When you hear the words “practical gifts,” do you imagine the disappointment of finding new underwear under the Christmas tree?
It’s time to reimagine practical gifts. A giant teddy bear wearing a snowflake sweater might be adorable, but chances are it’ll eventually find a home in the back of a closet. But is there really such a thing as fun, practical gifts that your friends and family will love–and actually use?
The secret to a good practical gift and a dud lies in knowing your audience. We’ve identified the top targets on your Santa list this year–and the gifts they’ll love and use long after the tinsel comes off the tree!
1. Practical Gifts for the Lego Maniac or Dolly Darling
Does your budding engineer love Legos? Have a child who gets starry-eyed at the thought of visiting the toy star (who doesn’t?!) Give them a subscription to Pley.
Pley is basically Netflix for toys. Check out lego sets and a multitude of other toys, that get mailed straight to your house. When your child has had their fill of playing, simply pop it back in the mail and check out another toy. See? Who said practical wasn’t fun!
2. Practical Gifts for the Fitness Freak
If someone on your list is all about the gym, hitting the trails, or training for his or her next marathon, chances are they ice their feet (after all, it’s one of the best ways to reduce inflammation!).
Save them from messy, drippy plastic bags and awkward ice packs with HTP’s Ice Slippers. Not only do they mold to the foot–they’re reusable, have straps to keep them in place, and they’ll never drip!
3. Practical Gifts for the College Student
If you have a college student on your Santa list this year, you know that transportation is almost always a challenge–whether that’s getting to an internship interview, making it home from a party safely, or running an out-of-the-way errand. Give your co-ed an Uber or Lyft gift card, for those transportation emergencies this year.
4. Practical Gifts for the Bibliophile
Know someone who can’t get enough of a good book? Give them a subscription to the Book of the Month Club! With four best-selling books to choose from every month and a panel of judges to give their reviews of the books up for grabs, your book-lover is sure to find a compelling read every month–without a trip to the bookstore!
5. Practical Gifts for The Busy Mom
It’s never been easier for busy moms to snap a beautiful photo and capture those special moments. However, printing and enjoying those photos is another matter! A Chatbooks subscription is a fantastic way to help the busy mom in your life actually use and enjoy the photos she takes on her smartphone. Chatbooks automatically creates a high quality book of up to 60 photos from Instagram, Facebook, or your smartphone–at only $8 with free shipping.
6. Practical Gifts for Your Favorite Coworker
Monday mornings and coffee go hand in hand. Make your favorite coworker’s Mondays more exciting this year with the practical gift of a variety pack of coffee pods for the office Keurig. Inexpensive, thoughtful, and practical–not to mention an extra dose of joy on Monday mornings!
7. Practical Gifts for Your Mother in Law
How many times have you looked at a drawer full of thank you cards–when what your really need is a birthday card? This practical gift is perfect for a doting mother-in-law: a variety pack of assorted notecards for any occasion to eliminate all those little trips to the store!
8. Practical Gifts for the Dedicated Husband
What can make a super-hero even better at his job? A practical AAA subscription. For any time a there’s a lockout, an accident, or or a blown tire, getting help just got easier. And traveling just got a lot safer and smoother. For a family man, a AAA subscription is a fantastic, practical gift he might not get for himself–but will be very happy to have when the need arises!
9. Practical Gifts for The Fishing Fanatic
Know someone who can’t get enough of hooks and sinkers? This handy sweatshirt will keep him or her warm on cool mornings on the lake–not to mention it also has the handy feature of a zipper attachment that can be used to cut fishing line! No more digging for the pliers–just reach for the drawstring of this sweatshirt!
10. Practical Gifts for the Chef
Get your favorite chef the practical but thrilling gift of the latest and greatest tool that makes cooking faster and easier: the Instant Pot. It’s a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker, and saute pan all in one. It uses less energy than traditional slow cookers and pressure cookers, and it speeds cooking by up to 2x to 6x (to give you an idea, this little gem can turned tried beans into ready-to-eat beans in 15 minutes!).
11. Practical Gifts for Your Father in Law
Has your father in law heard of the Dollar Shave Club that’s all the rage with millennials? It’s time to introduce him! With free shipping and access to the razors he loves at a fraction of the price, the Dollar Shave club is a practical gift for him that keeps on giving and eliminates trips to the grocery store or shaving with dull blades!
12. Practical Gifts for the Teenager
If there’s one thing we know about most teenagers today, it’s that they love their electronic devices! However, those devices have a way of going dead at inopportune times. Make your teenager’s day with a portable charger that goes where they go, and nixes the need to stay plugged into a wall outlet. They’ll love it–and you’ll love knowing that they can contact you with a working device if needed!
13. Practical Gifts for the Three-Nager
Have a three-year-old going on thirteen? Chances are, he or she is almost as crazy about the idea of all things electronic as his or her teenage counterpart! Make your child feel like a big kid–and gain practical reading and math skills in the process– with a LeapFrog tablet. It looks like an iPad but doesn’t connect to the web. But it features plenty of fun games and learning opportunities to keep your child engaged and busy.
Feeling inspired yet?
Enjoy giving these practical gifts that your friends and family will use all year long!