The Best Last-Minute Holiday Gifts For Under $50

Forbes

Struggling to check those last few people off your list? You have just days until Christmas but no need to resort to the generic holiday bins quite yet. Take it from Monte Burke, Forbes staff writer and avid outdoorsman, who suggests picking up a Buff face cover to help keep the bugs at bay. Or gift your mother a copper pillow case, as health contributor Melanie Haiken advises—it’s supposed to improve skin and reduce aging.

For something just about anyone can enjoy, pick up a bag of Fiddyment Farms pistachios. Peppery and addictive, they go for $11 per burlap bag.

[More from Forbes: Nine Products That Triumphed – And Flopped – In 2012]

From the fisherman to the travel fanatic, the wallet-friendly items on this list will win points for creativity and, without question, trump a box of candy canes any day. 

Refleece Ipad And Kindle Covers

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(Refleece)

Patagonia is famous for its fleece recycling program, but did you ever wonder what happens to the used jackets and such? Some of them go to a former Patagonia designer, who transforms them into cases for your iPad or Kindle, in cool charcoal gray with flashes of other colors. Refleece cases are sturdy, water resistant and environmentally friendly; repurposing the fleeces in the US means they're not shipped overseas for recycling, and the low-energy production process uses no new dyes and creates no waste stream. While Refleece is not an official Patagonia product, you can find select Refleece cases at Patagonia stores, as well as other small retailers. Price: $25-$32 (Andy Bender, Forbes Travel Contributor)


Tin Cup Stencils


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(Tin Cup)

Simple but personal, and truly the golf gift for anyone on your list! The idea is very straightforward – a half-sphere shaped metal bowl with a stencil cutout that lets the owner very easily personalize their golf balls using a Sharpie or other permanent markers. It's user-friendly, looks good, and prevents the classic mistake of playing the wrong ball. Tin Cup makes college logos for avid alums, countless different dogs, other animals, planes, martinis, wine glasses, lightning bolts, Fleur de Lys, patriotic symbols, you name it they have it. Price: $20 (Larry Olmsted, Forbes Lifestyle Contributor)


RoadID Bracelet


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(RoadID)

“If you can’t speak for yourself, your Road ID will.” A simple but ultra-personalized gift, used by pros like Levi Leipheimer and George Hincapie, it’s a bracelet with engraved metal tag that identifies the rider in case of an accident, since many ride without wallets or other ID. It can also showcase blood type or special medical conditions. An optional 24-hour hotline service maintains additional emergency contacts and medical info (free for first year, $10 annually after). Besides the basic Wrist ID Sport (Velcro), there is Wrist ID Elite (watchband clasp), Wrist ID Slim (thinner band), a dog tag style (Fixx ID), ankle style, models that attach to running shoes (Shoe ID) and even ones for dogs (Scout ID). Price: $15-$30 (Larry Olmsted, Forbes Lifestyle Contributor)


Snow Peak Travel Chopsticks


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(BackCountry.com)

What's a perfect gift for the jetsetting, eco-minded foodie? This set of Snow Peak chopsticks, weighing only one ounce and featuring recycled-wood tips that screw on and off, of course. Price $29.95 (Beth Greenfield, Forbes Travel Contributor)

[More from Forbes: The 10 Retailers With The Most On The Line This Holiday Season]



Scrubba Washbag


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(Scrubba)

Leave it to our friends Down Under to design a laundry bag that doubles as a hand-wash laundry machine. Fill the Scrubba bag halfway with clothes, pour in about three quarts of water and a squeeze of your favorite detergent (even shampoo will work), seal, let out the excess air, and mush your clothes against a flexible "washboard" of tiny, rubbery bumps inside the bag. Rinse, hang, and "good on ya, mate." The Aussie company claims that three minutes is enough for washing-machine-clean. The rest of the time, use the lightweight bag as a laundry sack, or it folds away to the size of a pack of cards. Great for trekking where water's scarce, or for road warriors looking for better than a sink wash. Price: $59.95--slightly more than $50, yes, but worth every extra penny. (Andy Bender, Forbes Travel Contributor)


OSHO Travel Toothbrush


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(OHSO)

OHSO's travel toothbrush is cute and smart: You can fill its handle with toothpaste, allowing you to twist, brush and go. Price: $19.95 (Beth Greenfield, Forbes Travel Contributor)







UV Buff With Insect Shield


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(Buff USA)

Back in the McGuane-Brautigan Florida flats days, cutoff jean shorts were de rigueur. So were bandanas, worn over the face to protect from sun exposure. No one wears cutoff jeans on the flats anymore. And no one wears bandanas, either. They wear Buffs, the new and better bandanas. Buffs block 95% of UV rays. And they’ll keep the bugs away from your face. Plus, you’ll look like a bandit. Note to stuffy golf clubs: Be forewarned. These will become fashionable on the golf course someday. Price: $27 (Monte Burke, Staff Writer)

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