Gift Ideas for Difficult Recipients

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas just as much as the next girl. The lights, the food, the gifts, the family...everything about Christmas screams happy.

Oh, but there it is. The face. The face that everyone dreads during the holiday season.

The face of a friend or a family member that is utterly disappointed with your gift choice. Now they won’t blatantly announce that they despise the monogrammed bath towels you got them, but you can tell by the obvious distaste on their face that those towels are going to be hidden in a closet, only to be reluctantly displayed during your visits. This is a fear that we all face as the wrapping paper is being torn open, but here are a few ideas that might just help you pick out a gift that your mom won’t “lose” in January.

Via Pinterest 

            Let’s start with parents. We love them, we want to get them something that they can actually enjoy and we are a bit to old these days to be drawing them pictures for the refrigerator (unless that’s your thing). I think beginning with mom is our easiest route.

For Mom there are a few options depending on your mom’s personality and preferences. First, we have the sentimental route. Pick out a quote that you feel really embodies your relationship with your mom and use a site like Etsy to have it framed, personalized sappy gifts will always get her. Pair your framed quote with a photo album of your family memories, print out photos and purchase an inexpensive photo album from Target…and maybe a bottle of wine that, once she has a glass, will make the gift seem better if she ends up hating this too. To really spice this gift up, pile your emotional gifts into a basket with some fuzzy socks and her favorite chocolate. There we go, emotion, chocolate and comfort in one basket, what more could we ask for. Now, if sap isn’t your mom’s forte, I have a seemingly bullet proof gift that will be sure not to spark any arguments. The first component of this gift is a nice scarf, good quality, warm, preferably a reasonable color, unless your mother is experimental, in that case I support you purchasing orange. A scarf is safe as it needs no size, you won’t have to explain to your mom why you purchased a medium versus a small, yes Mom, the diet is working. With the scarf, buy her a candle, it’s consistent with the practical yet cozy theme and, what’s a holiday without a burning candle. 

Let’s move on to Dad. The struggle of the century is finding a gift for a man. The world may never know how to tackle this problem, but here’s my attempt. If your Dad is into a specific sports team, I would recommend sports paraphernalia or even tickets to a game if you can afford that.  But if your Dad is more of a hands on, fixer upper kind of guy, try a pocket knife or maybe a new tool he’s been complaining about being broke for the last month. If your dad is more of the indoors-ey type, try a novel or a subscription to a magazine that would interest him…maybe even a pair of socks, who doesn’t need socks? If all else fails, you can always opt for a couples’ gift, buy your parents tickets to an event such as a concert or a play. A date night can’t possibly be a bad thing right?


Via Etsy

Via Amazon

Now that we’ve covered parents, let’s talk about what to get your friend that has everything.

You two have had the awkward conversation of confirming that you are exchanging gifts, and for the past few weeks you’ve been scoping out their apartment trying to determine what they don’t have. So time is going by and your snooping has resulted with no ideas, here are my tips. Customization and attention to detail is so important. Think about things that you know that they specifically are interested in. For example, you know that they are devastatingly invested in Grey’s Anatomy, try a gift themed around the show, such as a cheesy shirt or a keychain. This idea can be applied to anything from movies, to bands, to sports. If you really don’t know your friends’ interests, you can always fall back on making them a little basket of cookies and attaching a gift card. When it comes to friends, I find that even if you don’t buy them something that you would consider practical, the personalization will touch them just enough to forget that the gift might just be tacky.

Via Etsy

            These are struggles we all face, choosing gifts is a precarious task. Now these gifts may not fit your family members or your friends but the ideas are general and malleable. The ideas discussed might help you in your hunt for that perfect gift for the people you love. Regardless of what you spend or how satisfied the recipient is, just remember it’s the thought that counts. Be grateful this holiday season and enjoying the ultimate gift of time with family and friends.