Sometimes shopping for gifts can be a blast. We all have that one friend or family member who is absurdly easy to shop for, who we have too many gift ideas for, and not enough money or occasions. Unfortunately, most of us also know someone who is the complete opposite of that—someone who is insanely hard to shop for, who doesn’t ever seem to want or need anything. The following will offer a few suggestions for those hard to shop for folks and those in between. The goal will be to kickstart how you’re thinking about gifts so that you can apply this approach now, for the person you’re shopping for at the moment, but also gift buying excursions in the future.
As well, everything will be broken down into categories. If you prefer the idea of a gift bag full of several smaller items, you can include something from each category. If you like the idea of one larger gift, you can focus on just one of the suggested gift-buying approaches.
The Gift That Shows You Listen
This one can be tricky, but it is often one of the most rewarding. If you pay attention, almost everyone complains about something. Maybe your sister is always cold; maybe your best friend is constantly losing his phone; maybe your cousin despises being bombarded with political news whenever she goes online. Your cold sister could use some massive reading socks and a cozy blanket. Your phone-losing friend could use a keychain gadget that will ensure he can always figure out where he’s left his phone. Your politics-hating cousin needs a few extensions installed on her computer that block out specific terms from showing up in her searches (and almost all of these are free, and many of them also block advertisements). Watch a few tutorials and install those extensions for her. If you have the time, pay attention, and people will tell you what they’re most struggling with.
Another fantastic thing to include as part of a gift bag or basket is something edible. This type of gift is fun and easy to make into a tradition. It’s also ideal for that person who is super minimalist and so doesn’t want a lot of physical items in their possession. Once they eat the treat (or treats) you’ve given them, they’ve had a fun and enjoyable experience, but they don’t have to worry about storage or maintenance. Many people have found that part of the perfect gift for your guy or gal typically includes something edible. This can be savory items like barbecue sauces, jerkies, or hot sauces and sweets like unique candies, chocolates, or baked goods.
If the person you’re shopping for is originally from another country, a fantastic idea would be to order something edible from their first country that is hard to find in their current country. No matter why a person moves or chooses to live away from home, part of them will always miss the cuisine from when they were younger. We develop a strong attachment to the things we ate as children as we associate them with childhood, family, friends, and holidays.
Depending on who you’re shopping for, a romantic gift might be the perfect solution. These gifts tend to be smaller items that have emotional or sentimental value. This could include a map of the stars on the night you met; it might be a message hidden on the back of a watch or compass or a ring, or a pair of something that matches, where you keep one half and gift the other (matching rings or a necklace charm that breaks into two). Of course, romantic gifts like this don’t have to be for just your romantic partner. The greatest friendships can involve these sorts of gifts (friendship bracelets are a thing for a reason).
Something They Wouldn’t Buy Themselves
Everyone has something that they would like to have, but can’t justify financially or emotionally seeking it out for themselves. Pay attention to where the person you’re shopping for cuts corners to save money. It might be that your boyfriend waits until a video or board game is a few months old, so he can buy it for half the price. It might be that your mother waits for the paperback version of her favorite author’s books to come out, so she doesn’t have to pay for the hardcover. It might be that your brother refuses to buy himself new socks because, even though they are gross and full of holes, they’re still functional, and he doesn’t see the point in buying something when he’s already got it.
The above approaches to gift buying should help you find something for that special someone. It’s always a good idea to order early if you’re getting something online, as shipments tend to be delayed when we most need them not to be.