June 25, 2024

The Gift List You Actually Wanted

We’ve all been there, googling the gift lists when you have no idea what to get your mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, coworker, and random person you’re probably going to draw for Secret Santa. Instead of getting them more candles, gift cards, or gag gifts, let me direct you to a list of useful yet quality gifts that don’t necessarily require you to drop mad money. 

Key Tracker

Seriously, I’m not sure how more people don’t have the little trackers you can attach to your keys. As someone who lost their key fob when going out, a key tracker would have been great (my parents gifted me one the Christmas following the key fob loss incident). These are practical, useful, and a solid gift for both people you’re close with and your coworker that someone suckered you into an office Secret Santa. 8/10 gift rating

Ted Flint | The Tailgate Society

Local Coffee 

Not just any coffee, coffee from a local roaster. That shows that you one, took the time to go local and two, care to gift someone somewhat freshly roasted coffee beans. You thoughtful person, you, getting that coffee drinker (64% of American adults) fresh, local beans. If they reject this gift, they’re rejecting shopping local, and essentially rejecting American values, thus making your friend a communist. 7/10 gift rating

Kitchen Gadgets

Before you go for some obscure, useless gadget, hear me out, get your person kitchen gadgets they will actually use at least once a month. Garlic presses are oddly super useful. Food processors are the gift that continues you to give back, hummus, graham cracker crust, smoothie, the food processor can make it happen. Crockpots, not only does this device cook your food all day so you only have to put in minimal effort, you can also use a crockpot to keep your queso hot during the football party you will inevitably host in February.  2-8/10 gift rating (depending on the gadget)

Personal Water Filter

This gift might be for a specific kind of person in your life, but really if somehow you find yourself without clean water y’all aren’t trying to get giardia! We all have that “outdoorsy” person in our life who would truly benefit from a personal water filter they can take into the wilderness. 6/10 gift rating

Ted Flint | The Tailgate Society


This is where the millennial trash in me makes an appearance. How can you not just love plants that require minimal effort? Don’t just use this recommendation for holiday gifting, straight up, start bringing your date a succulent instead of flowers. Their response will likely be like “THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME THIS PLANT THAT JUST WON’T DIE!” You’re welcome. 7/10 gift rating

Gift Basket

There are so many options of filling a gift basket. Snacks, “self-care” toiletries, tools, spices, barbecue sauces, you name it, you can fill a basket with it. A very simple way to go is snacks. Because really, who doesn’t like snacks? Nobody. Everyone likes snacks, and if they say they don’t, they’re lying because everyone has snacks of choice. This gift really challenges you to be intentional about the snacks you fill this basket with. Probably don’t give your health and fitness friend a gift basket of pork rinds and sandwich cookies. While you were probably trying to just give them tasty snacks, try again.

And again, don’t feel limited to filling this basket with just snacks, replace the snacks with spatulas, ladles, scoops, and other cooking utensils. Boom, you just won Christmas with your scrub of a brother who has been making all his meal with a single fork. 6-10/10 gift rating (depending on execution)


Beer has food value, unfortunately food does not have beer value. This gift of beer is a bit more personal than if you were to just gift your recipient something like the key tracker. The last thing you want to get your beer drinker who actively seeks out Rolling Rock, PBR, and Rainier something nice like craft beers. In that same vein, you don’t want to get your snobby IPA consumer Coronas. Beer may seem like a cop out gift, but nothing says “I care” like knowing what kind of beer to gift with a pleasant card. This gift requires thought and intention or you will ruin your relationship. To me that says you’re really putting yourself out there but on a budget. 8/10 gift rating

Ted Flint | The Tailgate Society


As the great Albus Dumbledore once said “One can never have enough socks.” My dude was onto something with this. Socks are an underrated article of clothing, that we all end up really appreciating because nobody wants cold feet. 11/10 gift rating

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Emily Cornell
Emily Cornell 208 Articles
Staff Writer

Emily grew up in the great state of Colorado, then decided the University of Wyoming sounded like a good time. Since graduating, she has tried to figure out how not to become an adult. To fully commit to this, she’s a part-time cheesecake maker and a semi-pro adventurer. Sometimes she shares her unpopular opinions on sports and life, if this interests you, she can be found on Twitter and Instagram like a true millennial @emilproblems.

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