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Gifts Under $50: Stocking Stuffers, Secret Santa, and Last-Minute Gift Ideas

When we compiled our Christmas gift guides for him and her, we included a variety of stylish options at various price points to help you make your Christmas shopping list. Naturally, there are some pretty pricey items in there, designed to make someone special feel, well, special.

Of course you may be on a limited budget this year, or shopping for less-special people who still need to think they are special to you--and our Gifts Under $50 list has been compiled with those possibilities in mind. Some of these will be perfect "extra-nice" stocking stuffers (you know, the ones Mom always saved for the toe of the stocking), or for the co-worker you picked for Secret Santa; you may want to pick up a few items on the list to reserve as "just-in-case" gifts for White Elephant parties or host/hostess gifts.

Here is our assortment: a few for her, a few for him, and a few unisex options that will please anyone on your list.

For Her

butter London for goop: Trifecta of Bespoke Lacquers

Love, love, love butter London, and their set of three exclusive polish colors for goop (Gwyneth Paltrow's lifestyle website) are really gorgeous; perfect for the holidays. Sold individually bL's lacquers retail for $14 apiece, so the $36 price tag on this set of three exclusives is a good deal--not to mention a beautiful gift. Or shop butter London for other gift set ideas.

Caudalie Favorites Collection from Sephora

The Beauty Elixir alone is life-changing, so this set of four favorites from French skincare line Caudalie--a beauty blog favorite brand--is a wonderful gift; $35 ($75 value). In addition to the Beauty Elixir you receive a hand/nail cream, exfoliator, and foaming cleanser. A lovely gift for the world traveler, but will make a relaxing spa experience at home for anyone.

Elaine Turner Bamboo Key Fob

This is so much more stylish than that old, scratched faux-carabiner leftover from college, or that keychain the alumni association sends you every year. Simple but elegant, with the signature Elaine Turner crown embossed into the metal; $45.

For Him

J.Crew Faux Croc Leather Flask

Originally priced at $42.50 this flask is now on sale for less than $38. It holds seven ounces of his favorite spirit, and makes for a very Merry Christmas indeed.

Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multitool at REI

Small (2.25 inches) and lightweight (less than two ounces) this Leatherman tool includes pliers (regular and needle-nosed), scissors, wire cutters, tweezers, and more. Not wild about the name--ew, "squirt"--but very affordable at $29.95, and ships free (U.S. standard shipping) through January 2013.

Leather-bound Journals at Rogue Journals

It was kind of shocking to find these affordable, permanently bound leather journals online at Rogue for less than $50; customization is available for an additional price, including choice of paper, monogramming, and even a dedication page printing or talisman. If you need to stay strictly under a $50 limit, Rogue offers a pocket journal for $24.

Unisex Gifts

We have all been there--a last-minute party invitation, a gift from a friend/acquaintance you didn't expect, or simply meeting a new friend smack in the middle of gift-giving season. Keeping a few well-curated but generally-applicable gifts on hand at the holidays is always a great idea.

Claus Porto Soaps in Poppy Scent

A $17 bar of soap, you ask? Why yes, but this one from Claus Porto comes highly recommended from a friend who adores them and says that Poppy is best of all for a unisex gift; the bright-red color is very seasonally appropriate, too. Not into poppy? Other unisex scents include Lavender, Almond Oil, and Grapefruit.

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Olive & Vine at CityCentre

Like you needed an excuse to go olive oil and vinegar tasting! Even if your gift recipient isn't a hard-core foodie, high-quality olive oil and a little balsamic vinegar plus a loaf of bread qualifies as a meal; throw in some fancy olives if you're feeling generous. Visit Olive & Vine at CityCentre for tasting and shopping delights.


Pretty much everyone likes a nice bottle of wine, right? And unless you're buying for a super-duper wine snob with very specific tastes, any old bottle--any old well-priced, nice bottle, not a crappy six-dollar job--will do. When in doubt (red vs. white, sweet vs. dry): Champagne. It's festive, first of all, and dry/sweet preferences matter less when hitting the bubbly.

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