We all have this person on our list…the person who has everything they need and says that they want nothing. But often not giving anything just doesn't feel right. Here are 5 expert tips on how to approach gifts for this hard-to-buy-for person.

1. Give Useful

Forget decorative and novelty items; this is absolutely the last person who wants that NFL hover helmet desk toy featured prominently in a leading unique gifts chain store this season. Instead, give them practical, high-quality useful items they’ll actually appreciate.

2. Give Consumable

Candles, hand soaps, bath products, gourmet treats…these are items that everyone can use, but which have the advantage of going away with use.

3. Give Small

This is often a person who doesn’t want clutter, and certainly doesn’t want the burden of returning – or the guilt of tossing – someone’s gift. So think small — size-wise, that is — and respect that a jumbo-sized anything may make them uncomfortable.


The most important rule of all for this person is that whatever you give, make it the absolutely best of its type. It’s better to give this person a single exquisite bonbon than a large box of just OK chocolates. An incredible single hand lotion than a boxed set of everyday supplies. This doesn’t mean you need to spend more; stay within your budget but buy quality, not quantity.

5. Give Meaningful

The essential truth about gift-giving to adults is that a story can turn a simple gift in to something worth treasuring. And a story that begins with “I chose this for you because it’s my favorite…” is a highly flattering story for a gift to tell.

Finally, if this person has a cause close to their heart, consider shopping with merchants who share those values. Our Shop By Ethos feature makes this easy. Or give a donation in their name to a nonprofit organization. That way, it’s a three-way win!

Shop our HOLIDAY POWER SHOPPER for brilliant gift solutions for the hard-to-buy-for and other common holiday gifting dilemmas. Or create your own unique gift using one of our exclusive, fun-to-use Gift Builders.

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