The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Community News Network

November 30, 2012

20 holiday gifts under $50

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7. Travel charger. The jet-setter in your life will appreciate this four-pronged travel charger, to help them top off the juice in their electronics. It rolls up efficiently to occupy minimal luggage space. $49. www.restorationhardware.com.

8. Cheese board and spreader. Keep charcuterie, cheese and olives on hand, and you're always ready to party. $28. www.cwonder.com.

9. Alarm dock. Areaware's beech alarm clock is high-tech but looks low. Plug in an iPhone or iPod Touch while running a clock app, and you'll see the time and charge your device at the same time. A natural, organic-looking addition to an entryway landing strip. $40. www.thefutureperfect.com.

10. Trays and dishes. Great for serving and organizing anywhere in your home, these are go-to items for many experienced gift-givers. Two choices: nesting blue trays ($49, www.wisteria.com) or a small, decorative dish designed by decoupaging vintage-style prints — we're partial to the crab — by John Derian, ($48 each, www.neimanmarcus.com).

11. Bookends. As if that book lover needs more books. Get bookends, instead, as a way of supporting a healthy reading habit. The carved white resin is a fresh take on traditional motifs typically found on wooden architectural accents. $35.90. www.zarahome.com.

12. Snowman family kit. There are 26 solid-wood pieces including carrot noses, eyes, eyeglasses, mouths, antlers and buttons. Six black coal-like pieces are also included to suit a more button-nose-and-two-eyes-made-out-of-coal type. $29.95. www.llbean.com.

13. Ornaments. An easy seasonal hostess gift, we were especially taken with the wishbone ($15) and the flying pig ($19). www.vivaterra.com.

14. Cake stand. Go for the unexpected: a beehive-shaped cake stand. It's great for birthday gatherings, but also a whimsical way of storing cupcakes and cookies in the kitchen. $39. www.westelm.com.

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