The Christmas buying rush brings out a strange sort of logic in many family and friends. It’s as if, faced with a deadline, there comes a great burning need to buy tools they don’t understand for someone they aren’t sure will be able to use them. The Home Depot site will recommend actual tools if you click the last minute DIYer tab; however, if you click the “gifts for less than $50” button, the first item on the list is a charcoal grill followed by a bucket jockey.
It’s not that either item is awful — either one can be handy to have, and one cooks meat, which is never a bad thing. It’s just better to take the time and ask the toolmonger on your list what it is they really want. Hell, give ’em a price range. I promise they will know, even on short notice such as the week before, what would meet all your criteria and make them happy.
Now: it may look like they’ve got 30 of them already. It may look like no one could possibly make use of whatever it is — but I assure you there is a project waiting somewhere for the router jig, corner clamps, or welding gloves they asked for. Real tools always trump the endcap holiday quick-grab items. The gimmicky stuff can be useful, but getting someone a quality set of drivers or the like will always trump the gimmick.