The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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November 30, 2012

20 holiday gifts under $50

Shopping for gifts can often feel like a chore, especially in the time-crunched waning weeks of the year. We're here to help with 20 finds under $50, at least one of which will please the finicky friend, the oddball brother-in-law, the favorite hostess and the they-have-everything people on your list. Gift away, gift givers.

1. Beverage dispenser. Help party hosts serve up a big batch of holiday cheer or get them ready for hydrating next summer's barbecue with this seven-quart glass vessel. The quirky cork stopper and beaker shape let guests know they're in for a good time. $49.95. www.cb2.com.

2. Calendar. Artist Anne Lewis captures iconic D.C. sights by photographing them around town and then painting with oils. A 2013 calendar of her images, including the Lincoln Memorial at night, the White House in winter and pandas at the National Zoo, is affordable art. Frame each month in a grid for longer-lasting local flavor. $29. www.artbyannelewis.com.

3. Sunset throws. An ombre effect gives a comfy throw a trendy kick. Perfect for a new college grad or your chic friend. The 44-inch-by-56-inch heart-warmer is available in a variety of colors, including gray, teal, goldenrod, light blue and purple. $49. www.westelm.com.

4. Watering cans. Landscape designer or apartment gardener: What nature lover wouldn't love a retro, white gardening can? Available in two sizes: 2.2 liter and 7 liter. $16-$29. www.westelm.com.

5. Travel tea mug. Keep that commuter calm with a sleek, glass travel mug. The double-paneled glass conserves water temperature, while an infuser holds steeping tea. Include non-caffeinated herbal options with your gift for extra de-stressing energy. $24.50. www.davidstea.com.

6. Popcorn maker. Fun for winter movie nights at home with kids. The automated stirring rod keeps kernels from burning and can also roast nuts. $48. www.nordstrom.com.

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