11 Weird Gifts You Can Get on Amazon

Chronicle Books, Chia/Amazon
Chronicle Books, Chia/Amazon

Your friends are interesting people. So when special occasions roll around, why get them bland, milquetoast presents? We’ve scoured the internet to come up with 11 weird gifts—from sloth shower curtains to microwave s’mores makers—that should pleasantly surprise your favorite chums.

1. I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by Cats; $10

I Could Pee On This book from Amazon.
Chronicle Books/Amazon

Cats. They pee on our clothes, bang on our doors all night (and refuse to come in when we open it for them), and turn Christmas trees into their personal jungle gyms. So what goes through their heads? This book of poems written from the perspective of a destructive house cat attempts to answer these mysteries. It’s the ideal gift for someone with a fuzzy ball of destruction of their own at home.

Buy It: Amazon

2. T. rex Wine Bottle Holder; $27

T. Rex Wine Holder.
Ebros Gifts

Holding a glass bottle would’ve been a challenge for any real Tyrannosaurus rex, what with the disproportionately small arms and all. But this skeletonized little fellow came up with a solution: He grasps the containers between his toes. Made of hand-painted polyresin, he’ll be a welcome addition to any fossil-lover’s dinner table.

Buy It: Amazon

3. Waffle blanket; $23

A waffle blanket from Amazon for a weird Christmas gift.

This is about as close as a person can get to being wrapped in a warm waffle without all of the stickiness that goes along with it. Measuring 60 inches across, this blanket is a fit for anyone that wants to be covered in something a bit off the beaten path while lounging on the couch on those cold winter mornings.

Buy It: Amazon

4. Chia Pet Bob Ross; $16

Chia Pet Bob Ross.

Forget the traditional Chia Pets this year and instead go for this sublimely weird Bob Ross version, which puts you in charge of growing the beloved artist's luxurious perm. It's important work, no doubt, but in just one to two weeks, this little sculpture should flaunt a head of hair worthy of the public broadcast legend.

Buy It: Amazon

5. Sloth Shower Curtain; $38

Sharp Shirter sloth shower curtain on Amazon.
Sharp Shirter/Amazon

Why did the sloth become the internet’s favorite animal? Well, much like this King Kong-esque shower curtain, the appeal is a bit hard to explain. Still, there’s something endlessly fascinating about these slow-moving, miraculously photogenic animals—and whether your friend is already part of the sloth fan club or you’re just hoping to convert them, this supremely weird gift is a no-brainer.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Shower Head With Wireless Speaker; $108

A shower head with a built-in speaker on Amazon.

Singing in the shower? Why not throw in some musical accompaniment? Kohler’s “Moxie” shower head comes with a detachable wireless speaker that delivers your favorite tunes to the bathroom via Bluetooth. The gadget is totally waterproof and includes rechargeable batteries.

Buy It: Amazon

7. Microwave S’mores Maker; $19

Weird Christmas gifts on Amazon. Microwavable s'mores maker.

Here’s a device that lets you make yummy, gooey campfire treats in any household microwave. Stack the ingredients under the two plastic arms, fill up the water compartment in the back, and get ready for indoor s’mores in just 30 seconds of cooking time.

Buy It: Amazon

8. Literary Insults Chart; $24

 Weird Christmas Gift Ideas: Literary Insults Poster.
Curious Charts Commission/Amazon

A compilation of the greatest put-downs in the English language, the Literary Insult Chart is organized by category. Looking for a quick culinary jab? There’s a whole section for that—one that includes Storm Jameson’s classic line, “She did not so much cook as assassinate food.” Featuring eloquent barbs from Shakespeare, Hedda Hopper, and many others, this poster will have the bookworms in your life grinning with glee.

Buy It: Amazon

9. Bicycle Pizza Cutter; $20

Weird Christmas Gifts: Bicycle Pizza Cutter.

Toy vehicles make everything better—including pizza preparation. Available in yellow, black, pink, and all sorts of other colors, the novelty bicycle pizza cutter has bladed wheels that’ll slice up crusts in style.

Buy It: Amazon

10. The Goldblum Variations; $12

Weird Christmas Gifts for Jeff Goldblum Fans.
Penguin Books/Amazon

It’s hard to describe The Goldblum Variations succinctly—it’s partly a love letter to the idiosyncratic Jurassic Park star, but it’s also an absurd piece of fan fiction where author Helen McClory imagines a number of alternate existences for Goldblum, in which he can be anything from a firefighter in an Arizona ghost town to a piece of code in a video game. It’s an odd one, but so is your Goldblum-obsessed friend.

Buy It: Amazon

11. Dinosaur Ugly Christmas Sweater; $30

Ugly Christmas Sweater With Dinosaur.
Blizzard Bay/Amazon

Look at this thing. You’ve got a dinosaur on a Christmas sweater wearing its own Christmas sweater, and its arms are too short to even fill out the sleeves. Everyone has that one friend that’s way too into dinosaurs, and chances are, they already have a house full of dino-related merchandise and collectibles that they bought on their own. But they won’t have this.

Buy It: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Rosetta Stone Is Offering Up to Half Off Language-Learning Software for Black Friday

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

It’s no secret that learning another language has numerous benefits. But if going back to school and memorizing lists of vocabulary isn't an option—or something you particularly want to do—you can turn to Rosetta Stone, which now offers subscriptions to their language-learning software. And through November 27, language enthusiasts can take advantage of the company's Black Friday deals and receive up to half off Rosetta's regular prices by heading here.

These deals include a three-month subscription for $39.50, a one-year subscription for $89.50, a two-year subscription for $124.50, and a lifetime membership for $199. Over 30 languages are offered on Rosetta Stone, such as Spanish, Japanese, and French, and your online subscription to the language courses comes with numerous other perks, including:

  • Phrasebooks: These teach you quick expressions and greetings that are perfect for traveling
  • Mobile app: Get access to Rosetta Stone's iOS app, where you'll find conversation practice and short 10-minute lessons that fit your schedule.
  • An audio companion: Download and listen to lessons even while offline.
  • Stories: Written and narrated in the language you're studying, these stories include poems, tours, and narratives that expose you to new words and help you understand the culture better.
  • Games: Practice your language skills by yourself or with other users (available on all devices but mobile).

For an additional fee, you can also get live sessions. The sessions are 25 minutes long and are taught by a tutor who is a native speaker of the language you’re learning.

Rosetta Stone language program on mobile
Rosetta Stone

Mastering new languages can open up new ways to communicate with others you may have not been able to before, and over the past few years, studies have shown that being multilingual can help slow cognitive decline and strengthen neural pathways as you age.

Alongside using a program like Rosetta Stone to learn a language, it can help to have periodic conversations in the dialect you’re studying—even if they are with yourself. Check out our other tips for mastering another language.

Sign up now for the three-month ($39.50), one-year ($89.50), two-year ($124.50), or lifetime ($199) subscription.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

10 Thoughtful Gifts for DIY Enthusiasts

Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

It can be tough to find the perfect gift for the people who make everything themselves. Why not give them the tools and supplies they need to create works of art with their own personal touch? Check out these gift ideas for every DIY enthusiast on your list.

1. Prismacolor Premier Hand Lettering Advanced Set; $15

DIY Prismacolor Hand Lettering Set on Amazon

With this set of high-quality pens and pencils, your artistically minded giftees will have the tools to add a personal flourish to letters, signs, greeting cards, and more. The kit includes two graphite pencils, seven illustration markers, two dual-ended art markers for bold lettering, an instruction guide, and—perhaps most importantly—an eraser.

Buy It: Amazon

2. Beanie knitting kit; $55

A knitting kit
We are the Knitters

Have a friend who loves knitting, but hates buying supplies? Surprise them with this knitting kit that comes complete with knitting needles, a unique pattern, and your choice of yarn. You can purchase beginner, easy, intermediate, or advanced knitting kits to create everything from hats and sweaters to blankets and wall art.

Buy It: We Are Knitters

3. Olfa Rotary Essentials Kit; $40

Olfa Rotary Essentials Kit on Amazon

Perfect for paper crafters and scrapbookers, this kit includes two rotary cutters (in 45-millimeter and 18-millimeter sizes) and a self-healing mat. These tough tools will cut paper as well as leather, cloth, vinyl, film, photos, wallpaper, and more.

Buy It: Amazon

4. Miniature library; $20

Mini books
Uncommon Goods

Recreate your bookshelf in miniature form with this adorable kit from Uncommon Goods. The set comes with 20 illustrated miniature books that you can actually read (the selection includes titles like Thumbelina and The Snow Queen), plus 10 blank books you can write and illustrate yourself. Best yet, the set comes with a miniature bookcase, so you don’t have to worry about where to store your tiny library.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

5. Impressart Metal Stamping Kit; $113

ImpressArt Metal Stamping Kit on Amazon

This slightly intimidating kit contains everything a crafter needs to stamp impressions into metal jewelry or objects. Along with the 1-pound hammer and small steel anvil, the Stamp Straight Tape helps you make impressions in a straight line and keep letters evenly spaced. The stamps themselves feature the letters of the alphabet (upper and lower case kits are available) and special characters.

Buy It: Amazon

6. Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit; $35

Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit from Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

Your bestie will be weaned off Sriracha when he concocts his own sauce with dried guajillo, chipotle, and arbol peppers. The kit contains the essentials (like gloves and bottling materials), plus all the ingredients needed for six custom-made bottles of the hot stuff.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

7. Solar Photography Kit; $15

Solar Photography Kit and photo examples from Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

Popularized in the 1840s by Anna Atkins, the first female photographer, solar photographs (also known as cyanotypes thanks to their blue color) use sunlight to develop images on chemically treated paper. Just lay a photo negative or object on the paper, place it in the sun for a while, and voilà. This kit includes six sheets of photosensitive paper, a light-proof storage envelope, and instructions. Fabric kits are also available.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

8. Southern Bourbon Stout Beer Brewing Kit; $20-$45

Southern Bourbon Stout beer brewing kit from Uncommon Goods
Uncommon Goods

Why fight the drunken hordes at your local craft brewery when you, or your gift recipient, can brew your beer in the comfort of your home? This artisanal kit includes the hardware—a fermentor jug, racking cane, funnel, and more—and malt extract, specialty grains, fresh hops, and yeast to make one gallon of homemade brew. This particular formula relies on oak chips soaked in bourbon (booze not included) to add woodsy vanilla notes to your beer.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

9. Cavallini Flora and Fauna Rubber Stamp Set; $25

Cavallini flora and fauna rubber stamp set from Amazon

Create woodland scenes on mail art, gift cards, holiday decor, and more with these rubber stamps on wood blocks. Vintage designs include an owl, songbird, deer, dogwood flower, and other forest friends. The stamps come in an attractive tin with a high-quality black ink pad.

Buy It: Amazon

10. Molecular Gastronomy Kit; $50-$65

Gastronomy kit for kitchen
Uncommon Goods

This kit encourages people to play with their food. Get this for the friend who loves to experiment in the kitchen and wouldn’t mind turning honey into jelly-like cubes or strawberries into delicate foam. The set comes with four different food additives (20 sachets), three pipettes, and a variety of other kitchen ingredients. For $16 more, you can purchase a molecular gastronomy book that can help guide you through recipes.

Buy It: Uncommon Goods

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!