In our humble opinion, the best gifts are not only surprising but far more useful than the fancy kitchen gadget you’ll only use once or those heeled booties you had to have. You know, considering we don’t even change out of slippers most days. So, we rounded up 24 of the most random but useful presents to give everyone on your list—from kids to grandparents and yes, even the dog. Scroll down and prepare to add everything to cart.
1. Create a Story Cards
Goodnight Moon is great, but after the 76th time, you probably need a break from reading and a new storyline to switch things up. That’s where these cards come in. Shuffle the deck, then pick a few of the 36 illustrated cards. Players (including kids from three and up) can use their own imaginations to create a story out of the chosen cards, so no story is ever quite the same.
2. Sunpak Portable Vlogging Kit for Smartphones
We always assumed that ring lights would be a novelty for non-influencers. But now that most of us are stuck behind screens most of the time, they’re essential. This kit features an expandable tripod complete with a cell phone clip, so you no longer have to hold your phone while Facetiming your BFF.
3. Heatable Pocket Pals
This may just look like a cute little stuffed avocado, but it’s actually a hand warmer. Pop it in the microwave and put it in your kid’s coat pocket for a little extra warmth while they wait for the bus.
4. Sharper Image BodyScan Seat Topper
Turn any seat into a massage chair with this pad. It accurately targets pressure points to deliver a custom massage whenever you need it most—including at 3 PM on a workday.
5. iHome UV-C Sanitizer with Bluetooth Speaker
Did phone sanitizers exist before 2020? Yes. But we didn’t yet know how important they’d be. Gift this to anyone who is constantly on their phone (ahem, your S.O.) so they can at least ensure it’s not a germ magnet.
6. Simplehuman Touchless Sensor Soap/Sanitizer Pump
Soap and hand sanitizer dispensers have been touchless for years, so it’s about time to bring the same concept into your mom’s home—in a style that matches her taste. Just fill, place your hands underneath and rub together.
7. Our Place Spruce Steamers
If your brother has never made his own pork and scallion dumplings (despite his well-known love for the combo), now is his chance. This spruce steamer basket nests perfectly into the Always Pan and makes a mean dumpling, tamales and even fish, adding yet another function to the multi-use kitchen essential.
8. As Seen on TV Pillow Pad Multi-Angle Lap Desk
We all have that one coworker who bought a standing desk and all the ergonomic accessories in March—but now, they can’t stop Zooming from bed. (No judgement.) Gift them this multi-angle lap desk to ensure they’re just as productive while laying down.
9. Brookstone Sleep Sound Mixer
Whether you know someone who’s always had trouble sleeping, or it’s a new pandemic-related annoyance, this sleep sound mixer will help them doze off in mere minutes. Turn the dials to create a customized blend of eight nature and relaxation sounds that melt stress and provide an optimal snoozing environment.
10. Sharper Image Heated Slipper Socks
You’re going to want to give this to your perpetually cold bestie who’s always lamenting about the thermostat wars in her house. These slipper socks use rechargeable batteries to heat feet, keeping them nice and toasty no matter how cold the hardwood floor feels.
11. Zevro Double Cereal Dispenser
If your husband is essentially still a nine-year-old-boy (aren’t they all?), then he’ll especially appreciate this cereal dispenser for his sugary, definitely-not-healthy morning vice.
12. Angry Mama Microwave Cleaner
There are few things your mother loves more than a sparkling clean microwave. OK, maybe that’s a stretch, but everyone in the family knows she really enjoys it. So she’ll love filling this kitschy little steamer with vinegar and water, popping it in the microwave for a few minutes and watching as it releases steam to unstick all the dried tomato sauce from the inside. Then, all she'll have to do is wipe the walls down with a cloth. *Heaven.*
13. Kiki de Montparnasse Massage Oil Candle Santal No. 2
It’s a candle and a nourishing massage oil, all in one. When the wax melts, pour it onto dry winter hands or take it to the bedroom for some, ahem, fun. Your candle-loving partner will appreciate every use.
14. hum by Colgate Smart Electric Toothbrush
“This toothbrush is so cool—it connects to an app on your phone and shows you how well you brushed,” says assistant commerce editor, Kara Cuzzone. It turns the twice-daily chore of brushing into a game that your eight-year-old might even enjoy.
15. StackedSkincare Ice Roller
Know someone who gets headaches? Someone who is generally stressed (aren’t we all)? Or even just someone who really enjoys salty food? Check, check, check. Gift them this ice roller, which helps to depuff, soothe and relieve tension in the face, neck and jaw.
16. Fi Series 2 Smart Dog Collar
Ever wonder how many steps Fido takes just by following you around all day? This smart collar will tell you it’s more than you think. Not only does it track your pup’s steps and activity, but it’s also Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible to track his whereabouts, including a lost dog feature that can be turned on if he gets out of the yard. It even has a color-changing LED light that makes it easier to see him after dark and it’s completely waterproof, so he can wear it while chasing sticks into the ocean.
17. 16' eTAPE16 Digital Tape Measure
This digital tape measure will prevent so many headaches while remodeling thanks to its locking feature, which holds the tape and displays measurements on a large screen. It even stores or recalls up to three measurements, so you don’t have to measure anything more than once. The best part? It quickly converts numbers from fractions to decimals, or inches to centimeters so there’s no mental math involved.
18. Sombrero Taco Holders
Your nephew’s favorite food is tacos? Gift him these sombrero taco holders to keep his hard shells standing upright on the plate. Hello, coolest aunt, ever.
19. Nite Ize Yellow SlapLit LED Band
Now that it gets dark at 4 p.m., your marathon-running friend will be just a bit safer when he puts this LED wristband to good use while logging miles after sundown.
20. Kikkerland Wood Hammer Multi-Tool
Think of this tool as the Swiss Army Knife of hammers. It’s exactly what your handy uncle needs to keep in his truck for emergency fix-it situations.
21. Haven Towel Warmer
If you and your sister used to wrap yourselves in blankets still warm from the dyer (there truly is no better feeling), this towel warmer will bring back all those cozy vibes. It can hold up to two towels and features a temperature control and automatic shut-off. Just convince her to keep it in the guest bathroom so you can reap the benefits while visiting over the holidays.
22. Wheel Brightz Razzle Dazzle
This is one surefire way to get your kid outside in the fresh air. Just gift her these super-cool bike-wheel lights that flash random color effects as she pedals around the block. It’s like light up shoes—for her bike.
23. AeroGarden Harvest with Gourmet Herb Seed Pod Kit
If your grandma, like ours, grows an abundant garden every spring, she’s sure to love this countertop garden for winter. She can tend to her favorite herbs and veggies with little to no effort, but reap all the benefits of fresh food, even when it’s too cold to actually grow anything outdoors.
24. Sudski Shower Drink Holder
The start to your cousin’s senior year at college was probably weird, to say the least. But this shower beer holder might help bring back a smidge of normalcy.
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