Hat

Appropriate for a rodeo in Mesquite or a shopping day in Chinatown.

Court Cards

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
New York City Poem Press Court Notecards

For basketball-camp correspondence.

Obscure Art Book

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Karma Pavillon De L'espirit Nouveau

It documents German-born artist Felix Burrichter’s exhibition at the Swiss Institute, and, to be honest, we really liked the cover.

Streetwear Ken

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Barbie® BMR1959™ Doll

He looks about ready to flex on the corner of Mercer and Howard.

Start-up Stomach Relievers

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Evens Antacids

Tums for the Everlane set.

Mood Music for Succulents

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Mort Garson Mother Earth's Plantasia

Mort Garson’s recently rereleased, Moog-heavy 1976 record is meant to help houseplants grow.

Shelf-Worthy Lube

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Dame Alu Aloe Lube 4 oz. Bottle

The bottle comes with a little easy-grip koozie.

Trompe L’Oeil Cat Toy

Photo: Joe Lingeman
Tuft and Paw Salmon Tail

The scales and spots on this stuffed salmon are eerily realistic.

Cartoon Cooler

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Spongebob Playmate Limited Edition Cooler

An unlikely but charming collaboration between SpongeBob and Igloo.

CBD Lip Balm

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Wary Meyers CBD Lip Balm: Maui Wowie

The first non-soap, non-candle offering from Maine-based Wary Meyers.

Hinoki Bath

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Hinoki Bath Aromatic Bath Bag

Like a Japanese forest in a bag.

Coveted Kids’ Toy

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Skyrocket Blume Doll

These Blume dolls grow, wacky hair first, out of a plastic planter.

Recycled-Plastic Cutting Board

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Material Kitchen The reBoard

Sold out three days after it launched in July, it’s now back in stock.

Milky Face Wash

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Holifrog Tashmoo Water Lily Nourishing Milky Wash

From HoliFrog, an entirely face-wash-focused beauty brand.

Silk Scrunchie

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Judi Rosen Silk Scrunchi

The color, according to Judi Rosen, is “Laura Ashley threw up.”

Chengdu Chili Sauce

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Fly by Jing Sichuan Chili Crisp

Newly available in the U.S.; “its fragrancy lingers,” according to Grub Street. 

Display-Worthy Toilet Paper

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
No.2 Toilet Paper

Silky, three ply, and clog free.

Bean-to-Stick Chocolate

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Morito Hazelnut Chocolates

Cacao from the Dominican Republic, processed into sticks in Red Hook.

’90s Tank

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Brandy Melville Skylar Butterfly Tank

It looks straight out of a Delia’s catalogue.

The New Black Vanguard

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion

Curator and critic Antwaun Sargent’s new fashion-photography book.

Avocado Planter

Ilex Studio Avocado Vase

Watch as its seed grows roots.

Biodegradable Glitter

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Today Glitter Fantasy Violet Glitter

For a more sustainable New Year’s.

Pastel Goblets

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Rialto Couple Glassware

Coupe glasses from Sir/Madam.

Bowl Sweatshirt

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Couvre-Plat Extra Small Bowl Cover

Aplat’s cotton cover is a less wasteful alternative to tinfoil.

TWA Socks

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
TWA Trouser Sock

So your Saarinen enthusiast doesn’t have to trek to JFK.

Extremely Online T-Shirt

Photo: Courtesy of vendor

Your 22-year-old will get it.

Ceramic Peanuts

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Carol Joo Lee Ceramic Peanuts

Carol Joo Lee’s sculptures are fairly indistinguishable from the real thing.

One-Handed Knife Cleaner

Photo: Courtesy of vendor
Kuhn Rikon Wave Safe Clean Knife Scrubber

It’s meant to be mounted inside the sink.

Non-Fusty Puzzle

Photo: Courtesy of vendor/Copyright: James E. Pelzer
Slowdown Studio Yoro Park Puzzle

Featuring the Site of Reversible Destiny in Yoro Park, Japan.