Gadgets to gift to the most boring people you know

Even dullards deserve some holiday cheer.

You know the person. He thinks that brightly colored dress socks are a dangerously bold statement. She thinks that lacy underwear is only for special occasions. Some people would call them boring, but they’d just say they’re practical. They don’t want concert tickets or frivolous merchandise this holiday season, so give them what they really want: something useful.

Classics. Amazon

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For your brother who gets excited about wearing dress socks that aren’t a plain color. Or for your dad who works in a boring corporate job but desperately wants to show a bit of personality at work. As a bonus (for them), he or she can bore everyone around them with yet another rant about how much better the original Star Wars trilogy is. This site doesn’t sell Star Wars socks for women, but socks don’t need a gender anyway—so just go ahead and buy a smaller version for all the ladies in your life.

An easier way to remember where your personal items are. Amazon

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We’ve all left our wallets at a restaurant at some point or another. Give the gift of security with a Tile. It attaches to virtually anything, wallets included, and connects to your phone so that you can find your valuables from anywhere. And what’s more practical than that?

For any amount of dough. Amazon

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What does a fourth-of-an-inch-thick pie crust look like, anyway? No one except a professional baker would really know, and no one except a professional baker really cares. Except for your aunt, who insists on measuring precisely every time, dammit. Give her this rolling pin and peace of mind.

This one isn’t people. Amazon

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For the coworker who can’t stand to waste 20 minutes on lunch, there’s always Soylent. It’s not appealing or particularly tasty, but it gets the job done. After all, what is food if not fuel? Help your least-fun comrades be more efficient.

Someplace to begin. Amazon

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There’s always one person at the party who can’t keep up their end of the small talk. For those people with nothing to say, give the gift of easy conversation. They can carry these handy convo starters around and slyly pull one out when the silence gets painfully awkward. No matter how dull their answers, there’s always another question close at hand.

Don’t ding your fruits. Amazon

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Okay, so there is something uncomfortably phallic about this. But for that one person who just loves bananas and hates that they bruise easily, this is the perfect gift. It will protect their darling fruit inside whatever bag they want to throw it in, and when someone stares at it skeptically they can enthuse about the wonders of the Banana Bunker.

Just the good stuff. Amazon

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The edges are the best part of the brownies. This is not an undisputed fact, but it’s hotly contested, and for your loved one who insists on eating only the outside rim, this pan is basically the holy grail. You get crispy, chewy edges on three sides on at least two pieces, depending on how you cut it. That’s heaven right there.

All-around precision. Amazon

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Everyone thinks you know what julienne is, but do you really? What about the difference between chopping, dicing, and mincing? If so, congratulations and goodbye. This cutting board is not for you. It is, however, for those dullards who insist that the carrots be precisely sized cubes. You may make fun now, but those carrots will all be cooked to exactly the same degree while your haphazard orange mess are alternately crunchy and squishy. Amateur.

Best kitchen protection. Amazon

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These are not the prettiest oven mitts. They are vaguely off-white, with an As-Seen-On-TV style logo, and they will look ugly hanging in the kitchen. But they will also be the best hot mitts your loved one will ever own. People will come to their house and compliment them not on the beautiful stainless steel professional grade Kitchen Aid stand mixer, but on the Ove Gloves. Never again will the giftee struggle to grip a slippery pie plate, or slosh quiche all over the bottom of the oven as the pan slides out of their hands. Never again will their fear for their fingers. This most practical of presents will be their favorite of all.

Sara Chodosh
Sara Chodosh

is an associate editor at PopSci where she writes about everything from vaccine hesitancy to extreme animal sex. She got her master's degree in science journalism at NYU's Science Health and Environmental Reporting Program, and is getting a second master's in data visualization from the University of Girona. Contact the author here.