holiday gifts 2018

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

Including terrazzo coasters, tea-bag eye masks, CBD gumdrops, and much more.

The best nail clipper. Photo: Joe Lingeman
The best nail clipper. Photo: Joe Lingeman

In all the Black Friday hysteria, you may have gotten a good deal on a flat-screen TV. But what about those gifts that elicit a truly delighted wow? Here, dozens of kooky, beautiful, and useful gifts, priced under $50 from New York’s print gift guide. Don’t miss all of the Strategist’s holiday gift coverage right here, too.

Beautiful, yes, but also crafted by a Tokyo company called Kiya that’s been making knives for over two centuries.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

In which the actor (and street-style icon) interviews celebrities, including Edie Falco and Michael Cera.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

The earring of a generation.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Noma’s recipes for everything from lacto blueberries to whiskey vinegar.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

For the baby who prefers to chew on natural rubber from Malaysian Hevea trees.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

An Aperol spritz deserves to sit upon mother-of-pearl.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Goofballs, fattys, gold dust: all terms that were catching on circa 1972, when New York State issued this brochure, now reproduced.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

From the family behind New Haven’s (or the country’s, depending on who you’re talking to) best pizzeria.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

As seen in archival photos of the Missoni family in the recently released Missoni Family Cookbook.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

A pest slayer with a beechwood handle.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Luxurious yet playful, in a bright Elmo-ish color.

As with the narrator in Sheila Heti’s novel Motherhood, you too can flip I Ching coins to ask yes-or-no questions (heads means yes, tails no).

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Also available: a waxy sugar apple.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

A saucer from André Soltner’s groundbreaking French restaurant, Lutèce (1961–2004).

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Scrapbooks full of 18th- and 19th-century hair — including George Washington’s — are on display at Philadelphia’s Academy of Natural Sciences.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Designed by YouTube’s own Emma Chamberlain, who will need no introduction to the tween in your life.

Photo: Joe Lingeman

Jell-O Recipe by Apt 2B Baking Co.
Print (then laminate) the instructions for baker Yossy Arefi’s Instagram-worthy fruit-filled wobble mold.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

À la Ariana Grande.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

The senator tells the story of ten suffragists alongside the illustrations of Maira Kalman.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

For a 2018 Cher Horowitz.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

4.5 ounces of sugar and dill-pickle flavoring.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

For the friend who likes vintage.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Made with two very 2018 ingredients: pale-pink roses and Himalayan salt.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

They’re notebooks, actually, with covers, like Better Homes Than Yours, that have appeared on the show.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Three pounds of Ina Garten’s preferred brand to last as long as her marriage to Jeffrey.

Flavored with mint and certified-organic green-tea extracts, and (of course) French.

From $15
Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Tacos, turkey sandwiches, and other sorts of kids’ meals become instantly more enticing.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

A lavender-and-vanilla bedtime treat for the nonhumans of the household.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Inedible but irresistible.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

For a (slightly twee) spa night.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

It uses low-friction spring technology for a joyously smooth bounce.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Equally appealing for your friend whose mom wouldn’t let her have one in the ’80s or a niece for whom the entire concept will be new.

Photo: Joe Lingeman

Perversely satisfying Operation-esque family entertainment endorsed by the high priestess of zit extraction herself, Dr. Pimple Popper.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

The same Ligurian varietal that Samin presses to make olive oil in episode one of Salt Fat Acid Heat.

Dyson for Kids
$25
$25
Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

A 25-inch replica of the Rolls-Royce of vacuums to develop their cleaning-gadget tastes early.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

For the friend who needs a little help getting into the Christmas spirit.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Because the leftovers of that carrot slaw deserve an equally photogenic storage container.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Access to Gloria Vanderbilt’s home, Kehinde Wiley’s live-work studio, and other interiors via the POV of New York’s longtime design editor.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

Some discerning kids simply can’t bear to play outside with chilly toes.

Photo: Brian Rasic/Getty Images

You’re welcome, cool dads of every age.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

This liquid bronzer is apparently the only makeup the editor wears daily.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

It’s called Relative Insanity and involves conjuring all the crazy things your family might say or do.

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

The NYPL recently introduced its work-fashion lending library, where adults and teens can borrow neckties and briefcases for job interviews.

*This article appears in the November 26, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatmentsrolling luggagepillows for side sleepersnatural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

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