Gifts For Aunt

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Shopping for aunts is hard. They’re often a combination of a maternal figure and a friend. Like most family members they probably really just want to spend some quality time with you. But you don’t want to look cheap, so you’d better get something to wrap up too. Here’s some of our favorite gift ideas for aunts that can take care of the looking cheap part.

To be an effective steward of the kitchen, one needs a strong organization system — a system that makes storage, operation, and cleaning super easy. Otherwise, food prep efforts are liable to become a shit storm of fruit peels, vegetable parts, and other victual detritus. The Prep Deck is a fully integrated meal prep station, complete with all the storage container and prep accessories needed to help even the most disorganized cook stay on the straight and narrow.

Nothing gets the ol’ blood pumping like a good old fashioned murder mystery. The only problem is that once you’ve been through a few of them, you start running out of friends. CosyKiller is the perfect answer to this problem. Once a month, the subscriber gets a box full of various clues surrounding a fictitious murder, and over the course of the year they try to solve the puzzle of who committed the crime. It’s like getting to be a high-profile murder detective for a year, but with no real-world consequences if they blow it.

For all of the earth’s majestic wonders, nowhere will you find a geyser that spits melted chocolate. That’s why fountains were invented. This one may not have the impressive horsepower of Old Faithful, but what comes out of it tastes a whole lot better than sulfurous water. A chocolate fountain, in fact, can even transform the dull bounty of the earth (vegetables, we’re looking at you) into something that people will get excited about eating.

Fight back against the scourge of boring guacamole vessels with this hand-painted ceramic avocado bowl. Sure, the neighbors may serve their guacamole in the cheap plastic “Al’s Grocery” containers it came in, but don’t let lower presentation standards spread like a virus. From there, it’s just a slippery slope downward into moral decay and drug abuse. Do you know someone who’s let their party platter game slip a little in recent years? This is the perfect antidote.

If Mother Nature had any sense she would have made vegetables look like candy. Luckily, science is at a point where engineers can make food look like whatever they want it to look like. And as long as they're fiddling with Mother Nature's designs, why not play along at home? If your dinner routine is getting a bit bland, perhaps it's due to the very ordinary color of your vegetables. Some purple carrots and striped tomatoes ought to liven things up.

All that holiday and birthday gift wrapping paper comes with a real environmental cost. It may look pretty when neatly wrapped on a gift box, but soon afterwards it becomes trash in a landfill. There are some gift wrap manufacturers out there that address the issue with recycled products, but why not take it a step further? Here is some genius gift wrap that you can just throw on the ground in good conscience. Not only is it 100% recycled paper, but it's embedded with hundreds of wildflower seeds that will grow into beautiful flowers.

If you know someone who has ever tried to drain the pasta water from the pot using a fork to hold back the noodles, this gift is just what they need to quit their habit of pulling those noodles out of the dirty sink and pretending like nothing happened when they inevitably spill over. They'll wonder how they ever lived without this simple tool, and will silently thank you every time they don't have to wash a bulky colander after dinner, or wonder if that green speck in their pasta is actually parsley.

The world is full of magic jar opening tools, so why would we possibly need another? Because you can never actually find the damn thing when you need it. This simple solution is always within reach and will save you from banging the lid on the corner of your countertop or worse. We understand the frustration. You just need the right tool for the job, and then you need to remember where you put it. The EZ Off Jar Opener is easy to install and can open jars and bottles of just about any size, even as small as water bottles.

Growing plants requires patience and persistence, so what better guardian could there be than the steadfast sloth? With nowhere better to go, this cute sloth planter will happily cradle her succulents until the end of time. This handcrafted and painted ceramic planter is ideal for small plants like cacti or succulents, mini flower plants, indoor herb gardens, or bonsai plants.

Flowers are a classic gift, but they’ve got one fatal flaw: no matter how beautiful, they tend to wilt too soon. But you’re smarter than that - you like to play the long game. The Flower of the Month Club lets you automatically replenish those flowers at regular intervals so that there’s always a fresh collection in the recipient’s house. Even if you’re not a hippy, you can always employ a little “flower power” to make someone feel loved and appreciated.

Just as flowers bend toward the sunlight, the Mirthful Sommelier’s Monogrammed Wine Glasses incline toward the lucky mouths of the thirsty wretches who covet their contents. These playful and unique glasses are also the perfect stemware to break out when your gathering gets a little too uptight. After all, if even the glassware is chill enough to slouch, the humans drinking out of it can surely pull the rod out of their butts for a few minutes.

Variety, as they say, is the spice of life. So why would you try to force people into eating one kind of lasagna? That just seems brutal and barbaric. This three-part lasagna pan lets the family chef cater to everyone’s preferences — whether they're picky eaters, vegetarians, allergy sufferers, or just neurotic people with imaginary food sensitivities — helping to unite all eaters around a common dining table. Now that’s a cause we can get behind.

Take a friend back to their glory days on the streets of Hong Kong with this authentic bubble waffle maker. All they have to do is fill this bad boy with their favorite waffle batter, close the lid, and within a few minutes they’ve got their very own homemade version of one of the world’s most iconic street foods. Add in a stockpile of cheap batter and a few cases of whipped cream, and this could literally keep them alive for years.

Making olive oil is a time-tested mediterranean art. And they don’t put the good stuff on the shelves at Costco, no matter how ornate the adhesive label is. They make you go and find it. A true Italian or Greek food connoisseur will appreciate the difference, even if you’re clueless. Bring the finest flavors of the old world right to their table.

As your parents get older, they start forgetting things. Good memories start getting pushed out in favor of petty grievances like who forgot to take out the garbage. Enforcing positive memories through some physical, ritualized system like this can sometimes be the only way to keep them from each other’s throats. This kit comes with everything they need to record all the happy things that occur from day to day and collect them in a safe place to be relived again in the future. And it’s so much cheaper than therapy.

Having to get out of bed to retrieve your favorite stuff is the deepest kind of bummer. And since not everyone has the money to afford a full-time servant, many people are forced to suffer the indignity of placing their bare feet upon the cold, hard floor. This bedside shelf is an ingenious answer to that problem, especially for top bunk dwellers and anyone else for whom a bedside table is not an option. An attractive, eco-friendly, and minimalist way to make sure they have all of their doo-dads, gadgets, and consumables within arm’s reach the moment they wake up.

Most disagreements can be smoothed over with little lasting effect. Others have the potential to create internal family warfare that can rift a clan in two and and cause lingering animosity for generations. The Split Decision Pie Pan is an attempt to avert the disaster that can ensue from dessert arguments, especially during the holidays and other important celebrations. No longer must we choose between apple pie and our own children. Instead, let harmony reign over the land.

Conventional cookbooks are a longstanding staple of old time kitchens. But accepted as they are, they have a fatal flaw: they were written by total strangers, and therefore deserve to be regarded cynically by sophisticated modern users. The Family Recipes cookbook solves this problem, giving the owner a template that can be filled in with delicious instructions for cookery straight from the hands and minds of trusted kinfolk. Don’t let someone you care about fall prey to the demented culinary whims of some deranged outsider.

There are lots of gift basket subscriptions out there, but when it comes to sweet, wholesome fruit, who better to turn to than “The Fruit Company”? With plenty of different combinations to choose from, and quality unlike anything you’re going to find at the grocery store, it’s just like planting a magic tree in the backyard and letting it do its thing. Except even a magic tree doesn’t deliver its fruit wrapped up all nice in a basket, and magic trees never think to include some cheese or jam as a bonus. When you think about it, magic trees are actually kind of lame. A fruit subscription is way better.

In classier quarters this might be called a “decanter.” But the built-in stupidity of a decanter is that it’s really just a big glass you’re not allowed to drink out of. You see, in the genteel world of wine, “classy” consists of adding unnecessary steps to what should be a simple process. Of course, bourgeois society has attached all kinds of stigma to drinking straight from the bottle, so some kind of compromise is necessary. And that compromise is right here.

A particularly good gift if you live far away and aren’t going to be seeing them in person to hand over that homemade cake you would otherwise have lovingly prepared (read, bought from the store at the last minute). If you’re feeling generous, how about giving them a monthly cupcake subscription?

With any normal chocolate bar, even the generously-sized original Toblerone, one’s enjoyment is always tarnished by the sad thought that the experience will soon be over. Candy bars simply don’t last long enough. In contrast, candy lovers look upon this giant Toblerone bar the same way that a mountaineer gazes up at a lofty peak. In their mind, they understand that one day the expedition will be over, and the mammoth before them will have been conquered. Yet in the moment they can’t quite believe it.

So you’ve decided to get her a bomb kit? Scour the internet and you’ll find instructions for making the worst kind of gift imaginable. But instead of making one that blows up, why don’t you teach her how to make a bath bomb? No costly medical bills or long, drawn out criminal trials. Just an explosion of peace and relaxation.

According to research, a average woman spends 76 days looking for items in her handbag during her lifetime. That is downright silly. But you can help. She'll love this addition to her favorite accessory that will save her time finding keys, phones, and whatever else she squeezes into her cavernous purse.

Many scientists consider smell to be the strongest of the human senses, tied up so intimately as it is with emotions and memories. It’s also sometimes the most neglected aspect of the home. You know who we’re talking about. Help that person craft a more sensuous and pleasing atmosphere for everyone who steps inside.

Nothing beats the comfort of lounging around the house, enveloped in something much larger than yourself, unless that something is a giant snake, the crushing anxiety of an ever-uncertain future, or a sense of guilt for that awful thing you said at last year’s family picnic. A giant knit blanket helps to smother any of these undesirable feelings, leaving one with a sense of warmth and security.

For some people, food is so much more satisfying when they make it themselves. But that doesn’t mean that they wouldn’t like a little help every once in a while. This electric tomato press, developed in Turin, Italy by kitchen supply manufacturer Tre Spade, makes it easy to make tomato puree. It even separates the puree from the seeds, pulp, and skins. This means they can make authentic pasta sauce out of fresh-from-the-garden tomatoes, but without having to worry about overworking their soft, dainty little hands.

If you’re following the same sequences every day, sometimes yoga practice can be a little repetitive. But making up your own sequence as you go can involve too much thinking, which messes up your flow. Every once in a while it’s nice to have some randomized guidance. Just roll these wooden yoga dice and let the universe decide which way you should bend yourself. The perfect gift for the yoga enthusiast (or beginner) who’s looking for a way to shake up their practice.

Back in the days before society and political correctness and cell phones went and made everyone soft, you would smash an insect, rodent, or other small intruder with your bare hands, and if you were poor enough, you’d add it to whatever you were making for dinner, because it’s cheaper than buying fancy store seasonings. But that’s pretty old school, and we understand that most people have gotten off that bus. It’s a lot easier just to vacuum stuff up and be done with it.

Life is often times very frustrating. It’s easy to eat a thousand pistachios a minute, but you end up with a mountain of inedible shells and a weird feeling in your mouth. The second problem is your own fault, but someone went and fixed the first one because they care about you and hate seeing you struggle. Pass on the gift to someone else you care about.

Anyone who tells you that you can’t look classy drinking straight out of the bottle simply lacks imagination. And they clearly haven’t seen one of these. The best thing about using the Guzzle Buddy is the total lack of pretension. This is the perfect gift for that person who always talks about having ONE glass but never seems to achieve that level of self-control. This is a great way to say, “You don’t have to pretend. We want you to be who you are. We just want you to look better doing it.”

Spherical food is classy. And now you can turn just about any food into little caviar-like pearls by blending it with water and adding a gelification agent to the mix. Then place it inside this pepper grinder-looking thing and in a few minutes you’ll be shooting out little balls of food. And when you place little balls of food on other non-ball shaped food, everything looks a thousand times fancier, and fancy looking food always tastes better.

Knowledge is the lifeblood of commerce, and sharing knowledge is how the human race continues its noble march toward destruction. But these days, people would just as soon carry a stone tablet as a paperback. An Amazon Kindle is the best way to look smart in public without seeming like a relic.

Generally speaking, the last person in the room who needs more wine is the person who’s already gone feet up. But as long as that posture signals relaxation and not unconsciousness, it’s probably fine. There may be a moral grey area, but that’s not your problem. This is the perfect gift for the most shameless wino you know.

Here’s some art that really grows on you. A hanging garden that can be placed on any wall in the house, it can add a bit of unexpected life to an interior space. The frame comes decked out with easy-to-care-for succulents, so you don’t have to worry about giving this to someone with a brown thumb.

Spilled alcohol and broken glass simply don’t fit with the luxury life. Let the lowbrows balance their stemware on the wet, glossy surface of the tub like the hapless fools they are. Your friends and loved ones deserve better. Bring some peace of mind to their relaxation hour.

If procrastination is winning the gift shopping battle, you can emerge victorious by running down to your local art, science, or history museum to grab a gift membership. It will seem like something that you put a lot of thought into, finding a gift that enriches their lives, exposes them to new cultures, and all that junk.

Sunflowers are some of nature’s most obnoxiously beautiful creations, and they make a real statement when planted in your yard. Bright yellow and absurdly tall, they grab the attention of every passerby. Almost like standing on the porch and yelling at people, but in a really endearing and pleasant way.

DIY

Lottery tickets are a great gift you can pick up at your local convenience store, that come with a serious upside. If they win big you may get a piece of the action. Lottery tickets are often things that people won't buy for themselves, believing that they never win anything, but who could help but get their hopes up when you present them with a dozen chances to strike it rich and travel the world in a super yacht?

People who get into studying their family’s genealogy can get really into it. The simple family tree keeps expanding, with every branch having a story to tell, and it can take decades of research to learn about it all. Why not give them the gift of a start on that journey while they are young enough to complete it someday?

This thing is like the skyscraper of compost gardening, saving valuable space with its vertical build, turning decomposing scraps into fertilizer as it goes. A veritable tower of growing power. The pillar that needs no tiller. The grower that doesn’t…well, you get the idea.

If you’re looking for a truly one of a kind gift, you might consider commissioning a local artist to create a unique piece of jewelry. It will not only be cherished by the lucky recipient, but it’s also a gift to the starving artist, so it will mean a lot to everyone. Remember to plan in advance for this one, custom made artwork is not created overnight.

Try as they might, those frozen cocktails they’re always making in the blender never quite come out right. It’s not because they got the recipe wrong (although by the fourth batch, that’s a good bet too) - it’s because the’ve been using the wrong tools. You wouldn’t let them try to cross a lake in their car, would you? So why are you letting them try to make frozen drinks in a blender? Making a proper beach cocktail first and foremost requires using the right contraption: a specialized frozen drink maker. It’s a small investment for the gallons of glorious delight it will produce.

It’s been said that there are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. And while it came from the mouth of a very smart man, it’s actually kind of a dumb thing to say, and not true at all. But we’re sure he had a point. These hexagonal planters are further proof that straight lines and nature go hand in hand like…well, like two hands.

Tea has been renowned for its health and healing abilities since ancient times. Of course, so has bloodletting. But don’t worry - unlike cutting someone open, feeding them tea actually works. Most teas are packed with antioxidants and other important nutrients and fancy-sounding compounds that we’ve learned about from Dr. Oz, and many have genuine medicinal applications. And many teas also have flavor and aroma profiles that promote relaxation and relieve stress. It almost sounds too good to be true. But it’s not. Nature is a genius, and here’s her medicine.

Looking for a really forking good gift? Okay, so fried foods may not be the healthiest choice out there, but there are times when you just can’t help but make an exception. This electric fondue maker is the perfect thing for dinner parties and puts a fun twist on appetizers and desserts. The oil, cheese, or chocolate will stay at the perfect temperature and it never runs out of fuel.

Someone went and leveled up the fish bowl. This is the perfect gift for that big-picture thinker who digs sustainability and balance. Also for anyone who wants a pet they don’t have to take care of. The organisms in this eco-sphere take care of each other, maintaining perfect aquatic harmony. Go ahead, write a poem about it.

You probably know someone who would like their own personal supply of organic produce but doesn’t have the time to manage a multi-acre farm. Or go to the grocery store for that matter. This is also a great gift for the healthy eater who’s too busy to garden or who tends to kill everything they lay their hands on.

Technology may sometimes seem to complicate things, but here it removes one of life’s worst conundrums. Those french fries may taste great, but they’re quickly dragging you toward a big, fat grave. Remove the oil by using this electric air fryer, and they’re just damn good potatoes. Feast away with a happy heart.

Le Corbusier would approve of this modernist aquarium, with its crisp right angles, flat white finish, and complete lack of adornment. This is the home for the discerning fish who thinks the standard glass bowl is for uncultured bottom feeders. The only choice for the sophisticated goldfish.

Symbolic furniture is all the rage. Champagne lovers will feel tipsy when they see this decorative and functional living room table that pays homage to their favorite beverage. Then maybe you can buy them that dining room table shaped like a cow. Or that butt-shaped toilet seat cover. So many choices in this category.

Usually by the time you need a paper towel your hands are already wet, and then you’ve got no way to tear off a sheet without ruining the whole damn roll. Frankly, it’s amazing that nobody seems outraged about this. Don’t let an important person in your life suffer this atrocity over and over again. We have answers for these things now.

Don’t just give them one piece of art, build them a gallery. We’re not expecting you to go and build an actual gallery complete with gift shop but we think they’ll be just as impressed with this gift. A digital art museum lets them curate a unique art collection and makes the perfect gift for any art enthusiast. They can even upload their own artistic creations if they’re handy with a paintbrush themselves.

Kitchen gadgets like this potato peeler make great gifts since they're the type of thing that people won't normally justify buying for themselves, even though it would be super useful and sorta fun. So they they peel away manually like some sort of dungeon dwelling prisoner. With this hands-free electric peeler they'll be looking for excuses to peel potatoes, apples, cucumbers, eggplants, limes, kiwis and anything else they decide to put in there. Get creative, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Gnome infestations have remained a taboo subject for too long. Damn the social consequences, we must finally bring this issue into the light. Gnomes are not people, they are parasites bent on destroying everything we’ve worked so hard to build and eating all of our vegetables. Don’t worry, you don’t have to snuff them out yourself. Leave that to this merciless miniature beast.

Along with abundance comes the responsibility not to bore the crap out of people by making the same silly casserole every night. The problem is that nobody wants to think that much about food. They just want to eat. Place the burden of creativity - and blame - on these ingenious foodie dice, and watch the possibilities multiply.

The original smart speaker and still the reigning king (or queen) of the market, the Amazon Echo invented a new category and has been dominating it ever since. The Echo’s virtual assistant, Alexa, is kind of like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey, except she’ll never kill your friends and lock you out of the house to die.

For the frugal homemaker, there can never be too many ways to save space and eliminate unnecessary appliances, utensils, and the like. So a single stove-top skillet that allows you to fire up a full three-course meal in one go? You bet your sweet pork chop, corn, and baked beans that’s gonna find a place in lots of kitchens. And consider that it’s stain resistant, built to last, and safe for the oven and dishwasher, and it’s clear someone had their thinkin’ cap on at the old pots and pans factory.

Sure, it will be strange when you have to get that cheek swab from them without them knowing what you’re up to, but it will all make sense when you reveal this custom portrait that showcases their unique DNA. Or you could just give them the DNA collection kit as the gift if that’s easier. Or just swab your dog. They’ll never know the difference.

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. If you know someone who has refined taste buds, this might even include cheese. But before you go buying a water buffalo, you should know that you can buy the enzymes and all that by themselves and then add milk later. The rest of the animal is incidental, inconvenient, and frankly dangerous.

Save them from trekking all the way down to the local ice cream chain store and waiting in line for some 16 year old who hates everything about them to shovel a handful of mass-produced ice cream into a paper cup and then charge them eight dollars while rolling his eyes. Life is so much more pleasant when you can do things yourself, isn’t it?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to learn from the best in the world? This is the idea behind MasterClass. A wide range of courses designed and taught by some of the most famous, renowned, and respected luminaries in fields as diverse as cooking, guitar playing, negotiation (hostage or otherwise), fiction writing, film making, and gardening, just to name a few. You can give a single class as a gift or a subscription for all of them.

Look, soap is great. Nobody’s denying that. But you have to realize that while it does make you clean, it doesn’t accomplish the one thing that so many people wish it did: cover them in chocolate. For obvious reasons, however, being covered in chocolate is a somewhat dubious goal. After all, they would have to wash it off right away to avoid getting it on the furniture. This chocolate soap is the perfect compromise: they get to cover themselves in chocolate and somehow get cleaner at the same time. And wow, it really smells good too.

They can make furniture as complicated as futuristic as they want; there’s a reason this is still the iconic symbol of relaxation. Its primitive-inspired luxury will never get old, nor will its timeless design. Nobody can look at a hammock without feeling the primal urge to jump in and take a long nap. Tropical dreams hide within.

Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.

So this maybe doesn’t have the wow factor of, say, a MENSA membership, but that’s not the point. You can buy a lifetime supply of Frosted Flakes for $.99. We’re not sure what MENSA does for you, but we know it can’t deliver like that. Who’s the genius now?

No matter where you stand on other major life issues, one thing is for sure: everything is better with cats. Or maybe just weirder. Anyway, this updated version of the classic board game is purr-fect for anyone who owns or loves cats, and even better for anyone who wishes they were a cat. In the original version of Monopoly, the goal was to collect properties until you became the fattest cat around, bullying people and putting them out of business. Cat-opoly reflects a kinder, gentler world where you simply collect cats, until you’re like one of those people you see on the reality shows.

Chocolates used to (and perhaps still do) come from factories run by shady recluses and populated by obese midget slaves. Or at least that’s what the video evidence suggests. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. Stick it to big business by giving someone this home chocolate making kit and help them join the artisan revolution. A whole new way to make chocolate “guilt free”.

Few household hobbies have the potential to be as hard on the joints as gardening, unless you like playing “Army Men” and parachuting off the roof with umbrellas, like some of us did as kids. This waterproof nylon stool does double duty as a knee/ankle saver and a tool bag, so the right implement is always within reach.

In our crazy modern world, who has the patience to wait more than a day for their online purchases, or to watch one episode a week of their favorite series, instead of a 10-hour binge? If they don’t already have a subscription to Amazon Prime, it’s your duty to bring them out of the dark ages. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and you can get it for them right now. They’ll get free shipping on tons of great stuff from Amazon as well as access to a bizillion movies for free. Whatever their addiction, they can feed it on Amazon. Help them feed it faster and better.

So many of your household appliances would be better if they weren’t fixed in place. Wouldn’t you sometimes like to bake in the backyard? Do the laundry on your roof deck? And what about the toilet? Wouldn’t you like to…well, never mind. For now, we’ve got the inflatable hot tub. Move it, deflate and store it, set it back up and inflate it in three minutes whenever it’s needed.

Both cheaper and healthier than buying commercially-made soda, this thing is a win-win. It’s also a step up in elegance from having a pantry stuffed with cases of Mountain Dew. They can tell everyone it’s “artisan soda”, whatever that means. Their health, checking account, and reputation as connoisseurs will all thank you.