10 Practical Gifts Worth Giving This Christmas
Start writing a post

10 Practical Gifts Worth Giving This Christmas

For the people in your life who don't need more chocolate/ornaments/scented candles.

10 Practical Gifts Worth Giving This Christmas
Huffington Post

I was really tempted to use this title as clickbait and write an article about how the real gift of Christmas isn't presents, but presence (see what I did there?). But while I totally agree with that idea, I also recognize how fun and meaningful it is to give a gift that someone will really appreciate. Yet thinking of the perfect gift for someone is not easy; it can take a surprising amount of time and energy to think of a truly useful, valuable thing to get someone. With that in mind, here are a few present ideas for those of you who are last-minute shopping and can't think of anything.

1. For the tea lover: a bottom dispensing teapot.

This is a real game-changer for anyone who enjoys tea, but has never had the energy to get into loose leaf. These nifty devices are like a french press for tea, but even easier to use. Loose leaf tea is usually cheaper, fresher, and more unique than bag teas, not to mention it means less waste. From my experience, other types of loose leaf tea infusers tend to leak bits of tea leaf, or are difficult to clean. This style of teapot only drains when the bottom apparatus is pushed up by something like a mug rim and rarely leaks. The ingenuiTEA brand has worked well for me, but there are plenty of others out there. As a bonus, most models are dishwasher safe.

2. For the clothes lover: a fabric defuzzer/ pill remover.

I found this strange device my sophomore year, and bought one for both myself and my roommate. We immediately had a defuzzing party because it was so satisfying to remove all the pills and fuzz from our clothes. I hadn't realized how many sweaters and shirts I had stopped wearing because they were so pilly due to overdrying and wear (looking at you, coin-op dryers). I've even used this device on Goodwill finds to make them look brand new. It's also an effective stress reliever!

3. For the kitchen enthusiast: a good pair of silicone grip tongs.

Okay, I get that this seems pretty lame for a Christmas gift. But I honestly use my tongs on a daily basis. I feel like tongs get a bad rap because we've all been forced to use old, metal tongs that are slightly bent and hard to close and generally make life complicated. But these are a totally different story; they are incredibly easy to use, don't hold much heat, and make cooking with hot oils or baking foods much easier. Also, they give you an excuse to think about how funny the word "tongs" sounds. Get these and some other useful kitchen tools (like wooden spoons, silicone spatulas, and square baking pans) to make an amateur cook's life easier.

4. For the perpetually cold/sore: a microwaveable corn bag.

As a practical expert on warm things, I would suggest that this bag is better than a heated blanket or an electric hot pad. While both of those tools are great, these corn bags (usually a handmade item from Etsy or random boutique stores) can hold a lot more heat and conform to your body for maximum heat transfer. Whether I have neck tension, fever chills or just cold feet, this little bag does the trick. I also can't absentmindedly leave it on and waste electricity! One thing I don't understand is how the corn doesn't pop, but that's not too important.

5. For the interior decorator: wire string lights.

I used these adorable little LED string lights for my wedding, and loved them so much that I got my own strand for mood lighting at home. They are LED, so they don't heat up like regular string lights; the (usually) copper wire is very malleable and light, so it doesn't require nails or heavy duty light hooks. They are also less likely to break or burnout. These lights can be bought with a battery pack or a plug-in, and are great for table decorations, soft area lighting, or just making a space feel more cozy.

6. For the clean freak: a cordless handheld vacuum.

I know what you're thinking: this is the most boring gift list ever. But honestly, these practical gifts are super incredible! I got a cordless handheld vacuum from my grandparents, and it has been so useful. We have an apartment with mostly carpet, so instead of a broom we use this to pick up crumbs on our tiny amount of linoleum. It makes cleaning the car really easy, and can even pick up hair after a home-haircut. I also use it to slurp cobwebs and dust from corners. Like all vacuums there's a huge price range, but even the inexpensive ($20-30) ones can really make cleaning easier.

7. For the traveling soul: packing cubes.

Has your suitcase ever resembled a teenager's bedroom after a few days of traveling? Just appreciate how neat and tidy that suitcase looks; that's the beauty of packing cubes. I got some for my Junior's Abroad trip last summer, and they enabled me to pack for three weeks in a carry-on and never confuse my clean and dirty clothes. Packing cubes usually come in a set of different sizes, and make it much easier to organize and maintain a neat suitcase for days on end. I never pack without them now.

8. For the coffee drinker: a no-spill travel cup.

This seems like the kind of thing everyone already has, but from my experience a lot of us are surviving on lousy travel cups. The world is an imperfect place, and cups fall over all the time. I had a full cup of coffee in an 8 a.m. class once that got knocked over and completely drained onto the ground because the lid popped off; needless to say I was not happy. A friend of mine won a very nice, 20 oz Contigo travel cup and gave it to me since he isn't a coffee drinker. It is incredible. Contigo is really great at making spill-proof cups, and 20 oz is the perfect size since I can order a 16 oz americano and still have room for cream. I can attest to how great a gift this kind of cup is.

9. For the inexperienced art lover: an adult coloring book.

You've probably seen these in the checkout area of a bookstore a million times, but this and a pack of good colored pencils is a gift of stress relief. This particular image is a colored piece from the book Secret Garden by Johanna Basford, one I own and enjoy (my coloring isn't this good, though). I've spent hours on just one of these pieces and find it a great way to enjoy art without having to do all the work.

10. For the writer/doodler/dreamer: nice pens.

This is tricky, because most people have their favorite brand or style of pen. Some people like fine point, others like felt-tip, some strange souls enjoy those cheap roller ball pens that dry out really quickly. But nice, high quality pens are always useful, and you may even help someone find a new favorite. I particularly enjoy Pilot Precise v5 pens, but rarely buy them because the G2 pens are cheaper. They have great glide, and really soak into the page for sharp lines. With a little digging, you can find out what kind of pens your scholarly friend likes and buy them a few months' supply.

Hopefully this list gave you some ideas for gifts that you may not have thought of; at the very least, you can rule out 10 gifts you won't be getting anyone this Christmas! But like I mentioned at the beginning of this article, Christmas really isn't about gift-giving and getting. The best gift you can give your loved ones is your time and attention. A thoughtful note or coffee date can be the perfect gift to give to those you don't see often. But if you want to give a gift, try giving something both personal and useful, so your family and friends can think of you even while doing daily chores and activities.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Ford Cars That We Love

There's a good chance we've all driven a Ford or spent a lot of time at Ford, but what are some of the best cars they've ever made?

Ford Cars That We Love
Photo by Jessy Smith on Unsplash

There are arguably few bigger automakers than Ford. They are a company that shaped the auto industry as we know it today and with a solid reputation in the industry, our wide range of Ford leases has always been a popular choice among drivers.

Keep Reading... Show less

Prose: One Call

What if you had one call, but you could not say anything other than what you were told to say? In this short excerpt, Bethany finds herself at odds with her jailers and with the one she was told to call, the one she loves. What would you do when the conversation takes a turn off script?

Prose: One Call

With each incessant numbing ring of the phone call, I could feel the betrayal coiling around me like the phone line, squeezing me tighter.

Keep Reading... Show less

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments