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Gifts for the Hard-to-Please

Updated on July 9, 2017

Trying to decide on a unique gift to give out to anyone is a challenge of sorts. When you need to buy a present for someone, you are probably at loss as regards choice. This happens especially when the gift is meant for young children or someone “who has all”.

Finding distinctive, intriguing, and quirky gifts for that special friend, neighbour, or colleague becomes a bit easier though if you have an idea of their needs, hobbies, fetish, or that thing with the “wow” factor.


But there are unusual items that make great gifts; things you probably never thought of or believe existed. These are unique gifts that you’ll discover are great for anyone, from baby to grandfather, a young energetic child to beloved pets; an adult “doodler” to a naturalist.

An Unusual Gift Elicits the Best Surprise

Don’t fall into the habit of giving out just any gift, you know the “it's the thought that counts" present for Christmas, St Valentine’s day, or birthdays. You don’t want to give out a gift that’s going to be tossed or stored away within twenty four hours of its receipt.

What’s the point if it won't mean much to whoever receives it?

Give unusual gifts instead, something that will keep them in rapt attention for lengths of time. It’s always best to give gifts that will be appreciated because observing that toothy smile saying “thank you” or that ‘crushing’ bear hug that shows genuine appreciation will really make giving worthwhile; these reactions will certainly warm your heart.

These following ideas are not only great and unusual; you may even find that you’ll love to get one or two for yourself!

1. Roll Up Electronic Keyboard

The 61 key roll up midi electronic keyboard will make a super cool gift for anyone musically inclined. It is lightweight and easy to use, learn and master and works just as a regular keyboard except that it is very flexible, so much so that you can roll it up to store or tuck away into a small space.

Consider giving this gift to someone who loves to play music at home, school, or on the go. He or she can play it whenever they wish and wherever they go. It’s like having a roll up piano for a concert “on the go”.

The electronic keyboard features a compact ultra-portable piano with keys that are thick enough to give the player a real sense of playing the piano. It has a recording feature that allows its owner to record music while playing and includes 100 background rhythms.

Though it’s not a replacement for a professional quality piano, it can serve as a substitute keyboard to use while travelling, for outings, or for light entertainment. Also if you know anyone trying to hone their piano playing skills, this is the gift for them.

2. Ant-Works Illuminator

Some people actually love to interact with creepy-crawlies!

Rated 4 stars by well over five hundred people, this is an unusual gift idea I can bet you’ve never given a thought about. It is indeed one of the best in truly unique toys and gifts for both young and old. A present with a “wow factor”!

Transform yourself into the ‘magical’ world of the ant kingdom, a world where it seems they never sleep.

Do you know anyone interested in having an ant farm but doesn’t want the dirt and the mess? This is what they’ll love to have; the best possible an ant watching experience.

Originating from a NASA experiment that studied ants at “zero gravity”, this ant farm is the perfect interactive piece. It’s a study of the life cycle of ants in an enclosed but clear acrylic habitat, so you SEE everything that goes on in the colony and a lot certainly goes on . . . exploring, discovering, and developing new ant territories within an enclave.

The Ant Works Illuminator package includes the following:

  • Space age gel habitat in an acrylic case
  • A magnifying glass
  • A tunnel starter tool
  • An “extreme zoom lens”
  • An ant order coupon (you’ll need to order the ants separately, so it good to order both the illuminator and the ants at the same time.
  • An instruction booklet

Once your gift recipient adds the ants to the gel container (the right way to do this can be found in the instruction manual), he/she can sit back and watch their new ‘pets’ slowly transform your design into their own creative patterns

This ‘peculiar’ gift is will make the perfect décor or coffee table decoration piece. It can also be placed on shelves, desktops, bedside cabinets or even in the classroom.

Whoever receives this gift will always wonder how it works and what makes it work. That’s the beauty of it.

Helpful tips:

According to its instructions, you should poke four holes in the gel. Poke these holes next to the glass so the ants start to create their tunnels right next to the glass.

Lift up the top for about 30 seconds once a week to let in fresh oxygen.

Only let in oxygen when the ants aren’t near the top. You don’t want a swarm of ants crawling all over your fingers.

If an ant falls outside of the Ant Works Illuminator, don’t try to pick it up; just squash it!

3. Umbra Fish Hotel Aquarium

Imagine having a great looking one or two storey 3-star hotel for your fish pets? If you have friends or family members that’ll love an attractive addition to their home décor, this unique item as a gift will please them a lot.

Aquarium lovers are always looking for ways to enhance their finned friends’ home, which fish wouldn’t want to live in ‘grand style’?


The fish hotel was designed by a then student of the” Carleton University's School of Industrial Design in Ottawa; Teddy Luong”. He won the Canadian Build a Better Competition for this reinvented aquarium.

It is a beautiful and modern sleek fish tank that is designed and built high-rise ‘condominium style’. Each unit is basically an apartment with asymmetrically arranged windows on its pristine white outer shell. It has a removable glass bowl (built with tempered glass) fit on the inside of the structure.

They come in single or multiple units that can be standalone or stacked as high as three blocks, one fitted over the other. This is what gives it that modern high-rise hotel effect and each unit can have the same species of fish as ‘hotel lodgers’.

This unique gift idea can be customised if so desired. To create a modern or even retro look, the outer ABS plastic shell (which is detachable) can be painted to any desired colour to give it a completely different architectural theme. This effect can also be created using decorative decal stickers.

And if you or your gift recipient wishes to make it look less austere on the inside, plants, rocks, pebbles, tiny driftwood, and the like can be added creatively.

This lovely award winning modern fish home can be placed in an office, living room, hall, bedroom, or covered patio.

4. Doodle by Stitch Tablecloth & Pen Set

Bet you’ve never thought that this item will make a great gift for your ‘doodling’ friends, family, colleagues, or scribbling kids.

Doodling is a fun way of expressing one’s self and practically everyone has and can doodle. Though it’s often underrated and dismissed as an act of absent-mindedness, doodling is really an art form. We all know that today, the art of doodling is a serious business for many and there are many examples of great doodle art to prove it.

Doodlers, scribblers, and budding artists will absolutely love this tablecloth on which they can scribble or sketch to their heart's content. It is a unique present that’s great as a gift for any occasion.

It comprises a white cleanable/washable tablecloth that’s made from 100% pure cotton. It is quite smooth to the touch and looks like a huge piece of grid paper with red lined margins, holes and printed lines that serve as an empty canvas that can be sketched on.

The great thing about this item being given as a gift is that its recipient can use it over and over again; they’ll always remember you when they have it spread out over a table.

The Doodle by Stitch set makes meal times so exciting, keeping everyone engaged at the dining table for much longer . . . talk of family ‘bonding and show-off’ time whilst eating a great meal. Doodlers, budding artists in the family, and quote lovers can have fun drawing, getting messages across, sketching, scribbling, or writing recipes and inspirational quotes on their neat tablecloth.

A great way to use this is to spread it over a table in the kitchen or on a wide surface on your wall where everyone can do a doodle or two!

It can also be spread out on the table after Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner where every member of the family can sketch or write down something nice. Everyone will love it and it will make a great keepsake.

The set of pens which come in the package are wash-out fabric pens. And when people get bored with the doodles/quotes, all that’s required is a machine wash and dry, then it’s good to use all over again.

5. Detox Foot Bath (Spa)

The dual ionic detox foot bath . . . an amazing health and fitness tool that’s built to use modern methods to detoxify the entire body.

Poor diet and high-stress levels result in the accumulation of excessive waste in the body and these waste products include many acids such as pyruvic, lactic, di acetic, uric, carbonic, acetic, butyric, and hepatic acids. These acids are detrimental to the well-being of the body

The method used by this unique product is known as electrolysis. It involves bathing the feet in warm water using positive and negative ions from an ion generator, a device that is immersed into the water to create ion charges and flows.

The Ionic Detox Foot Bath is meant to improve body metabolism while detoxifying all the internal organs, thereby assisting the body in maintaining good health.

This device which can be used by two people at the same time surely makes a beneficial gift as it also improves immunity and prevents pathogens (viruses or bacterium) from invading the body.

Using the spa has helped many users to sleep better, and it is known to relieve arthritic pain.

Its regular use ultimately results in a rejuvenated body and mind. And anyone who receives it as a present will be delighted with it.

6. 'Construction' Eating Utensils (3-5yr Old)

Is your child starting to learn how to eat without being helped? Yes, when they get to this stage, they want to do it all by themselves. Never mind the mess, and the splattering of food all over their faces and surrounds, it’s time to get them their own set of eating utensils.

Well, if you are thinking of what to buy a three-year-old child, this set – Construction Utensils – is a great gift idea. This can be for yours, a friend’s, neighbour, or family member’s, or for a colleague’s; the right gift for those chubby hands.

They are lightweight and textured, but rugged, and are specially designed with easy grip handles that helps the little hands hold on firmly. They serve as an encouragement tool set (to eat), something that’s fun to play with, it may even make them like their “not-so-favourite” food.

And because they all love to play with their food at this time of a new discovery, the constructive eating utensils can serve both as an eating tool, and a set of toys.

The set of dishwasher-safe utensils includes the following:

  • A front loader spoon
  • A forklift fork
  • A bulldozer pusher

Any child will love to put these ‘to use’, not only for eating but as a set of construction machine toys that will keep them entertained . . . talk of the “front loading spoon” filling their mouths with food!

When you all go out to eat, you can take them along with you. You won’t be bothered much with whining(s) and tantrums because it’ll keep them preoccupied enough to eat and behave. And because it extends ‘productive time’, they can have their own little fun while you have yours.

This gift idea for a young child that you may not have thought of is “BPA, PVC, Phthalate and lead-free”. They are also “fully compliant with CPSIA, EN71 and FDA Food Contact requirements”.

7. Eye and Temple Massager

Many of us develop tired eyes, especially at the end of a long hard day working at a computer. This gift will be a great surprise present for many that stay glued to a screen many hours each day. It will provide relief for their strained eyes and they’ll be happy to have such a device that does just that.

An electronic eye care massager gently massages the muscles around eyes, temple, and forehead. It also helps to alleviate headaches, clear dark circles around the eyes, reduce eye bags, and best of all . . . clears wrinkles around the eyes the over fifty’s will love it.

It is designed to contour the acupuncture points around the eye area with the aid of 26 magnetic massage dots which build a magnetic field for micro-circulation which helps to relieve the mind of stress and induce deep relaxation. With daily use (for just 5 minutes), it will improve blood circulation, enhance cellular metabolism, boost eye health, and relax brain nerves.

This device is a great gift idea if you need to get one for anyone that uses their eyes excessively or exposes them to high glare - welders, those who constantly expose their eyes to blue light emanating from device screens, those who read extensively, or people that drive for long hours at a stretch.

8. Micro-Fibre Hair Drying Turban

Drying hair in half the time! Teens and young girls will love this, and it’s a wonderful back-to-school gift that’s also ideal for camp, holidays, and sleepovers.

Have you ever had to wash your hair unexpectedly? Your hair is a mess, and you have to be at an event in a couple of hours. You need a quick wash and dry and you only have an hour! You don’t want that tedious task of using a drier and risking your hair frizzing up.

Thanks to modern technology, girls and young ladies can dry hair without using an electric appliance and save energy in the process.

This magic cap that works perfectly for long hair too is so super absorbent; it not only dries hair naturally, it works quite fast too. Its 100% superfine composite fibre is gentle on the hair and skin.

9. Cat Charmer (Interactive Pet Toy)

This is a good one for your own pets and for your entire cat loving friends - a special gift for loving pets that’ll never cease to amaze while the wand is played with. It’s such fun to watch a cat go “wild with joy” with this interactive toy that’s made to “charm without harm”.

It’s a highly flexible colourful wand made from fabric and polycarbonate that provides your feline friends with aerobic exercises and graceful dance steps.

The cat charmer is safe for kids to engage both kittens and full grown cats and now comes in very pretty candy coloured wands in a wide selection of colours.

You'll be amazed how the cat charmer really does charm and excite cats.

10. Magazine Subscription

There is something nice and comfy about physical magazines and books. You can curl up in a little corner and get lost in the glossy pages of great information held within your hands.

You don’t get this reading pleasure from a desktop, laptop, notebook, or smartphone . . . you’ll have to scroll up and down, zoom in and out in order to get a good read. You’ll find that fingers are always busy carrying out one of these functions or the other!

If someone you wish to give a gift to loves to read about aeroplanes or golfing, for example, don’t you think they’ll appreciate a magazine subscription of their interests for a whole year? A physical publication they can display on a coffee, bedside, or office table and pick up to read whenever? I think they will.

So if you are stuck on gift ideas for kids, family, friends, or acquaintances, think ‘magazine subscription”. You can bet that there will be some of them that love magazines, comics, journals, and the like and will certainly appreciate a whole year’s supply of their favourite read.

And for you, if you can think of someone who doesn’t have a clue about what gift to get you, give them a hint! Tell them you love reading physical magazines.

Other Unusual Gifts

© 2015 viryabo


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    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 20 months ago from Sunny Florida

      viryobo I think #5 sound quite interesting. I'll have to look into it for me. For my grandson I will have to look into the doodling tablecloth set. What great ideas.

    • viryabo profile image

      viryabo 20 months ago

      Thanks KoffeeKlatch

      Personally I love the doodling tablecloth LOL! I aim to resume my doddling habit once again.

      Thanks for visiting

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