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Life gets better when it gets a little weird, and the same is true for the holidays. While everyone around you is busy snatching up Instant Pots and humming along to the tune of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" again, don't just blend in with the crowd. You can stand out—in a good way—and have a little fun along the way by gifting a few of these hilariously odd but also really useful products.
From skin cream made from snail goo to pillows that weigh approximately 700 pounds (but are surprisingly comfortable too), these strange but innovative creations not only kick the surprise factor up a notch this holiday season, but could also help solve problems that your friends and family didn't even know they had. Here are the 20 zaniest, most extraordinary products we love as gifts this holiday season.
Please note that many of these items could be in high demand as we head into the winter months. We recommend starting your holiday shopping early this year to make sure your items are still available—and to ensure that they'll arrive on time, as shipping could be delayed.
1. For the one with dry skin: This relaxing scalp massager
More than 35,000 shoppers give this palm-sized brush a 4.5-star rating on Amazon because, according to them, it really works. Made with thick silicone bristles, this massager stimulates blood flow to the scalp and can help give oil glands a much-needed boost, which is especially good for those who struggle with dry skin or dandruff, say reviewers. Additionally, some users swear it even helps strengthen roots and clean hard-to-reach areas. "I cannot explain how good this feels when [you're] using it! It actually goes down to the roots and makes sure that it gets into all the spots it can to clean your hair," one reviewer wrote.
2. For the one who hates laundry: These time-saving wool dryer balls
The bigger a family gets, the more laundry there is to do. Pro tip though: these wool dryer balls can help cut down on the drying time and save money, since they're good for up to a thousand loads. These chemical- and synthetic-free wool dryer balls are gentle on sensitive skin and made from filler-free premium New Zealand wool, plus they're incredible eco-friendly to boot.
3. For the one who's always on their feet: This cult-favorite roller
Is someone you love constantly standing and shifting around all day? Chances are, their feet are aching like crazy after a long shift. And you've just found the perfect present: this 4.5-star rated dual foot roller. Designed with hard wooden knobs that'll press into skin and help loosen up tight knots, this odd-looking thing may be a bit intimidating, but more than 2,600 Amazon shoppers say it can work wonders for someone with plantar fasciitis, foot arch and/or heel pain. "Because of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, my feet hurt all time even though I have had surgery on both feet and two sets of custom orthotics," wrote one reviewer. "Surprisingly, this foot massager has helped with the arch pain."
4. For the one who likes to be prepared: This multitool that's like having a whole toolbox in your wallet
Gadget nerds can be tough to shop for because it feels like they have almost everything they need already. But you know what that gizmo-loving wunderkind probably doesn't have yet? A steel, credit card-shaped instrument that's like getting to carry an entire toolbox worth of stuff in their pocket or wallet. Featuring 18 tools in one slim profile, this 4.5-star rated multitool might raise some eyebrows, but carpenters and mechanics swear by it, and you can tell from the more than 3,400 positive reviews on Amazon just how celebrated it is. "I bought this for my boyfriend who loves little gadgets like this," raved one shopper. "... It fits right in your wallet and the best part about it is the box cutter!"
5. For the one who's been single in quarantine: This body pillow that looks like a boyfriend
Being single in quarantine? There's no point in beating around the bush—it sucks. But if you're gift shopping for someone special who also happens to be down a plus one, the cult-favorite Boyfriend Pillow might be just the thing to get them chuckling through cuffing season. Made from polyester, this clever spin on the traditional husband pillow features a pillowcase (which looks like a button-down shirt) and one "arm," which makes it perfect for snuggles. Sure, some of your giftee's pals might mistake it for the real deal, but with a pillow this wonderfully wacky, who cares, right?
6. For the meat lover: These claws that can shred through meat like nobody's business
Whether it's pulled pork or chicken thighs, no succulent meats stand a chance against the power of these ridiculous-looking shredder claws. Give your giftee the chance to unleash their wild side and make short work of their next big BBQ in the process with these 4.7-star rated claws, which have nearly 9,000 stellar Amazon reviews. "I originally purchased them because I was cooking for a group of [more than a hundred] on a trip. We made about 40 [pounds] of shredded chicken thighs," wrote one Amazon reviewer. "Using these shredding claws, we shredded 40 [pounds] of thighs in about 45 minutes ... these claws are so sharp [and] useful that it took less than half the [usual] time."
7. For the one who's always in the kitchen: This stainless steel bar that gets rid of funky odors
This sounds unbelievable, but hear me out. There's a stainless steel bar out there that looks like soap (but definitely isn't soap) and it helps make stinky smells disappear, so people don't have to walk around with onion fingers or garlic hands all day. Now here's the most surreal part about it: According to shoppers, this thing really works. "I don’t know how it works but it does! Garlic, onion, fish, and other smells disappear like magic," exclaimed one Bed Bath and Beyond reviewer. With a 4.7-star rating on the site, this handy kitchen tool makes a great gift for chefs or anyone who does a lot of prep work in the kitchen.
8. For the beauty lover: This awesome but also kind of gross cream made from snail ooze
The new big beauty thing? It's snails. More specifically, it's snail slime. If the thought of putting icky snail goo all over your face makes your skin crawl (or in this case, since we're talking about snails, "glide"), then you ain't the only one. But even still, this K-beauty ingredient is all the rage right now because apparently, it works. There are hundreds of snail slime extract creams and masks out there, but our writer Izzy Kagan swears by this one from LadyKin. "I never thought I'd be moisturizing my face with snail slime but here I am in 2019, loving this cream by LadyKin," says Izzy. "Aside from the adorable packaging, it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated, and a little goes a long way."
9. For the one who hates tying their shoes: These no-tie shoelaces
Transform virtually any pair of sneakers into a pair of comfy slip-ons with 4.5-star rated no-tie shoelaces. Ideal for seniors, those with mobility issues, little ones, or even just folks who feel like they go slightly batty every time a shoelace comes undone, these elastic laces are incredibly stretchy and come in a range of colors, so they can coordinate with most looks.
10. For the dog lover: These clever drink-inspired pet toys
So your giftee crushes LaCroix like it's going out of style—now their pupper can do the same with the Muttini collection. The names for some of these plush, 4.6-star rated doggie chew toys alone are a selling point: LickCroix Pamplemutt Flavor, Barkweiser, White Paw Muttlennial Mango, you get the idea. One part parody, one part invitation to happy hour, these are a super-cute gift idea for the canine lover in your life and their four-legged companion will enjoy it just as much.
11. For the cat lover: This one-of-a-kind brush for literally licking cats
Created as a way for cat owners to soothe their furry felines and create a deeper bond with them, this silicone brush is certainly unforgettable, to say the least. Billed by more than one Amazon reviewer as the "ultimate gag gift," this 4.1-star rated brush can be useful for getting mats and knots out of hair. Cat lovers will either love this or hate it, but either way, they'll get a good laugh out of it, and likely so will you after you see the expression on their face when you explain that this brush is meant for licking. "I bought it as a joke, but the cat seems to like it a lot," wrote one shopper on Amazon. Another noted: "Bought it as a gift for our daughter, who has cats. Lots of laughs and the pictures of her using it on her cats were hysterical."
12. For the one who loves Sonic: This legendary nugget ice maker
Sonic made chewy nugget ice famous, but having the chance to make that mouthwateringly good treat at home might seem out of reach for some. You can win at gifts this year with this luxurious countertop ice maker, which actually churns out little nibble-sized chunks on its very own. With more than 2,300 glowing reviews on Amazon, this 4.5-star rated device is also extremely popular, even if it is a bit unusual to have at home.
13. For the one who hates folding clothes: This game-changing board
For most people, folding clothes is a slog. But this durable board makes getting through multiple articles of clothing at once a total breeze. Fans of The Big Bang Theory might remember seeing Sheldon Cooper use one, so if you're shopping for someone who you know loved the show, this adds an extra layer of usefulness to this 4.5-star rated organizational tool, which more than 8,500 Amazon shoppers can't get enough of.
14. For the one who needs a little extra pampering: This fancy Shark Tank-approved oil
The hair on the top of our heads isn't the only hair that matters. Nourishing strands all over is essential for preventing ingrown hairs and keeping everything silky smooth, and that's where Fur Oil can help. Featured on Shark Tank, this oil is made from a rejuvenating blend of jojoba, grapeseed, tea tree and clary sage seed oil, and has a zesty, citrus-like fragrance that'll last throughout most of the day. In my review, I loved its elegant glass bottle and handy dropper, and felt that while expensive, this oil was a fantastic option for anyone looking to kickstart a new self-care routine.
15. For the one who's very particular: This one-of-a-kind pillow that's ultra supportive
With its honeycomb-like polymer grid and heavy, almost cinderblock-like density, the Purple pillow is the last kind of thing you'd expect to generate a cult following—or frankly, even exist. But if you ask brand loyalists like our very own operations manager Dylan Prowse, its oddity is part of the appeal. "I normally don't use a pillow because A., the height of most pillows drive me crazy and B., I hate pillows that are 'too soft'," says Dylan, who owns a Gen. 1 Purple pillow. "The Purple is firm, but not too firm." In testing, our reviewers weren't personally so sold on the Purple pillow, with one complaining it was too heavy (and even Dylan concedes that it's a lot to carry), but they also noted that it's still pretty comfortable once you start to lay on it, and could be a solid option for anyone who needs a lot of support at night.
16. For the one who yearns for comfy feet: These fur-lined Crocs
The iconic Crocs clog is an odd-looking shoe to begin with, but the addition of a fuzzy, soft lining of fur takes it up a notch. Despite its strange silhouette, the comfiness and versatility of these clogs is undeniable. With thousands of positive reviews and an average customer rating of 4.7 out of 5, you can't go wrong with this bizarre-but-practical fashion statement.
17. For the runner: These bizarre yet brilliant sneaker lights
Runners are notoriously hard to gift for, and unless it's a Fitbit Charge 3, it's really hard to find something that both supports their goals but also is unique enough that they don't already have it yet on their own. Here's your ace in the hole if you're shopping for a runner: these weird and wonderful shoe lights. It's not the sexiest gift, I'll give you that, but these wacky little guys are designed to fasten easily onto most any footwear and cast a big, bold light in that runner's direction. They're also convenient for other outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or even walking a dog, so they offer a lot of versatility too.
18. For the one who likes to pick stuff: This foot peel that makes you shed skin like a snake
Sometimes it's just really satisfying getting to pick at things. If you're gift-shopping for someone who enjoys digging their nails into icky stuff and pulling it away, this wildly popular Baby Foot peel should already be in your cart. With more than 23,000 rave reviews, this beauty product claims it can make calluses wilt away and remove layers of dead skin, so feet will be—you guessed it—baby smooth and crack-free afterwards. In my review, I felt it was more or less just fun for the experience, as I got to watch my skin scale up like a reptile's and then shed away in pieces. Gross? Absolutely. But it was still fun for picking.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.