Christmas Gifts that People Will Actually Use

Let’s get right into it. The holiday season is a beautiful time of year, full of food and family and coziness and friends and everything good in life. BUT, it’s also a spend-crazy, consumerist holiday that leaves us stressed and broke. I find myself with items I wouldn’t have normally purchased and a weirdly overwhelming guilt about returning them or not using them (I’m talking to YOU, White Elephant).

Recently, I’ve been trying to have a different approach on Christmas shopping. While I used to view these gifts as “things we want, but don’t want to buy,” I’m trying to think more about what a person needs. Of course, this isn’t always practical kitchenware or food gift cards. If someone requests their yearly perfume or a dainty everyday necklace, you can bet it’ll get some use, and that’s the goal here.

I’ve compiled a list of items that will hopefully inspire you to get someone something useful, or even if you’re still looking for gifts– read on!

For the Chef

1. High-quality cooking utensils – Since everything I bought for my first apartment was from Walmart and Target’s college essential lists, I could use some quality cooking gear that will last me more than a year or two.
Measuring cups | Measuring Spoons | Cast Iron Skillet , etc.
2. Silicon baking mats – These reduce the need for parchment paper/tin foil and make cleaning so much easier.
Option 1 | Option 2
3. Appliances – This year, I asked for a food processor. That’s where I’m at in life right now. But if I get one, I’m making some incredible hummus and some way better banana bowls so I’m not mad about it. I’ve also linked some high-rated blenders that would CHANGE my life.
Food Processor | Vitamix | Blendtec Blender

For the Eco-Friendly Folks

1. Reusable produce bags – You guys already know how I feel about these 🙂
Option 1 | Option 2
2. Coconut bowls – These are natural and sustainable alternatives to plastic bowls, and I swear I enjoy my salads and nice cream more when I eat out of them.
Coconut Bowls | TJ Maxx also has some good wooden bowls
3. Hydroflask – A good, reusable water bottle is KEY, and Hydroflasks are my forever favorite. I’ve linked a couple traditional options and some fun ones that would be great gifts for plenty.
Small | Large | Coffee | Wine | Pictured: this PHOTOGENIC S’well coffee thermos that was gifted to me : )

For the Beauty Lover

1. Facial cleansing brush – These exfoliators are tried and true tools to help with dry skin and acne– perfect for any skincare fan.
Clarisonic (splurge) | Facial cleansing brush (budget)
2. Small humidifier – Looking at you, Chicago folks. Combat that dry winter air and static with a small humidifier for your room (on my list!!)
Option 1 | Option 2
3. Spa certificate – I don’t know a single person that would be upset about a massage or manicure/pedicure! No fail, every time.

For the New Adult

1. Carry-on suitcase – Because you’re using your parents or your college duffel bag. It’s just time.
Option 1 | Option 2 | TJ Maxx also has good options
2. Costco membership – This was my favorite gift of 2017, because it’s the gift that KEEPS ON GIVING.
3. Bill payments – A bit more on the creative side, and limited to parents (most likely) but having a few months of phone payments, money toward groceries, or chipping in for rent goes a long way.
4. Uber/restaurant gift card – Because no one likes paying for lunch or transportation : )

For the Homebody

1. Kindle/NookAs you all know, I use mine religiously and couldn’t recommend it enough. However, don’t waste your money and buy a fancy one. If your purpose for it is to read books, then get one that does just that.
Option 1 | Option 2
2. Slippers or robes – Especially during the colder months, these staples are ON REPEAT.
Robe 1 | Robe 2 | Slippers 1 | Costco Ugg Dupes

For the Techies

1. Apple TV/Firestick – Another everyday use, these streaming devices make sure we’re not overpaying for cable and making the best out of our friends’ parent’s HBO accounts. Thanks!
Apple TV | Fire Stick
2. Automatic start – One of my friends got this for her car for Christmas and thanks the lord every day. I believe it’s a quick installment and it’s super helpful in the winter.
3. Tile – If you know someone who frequently misplaces their stuff, get this. It’s a life saver.
Tile App

When all else fails, you really can’t go wrong with a blanket, mug, or candle 🙂

P.S. I know there’s a lot of Amazon links in here (for your convenience), but remember to shop small if you have the resources/time!

Thanks, all!

*Photos by my homie, Laurel Pierce*

One thought on “Christmas Gifts that People Will Actually Use

  1. Well young lady, you have a winner of a blog here. I love getting your perspective. I am thoroughly enjoying the pics too.

    Keep it coming!
    ❤️ Gail Hayenga

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