5 great practical Christmas gifts (that they will actually love!)

Do you have someone in your life who’s tough to buy for because they seem to buy exactly what they want, when they want it? These people often have no idea what to say when you ask them what they’re hoping for this Christmas. I know. I have a¬†few¬†people like this to buy for on my list and it¬†can be a challenge to shop for them.

5 practical Christmas gift ideas they'll actually love!

Here are a few things I use that I think would make great Christmas gifts — why? They’re the things people don’t know they love until they have them.

The following are Amazon links¬†—¬†I can personally vouch for each product as I either have it or have tried it. I have not been paid to write these reviews (though I wish I had been).

If you have any additional ideas, I’d love to read them in the comments!


1. Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker 

This one is on my own Christmas list. We saw it in a store and tried it out a few weeks ago, comparing it to other available models. The others were not. Even. Close.

Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Though it says “mini”, there is nothing small about the sound delivered from this thing. It pushes full, beautiful audio out of this little box that you can pick up off its dock and perch anywhere. Check out all the 5 star reviews.

You can play music off any Bluetooth-compatible device. Totally recommend, and totally jealous of anyone who gets this enormous sounding little speaker.

UPDATE Feb 4, 2015: I don’t need to be jealous anymore! I got it! YAY! Read my¬†review here!


2. Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband 

If you’re a fan of this blog, you know I am always singing the praises of Fitbit, and for good reason. It is a total motivator. Along with tracking your daily steps, very active minutes, sleep activity automatically, you can also log your food and water intake, watch it estimate your calories burned based on your height, weight and activity.

Fitbit Flex -- Available in a variety of coloursOne of my more recent favourite things about all Fitbit models is that you can track your activity against your friends. For me, this is where the real motivation to move comes in. There are Daily, Work Week and Weekend challenges now — so you invite your friends and get moving. It is very funny to see your normally dormant friends (and self) ramp it up when you’re all in competition with each other, and you’re actually getting your exercise doing it! Super fun.

Now I’m talking as if you’ll be purchasing the Fitbit for yourself. But trust me, even if someone has never heard of a Fitbit before they get one, they’ll be intrigued by what it does once they have it on for all the reasons given above.

Fitbit Charge HR

This model is coming soon!

If you want¬†even¬†more from Fitbit, I’m not sure on release date, but the Fitbit Charge Wireless Activity Wristband¬†is one of their new¬†models available for pre-order. It¬†has an added heart rate monitor, stairs climbed feature, as well as¬†a more informative LED display. Looks like it’ll be great.

UPDATE Feb 4, 2015: Fitbit Charge HR is now available!


3. Philips Sonicare HX6511 Rechargeable Toothbrush with Dynamic Cleaning Action 

You might think I’m nuts for suggesting you buy a toothbrush for someone for Christmas, but you cannot argue with a 5 Star-average review. (And you know there is someone on your list who will appreciate this, admit it.)

Phillips Sonicare toothbrush

Why do I love this toothbrush?

When I knew my dental insurance would cease to exist after college, I asked my dentist what I could do to make sure my teeth didn’t fall out. He enthusiastically suggested this brush. I did not buy it from him, he was not trying to sell it, he just knew this brush could handle keeping my mouth healthy until I¬†got¬†dental benefits again.

And it did.

So much so, I continue to buy the heads for it five¬†years later. If you’re looking for a deal, they sell¬†Philips Sonicare HX7022/66 Eseries Standard Replacement Brush Heads, 2 Count¬†on Amazon for around $27 (at time of writing).¬†A 2-pack is¬†around $35 at Walmart.

I won’t go into how my hygienist tells me I will have all my own teeth my whole life, or how I take better care of my teeth than all but one of her patients… I won’t tell you that at all. But it remains true, and I have never had whiter teeth than with this brush.

While you’re grabbing one¬†for the practical person on your Christmas list, you might consider ordering¬†one up for yourself. I have several friends and relatives who own this brush and they will not go back to a manual brush. You can actually feel the difference.


4. WD My Passport Ultra 2TB Portable External Hard Drive USB 3.0 with Auto and Cloud Backup WDBMWV0020BBK-NESN (Black) 

We have a version of this one from last year that is still a great model, but since this one has USB 3.0, fits in your pocket and has 2TB of space, it wins.

WD My Passport 2TB External Cloud DriveIf the person you’re buying for is¬†a photographer, or if they have kids, they¬†need a boatload¬†of space available on a durable external hard drive to keep all those pictures. Music, movies and just about¬†anything can of course be stored too.

It is a great deal for 2TB of space on a lightweight drive to easily take anywhere. This Passport Ultra can also be formatted to work with a MacBook very easily.  What a wonderful gift this would be for anyone who will never have enough digital space!


5. Cuisinart DGB-900BCC Fully Automatic Burr Grind & Brew Thermal(TM) 12 Cup Coffeemaker 

We received this coffee maker as a generous wedding gift a year and a half ago and we love it.

Cuisinart Fully Automatic Burr Grind & Brew Thermal Coffee Maker

This machine has the option to use whole or ground beans, which broadened our horizons as before we’d have to get out the grinder separately. (For some of us that extra step taken care of makes all the difference.) You can control coffee strength, program it the night before so it’s ready bright and early for you and is one less thing to worry about while getting ready. It’s sturdy, great quality, easy to clean and looks great.

A neat thing about getting this machine for someone who loves coffee is that it makes for easy gift-giving later on. A ‘fancy’ bag of coffee or two for birthdays or even next Christmas is a wonderful gift for a caffeine addict.

For great everyday coffee that I personally consume far too much of, Kicking Horse Kick Ass and Grizzly Claw are great. For a milder taste, Starbucks Breakfast Blend, Ground is good and you can find that brand nearly everywhere, often on sale. Kicking Horse can be found at Shoppers and Sobeys but often takes a few weeks at a time to go on sale to around $11.99.

If someone on your Christmas list drinks a lot of on-the-go coffee, this is a great gift. We used to love McDonalds and Tim Hortons coffee, but we rarely buy either anymore because — to be honest — we love the coffee this thing brews, and it costs cents per cup even for the ‘pricier’ whole bean variety. Now if only this coffee maker had a latte setting…


I hope my practical gift ideas make shopping for that person who has everything a little simpler this season. Can you think of any other ideas that should be added to this list?

About Nikki

I've been writing since I was in kindergarten where I Crayola-markered an epic tale of a tiger and a balloon on a stack of lined papers folded into a booklet and stapled along the edge (carefully, and by my teacher). I love DIY, sewing, folksy music, animals and getting out to look at and listen to nature.
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