It’s the holiday season! And you know what that means – time for mass consumerism! Oh, I mean it’s time to show your loved ones how much you love them with all the presents! But you don’t want to get your favorite people just any old thing – you want to pamper them with a thoughtful gift they will love! You’re in luck – we have gift ideas for everyone on your list.
Gift Ideas For Women
Gift Ideas for Men
Men and women are both monolithic groups who all want the same things. All women want pampering, makeup from Sephora, scented candles and bath bombs. Men, on the other hand, all love watches, gadgets, and power tools.
I reject the idea that everyone who is a member of a certain group will want the same idea. Separating gift guides out by gender or family position isn’t helpful, because these identifiers don’t say anything about what a person actually likes. I’m not going to tell you what to get your husband or mother or best friend when I have no idea what types of people they are. Not all moms like the same things, just like not all mother-in-laws, husbands, and best friends like the same things.
That’s why I decided to write a gift giving guide based on what people like to do! It’s a crazy idea, but I hope it helps you find the perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life! So what should you get your best friend whose a bit sentimental? This handy gift giving guide has the answer!
Gift Ideas for Everyone
For the Adventurer
I’m an adventurer, and I have to say the best gifts ever are experiences. If you have someone with a lust for adventure in your life, get them something they can do! If you want to give a lavish gift, book them a trip somewhere (and as a bonus, you get to go with!). Even a short weekend get-a-way will be a huge win for the adventurer! If you want to do something special but not trip special, get them tickets to a concert, sporting event, or theme park. Experiences are way more important than things to the adventurer.
If you can’t arrange for a new experience; get them something that will fit with their favorite type of adventure. Do they enjoy hikes? Get them a new ruck, new shoes, or a tactical coat. Or just search for hiking gear on Amazon for thousands of ideas. Have a SCUBA diver friend? Get them the best new snorkel or face mask. There are loads of gift giving ideas for whatever your adventurer’s favorite activity is.
For the Gamer
Clearly you must get the gamer in your life this season’s hottest new games! My boyfriend is a gamer, and he’s big into the new Pokémon game, Super Smash Brothers, and Red Dawn Redemption. If they already have enough games, you can try getting them some new gaming accessories. Maybe they need better headphones, or a new controller/mouse. There are tons of options for gifts for gamers. You can even get them a fancy new gaming computer if you want to go all out!
For the Super Fan
Super fans are the easiest people to buy gifts for. What’s their fandom? Get them anything that’s related to it. As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s the best show ever. I’d appreciate any Buffy themed gift – from t-shirts to mugs to action figures!
I’m sure you have some super fans on your list – whether they be fans shows, sports, games, or movies. I’m sure they’d love to get something related to their favorite thing.
For the Learner
Learners love books!! Find out what their favorite topics are and find books that are related. Do they love science? Look into books on astrophysics, anthropology, or new technologies. History lover? There are thousands of books on every freaking time period you can imagine. Into current affairs/politics? Lots of options there too. The learner in your life will love getting books on their favorite topics.
For the Hipster
The Hipster in your life doesn’t want something trendy from Amazon. Show him/her you know them well and give them a different kind of gift. Try custom apparel from Teepublic that showcases their favorite things. The hipster in your life would also appreciate something nostalgic, like a print or figure from one of their favorite childhood shows.
For the Jock
Sports Gear! You know your jock’s favorite teams, so get them something to commemorate it! You can’t go wrong with jerseys, pint glasses, dish towels – seriously anything with their team’s emblem on it is going to be an awesome gift. One of the best gifts I ever got was a cat bed made with Chicago Bear’s fabric. It was hand made too, which made it extra special.
For the New Ager
The New Agers in my life are the hardest for me to shop for. This term can encompass so many different things, its hard to know exactly what they would like. Candles can be a big hit for most new agers – they are perishable and you can always use more candles. Depending on what they are most into, you can get them some crystals, meditation aids, incense or maybe even new yoga gear.
For the Homesteader
Even the homesteader who has it all could use more jars! With all the canning and juicing, those get used up fairly quickly. If the homesteader in your life doesn’t have it all, consider getting them a new composter or some garden tools. If your homesteader is into cooking and baking, you can get them some new useful cookware.
For the Foodie
Food lovers definitely don’t want that curated meat gift set from Pepperidge Farms. Instead, get them food gifts that they will actually like. This might include a trendy new cookbook, or even a reservation at the local gastropub.
Food gifts can be personalized as well. If you are a great cook, you can make them something new that they will love from your very own kitchen. Just please, try to avoid the fruit cake.
For the Sentimental
Sentimental folks love gifts that you put a lot of thought into. If you are crafty, use your craft to create something unique for them. If you aren’t crafty, you can also make them a photo album or get them a framed photo of the two of you together – that will definitely brighten their day! Sentimental folks will also appreciate nostalgic gifts just as much as the hipsters; so, if you can’t put something together, get them something that will remind them of you in a different way.
For the Creative
If you have a creative person in your life, get them something that they can use in their craft. Get the sewer/crocheter some new fabrics or threads. Painters can always use more canvases and paints. You could also go an easier route and get an adult coloring bookand some colored pencils. Many creative people would love to just zone out with some simple coloring.
Creative folks may also enjoy getting new notebooks, or stationary for all of their journaling needs. You can even personalize some of these items!
For the Busy Parent
The best gift you can give a busy parent in your life is a night off! Offer to take the kids for an evening so they can do something for them. You can get the parents a certificate for a spa day so they can pamper themselves while knowing their kids are in good hands. If you aren’t into watching kids, think about gifts that will make the parents lives easier. Maybe they could use a new Keurig to make their morning coffee ritual easier, or a crock pot to make dinner easier. There are tons of options!
You do need to be careful here though. Unless your busy parent is a neat freak; don’t get them cleaning supplies. My dad always used to buy my mom vacuums and mops and stuff like that for holidays. Maybe she enjoyed those things, but I’d be pissed if my boyfriend got me anything like that as a gift. Know your loved ones! This is just a gift giving guide with tons of ideas, but I don’t know your loved ones like you do.
Gift Ideas for Kids
Kids gifts are so easy. Children like pretty much anything that they can open up, but I prefer to give them fun yet educational gifts. You can find tons of children’s microscopes, telescopes, and experiment kits on amazon! Get the future engineers erector sets, Legos, or Lincoln logs. These types of gifts can lead to hours of enjoyment, and the kids don’t even have to realize that they are learning something.
Another great gift idea for kids is money. I know – kids don’t know the value of money and it isn’t fun to open. However, there are some amazing college savings plans that allow non-parents to contribute. If you’re a parent, check out College Backer. It’s a 529 savings plan that allows friends and family to contribute as gifts. You can ask your relatives to split their gifts between college savings and toys this holiday season – and trust me, the kids won’t know the difference.
What is a Good Gift to Give Someone Who has Everything?
I guarantee that the person who has everything doesn’t have this:
Am I wrong? You can get it at Teepublic! But seriously, if you don’t know what to get someone because you don’t really know their style or they seem to have it all, you can’t go wrong with a gift card (unless you are super close to them!). You can either get them a gift card to their favorite store, or get them a general visa or amazon gift card. Either way, that lets them get whatever they want. I don’t advise this for someone you are close with though, because you should absolutely know the style of your closest friends or partner.
What is a Good Gift For Anyone?
Let’s say you don’t know who exactly you’re buying a gift for, either because you are part of a secret Santa gift exchange or you’re going to play a fun white elephant game. What types of things can you get that everyone will enjoy?
This is definitely a situation where those fun food gift sets can come into play. Anything edible is always a good choice when you don’t know what people would want. Other great options are gift cards (Starbucks is always a big hit!) and scratch off lottery tickets.
A final great option, if you know your audience doesn’t abstain, is a nice bottle of wine. Be careful though, you wouldn’t want to bring a gift with alcohol to a party where folks don’t enjoy indulging..
What Gifts Should You Never Give?
I hesitate to say that there’s something you should never give. I’m sure there are some folks out there who enjoy getting gag gifts and cleaning supplies for Christmas.
However, unless you know the person, and know they will appreciate it, there are some things you should avoid. The aforementioned cleaning supplies is definitely a big one. Nobody really wants a new mop for Christmas. Most people also don’t want underwear, socks, everyday food, or a perfume fragrance that they did not chose. Skin care products are also a poor choice unless you know what the person prefers to use.
As always though, there will be exceptions. Spouses, parents, and children can get away with giving these items as gifts. Unless that’s you though, I’d avoid it.
Gift Ideas For Everyone
So there you have it folks – a gift giving guide that will cover pretty much anyone in your life. I really hope this helps you find that perfect gift for everyone who is special to you. But if I missed an important type of person, please let me know in the comments, and let us all know what types of gifts we should get them!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.