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
  • Underwear
    Victoria's Secret
    Yeah, you can't have enough of these, either. 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.
  • Toothbrush
    Admit it, the one in the bathroom has seen better days. Oral B Deep Sweep 1000 Electric Toothbrush, for retailers visit
  • Umbrella
    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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  • Wondermade

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Wondermade</a>: Gourmet marshmallows in unusual flavors. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Bourbon Marshmallows</a>, $7.95 for 16. You're welcome.

  • Given Goods

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Given Goods</a>: This marketplace is filled with unique gifts (home goods, kitchenware and accessories for women and men) that give back. Each product includes detailed info about the artisan or brand, the product's origin and the cause you're supporting. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Lapis Lazuli Studs</a>, $99. (Proceeds help create sustainable job opportunities for women in Afghanistan.)

  • PopChart Lab

    <a href="" target="_hplink">PopChart Lab</a>: You've probably seen their awesome infographic-inspired prints, but they also have tees and accessories. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">"The Very Many Varieties Of Beer" pint glass</a>, $12.

  • Pink Olive

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Pink Olive</a>: A super-cute site founded to turn the spotlight onto creative entrepreneurs. You'll find thoughtful gifts, but also the <a href="" target="_hplink">Olive Box</a>, a monthly subscription box geared towards paper lovers. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">"You Are Loved" mug</a>, $16.

  • Uncommon Goods

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Uncommon Goods</a>: Fun gifts for everyone on your list, for nearly any budget. Think of it as a quirky Pier 1. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Scratch Map</a>, $20.

  • The Grommet

    <a href="" target="_hplink">The Grommet</a>: This e-tailer helps undiscovered products ("grommets") find their markets. You'll find really unique stuff here that you often won't find anywhere else -- just yet, at least. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Everyday Artifact Silver Jewelry</a>, $38.

  • Olive & Cocoa

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Olive & Cocoa</a>: Gift sets shine at this catalog, which covers everything from business gifting to seasonal finds. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Bianca Grace floral arrangement</a>, $94.

  • Leif

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Leif</a>: This online store is simply gorgeous to look at -- along with its well-edited selection of beautiful gifts. Perfect for that stylish but hard-to-shop-for friend. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Gemstone Magnet Set</a>, $38 for a set of 8.

  • Young Republic

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Young Republic</a>: You'll discover new designers from the worlds of fashion, jewelry, home decor and more at this site. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Love Energizer iPhone Sleeve</a>, $20, from Goodluckgoods.

  • ShanaLogic

    <a href="" target="_hplink">ShanaLogic</a>: Another great place to discover new handmade artisans and independent designers, boasting a cool selection of everything from housewares to "collectible plushes." (If you're near Ann Arbor, Michigan, <a href="" target="_hplink">you can also visit their shop</a>.) Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Chemistry Cat Mousepad</a>, $15.

  • Plasticland

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Plasticland</a>: Like Spencer's Gifts, but not shameful. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Squirrel Tabletop Nightlight</a>, $12.

  • Banquet

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Banquet</a>: Awesome prints with retro-indie flair. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Large Print Sea Animals Of The Gulf Coast</a>, $60.

  • RH Signature

    <a href="" target="_hplink">RH Signature</a>: Pricey-but-stunning gifts for those you need to impress (or reward). Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Iconic Coco Chanel Quote Simplicity</a>, $250.

  • Paloma's Nest

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Paloma's Nest</a>: This shop features a selection of perfectly tasteful personalized keepsakes that are worlds away from your typical Hallmark offerings. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Where We Met/Where You Were Born map ornament</a>, $42.

  • Polka Dot Club

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Polka Dot Club</a>: OK, so these are bears. But the adorable stuffed creatures are made of only natural fibers, using heritage techniques inspired by the turn of the 20th century. They are very fancy. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">PDC Classic Bear Well Dressed Girl</a>, $230.

  • Mignon Kitchen Co

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Mignon Kitchen Co</a>: A simply gorgeous online shop for foodies and the people who love them. You'll find lovely gift sets, heavenly sweets and even a few cute packaging options for the DIY-type in your life. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Handmade Felt Coasters</a>, $20 for a set of 4.

  • Craftfoxes Marketplace

    <a href="" target="_blank">Craftfoxes Marketplace:</a> A well-curated marketplace filled with all things handmade. You'll mainly find small gifts here (jewelry, home accessories, aprons), but also supplies for your crafty friend. Check out: <a href="" target="_blank">Small Monogram Vase</a>, $62, from <a href="" target="_blank">MaidOfClay</a>.

  • CustomMade

    <a href="" target="_blank">CustomMade</a>: An online destination for, well, custom-made anything. You'll find everything from hand-hewn dining tables to jewelry. Still not finding what you're looking for? Describe your idea and the site will connect you to a maker. Check out: <a href="" target="_blank">Wallet Made From Car Seat Leather</a>, $40-80, by <a href="" target="_blank">Sven Schlegel</a>.

  • Perpetual Kid

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Perpetual Kid</a>: Ever need a VW Camper Van Tent? This is where to go. Think: Silly gifts at a wide range of price points. Check out: Yep, the <a href="" target="_hplink">VW Camper Van Tent</a>, a splurge at $529.

  • One Kings Lane

    <a href="" target="_hplink">One Kings Lane</a>: The selection varies by the day at this e-tailer, which is part flash sale, part marketplace. Look here for vintage, one-of-a-kind and luxurious gifts. Check out: <a href="" target="_hplink">Sheepskin throws</a>, starting at $99.