Pop Culture

12 kitschy, gimmicky gifts people actually use and love

Give a gift that brings a smile to their face but will also get used. Win win.

IKEA rain hat, Kindle page turner remote, woman with tortilla blanket

From remote page turners to tortilla blankets, these gifts are crowd pleasers

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Have you ever gotten a gimmicky gadget that you thought for sure you'd use but ends up sitting in a drawer or cabinet for years until you finally decide to ditch it? Or how about the opposite? Have you ever gotten a gag gift that turned out to be something truly useful and beloved?

Giving someone a funny present can be hit or miss, but when you manage to strike the balance between grin-inducing and practical, you've got a winning gift on your hands.

A person in the Grown and Flown parenting group on Facebook asked what dumb, gimmicky gifts parents had given their teens and young adults that they actually use and love. The responses started pouring in, and soon a treasure trove of fun gift ideas that might actually be worth it was created.

Here are 12 of the most hearted items people shared, and the best thing is most of them are under $20.

Check these out:

1. Motion-activated toilet bowl night light

toilet bowl night light

No more accidental misses in the middle of the night.


Nobody wants to turn on a light in the bathroom when they stumble to the toilet in the middle of the night, and the plug-in night lights don't always light up the toilet enough to help with aim. Problem solved.

Find the motion-activated toilet bowl light on Amazon.

2. BlueTooth Sleep Mask Headphones

images of sleep mask with bluetooth headphones

Fall asleep to music or audiobooks in comfort without disturbing anyone.


If you've ever tried to sleep on your side with earbuds in or headphones on, you'll immediately see the usefulness of this. But it's also great for working out in the cold if you use it as a headband/ear warmer instead of a sleep mask.

Find the BlueTooth Sleep Mask Headphones on Amazon.

3. Croc Headlights

crocs with lights on them

Light up nighttime walks with these babies.


Love them or hate them, Crocs have made a comeback with all kinds of accessories to decorate them. These headlights might come in handy during a power outage or just if you're looking for a little extra safety when walking in the dark.

Find Croc headlights on Amazon here.

4. That Shirt Folder Thingy

shirt folder and neatly folded shirts

No excuses for messy drawers.


This simple device creates a perfectly folded shirt in just a few seconds. It's fun to use and makes you feel like a laundry superstar. And since it lies flat, it can easily be tucked under a bed or behind a dresser or bookcase when not in use.

Find the shirt folder on Amazon.

5. Battery-operated Handheld Milk Frother

milk frothing wand

Who needs steam to make a latte?


With 4.5 stars out of over 200,000 reviews, you can't go wrong with this kitchen gadget. Frothy foam feels like a luxurious treat atop a coffee or hot cocoa, and this frother makes it quick and simple without taking up a bunch of space on the counter.

Find the milk frother with stand on Amazon.

6. Giant Tortilla Blanket

blanket that looks like at tortilla

This looks exactly like a burrito, but it's actually a huge, fluffy blanket.


Turn yourself or your loved ones into a fluffy burrito with this 71-inch tortilla blanket. I know it looks strange. But 4.8 stars out of 65,000 reviews on Amazon and rave reviews by the Grown and Flown folks are solid testimonies. Apparently, it's very soft and cozy.

Find the tortilla blanket on Amazon here.

7. Blue IKEA Bag Rain Hat

blue IKEA rain hat

The iconic blue IKEA bag taken to the next level.


IKEA's big blue bags are famous for their cheap, durable, weatherproof usefulness for moving lots of stuff—particularly among college students. This kitschy rain hat is no less weatherproof and useful in addition to being a conversation piece. People love it.

Find the IKEA rain hat on Amazon.

8. Remote Kindle Page Turner

remote control and kindle device

Turn the page without having to pull your hand out of the blanket.


If your first thought is "Why does it need to be easier to turn the page on a Kindle when it's just a click," you're not alone. But the mom who shared this said her daughter loves it because she likes to read in bed with her arms all cozied up under a blanket. This allows her to turn the page without exposing her hands. Works with iPads and other tablets as well.

Find the Kindle remote page turner.

9. Electric Fly Swatters

electric fly swatters

Zap those flies.


Last year we had an out-of-the-blue fly problem that required the big guns. These are the big guns. So much more effective than a traditional fly swatter.

Find the electronic fly swatter 2-pack on Amazon.

10. GripStic Reusable Bag Clips

Gripstic bag sealers

So much better—and neater—than traditional chip clips.


People rave about these things. One reviewer wrote, "ABSOLUTELY keeps food fresher for longer! Worth every penny!" and another said they work even better than Ziploc bags. With 10,000 reviews and 4.8 stars, it's a surefire hit.

Find the GripStic bag sealers on Amazon here.

11. Pet Hair Remover

pet hair remover

It's like a supercharged, highly effective lint roller.


I can personally vouch for this one since I bought one myself. This thing gets hair that the vacuum misses. Super helpful for getting cat and dog hair off of furniture lickety split, and getting the hair out of it is really easy.

Find the pet hair remover on Amazon.

12. The Clapper

The clapper electrical plug

Those of us in a certain age will immediately start singing, "CLAP ON (clap clap) CLAP OFF (clap clap)…"


It's a classic. Clap on! Clap off! It's like the OG smart device, only without the concerns about corporations spying on our conversations. Convenient and simple. Can't go wrong.

Find The Clapper on Amazon here.

Hope that helped with your holiday lists and white elephant gift exchanges!


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