Practical gifts; possibly one of the most underrated gift categories? Getting a practical gift for someone for the holidays can seem a little dull on the surface, but when it is something that you know they are going to use, and is something that you know they are unlikely to treat themselves to, makes for a winning gift. Giving a practical and useful gift is all about something that will get used, rather than just sitting on a shelf (or re-gifted when you’re not looking). It is all about giving a gift that the recipient didn’t know they needed. Plus, as it has been found before, that many gifts fall flat and are a little underwhelming, simply because the person giving is focused on sentiment and cuteness, rather than something being ideal and practical. In fact, really, the gifts that people prefer, tend to be the ones that are easy to use. They can seem a little boring, though, right? Socks, anyone? They’re often labelled as a bad gift, but you can bet that they will get plenty of wear out of them. 


But having a gift that is practical, as well as appealing, doesn’t have to be something that can’t come together. So with that in mind, here are some useful gifts, that aren’t boring, and in some cases, are rather appealing. Plus, they are the kind of thing that someone will use, but are unlikely to buy for themselves.

  • Cheese Board: if you have got a foodie friend that loves cheese, then there is nothing better than a proper cheese board to display cheese during meals and parties. Plus, if you choose a super chic marble one, it is perfectly Instagrammable, and can be used again and again.
  • Sleep Mask: let’s be honest, buying yourself a luxury and silk sleep mask isn’t something that you are likely to do, is it? But when given as a gift, you know it will get plenty of use. So team it up with some other practical sleep items, like mug, hot cocoa powder, and jammies, and you’ll be good to go.

  • Candles: Having candles around the house is something that is a must in all homes, if you ask us. They are even better if they are scented and can bring a whole host of smells with them. But buying a luxury candle for yourself probably isn’t a thing, just because of the cost. But as a gift, they are a great option. So think luxury, rather than generic, if you are wanting to add that wow factor. Diptyque candles fit the bill for that, for sure.
  • Coffee Machine: we all know someone that loves coffee and is often seen in each and every coffee shop in the city. But why not get one that they can use themselves at home? It can be an affordable way of doing things, and can make a real difference to them. There are machines for all different budgets too, making it a really useful and practical gift.
  • SIM Card: if you have a friend that is always going over on their data on their phone, or doesn’t really have the budget to get a brand new phone, how about checking out some SIM deals for them? If you get them a new SIM card for the year, depending on the price, could be a very reasonable gift. Plus, it is a gift that keeps giving as they can use it all year long, and it means that they aren’t spending their own money on their phone.

  • Magazine Subscription: with the rise of blogs and being able to read many articles online, magazines and sitting to read a magazine can feel like a luxury that only happens at the salon. So how about getting your friend a magazine subscription for six months or a year? They will get something delivered right to them each month, and it can be a magazine with a special focus on an interest they have. It practically forces them to sit down and read it when it arrives, so it can work really well as a gift option.
  • Slippers: getting a pair of slippers isn’t something that people will generally buy for themselves. But like a sleep mask, if you have them, you’ll use them. You could go simple with a few other gifts, or you could splash out a little more, with a brand like Ugg, for example. There are slippers for every budget, and something a little more high end could feel like such a luxury.
  • Label Maker: if you know someone that loves to organize, or wants to get organized (or has a lot of kids to keep in order), then something like a label maker can be a fun choice. It is super practical, but again, isn’t likely to be something that someone would go out and buy for themselves. Then they can label boxes, storage, toys, and shelving to their heart’s content.

  • Oils and Salts: any foodie will know the value of oils and salts in their kitchen arsenal. But often, on an everyday basis, people are just going to get some pretty generic brands. So how about getting some fancy olive oils in glass jars, with a selection of salts to use in cooking alongside them? It is something that will definitely get used, which is what a practical gift is all about.
  • Tools: if you have a friend that is a master of DIY then they are likely to already have everything that they need. But if you have a friend that needs some help, or that is moving house and is likely to need to know how to repair things, starting them off with a tool set can be a fun and rather practical idea. You could make it personal to them, such as getting a pink set for a particularly girly friend that still wants to renovate. It has an element of being a personal gift, but really, it is one of the most practical gifts out there.

If you have any other ideas for practical gifts that you’d like to get, that you wouldn’t necessarily think to buy yourself – let us know in the comments!