2018 Offbeat Gift Guide: 25 holiday surprises for grown-ups of all ages

WASHINGTON — Finding a great gift is not always as simple as picking something trendy and typing in a credit card number. Just because a gift is fancy doesn’t mean your loved one will like it.

(Or at least that’s what those made-for-TV Christmas movies keep saying.)

Great gifts don’t have to be expensive or even trendy. They can be unique. They can even be funny and, yeah, somewhat useless.

Thing is, they’re not just available anywhere.

Here’s a gallery of offbeat gift ideas for grown-ups as you put together your shopping list. All were lovingly curated by our crack staff at the WTOP Holiday Desk.

Golden Girls Action Figures ($114.99) “They’re not dolls,” collectors like to say. “They’re action figures.” These action figures, though, are ALL dolls! Re-enact your favorite “Golden Girls” episodes with miniature likenesses of TV’s fantastic four. After that fourth cocktail, re-enact the lost episode when they held Chewbacca and Aquaman hostage after a botched bank robbery. They’re on back order, but don’t let that stop you: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
Laundry Punch Bag ($35)

Knock out that laundry before you knock out that laundry. This bag can take a beating, too: It holds up to 30 pounds of undies, shirts and what not.

(Courtesy UncommonGoods.com)

Emergency Horse ($8.95)

How many times have you forgotten to bring your horse to a job interview? Or a first date? Or a funeral? What a mess! 

With a pocket-size Emergency Horse, you’ll never get caught flat-footed again. 

Bluetooth Banana Phone ($40)

If kids-song-troubadour Raffi doesn’t have one of these things, could someone please step up and fix that?

Just connect this wireless wonder with your smartphone and communicate the way God intended.


Itty Bitty Buggy (59.99)

A STEM-educational toy for kids that even adults will find intriguing. The buggy is code-programmable, compatible with LEGO blocks and can be controlled with an Android or iOS device via a Bluetooth connection.

Heap of colorful jelly babies / gummy bear sweets. Potential use as a background.
Vodka Gummy Bears ($8)

Rum balls are for grandparents. This Etsy shop offers the familiar treat with a boozy twist. Truly a bummer that Dean Martin didn’t live long enough to enjoy this stocking-stuffer.

(Getty Images/iStockphoto/Rupert Weidemann)

Avocado Huggers ($7.95) 

They’re strategically shaped silicone things that cover the unused half of an avocado — because eating three or four pieces of avocado toast in the morning is just weird, unless you’re Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

Deluxe Rubber Chicken ($8.95)

C’mon. Treat yourself. A base-model rubber chicken just won’t cut it in 2018.

Rubber Chicken Socks ($8.95)

The perfect splash of attitude when you’re rocking that Brooks Brothers suit on New Year’s Eve.

Personalized Portrait Doll ($65)

It’s a likeness of yourself or someone you know in doll form. Check with the seller to make sure they’ll have yours ready by Dec. 25!

RuPaul Prayer Candle ($12.95)

Etsy has a wide selection of celebrity prayer candles. This one is by far the most fabulous, Ma-ma.

Light the candle as you pray for your favorite “Drag Race” contestant to advance to the next round (… and don’t #$% it up).

Best Teenager Ribbon ($4.95)

Give your teen the validation he craves. He’ll proudly wear this ribbon to school and show everyone that he’s A-OK with the grown-ups.

Stoneware TV Dinner Trays ($24)

Microwave-, oven- and dishwasher-safe, these trays are perfectly portioned for your entrees and sides, just like their foil ancestors.

Guy Fieri Mug ($16.33)

Why does TV food dude Guy Fieri get such a bum rap from the hipster-and-food-critic set? His look isn’t for everyone, sure, but he feeds California wildfire victims and knows how to make killer sweet potato fries. That alone qualifies him for his own coffee mug.

Wake up to Flavortown.

Mac ‘n’ Cheese Candy Canes ($5.95)

Kudos to the genius who realized that candy canes don’t have to taste like toothpaste.

Microwave Popcorn Popper ($15)

Just throw some corn in this little guy, microwave it and Bob’s your uncle. The lid doubles as a melter that will butter the popcorn while it’s cooking.

Taxidermy Grunge Ducks ($45)

These ex-ducks are stuffed, caffeinated and ready to crowd-surf. Celebrate the blessed 1990s and Generation-X culture in a way that you boomers just don’t understand.

Dinosaur Taco Holders ($12–$14.95)

Behold, dinosaurs that hold your tacos (as seen at Cafe Milano).

Formal Handerpants ($9.95)

They’re underpants for your hands — perfect for that night out at the Kennedy Center.

Couch Bowls ($38)

Do not be fooled: These are not ordinary bowls. Their ergonomic design provides a secure, comfortable grip while you’re curled up in your Snuggie, chowing down on Chocolate Cheerios, and watching the Wizards go 9-40 from outside the arc.

Inflatable Party Hat for Cats ($6.95)

Does your cat act like a fuddy-duddy on her birthday? Help her lighten up with this inflatable birthday party hat. (Or perhaps your cat dabbles in the dark arts?)

Cookie Spoon Pan ($18)

Make cookie, brownie and chocolate spoons. After all, utensils should be edible, especially this time of year.

(Courtesy UncommonGoods.com)

Meat Parade Lunchbox (8.50) 

Theirs is a happy march: Smiles and music, cars and cheers.

They proceed, happily, into ground-up oblivion.

Enjoy your bologna sandwich.

Heap of colorful jelly babies / gummy bear sweets. Potential use as a background.

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