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11 Brilliant Gifts $50 and Under

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Scratch names off your list without splurging! Here are 11 sure-to-please gifts priced at $50 and under.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. STELLARSCOPE; $33

Perfect for the stargazer in your life, this handheld gadget serves as a portable planetarium, allowing viewers to easily map the night sky. All they have to do is enter a latitude and the current date and time to locate and identify the stars above them.

Find It: Amazon

2. LE MINI MACARON GEL MANICURE KIT; $35

Ensure that her detailed manicure is long-lasting. This pint-sized nail kit will provide your giftee with everything needed for a DIY gel manicure. In addition to a tiny LED drying lamp, the set includes a nail file, nail polish remover pads, a bottle of gel polish, and a cuticle stick.

Find It: Amazon

3. ECHO DOT; $50

With just the sound of their voice, your favorite techie can command the Echo Dot to play music, set an alarm, turn on a light, tell a joke, and even order a pizza while they’re in the shower.

Find It: Amazon

4. ENGRAVED BBQ SET; $42

Even if the weather outside is frightful, this high-quality set of grilling tools is perfect for the outdoor cook, and features a personalized engraving on its lightweight bamboo case.

Find It: Amazon

5. LOG CABIN CONSTRUCTION KIT; $30

For the budding architect on your list: This 37-piece set set, created in Illinois, is a rustic upgrade to the classic wooden toy. The project, made of hand-printed maple, is meant to evoke Abe Lincoln’s boyhood home.

Find It: UncommonGoods

6. GLOSSIER BLACK TIE SET; $50

This convenient kit by beauty purveyors Glossier includes four new limited edition products essential for a cocktail party prep: lip gloss, eyeliner in soft black Graphite, Haloscope highlighter, and pink nail polish.

Find It: Glossier

7. POLK BOOM BIT; $30

For the fitness fanatic in your life, the Polk Boom Bit offers killer sound quality in a pint-sized package. It’s waterproof, easy charged via USB, and perfect for the music-lover on the go.

Find It: Amazon

8. SOLAR SYSTEM BATH BOMBS; $48

These spherical soaps from UncommonGoods promise to “take earthlings to a relaxing galaxy far, far away.” They’re designed to look like the planets of the solar system (and Pluto) and come in 9 different calming scents evocative of each, like Mercury’s Moroccan Spices with Activated Charcoal and Neptune’s Black Raspberry and Vanilla.

Find It: UncommonGoods

9. ROKU STREAMING STICK; $48

Perfect for the avid binge-watcher, the Roku Streaming Stick provides access to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and more. With its quad-core processor, it makes catching up on shows more streamlined than ever.

Find It: Amazon

10. BAR TOOL SET AND STAND; $50

This set of cocktail accessories is ideal for the aspiring mixologist. In sleek gold-brushed stainless steel, the collection includes a coil strainer, bottle opener, stirring spoon, two jiggers, a serrated knife, and ice tongs.

Find It: CB2

11. SYMA X5C EXPLORERS DRONE; $46

To please the technology enthusiast in your midst, look no further than this lightweight, wind-resistant drone. Recommended for ages 14 and older, this space-age flying machine can do flips, fly for 7 minutes at a time, and comes equipped with a HD camera.

Find It: Amazon

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Warm Up With These 15 Heat-Sensitive Mugs
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With the cold weather, you’re probably going to be drinking a lot of hot cocoa. Get your drink on in style with these mugs that change when filled with hot liquids.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. CONNECT THE STARS; $15.95

What seems like a normal night sky is actually filled with constellations. Some hot water will reveal them to you—since constellations never look like anything without the drawn lines.

Buy on Amazon.

2. MASS EXTINCTION; $15.95

Some hot coffee turns these dinosaurs into fossils, just like that comet did.

Buy on Amazon.

3. WAKE UP; $7.32

This cup will mirror your own face as you drink your morning coffee.

Buy on Amazon.

4. WE’RE ALL MAD HERE (ABOUT THIS MUG); $13.95

Pour in your drink, and the feline from Alice in Wonderland disappears to just a grin, in typical Cheshire Cat fashion.

Buy on Amazon.

5. RECHARGE YOUR MUG; $16.54

This mug tells you when you need to recharge (reheat) your drink.

Buy on AliExpress.

6. FULL HEALTH; $10

Video game lovers will be soothed by the appearance of a full red heart. Just don’t get injured sipping on that hot cocoa.

Buy on Amazon.

7. PAC-MAN; $14.99

Filling up this mug is a lot like putting a quarter in the classic arcade game.

Buy on Amazon.

8. TETRIS; $10

Perfect for video game lovers who have a hard time looking away from their console.

Buy on Amazon.

9. TRAVEL THE GALAXY; $15.95

The TARDIS never stays in one place for long—as you’ll soon discover with this mug. Add hot liquid and your time machine will transport it from an English street to deep space.

Buy on Amazon.

10. PICK A BEAR; $14.02

Empty, this sleepy bear is all black. Full, it becomes an alert panda.

Buy on Amazon.

11. SWITCH TO PROTESTANTISM; $15.95

Once you fill this cup, Henry VIII's wives fade away, leaving only their cause of death.

Buy on Amazon.

12. WINTER IS COMING; $15.94

The Starks know cold, but they also know how to keep warm. Cuddle up with your mug and the Starks' house words of warning.

Buy on Amazon.

13. CAPED MUG CRUSADER; $19.99

What seems like an unassuming black mug is actually a super cool Batman mug in disguise.

Buy on Amazon.

14. SAVE CHRISTMAS; $14.75

Santa can’t navigate his sleigh until you’ve had your morning coffee.

Buy on Amazon.

15. THE NORTHERN LIGHTS; $14.99

The aurora borealis can be elusive in real life, but it just takes some hot coffee to make the lights appear on your mug.

Buy on ThinkGeek.

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11 Gifts for the Cyclist
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In some ways, having an avid cyclist in your life makes holiday gift-giving simple. Obviously, they could use something for those four-hour-long Saturday morning rides. But if you aren’t a cyclist yourself, you may not know where to even start when you walk into a bike shop. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. Here are 11 gifts to help the weekend warrior nearest and dearest to your heart hit the road in style.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

1. ROAD RUNNER BURRITO HANDLEBAR BAG; $40

A tattooed cyclist rides a bike equipped with a small blue bag under the handlebars.
Road Runner Bags

This handy bag slips under a bike’s handlebars to provide a little extra storage without getting in the way. It’ll give your beloved cyclist a water-resistant spot to stash their keys, phone, snacks, or extra clothes while they ride.

Find It: Road Runner Bags

2. THE FRIDGE NECK GAITER; $20

A man's face is covered by a light blue striped gaiter.
The Fridge

A neck gaiter is a great way to keep warm, and a great gift, if your cycling aficionado commutes by bike in the winter or loves to ride in chilly weather. The versatile, tube-shaped cloths can be used to keep the neck, the face, the ears, and the head warm, depending on how they’re worn. The Fridge’s stylish gaiters come in a variety of different colors and patterns, so you can find one that matches your cyclist’s personal style. Even if they already have one, it’s one of those accessories that no one can have too many of.

Find It: The Fridge

3. LIZARD SKINS BAR TAPE; $40 AND UP

A roll of black handlebar tape
Amazon

Metal handlebars can be hard on the hands, so most cyclists use some sort of tape to pad their paws and give them a little extra grip. Colorful tapes like the ones offered by Lizard Skin will give a touch of personality to your cyclist’s ride, and protect their hands, too. If you’re not quite sure of their style, though, you can’t go wrong with a classic black.

Find It: Amazon

4. SHIMANO TRANSIT SHORT FINGER CYCLING GLOVES; $18 AND UP

A dark gray fingerless glove
Amazon

These fingerless gloves will make your loved one’s bike commute a little safer, and more comfortable to boot. They not only improve grip, but they’re made to be highly reflective to keep cyclists visible in low light. Plus, they are designed to absorb vibrations, making long periods of time on the road easier on the hands.

Find It: Amazon

5. OOPSMARK BICYCLE WINE CARRIER RACK; $34

A bottle of wine strapped to the frame of a bike
Amazon

A good bike ride doesn’t always have to be a serious, Lycra-clad affair. Give your loved one a great excuse to take a leisurely picnic jaunt on their bike with this rack, which will allow them to safely strap a full bottle to their ride. The handsome leather straps and antique brass fasteners will no doubt make them feel classy while they do it.

Find It: Amazon

6. DRAFT ANIMALS; $12

The cover of a book shows a cyclist riding next to a car.
Amazon

Recently-retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon’s memoir Draft Animals: Living the Cycling Dream (Once in a While) explores the ups and downs of life at the highest levels of the professional cycling world. In addition to the intrigue of going behind the scenes (including frank discussions of doping), its honest tales of some of the less glamorous aspects of being a professional athlete—the stresses of living on the road, long-distance relationships, and the nightmare that is negotiating contracts with teams—may make your favorite cyclist even more content with staying in the amateur lane.

Find It: Amazon

7. PEDRO'S MINI PIT KIT; $50

A collection of cleaning supplies
Amazon

This miniature cleaning kit packs a powerful punch in one 1.8-gallon bucket, making it perfect for cyclists who live in small apartments and don’t have a ton of space to clean their bikes after a ride. It comes with a bag to separate wet and dry items, and separate brushes for larger parts of the bike like the frame and wheels and for small parts like cogs and chains. It also includes tire levels and other tools, and comes with a cleaning guide full of expert advice on bike maintenance.

Find It: Amazon

8. THE STICK; $42

A blue-and-white muscle-roller stick
Amazon

After a long ride, any cyclist is going to be a bit stiff. The Stick can be used both pre-ride as a way to warm up muscles and afterward to boost muscle recovery. The scientifically-validated muscle roller massages away pain and works out knots, improving strength, flexibility, and endurance. Go ahead, give your favorite biker the gift of pain relief.

Find It: Amazon

9. DONATION TO SCHOOLCYCLE

Give your dearest bike lover the chance to help someone else get behind the handlebars. In 2014, the UN Foundation’s GirlUp charity launched SchoolCycle, a project to help more girls stay in school by giving them the means to get there. A $125 donation gives a girl in Malawi—where some have to walk up to 10 miles to get to school—a bike, spare parts, and maintenance training so that they can get to class easier.

Find It: SchoolCycle

10. BAMBOO BIKE WALL CLOCK; $64

A clock made of a bike gear and bamboo
Uncommon Goods

This handsome bamboo clock is made with reclaimed bike parts, making it the perfect addition to any cyclist’s living room. What better way to remind them it’s time for a ride than with a bike-chain pendulum?

Find It: Uncommon Goods

11. GARMIN VÍVOACTIVE 3 GPS SMART WATCH; $250

The screen of a Garmin smartwatch shows a clock and activity statistics.
Amazon

Garmin’s latest GPS smart watch makes a great gift for any athlete that loves to quantify their hard work. The vívoactive activity tracker uses GPS, an accelerometer, and a wrist-based heart rate monitor to automatically track activities like biking, detailing the distance, time, and speed of a ride along with updates on cardio levels. The full-color touchscreen device (easy to read in direct sunlight) is water resistant enough for swimming, so it can definitely withstand the sweat of a bike ride. It also features smart notifications, so they can see when you’ve texted them, even if they’re on their bike. (No excuses not to respond now!) And with the new touchless payment system Garmin Pay, they won't have to bring their credit card on their ride if they want to stop for coffee.

Find It: Amazon

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