We all know at least one of those people. The people who are always impossible to buy gifts for at Christmas and birthdays. Whether they’re tough to buy for because they always buy themselves the things they want before you get a chance, they have exacting tastes, or they’re someone you obliged to buy a gift for out of politeness but don’t actually know that well, like an office Secret Santa, or the in-laws.
Instead of stressing, try some of these gift ideas for those awkward to buy for people.
Christmas Gift Ideas
For a fun and quirky gift, why not make the receiver a Lord or a Lady? With Highland Titles, you can buy a plot of land in Scotland (that can be visited at any time) that comes with a title. As an added bonus, when you buy the land, you’re helping out a nature reserve in Scotland, preserving the wildlife and natural beauty of the area. The title comes with a personalised gift pack, making a unique Christmas gift that’s sure to make people feel important.
A Practical Gift
Some people are tough to buy gifts for because they don’t see the point in more frivolous items and only appreciate more practical things. It might not feel much like a good gift to you, but people like often really appreciate being given something that they actually need.
You could ask them directly what they need, or ask their partner for some ideas of things they’re in need of. Depending on who you’re buying for, they might love a replacement for a tool they recently broke, or a practical item like an electric toothbrush, a briefcase for work, or new Wellington boots if they love to work in the garden.
Don’t dismiss the practical gift as boring, as practically-minded sorts will appreciate the thought and not having to buy something they need themselves.
If you can’t think of a single thing you know your recipient wants or needs, forget trying to buy one big gift. This option works well for fussy partners. Agree that instead of buying each other one main gift that you’ll buy each other lots of little gifts and make a fun stocking instead.
You both get lots of little things to open and can really go to town buying smaller, fun items. For example, if you and your partner can never agree on where to order dinner from, you can buy dice with different takeaway options on the sides to help you pick. This is a great gag gift that might actually help you out.
Colourful socks, chocolate coins, key chains, and other small items are all classic stocking fillers.
Food And Drink
Everyone appreciates something to eat or drink, and this can be a great gift for choosy people. For example, if you do Secret Santa in your office, the person you got probably doesn’t need yet another mug. Instead, why not buy some high-end coffee or tea bags, depending on which they drink, to go in one of those hundreds of mugs they’ve received in Secret Santa’s in the past.
If you live far away from the person you’re sending gifts to, a lovely idea could be making up a hamper of treats from your local area. This could be snacks and drinks made by local businesses, which is a great way to support small businesses with your gift buying. If you’re in a different country, traditional snacks are a fun way to share some culture. Just double-check if there any restrictions on what you can post before you send a parcel of things to eat.
Pre-packed sets of bath bombs or toiletries are the classic gift for someone you don’t know what to buy for. They’re not the most exciting gifts ever, but they’re fantastic as emergency gifts.
It’s a Christmas nightmare when someone you haven’t bought for gives you a gift that you weren’t expecting. Whether a colleague presents you with a more generous gift than you expected, or a neighbour or one of the school-run mums arrives unexpectedly to drop off a gift, you’ll feel terrible if you don’t have anything to give them in return.
Buy a couple of gift sets and stash them in the cupboard, ready for gift emergencies like this. Some of these sets even come pre-wrapped, so you can whip one out of the cupboard, look organized, and never let them know that you hadn’t thought of them. If you don’t have pre-wrapped gifts, keep some gift bags in your cupboard too, so you can throw a gift set in a nice bag and have it ready to give on no warning.
Is your friend’s new girlfriend really anti ‘manufactured’ stuff and really into making everything for themself? Instead of panicking about what on earth you could give them that they won’t think is inappropriate, but that you don’t have to make yourself, look at craft kits.
There are dozens of options for craft sets, from embroidery sets and felting kits to home-brew beer kits. You could buy a set that can make a specific thing, or if you know some of their interests, you can get more personal.
For example, if you know they love to knit, buy some beautiful wool or knitting patterns. If you know they love to sew, gift them some new sewing patterns or good quality fabrics.
Things For The Great Outdoors
Trying to buy for someone who just loves to be outside and look after the environment? Stop pulling your hair out wondering how you can gift ‘fresh air’, or ‘a good walk’. Buy something beautiful, but helpful, for the garden.
For example, any nature-lover will really appreciate something a bee box or a bug hotel. Insects often get overlooked but are very important for a garden. Your friend will appreciate the thought behind a gift like this, as it not only looks cute in the garden but helps wildlife too. If you’re not sure how they feel about bugs, a birdhouse or bird feeder could be well-received.
If you’re buying for someone whose life revolves their furry, feathered, or scaled friend, then you could think about buying them something for their pet. They’ll be delighted their companion was thought of, and you can gift them something they might have deemed too expensive or frivolous to buy for their pet themselves.
Good gifts could be personalised food bowls for their dog or cat. If you know they dress their dog up, then buy it a cute, funny outfit or two. A cute bed or a collar could be good too.
If they have a more unusual pet, like a parrot or a lizard, you might need to do a little research to make sure they’re buying something safe for them.
If you’re not sure what their pet might need or what they can have, buy something themed around their beloved pet. For example, lots of artists offer pet portraits, or you could look for an ornament that looks like their pet.
If you’re panicking about what to buy someone, try to relax and think a little outside the box for what you could give them. Try to remember that it really is the thought that counts, and even if you don’t hit the mark completely, the person you’re buying for will appreciate the fact that you thought about them and tried to find something that they would really like.