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50 Problem Solving Presents Under $50: The Great Canadian Gift Guide

Tired of giving gifts that end up collecting dust on the shelf? These thoroughly practical presents are guaranteed to please everyone on your holiday shopping list.

Canadian Gift Guide - Pet Puzzle FeederPhoto: Petsmart

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, $11, Petsmart

Canadian Gift Guide - A Year Of Connections Letter Writing KitPhoto: Chapters Indigo

Know someone who’s feeling out of the loop since the lockdowns lifted? Help them reconnect with friends and family the old-fashioned way: hand-written letters. This charming kit includes a card to mail for each week of the year, plus a guided journal and tips on note-writing.
A Year of Connection letter kit, $33, Chapters Indigo

Psst—here’s what to write in a Christmas card, in case you find yourself stumped this season!

Canadian Gift Guide - Green Velvet SlippersPhoto: Drake General Store

These plush velvet slippers only look luxe! A stylish way to keep even the coldest toes nice and toasty.
Velvet slippers, $45, Drake General Store

Canadian Gift Guide - Cuisipro Egg PoachersPhoto: Cuisipro

Getting in that morning protein just got easier with this set of silicone egg poachers. 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, $21, Cuisipro

Make sure you’re not making these mistakes with eggs.

Canadian Gift Guide - Leather Laptop Folio StaplesPhoto: Staples

Protect a well-travelled laptop with this handsome leather folio. Working on the go never looked so good.
Gry Mattr vegan leather laptop folio (for 15.6″ laptop), $30, Staples Canada

Find out how to save a laptop after a spill.

Guinness Card Rev2Photo: Guinness World Records

Know someone who’s always looking for the next challenge? A roundup of record-breaking environmental achievements could inspire them to make the world a better place in 2022.

Guinness World Records 2022 (fully revised and updated), $29

Canadian Gift Guide - Monopoly Builder Board GamePhoto: Toys R Us

Need an excuse to schedule some quality time with the fam? This addictive update on classic Monopoly will have everyone clamouring for Game Night.
Monopoly Builder board game, $37, Toys R Us

Here are more great two-player board games worth adding to your Game Night rotation.

Canadian Gift Guide - Coffee Storage CanisterPhoto: Planetary Design

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, $37, Planetary Design

How many of these common coffee brewing mistakes are you making?

Canadian Gift Guide - IKEA Nordmarke Wireless ChargerPhoto: IKEA Canada

A wireless charging pad not only reduces wear and tear on a device’s original charging cable, but also works across all devices, from phones to tablets to smart watches. (They’ll never have to hunt for the right cord/adaptor combo again!)
Nordmärke wireless charger, $10 (pair with USB-C cable, $5, sold separately), IKEA Canada 

Find out how often you should restart your phone.

Canadian Gift Guide - Hamilton Beach MixerPhoto: Hamilton Beach

A compact hand mixer makes a great gift for burgeoning bakers—or anyone with limited cupboard space. This affordable option features easy-clean beaters, which make quick work of thick cake batters and sticky icings.
Hamilton Beach six-speed hand mixer, $35, Walmart

Looking for inspiration? Check out 30 delicious desserts that start with cake mix.

Canadian Gift Guide - Roku Express 4kPhoto: Roku

A streaming content player makes virtually any TV Netflix-ready—in stunning 4K clarity.
Roku Express 4K, $50, Roku

Once they’re up and running, try streaming the best Christmas movies of all time.

Canadian Gift Guide - Mens Hiking SocksPhoto: Smartwool

As any outdoor enthusiast will tell you, there’s nothing worse than socks that start to slouch at the beginning of a hike. These durable mountain-print beauties from Canada’s own Smartwool are designed to stay put—with the added benefit of mesh zones for breathability and comfort, no matter where you roam.
Men’s hike light cushion mountain print crew socks, $29, Smartwool

Here are the best hikes across Canada.

Canadian Gift Guide - Toothpaste DispenserPhoto: Chapters Indigo

Here’s something no neat freak should be without: A wall-mounted toothpaste dispenser that keeps the bathroom counter clutter-free, and delivers the perfect amount of paste every time.
Toothpaste dispenser, $18, Chapters Indigo

Want to pass on some wisdom along with your gift? Here are 20+ secrets professional organizers don’t want you to know.

Canadian Gift Guide - Staples USB Charging BackpackPhoto: Staples

Students, commuters and frequent flyers alike will appreciate this backpack’s padded straps, multiple interior pockets (including a laptop compartment) and external USB port with charging cable.
General Supply Goods & Co. daypack with USB port, $50, Staples Canada

Find out 10 surprising ways you’re shortening the life of your phone.

Canadian Gift Guide - Cooling Wine GlassesPhoto: Amazon

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), $26, Amazon

Don’t miss these genius tricks to open a wine bottle without a corkscrew.

Canadian Gift Guide - Florence Mask Kit SdmPhoto: Shoppers Drug Mart

New to Canada, Millie Bobby Brown’s skin-care line focuses on combating environmental stressors—think UV, pollution and blue light—that are taking a toll on our complexions. Treat someone to a spa day (at home) with this facial-in-a-box, including a full-sized peel-off mask, travel-size pore mask and a pair of under-eye gel pads.
Florence by Mills Double Masking kit, $33, Shoppers Drug Mart

Always do this if you want to avoid dry skin in winter.

Canadian Gift Guide - Philips Battery ToothbrushPhoto: Philips

A great addition to any traveller’s arsenal, this battery-powered electric toothbrush comes in a slim case for easy packing. It boasts micro-vibrations that gently clean the teeth and a timer that guides through two-minute brushings.
Philips One by Sonicare electric toothbrush, $35, Philips

Find out how often you should be replacing your toothbrush.

Canadian Gift Guide - Saje Gift SetPhoto: Saje

Canada’s own Saje Natural Wellness recently launched a new skin care range that targets different skin concerns. For those suffering from dry, flaky skin, relief can be found in this oh-so-giftable travel-size set of True Dew cleanser, moisturizer and face oil.
True Dew Collection, $44, Saje

These are the best foods for healthy skin that glows.

Canadian Gift Guide 2021 - Starfrit Personal BlenderPhoto: Walmart

Smart-sizing shouldn’t just apply to real estate. Complete with travel cups, this mini-blender is great for whipping up single-serving smoothies to go. (Psst—it even doubles as a coffee mill!)
Starfrit electric personal blender, $35, Walmart

For a finishing touch, print off and share these healthy smoothie recipes!

Canadian Gift Guide - Shower SpeakerPhoto: Hudson's Bay

Phones and water aren’t a good mix, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a soundtrack along with your daily soak. This Bluetooth speaker is waterproof, and designed to float in the tub or hang in the shower from a suction cup. Brilliant!
Art + Sound waterproof Bluetooth speaker, $30, Hudson’s Bay

Find out the most popular song from the year you were born.

Canadian Gift Guide - Vlogging KitPhoto: Walmart

If they’re working from home on a permanent basis these days, they’re probably spending a lot of time on video conference calls. For just $20, this kit —with a flexible ring light, phone holder, clamp and wireless remote—will add a bit of polish to those professional appearances (even if they’re still in their PJ pants).
For You vlogging kit, $20, Walmart

Here are more tips to help you make the most of working from home.

Canadian Gift Guide - Summer Fridays TrioPhoto: Sephora

Small enough to tote on an airplane or stash in a gym bag, these perfume-oil rollerballs are instant mood-boosters when applied on pressure points. Between Coconut Wave (coconut, eucalyptus and sugarcane), Soft Vanilla (vanilla cream, almond blossom and pistachio) and Crisp Citrus (lemon and lime zest), at least one of the scents is guaranteed to please.
Summer Fridays The Trio perfume oils, $47, Sephora

Canadian Gift Guide - Home Hardware JigsawPhoto: Home Hardware

Foster a budding do-it-yourselfer’s home improvement skills with a compact jigsaw. The versatile tool makes smooth cuts in everything from wood to metal and aluminum, and the cordless design is a dream to manoeuvre.
Benchmark 20V Max cordless orbital jigsaw, $40, Home Hardware

You can tackle these quick home repairs in 10 minutes—or less!

Canadian Gift Guide - Shoe Shine KitPhoto: Hudson's Bay

Emergency first-aid for salt-stained shoes.
Perry Ellis seven-piece shoe shine kit, $48, Hudson’s Bay

Find out how to get rid of the salt stains in your car.

Canadian Gift Guide - Everist Body Wash ConcentratePhoto: Everist

This tiny recyclable aluminum tube contains enough body wash for 30 washes, reducing waste and taking up minimal space in a shower or carry-on. Give it to the eco-conscious individual in your life, or the traveller or camper who needs to pack light.
Everist waterless body wash concentrate (100 mL), $28, Everist

Canadian Gift Guide - Sportchek Hockey StickPhoto: Sport Chek

Don’t drop a ton of cash on hockey equipment before your kid is ready to commit. This lightweight, budget-friendly stick is ideally suited for beginners.
Sherwood Playrite youth hockey stick, $50, Sport Chek

Canadian Gift Guide - IKEA Alarm ClockPhoto: IKEA Canada

An illuminating alarm clock that wakes you up gently, with a gradual increase in brightness and volume.
Fnurra alarm clock/wake-up light, $25, IKEA Canada

Here’s more great advice on how to wake up happier every morning.

Canadian Gift Guide - Frasier Fir Candle Chapters IndigoPhoto: Chapters Indigo

An evergreen-scented candle is the next best thing to a fresh-cut Christmas tree.
Thymes Frasier Fir aromatic candle, $38, Chapters Indigo

Are you on the market for a fresh-cut fir? Here’s the best time to buy a Christmas tree in Canada.

Canadian Gift Guide - ASL Flash Card DiscsPhoto: Tree Fort Toys on Etsy

Beautifully-designed flash card discs to master the ABCs of American Sign Language.
ASL alphabet flash cards, $28, Tree Fort Toys on Etsy

Discover the fascinating histories of eight classic Christmas ornaments.

Canadian Gift Guide - Marvis MouthwashPhoto: Hudson's Bay

Dry-mouth sufferers will appreciate this refreshing alcohol-free rinse.
Marvis mouthwash (120 mL), $23, Hudson’s Bay

Feeling fresh enough to pucker up? Here’s how the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe got started.

Canadian Gift Guide - Davids Tea Cold SurvivalPhoto: Shutterstock

Tasty tea blends specifically designed to soothe common cold symptoms.
Cold Survival tea kit, $30, DavidsTea

Check out the health benefits of drinking tea every day.

Canadian Gift Guide - St Tropez Self Tanning LotionPhoto: Sephora

Even if the pandemic has put paid to their annual escape south, they can still enjoy a natural-looking sun-kissed glow.
St. Tropez everyday tinted body lotion (200 mL), $40, Sephora

Learn to spot the telltale signs you’re not getting enough sunlight.

Canadian Gift Guide - Canadian Tire BinocularsPhoto: Canadian Tire

Lightweight binoculars will bring a backyard bird feeder into focus.
Tasco 10×25 binoculars, $25, Canadian Tire

Avid birders will also want to check out our gallery of gorgeous Canadian bird photos.

Canadian Gift Guide - Vanity Mirror With SpeakerPhoto: The Home Depot

Not a morning person? This sleek vanity mirror is the perfect pick-me-up: it doubles as a wireless speaker!
Glacier Bay double-sided LED vanity mirror with Bluetooth technology speaker, $30, The Home Depot

Canadian Gift Guide - Pickle WeightsPhoto: Amazon

Glass weights to keep home-pickled produce fully submerged in the brine.
Masontops Pickle Pebbles fermentation weights (pack of four), $23, Amazon

These Depression-era cooking tips are just as relevant today.

Canadian Gift Guide - Tile Item Tracker Best BuyPhoto: Liam Mogan

A Bluetooth tracker ensures they’ll never lose their keys again.
Tile Pro Bluetooth item tracker, $40, Best Buy

Here are 40 home organizing hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Canadian gift guide 2021 - Bread making toolsPhoto: Amazon

Professional-grade tools take the sweat out of fresh-baked bread.
Breadsmart Artisan bread whisk and bench scraper, $20, Amazon

These easy bread recipes are a great place to get started!

Canadian Gift Guide - Chunky Knit Throw BlanketPhoto: HomeSense

A cozy throw blanket can breathe new life into an old sofa.
Chunky knit throw blanket, $40, HomeSense

Here are more great ways to cozy-up a home this season.

Canadian Gift Guide - Pet CamPhoto: The Home Depot

Keep tabs on a furry friend with a streaming pet cam.
Wyze V3 indoor/outdoor camera, $44, The Home Depot

Get to know the most common household health risks for pets.

Canadian Gift Guide - Hands Off GamePhoto: Mastermind Toys

Part Twister, part Simon Says, this interactive game will get any couch potato moving.
Hands Full game, $40, Mastermind Toys

Need to give your brain a workout? Try these printable crossword puzzles.

Canadian Gift Guide - Laser Level RyobiPhoto: The Home Depot

This laser level is all they’ll need to install the gallery wall of their dreams.
Ryobi Air Grip compact laser level, $40, The Home Depot

Canadian Gift Guide - Seedlip BottlePhoto: Cocktail Emporium

Elevate their mocktail game with a distilled non-alcoholic spirit.
Seedlip Garden 108, $50, Cocktail Emporium

Don’t miss this roundup of refreshing frozen drink recipes.

Canadian Gift Guide - Seed Planting TemplatePhoto: Amazon

A seed-sowing template ensures perfectly-spaced plants—and a bountiful veggie patch.
Seed spacer garden tool, $33, Amazon

Check out more expert gardening tips that will save time, money and effort.

Canadian Gift Guide 2021 - Knife Sharpener

A quick fix for knives that have dulled in the dishwasher.
KitchenIQ compact electric and manual knife sharpener, $50, Bed Bath & Beyond

Find out how the pros care for their kitchen knives.

Canadian Gift Guide - SubscriptionPhoto:

The historical records on could help fill the gaps in a family tree. gift subscription, $15/month

Find out what happened when these Canadians discovered their AncestryDNA results!

Canadian Gift Guide - Herb Growing KitPhoto: Chapters Indigo

When they’re living without a garden, but still want to flex their green thumb.
Modern Sprout self-watering basil grow kit, $23, Chapters Indigo

Check out more inspired winter gardening tips from landscaping expert Carson Arthur.

Canadian Gift Guide - Wireless Keyboard In RosePhoto: Best Buy

If they’ve been hunched over their little laptop since the pandemic kicked off, a wireless keyboard spells relief.
Logitech K380 Bluetooth keyboard for Mac, $50, Best Buy

These pain management tips from physiotherapists could also come in handy.

Canadian Gift Guide - LED Dog NecklacePhoto: Walmart

This LED-illuminated necklace makes nighttime walks a little safer—especially if your loved one’s pooch is prone to bolting.
Nite Ize NiteHowl LED Safety Necklace, $12, Walmart

Discover 13 ways to help your pet live longer.

Canadian Gift Guide - Anna Olson Baking MatPhoto: Anna Olson Kitchen

If they go through three rolls of parchment paper prepping for the annual cookie exchange, a silicone baking mat pays for itself.
Anna Olson Kitchen silicone baking mat, $25, Hudson’s Bay

Don’t miss our best-ever Christmas cookie recipes.

Canadian Gift Guide - Brita PitcherPhoto: Brita

Finally—a water filtration pitcher for the condo-sized fridge.
Brita Soho pitcher, $20, Walmart

Still buying bottled water? Here are 50 facts that will make you rethink single-use plastics.

Canadian Gift Guide - Dinner BellPhoto: The Home Depot

If it’s hard to get everyone’s attention when Christmas dinner is served, take a page out of the Wild West playbook.
Lodge chuckwagon dinner bell, $40, The Home Depot

If you loved these Canadian gift ideas, you’ll also get a kick out of these hilarious holiday jokes.