This may be a horrible admission, but often times while looking through Christmas gift lists, I wind up buying stuff for myself even more than the people I am actually looking for gifts for. Years ago, when my wife and I bought our first home with 1 bathroom, and working in the bar industry on Saturday nights together, my wife would use the shower first when we got home, leaving me to watch tv, and at 3am at the time, the only thing on cable television were “As Seen on TV” infomercials. Stuffed hamburger patty makers, perfect pancake pans, Ab belts, and remember Snuggies? I bought them all, with no one to stop me. The Ab belt alone made for a great story I talked about in a chapter in my book, “The Trophy Husband” (cheap plug).
However, today I don’t have to stay up till 3am for the magic of unique gift finds to share with people I think will enjoy the unexpected or just getting it for myself, which I still do. Here are 12 gifts I have come across this year alone.
1. Key finders
My wife has the ability to multi-task much further beyond the average person, and when you encounter someone like that, they often misplace keys, purses, shoes, etc. because they are already doing too many other things all at once. Recently, my wife lost our car key, and in the process of searching for it, I was able to come across the spare key to our other car, which had been missing for the better part of 2 years. Although a couple weeks later, we discovered the missing key in a coat pocket, (thank God for cold Michigan weather, sometimes) and all was well in the world again. This all could have been avoided had I owned a key finder. Coming with 1 transmitter, and 4 key chain receivers that has a 131ft. tracking range, this purchase is a “no-brainer” to me. Under $20 on Amazon, and highly reviewed. The only problem now is, making sure we don’t lose the transmitter,
2. Wireless Phone Charger
When the adoption of smart phones began, I was an early adopter of the iPhone, and I have never changed since. If I have ever had a complaint about them, it’s that the charging port either changes a few models in, or the connection port wears out, having to replace the phone sooner than necessary (in my opinion). So I picked up a wireless charger, and problem solved! This wireless charger servers as a nightlight, with 3 different levels of brightness by just touching anywhere on the light bar. The charging unit feels like it works faster than the old port cord (although I have never timed them against each other) and an added feature is built in white noise sounds like (waves, rain, thunder, etc.) or you can use the bluetooth connection of your phone to play music instead. I have never been a fan of white noise sounds, but my wife will play them all day while she does work from home.
3. ZAP IT! Bug Zapper
I can’t count the number of times my wife and I have been watching TV in bed and we see a mosquito fly in front of the screen, causing my wife to say, “Get it!”. After turning on the bedroom light, finding a newspaper or shoe, and then ultimately losing where the mosquito went, I have stayed up waiting to find it again, because we can’t sleep until this little bug meets his doom. I needed a new plan, and the Zap It! was it! I have this little tennis racket on the side of my bed, and whenever a mosquito dare try and exist in our room, I grab it, take a swing, and the initial spark from the racket showing you have succeeded with destroying your target is ultra satisfying. I have owned one of these for 5 years and have never replaced the batteries, which reminds me, I probably should before the acid destroys my bug killer.
4. The Cheese Board
As a co-founder of the Universal Snack Patrol, it isn’t much of a surprise that I like grazing. I own an obnoxious amount of cutting boards, and I often visit artisan cheese shops to make charcuterie boards at home for any and no reason at all. When I came across this Charcuterie board set, I had every ounce of ammunition to support its purchase, while my wife wasn’t looking. First, it is adaptable for different size parties, whether it’s just a night with your wife, or you are having a few friends over. The retractable side panels allow for more room for more cheese, sausage, fruit, or crackers. it comes with a separate veggie tray with a dip holding center. Plus, all the cutlery utensils slide out from the holder in the front, complete with wine opener! If you’re married to someone like me, you deserve a little wine.
5. Dipping Bowls
Kitchen gadgets often are my weakness. My wife reminds me often of the time she thought she was getting an engagement ring when we were early into our relationship, and instead, I got her a quesadilla maker (wrong move). However, she does love grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on a cold winter day. These dipping bowls were made for days just like those! They are stoneware, so they are sturdy with a little weight to them, but dishwasher, microwave, and OVEN SAFE! There isn’t much you can’t make with these!
6. Portable Blender
This is one of those purchases that I feel like I want to make for myself, but my wife would ultimately use it more. This blender just spells the words “smoothie” or “protein shake” to me, and that entails the possibility of exercise, which I try and avoid. However, it also suggests blending baby food, so if you’re a new parent, this might be useful to you also. I think I would tend to use it for making milkshakes, because the cleanup is as simple as putting dish detergent in it and pressing the blend button, then rinsing. The ease of that to a lazy person like me alone, is worth its weight in gold. It has a rechargeable battery built in with USB connections so you can charge it pretty much anywhere from your car, your laptop, a powerbank, or your home. Even if you don’t exercise, at least you’ll have the equipment to show others that the thought has crossed your mind.
7. Prep Cutting Board
Again with the kitchen gadgets! It won’t be the last one, but this prep cutting board is a pretty neat idea. Being able to lay the board across the sink, helping to get rid of juice from veggies and fruit while chopping them up (I can’t stand tomato juice and seeds while making salsa on my countertop) is fantastic. The small strainers come with covers so you can store them in the fridge for later. I often line them with plastic wrap at the bottom so that any juice that stayed doesn’t escape to make a mess of my fridge (stupid tomatoes!). The cutting board is reversible, in case you have two different types of food to prep, and it’s easy to clean, although I don’t recommend putting it through a dishwashing cycle. You can get a ton of different options for some thing like this on Amazon, varying in price, but for what you get with this particular set, I am happy with the value.
8. Instant Underwear
Taking a break for a second from kitchen gadgets, I came across this and it reminded me of a friend I have who has the best “accident” stories I have ever heard, and I know that this would be a life saver for him to have on hand at any time. I have never bought these, but for a stocking stuffer, I can’t imagine a better gag gift that may come in great for an “emergency”. This Instant Underwear is disposable 100% cotton unisex underwear that fits most children and small adults. I didn’t see if they had an extra large set, but if they do, Archie Mcphee (the maker of these), I know a guy.
9. 100 Movie Poster
My wife and I are “Lord of the Rings” fans, and we owned all the movies, including “The Hobbit” series, but we had never taken the time to watch “The Hobbit”. Over the summer this year, that changed, when we decided to introduce our 9 year old to this fantasy world, starting with the movies we hadn’t seen. For a couple of weeks time, we finished all 6 films and it made for a great family memory. Seeing this Movie Poster of top films to scratch off and watch seems like another great way to spend a quiet evening with family. There are different types of scratch off posters as well, such as a Book Poster and Kids Movie Poster. There is even a 100 Things to do with Dad Poster, but I didn’t see one for Mom? (sorry). Maybe movies and Dad activities aren’t your thing, you could try Travel Maps, Party Drinks, 100 Foods, or 100 date ideas, plus so much more! It’s worth checking out!
10. Cocktail Smoker
It’s funny, because I own a pub, and trendy drinks sell, but for whatever reason, smoking drinks has never been on my list of things to attempt. They look cool, but the places I have been with friends who have had them either haven’t done them right, or smoking drinks aren’t as tasty as they appear they will be (I wouldn’t know, I have never tried them). There are a lot of Cocktail Smoker Kits on Amazon, but this one has the best reviews and purchases by far. It comes with a variety of smoker chips to infuse cocktails, wine, whiskey, cheese, salad (huh?) and meats. It comes with what appear to be easy to use instructions on how to build the perfect cocktail. If you use it, or have used it, drop me a line and let me know, because I am curious of your opinions. It seems to be a great gift idea for my father-in-law. Or maybe my wife.
11. Floating Target Game
On Christmas morning, you always hope to have at least something that your kids are gonna want to do with you that will hold your attention as well. I have 2 sons, and neither played with Barbies, but I don’t think that would have held my attention. A Floating Target Game though? I’m in! It seems simple enough, and I can always have my youngest retrieve the nerf-like darts and table tennis balls (Father’s law) when we miss. I can only hope that the cats don’t replace the balls as the targets. Especially when Mom is looking.
12. Soap Dispenser
I probably couldn’t warn anyone enough about this, but, wrapping a Soap dispenser up with your wife’s name on it as a gift is a bad idea. Giving it to the both of you or just buying it and installing it is a better call. However, my mother would love this (she says I’m a “catch”). The screen display shows the indoor temperature (if it’s 84 degrees in your house, depending on the season, you are either the father that refuses to turn on the air, or your family has tricked you and broke the thermostat in the winter) and the remaining battery life (rechargeable). It is compatible with various dish soap, hand sanitizer, and body wash on the market. It is equipped with strong, non-marking glue strips to protect your tiled walls if you are using it in the bathroom. I can’t get past the 84 degree temperature…
This is just the tip of the iceberg! Whether you find it for someone else, or just want one for yourself, don’t feel bad about it! It’s Christmas! TREAT YO’ SELF! Happy Holidays to you and yours, and don’t forget to join the group Dad Joke Genius! Become a member of the cringe-worthy army today!