When you browse the SkyMall catalog, great gift ideas practially leap out at you. A pillow that's also a universal remote? Bill would love that! I mean, he needs that, right? He's always on the couch watching TV. Classic Bill!
But if you want to be a star gift-giver this year and get something they'll really enjoy, stay away from "gadgets" that aren't on their list.
It might not be compatible. If you're not positive what type of phone or computer they have, stay away from gifts that sync up to their devices. If they have a Blackberry, and you just bought them an iPhone home surveillance system, I hope you at least included a gift reciept.
They might not have the space. Uni-tasking kitchen gadgets are especially succeptible to this gift-giving caveat. Your giftee might adore owning a waffle iron or a panini press, but they don't have space for all of the uni-taskers that well-meaning gifters like you want to give every year.
They probably don't want it. Your friend who is always baking donuts for parties? They probably don't need that uni-taking countertop automatic donut maker thing. Because if they did want it, they would already have it.
Of course, if your brother actually asks for a remote control beer cooler this year, grab your credit card and throw all of this advice out the window.