14 Gifts for People Who are Hard to Shop For
It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time to do some gift shopping! We’re sharing our favorite picks for anyone on your list—check out all of our gift guides here!
We all know that person who’s just impossible to buy presents for. Maybe it’s your dad who never asks for anything. Maybe it’s your friend who already has everything. Or maybe it’s someone you don’t know very well, like a coworker or significant other’s parent. Whoever it is, they’re hard to shop for, and every year you engage in an internal struggle over what to give them. Fear not—we are here to help. We scoured the Internet and found 14 gifts that are guaranteed to be a hit with those hard to please people on your list.
Tile Mate + Slim 4-Pack Premium Deal
Who hasn’t lost their phone or keys at some point? Prevent that from happening with Tile, which sells Bluetooth-enabled devices that attach to whatever you want them to (like keychains, luggage, and even toys) and ring when activated. Right now, Tile is offering a deal on their Premium bundles. There are a couple options, but we recommend the Mate + Slim 4-pack, which includes two Mates (perfect for keychains and bags) and two Slims (which fit snugly inside wallets) and a year-long Premium membership.
Buy: Tile Mate + Slim 4-Pack Premium Deal,
$139.95 $74.99 from Tile
The Bouqs Subscription
Flower subscription services are a great gift idea for your mom, grandmother, or BFF. I bought a Bouqs subscription for my mom for Mother’s Day, and it was always a nice surprise for both of us when the next delivery arrived. The Bouqs has three bouquets to choose from (Roses, Farmer’s Market, and The Classics), as well as three sizes ranging between $45-$75. Finally, you can choose to have your flowers delivered weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly. It’s a thoughtful and customizable gift that truly keeps on giving.
Buy: The Bouqs Subscription, starts at $45
CARRY Wireless Charger
No matter who you’re buying for, it’s likely they have a smartphone. Treat them to the gift of wireless charging with this power bank from Courant, a tech brand that specializes in smart, design-friendly wireless chargers. Their latest product, CARRY, is a portable charger that’s compatible with most devices (including AirPods) and charges faster than the normal power adapters included with new phones.
Buy: CARRY Wireless Charger, $150 from Courant
The Honey Factory Travel Mug
If you’re struggling to find a gift for your child’s teacher or your boss, consider a travel mug. Yes, it’s practical, but Redbubble has hundreds of designs to choose from that will make your mug a little more fun—especially if the recipient is known for their love of movies, pop culture, or animals (including bees). Pair with a Starbucks gift card or gourmet coffee and you’ve got a nice gift that anyone can appreciate.
Buy: The Honey Factory Travel Mug, $25.25 from Redbubble
Hoya Heart Plant
Who doesn’t love plants? This tiny heart-shaped succulent from The Sill is a perfect gift for both experienced plant parents and those of us who have black thumbs. It thrives in bright direct light and only needs watered every 3-4 weeks, so the recipient can just place it on their windowsill and take care of it with minimal effort. Any of The Sill’s plants are good gifts, especially for your loved one who just moved.
Buy: Hoya Heart Plant, $21 from The Sill
Airbnb Gift Card
Gift cards get a bad rap, but you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody not excited to receive one for Airbnb. The home sharing company is now one of the most popular lodging options for travelers, and there are plenty of Airbnbs that are destinations in their own right. Amazon sells physical gift cards in $50 and $100 denominations, but you can also buy digital gift cards in any amount.
Buy: Airbnb Gift Card, $50 from Amazon
New York Times Custom Birthday Book
Uncommon Goods is full of quirky, one-of-a-kind gifts, including this book that is filled with a collection of every front page of the New York Times on a specific date. Give it to your grandparent who’s celebrating a milestone year, or your loved one who’s a history buff. You can personalize the book with the recipient’s name and birth date, and it comes with a durable binding that will last for years. There’s also an Anniversary Book, Baseball Book, and Football Book.
Buy: New York Times Custom Birthday Book, $99.95 from Uncommon Goods
Ecotech Luggage Vegan Leather Toiletry Bag
If you have a loved one who travels often, treat them to a nice toiletry bag. It’s something you wouldn’t typically buy for yourself, but will hold up for years and make traveling that much easier. West Elm’s vegan leather bag comes in two colors and has plenty of space for all your toiletries. If you really want to go the extra mile, fill it with travel-sized necessities.
Buy: Ecotech Luggage Vegan Leather Toiletry Bag,
$49 $36.75 from West Elm
Truffle Mushroom Condiment Gift Set
Food products aren’t always the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to gifting, but they should be, particularly if it’s artisanal food you’re unlikely to buy for yourself. Terrain sells plenty of gourmet food and drinks, but we’re eyeing this truffle mushroom condiment set as a great gift idea for the foodie in your life. It includes truffle honey, truffle salt, and white truffle olive oil, all from Le Maison Pebeyre, the oldest family-run truffle house in France.
Buy: Truffle Mushroom Condiment Gift Set, $54 from Terrain
Framebridge Framed Gift
It’s thoughtful, smart, and surprisingly easy. Just send a digital image or a physical object to Framebridge and they’ll frame it for you, whether it’s a photo of you and the recipient, a map of someplace meaningful, or even a letter from someone special. Framebridge does it all, and you have tons of options to choose from, including dozens of frames and colors. Sizes range from 4″x4″ to 32″x40″.
Buy: Framebridge Framed Gift, starts at $49
Morihata Binchotan Charcoal Face Scrub Towel
For the person who doesn’t ever treat themselves, gift this towel made specifically for face washing. Unnecessary? Sure, but that’s why it’s such a nice present. It’s double-sided, with a softer side for massaging and a coarser side for exfoliation, and is infused with charcoal to purify the skin. Pair it with a luxury face mask or facial massage tool and get the recipient set up for the best self care day ever.
Buy: Binchotan Charcoal Face Scrub Towel, $10 from Anthropologie
Yogibo Support Pillow
We could all use a little more support in our lives, right? This pillow from Yogibo, a brand that’s popular for their comfy beanbag chairs, is a lifesaver for bookworms, students, and anyone prone to sore muscles after sitting for awhile. It’s available in a variety of colors, and the cover is removable and machine-washable so you can replace it if you want a different style. And if you know someone who already has a Yogibo chair, this pillow is perfectly sized to turn it into an armchair.
Buy: Yogibo Support Pillow, $99 from Yogibo
It might be basic, but slippers are a reliable gift idea for just about any person on your list. Skip the flimsy slip-ons and invest in a pair of these plush slippers from Parachute, which are made from the same terry cloth material as the brand’s best-selling bath robe. They have ribbed soles for extra comfort and support, and come in two neutral colors and four sizes.
Buy: Quilted Slippers, $39 from Parachute
Taste of Europe Cheese Gift Crate
I mean, who doesn’t love cheese? Give your loved one what they really want: a big crate of Europe’s finest cheeses. The assortment includes best-in-class cheese from France, Italy, and Spain, as well as wildflower honey and assorted dried fruits and nuts to really round out the tasting experience. It also makes a great hostess gift if you’re staying with a loved one over the holidays.
Buy: Taste of Europe Cheese Gift Crate,
$109.95 $87.96 from Williams Sonoma
This post was originally published on Nov. 20, 2019, and was last updated on Dec. 9, 2019, to reflect current prices and offerings.