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Christmas Gift Ideas for the Hard to Please

Updated on November 9, 2011

Almost everyone can find one person on their Christmas list who is hard to shop for, whether it's a beloved parent, an eccentric in-law, or a teenager. This article offers helpful suggestions for things to get the difficult gift recipient for Christmas, but the tips can be used for any holiday requiring a gift purchase -- even birthdays!

For the Person Who Has Everything

Uncommon Goods offers unique gifts at great prices. Not only that, but many selections are reclaimed or handmade. For instance, my father is extremely difficult to buy for but loves classic cars. I purchased him a pair of drinking glasses crafted from recycled automobile windshields. How cool is that? The 2011 Christmas items include, but are hardly limited to:

  • recycled knit arm warmers
    Handmade in Colorado, these cozy arm warmers knit from yarn spun from recycled, shredded sweaters keep your hands toasty warm while freeing up fingertips for texting, scrolling, and app playing. A handy pocket on the side of one arm keeps the phone nearby while waiting for important communication.
  • bloomin' charcoal briquettes
    Slip a lump of coal from the frozen region of Ohio, USA into a loved one's stocking this year. It's the gift that keeps on giving! And after danger of frost passes, just throw these bits of coal into areas in need of some sprucing up. Before you know it colorful flower mixes will fill the space and attract birds, bees, and butterflies to share the beautiful blossoms.

  • sock monkey slippers
    All the rage in the 1940's, today sock monkeys an iconic figure in society. If you ever owned a sock monkey, you probably remember the warmth of snuggling against its knitted surface. Now your feet can share that same warmth! While they are made in China, they are machine washable and available in an array of sizes for both men and women.

The Uncommon Goods website is worth checking out especially if you enjoy shopping online. Not to mention, they have awesome clearance deals. And if all else fails get the person an emergency clown nose!

Tis the Season for Re-Gifting

One year one of my in-laws treated herself to a new bra from a catalog. Being unfamiliar with the brand, she was dismayed to find it ill-fitting and uncomfortable. Instead of sending it back for a refund or exchange, she wrapped it up and gave it to me for Christmas. Other years found items like previously opened lotions and perfumes, and outdated sweaters into my pile of gifts.

I always teased my husband that I was the recipient of re-gifts and he always balked at the thought that his family would do such a thing. Until the year when I pulled the gift from the box only to find the gift tag from the year before stuck to the item. The moral? If you re-gift, make sure you double-check and toss out all evidence that someone else previously gave you the item!

Om Nom Nom Nom Gingerbread Boys

When all else fails go down to your local store where everything costs just one dollar, buy a decorative tin, and then fill it with home made cookies or candies. Bake sales are popular, especially ones sponsored by church groups. If you don't have time to make your own baked goods, just put someone else's in the tin and stick a bow on it. To be safe stick with traditional treats like gingerbread, chocolate chip, or sugar cookies. For an extra personal touch, add a copy of the "recipe" (that you print on a piece of themed computer stationery.)

This type of gift works well for teachers, postmen, bus drivers, or anyone else who deserves a gift but who you might not know enough about to buy something that would please their personal tastes. It also works for new couples. If the relationship doesn't work, you never have to tell the other person that you can't really cook. And if it does work, then you have plenty of time to learn.

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