I always run into the same dilemma during the holiday season: Buying gifts. It’s not that I can’t come up with ideas for great gifts that I know my wife and kids will like. That stuff is usually pretty easy. No, for me it’s the small gifts. You know, the ones for cool stocking stuffers, the office party gift exchange, or that one neighbour who always waters your garden for you. I also don’t start buying gifts until about Dec. 24, but that’s another problem. And sure, you can always get the old standby of a good bottle of hooch, but that’s terribly unoriginal and also not applicable (or legal) when the giftee is under 18. Seriously, ask my parole officer. No. No. I’m kidding, of course. But, this year to help out everyone else who also hates hunting around for an inexpensive gift that isn’t lame, here are my picks for Gifts Under $50 That Can’t Miss.
Litehawk II Helicopter
So, you want a gift that people will unwrap and say “cool,” and really mean it? Two words. Remote-controlled helicopter. Okay, that’s three words, but the point is… it’s a remote-controlled helicopter! Who doesn’t want one of those? I want one of those. Actually, a couple of years ago I did get a similar gift and I loved it. The Litehawk features a three-channel IR remote controller and a lithium USB chargeable battery, plus breakaway blades for enhanced safety. And, did I mention it was a remote-controlled helicopter?
Philips Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Everyone has a smartphone or tablet these days, but unfortunately those things have woefully inadequate speakers. Here you have something that contains perfect digital reproductions of your entire music collection, and yet for the most part the speakers sound like the music is coming out of a Dixie cup. So, it’s almost a necessity to own some sort of external speaker system for your devices, and the Philips Portable Bluetooth Speaker lets you bring your tunes anywhere you want to go. You get up to six hours of music on a single charge of the lithium polymer battery, and you can either use the audio-in jack or Bluetooth to blast your tunes with higher audio fidelity.
Another cool gift idea for folks with smartphones and tablets (or as I like to call them: Everyone) is the Google Chromecast. This little gizmo plugs into your TV’s HDMI port, and then lets you use your mobile device to stream movies, music, games and apps right to the big screen. It’s compatible with iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, as well as Macs and PCs.
LEGO Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype
Lego is all the rage these days — both with kids and adults. Couple that with the impending release of the new Star Wars movie, and the LEGO Star Wars TIE Advanced Prototype seems like a no-brainer as a gift that’ll illicit a few “oohhs” and “ahhs” when the wrapping paper gets torn off. It’s definitely something on the list for my son, and I’ll get a kick out of building it with him. The Tie also comes with three minifigures: The Inquisitor, a TIE Fighter Pilot and an Imperial Officer.
Jurassic World 1-4
Everyone loves movies, and there’s sure to be someone on your list who also has a penchant for blood-thirsty marauding dinosaurs running amuck. This is the total collection of the Jurassic Park movies, from the classic original to the recent 2015 release and mega-blockbuster Jurassic World. The six-disc set is a sure-fire hit for over the holidays when there’s time to relax on the couch with the family and watch people getting devoured by prehistoric monstrosities. Ahhh, Christmas. It gets me all teary.
So there you have it, some top picks for Gifts Under $50 That Can’t Miss. We’ve given you some great ideas, or at least some great starting points… now, just don’t wait until Dec, 24 to start checking off that list.
By Steven Hill, Technology, and Gadgets
I am an award-winning writer, freelance journalist and blogger who is a self-confessed geek and tech lover. When not playing the latest video games or salivating over the newest gadgets, I enjoy cooking for my family, mountain biking or snowboarding the deep powder on Whistler Mountain. You can follow me on Twitter at @vancouvergeek .