“HELP! I can’t think of anything to get my girlfriend for Christmas!” Well, knucklehead, there’s a good chance she’s been giving out hints all year long — you just haven’t been paying attention. The secret to memorable gifts is to get something that looks good and has a purpose. Here are 18 gift ideas to get you started.
On-ear headphones that sound great, look great and can be thrown into the washing machine? Yes, you can. Urbanears’ new Humlan headphones are the world’s first to come with washable parts. Simply toss the removable headband and ear cushions in with a load to remove the disgusting buildup of sweat, makeup and hairspray. It comes in 10 delicious colours, including pumpkin and tomato. Guaranteed to please image-conscious germaphobes. $US49 (free standard shipping in Australia).
Is your wife bugging you to change the lightbulbs and clean the vents? She needs a stepladder. This three-step version is made of lacquered rubber wood and comes in three hi-gloss colours. It also folds flat for easy storage, but why tuck it away when it’s pretty enough to hang? $598.
The best sex toy ever invented? This might be it. These silicone fingertip vibrators are the smallest you’ll find on the market, and it claims to be able to do all kinds of heavenly things. It has a runtime of up to six hours on two AAAA batteries. Don’t worry, they’re included. $69.99.
Handbags are too easy to get wrong. Reduce the risk and get her a functional, carry-all duffle bag that she won’t feel obligated to use every day. This one features a handy separate shoe compartment, an internal mesh pocket and a removable padded shoulder strap. And it’s super cute to boot. $119.
A box of Kleenex is a staple on any coffee table, but the boxes are usually ugly and a space hog. Solve those problems forever with an elegant Paper Pot. It’s designed to be used with either toilet paper or facial tissues. The frugal will note that it’s also a clever way to use toilet paper as facial tissues. $45.60.
According to a Chinese proverb, a purse on the floor is money out the door, so stop wasting money with this gorgeous kitty-shaped stainless steel hook. Place the cat’s feet on the edge of the table with the tail hanging down, then hang the purse from the tail. It will keep even heavy handbags off the floor like magic. $36.
Picture on left: Rakuten
If she has a bike, she’s going to love this bicycle basket that doubles as a shopping basket. The designer actually crotched the prototype based on the designs of her grandmother’s tablecloths. It comes in black, white or green. Bicycle not included. $129.
Pictures: Design Stockholm House, Finnish Design Shop
These limited edition glass water bottles have been seen in the hands of celebrities, and it’s not hard to see why. They have a 500mL capacity, come with a removable silicone sleeve, and a portion of sales goes towards charity. $US34.
This is the gift that will appeal to avant-garde hostesses, DIY enthusiasts, foodies and cocktail drinkers alike. Molecular gastronomy is the hottest thing right now in kitchens and bars. It’s a bit like food technology in high school — but with alcohol. Give the gift that teaches her the scientific way to get plastered. $US29-$US58.
A bench swing for two is the ultimate romantic gift — especially if you turn it into a DIY project. If not, you can buy this bench swing for one made of 100 per cent reclaimed wood that comes with 6m rope on each side. There’s also a less comfortable version. Ideally, you will have a nice, big tree to hang it from, and a backyard with amazing views. $NZ85- $NZ235.
Picture on right: The Original Tree Swing
There are few things worse than getting caught in the rain and overpaying for a shitty umbrella from the convenience store. This pretty umbrella is windproof to 88km/h, flip-resistant, rustproof, has a fibreglass frame and comes with a slip-on cover. The best part is it closes to a compact 28cm — it’s practically made for handbags. $69.95.
Anyone can tell you the time, but not many can tell you the date as well. This calendar clock can tell the time and the date in one go, and it has that cool retro look that people just can’t seem to get enough of at the moment. It even knows when it’s a leap year! $176.
Shame. Your Instagram-obsessed girlfriend has a great eye, but she’s all like “micro four what?” Stop trying and give her this super-cute lomography camera with flash. She’ll be all like “HOLGA FILTER!” Snap, snap, snap. $135.
Picture on right: lomography.com
This is a real thing. Take selfies in “places and poses you never thought possible!” It works with all compact cameras, folds down to a compact 22cm, and comes with a More Likes Guarantee. $19.
The crappy thing about summer is that sometimes you want to go to bed before the sun does. If your lovely lady needs absolute darkness to fall asleep, and your lovely lady only deserves the best, then she needs “the world’s most comfortable, affordable lucid dreaming sleep mask”. Whatever that means. $95.
Do you know when your girlfriend last cleaned her hairbrushes? Probably never. If she has invested in high-quality ones, then simply tossing them and buying new ones isn’t really an option. You need to get her a brush cleaner, like this one with a beechwood handle and stainless steel wire bristles. $12.
This self-setting rubber might not look very impressive at first, but wait until she learns of all the possibilities. You can use it to make your own cable grips and repair just about anything in mere seconds. $US18-$US20 per pack of eight, or $21.90.
A Kickstarter pitch turned real-life product, this gorgeous ruler doubles as a pen tray. Made in the USA out of maple wood, it comes in five eco-friendly stains in your choice of imperial or metric. $US25.