Thoughtful Gifts That Mean Much More Than They Cost

Thoughtful gifts for him and her under $50.

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Finding the perfect present isn’t always the easiest ― even if you’re an expert gift giver. Of course, you want to get something that’s thoughtful and will really catch your giftee off guard.

It’s seeing that spark of surprise in someone’s eyes when they unwrap your gift that makes all the extra effort worth it.

Finding the ultimate gift is all about the getting the balance between thoughtfulness, understanding the occasion and ― the big one ― budget. If you nail those three, you’re sure to go down in gift-giving history, regaled during holidays to come.

And you can do this without shelling out so much to show you care. Your wallet doesn’t have to suffer, either. You do, however, have to think a little about what exactly your gift recipient will find meaningful.

To take some of the stress out of shopping this holiday season, we’ve got a list of thoughtful gifts for family, friends and loved ones all under $50. But remember: you’ve got to personalize these gifts to make them extra special.

A whimsical portrait of the giftee’s pet.
Etsy / GoatLucky
Pet parents will love these custom portraits, which can show their furry friend's face in all its glory and can be customized with their name and a background color for the print.
The book set that encourages mother and daughter to exchange letters.
Uncommon Goods
This book honors the bond between mothers and daughters through written letters. The set of 40 cards are meant to be sent and shared as a sentimental keepsake. Fortunately, the gift comes with writing prompts for those who can't find the right words at first.
A monogrammed yoga mat.
Etsy / itsgeegeebaby
Never mix up your yoga mat with a classmate’s again. Remind the yogi in your life how much you care every time they step onto their mat with this monogrammed yoga mat.
Whiskey glasses that remind them of home.
Etsy / theUncommonGreen
These sophisticated whiskey glasses come etched with maps of several different cities, like this one of Madison, Wisconsin around the U.S. and abroad, making it a thoughtful gift for friends who are homesick.
A mini AeroGarden for the kids.
Inspire the budding young chefs in your life with a small herb garden that can be cared for year-round. It’s the perfect learning gift to teach kids about the the lives of plants and growing their own food.
A chic, personalized necklace.
It’s hard to go wrong with jewelry for significant others that's personalized. This thoughtful gift for her is sure to make her smile.
An ode to their favorite book.
The literary lover in your life will surely appreciate Out of Print's collection of classic and popular literature, which includes t-shirts like this one of "The Great Gatsby," socks and sweatshirts
An eye-catching, artsy duffle.
Society6 / Wellington Boot
The traveler in your life won't have to ever lose their bag in a crown again with duffle bags that you can't miss like this starburst patterned one. Choose a unique design from Society6 and find the perfect weekend bag. Your giftee's sure to appreciate a print that matches their personality.
A set of bath bombs, for some at-home self care.
Whether you have a friend who’s going through a hard time, or who just likes a good soak now and then, give them the gift of an at-home mini-spa session with this set of soothing bath bombs.
A tour of their new city or town.
Have a friend who has recently made a big move? Help them feel more at home in their new town or city by gifting them a fun tour. Whether your friend is in a big city or a small town, we recommend snagging an Airbnb gift card to use on Airbnb Experiences, which includes restaurants and more in their favorite city.
A unique take on the succulents trend.
Plant lovers will obsess over these unique hanging air plant jellyfish, which are the perfect touch for any room.
A spa day, the gift of relaxation.
A gift card from SpaFinder will give your hardworking friend or family member a chance to relax (on their own time!)
A dozen customized golf balls, the perfect gift for dad.
Personalization Mall
Place your choice of photo or text on these golf balls with just few clicks, and you’ve found the perfect gift for the hard-to-shop guy or gal in your life.
A custom, old-fashioned photo book.
Mixbook Photo Co.
Memorialize your last family vacation or even all the ridiculous selfies you’ve sent each other over the years with this simple, high-quality photo book.
A leather Moleskine journal cover.
Saddleback Leather Co.
Know that “Type-A” friend who's always scribbling lists in a classic Moleskin journal? This cover goes over their favorite notebook, and ensures their to-dos stay safe. An extra perk? The leather will only become more beautiful as it ages.