Great Canadian Gift Ideas: Problem Solving Presents Under $50
Tired of giving gifts that end up collecting dust on the shelf? These thoroughly practical presents are guaranteed to please everyone on your shopping list.
50 Practical Gift Ideas Under $50
Give the gift of a good night’s rest—no blackout blinds needed. From Canadian brand Silk & Snow, this silk sleep mask is an inspired alternative to yet another pair of PJs.
Silk sleep mask, $35, Silk & Snow
If your loved one is a beginner chef (or can’t stand grocery shopping), they’ll enjoy this easy-to-follow cookbook from superstar chef Jamie Oliver, which includes simple, healthy recipes using only five ingredients each.
5 Ingredients Mediterranean: Simple Incredible Food by Jamie Oliver, $45, Indigo
They’ll never have to hunt for a notepad again with this electronic “notepad” that feels just like writing with a pen on paper. It also responds to finger scribbles, and the notes can be scanned and uploaded to your various devices using the Boogie Board app.
Boogie Board Jot 8.5” LCD e-writer, $40, Staples Canada
Reusable hand warmers
If you’re not a fan of the great outdoors, hand warmers go a long way in making winter activities bearable. Problem is, most of them are a single-use design that isn’t very eco-friendly. Enter Hot Poc+, the warmers that can be used 100 times. Simply click to turn on, enjoy toasty hands, then boil to reactivate.
Hot Poc+ reusable hand warmers, pack of four, $38, Hot Poc
Find out what it was like on the coldest day in Canadian history.
Ever hear her complain about the soft fuzz above her lip or stray hairs that sprout from her chin? If the answer is yes, she’ll love this compact, pain-free hair removal gadget that comes with a built-in mirror.
5000 Series facial hair remover, $30, Philips
Adult lunch bag
Simple and chic, this insulated tote is the perfect companion to last night’s leftovers, or a “homemade lunches only” New Year’s resolution.
Lunch bag, $25, Bugatti
Providing undeniable French flair in a classic Canadian red, the silicone trivet from Le Creuset will protect most surfaces from hot dishes and pans—and can even be used under mixing bowls to prevent slipping.
French trivet, $25, Le Creuset
Discover more cooking hacks from the pros.
Designed to hook around the ears, these sport headphones won’t fall off during intense sweat sessions. An added bonus: There’s absolutely zero chance of tangles.
JLab Go Air sport in-ear truly wireless headphones, $50, Best Buy
Wet/dry hand vacuum
When the canister vac is too bulky to lug out to the garage, nothing beats a Dustbuster. It’s just the thing for quick detailing of your car’s interior—even if the mats are still a little slushy.
Black + Decker Dustbuster wet/dry hand vacuum, $45, The Home Depot
Compact coffee maker
This retro-style single-cup coffee maker is small enough to stash in a desk or cupboard, but let’s be honest—it looks so sleek, they’ll want to keep it out on display.
Frigidaire single-cup coffee maker, $44, The Home Depot
Psst—here’s where you’ll find Canada’s best cups of coffee.
Mini donut machine
Whether they’ve got kids or grandkids, like to entertain, or simply have an insatiable sweet tooth, this adorable donut maker will make a welcome addition to their kitchen’s appliance garage.
Dash mini donut express maker, $45, Home Hardware
Help your loved one make the switch from single-use plastics with these durable, stain-resistant silicone bags. They can go anywhere: the car, the cupboard, the dishwasher—even the microwave. They’ll even manoeuvre their way into a jam-packed freezer.
Reusable silicone bags, pack of three, $34, Lee Valley
Fresh herbs have never been easier to sprinkle on meals than with this efficient mill that minces leafy varieties like parsley, dill, mint, cilantro and basil without bruising. It also comes with a built-in stripper for removing leaves from stems.
Herb mill, $27, Lee Valley
Psst—this is the real difference between herbs and spices.
Aromatherapy sleep kit
The fitful sleeper or frequent flyer will appreciate this pouch filled with products designed to create a restful environment. It includes a travel-friendly roll-on, mist and body butter with calming essential oils like chamomile and lavender.
Sleep Well restful sleep kit, $44, Saje
Check out the best podcasts to help you sleep.
When they’re under the weather, a nice cup of tea can make all the difference. To make a healing brew, simply rip open the appropriate tea packet (choose from Cold 911, Headache Halo or Throat Rescue), pour it into the mug’s infuser with hot water, and steep those nasty symptoms away.
Tea 911 Nordic mug and tea gift set, $35, DavidsTea
Reusable eye patches
Applied over eye cream, these vegan silicone patches help active ingredients to penetrate and reduce dark circles and fine lines. They can even be stored in the refrigerator for a refreshing cooling sensation. (Skin-care lovers should also check out the brand’s personalized beauty products, all made in Quebec!)
Good morning reusable eye patches, $20, Omy Laboratories
Beard oil kit
He’ll never have a scratchy beard again thanks to these Canadian-made conditioning oils. They promise to add shine, reduce skin irritation and soften the hair with a mix of argan, coconut, grapeseed and jojoba.
Beard oil variety set, pack of four, $26, Rocky Mountain Barber
Eczema skin care
Itchy, dry, red skin will benefit from this four-piece system from Nova Scotia’s Skinfix. Designed to soothe, moisturize and protect, it includes body wash, body balm, face balm and hand cream to target all areas typically ravaged by eczema.
Eczema care kit, $48, Skinfix
The ideal relative humidity in a home should be between 30 and 50 percent—but that can be hard to manage all year round. This humidity sensor from Canadian brand Vitruvi is the cue your loved one needs to crank up the humidifier.
Humidity sensor, $11, Vitruvi
Making the perfect cup of tea or bowl of instant oatmeal has never been easier. This electric kettle brings water to a boil faster than a microwave, and features automatic shutoff, which makes it safer than the stovetop.
Hamilton Beach electric kettle with LED light, $45, Walmart
Follow our healthy home checklist to eliminate potential hazards in every room.
Candied jalapeño relish… Spicy tomato… Charcuterie mustard… Elevate a basic burger or sandwich to gourmet status with a generous schmear of these delicious spreads, all made on British Columbia’s Salt Spring Island.
Gourmet burger trio collection gift box, $25, SaltSpring Kitchen Co.
Find out why Salt Spring Island is one of the best places to visit in B.C.
Made from ceramic and cork and available in three luxe-looking prints, these Canadian-designed coasters absorb condensation and spills to keep surfaces stain-free.
Absorbent ceramic coasters, pack of four, $28, Baltic Club
As soon as daylight hours start dwindling, we could all benefit from a little mood-boosting light therapy. This lamp has three modes, with 10,000 lux being the ideal therapeutic dose, and three timer settings so your loved one can get the feel-good rays they deserve.
Suxio Light Therapy Lamp, $40, Amazon
Brush up on the surprising benefits of light therapy.
Travel jewellery case
They’ll never have to worry about scratched rings or misplaced earrings again with this mini travel case designed to protect jewellery on the go.
Petite travel jewellery box, $40, Stackers Canada
Rotating phone mount
Just because you’re on a video call doesn’t mean you can’t multi-task. This hands-free phone mount automatically tracks—and follows—faces, allowing you more freedom of movement while you’re in that Zoom meeting.
Zunammy 360-rotation face-tracking phone mount, $24, Hudson’s Bay
While you’re at it, check out these mind-blowing iPhone hacks!
Dog collar Airtag case
Anxious pet parents, rejoice! This Apple Airtag holder easily slides onto collars up to one-inch wide so pets can be tracked at all times—even if they run off or spend the day at grandma’s house.
Case-Mate Apple Airtag case for dog collar, $20, Hudson’s Bay
Mini reading light
Coupled readers will appreciate this clip-on reading light so they can get lost in a book while their partner snoozes. It has an extra-long, flexible neck and adjustable brightness so each page is precisely lit.
If flexible book light, $25, Indigo
Here’s why you should always read before bed.
Hunching over a laptop can wreak havoc on your posture—but a stand like this six-height adjustable version can help reduce neck strain. Able to splurge? Pair it with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse for the ultimate ergonomic gift set.
Targus ergonomic adjustable laptop stand, $35, Walmart
Sore muscles can take a hike! Designed to release tension after workouts, each massage ball in this Lululemon set targets a different muscle group. Use the large one on glutes, hamstrings and quads; the medium for pecs, shoulders and calves; and the small for tense hands and feet.
Release and recover ball set, $34, Lululemon
Lightweight first-aid kit
Need gift ideas for the avid outdoorsperson in your life? Designed for hiking and camping, this durable first-aid kit covers minor injuries like cuts, scrapes, splinters and bug bites. It’s also a smart item to stash in a backpack for long bike rides, in the glove box for road trips and even at the cabin in case of accidents.
Adventure Medical Kits ultra-light first-aid kit, $36, MEC
Here’s what every first aid kid needs.
Easy-pack lunch container
There’s no need for a microwave or fridge with this vacuum-sealed stainless-steel flask. It’ll keep food at the right temperature—hot for up to six hours and cold for up to eight hours—when your loved one’s on the go.
Food flask, $46, B, Halfmoon
Help make travelling a breeze with a tile tracker! Keep track of luggage and other valuables by syncing your tracker to your phone. Monitor location as you travel and be alerted when your belongings are out of reach.
Tile slim tracker, $50, The Source
White noise machine
This dreamy sleeping aid will drown out the distractions of noisy neighbours and traffic.
Yogasleep sound machine and night light, $50, Hudson’s Bay
Baking fresh cinnamon buns takes time. Cut to the main event with Rosen’s cinnamon bun spread, from Canadian writer and cookbook author Amy Rosen. It elevates everything from toast and pancakes to oatmeal and ice cream.
Cinnamon bun spread, $10, Rosen’s
Ideal for athletes and gym buffs who deal with sore muscles on the regular, these compression socks help improve circulation, reduce muscle pain and speed up recovery.
Supporo unisex compression socks, $31, Masdel Inc.
You’re not imagining it—weather really does affect joint pain.
Ragged cuticles and rough knuckles go hand in hand (pun intended) with Canadian winters. But there’s a fix: cult favourite Weleda Skin Food hand cream, the ultimate moisturizer for dry skin. The cotton gloves included with the kit are designed to enhance absorption for smooth, soft hands—even in January.
Weleda Skin Food hand mask experience, $26, Well.ca
Find out the best ways to avoid dry skin in winter.
Online fitness classes
Getting to the gym or yoga can be a struggle for anyone with a busy schedule. These online classes can help. Created by a Canadian mother-daughter duo, the monthly subscriptions give access to instruction in combat, dance, yoga and more. Have only 10 minutes to spare? Select a class by duration.
Online fitness memberships, $15/month, Movement by NM
Ski wax kit
Whether they’re an avid cross-country skier or looking to take up the sport, this wax kit makes a fantastic gift idea. The three different waxes are suited for various temperature ranges to ensure smooth skiing well into shoulder season.
Swix tour pack wax kit, $47, MEC
Everyone loves candles, but constantly burning them down and then tossing out their containers isn’t very eco-friendly. Canadian brand Everly has a solution: Wax-and-wick kits that turn any old jar into a refillable candle. (Here’s how it works!)
Magia grapefruit and labdanum candle refill, $35, Everly
Even if you’ve got the same black suitcase as every other flyer, these distinctive tags make it a cinch to spot your luggage on the carousel.
Luggage tag charms, $30, Away
The most satisfying way to fight soaring produce prices is to grow your own. With the help of this foolproof seed starting kit, a green thumb is surplus to requirements.
Seedling kit (includes basil, arugula, lettuce and kale), $40, Just Vertical
Even if they don’t need a full tool chest, it’s always handy to have a couple of screwdrivers around—and the basics are covered off in this ultra-affordable 10-in-1 kit.
Benchmark 10-in-1 multi-driver, $18, Home Hardware
Check out 20 essential tools for the home mechanic.
Used cat litter stinks but, thanks to this sleek container, your favourite cat parent can still enjoy an odour-free home. All they need to do is scoop the used litter into the bin and close the lid. It will seal in odours and bacteria until it’s time to take out the trash.
Cat litter pail design plus, $26, LitterLocker
These cat GIFs are purr-fect for any occasion.
Any seasoned traveller will tell you: Packing cubes are the secret to efficient travel. Use them to bundle individual outfits ahead of time, separate tops from bottoms, or even clean laundry from dirty—whichever system makes sense for you and your suitcase. Be sure to roll each garment before popping it in the cube: You’ll max out the available space and avoid wrinkles.
Gry Mattr packing cubes (3 pack), $30, Staples Canada
Don’t miss our ultimate guide to healthy travel for seniors.
Ideal for dogs that scarf their food, are overweight or just easily bored, this rubber “puzzle feeder” bowl turns chow-time into a challenge.
Top Paw grey puzzle feeder, $13, Petsmart
These hilarious dog jokes will leave you howling with laughter.
Getting in that morning protein just got easier with this silicone egg poacher. The hands-free design onto the rim of your pan, and ensures the boiling water circulates evenly around the egg for results that are just *chef’s kiss*.
Egg poacher, $15, Cuisipro
Find out how to buy the best eggs at the grocery store.
An airtight storage container is the perfect present for the coffee connoisseur. Not only will it keep up to 2.5 pounds of their favourite beans fresh, it can also be used to store pantry essentials like flour, sugar, oats and popcorn.
Airscape Kilo, $41, Planetary Design
As an extra-thoughtful flourish, pair your gift with beans from the best coffee roasters across Canada.
White wine, champagne, rosé—it’s all better cold, and your giftee will never have to wait for their bottle to chill again with these stemless wine glasses that are made for stashing in the freezer.
Host Freeze cooling wine glasses (set of two), $43, Amazon
The historical records on Ancestry.ca could help fill the gaps in a family tree.
Ancestry.ca gift subscription, from $15/month
Read up on how DNA testing is reuniting families.