Good gift giving is basically a form of art. There’s nothing a nice present can’t do; it can lift a mood or improve a relationship, repair a wrongdoing, or remind someone you care about them. So no wonder gifts have a special place in our minds, no matter how much we often dread them (don’t even remind me about the Christmas gift hunt!).
The useful gift route is the one to go, but hey, there’s no universal guarantee that whatever you think of as useful would feel the same for the person who’ll receive it. So today, we are taking a look into presents that pleasantly surprised people who had no clue they needed them.
“What’s the best ‘I didn’t know I needed that’ gift you’ve received?” someone asked on Ask Reddit a while ago and the responses are basically a solid list of cool gift ideas. Scroll down through them below and upvote your favorite ones!
When I first became a cop I was getting blown away with what I dealt with. There was also so much death and the fear of getting shot. In my own personal life I also had so much stress and depression. One day I was working a school detail and a little kindergartner skipped by. She giggled and handed me a drawing of a kitten she made for me. It literally brought tears to my eyes. I was truly touched. No one had ever thanked me for anything on the job or given me such a kind gesture in years.
I was furious with my husband when I figured out that money had been just…disappearing from our bank account. I confronted him about it in April. He straight lied in my face and said he needed to spend some of his paycheck on scaffolding. I didn’t believe him, but he’s never lied before, so I let it go. Celebrating my birthday in November, I’m unwrapping presents with him and my family, and there are 25 wrapped up…fish. Fish toys for cats, glass fish, candy fish, wooden fish…and an underwater watch. I’m not bright because I hadn’t figured it out…They got me a trip to Vieques, Puerto Rico to learn how to scuba dive. I don’t deserve them. He’d been saving for a year. I saw a DOLPHIN with a BABY DOLPHIN. UNDERWATER. 6 FEET AWAY FROM MY FACE.
It’s the best thing ever. It’s like flying on another planet.
My mom just randomly bought me a jogging shirt saying. Maybe you can use this if you run.
I was unhealthy fat short kid, she was trying to encourage me.
Couldn’t even run 1 km without questioning my existence.
Several months later I could do 10km in below 40 min, and ran 50km a week.
I got so thin that my friends mom asked me if I’m sick (she thought I had cancer)
After a while I realized that this is not good for my back.
So I started lifting weights in the neighbourhood gym.
I went there so much that the owner made me take charge of it.
Im now the head of the gym and have transformed it completely.
I don’t look sick anymore and have a healthy amount of muscle. But im still short .
All of this because of some random running fleece shirt. I still have it today 10 years later…
My ex bought me vitamin D tablets maybe a month or so into dating. I’d been pretty unwell around that time, cancelling one date and bailing early on another. Id had blood tests done but the results weren’t back yet.
He showed up for a date one day and had the tablets for me as a present. It was pretty sweet to just get me a present for no reason other than to make me feel better. And when the blood tests came back, one of the things wrong with me was a vitamin D deficiency, so I did need them but didn’t know yet.
I guess you could say I really appreciated that he gave me the D…
My nephew bought my wife a cheap plastic duck call. I have no idea why my nephew thought this a perfect gift, but he was 100% correct. It is now known as the ‘cat whistle’ in our house because the cats stop whatever naughty thing they were doing immediately upon hearing it.
Two tickets to Les Miserables. I had absolutely no desire to see the show although my (now ex-) wife had been seriously hinting about it. When I opened the envelope on Christmas morning I was pretty pissed. She basically gifted herself. I was still pissed when I was dragged to the theater. The performance began… and I was in tears after ten minutes. It was just an incredible live performance and before we left I would buy the CD and listen to it for hours.
Calvin and Hobbes book from my mother. Had never heard of them before but I subsequently bought the rest of the books and love them now.
A kitten, from a total stranger. Yes, really. I wouldn’t describe myself as much of a ‘cat person’, per se, and I wasn’t even sure what to do with it at first. A few years down the line, and it’s basically my best friend. A constant companion whenever I’m @ home. And to think I preferred dogs once, yeesh!
My husband’s aunt buys the most practical gifts you could think of! Every year for Christmas I’m excited for her gifts like she bought some insulated bags last year. The year before she got me a nice nail care set and the Rock file is perfect to use on my baby’s nails! I never think of the things she buys but every thing she buys is super useful!
A good set of bath towels. My grandmother gave me a set as a graduation gift. I knew how expensive good towels and I knew she really had to save up for them, so I was thankful, but the same kind of thankful you are when grandpa gives you his dentures for Christmas.
“I’ll be damned if I don’t use those towels every day 7 years later (though I do need a new set at this point). They are very easily the most used gift I have ever been given.
My parents got me an oversized bath robe when I was younger. Kinda disappointed until I saw the gift card stuffed in the pocket. I think I enjoyed whatever I bought with the gift card. But that bath robe, lemmie tell you, wearing that sucker right now.
It’s not really a gift, but hearing my stepmom say she’ll always be there, and that I can always talk to her and also constantly getting hugs from her. Just my stepmom in general, really. After therapy and talking heart to heart with my stepmom I’ve realized my mom isn’t that kind of person, it’s not easy to talk to her about deep stuff, and we don’t hug too often. I really didn’t know how much I needed that
My brother jokingly bought me a squatty potty a few Christmas’s ago after we saw the commercial a few months prior.
I killed myself laughing again when I opened it up and stuck it in front of the toilet to send him a picture. Well, I forgot to move it after so it was there the next time I used the bathroom.
Let me tell y’all something. If you have any kind of digestive issues at all, the squatty potty is a work of art. Best poops of my life, I’ll tell you what.
A clock for the bathroom. Wasn’t intended for the bathroom was just a cute small clock but it matched my bathroom decor so it went there. It helped massively with time management specially for morning showers when I had no idea how long my showers were and used to end up rushing to get ready for work.
A printer. Back then I had absolutely no use for a printer. But fast forward about five years, now I am in university, and that printer is a blessing to have. Thanks Dad.
My best friend mailed me a humidifier a couple years ago when I had a chest cold. It’s the best gift I didn’t know I needed.
My mom got me a new duvet when I was 12/13 and a second duvet she made into matching curtains, they were in hindsight pretty garish. But I’d shared a room until I was 11, so it was nice being given things that were just mine to make my space more personal. Seems an odd gift but for poorer families it can actually be quite meaningful.
A door stopper on the end of a telescopic stick. Truly moving around in a wheel chair has been revolutionized for my mother. No need for anyone to hold the door.
A pair of good headphones. I listen to music almost on a daily basis and settled with ok earbuds because I didnt see the need for big headphones. It was like a revelation the first time I put them on because I never knew the audio could sound so clear before. It was incredible and I use them all the time now.
A small tool box from my father-in-law the first Christmas after I got married. I have used it so many times.
I’m a big dinosaur nerd. A couple years ago for my 30th birthday I got a mint in box Dino Riders torosaurus that I always wanted as a kid. It totally blew my mind and it was a weird yet fantastic feeling opening up a dinosaur toy at that age
A bidet attachment for my toilet! Now I feel like a caveman pooping anywhere else. I tell everyone that they need to invest in one, and those who have enjoy it as much as we do.
I got a waterproof bluetooth speaker for my shower as a stocking stuffer 5 years ago. I can’t take a shower without my tunes anymore. I love it.
When my aunt gave me the Lord of the Rings, the trilogy all in one amazing book. It changed everything and made me a nerd.
A Banana Saver. It’s a hard case that encloses a banana to protect it. No more bruised banana or banana guts squished into the bottom of your bag.
An upright, self-defrosting food freezer.
Never thought I’d need one. Now, can’t imagine not having it.
Note: this post originally had 77 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.