Not knowing what to get everyone on your holiday shopping list can be anxiety-inducing... and take away from the spirit of the season. Gift giving isn't necessarily so much about the importance of giving away stuff, as it is giving a token of appreciation to someone you care about or respect. It's a task made all the more difficult when you don't know them very well. Whether you have a boss, a coworker, new in-laws, or some enigmatic friends on your list this year, this gift guide will help you figure out what to buy.
These 15 items come in a range of prices for any budget, are flexible enough to work for just about anyone on your list, but personal and thoughtful enough to be meaningful when you share. Many of these recommendations center around function or personal care, the kind of items that can be appreciated by a wide range of people.
Amazon Gift Card, Price up to you!
No longer are gift cards the symbol of admitting defeat on figuring out what to buy someone. Many folks even prefer receiving a gift card so they can buy exactly what they want. And considering Amazon sells just about everything, you can be sure your gift of money will be used.
LUSH Sleepy Gift Box, $15
Everyone sleeps. And rare is the person out there who couldn't use a little more sleep. These LUSH sleep boxes aren't going to magically gift anyone an extra few hours of rest a night, but the lavender-scented shower gel and body lotion in these boxes may help usher in a calming vibe to someone's evening.
While the positive benefits of aromatherapy may still be scientifically debated, like the LUSH box above, this balm stick is about using scent to help calm, relax, and focus. Giving this balm stick—marketed as a stress reliever—might not help anyone pay off their student loan debt or have fewer responsibilities at work, but it'll show you care about helping them be more at peace. And hey, the placebo effect is scientifically proven to exist.
TheraBox Self Care Subscription Box, $35/ month
Along the lines of the above two gift recommendations is this subscription box focused on self care, the items in this box are purported to be "[m]indfully curated by therapists to reduce stress and increase joy through self love." Again, I can't scientifically guarantee the efficacy of these claims, but I can reasonably argue that many people would appreciate a gift like this.
If you know any frequent travelers or those that love to give back, the Thistle Farms jet set is a great gift. Thistle Farms is a nonprofit "dedicated to helping women survivors recover and heal from prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. We provide a safe place to live, a meaningful job, and a lifelong sisterhood of support because we believe love is the most powerful force in the world." This set is available in two scents.
Who couldn't use a little more peace in their lives? While candles are a bit of a cliche when it comes to giving gifts to people you don't know what to get, the tranquility ritual candle adds a few more thoughtful layers. It offers "cedarwood and chamomile essential oils, lavender buds, holy basil, and smokey quartz," which, if not peace inducing, will at least smell lovely.
Though a tad on the pricey side for a candle, the smell of hot cider is so perfect for the colder months, and the gift receiver is left with a beautiful enamel pitcher after the candle is done burning.
Monogram Journal, $18
It may have to do with me being Southern, but I think monogrammed gifts are the perfect items to give when you don't know exactly what to get someone but at the very least know their name. Something small and functional with the person's initial on it is much more personal than something without and it is just a touch more thoughtful, in my opinion.
Mesh Baggu, $14
Giant Pocket Tote, $58
Speaking of functional gifts, bags are always a great choice for anyone. We all have things to carry sometimes. From the small mesh Baggu bag that someone could use for grocery shopping and more, to the giant tote bag in denim that could go with anyone's wardrobe and comes with a pocket.
Along with sleeping, another thing we can all agree that everyone does is drink. No matter if their beverage of choice is tea or coffee (perhaps a hot toddy? I don't judge), this expensive but futuristic mug will help keep their beverage's temperature just right.
Kikkerland has long since been a favorite brand, simply because they take everyday items, elevate their design, and then sell them at affordable prices. This animal multi tool is both functional and adorable. And bonus, it doubles as a cute mini tabletop sculpture when not in use.
Easy Jacket, $125
This item may be the most expensive on this list, but I'd argue it's worth taking a chance on giving to someone you're not sure what to get. Available to fit many body sizes and shapes, it could be used as a house robe, light jacket, and more. Cooler temps make most anyone crave a little layering, and this would be the gift of layering in style.