I’ve had beaus who gave me lovely presents. And I’ve had gentleman friends who were not at all good gift-givers. The ones who knew me well got that I didn’t need something big and flashy and expensive, but I do love a token of affection.
Once that gift is purchased (and should be at this point, right?), and a significant other is wracking his brain for another gift for the holiday, I propose that he make a practical choice.
I like gifts that serve me well — at my desk, in my office, as I prep lunches every day. I appreciate when someone I love notices that I’m missing a convenient gadget or that my toaster really needs to be replaced. I don’t think of those presents as boring, I think of them daily as I go about the business of my life. And often, as I mix up mac and cheese or steam my favorite maxi dress for a date night, I remember the person who gave me that little practical gem and am happy their thoughtfulness impacts tiny moments like those.
I’ve compiled a list of my very favorite practical gifts that you can run out right now and pick up, no problem. But before you do —
HEED THIS WARNING: Do not EVER give a woman a practical gift as her sole gift. Get her something loving, sentimental, high-tech or shiny. THEN and only then can you consider adding on something that clips, cleans, carries or sucks.
If you do not follow this warning, you will probably end up spending a lot more on her at the next holiday. Or end up using the practical gift in your own apartment, alone. (OK, maybe it is not that dire, but you hear me.)
Here are my favorite 15 practical gifts that I say she really will like and you can run out and grab just as soon as you’re done wrapping her iPad Mini.
This post originally appeared on Babble.com.