Erin is a mom of two and has been with Today’s Mama for ten years. She is charged with finding and sharing all of the wonderful things the web has to offer. She is particularly fond of food, photography, printables, and funny things. She writes about losing weight in her Healthy Living for Mom series, and is chronicling her attempt to master her DSLR camera with her series, Big Girl Camera.

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10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

Let’s be honest for a moment, shall we?

There are years when the gift giving is straight up MAGIC. When inspiration strikes early and often and you become a whirling dervish of holiday gift-giving awesomeness.

Other years? Not so much. I don’t think anyone is to blame for this—there are years when I can’t think of a darn thing that a certain person or family on my gift list needs. (I’m looking at YOU, DAD, and your frequent trips to the home improvement store and/or golf emporium.)

Maybe you’ve got someone on your list that is experiencing a bit of financial stress. Maybe they’ve worked hard to get healthy and have told you specifically not to be knocking on their door with your famous fudge.

Sometimes it’s a result of your own life circumstance. Maybe you have experienced the life altering joy of tidying up and the thought of bestowing more clutter upon your loved ones doesn’t seem like your jam this year.

Maybe you’ve just got gift giving block.

I have a solution.

RANDOM STUFF THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY LOVE TO GET

Okay, maybe a more accurate title is:

RANDOM STUFF THAT PEOPLE ACTUALLY LOVE NOT BUYING

Think about it this way…

You can spend $20 at Sephora and walk out a happy camper. (Because red lipstick makes the world go ‘round, people.) You can also spend $200 dollars at Costco and be annoyed at how few items that really amounts to. Bonus irritation points when you can’t eat any of what that $200 just bought.

So giving household items or supplies can actually be a really thoughtful way to show you care, because WHEN DID TOOTHBRUSHES GET SO EXPENSIVE?!

Here is a list of items I’ve given (or received) that turned out to be a big hit.

Here’s one more disclaimer on these…I bought these items in bulk because the key to the magic of these everyday items is that I was, in some cases, gifting a 6-12 month supply.

LINT ROLLERS
So great for pet owners, especially given the fact that lint rollers are marvelous for cleaning pet hair from furniture and auto interiors. But even non-pet owners will love all of the other uses for lint rollers (hello clean lampshades!) 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

EPSOM SALTS
Costco carries giant bags in bulk and you can get 3-4 times the amount for the same cost as at the grocery or beauty supply store. That means you can gift a 6 lb bag for about $5. (Epsom salts baths are a gift from heaven. HEAVEN.) 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

PLASTIC SILVERWARE
Our extended family is large, and we gather often for family birthdays and family camping trips, so believe me when I say that a $20 box of plastic silverware was well received!

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

PANCAKE MIX
My favorite is Kodiak Cakes. You can get a huge box at Costco for about $10. I gave these to neighbors last year with a tag that included some of my favorite mix-in recommendations (bananas, chocolate chips, pumpkin pie spice, apple sauce…) By the time I was delivering these on Christmas Eve it was a welcome break from the cookie onslaught. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

DETERGENT
I defy you to find a person that doesn’t use, need, and get annoyed at the cost of detergent. Go with a relatively neutral scent and there’s no reason for anyone to be anything but overjoyed at the money you just saved them. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

DOG TREATS
People that love my dog have a special place in my heart. Dog treats are also a great gift for the person that “has it all” or is hard to shop for, but has a dog. I love to do this for coworker gifts — it’s not overly sentimental or expensive, and you don’t have to worry about food allergies. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

RAZORS
This one is for the ladies. Again…these are expensive! I would be thrilled to get a bulk package of razors or razor blades. And I don’t know any women that are super picky about these…therein lies the advantage of shaving your legs and not your face! 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

TOOTHBRUSHES
Spoiler alert! If you’re related to me, you’re getting a solid stockpile of toothbrushes. Everyone needs them, and probably needs to replenish them more than they actually do. Especially if they have a kiddo in braces. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

BATTERIES
Everyone needs batteries, whether they have kids or not. I’m constantly swapping out my rechargable ones for my computer mouse…and not my kids have begun swiping those for their toys. Consider getting fancy and buying a pack of 9-volt batteries…because NO ONE ever has those when their fire alarm starts that annoying warning beep…at 3:00 A.M. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

BAND AIDS
The bulk pack is heaven-sent for parents of small (and not-so-small) kids. You can never have too many band aids. The variety pack that includes the big knee-sized ones, along with the tiny toddler pinky-toe size is the way to achieve true hero status. 

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

What did I miss? Anything else to add? Tell me in the comments.

10 Unexpected Holiday Gifts that People LOVE

Other posts you might enjoy…

Best Camping Gear + Gifts For Families

14 Outdoor Toys and Gift Ideas For Kids

20 Holiday Items from Trader Joe’s You NEED In Your Life

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