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.
Photo: Best Buy
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
Photo: Black + Decker
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
Already counting down the days until Christmas? Check out the most unique advent calendars on the market this season.
Beard grooming set
If his new beard is more “Canada’s most wanted” than “Chris Hemsworth,” this grooming set will work wonders. The two-step taming process involves a cleansing beard shampoo, followed by a conditioning beard oil, both in soothing scents of wood and spice.
Proraso Special Beard Care Set, $26, Classic Edge
Photo: Hudson's Bay
For the host who’s still haunted by the water-marked tabletops of parties past.
Maison Concepts marble coasters, $35, Hudson’s Bay
Photo: Hudson's Bay
First aid for a cuticle crisis.
Tweezerman Nail Rescue Kit, $30, Hudson’s Bay
Photo: The Source
Help make traveling 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, $49.99, The Source
Photo: Hudson's Bay
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
A NAPA gift card is this season’s best gift for a DIYer, giving them the opportunity to choose among 500,000 parts and tools. Available in participating stores.
Gift card, minimum $25, maximum $250, NAPA
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
Photo: Masdel Inc.
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, $30, Masdel Inc.
Your budding beauty influencer will know how to make the most of this tilting trifold mirror. The 3x magnification is perfect for drawing a flawless cat eye or tracing a defined red lip, while the LED lights will help with proper blending.
Conair True Glow trifold LED lighted makeup mirror, $42, Walmart
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, $23, Well.ca
Find out the best ways to avoid dry skin in winter.
Photo: Province Apothecary
Natural remedies book
Foster a budding interest in natural medicine with this fascinating introduction to Metis healing traditions. All profits from the sale of this book are being donated to The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto.
Medicines to Help Us: Traditional Metis Plant Use, $25, Province Apothecary
Personal safety alarm
Designed for women, by women, this personal safety device emits a piercing alarm and flashing strobe when activated.
She’s Birdie personal safety alarm, $36, Nordstrom
Evergreen essential oils
Even if your condo-dwelling friends are stuck with an artificial tree, they can at least enjoy the scent of the real deal courtesy of this essential oil set. Once they pop the flaming yule log on the flatscreen TV, their urban winter wonderland will be complete!
Tree Scents Trio Essential Oil Collection, $36, Saje Natural Wellness
If you’ve ever had a Game Night derailed by complicated rules, Ticket to Ride is just the, er… Ticket. The refreshingly simple game-play takes only three minutes to master and turns into hours of fun as players race to visit San Francisco landmarks and collect the most souvenirs.
Ticket to Ride Express San Francisco, $35, Asmodee
Check out the best two-player board games to add to your Game Night rotation.
Photo: The Source
Extended USB charge cord
The person whose iPhone is always running on fumes will wonder how they got by before this super-long charging cord. Extending a full 10-feet, they’ll finally be free to wander all around the room while juicing up their phone battery.
Vital 3-metre Lightning-to-USB Type-C PVC Charge & Sync cable (compatible with Apple), $30, The Source
Lightweight, compact gear is essential for camping—not to mention packed lunches at the office. Including a bowl, lid-turned-plate and spork (that also acts as a knife), this kit fits everything you could possibly need to eat a meal in one small, leakproof container.
UCO eco mess kit, $40, MEC
Photo: Movement by NM
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
Photo: Simon & Schuster
A gift for the hesitant chef, this Canadian cookbook teaches the fundamentals of meal prep—from making an omelet to seasoning with salt. It’s filled with easy, flavourful essentials to build your loved one’s confidence in the kitchen.
Make Every Dish Delicious, $40, Simon & Schuster
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. 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
Give their New Year’s resolution to eat healthier a little lift. This non-stick silicone rack allows grease to drain away from food in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or oven, and converts from circular to rectangular with a flick of the wrist. If that wasn’t nifty enough, it even doubles as a trivet to protect tabletops from heat damage.
Cuisipro Dual Rack, $15, Cuisipro
Check out our all-time best slow cooker recipes.
Laneige’s lip sleeping masks are, hands-down, the best remedy for dry, chapped lips. This value kit with five minis (Berry, Gummy Bear, Mango, Vanilla and Mint Choco) means there’s a lip mask for the bathroom, gym bag, handbag, car and bedside table.
Laneige Midnight Minis lip sleeping mask set, $25, Sephora
Photo: President's Choice
This non-stick pan adds oven-baked donuts to your favourite chef’s repertoire. It’s less fussy than frying, and slashes the fat content considerably.
Non-stick carbon steel donut pan, $14, President’s Choice
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
Photo: Bed Bath and Beyond
Manual corkscrews can be a real pain—especially if you’re suffering from arthritis. This sleek battery-powered wine opener makes getting to the good stuff a cinch. (There’s also a foil cutter built into the base!)
Our Table auto wine opener, $30, Bed Bath and Beyond
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
Photo: Chapters Indigo
We all know someone who can’t seem to get a good night’s sleep. This guided journal offers a place for overactive minds to offload their worries and prioritize their to-do lists. It can also be used for analyzing dreams and brainstorming creative projects.
Intelligent Change Night Notes guided journal, $30, Chapters Indigo
Photo: Just Vertical
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
Dry shampoo set
Dry shampoo’s oil-absorbing, volumizing abilities are a godsend for anyone who wants to extend the amount of time between washes (read: people with fine hair or colour-treated hair, plus campers and gym goers). This kit comes with two sizes: one regular and one mini.
Peace, Love, Perk Up dry shampoo set, $34, Amika
Photo: Home Hardware
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, $23, Home Hardware
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
Photo: Chapters Indigo
This pocket-sized speaker is the best friend of travellers, campers and picnickers alike. It can play music from a smartphone or tablet for up to three hours unplugged, and can be paired with another Mino S for double the sound.
Lexon Mino S Bluetooth speaker, $30, Chapters Indigo
Photo: Staples Canada
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
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
Photo: 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, $39, Chapters Indigo
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, $20, Cuisipro
Make sure you’re not making these mistakes with eggs.
Photo: 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, $41, Planetary Design
Supplement your gift with beans from the best coffee roasters across Canada.
Photo: 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, $40, Walmart
Looking for inspiration? Check out 30 delicious desserts that start with cake mix.
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, $35, Staples Canada
Find out the surprising ways you’re shortening the life of your phone.
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
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
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, $40, Walmart
For a finishing touch, print off and share these healthy smoothie recipes!
Dry-mouth sufferers will appreciate this refreshing alcohol-free rinse.
Marvis mouthwash (120 mL), $23, Hudson’s Bay
These tasty tea blends are specifically designed to soothe common cold symptoms.
Cold Survival tea kit, $30, DavidsTea
Check out the health benefits of drinking tea every day.
This laser level is all they’ll need to install the gallery wall of their dreams.
Ryobi Air Grip compact laser level, $50, The Home Depot
An alcohol-free alternative
Elevate their mocktail game with a distilled non-alcoholic spirit.
Seedlip Garden 108, $47, Cocktail Emporium
Don’t miss this roundup of refreshing frozen drink recipes.
The historical records on Ancestry.ca could help fill the gaps in a family tree.
Ancestry.ca gift subscription, from $15/month
Find out what happened when these Canadians discovered their Ancestry DNA results!
Illuminated dog necklace
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, Amazon
Silicone baking Mat
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
Looking for more great Canadian gift ideas? Check out 10 Dragons’ Den products that are actually worth buying.