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Miscellaneous Monday - Odd presents

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 29, 2020

So, my 40th is on 2nd April (in 4 days, right in the middle of Summit) and it got me to thinking about odd birthday and Christmas presents (why wouldn't it).

The sort of thing you look at and make this kind of face:

Jack Nicholson Reaction GIF

But you rally, you smile and accept them, and make sure that you use the item when the gift-giver is over and can see you using them, that kind of thing.

But then there are the odd presents that turn out to be fantastic, and if they hadn't bought them for you, you'd never have known you needed them.

For example, Mother bought me these for Christmas:


I didn't know I needed these, but boy are they useful! (adulting perfected, right there!)

So, come on, what's the oddest present you've ever had, or the thing that someone bought you that you never knew existed and that you'd never have thought of?


Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Mar 29, 2020

@Esme Crutchley this is a great topic!  But, honestly I had to stop and think for a moment.  Because I also wanted an example of a gift that was both strange, but actually ended up being quite useful.

A number of years ago, long before any of us had kids, my wife's parents would always get gifts for all of their kids as well as their significant others.  I'm the "odd" on in the group in that I wasn't raised on a farm, I have no interest in automotive or mechanical repair, and I try to avoid country music as much as I can.

That being said, they will usually get me a gift card to the local hardware store, and they always want to include something tangible to open.  One year they gave me a yard mounted Christmas light timer.  It was a weird thing to get, but we have made use of it every year so they we can have the lights come on when we want, go off when we want, and I don't have to step outside to make it happen.

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 29, 2020

That's awesome @Jimmy Seddon  💟

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Awesome topic @Esme Crutchley - like Jimmy said, I had to really think about this one for a bit. I think a gift that I didn't realize I needed but turned out to be very useful was a soda stream. I got this for my birthday last May and it is something I would have never thought to get for myself. Not only does it make sparkling water within seconds without any additives, it saves on use of both glass and plastic bottles. I have invisalign so it is also a nice treat from regular water, where I don't have to remove my aligners to drink, because it is just water. Definitely get lots of use out of this gift, and because of the sparkling bubbles it makes you feel fuller than regular water. 

Plus it looks good on my counter, love the red colour!


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Monique vdB Community Manager Mar 29, 2020

My mother-in-law got me a Bugzooka, which lets you catch and release bugs. Both funny and definitely has come in handy because I am not a huge bug fan. 


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

We've got one of them!

It's still in the box under the sink because I never get the chance to catch anything!

Thomas Schlegel Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Haha, never saw this before, looks wacky - It's my job here to catch spiders - but I usually bring them outside with a glass and a postcard

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

That's my job in our house, depending on how big they are depends on whether I use a glass and coaster or not!

Oh what a great idea and topic - totally love it! The funny thing is, the older you get, the more you adulting @Esme Crutchley (thanks for this perfect word) 

For me I found out - I get obsessed with stuff I laughed out before. Want examples? Here we go:

Let me show you Tupperware Quick Chef - something my mum got me for my 25th birthday (that didn't make me very happy) together with a 120 page of receipt book she collected during her lifetime. 


It took me like 10 years to check out that this is more than an onion cutter - it's a revelation. You can make any kind of sauce you can imagine, your own mayo, dips, salsa - cut vegetables. How could I even live without this THING before :D 

What I learned from this: Always listen to your mother/mother-in-law/older people - they know their sh**

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

Very true!

Nanny bought a wall ornament for Mother that looks like this and now it's hanging in our house because Mother passed it onto me:

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 10.30.42.png

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Ahaha - that's so true.... next step is it doesn't bother you :D

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

I am sooooooo there!

Kat Marketplace Partner Mar 30, 2020

I'm going slightly off-topic but I have two kitchen gadgets I have not seen in any other kitchens - but I wouldn't do without. 

A manual ice crusher

Ice Crusher | Southern Hospitality

... and ...

A vege peeler with a difference

Cooking with Arthur: Arthritis Gadget Review: Chef'n Palm Peeler

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

OMG I neeeeeeeeed that veggie peeler!

Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

@Kat - We totally have one of those manual ice crushers ;)  It came as a part of an "entertaining set" that my wife's old company gave to every employee as a Christmas gift that year.

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I have one of those veggie peelers. Take a little getting used to but the kids love it.

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Daniel Ebers Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

Looks like I am in good company - I got a noisy window cleaner. For - yeah what for? Okay, it is a nice gadget but the good old cleaning tissue works (for me and my not so many windows) also.

So I am still a bit unsure if I will use the greenish devil on a regular basis or not :)


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

Hubster keeps on about an electric window cleaner, I can't see the point! I always clean them and they're perfectly fine. I keep telling him, if he has a problem with how I clean them, maybe he should do them instead!!

I've seen those stretchy lids, but wasn't sure they'd actually work. Can I take this as a positive review? :)

I love anything Tupperware-y. My Mom used to do Tupperware parties in the 80's, and she had a whole collection of stuff for when I finally moved out a few years ago. It's literally the best.

I'm now also considering:

  • A veg peeler
  • A manual ice crusher
  • Bugzooka
  • Soda stream

It's like the Generation Game! ha. 

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

I'm quite taken with my stretchy lids, especially for leftovers! I've used them on half a swede as well and they kept it quite fresh!

Mother (and the rest of the family) used to laugh about how many pots and lids I had, then I started organising the house and putting things in them (like random screws) and using my Dymo retro label maker to make labels of what was in it. Now, nothing gets lost, we know where everything is, bliss!

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Jim Schwilk Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

Mine was the salt fly shotgun.  Strange but once i started messing with it, kind of fun.

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scott_boisvert Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

I got this stainless steel tooth paste squeezer/roller from my parents for my birthday last year. Probably not the weirdest thing I've ever received, but useful.

Rolling Tube Toothpaste Squeezer Stainless Steel Dispenser Wringer Easy Squeeze

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Okay my soda stream was not odd enough, I remember I got a "Dust Daddy" for a gift, despite the odd name it is pretty functional. It has a bunch of straw like tentacles that are great to vacuum hard to reach spots in your car, and even your desk drawer without having to remove everything. Great for keyboard too if you don't want to use compressed air.


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

Ooooooo, definitely more random than a Soda Stream but equally cool!

Reusable straws !  I didn't get what the hell was that when i opened the gift, but as i have very sensitive teeth, this gift is sooo amazing, and good for the planet ! 


The Best Silicone Reusable Straws - Yoga Journal

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 30, 2020

Same! We bought these last year:

Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 20.16.19.png

Like • Veronique DUFOUR likes this

That's a cool topic @Esme Crutchley 

And as everybody else, I had to think about that for a long time. 

In our family, we no longer give each other gifts. We give time, that we want to spend together. So it's a long time ago since I got my last present :) 

I once get an automated hole puncher (I googled the translation, don't know if it's the right word). No one needs an automated hole puncher... but it was fun to use it. Unfortunately the quality of this thing wasn't very good, so after 2 weeks it broke...

hole puncher.png

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

That's awesome!

We're the same, we've decided to only give gifts that are useful or edible now! Hence my plastic toppers.

Mother and I go to the theatre a lot so we buy tickets for each other, or as my birthday is 2nd and hers is 7th, I'll buy 2 tickets for a show for her and I and she'll do the same 5 days later. 

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Ollie Guan Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

Last birthday, my wife bought me a gift at Shanghai Disneyland. She said that this Garage Kit looks like me when I put on my glasses.

How do you think ^_^


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

That's adorable!! I love it!

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Rachel Wright Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

Happy birthday @Esme Crutchley and nice to see you on some of the ACE Summit meeting this week!

I thought about your question for a long time, but truly couldn't come up with an example.  I think it's because we're traveling in an RV so we don't have room for a lot of "things" anymore.  And also like @Dominic Lagger said, my family doesn't really do physical gifts these days.

I do have a Dymo label maker though!  That item is certainly something you need on the road, right!?!?  ;)  Mine is thermal, but I remember the one in your picture. 

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

Hi @Rachel Wright - I'm trying to get to as many events as I can this week, it's my first (and only) Summit (because I'll probably never be able to get to Vegas!), so I'm trying to fit in as much as I can!

I decided a while ago to be more intention (not minimalist), and only buy things that we need or are useful, or to replace something broken. When we moved into our house 3 years ago, we moved far toooooooo much stuff (and I think it's just stuff, not useful items). So for the last few years, the family only buys presents that are edible or useful, nothing frivolous or faffy!

I don't know what I'd do without my label maker!

When I was leaving for college and living in a house (rather than the dorms) for the first time, my aunt and uncle got me a baseball bat. And I don't play baseball at all.

When I gave them a confused look, my uncle began to explain how if someone breaks in or I need to defend myself, I should "swing for their hips, not too low and not too high."

I have never used that baseball bat, but I slept with it under my bed all through college and some time after. 😂

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

Random, but mighty useful!

This honey dispenser! Its the best for folks that put honey in almost everything like me!


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Mar 31, 2020

That's gorgeous. I have honey in my protein shake every day, I might have to have a look for this!

I have been looking to get one of those!  They seem super useful, and pretty

Mirek Community Leader Apr 03, 2020

Whoaa that is really nice!

A few years ago my mom gave me a sewing machine for Christmas. When I was little I tinkered with a toy one, but I never really learned how to sew. I thought it was the most random gift, then about a year later my daughter told me she wanted to learn how to sew. As a birthday present at the time, I bought some sewing classes, she made a pillowcase, a pair of lounge pants and a skater skirt.

The sewing machine came in useful again for her birthday last week when we were stuck at home and decided to do a sewing project together for her birthday this year. We made some pajama shorts for her.


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 01, 2020

That's awesome. and those are a smashing pair of PJ shorts!

Oh yes i have got a book from one of my friend. I do know that book is very famous but then i didnt find time to read that book till now though i have completed few other books till date after receiving that book. I have named it as the unread book.  i am starting the book from today.

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 01, 2020

You'll have to let us know what you think about it :)

Got the swivel sweeper from the Father in law who loves buying "As seen on tv" items. Thought it was silly but we found it really useful. Ended up buying another one ourselves when the first on died.


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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 01, 2020

I 'adulted' a few months ago and bought a Flash Power Mop, best housework item in my kitchen! Pro tip - put shower/tile cleaner on your bathroom tiles, and then use this like you're jousting! Loads of fun!

Screenshot 2020-04-01 at 18.58.26.png

LarryBrock Community Leader Apr 01, 2020

A few years ago, a friend bought me this book for my birthday.  It was primarily a cute joke because of the name, and that I'm "directionally gifted" (never get lost).  Being a native Texan, there wasn't much in that book that I didn't already know but I did learn the Texas State Fair is the largest in North America and has the largest Ferris Wheel as well!


Surprisingly, this little book has turned out to be quite the gift.  It's a go-to when we have anyone over who has small children as the artwork is eye-catching and the story is about a boy and his lost dog so it's engaging on their level.  So now, it lives on the coffee table in our living room. :-).

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

That's an awesome present!

Ben Thoma Atlassian Team Apr 01, 2020

My Mom gave me this solar-powered, personal fan-in-the-brim hat for a birthday. I tried to seem excited when I opened it, and *never* thought that I would use it.



As it turns out, it's actually useful when mowing your lawn. 🤷‍♂️ Who'd have guessed?

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Oooooo, I might have to look at that for Hubster! Thanks for sharing @Ben Thoma 

We were given a hand blender and thought to ourselves "We have a blender, knives to chop stuff, and a wisk. Do we really need this?" We use it ALL the time now.


Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

That's really cool! I might have to have a look at that!

I got this Bug Bite Thing Insect Poison Extractor and I thought to myself; this thing is worthless! But actually I used it a lot for mosquito bites. 819516de-3e64-44e3-a108-93a4d6b4b808.jpg

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Aren't they just the worst?!

carolyn french Community Leader Apr 01, 2020

My family has tried to give each other mostly consumable gifts, which is nice to not clutter up the house too much.

This past Christmas, I got 6 bars of handmade soap (one handmade by family members, the other 5 locally made). I thought to myself, this will last me forever. Famous last thoughts... 

Best present ever for the current circumstances! That and handmade lotion has also been quite useful.

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

That's fab! We're the same - useful or edible - nothing random!

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Years ago, I got a ticket for a concert of DJ Bobo. Maybe you know him, maybe not. 

To be honest, it's not my taste in music, but I didn't let on this. With mixed feelings (for my part) we walked to the biggest concert hall in Hamburg and surprise surprise - I enjoyed the show. It was an awesome performance, a really big stage, a lot of light and video and other performances and the singer and the dancers were also great - a lot of candy for the eye and so I totally forgot that I'm not the biggest fan of DJ Bobo. 

But although I really loved the show, I still do not listen to his music at home :-)

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Dominic Lagger Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Of course I know DJ Bobo. I was never at a concert from him, I'm also don't listen to his music. But I know one song very well: Chihuahua :)

I thought at least in europe it was a summer hit

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

So, today's the day

im old now happy birthday GIF

And I got some awesome presents! I got this necklace (those of you who are Sir Terry Pratchett fans should appreciate this!):

Screenshot 2020-04-02 at 15.03.33.png

And this ring (my mother had the same one, so I wanted one like hers): 

Shop online for Sapphire Rings at H.Samuel

And Luke got a wall mounted can crusher and 8 cans of Monster!

Today is a good day!

Happy birthday to anyone who has their birthday today!

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Happiest of birthday's to you Esme! What awesome gifts you received :)

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Happy birthday @Esme Crutchley!!

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nina_schmidt Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Happy Birthday @Esme Crutchley ðŸ‘

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Dominic Lagger Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Happy Birthday @Esme Crutchley 

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Ummmm, thanks @Monique vdB (that me telling myself happy birthday wasn't actually me in case that wasn't obvious!)

doubt i dont believe you GIF by funk

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Happy Birthday @Esme Crutchley  🎉🥳🎈🍰🍰

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I told my mom in passing one spring while pulling weeds that I have an extreme dislike of garden gnomes.  The following Christmas she gave me this. 

She plays the long game.  


Gnome (2).jpg

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

That must have taken some epic-level-10-Google-Fu!

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Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

This is amazing. 

Monique vdB Community Manager Apr 02, 2020

The comment above was me again. Apparently I was just impersonating @Esme Crutchley left and right this morning!

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

Another one @Monique vdB ^^^^ lol

Esme Crutchley Community Leader Apr 02, 2020

lol, it's all groovy! I was at @Andy - PTC _ Redundant __ 's Rotterdam ACE earlier on, and one of the discussions was impersonation, so you're just reinforcing his ACE!!

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Ahahaha @Esme Crutchley had to think of the Rotterdam ACE too when Impersonation popped up :)

@Andy - PTC _ Redundant __ - you see what you are doing here, right? Ghosting around in everyones mind with your supercool Virtual ACEs 

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Just you guys wait and see what I have planned for post-COVID-19.... #FMA-world-domination

Mwuhahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!! 😈

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Jimmy Seddon Community Leader Apr 09, 2020

@Andy - PTC _ Redundant __ on Sunday night:

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