If you have to spend that money, either buy an actual gift with a gift receipt (like a gift card, except bigger) or give cash. Why? Well, I've explained it a few times here, and here, but the gist of it is this: You're admitting failure. You're saying "I can't think of something meaningful, but I will have the balls to tell you where to spend my money". That's not a thoughtful gift, that's formula. They do, so I must do.
What about this: Donate the $50 to a charity in their name? Send/Give them a nice card with all the things that $50 is going to do or the number of people it's going to feed over Christmas. That's sweet and thoughtful.
Also-- if you are going to give someone cash, why do the bills have to be new and crisp and right from the bank? The person you give them to is going to A) Spend them, at which point, it won't matter if they're creased or dirty or B) Deposit them back into the bank, which of course will take the dirtiest of money anyway...
One last thing--- Never get those Visa Vanilla Gift Cards. They have all the drawbacks of a regular gift card with the added benefit of an activation fee... GIVE CASH!