You’ve put it off all year, but you know it’s coming–the dreaded hard to shop for person on your list. Last year you promised you would figure it out sooner, but now December is upon us and you’re still giftless. But fear not! You still have several weeks of prime shopping time, and we have pulled together a fabulous guide for gifting the un-giftable.
No matter if it’s your boss, your kinda weird co-worker, a brand new partner, a relative who hates everything or those awkward tween kids in your life, we’ve got you covered with ideas for how to make their Christmas truly merry (and stress free for you!)
Do not panic. Even though this person is essentially in control of your career, a holiday gift is not a make or break moment for your professional relationship. The good news is that you already have intel on what this person would like. Think about what you see or hear your boss doing every day–does she bring breakfast? Does he go out to lunch? Does she take days off to run marathons? Does he have lots of family photos in his office?
A gift card to their favorite lunch or breakfast spot is perfect. Sure, it’s not the most creative gift in the world, but you know it will get used, and your boss will see that you pay attention. Even a $20 Starbucks gift card with a note encouraging them to take a break once in a while is a lovely gesture, and an important sentiment. This is someone you work with day to day, and you should be encouraging each other to be your best.
If you know they’re into a sport, how about a biography or autobiography of a popular athlete? Or a cool coffee table sized book of sports photography? Even something lighter, such as a gift certificate to a mini-golf course, appeals to their athletic mind while adding some levity.
You know what everyone loves? Food. Even if your co-worker has food intolerances, allergies or dietary preferences, there is something out there they can eat. Take care of all of your office mates in one swoop by baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies, splitting up a box of tea, tossing in a candy cane and make adorable gift bags. It’s not a ton of effort, but it’s enough to show that you do care–even if you aren’t besties with everyone on your floor.
Just started seeing someone new before the holidays? That’s such a tricky situation. You don’t want to NOT give them something, but it’s also too soon for any grand gestures or intimate presents. A gift card feels sort of cold–so what do you do?
Give them dates! Make a list of twelve activities you want to do together, or twelve movies you want to watch, or twelve places you’ve talked about going. Print it out on a nice card and grab a set of dice from a game store. Package the whole thing in a cute little box with instructions on how to play The Dating Game. Each time you have plans, roll the dice and have a plan all ready to go. No more pressure, no more scrolling through Netflix unsure of what to watch, no more “But what do YOU want to do?” You’ve done both of your future selves a fun favor!
Are you crafty? A hand knitted scarf or mittens is a great way to show you care (and show off your yarn skills.) Make it into an adventure. Look around for the best display of holiday lights in your town, make a gift bag with some mittens, and maybe an I.O.U for hot chocolate and take your new bae on a festive, fun stroll.
Has Grandma side-eyed every gift you’ve ever given her? Does Uncle Ron claim your presents give him heartburn? Don’t waste your time agonizing over what they will like, and instead focus on giving them something impossible to hate.
Make a donation to your favorite charity in their name. What kind of creep would be mad about the ASPCA receiving a generous cash flow in their honor? And what kind of jerk would complain about it? That way you know you’ve done good, even if they hate it.
Not old enough to drive, but too old for most toys, tweens are always tricky to shop for, not to mention notoriously unafraid of making their displeasure known. Luckily, you can escape their scorn by sticking to the basics.
Everyone likes choice when it comes to gifts, but so frequently tweens are at the mercy of whatever their parents decide they need. Why not get them a few $10-$15 cards to a book store, a clothing store, and a specialty shop and give them a day of freedom? Arrange the day with their parents, pick them up, take them shopping and enjoy some time together. Let them show you what they’re into, maybe make a few suggestions of your own, and finally figure out what ‘bae’ means.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute. Put a little bit of time and attention into your gifts and, no matter what, your holiday will be meaningful.