What's a great Christmas gift that can't be guessed in 20 questions?
December 10, 2003 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Christmas is coming, and to my brother and me that means one thing: The Dreaded 20 Questions Gift. About 5 years ago, my mother started this trend of giving everyone a small gift wrapped in tissue paper. The object is to guess what the gift is based only on touch and the answers to Yes or No questions. (And you can't open any other gifts until you guess what it is. Sometimes this goes on for HOURS!) My brother and I hate it, because our mother is a whiz at getting fantastic gifts, and we can never find anything worthy. This year I'm determined to best her. Any suggestions?

Rules for the gift: Not too big, usually palm-sized is good. Must not be fragile. Must be recognizable by touch. (Can't be in a box, for example.) Receiver does not need to know that the gift exists beforehand. (There's been plenty that I didn't even know what the were once I looked at it unwrapped) Good gifts in the past: Deer Whistles, Fish/Light Keychain, Rubber Chicken Lollypop
posted by emptybowl to Shopping (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Her her a Squidlight. It's what I want for christmas.
posted by jazon at 11:51 AM on December 10, 2003


(that is, GET her a...)
posted by jazon at 12:01 PM on December 10, 2003


If you can stand the bad puns, this egg separator has always looked like a fun gift for anyone who cooks, and not at all obvious as to its function
posted by TedW at 12:02 PM on December 10, 2003


The Squidlight is *great*, jazon (I totally want one now), but a tad too expensive. We try to stick in the $5-10 range for the 20 Questions Gifts.
posted by emptybowl at 12:09 PM on December 10, 2003


But the squidlight is great too; in fact I just ordered four of them. Thanks, jazon
posted by TedW at 12:10 PM on December 10, 2003


i saw a vegetable/fruit peeler recently that had an extendable blade, jack knife-like. All it is is a handle and a button on the side. definitely identifiable as a utensil, but so completely rediculous that she'd never guess what it is for.
posted by sporky at 12:20 PM on December 10, 2003


Ah, I've seen that peeler, sporky. But isn't there a chance she could accidentally press the button and extend the blade, cutting through the tissue paper?
posted by emptybowl at 12:33 PM on December 10, 2003


But isn't there a chance she could accidentally press the button and extend the blade, cutting through the tissue paper?

Would it be cheating to tape it shut before you wrapped it to ensure this doesn't happen?
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:43 PM on December 10, 2003


How about a nose cozy?
posted by joaquim at 12:43 PM on December 10, 2003


Pineapple Corer. There are various models. Bought the plastic model at a kitchen store for 8-10$. Plus fresh pineapple is delicious add easy.....
posted by thomcatspike at 12:47 PM on December 10, 2003


hahaha....I like the nose cozy, but my mom doesn't do much mountain climbing.

And yes, Ufez, taping it shut would be cheating. You're not allowed to alter unique attributes of the item that would make them recognizable. I mean, if that were allowed, what would stop use from just always putting them in boxes?
posted by emptybowl at 12:49 PM on December 10, 2003


Ah! The Pineapple Corer is great! We'll check for one at the kitchen store when we go shopping this weekend. Any other ideas?
posted by emptybowl at 12:53 PM on December 10, 2003


Kangaroo scrotum pouch, if that won't make anyone angry.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:11 PM on December 10, 2003


You mean besides the kangaroo?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:23 PM on December 10, 2003



...or anything else on that page.
posted by me3dia at 1:35 PM on December 10, 2003


In years past, when my brother was asking her what she wanted for Christmas, my mother was in the habit of saying "I don't know." One year, he decided to buy her an "I don't know". He bought something he was sure she wouldn't recognize, wrapped it up and gave it to her and was incredibly disappointed when she opened it up and instantly said, "You got me a strawberry huller, how lovely."

I offer up this story by way of suggesting that unless your mother quite likes to cook or is strange like my mother, she probably won't know what a strawberry huller is. In fact, even if she quite likes to cook or is strange like my mother, she probably won't know what a strawberry huller is, as I quite like to cook, and am very much my mother's daughter, and I thought it was a bizarrely small set of sugar tongs.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:45 PM on December 10, 2003


Sorry, jacquilynne, but my mother most certainly knows what a strawberry huller is. In fact, that was my 20 Questions Gift last year, and she was supremely disappointed when I got it immediately. (A rare event indeed.)
posted by emptybowl at 1:51 PM on December 10, 2003


i don't have a web resource for them, but there's a company out there that makes decorative sleeves (out of tin) for box matches. handy for next to the stove, if it's a gas stove; tres chic if mom is a smoker. hard to guess? i don't know.

i would also suggest silicone poholders, which are designed just for ones fingertips.

a charm for a bracelet might work, too, assuming mom has a charm bracelet.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:54 PM on December 10, 2003


Another thought: There are wine openers available that aren't corkscrews at all. They have a little handle and two prongs that slide on either side of the cork. And, the prongs stay in a little plastic sleeve when not in use, so that wouldn't be cheating. My parents had one from the Stone Hill Winery in Missouri. Shouldn't be much more than $8 or so.
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:01 PM on December 10, 2003


Manual Nose Hair Trimmer. Lots to choose from...
posted by xiffix at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2003


how about a cow magnet, one of those magnets that is left in the stomach of livestock to try to collect any metals they may have ingested that are magnetic. deceptively simple outline, not so obvious purpose.
posted by jessamyn at 3:33 PM on December 10, 2003


oh jessamyn - those were my favorite childhood toys.

but: you really need two.
posted by goneill at 3:41 PM on December 10, 2003


The Frankfurter Converter.
posted by fnord23 at 4:48 PM on December 10, 2003


me3dia wins.

(But I suspect that if I gave that to my mother, to investigate by touch or otherwise, she'd go into one of her soliloquys about how sexually satisfied she has been since her remarriage again (after being widowed for the second time more than a decade ago), and that'd be heartwarming but a little, you know, icky.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:39 AM on December 11, 2003


Must have a squid light for the gadget obsessed father in law.
Tks jazon
posted by johnny7 at 6:16 AM on December 11, 2003


The squid light is FABULOUS! I need present ideas for my family and friends in Manhattan and this is the perfect emergency/terror/blackout tool, but with style, baby.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:13 AM on December 11, 2003


with the vegetable peeler, it usually comes with a piece of plastic around the outside. also, it is pretty hard to press the button unless you're looking for it.
posted by sporky at 8:54 AM on December 11, 2003


the rabbit purse mirror on on this page is nice, or the cookie press, terra cotta softie, or bookmarker on this page. Lime Squeezer, Butter Butler, pineapple slicer?. This egg topper would be genius, but you probably can't find one in time... Glowing ice cubes? Reading Light?
posted by taz at 9:01 AM on December 12, 2003


oooh. Just one more: a Spinmallow.
posted by taz at 9:18 AM on December 12, 2003


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