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Holiday Gifts for Under $50

Holiday shopping is hard — and expensive. We've made it easier (and cheaper!)

On the following pages, you'll find cool gifts for everyone on your list: spouses, children, grandchildren — even that person who's hard to please.

weights, sunglasses and other gift ideas for fitness

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Fitness Enthusiast

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The Taylor Biggest Loser Scale ($33.08 at tracks not just weight but body fat and BMI, and calculates how many calories you need to eat per day to maintain your weight (or, alas, to lose a few pounds). The AquaJogger buoyancy belt ($44.95 at guarantees a full-body water workout that’s easy on the joints. In case of emergency, the VITAband ($39.90 at bracelet (pictured in orange) stores your medical history and emergency contacts. The Delaney Plus Running Pack ($39 at can hold keys, I.D., cash and an energy bar — everything the long-distance exerciser might need, including a 24-ounce water bottle.

AARP 2011 Holiday Gift Guide- a man holds a stack of christmas presents

Photo by Cultura/Getty Images

Shop smartly and even a stack of gifts won't set you back too much.

On sunny days, Ryders Defcon Sunglasses are shatterproof and lightweight, and feature anti-slip nose pads that hold firmly to sweaty faces ($40 at For nighttime exercising, make sure cars can see you coming: Nathan’s Ankleband Pair and their Cycling Ankleband Pair ($9 and $7, respectively, at; and Nathan’s LED Safety Strobe, visible for up to 2,500 feet ($7 at Keep your favorite jogger warm in North Face Etip Gloves ($40 at with extra “grippy” finger pads so you can use your iPhone, iPod or other electronic devices.

Next: Gifts for gardeners. >>

gardening hat, pot and other gift ideas for gardeners

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Gardener


(Items are described beginning with the gardening hat and moving clockwise.)

Good equipment is as important as a green thumb, and these items are ideal for people who dig dirt (literally). The Paper Braid Garden Hat ($28 from The New York Botanical Garden Shop, is lightweight and stylish — and still offers maximum sun protection (and an SPF rating of 50). The Dramm Colormark Rain Wand in six colors ($26.00 from The New York Botanical Garden Shop, can help you water hard-to-reach plants.  The glazed Green Stoneware Compost Crock ($29.95 at holds a gallon of food scraps, has a charcoal filter in the lid that traps odors and is dishwasher safe, while the hand-forged 2 1/2-Inch Small Trowel  ($27 at, the Channel Craft Audubon Bird Call ($6.50 at and the Rose Stem Cleaner ($14 at provide fun and function when playing in the soil. Or bring the outdoors indoors with a five-inch Hanging Forest Aerium with tillandsias ($39 at

Next: Gifts for the great outdoors. >>

For Outdoorsy Types

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Birders will enjoy the Olympus Roamer PC III Classic Binoculars ($39.99 at, with its rubber grips for comfort and stylish blue body that slips into a pocket. The water-repellent Stowaway Day Pack ($34.95 at weighs just 14 ounces and comes in six colors, from mandarin orange to palm (pictured). Fishermen and boaters will love the Grace Digital Audio ECO Extreme Rugged All-Terrain Speaker Case ($49.99 at Just pop your iPhone or iPod in the waterproof case, hook it up to the built-in speaker and enjoy music on the water without worrying about, well, the water. Need some light? The Kelty LumaCamp Lantern ($44.99 at provides up to 172 hours of brightness. And anyone who’s ever spilled a drink, hot or cold, will appreciate Contigo’s ingenious 16-ounce Autoseal Stainless Steel Travel Mug ($19.99 at — just press the button to sip and release it to automatically seal.

Next: Gifts for those with pets. >>

leash, pillows and other gift ideas for pets

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Pet Lover

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Searching for a fun living room accessory? Try these hand-appliquéd and embroidered cat or dog pillows ($36 and $48, respectively, at Your pooch will preen like the one pictured wearing fancy shmancy interchangeable dog collars (starting at $40 at with rhinestones or polka dots and eating Cloud Star’s Holiday Buddy Biscuits, an all-natural gingerbread-flavored treat (, about $6.50 at pet retailers nationwide). Another bright idea: the adorable Cat Face food bowl with stick-up ears ($24 at And when you and Rover head outside, use the Trailblazer Walking Light with Retractable Leash ($39.95 at It has two front white LEDs and flashing red LEDs behind to safely light the way. 

Next: Gifts for the difficult-to-buy-for. >>

toy helicoptor, shaving kit, watches and other gift ideas for the diva

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Hard-to-Buy-For

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Give the gift of flight! You can operate the HELO TC touch-controlled helicopter with your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch ($49.99 at For men who are flying in an actual plane, eShave’s Travel Kit is TSA-approved with all of the grooming essentials — including cream and a brush — for a smooth shave on-the-go ($40 at If you’re only traveling as far as the kitchen, the Bamboo Box Knife Holder ($49 from is filled with hundreds of bamboo skewers to keep your knives secure without dulling their blades. The Rabbit Corkscrew & Aerator Gift Set ($49.95 at pops a wine bottle cork in three seconds and aerates it as you pour. Or revisit the ’90s with a SLAP Watch, which literally pops on with a flick of the wrist and comes in 11 creative colors, plus wilder options such as white zebra and pink leopard ($19.95 to $29.95 at

Next: Gifts for foodies. >>

salt and pepper, fine foods, and other gift ideas for the foodie

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Foodie

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How’s this for gifts with good taste: Pasolivo’s Extra-Virgin Olive Oil — this one infused with lime ($25 for 375 ml at, and salt and pepper ground from these mini Saltwerks and Pepperwerks mills ($10.95 each at, combine for an easy salad dressing or marinade.  Mixologists will find infinite uses for hibiscus, lavender, rose and fire orchid–infused Elixirs ($12.95 per 9-ounce bottle at A pairing of Colston Bassett Stilton and Marshall’s Farm honey ($42 for the duo at calls for a honey dipper ($2.95 at For those who are serious about their java, try a handsome stainless steel espresso cup and saucer ($9.95 at Choffy brews like coffee and smells like chocolate — with neither the caffeine nor the calories ($15 per 12-ounce bag at 

Next: Gifts for the gamer. >>

cards, mouse, games and other gift ideas for gamers

Photo by Lisa Shin

For the Gamer


(Items are described beginning with the silver gaming mouse and moving clockwise)

NZXT’s sleek Avatar S Laser Gaming Mouse has onboard memory for personalized settings ($39.99 at Try the hilarious new Reverse Charades ($23.99 at Instead of one person acting out a word, everyone in the room acts out words — and one person tries to guess as many as possible in 60 seconds. Joystick-It ($17.99 or a two-pack for $29.99 at is the world’s first retro arcade-style joystick for the iPad and many touch screen tablets. More interested in mind games? The New York Times Brain Challenger features puzzles and games like Suduko and Hangman ($49.95 at For more high-tech fun, Thrustmaster Ferrari-licensed Gamepad turns gamers into armchair racers ($39.95 at Legend has it that Captain Cook enjoyed playing a version of the classic Maritime Challenge Game ($39.95 at The goal: to connect four glass balls in a row while preventing your opponent from doing the same.


Next: Gifts for the gadget gurus. >>

For the Techie

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Want padding for your iPad? Neoprene protective sleeves from BUILT shield everything from an iPad to a digital camera and come in an array of super-bright colors ($29.99 and $15.99, respectively, at The IomegaSuperHero Backup and Charger for iPhone ($49.95 at secures all contacts and photos for Apple iPhone 4, 3GS, 3G and iPod touch. And if your beloved misplaces his or her phone (all the time!), the Zomm Wireless Leash ($89.99 at — our one gift over $50 — flashes, vibrates, even sounds an alarm if the phone disappears. Able Planet’s S1250 In-Ear/Hook Headphones come with three different sizes of ComfortFit eartips, allowing you to focus on the music instead of that-thing-in-your-ear ($49.99 at Brookstone’s Wireless Key Finder sounds an alarm for lost keys ($50 at while the Password Vault keeps track of up to 400 user names, ATM pins and passwords ($49.95 at

You might also enjoy: Gift Guide for Music Lovers


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