It’s hard not to get stuck in a rut when it comes to buying gifts for your nearest and dearest. But truth be told, while the old standbys are a quick and easy purchase for you, they’re typically dreaded by their recipients. In fact, your father is contemplating instating a “no gift” policy just so you won’t give him another tie.
This year surprise your pops (and other hard-to-shop-for relatives on your list) with an unexpected present they’ll actually enjoy. Because when it comes to gifts, it is the thought that counts, but only if there’s some actual thought behind it.
Your “I’m So Over Everything” Teenage Cousin: If eye-rolling and sighing was an Olympic sport, she’d win the gold medal. Defy her expectations (and get some major street cred) by tapping into her fantasy of being a heavy metal superstar with a hardcore electric guitar or microphone and speakers set.
Your “I Need a Hobby” Older Brother: He’s a stay-at-home dad who’s not sure what to do while the kids are at school, and unlike you he’s a natural whiz in the kitchen. Encourage him to turn his cooking prowess into a full-blown pastime with a bakeware set, cake and cookie decorating set or even a bread maker. We guarantee, his wife and kids will be eternally grateful.
Your “I’m Going Through A Mid-Life Crisis” Mother: Her skirts have gotten shorter, she has a Facebook and Twitter account and just yesterday she texted you “AYTMTB”. Indulge her in her pursuit of youth (she did raise you) without going overboard by gifting her a digital sports kit, some sweet yoga gear or even a dock for her MP3 player so she can jam out while she stays fit.
Your “I’ve Been Dumped Yet Again” Uncle: He’s the one in your family who is perpetually unlucky in love. Maybe it’s his taste in potential partners, quite possibly it could be the fact that he owns multiple cats. Regardless, the man needs a little TLC. Create the ultimate care package by filling a basket with a heated blanket, some fresh smelling body scrubs and lotions and box of chocolates.
Your “I Secretly Like the Dog the Best” Aunt: She has a husband and kids, but when it comes to who she’d save first in a house fire, hands down it’s her dog Pookie. Let her do what she does best — indulging her furry friend — and for her next birthday gift her a dog bed, a pet buffet or even a memory album dedicated to the many faces of Pookie.
Your “I’ve Got Itchy Feet” Dad: No he doesn’t need foot powder, the man has a travel bug. If you can’t afford to gift him that trip to Napa that he’s always dreamed of, create it for him right at home by gifting him all the accessories he needs for a birthday wine tasting: flight boards, a wine chiller, decanter, a fancy opener and even a book on the ins-and-outs of being a true blue oenophile.
Your “Stuck in a Time Warp” Grandmother: She still wears her hair in a flip, she loves to drink sidecars and listen to Frank Sinatra on her record player and her collection of vintage clothes is to-die-for — “Vintage?” Give this class act from another era something that matches her retro aesthetic like a silver flask, a great martini shaker, a pretty jewelry box or a vintage-looking ring holder.
Got any great ideas for the hard-to-please family members on your list? Share them in the comments!