It’s a wall-mounted heater for our garage.
Well, okay, not exciting. But it means that no matter the weather (and right now it’s a blistering four degrees Fahrenheit outside), the garage is always above freezing; we run the heater so the overall garage temperature is between 40 and 50 degrees. This means that our cars are not unspeakably cold when we get in them, and that liquids we store in the garage will not burst their cans when their insides freeze (which is a thing that’s happened before).
It also means that our cats, who persist in going outside in insensibly cold weather, will not actually be in danger of freezing to death before we let them back into the house, so long as they remember to come into the garage. To aid in this learning curve we’ve been letting them out via the garage (there’s a human-sized garage door to the outside world with a cat flap; the inside door does not have one, because we have raccoon neighbors).
I could say we bought it for the practical reasons, but in fact we got it because of the cats. This is where my brain goes. I regret nothing.
The heater necessitated upgrading our electrical system a bit — it draws a fair amount of power so we put that wall on its own circuit, which means expanding our circuit board. This was something we needed to do anyway (we use a lot of electronics in this house, as it happens), so this was a good time to do it.
And how do we feel about our Christmas gift to ourselves? Very happy, in fact. It’s nice to not have the garage be hideously cold for four months of a year. It’s not a sexy gift, sure. But at this age, practical gifts that make one’s house nicer to live in are pretty great. And the cats like it, so there’s that.
Get any practical gifts this year? Share with the crowd in the comments.