2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Helpful (and fun) products

Giving gifts can be lots of fun for both the recipient and the giver. And, although you can elect to give presents that are service related, there’s nothing like watching someone enthusiastically tear open a package you picked out just for them. If you have a tough time finding the right gift (one that will be liked and appreciated), I find that it helps to pick presents that match the recipient’s personality.

And, when possible, why not select something that’s helpful and fun? Not every present has to bring a smile to their face, but if it helps them get stuff done and makes them chuckle, they’re likely to use it often. Of course, you can buy yourself a whimsical and useful present, too. For a bit of inspiration, check out these interesting gifts that put the fun in functional.

For gadget lovers

  1. Coffee Cup Inverter with USB Charging Port. Who doesn’t charge their gadgets while they’re driving? This coffee cup fits in your car’s cup holder (though you have to remember this it’s not really a coffee cup) and it also comes with two power outlets.
  2. USB Hubman. The USB Hubman (or the USB Hubdog or the 4-legged Octopus) is fun way to add an extra port to connect your devices. It’s small (great stocking stuffer) and lightweight, so it can be the perfect gift for those on the go.
  3. Makey Makey Invention Kit. This is an inventors kit that almost anyone can use. It requires no tools and can be connected to everyday items to give commands to your computer (via a USB cable).

For cooking and entertaining

  1. Joseph Joseph Elevate 6-Piece Heat-Resistant Utensil Set. This six-piece set is colorful and weighted so that the business end is raised (and doesn’t touch the counter). Store them in a utensil drawer or purchase the Carousel Set.
  2. Joseph Joseph Rinse and chop Chopping Board and Colander. Another cool and colorful item from Joseph Joseph that the chefs in your life are bound to love because it serves two purposes: it’s a chopping board and a colander in one (folding hinges do the trick). And, because it can lay flat, it’s can be stored easily when not in use.

For the office

  1. Falling bookend. Bookends may sound boring, but this model by Artori will add a touch of drama to any bookshelf (check out the Portal 2 bookends, too).
  2. Gnome-Be-Gone Office Fisherman. This office gnome captures paper clips with his magnetic fishing rod and keeps a (neat) stash of business cards, too.
  3. There is one more that product I just couldn’t resist telling you about. Though the price is well beyond what I think is reasonable, it gets lots of cool points for doing it’s job in a unique way. Take a look at the QLOCKTWO. It’s a wall clock that has no hands and no numbers. Just words that tell you what time it is (“It’s a quarter past eight”). The QLOCKTWO comes in a variety of colors and supports twelve languages (the QLOCKTWO TOUCH has a snooze button).

The full 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide.

8 Comments for “2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Helpful (and fun) products”

  1. posted by Dusty @ Wine Logic on

    Fun book ends are great for anyone with a bookshelf! It’s not something you would normally buy for yourself, but do cherish.

  2. posted by jane on

    Wouldn’t it be more logical to buy a spoon rest than that 6 piece utensil set? Seems like it’s a bit counter to the idea of not having clutter/unitaskers around. You can own better quality utensils (or not duplicate a bunch), plus drip all you want into the spoon rest rather than just merely keeping the utensil off the kitchen counter and possibly dripping all over it.

  3. posted by Jeannette on

    RE: the QLOCKTWO

    A clock that is priced at over $1,000? On the unclutterer.com? Surely this is an error.

  4. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jeannette — I think Deb was just appreciating the clock’s existence. The same way I look at large old stately homes and am glad they exist … even though I have ZERO desire to own one.

  5. posted by Anonymous on

    For the “gadget lovers”, the Satechi 12 Port USB Hub might be more useful than a 4-port USB hub.

    http://www.amazon.com/Satechi-Power-Adapter-Control-Switches/dp/B0051PGX2I/

    I used to have 4-port and 7-port USB hubs, sometimes daisy-chained together, which led to a lot of cable clutter on my desk. Replacing multiple USB hubs with one 12-port hub made a noticable difference in clearing my desktop.

    The only caveat is that it is USB 2.0, and USB 3.0 devices have been available for about 2 years. However, there are enough USB 2.0 devices still in use that this is still useful for almost everyone.

  6. posted by squibby on

    I like the idea of practical and money saving gadgets. This gadget charges rechargable batteries by solar or usb power.

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0042Z14FO/associatizer-20/

  7. posted by CJH on

    Such an expensive clock should use proper grammar. I know it is vernacular, but it has always annoyed me to hear “ten to eight.” I feel we should say “ten ’til eight.” The meaning is ten minutes until eight o’clock. I suppose ten to eight could mean ten more minutes until we get to eight o’clock, but that still doesn’t seem right. What do you think?

  8. Avatar of

    posted by klutzgrrl on

    CJH, we’ve always said ‘ten to…’ I’ve never heard it said differently. Often phrases have their origin in the grammar of the root languages of English. For example, I recall my very refined English teacher saying “Give it me” (rather than ‘give it to me’) with ‘me’ being the dative case (from the Latin) making the ‘to’ redundant.

    love the clock but wow what a price. Though I think there’s something to be said for the visual quality of looking at hands and ‘seeing’ the fraction of the hour that you have.

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