7 Practical Gift Ideas That Would Actually Be Very Welcome

Practical gifts get a bad rap. While kids and teens probably don't want to find a package of socks in their stocking, a few of us grown-ups would certainly appreciate having a few fresh pairs...especially if they could materialize before laundry day, please. We think the key to giving a useful gift is to make it a slightly-more-luxurious version of something practical, and to pair it with something a little fun. Like wine. (Which could be considered a practical thing, depending on the kind of day you had.)

A Full Metrocard
Flickr/Mr T In DC
One of the best gifts a New Yorker can get. A free commute is just a lot more tolerable.
Socks & Underwear
Target
Whether they're for boots or sneakers, you can never have too many socks. And most women feel the same way about black tights. Merona Women's 6-Pack Socks, $8.10, from Target
Underwear
Victoria's Secret
Yeah, you can't have enough of these, either. But...you might want to think hard about your relationship to the recipient before you make this purchase. Lace-Waist Hiphugger Panty, $10.50 or 5/$26, Victoria's Secret.
Coffee For A Month
Starbucks
Every year, Starbucks sells a tumbler that gives you free coffee for the month of January. Sounds good to us. Coffee Refill Tumbler, $30, from Starbucks.
Toothbrush
OralB
Admit it, the one in the bathroom has seen better days. Oral B Deep Sweep 1000 Electric Toothbrush, for retailers visit OralB.com.
Umbrella
Nordstrom
An umbrella is one of those things you never really think to buy...until it's too late. Kate Spade 'Rain Check' Umbrella, $32, from Nordstrom.
A New Charger
GoProng
An extra charger is like a gift from heaven when you're stuck at work with an empty battery and no backup. This version is a combo case and charger in one. Pocketplug Case & Charger, $70, from GoProng.
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