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
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
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
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.
Admit it, the one in the bathroom has seen better days. Oral B Deep Sweep 1000 Electric Toothbrush, for retailers visit OralB.com.
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
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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