the strategist holiday catalogue

113 Carefully Selected, Unusually Special Gifts Under $50

Including tinned eel, Elizabethan cuffs, and a borosilicate honey dipper.

Photo: Joe Lingeman
Photo: Joe Lingeman
Photo: Joe Lingeman

To find the more than one hundred gifts you’re about to encounter, we did not merely scan our favorite websites for new products or even just select some of the nicest things we’ve written about on the Strategist over the past year. We did those things, then dug deeper. A team of dedicated editors worked for months falling down dozens of rabbit holes to find gifts (most of which are new this year) that you likely won’t find recommended anywhere else.

Among other nutty tactics, we scanned every single account that a particularly stylish Danish e-commerce site follows on Instagram (then shopped on those stylish Danish sites), slunk around on the “Buy It for Life” sub-Reddit, and crept through various shops to sniff their new perfumes and glad-hand their potholders. Then we started whittling things down and debating among ourselves. Would anyone really pay $430 for that scarf? (No.) Is that pair of pants too specific or just specific enough? (The latter.) The result is a range of gifts for really and truly everyone, from Dua Lipa’s preferred plumping face masks to the first Wordle board game, as well as a handsome neck warmer for winter sprints and a kit for building indoor sand castles.

Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here. You can also see our picks for gifts over $50 and gifts over $200.

Swedish Turbot

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Particularly good Nordic gummies that recently arrived Stateside.

Pirate Party Game

$30
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

In which players of all ages can shoot cannonballs into a pop-up ship.

Menopausal Lube

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

From Naomi Watts’s newly launched wellness brand.

Mushroom Lube

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

It’s made of CBD, aloe, hyaluronic acid, and shiitake mushrooms and is meant to increase stimulation and sensation.

Proletarian Slides

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Made in Bosnia and Herzegovina by EvalinVila.

Goatskin Gardening Gloves

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

With an extended cowhide cuff to keep out dirt.

Red Baggie

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Wm. J. Mills & Co. has been making sails (and sailing accessories) in Greenport for 135 years.

Film Baggie

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

It has a center divider meant to separate fresh rolls from exposed ones.

Kids’ Patchwork Collar

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Ideally worn over a crisp white shirt.

The Last Known Recording of Albert Ayler’s Voice

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The full, never-released recordings of his 1970 concerts in France.

Dreadlock Tool

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Made by Coda Craft, it’s the perfect shape, size, and strength.

Plush Socks

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Meant to recall the gates of a drive-through.

Festive Saturn

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A handmade glass ornament that also comes in pink and orange.

‘Stray’ Role-play

$40
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Prowl neon-lit alleys through the eyes of a feline.

Beautiful Egg Cup

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

La Tuile à Loup’s ceramics are hand-thrown, hand-painted, and hand-glazed.

Wool Corn Set

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Ware of the Dog also makes a Pop-Tart toy for cats.

Apple Clips

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

One of the more affordable (and adorable) things from the Barcelona-based kids’ line.

Subdued Purse

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

As spotted on comedian Catherine Cohen.

Lucali Candle

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The scent of Beyoncé’s favorite pizzeria without the six-hour wait.

Greek Chile Flakes

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Almopia peppers are smoked over a ten-day period in September, then crushed by hand.

Monogrammed Ring Dish

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

“Great for a gal of any age,” per the description.

The Next Tinned Fish

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Siesta Co. makes neatly packaged sardines, white tuna, small squids, mussels, and mackerel.

DSA Merch

Color-Blocked Turkey Baster

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

From Staff, which last made designy plungers.

‘Wordle’ With Friends

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

An IRL version wherein players pick the five-letter word.

Pocket Fountain Pen

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The classic Kaweco—used daily by AOC—in a festive colorway.

Giant Scrunchie

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Made of silk taffeta by NYC-based brand Coming of Age.

Bluey Alternative

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Inspired by the beloved French children’s story “Chien Bleu.”

Illyanna Maisonet’s Family Recipes

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The Puerto Rican food columnist traces the roots of over 90 traditional dishes.

Loofah Stack

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Øgaard’s little scrubbing sponges, sourced from Mexico, can be used on skin and kitchen pots.

Gerbil Couch

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Designers Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent have, oddly enough, designed a whole furniture line for PetSmart.

Mini-Utensils

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A cooking set for kids, which comes with a small spatula, whisk, and card game.

Well-Priced Crémant

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The best on the market for the money, according to Chambers St. Wines.

Punta del Este Dulce de Leche

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A family recipe from Narbona, a restaurant-farm-winery in Uruguay.

Last-Chance Subway Calendar

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

After 30 years, this is the last year Newkirk Images will produce the MTA’s official calendar.

Compact Colander

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Stuff it with greens, run water through the handle, and shake dry.

One-Button Bop It

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A new version of the ’90s classic in honor of its 25th anniversary.

Finishing Oil

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Grown and processed from native Picual olives in Jaen, Spain.

After-Dinner Drinks

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Made from Hudson Valley black currants.

Not Pickle Balls

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Padel, the Mexican racquet sport, is just starting to take off in the U.S.

A Runner’s Scarf

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A buff that is at once breathable and warm.

Coriander Collab

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A spice blend from CAP Beauty and Silver Lake restaurant Botanica.

Home Wall

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The tiny magnetic crag lets climbers practice their routes.

Cheap Mitt

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Surprisingly hefty for the price.

Bushwick Compost

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Courtesy of the city’s “first bike powered food waste hauling and composting service.”

Butter Subscription

Photo: Joe Lingeman

Three blocks—coarse sea salt, Vermont maple, and a rotating third flavor—will be dropped off monthly.

Deaccessioned Pink Paint

After 60 years of exclusive use in Barbie Dreamhouses, Backdrop is now selling the official shade.

Natural Flush

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

It goes on clear, then reacts to the skin’s natural pH.

Smoked Eel

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

European-style conservas from the Gulf of Maine.

Hyperseasonal Jam

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

From Saba Morab, whose apricot-lemon verbena preserves won the Good Food Award last year.

Lightweight Lipstick

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Go from a sheer wash of color to something more bold in a few swipes.

Fish Tote

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A thermal bag from Japanese brand Puebco.

Supersize Pitcher

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Designed to hold a half-gallon by a company that also has a spring-water-delivery service.

Ozzy Osbourne’s Eye Shadow

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A collaboration between Rock and Roll Beauty and the Prince of Darkness.

‘Ghetto Gastro’ Cookbook

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The Bronx-based culinary collective’s cooking manual–cum–manifesto.

Ionic Trellis

From $18
Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A stately companion for your potted fern from Chen Chen and Kai Williams.

File Storage

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Parisian graphic-design and architecture studio Saint-Lazare made these for Zara Home.

3-in-1 Syrup

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Made from dark maple, sorghum, and apple-cider syrup.

Takashi Murakami Pancakes

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

For flipping flowers in the shape of the Japanese artist’s most-famous motif.

Fancy Japanese Tea Bags

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A first for Tekuno, known for its loose-leaf tea.

Sheer Print

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

A hangable version of issue No. 241’s cult-favorite Danielle Orchard cover.

Knockout Turkish Delights

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The first snooze-inducing gummy from CBD-edibles brand Rose Los Angeles.

Baby Brush

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

The soft goat’s hair gently detangles.

A Pound of Grits

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Ground in small batches from one of the few Black-owned southern brands that produces grits.

The Best New Mascara

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Fluttery lashes is what it does best.

Plumping Face Masks

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

Dua Lipa keeps multiples in her fridge.

Frick Madison Cap

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendors

It’ll be a collector’s item when the museum moves out of the Breuer next year.