The Best Gift Ideas For People Who Already Have Everything

We all have that one person in our life that buys everything they want on their own. They don't ask for anything and they say they don't need anything, but you still want to get them something to show your love, respect or appreciation. Here's what you can do.

Illustration by Sam Woolley. Photos by Lewis Minor, michael_swan, Alyson_Redding, David Howard, rick.

Give Them Memories Instead of Things

They may have all the material goods their heart desires, but they have probably forgotten about some of the good times they have had. And people love to reminisce. Dig through your photos and find an old forgotten photo of the two of you, then buy a nice frame or album for it. If all of your photos are digital, a photo book from somewhere like Snapfish is perfect for collecting a bunch of memories in one place. If you like, you can attach a card to it with the memory handwritten inside.

If you can get some people to help you, Phyllis Lapidus tells Real Simple that a memory jar is a great gift too. Get every one of your family members to write their favourite memory of the recipient on a small piece of paper, then collect them all in a jar. When your gift recipient feels like reminiscing or needs a pick-me-up, they can open the jar and pull out funny stories, loving moments and other recounts of how they affected everyone's life for the better. These might seem kind of touchy-feely, but they're gifts that are sure to be cherished. After all, in the end memories are all we have.

Give Them an Experience They have Shown Interest In

Experiences are always a great gift, and there's a pretty good chance they will make your recipient happy. The key is to make sure it's something they will actually want to partake in. Not everybody wants to go skydiving, so stick to things they have talked about or looked into.

Find experiences that will give them an opportunity to improve a skill they're passionate about. Art classes, cooking classes, sports training sessions and dance lessons are a good place to start. If they're interested in learning about electronics, an Arduino, Raspberry Pi or beginner soldering kit is perfect. Or give them an opportunity to relax. Buy them a day at the spa, or give them a gift certificate for a massage.

And don't worry about giving them an experience they have already had. Like food and drink, another chance to do things they enjoy is always well received. Plus, even if it's an experience they have already had, changing a single variable makes it a completely new thing. Send them to a different spa this time around, buy them an intermediate lesson if they already completed some beginner lessons, or sign them up for a cooking class that focuses on a specific type of food.

Give Them Your Time

Time is the most valuable thing in the world, so giving some of yours is kind of the ultimate gift. Giving your time can entail anything from planning outings with family or friends you don't get to see often to doing work to help out the people you care about.

Do all the research, planning and paying for a day of fun with them. Offer to help your parents or grandparents with some big house chores they haven't gotten around to yet. Tell your friends you'll babysit or pet sit for them so they can get out of the house and have some fun. Or just offer your full attention and lend them a hand for a whole day. Tell them you'll be their assistant and help them tackle anything that's been hanging over their head.

Granted, you should always be willing to help out friends and family, so make sure these offers feel like big gestures. Make it clear that you're willing to go above and beyond for them, or help with even the stuff they have been putting off themselves. Offering to take out the garbage isn't a gift, but spending the weekend helping a friend declutter their house then running a garage sale for them could be.

Give Them a Favourite Consumable With Another Gift

When someone already has everything, look to consumables. There's no such thing as having too much of a favourite food or drink. If they like whiskey, get them a great whiskey. If they like cheese, get them a wheel of the gourmet stuff. If they have an undying love for Doritos and Mountain Dew, hook them up. Nobody will be disappointed to get stuff for free that they would eventually be buying anyway.

And if you have a gift idea for someone, but you're not sure how much they will like it, enhance it with a consumable you know they will love. Get them their favourite tea to sip on while they read that book you picked out for them. Include their favourite chocolate and some theatre-style popcorn with the movie you're not totally positive they will enjoy. No matter what, they will be happy when they open your gift. They get something they want, and they see that you made an effort to pick something out for them.

Give Them a Membership or Service That Enhances What They Have

Sometimes giving a great gift means thinking outside of the box — literally. Stop thinking about what you can give them and start thinking about things you can give them that will enhance what they already have. For most people, a premium service or membership that you know they would use, or the paid tier of a service they love, is a solid gift that won't clutter up their home.

They have a nice stereo system? Get them a music streaming subscription like Spotify Premium or Pandora Plus. Is their home theatre their pride and joy? Get them a movie and TV streaming subscription for Netflix or Stan. Do they have a sweet ride they won't stop talking about? Buy them some car wash and car detailing certificates. Or offer to help pay for some car maintenance if they have been lamenting how their chariot has seen better days.

If you're not sure what to get your grandparents, think of things that would make their life easier. It's probably harder for them to get around, so grocery delivery services and meal kit delivery services can save them a lot of hassle.

Give Them Something Personalised

Your hard-to-shop-for recipient may not need any things, but there might be a way to upgrade the items they already have. You can turn a useful item into a personal treasure simply by personalising it with a little engraving or embroidering.

Does your wannabe Food Network star have a favourite chef's knife, or your fun-loving sibling like to keep things covert with a flask? Engrave it with their name. Or maybe your world travelling friend has a favourite piece of luggage that could use a little personalisation. Tools, watches and jewellery are great engraving candidates too. You can also get clothing items, purses and even journals embroidered with their name or their favourite quote.



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