49 Clever Christmas Gifts for the Hard to Buy For

Updated October 22, 2019
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Woman stressed out at Christmas

Shopping for Christmas gifts is stressful enough, let alone when you're trying to find the right gift for someone who is picky of hard to buy for. Whether it's someone who has everything or a boss who you don't know well, having a few helpful ideas can help you start your search for the perfect present.

Gifts for Picky Teenagers

The young adults in your life might enjoy the following.

Hosaud Wireless Earbuds Wireless In-ear Headphones with HD Stereo Sound
  • Portable charger: Few things frustrate a teenager more than when their laptop, tablet, or cell phone loses power and there's no charger in sight. This portable charger is small enough to keep in a purse or glove compartment. Several colors are available for around $20 plus shipping.
  • Wireless earbuds: Earbuds make a great gift for a teen and they'll love a wireless option even more. Wireless earbuds work with any blue-tooth enabled device from up to 30 feet. They can cost anywhere from $15 up to $200. They can be purchased with free shipping through sites like Walmart and Best Buy.
  • Chromebook: This affordable laptop option costs around $150 and is a great gift to give to a teen. It is the perfect laptop for those who want a simple computer to watch movies, do homework, and use their social media. It is spill proof, lightweight, and very compact making it great for travel.
  • Portable speaker: Portable speakers are a great gift for any teen who loves to listen to music or podcasts while hanging out with friends. These speakers are wireless, waterproof, and cost about $30 plus shipping. Because of their waterproof nature, this speaker can be used by a pool, lake, or ocean without a problem making it great, durable option for any teen.
  • Phone case: There are tons of cool phone case options that allow for wireless charging, and even have a spot for credit cards, an ID card, and cash. This is a great gift for teens who opt not to carry a wallet. Just make sure you know what type of phone they have before purchasing a case to ensure that it will fit properly.

Gifts for the Man Who Has Everything

Men will get a kick out of these items.

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  • Glove box car jump starter: He won't ever have to search for someone with jumper cables again with this portable car jump starter. The rechargeable starter plugs into a car's cigarette lighter and transfers power to the car's battery. It costs about $50 plus shipping.
  • Guitar pick punch: Have a guitar player on your gift list? This fun, eco-friendly gift turns old credit cards, hotel keys, and old gift cards into functional guitar picks. The pick punch costs about $27 plus shipping.
  • NASCAR experience: Give the man in your life a memory he'll never forget with the gift of a NASCAR adventure. From driving a NASCAR qualifier to taking a few laps around the Pocono Raceway to a full fledged Orlando movie NASCAR experience, there's a wide selection of experience gifts to choose from. Prices start at about $130.
  • Beard grooming kit: Give any bearded man in your life what he needs to keep his beard clean and well-groomed. This all natural beard care kit contains beard brush, beard comb, beard scissors, beard oil, and beard balm. The cost is around $30.
  • Spa day: Some men may enjoy the gift of pampering. Opt for a gift certificate so he can choose when he makes the appointment and enjoys his day of relaxation.

Gifts for the Woman Who Has Everything

Pick up something pleasing for the woman in your life.

Close Up Of Woman Upcycling Furniture In Workshop At Home Painting Wooden Chair
  • Bath caddy: Give the gift of relaxation with this caddy. The teak wood caddy will hold a glass of her favorite beverage and prop up a book to help her make the most of her bathtub time. The caddy costs about $40. Shipping is free from Bed Bath & Beyond.
  • Jar of messages: Make any special woman feel cherished with a jar of personalized messages. Choose from pre-printed themes or create your own custom jar and sentiments. These cost about $45 and up, plus shipping.
  • Personalized silver journal with pen: This silver-plated journal comes with a matching ballpoint pen. The journal can be personalized with a name or special message. Cost is around $28, plus shipping.
  • Champagne truffles: Jacques Torres' champagne truffles are a step far above traditional chocolates and treats. Each box of 10 truffles is a blend of rich cream and Taittinger Champagne and costs around $25, plus shipping.
  • Furniture painting class: For the woman who is into rustic or shabby chic furniture, giving the gift of a chalk painting furniture class can be a fun and unexpected present. Check your local hardware or craft store for dates, prices, and projects.
  • Meditation app subscription: This is a great gift for anyone who wants to begin practicing meditation or has already started doing so. Cost ranges from the app purchase itself to various levels that may be monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

Gifts for Seniors

Add a little something special under the tree for your favorite senior.

Magicfly Wireless RF Item Locator Key Finder with Base Support and LED Flashlight
  • Flameless candles: Flameless candles make beautiful and practical gifts. Not only do they add ambience to a room, they serve as a night light. They're also safe for seniors who may forget to blow out a traditional candle. Candles cost upwards of $25.
  • Library of classic literature: For seniors who enjoy the classics, this is a great selection of classic books that are bound beautifully. Sets cost around $100 to $150.
  • Wireless key finder: This is a wonderful gift for anyone who frequently loses their keys. To use, they'll attach an alarmed key fob to their keys. When the keys disappear, they'll simply press a button on the remote transmitter to activate an alarm. Cost is around $20.
  • Adjustable tray table: The possibilities are endless with this handy portable table. It can be used as a meal table, a place to do paperwork, or as a laptop desk or nightstand. The table folds away for simple storage and costs about $25, plus shipping.
  • Podcast subscription: Many seniors have smart phones and enjoy listening to podcasts. Purchase a subscription to their favorite podcast or podcast subscription service.

Gifts for the In-Laws

Earn points with the in-laws by giving them these lovely gifts.

House Illustration
  • Family name print: Family name prints make for wonderful, personalized gifts that can be printed on pillows, or framed beautifully to celebrate any family's history.
  • Dinner of the Month Club: Send your in-laws out to dinner each month with this gift. You choose the restaurant, the dollar amount, and the number of months, and they receive gift cards for each restaurant you choose. Three, six, nine, and 12 month options are available. The cost varies depending on the amount you choose.
  • Home portrait: Your in-laws will love receiving a beautiful portrait of their home in either watercolor or sketch mediums. An artist draws the portrait from any picture image you provide. The cost starts at around $70, plus shipping.
  • Digital frame: A digital frame pre-loaded with family pictures makes a thoughtful gift. Frames are available in a large variety of sizes and colors. This frame plays a slide show of hi-resolution photos and videos. It costs about $70 and shipping is free.

Gifts for the Boss or Co-Worker

Be the office Santa by giving these festive gifts.

Bey-Berk Decision Maker Paperweight
  • Tabletop zen garden: This gift is sure to relieve serious office stress. It's a miniature Japanese meditative garden encased in rosewood. It costs about $23.
  • Insulated Vera Bradley lunch tote: If your co-worker or boss packs lunch every day, this fashionable lunch tote is a great gift idea. It comes in a variety of styles and costs about $40. Shipping is free.
  • Executive Decision Maker: For those you work with who struggle to make decisions, this is a fun gift. The spinning decision maker costs around $17, plus shipping.
  • World's Best Boss Mug: When in doubt, this mug is a safe choice. It may even earn you a few points with your boss, too. The 11 ounce mug costs about $17, plus shipping.

Gifts for Those Who Hate Gifts

For anyone who dislikes surprises or presents, giving them something creative and fun may change their stance on gifts. Think about the personality of the recipient to tailor your selection. For example:

Group of people at a wine taste
  • Pass to a Rage Room or Escape Room: For any thrill seeker, these are two great experiential options. Rage rooms and escape rooms can be found all over the country and make for fun and unique gift options.
  • Udemy class: For anyone who is interested in taking a class, Udemy offers live streamed options taught by professionals. These classes cover almost anything you can think of and are offered around the clock making it a great option for those interested in learning something new.
  • Wine club membership: Wine club memberships work well for anyone who enjoys wine tasting and is interesting in learning about viniculture.
  • Cooking or baking class certificate: There are tons of cooking and baking class options to choose from. Opt for a certificate so the gift recipient can choose which class they'd like to attend.
  • Catered dinner: Have a delicious meal delivered to their door. Most catering companies will also set the meal out so it is ready to be served and enjoyed. Check with local companies to see options and pricing tiers.
  • Whisky tasting experience: For those that enjoy whisky, a whisky tasting experience can be a fun way to learn about their favorite alcohol and makes for a memorable and thoughtful gift. Check out local breweries and tap rooms for gift-giving options.
  • Alexa or Google Home: For your friend or family member who loves an organized home, an Alexa or Google Home can be their perfect gift. These smart home devices are easy to program and cost around $50 to $200.

Gifts for Those Who Ask for Nothing

Some people may be uncomfortable asking for gifts, so consider these options for the hard to buy far who want nothing:

Chauffeur opening door of a vintage car
  • Set of custom coffee mugs: Coffee mugs are a great gift for anyone who enjoys coffee or tea, or has recently moved and could use some practical house items. Mugs are easy to customize when purchased through sites like Etsy, so go ahead and unleash your creativity.
  • Chauffeur: For anyone who is always super busy, hiring a driver for the day or being their personal chauffeur is a sweet way to show them that you care. You can kick it up a notch and hire a limo driver so even their errands are done in luxury.
  • Movie theatre gift certificate: For anyone who enjoys heading to the movies often, this is a thoughtful and useful gift.
  • Pop-up restaurant tickets: For the ultimate foodie, opt to get them this trendy and fun dining experience. If they aren't available for your area, look for a food truck event instead and get them tickets or a gift certificate
  • Personal chef: Hiring a personal chef to cook a meal for your intended gift recipient is an incredibly thoughtful gift. Make sure to let them know your friend or family member's favorite foods so they can incorporate them into the menu.
  • Glass blowing course: This is a great gift for anyone with an artistic flair. Glass blowing classes are fun, and at the end the participant may have a one of a kind souvenir to take home with them.

Give the Gift of Your Time and Experience

Sharing your time and experience with a loved one or neighbor makes a treasured holiday gift. Here are a few ideas:

Surprise groceries delivered
  • If you're a great cook, make some frozen casseroles a busy new parent or senior citizen can reheat as needed.
  • If you enjoy cleaning, offer basic housekeeping services for an elderly relative or someone dealing with illness who may have difficulty with daily chores.
  • If you're a car mechanic, give a gift certificate good for one free vehicle tune-up.
  • If you have a friend who admires your musical talents, give the gift of a few free music lessons.

Share a Memory

For the person who has everything, consider choosing a gift you can do together that will create a special memory. Tickets to see a favorite band in concert, high tea at your local tea room, a day at the spa, or a plane ticket to come and visit you are thoughtful, memorable holiday gifts.

Support a Good Cause

A gift that supports a cause near and dear to the recipient's heart is a good choice. For example, animal lovers will appreciate a donation to The Humane Society, and environmentally conscious people will be thrilled when you give the gift of clean water to a family through World Vision.

Make Thoughtful Handmade Presents

Even if you don't consider yourself a crafty person, there are plenty of handmade presents that aren't difficult to create. A no-sew fleece blanket is practical, easy to make, and can be personalized to fit the tastes of the recipient. A customized scrapbook is another great homemade gift that is sure to be appreciated by friends and family. For teachers, coworkers, or neighbors, consider enlisting the whole family in making Christmas tree ornaments that can be enjoyed year after year.

Gifts to Avoid

When searching for Christmas gifts, there are a few items you may want to avoid:

  • Lotions or bath products: Fragrance is personal so finding one the recipient likes can be tricky.
  • Clothing: Unless you know the recipient well, finding the right size or style is challenging.
  • Self improvement gifts: These types of gifts -- such as a low-fat cookbook or set of anger management workbooks -- may not sit well with the recipient and are not a good idea.

A Little Thought Goes a Long Way

No one wants to give or receive a bad Christmas present, but it can be overwhelming to come up with the perfect present in the midst of holiday chaos. When choosing gifts, take a few moments to think about your recipient's likes and dislikes, their preferences, hobbies, and passions. With a little thought, you're sure to find that perfect present to make a lasting impression.

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49 Clever Christmas Gifts for the Hard to Buy For