Author’s Note: This post modified slightly from past years.
Do you have someone in your family or a friend who is “hard-to-buy-for”? Consider these ideas. Please note: these ideas work best if you are familiar with the recipient’s age, circumstances, likes and dislikes.
- Make a gift basket. Buy items you know the recipient likes and uses frequently (or conversely, likes but doesn’t buy for him or herself). This is what I do for my mother. I buy gift cards for restaurants or dollar stores (she enjoys browsing in dollar stores), and hide the gift cards among the tissue paper around small food items, lotion or other items she uses. Depending on the time and energy level I have, I either wrap each item or just wrap the whole basket. My mother enjoys opening her customized gift basket and finding the items. True, “everyday stuff” isn’t glitzy. But you know the recipient will use it. If the person comes into a situation where money is tight, the person will appreciate having those everyday products to fall back on even more! Also, a bonus to the gift giver is that everyday items are not hard to find in the stores—people are looking for the latest gadget, rather than something that’s around all the time.
- Give the gift of time. If your recipient needs a certain project done and you have the skill and means to do it, consider scheduling a time to get together and do what the person needs. Your time is worth as much or more than the money you would spend on a gift for the person. You may be surprised at how appreciative the person is!
- Give the gift of knowledge and skill. If the person has expressed a desire to learn a particular skill, and you know that skill, consider “gifting” it. Set up a time to help the person learn that skill. Speaking from experience, I appreciate it most when someone takes the time to show me how to do something, then watches and guides me as I do it myself, as opposed to when a person does it for me.
I hope these simple ideas help.