25 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the People on Your List You Only Sort of Know

25 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for the People on Your List You Only Sort of Know

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Samantha Leal
Nov 22, 2018
(Image credit: Cavan Images/Getty Images)

Buying gifts is never easy, especially when you have very little idea of what the person is like or, uh, likes. You want to get something thoughtful, but not too specific, and we're here to help you tow that line.

Whether it's a newly minted family member (what's up sister-in-law) or that new neighbor your S.O. invited over for holiday festivities, here are some ideas that will fit the bill.

(Image credit: Papyrus)

1. Travels Journal, $12.95

Stationery, journals, and notebooks are always in the safe zone, because 1) everyone needs to write stuff down and 2) very few people buy these items for themselves. Try to take note of something they like (i.e. they just got back from a 3-country vacation) and tie that in. Boom.

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. I Was Told There'd Be Wine Glasses, $24 for 2

For those who like wine and a good, cheeky sentiment, this pair of glasses is sure to please.

(Image credit: Barnes & Noble)

3. Baby Got Books Tote, $19.99

Book lover on your list? (a.k.a. the only thing you know about him or her?) Skip buying a book they might already have and get a cute tote that'll save them at the library or bookstore.

(Image credit: Sunday Forever)

4. Sage and Lighter Set, $18

Everyone you know is smudging or thinking about it, so get this cute and inexpensive set and call it a day.

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

5. Alphabet Marble and Wood Coasters, $24.50

These coasters will add a finishing touch to any home and are the perfect personalized gift.

(Image credit: Atlas Coffee Club)

6. 3-Month Around-the-World Coffee Membership, $60

If you at least know the person likes coffee (like most of us) and deserves a little more substantial of a gift, gift them a coffee membership, like this one from Atlas Coffee Club. The three-month set will deliver three bags (one per month) from around the world with info on the country and even a picturesque postcard of it, too. You can choose whole bean or ground and light roast or dark roast, so maybe figure those things out too if you can. For an even better gift, throw in a cute and inexpensive French press as well.

(Image credit: Ten Thousand Villages)

7. Socks in a Box Collection, $44

These fair-trade socks not only will keep your recipient warm and stylish, but they also provide a donation from Conscious Step to Trees for the Future, Oceana, and Conservation International—a.k.a. they preserve forests, keep our oceans clean, and plant trees. Each pair features a small, embroidered icon representing one of these three organizations.

(Image credit: Amazon)

8. Homesick Candle, $30

Nab them a candle from their hometown (or state) or some other special place in their hearts (study abroad, honeymoon, current city, etc.) and they're sure to be touched. You can also try other heartwarming scents, like pumpkin patch and beach cottage.

(Image credit: Nordstrom)

9. Serving Board, $37

This elegant serving board is something every home needs—because we could all use a reason to serve more cheese, right?

(Image credit: Gray Malin)

10. Gray Malin Jigsaw Puzzle, $25

A chic jigsaw puzzle wasn't something they thought they needed—but you're here to change their mind.

(Image credit: Neiman Marcus)

11. Ritrovo Red Ceramic Tile Label Italian Olive Oil, $36

Good olive oil is a must in any kitchen. Remind your recipient to use it or lose it—oil does go bad! But in this bottle, they'll be sure to use it.

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

12. Tiled Monogram Mug, $10

All you need for a heart-warming gift is to know their first or last initial. This beautiful tile mug will make anyone a happy camper.

(Image credit: Chandon)

13. Limited Edition Chandon, $26

If you know your gift recipient is someone who imbibes, why not treat them to a bottle that looks pretty enough to show off. Try the Chandon limited-edition holiday bottle (perfect to toast with on NYE), the stunning (and new!) Tequila Mi CAMPO with artwork by Mexico City visual artist and illustrator Raul Urias, the clean and nostalgic-looking Hudson Baby Bourbon, or the super-festive Absolut Vodka holiday bottles. Or just grab a bottle of Perrier-Jouët Grand Brut, which always looks polished.

(Image credit: Crate & Barrel)

14. Gold Wine Rack, $50

This geometric wine rack, which can be positioned vertically or horizontally, is perfect for any kitchen countertop or as an extra addition to a bar cart, as it stores wine perfectly on the side.

(Image credit: Jacques Torres Chocolate)

15. Jacques Torres Chocolate Set, $24

A sweet treat is always appreciated, and you can't go wrong with Mr. Chocolate himself, Jacques Torres.

(Image credit: Chronicle Books )

16. Bibliophile Coffee Table Book by Jane Mount, $16.48

A whimsically illustrated guide to all things book lovers want and need to know—from literary trivia to a look at bookstore cats—this tome will go over very well. Promise. (Plus, it was on Reese Witherspoon's holiday list and highlighted by the New York Public Library, two sources we trust.)

(Image credit: Amazon)

17. Portable Drinkware by S'well, $25

This bottle can hold both warm and cold drinks and will keep them that temperature for a long time. Made with durable stainless steel and a silicone lid, it prevents messes and spills with a leak-proof design, and has an easy-to-open lid that make for easy sipping. Basically, a perfect gift. (Pair with a coffee shop gift card for something even better.)

(Image credit: Zaaina)

18. Soy Candle and Bath Bomb Gift Set, $20

Give the gift of "me" time with a bathtime box featuring a soy candle and bath bomb, both natural and homemade.

(Image credit: Lulu and Georgia )

19. Cozy Throw, $34

You can't go wrong with a good throw. You just can't. This one is neutral and will look great in a number of rooms.

(Image credit: Running Press)

20. Bring It! Cookbook, $18.50

This cookbook features recipes that are perfect for a potluck or house party—a.k.a. they're simple, fresh, and easy to transport. (The fig, goat cheese, and rosemary toast… so good.)

(Image credit: Cuyana)

21. Leather Coin Pouch, $45

Simply chic, this coin pouch will be a saving grace for anyone. (Pssst… they can use it as a headphone holder as well!)

(Image credit: Barnes & Noble)

22. Apothecary Rose Soap, $18

Pretty soaps are always something nice to have for gifting, mostly because everyone uses them (or at least puts them out for guests to show how good they are at adulting). This one is handmade in New York and features 100 percent natural and organic ingredients.

(Image credit: Target)

23. Passport Cover and Luggage Tag Set, $30

Make their travel lives easier (and coordinated) with this leather set, which includes a passport holder, luggage tag, and cord keeper.

(Image credit: Bestowe)

24. Comforts of Home Gift Set, $60

This box has everything for a cozy set up—a rose clay and lavender body bar, a bar of single-origin dark chocolate, and a Skeem Design Lemon & Oak candle (with matches to boot).

(Image credit: Walmart)

25. Google Home Mini, $49

Not one person is going to say "ugh" to this gift. Their new Google Assistant will play their music, answer their questions, remind them of appointments, and more.

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