20 holiday gifts for the home for less than $50

By Terri Sapienza

The holidays have officially arrived, which means you need to schedule time for gift shopping. We've done the legwork, so all you need to do is pull up a chair, take out your gift list and your credit card. If all goes well, most of your holiday shopping will be complete by the time you finish reading.

More gift ideas: Complete Holiday Gift Guide | Presents for gardeners


Botanical calendar

Give the gift of art that's functional, too. Hand-painted illustrations of flowers and fruit will make every day of the year look more special. Botanical calendar, $28; fruit calendar (not shown), $16.

Buy it.


Homegrown monogram mug

Pretty, practical and personal. And less than $10 each. Pair one with flavored tea or just fill it with candy and make it a gift on its own. This could be the go-to gift for the women on your list. $8.

Buy it.



Anyone could use a bound book of blank pages to record his thoughts or to-do lists. Pair either with a pen or box of pretty pencils to complete the package. Paperblanks hand-tooled lined journal, $18.95; floral stripe fabric string-bound journal, $14.95; Orla Kiely pencils, $11.95 for a box of 10.

Buy the brown or floral print journal or the pencils.


Zinc outdoor thermometer

A gift that gives all year-round. This easy-to-read thermometer will become even better looking over time as the zinc develops a worn and weathered patina. $38.

Buy it.


Guest towel and soap

Pair soft waffle-pique towels with fragrant soap in pretty packaging for a gift anyone would be pleased to receive. Guest towels, available with black, white, gray, khaki or navy trim, $24; Claus Porto soaps, $14 each. Timothy Paul Bedding and Home, 1529A 14th St. NW.

Buy it.


Tea bouquet gift

For the serious tea drinker in your life: a glass teapot with an elegant and fragrant hand-tied tea bouquet that remains visible as it seeps. $42.

Buy it.


Roost apple and pear pinch bowls

These sweet, petite wood bowls are designed for holding salt and pepper, but their small size is also ideal for keeping supplies organized on a desktop. Could there be a cuter teacher gift? $35 for the pair.

Buy it.


Red rubber address stamp from Lettergirl

For those who still like to put the extra effort, and some personality, into handwritten correspondence. You know the type. And you know how much they would love their return address mounted on a wood block. Starts at $38; optional handle is an additional $5.

Buy it.


Mason jar sewing kit

A handmade pin cushion tops this charming assortment of mending materials. These delightfully packaged sewing supplies would be a good pick for a novice sewer, college student or recent graduate. Maybe even your favorite bachelor. $48.

Buy it.


AM/FM/MP3 sound station

At only three inches high and six inches wide, this wood-framed radio and audio player speaker can be placed on a tabletop or easily tossed in a tote bag for tunes on the go. $29.

Buy it.


Custom photo notepad

What grandparent could resist writing paper that boasts a loved one's smiling face? These 100-page pads feature black-and-white photos and magnets on the back. Orders must be received by Dec. 12 for Christmas delivery. $16.95 each.

Buy it.


Zebra porcelain tray

The graphic print and cool color combinations on these ceramic trays will add flair just about anywhere. Keep keys, cellphones, loose change, hand soap, jewelry, a notepad, the list goes on. Available in blue, brown and green. $39.

Buy it.


Fish hotel

If the kids are begging for a four-legged friend this holiday, perhaps this nifty fishbowl will keep their requests at bay for a bit. Multiple bowls can be stacked to create a hotel effect. Available in white and black at Umbra, $35. Available in white only at Crate and Barrel, $29.95.

Buy it at Umbra or Crate and Barrel.


Bone clad storage box

Need a gift for a guy? These handsome bone boxes are lined in felt and are perfect for keeping cuff links, business cards, a cellphone and wallet or office supplies. $34.

Buy it.


Glassybaby votive holder

It takes four glassblowers to create each of these surprisingly substantial handmade vessels. They're made for candles but could also be used as drinking glasses or vases. If you think they're pretty now, wait until you light a candle in one. A great gift for a girlfriend. Made in more than 400 colors, available throughout the year. $44 each.

Buy it.


Hand-painted boxes

These lovely containers are technically jewelry boxes, but we can think of so many other uses for them. The appealing black pattern will make them stand out in any space. A bonus: One set of boxes can equal two gifts. $89 for a set of two.

Buy it.


Canvas tablet cases

Smart-looking storage for mobile phones, tablets, e-readers and laptops. These colorful canvas cases are lined with soft padding for extra protection. Starts at $9; monogramming available for an additional $7.

Buy it.


Bamboo iPad stand

Watching movies or following a recipe on your tablet would be much easier with this foldable, portable and affordable stand. $24.

Buy it.


Antico Frantoio Muraglia 'Intenso' extra-virgin olive oil

High-quality olive oil in a reusable rainbow-striped ceramic vessel. Buy two because you're going to want one for yourself. $48.

Buy it.


Boxed notecards

Heavy cardstock, beveled edges and tissue-lined envelopes in coordinating colors. An elegant addition to anyone's stationery wardrobe. $45 for a box of 10 with the same motif.

Buy it.

GRAPHIC: Emily Ingram - The Washington Post. Published Nov. 30, 2011.