Some gifts are more funny than functional |

Some gifts are more funny than functional

Amanda Fehd
Jim Grant / Tahoe Daily Tribune / An unusual Tahoe gift that may also be practical is the Yaktrax Walker, snow chains for shoes and boots.

There’s always one.

Among the pile of clothes, toys, hand towels or delicious edibles, there’s always that gift that makes you wonder, “What am I going to do with this?”

The Clapper, the Thighmaster, the Lava Lamp, or the Tahoe mug could be just what your best friend, sibling or spouse always wanted.

You never know.

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But these kinds of gifts flourish around Christmas, perhaps because they are suitable for anyone and, the closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it is to figure out what to get someone.

Christmas has become as much the season of angst over what to give as it is the season of giving.

“You gotta know the person. It’s like anything, you can’t start a week out,” said Nicholas DiMeglio, a customer shopping at the Village Center. His hobby is golf, and he said he gets way too many drivers and golf T-shirts nowadays. When he doesn’t know what to give, he resorts to gift certificates or donating to a charity.

That odd gift that never gets used could hang out in the garage forever.

“A crockpot. I’ve had it for years and I’ve never used it,” said Greg Perkins, assistant manager for Longs Drugs at Bijou Center. “It was bought for me by my mom to encourage me to cook, but I don’t cook.”

Natalie Stetson, 17, an employee at Neighbors Bookstore, said she got a long pajama shirt with a Rudolph on it that she has never worn.

“It’ still around,” she said, “And I’ve never put it on.”

Some people want a George Foreman Grill, or they’ve always been tickled by the thought of a wiggling, singing fish to hang on their wall.

But many say they get at least one gift they quickly shunt to a corner of the house or attic, where they won’t feel guilty looking at it and not using it.

A bright yellow blouse has hung in Alex Casetta’s closet for five years. She doesn’t feel right about throwing it out.

“I’ll probably give it away someday. You can’t throw out a gift,” Casetta said.

The list could go on forever: the deep fryer, bread maker, fondu pot, fajita maker, lava lamp, Chia pet (post Chia hair growth), feather boa, hand and foot massagers, coin counter, the jelly and jam gift baskets, sausage and cheese gift basket, or bath and body gift box, or the collectible you have too many of or just don’t collect anymore.

And be careful giving that gift away next year.

One Tahoe shop owner, who declined to give his name because he doesn’t want to embarrass a gift-giver, said he received the exact same gift back from someone that he gave to that person the year before.

“We all had a good laugh about it, because as soon as we opened it, we realized we gave it the year before,” he said.

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