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The 20 Best Holiday Gifts Under $50
BY CADY LANG
DECEMBER 19, 2019 9:36 AM EST
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B
etween the countless parties, last-minute deadlines and weather conditions that make you want to stay indoors if not hibernate entirely, the holiday season can be pretty hectic — and no matter how much time you’ve spent preparing for this time of year, finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list is a challenge. Lucky for you, then, TIME’s editors are on the case, and have put together a list of the gifts they’re giving (or are hoping to receive) this year.
All clocking in at $50 or less, these gifts run the gamut from a super-luxe (but decidedly affordable) lip mask for your skincare-obsessed friend to a delightfully unpretentious cookbook that will warm the heart — and hopefully the oven — of your foodie sibling. Here, 20 of the best holiday gifts under $50. In theory, you could buy them all without breaking the bank. Just saying.
An Alison Roman cookbook
Alison Roman’s latest cookbook, Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over, is filled with easy and delicious recipes and gorgeous photos. Recommended by multiple TIME staffers, it’s sure to be a hit with foodies and influencers alike.
Buy now: Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over ($19.50)
A set of Kiehl’s “Fatigue Scrubber” soaps
Soap! Sometimes it’s just that simple. Good, clean fun for anyone in your life.
Buy now: Kiehl’s “Fatigue Scrubber” soap giftables ($37.00)
An azulejo tile-themed strategy board game
A fiendishly-competitive game of strategy and groupthink played with tokens styled like classic Portuguese tiles, don’t be surprised if the recipient of this gift challenges you to a game right after its unwrapping. And don’t be surprised if that game turns into two, three or four do-overs either, writes TIME’s Alex Rees.
Buy now: Azul board game ($39.99)
A set of pressed glass photo frames
For those for whom an iPhone’s photo gallery doesn’t quite suffice, these elegant glass frames are the perfect way to highlight important memories and/or fire selfies.
Buy now: Pressed glass photo frames (from $18.00)
A Laneige lip sleeping mask
For the K-beauty enthusiast (or anyone deserving a dose of skincare indulgence), consider this cult-classic mask the ultimate in pampered lips, says TIME’s Cady Lang.
Buy now: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($18.40)
A Tie Bar skinny knit tie
While a gift that’s rarely asked for, a good tie is something that helps fill a hole in most wardrobes. This knit tie is as handsome as it is cozy, and can be dressed up or down with ease.
Buy now: Tie Bar stripe knit tie ($25)
Read more: The 20 Best Holiday Gifts Under $250
A Pusheen coloring book
To some, the adult coloring craze may have come and gone. To the rest of us, well, it’s Pusheen — and thusly the perfect way to express and de-stress.
Buy now: Pusheen coloring book ($11.69)
A Butterup butter knife
A butter knife to elevate any toast situation, Butterup’s ingeniously-holed blade cuts a swath of tiny butter rivulets out of even the hardest knob, ensuring the perfect spread every time. (Also, it’s a squiggly fun visual.)
Buy now: Butterup butter knife ($27.95)
A robotic tumbling hedgehog toy
Amid TIME for Kids’ roundup of 2019’s top toys, you’d be remiss not to consider the endless fun that is, naturally, an electronic hedgehog.
Buy now: My Robotic Pet Tumbling Hedgehog ($35.99)
A Chemex coffeemaker
Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing pour-over coffee pot in history, Chemex’s coffeemaker comes with a handy wood collar and leather tie. Your morning joe just got an upgrade.
Buy now: 10-cup Chemex glass coffeemaker ($45.13)
A Fenty Beauty lip gloss set
2019 saw the beauty industry lay down much of its (remaining) resistance to takeovers by celebrity-led brands — no-one led this charge better than Rihanna with her Fenty Beauty products. After all, who doesn’t want to shine this holiday season?
Buy now: Fenty Beauty Glossy Posse lip gloss set ($42)
A copy of Fleabag: The Scriptures
While it’s a show difficult to imagine in any medium other than TV, this collection of Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s scripts offers another spin on the series. For those of us still pining for the Hot Priest as they’re chugging cans of M&S gin and tonics, it’s a gift in every sense of the word.
Buy now: Fleabag: The Scriptures ($19.61)
A set of hometown-personalized cedar coasters
A handy home goods gift putting the coast in coaster, as in West Coast, East Coast, or technically any city in between. Whether for the long-time resident, the new arrival or even the homesick expat, TIME’s Katy Steinmetz touts these laser-engraved city map coasters as a perfect tabletop accessory.
Buy now: Neighborwoods coasters, 4-set ($28.80)
A bottle of Antico Frantoio Muraglia olive oil
Perfect for your friend who lives by the mantra, “a feast for the eyes,” this delicious olive oil from Puglia, Italy comes in ceramic bottles designed so handsomely that they’re destined to be repurposed as a vase when emptied. Also though, perfect for your friend who lives by the mantra, “a feast for the stomach,” for obvious reasons.
Buy now: Antico Frantoio Muraglia Italian extra virgin olive oil ($48.99)
A bottle (or five) of Herbivore Calm soaking salts
No better way to relax than in a hot bath with these chic crystals: their Himalayan sea salt give your skin a boost of vitamins and minerals, while the essences of ylang ylang and vanilla impart plenty of calm.
Buy now: Herbivore Calm soaking salts ($18)
A set of Homesick National Parks candles
Because the “great outdoors” isn’t always immediately accessible, consider an evocatively-scented candle that will leave you feeling like you’re camping in Yosemite, but still within easy distance of Seamless. A win-win.
Buy now: Homesick National Parks candles ($26.95 each)
Read more: The 20 Best Holiday Gifts Under $100
A 2020 Moleskine weekly planner
Many will be resolving to make “being organized” happen in the New Year — and, let’s be realistic here, many of said many will fail miserably. This weekly planner serves as a life preserver amid a sea of e-vites and reschedules, and does so in style too.
Buy now: Moleskine limited edition Petit Prince 2020 weekly planner ($23.51)
A set of Piatnik Tarot playing cards
Sure, you could just play the Hearts game on your old desktop PC. Or you could enjoy the European twist on the game with an elegant deck of Tarot cards inspired by early French and Italian decks. Even if you play with rules that mean each round’s loser takes a shot, you’ll still feel like players of the utmost sophistication.
Buy now: Piatnik Tarock Ornament playing cards ($12.50)
A gift box filled with Royal Riviera pears
Because who doesn’t love the requisite holiday pears from Harry & David?
Buy now: Royal Riviera pear gift box ($39.99)
And a selection of TIME’s best books of 2019
The best way to relax this holiday season? By settling in with one (or all) of these reads from TIME’s “100 Must-Read Books of 2019.”
Buy now: Sally Rooney’s Normal People ($17.00); Ma Jian’s China Dream ($15.29); Jia Tolentino’s Trick Mirror ($19.18); Mira Jacob’s Good Talk ($18.39); Carmen Maria Machado’s In the Dream House ($18.60); Adam Higginbotham’s Midnight in Chernobyl ($18.39); and many more here.
 
 
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WRITE TO CADY LANG AT CADY.LANG@TIMEMAGAZINE.COM​.
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