ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Holiday Gift Guide for Family and Friends

Updated on September 25, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide

Prepare for any kind of holiday gift giving with these practical tips and ideas for gifts of all occasions.
Prepare for any kind of holiday gift giving with these practical tips and ideas for gifts of all occasions. | Source

Holiday Gift Guide

Giving and receiving gifts is something that many people love to do, but what can you do when you need a gift at the last minute?

Be prepared all year long with a variety of gift ideas for the family and friends in your life. With a prepared list of gifts you could give, you won't need to go crazy trying to think of something last minute.

Buying Gifts

Preparing for Buying Gifts
1. Make a list of hobbies, interests, likes, and dislikes of anyone you may need to buy a gift for.
2. Organize the list, adding gift ideas that go along with the hobbies, interests, and likes.
3. Stock up on gifts as you find them throughout the year and store them in a safe, secret place.
4. Update your list and gift stash on a yearly basis.

Be prepared for gift giving.

Family Holiday Gift Ideas

You would think that you would know exactly what gifts to buy for family members, but often, they are the hardest people for which to buy gifts. Why? If we get the wrong gift, we may hear about it, especially from immediate family members. If we get them something they already have, we haven't been paying attention much.

Get a gift for family members by showing you care enough to know about them and their likes or dislikes. Here are some things to consider when buying gifts for family members:

  • Know their hobbies or interests. If you know what hobbies or interests they enjoy, you can make a list of items that compliment or go along with those hobbies or interests. For instance, if a family member enjoys Star Wars, you could get them anything from figurines, DVDs, games, clothing, accessories for electronics, etc.
  • Know what brands they prefer. If you're going to buy a clothing item or accessory, make note of what brands your family members purchase the most. Maybe the newest Vera Bradley bag or accessory would be an appropriate gift, or the latest clothing design from Calvin Klein.
  • Know their rate of returning items. Spend time finding a gift for a family member only to find out they have exchanged it for something else? Consider giving a gift card. It could be to a store, a website, a restaurant, or a general Visa/Mastercard gift card.

List of Gifts for Family

Barbies: dolls, clothes, accessories
Legos: kits, sets, themed sets, books
The Office: DVDs, clothing, games
Princesses: dress up clothes, dolls, DVDs, games
The Phillies: trading cards, jersey, hats, baseballs, posters
Hunting: clothing, gear, gadgets
Pinks, purples, greens: shirts, pants, shoes, mittens, scarves, jewelry, nail polish
Reds, blues: clothing, shoes, bedding, iPod, school supplies
The Eagles: jerseys, tickets, hats, gear, license plate cover

Example gift list for family members

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Whole Family

Instead of buying an individual gift for each family member, you can also choose to make the gift something the whole family can enjoy together.

Here are some ideas:

  • Family vacation
  • Pet
  • Big screen/flat screen TV
  • New gaming console
  • Day trip/ road trip
  • Season tickets to sports games
  • Family membership to fitness club or YMCA
  • Tickets to a Broadway play
  • Subscription to a video or game rental service
  • Family dinner at an expensive restaurant

Best Friend Holiday Gift Ideas

Collectible items that show friendship
Collectible items that show friendship | Source

Holiday Gift Ideas for Friends

While you can use the same tips for gift giving that you would use for family, you may want to think a bit more with friends when buying gifts. Here are two things to consider when buying gifts for friends:

  • What made you become friends? Did you meet in grade school or college? What brought you together: a similar hobby, a life changing event, sports team, or a job ? Giving a gift that brings back the memory of why you are friends can help keep that connection alive.
  • What is something that only you know your friend treasures? Being friends with someone often means that you know all of their secrets plus anything that will make them smile. Find that special gift that shows you were really paying attention all these years!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Kids

Kids can surprisingly be difficult to buy a gift for since they change their likes and preferences so often. Depending on the age of the child, these changes in likes and preferences can change daily! Another thing that can make them change their minds in an instant are the constant barrage of toy or electronics commercials aimed at their young eyes, especially during the holiday season.

Here are a few things to consider when buying holiday gifts for kids:

  • Age appropriate gifts. Consider a child's age when buying a gift, especially toys, movies, or games. Try to find a gift that they will like and use for a few years to get your money's worth.
  • Popularity of gifts. Just because a gift is 'popular' doesn't necessarily mean it's a great gift for your child. Case in point: my son begged for a Zhu Zhu pet when they were popular. He did receive some as gifts, and quickly lost interest as they did nothing but make noise and bump into the furniture. In my view, it was wasted money.
  • Pets as gifts. Your child may beg for a puppy, but is he or she ready to take care of one? Consider carefully before buying a pet for your child.
  • Gifts of fun and gifts to challenge the brain. While most kids will beg for toys, it would be great to think of gifts that are both fun and challenge their brains to think. Puzzles, building sets, arts and crafts, or models to put together can be engaging and fun for kids of all ages.

Birthday Gift Ideas

For birthday gifts you can use all of the above tips, but here are some ideas for those special birthday milestones:

  • Gifts with the birthday age, such as frames, clothing, keepsakes, gag gifts, etc.
  • Gifts associated with the stage in life, such as car key chains for 16th birthday, a shot glass for 21st birthday, or an over-the-hill gift for anyone 50 or older.

Creative Holiday Gift Ideas

If you're creative, you could think of or make some great gift ideas, such as:

  • Gifts in a jar. Capture memories, prepare a cookie recipe, or give various candies in a jar.
  • Gifts in a basket. Fill a basket with a variety of small gift items based on a theme. For example, if the gift receiver likes to cook, fill a basket with kitchen gadgets, spices, and recipe cards.
  • Homemade gifts. If you're crafty or handy, you could make a variety of homemade gifts, such as candles, lip gloss, blankets, framed photos, paintings, doll clothes, ornaments, items made of recycled materials, etc.
  • Scrapbooks or photo albums. Create a scrapbook or a photo album filled with special memories.
  • Homemade coupons. Create a booklet of coupons, such as 'One free car wash', 'Dinner at your favorite restaurant' or 'Good for a hug'.
  • Photo with hand prints. Take a photo of your child and make hand prints using finger paints. Great for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day!

Homemade Gifts

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Take a photo of your child and make hand prints using finger paint for this homemade gift. A wood burned box is a nice gift for those with jewelry.
Take a photo of your child and make hand prints using finger paint for this homemade gift.
Take a photo of your child and make hand prints using finger paint for this homemade gift. | Source
A wood burned box is a nice gift for those with jewelry.
A wood burned box is a nice gift for those with jewelry. | Source

Personalized Holiday Gift Ideas

Who doesn't like having something with their name, initials, or sports number on it? Here are some gift items that can be personalized:

  • Blankets
  • Mugs
  • License/ car plates
  • Hats
  • T-shirts
  • Paper weights
  • Frames
  • Bracelets
  • Necklaces
  • Key chains
  • M&Ms
  • Decorative plates
  • Clocks
  • Figurines
  • Plaques
  • Jackets
  • Plush toys

Personalized Gifts for Kids

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Personalized plaque for a boyPersonalized frame for a girl
Personalized plaque for a boy
Personalized plaque for a boy | Source
Personalized frame for a girl
Personalized frame for a girl | Source

Fisher Price Nativity Set

My kids love their Fisher Price Nativity scene they received for Christmas.
My kids love their Fisher Price Nativity scene they received for Christmas. | Source

Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas is one of my favorite gift giving times of the year. Here are some Christmas related gifts to give to family and friends:

  • Christmas cookies
  • Nativity scene
  • Stockings
  • Christmas dishes
  • Advent calendars
  • Ornaments
  • Snowman kit
  • Candles
  • Homemade decorations
  • Christmas pajamas
  • Wreath
  • Christmas socks, shirts, hats
  • Christmas music cd

Giving Gifts

Have fun choosing the right gifts for the loved ones in your life!



This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)