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9 Christmas Gifts I Would Appreciate Receiving as Someone in Their Thirties

I have always preferred getting gifts from friends and family over the holidays that I can actually utilize. As someone in their thirties, this is now truer than ever. 

This is not to say that I don’t appreciate the odd knickknack or makeup product every now and again, but I do think that there is something nice about knowing that someone took the time to consider what would be useful for you.

I also have had far too many instances of relatives and friends buying me things that I either didn’t like or couldn’t use. You know what happens after that-the awkward, “Thank you so much!” while you’re silently thinking, “I will never use this.” Or whatever thought first comes to mind.

All of the Christmas gifts my parents bought me last year were things that I needed or could use. As someone in their thirties, there are things you know you need, and you realize that life is expensive. I don’t care if you are single, have a significant other, or have a family of your own. Life is expensive, no matter what stage of life you’re at when you hit your thirties.

I am aware that the things included here are not necessarily the same as the things other people in their thirties are lusting after, but these are mine. If you can’t tell, I love when I can actually use something. 

9 Christmas Gifts I Would Appreciate Receiving as Someone in Their Thirties

Dyson Vacuum Cleaner

I came home from Tokyo to find that my mother had somehow broken the vacuum cleaner that my family had used for years. Last year, my father purchased at least two different vacuum cleaners; we experienced issues with each of them until he purchased a refurbished Dyson.

I’m definitely planning on investing in one of these when I move to my dream city.

Vitamix Blender

I have started making my own organic almond milk, mostly for the matcha drinks I make when I want an extra boost of caffeine since my body doesn’t seem to react well to the amount of caffeine in coffee.

I have also watched my family make great sauces and soups in that blender over the years and would love to own one of my own since I use it at least once a week.

Wireless Printer

As a freshman in college several years ago, I very quickly learned that I am not one of those people who can absorb information by reading it on a screen; I need to underline, highlight, and write notes in the margins.

A wireless printer would have saved me countless trips to the library and time standing over the mouth of a printer in a crowd of other students. Not to mention that when I lived in East Asia, I had to leave my apartment and go to the local convenience store to print or make copies of anything. To be fair, the price wasn’t that high, but I would have much preferred to stay in my apartment and have a wireless printer do the job, especially during the pandemic. 

This is definitely something that I have included on my big-girl Christmas-presents-for-when-I-move-out list.

Gift Certificates

I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Need I say more?

Toaster Oven

Again, something that I didn’t have in my apartments in Taiwan or Japan and definitely could have used. I alternate between oatmeal and avocado toast for breakfast, which in my mind, makes this a good investment.

Paper Shredder

Despite my best efforts to cut down on the amount of paper I use (cough, paper bank statements, anyone? cough) I still have to use a paper shredder occasionally. Having one of my own would be great.

A Sustainable Subscription

There are hundreds of sustainable gift options, including subscription services for that person in your life who is environmentally conscious. While I wouldn’t call myself someone who is committed to a zero-waste lifestyle, I definitely make the effort to cut down on my waste in certain facets of my life.  

At-Home Fitness Equipment

I very quickly learned that I was not a gym person, even before COVID. Rather than let that monthly membership go to waste, I chose to invest in some home gym equipment and work out at home to one of the many fitness YouTube channels that are available.

For those of us who are not keen on going to the gym, especially during the pandemic, home fitness equipment is a great useful addition to our lives. Health is the most important thing we have, especially in this current climate. Why not invest in something that allows you to take care of you? 

Handheld Garment Steamer

In an effort to save money during my time living in Tokyo, I bought a garment steamer that required the use of an ironing board instead of a handheld one. I had overlooked one crucial fact: I don’t have the patience for ironing to do it well. 

Lesson learned.

Little things that you think people may not notice make a difference. A handheld garment steamer can help me control one of those important details.

While this may not be the most glamorous of wishlists, I have always valued practicality and usefulness over something that looks pretty. This is not that I don’t value aesthetics; I simply have watched my priorities shift as I have grown. Other people my age may prioritize different things. Having said that, this is what I would appreciate receiving as someone in their thirties who values practicality.

About the Author

Alisa Tanaka

Alisa Tanaka graduated with a Communications degree from Lewis & Clark College in 2012. She hopes to develop a career that allows her to make a measurable impact on the world while doing something that she loves. Her interests include psychology, linguistics, and mental health. She can also be found reading, watching documentaries, and writing her blog.