Buying gifts for others can be an extremely difficult task, especially if the person you’re buying for isn’t super sentimental. You may feel tickled by a well-articulated card, a replica figurine, or a framed poster from your favourite film. However, others who receive such gifts may internally cringe at the thought of where to put them. For those who aren’t interested in knick-knacks, practical gifts may offer more benefit and enjoyment.
According to a survey of 2,000 participants aged 18 to 65, approximately 65% revealed that they dislike impractical gifts. The Financial Planning Association of Australia also highlighted that 65% of Australians prefer useful presents. It’s therefore understandable why gift-gifting can be a difficult task if you’re unable to determine what the recipient would prefer.
When this isn’t possible, your well-thought-out gift could simply wind up being chucked in the garbage. America is no stranger to this reality, with an estimated $15.2 billion spent on unwanted gifts over the 2019 Christmas period. (1) (2) (3)
It’s also essential to take into consideration the recipient’s feelings. If you think buying your mom or co-worker a shiny new bathroom scale is wise, you might need to rethink your gift-giving logic. While bathroom scales may be considered practical, individuals rarely want to be reminded of their extra holiday weight on a special occasion. So, if you’re looking for special gifts for your friends that balance practicality and care, read on for some practical gift ideas…
Cookware: If your brother-in-law is a whizz in the kitchen and enjoys creating stunning and delicious meals, brand-new kitchen items may be the way to go. Besides being practical, gifts like these could contribute to a lovely home aroma (granted he uses the right spices). You could also be helping him upgrade to the newest and most-improved products on the market.
Gifting cookware may also ease the receiver’s mental frustrations. According to Here’s Help, cooking is considered a therapeutic practice that many health care professionals recommend to manage symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, for the recipient of a gift like this, their brain may get some benefits as well as their stomachs. (4) (5)
Kitchen gifts may include:
— Cooking/frying pans
— Slow cooker
— Knife set
— Serving boards
— Waffle/pancake/crepe makers
— Mixing bowls
Given the wide range of options, you’re sure to find something that will be appreciated.
Portable speaker: Finding gifts for your friends that are both heartfelt and useful can be a headache, however, if you take notice of their hobbies, you may be able to stumble across something they’d really love. If, for example, they’re constantly forcing you to listen to the oldies, lending you CDs, or sharing their Spotify playlists with you, a music related gift might be perfect.
A portable speaker is practical and definitely not boring, considering that you can take it anywhere and everywhere. According to a survey conducted to analyse the market sales of Bluetooth-only speakers, approximately $1.96 billion dollars’ worth of speakers (predominantly portable) were sold in the United States in 2018. Available in different shapes, sizes, and colours, your friend will be able to expand their love of music even further. (6)
Foot massager: If your sister is known for running marathons or waiting tables all day, treating her to a foot massager could bring a smile to her face and relief to her feet. The global foot massager market was valued at $395 million in 2020 and is only expected to grow. Therefore, you may want to jump on the bandwagon too and let your sister find out what everyone’s raving about. (7)
Weighted blanket: If you’re shopping for someone who’s previously opened up about their struggles with stress, sleep deprivation, and/or other health conditions, a weighted blanket could significantly benefit them. It’s important to note that they can be a little pricier than regular blankets so ensuring it’s something they’d use is vital. Due to the additional weighted element, researchers have suggested that weighted blankets can potentially help with conditions including:
— Chronic pain. (8)
Your friend will not only be getting a comfortable and cozy blanket to keep them toasty in the winter months, but also a potential mood-booster.
Final thoughts: Finding a practical gift can be easy if you take note of what the recipient needs or would benefit from. Whether it’s their body aches that need tending to or their cooking appliances, there are several unique ideas out there, so give it some thought and you’ll be sure to find something they’ll appreciate.
(1) “Research Into Australian Gift-Giving”, Source: https://fpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/FPA_Gifts-That-Give-Research-Report-2019.pdf
(2) “What Types of Gifts Do People Value the Most”, Source: https://www.gifts.com/blog/best-and-worst-gifts
(3) “Christmas gift confessions 2019”, Source: https://www.finder.com/unwanted-gifts
(4) “The Culinary Arts Program – Cooking As Therapy”, Source: https://hereshelpinc.com/cooking-as-therapy/
(5) “Cooking Therapy Benefits for Stress + Mental Health”, Source: https://draxe.com/health/cooking-therapy/
(6) “Retail sales of Bluetooth-only speakers in the United States from 2013 to 2018 (in million U.S. dollars)*”, Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/642608/us-bluetooth-speakers-sales/
(7) “Foot Massager Market 2021: Emerging Opportunities, Industry Statistics, Market Size, Revenue and Volume Analysis by 2026 with Top Countries Data”, Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/press-release/foot-massager-market-2021-emerging-opportunities-industry-statistics-market-size-revenue-and-volume-analysis-by-2026-with-top-countries-data-2021-03-23
(8) “Do Weighted Blankets Work?”, Source: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/can-weighted-blankets-banish-nighttime-anxiety/