Shopping for gifts, no matter the occasion, can be a stressful experience. While the intention is always to have a good time with it, the pressure to find some perfect unicorn of a gift can be unbearable. The end result is often a lengthy decision-making process, followed by a weird line like “it’s nothing special” as you hand over the gift you landed on.
Everyone has at least one person in their lives that’s impossible to shop for. That said, it’s not impossible to crack the puzzle and find something they’ll enjoy. You just have to be willing to get creative about the process. Here’s what we mean.
Ask friends and family
An obvious starting point: ask other friends and family for suggestions. Apart from offering inspiration and insider knowledge, they may be willing to join forces with you on a more expensive item that they know your recipient will really enjoy.
Do a little research
The internet is a powerful tool to learn about someone, and there are plenty of ways to harmlessly investigate people so you understand them a little better. Look at what they’ve said on Facebook or Twitter. Check out the pages they’ve liked recently on Facebook, or items they’ve posted to Tumblr or Pinterest. Even if the person you’re shopping for is a family member you know very well, they may end up sharing information online that you’re not aware of. That can occasionally be surprising, but it does provide new leads when it comes to choosing the right gift.
Offer experiences instead of gifts
If you’re really stumped, consider offering them an experience instead of an object that will take up space in their lives. Think of something they’ve always wanted to do, even if it’s something as simple as tickets to a band they love or a night for them and their spouse at a jazz club. If you’re especially close to the person, choose something you can enjoy with them.
Give handmade gifts that mean something
Break free of the idea that the only gifts that are worth anything are the ones you have to run out and buy. Instead, consider giving something handmade and useful. Food items make great DIY gifts, because you can make a large batch and give them to multiple people. If you want to buy or lack any craft skills, head to Etsy and shop around for something unique. Bonus: if you do well and make something really great, they’ll love it so much they’ll want to know how you did it — or they’ll ask you to make more next year.
Turn To The Web
If you’re still stuck, you can find inspiration through web services designed to spark some ideas and help you figure out what to give the people closest to you. Here are a few to check out:
- Etsy is a great source for handmade and unique crafted gifts. If you need suggestions Etsy has a gift idea page to get you started.
- Buy From The Bush is a great resource for people hoping to invest in rural Australian communities who are producing some really incredible products.
- Spend With Them is another initiative, started by Turia Pitt and Grace McBride, focused on supporting Aussie businesses who have been impacted by both the bushfires and COVID-19.
When you’re really stumped for a gift idea, do a little digging or try something off the wall that you wouldn’t have normally considered for the person. With luck, everyone on your list will love what they unwrap from you.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.