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twelve practical holiday gifts for anyone

by Kristen

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The holiday season is almost here!  I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays.  ( when is it acceptable to start listening to Christmas music?)  I love the gatherings, the cookie decorating, the music, the lights and all of the family memories ( doing jigsaw puzzles for three straight days).  But I tend to get stressed out about gifts.  For one, I don’t like to keep too much “stuff” around, so it can be a bit stressful trying to figure out how to organize all the gifts my kids get.  When I give a gift I like to be consonance about picking out things that my family/friends will find useful, and not pick something out for them that will be given away or thrown out.   That being said, I like to shop for high-quality items for family and friends.

So anyway, here is my practical gift guide for the holidays!

This Igloo Cooler Backpack– I have owned this cooler backpack for almost four years, and I love it!  I use it all the time and have given it away as a gift to multiple family members.  This cooler backpack is useful for anyone who likes to travel, who attends sports practice with kids, who likes to picnic, attends outdoor concerts, disc golfs, hikes, goes to the beach goes to the farmers market, brings food to friends’ houses or just wants to keep a cooler in their car after they go grocery shopping.  This is an item that gets used so much in our house.  I love how this isn’t bulky.  I often keep it in our car, I pack lunches in it when we go on road trips, and I usually bring this to the ballpark.


  • A waterproof picnic blanket–  This is another must-have for anyone who has an active lifestyle.  I leave mine in my car all year round.  I use it for sports practice, picnics, outdoor concerts, the beach while traveling or even at parties.   If you are running from place to place with your family, it is helpful always to have a waterproof blanket so that you can sit down and have a picnic when you are on the go.  We used ours a TON when we’re in South Dakota this past summer, and this always comes with us to the ballpark too!

3. A set of travel mugs with all matching lids I can’t tell you how often I drink my coffee out of a travel mug that has no lid.  It’s quite embarrassing.   My husband and I are not the greatest at keeping the lids with our travel mugs.  My guess is, that if you know someone who drinks coffee, a new assortment of travel mugs with matching lids will make a useful gift.   The best part about this set is that you get FOUR mugs and they all use the same lid! Genius!


4.   A nice big umbrella–  Back in 2007-2008 my husband’s supervisor at work gave him a nice big umbrella for Christmas.  We used it for years!   It is so nice to have an umbrella that will last, and that is big enough to cover multiple people.  This is such a practical gift, especially for those who love attending events and are always on the go!


5. A Hyrdoflask- Nice water bottles are priceless.  A few years ago my brother gave my husband a hyrdo flask, and we still use this water bottle all the time. It keeps coffee or tea warm and keeps water cold during the summer.  You will see this with us at sports practice, and you will see my husband with his at the office.   If you know someone who loves to take beverages with them and is trying to lose less plastic, this hydro flask will make a great gift!


6. Movie Theater Gift Card I have a group of teenage nephews, and I have been stumped on what to get them for years.   So I have been getting them movie gift cards for Christmas for the past couple of years now.   Though, I am sure anyone would enjoy a movie gift card for a gift.   This is a great gift idea for kids, teenagers, parents, single folks, and even grandparents!  Gift cards to restaurants also make great gifts.  All of my teenage nephews have particular restaurants they like to visit with their friends.


7. A Portable Phone Charger – These portable phone chargers are so incredibly handy!  They are perfect for anyone who travels a lot; people can bring these along when they visit amusement parks, sporting events, concerts or any place where they may not have access to an outlet to charge their phone!  I might have just convinced myself to get one of these for everyone in my family.


8. Hanging Toiletry Bag –  About eight years ago, my husband stood up in his friend’s wedding and got a hanging travel toiletry bag.  He still uses it all these years later.  Do you want to know a secret?  Since I hate packing for trips, I keep a travel toiletry bag with everything including a toothbrush.  This is such a nice gift for anyone who travels at all or people to frequently visit the gym.


9. Wireless headphones  These wireless headphones could be incredibly useful for anyone who has a new apple phone! New Apple phones don’t have a headphone Jack so a pair of wireless Bluetooth headphones would be convenient.   Wireless headphones would also be great for anyone who likes to workout and listens to music on their phones.


10. Hot Water Bottle – This is great for anyone who gets’s cold during the winter, especially anyone who lives in the midwest, northeast or anywhere with cold weather!


11. My husband and I have these memory foam pillows, and we love them!  ( never going back).  A lovely memory foam pillow would be an excellent gift for anyone!

12. Pajamas!  Are you shopping for a child who has a lot of toys or is hard to buy for?  A fresh pair of pajamas makes a great gift!   Lots of kids pajamas come with fun characters that kids love, plus they are practical!   Pajamas can make an excellent gift for just about anyone.  Any adult can use a new pair of pajama pants, especially during the winter season.  I think that pajamas make a great gift!

What are some practical gift ideas you like to give?


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