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Christmas Gifts For All The 'Hard To Buy For' Names On Your List

Updated on November 23, 2012

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is time to think about Christmas, and all the gifts you must buy.

Children are easy to shop for as they want almost everything, and are relatively easy to please. I find that woman, with their jewellery, clothes and beauty products are next in line. Lots of options there. Men, to me, are the hardest to buy for, once you cycle through the ties, cuff links, tie pins, and wallets. Of course, if you know someone well, then it is easier. And that is the key, the knowing.

Usually the people you buy for are known to you, so all you have to do is watch, and listen. You can see what they wear, and what they have in their homes, but there are other things you should learn. What are their hobbies? What kind of music do they like? What, if anything, do they read? What are their favorite colors, flowers, scents? Have they broken, or lost a favorite possession recently? There are so many ideas, if you just watch and listen.

What you buy depends on your budget, who you are buying for, and how well you know this individual. Set a dollar allowance for each gift and stick to it. There are lots of options.

In spite of all the information you get and the hints some people give, some individuals are just plain difficult to buy for. Here are some ideas.

1. If someone is keen on getting into shape, consider a one month gym membership. Check out the gyms near you. Some give try-out periods at reduced rates. Consider a pedometer for walkers, seat bands, or moisture wicking socks.

Consider exercise tapes. There are wonderful tapes suitable for everyone from the hard-core workout fiends, to the elderly. There are also walking tapes, weight-training tapes, and yoga tapes.

Check out the reviews given for each tape. They will give you an idea of the tape's suitability.

2. Consider a set of lessons. Lessons run the gamut from crafts to music to ballroom dancing, to sports, and everything in between. So many people say; "I wish I could.........." Help them on their way. Depending on your cash allotment, you may want to include some of the items they will need to participate.

3. People love to get tickets to their favorite events. These may be concerts, sporting events, or seasonal presentations. Even movie tickets are a good idea, if you know what they would like to see. This is a good choice for children as well. Smaller children like tickets to the zoo, the aquarium, or the ice rink.

4. If you know someone is planning a vacation, consider a book on that location. If they are going abroad, consider a phrase book in a foreign language. Tuck in a map of their destination, or some luggage tags.

5. If you are buying for a reader, your choices are endless, from novels, to mysteries, to how-to books. There are books to cover every conceivable hobby, from the beginner to the expert.

6. Consider a massage or facial certificate, or a manicure of pedicure. Remember, men like massages too.

7. Everyone likes food, so instead of the usual boxed treats, how about some of those cookie making kits, fruit cake, or soup-making kits. You can buy these, but it's much nicer to make your own, and you can include more appealing ingredients. Just google for directions. These kits make life easier on busy days.

How about a wine-making, or beer-making kit. It's a fun activity for adults and the results are pretty good.

8. Some older people, and younger ones as well, like those hospital-like non-slip socks. They're cosier than slippers and wash beautifully. Some seniors, who are among those precious few who can still actually write a grammatically correct, and legible letter, would love some personalized stationary.

9. If you're buying for a gardener, your options are endless. It doesn't matter if you are in the deepest part of winter, gardener's minds are always set on spring. Consider tools, a kneeling pad, gardeners gloves, a sun hat, or an outdoor planter.

10. If you can knit, you still have time to make a scarf, a pair of mitts, a toque, or socks. Some people have actually never worn a pair of handmade sock, especially wool ones. They are a real treat, and now, with washable wool, laundry is no problem.

11. If you are buying for a pet owner, consider a coat for Fido. Small and short-haired dogs need a bit of extra warmth when those cold north winds blow, and I think every pet owner has the, sometimes deeply hidden, wish to dress up their pet.

12. Now for the gift cards. If you must buy a gift for a near total stranger or someone like your child's teacher, I think gift cards are wonderful. The most appropriate are those for the favorite coffee shop. These also serve tea, and multiple goodie to appeal to all tastes.

A gift card for someone you know well is also a good choice if the card relates to their hobbies and interests. Such cards are more than welcome because the recipient can then choose among the items available, something that they truly want or need. There are gift cards for nurseries, book stores, clothing stores, hobby shops, hardware stores, music stores, and theaters. You can even give gift cards to restaurants.

Do not give gifts to random shops merely because you can't think of anything else.

Don't overspend on gift cards, just because the recipient will know exactly what you spent. Give what you can comfortably give, and no more. Remember, it's the thought that counts, not the dollars spent.


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    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Hi Phoenix - thanks for your kind words - this is a hub I enjoyed writing - regards - B.

    • billips profile image

      billips 5 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you for you kind comments Kashmir - as you might realize, I love giving gifts and put a lot of work into the selection - regards - B.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Very good ideas for gifting. Your tips on food is one that I use each year, you can't go wrong giving Christmas cookies.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 5 years ago from United States

      Good ideas for getting lessons and a start on an activity.

    • S McNasby profile image

      S McNasby 5 years ago

      I love the idea of gifting lessons. My husband and I received a certificate to a cooking class, and it was such a fun date night activity.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great hub and such great advice and tips on buying someone a Christmas gifts this season. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Great suggestions. These gifts really tell the recipient that you cared enough to gift them thoughtful gifts.