holiday gifts 2021

52 Truly Surprising, Strange, and Immensely Pleasing Gifts Under $50

Including lilac bitters, Hermès nails, and assorted glo-fish.

Video: Joe Lingeman
Video: Joe Lingeman
Video: 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. Last year we surveyed celebrities on the best thing they bought themselves during the pandemic. This year we have gone in a different direction, focusing almost entirely on the world of the recently released. Here, you’ll find a wide assortment of new-ish things for every person on your list, from lip gloss for a friend who already owns a tiny Telfar bag to a board game for an Animal Crossing obsessive who might want to take a break from their Nintendo Switch. Plus, of course, dozens of other ideas, including a state-of-the-art soccer ball and vintage mooncake molds that are (probably) from the 1900s.

Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here.

Long-Haired Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig
From $25
From $25
Photo: Joe Lingeman

This cheerful long-haired guinea pig “popcorns” — that is, jumps up and down — when particularly pleased (from $25 in adoption fees).

Papaya Candle

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

From Hi-BYE World, Mexico City’s Opening Ceremony.

Handblown-Glass Dildo

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

The heart, apparently, makes it easier to grip.

Natty Meade

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Fermented this year from New York State wildflower honey.

Kid Color Theory

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

By Pascale Estellon, known for her opaque watercolors.

Hermès Nails

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Plus, a (relatively) cheap way to get that orange box.

L.A. Cap

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

With Hebrew-ish lettering, from much-hyped label Praying.

Toddler Trousers

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

All of Mmoody’s pants are made from recycled scrap fabric.

Bill Cunningham–Blue Napkins

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Hand-embroidered by Germany-based Malaika Linens.

Replacement Wheels

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

For the crustacean-loving skater.

Frozen Soup Dumplings

$40 for 2
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Fly by Jing’s first foray into solid food.

This Season’s Soccer Ball

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

Ronaldo has already scored three Champions League goals with this starry design.

Evolved Turkish Delight