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Whether it’s your father-in-law who insists he just wants “quality time” with the family—and who also seems to already have literally everything imaginable—or a new coworker you suspect might be gifting you with something but insists they’re not going to anyway, we’ve all experienced the pain and agony of trying to find gifts for people who don’t want anything.
Sure, you can honor their wishes and show up empty-handed to your holiday gathering (after all, it’s technically what they wanted, right?), but the fact of the matter is that most of us don’t feel comfortable arriving at a celebration or holiday party without at least something tangible in tow—even if it’s a generic greeting card and some random chocolates you picked up last-minute on the way there.
I’m all too familiar with the struggle of finding gifts for people who don’t want anything. Each year, my father—bless his heart—staunchly insists he will not be accepting a gift for the holidays, his birthday, and any other event that warrants gifting. Usually, I arrive at these gatherings with a mid-tier bottle of Sauv Blanc knowing that he’ll at least drink it (and maybe even enjoy doing so?), thereby dodging the investigative guesswork it would require to unveil what he actually wants.
But, you certainly don’t have to resort to generic go-to’s like wine, candy, flowers, and gift cards to soothe your anxiety over gifting someone who “doesn’t want anything” or who seemingly already has everything. There are plenty of other universally appealing gift ideas that will dazzle and delight even the most stubborn (or spoiled) giftees on your list. From personalized gifts from small businesses on Amazon to luxury candles that literally no one wouldn't like, there are plenty of under-the-radar gift options to choose from, so you really don't have to stress.
Now, it goes without saying that many of the gift ideas I’ve come up with below will also be suitable for people you don’t know super well, like your boss and coworkers, a distant cousin you haven’t seen in over a decade, or a new sister-in-law. Alas, we know it’s frustrating AF trying to figure out what to get people who claim they don’t want a gift, but these foolproof gift ideas below have got you covered.
Bearaby Tree Napper Weighted Blanket
If you know me at all, you know how obsessed I am with my Bearaby Tree Napper Weighted Napper Blanket (I own three). Naturally, I've gifted them to a slew of different people—my mom, ex-boyfriends, and a former boss. This chic and cozy blanket is a true crowd-pleaser that the giftee in question won't know how much they needed until you gift them with one of their own.
Jennifer Fisher Jewelry Mini Michelle Hoops
Whether it’s fine or brass, when it comes to hoop earrings, it’s Jennifer Fisher or bust. There’s a reason just about every stylish celebrity owns several pairs of her chic designs. You really can’t go wrong with any of her jewelry, but her hoops are a stellar choice that will complement a wide range of sartorial tastes.
Chaser Thermal Waffle Long Sleeve Button Down
Fashion pieces can be a risky choice for gifting someone who claims not to want something for the holiday, but really, who wouldn’t want this super-soft, cozy, and oversized loungewear button-down? They’ll be living in it in no time—trust me, I own this one.
Dossier Ambery Vanilla Candle
Dossier formulates affordable fragrances and scented candles inspired by popular luxury fragrance houses, including Le Labo, YSL, Byredo, and more. This jumbo-sized candle is inspired by YSL’s Black Opium fragrance—and it smells divine.
Foreo Luna 4 Cleansing & LED Light Microcurrent Device
This next-level multi-functional skincare device harnesses bacteria-resistant cleansing powers, anti-aging LED therapy, and contouring microcurrent technology. This is the kind of beauty device that the giftee in question would never buy for themselves but will not be able to live without it after a few uses.
HigherDOSE Infrared Sauna Blanket
I could wax poetic about sauna blankets all day long if I had to—it’s the single best investment I’ve ever made in the wellness category. If your giftee is a self-care advocate—or just chronically stressed—get them HigherDOSE’s endorphin-boosting and calorie-burning infrared sauna blanket. They’ll be eternally grateful.
Casper Silk Pillowcase
A silk pillowcase and matching sleep mask aren't usually things one would buy for themselves, but trust us, they will never go back. Casper's ultra giftable silk pillowcase and mask set is the perfect introduction to the luxury of sleeping on silk—plus, it's better for your skin and hair. They're also available as separates too.
Any old candle as a gift may feel like you didn't really think about it, but a Diptyque candle is a major exception. I've never met anyone who doesn't love a luxe scented candle by Diptyque. I also love them because when the candle has burned, you can stick it in the freezer and reuse the glass jar as an extra-chic drinking or shot glass.
Bose Frame Audio Bluetooth Sunglasses
While they probably already have a pair of wireless headphones or AirPods, they probably don't have cool sunglasses equipped with Bluetooth and audio functionality. Bose's unisex audio frames are actually universally flattering, and they allow you to take business calls and listen to music when you're on the go.
MasterClass Gift Card
Whether they’re into cooking (or want to be into cooking), sports, writing, film... and the list goes on... MasterClass’s catalog of industry expert and celebrity-led courses makes the perfect gift for just about anyone. Plus, it’s also a great last-minute option you can send instantly online.
Our Place Always Pan or Perfect Pot
You've probably already heard of the Internet-famous (and impossibly chic) Always Pan by Our Place, but you may not be familiar with their newer (and equally as pretty) Perfect Pot. Either of these luxe kitchen sidekicks make a perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook—and an even better gift for those who ~don't~ love to cook. Plus, the Always Pan is actually on sale right now for just $99.95.
The Crafty Cocktail Smoking Kit
Smoking kits are probably one of the coolest bar cart accessories I've ever seen. Chances are, the stubborn giftee of yours in question doesn't already have one, but how could they not be in awe over this magical cocktail smoking kit? Plus, it also just looks so neat sitting in a home bar doubling as decor. By the way, Huckberry has curated a stellar gift guide specifically for the "impossible to shop for." Check it out for more great ideas.
Aesop Adventurer Roll Up Set
Just like Diptyque candles, I've honestly never met anyone who doesn't like all things Aesop—their luxe soap bottles practically double as a piece of art for your bathroom or kitchen sink. This super giftable Aesop bundle comes with all of the brand's best-sellers, and you can't beat the presentation.
Truff Hot Sauce Holiday Gift Pack
Not only are Truff's truffle-infused hot sauces the tastiest on the market, but their packages are so chic that they honestly look more like designer perfume bottles than a condiment. I gifted one of these to each of my favorite neighbors last year for the holidays, and it's safe to say they're all addicted to Truff now. You truly can't go wrong with this holiday set.
Birthdate Co. Brithday Book & Candle Bundle
If you know the giftee's birthday information, this is one of the best gift ideas I can think of. This Birthdate Co. bundle comes with a personalized birthday book that gives a detailed account of the person's birth chart ("crafted for the day [they] were born"), as well as a candle with their birthdate pictured on the front, along with their accompanying traits. You can also buy the Birthday book and Birthday candle separately as well.
Jamby's Unisex Long Underwear Pajamas
This is yet another gift pick I've had personal success giving to a hard-to-shop-for-person. If you can figure out their size, Jamby's unisex long underwear are a game-changer. I've truly never felt a softer, more cozy fabric in my entire life. There's just no way someone wouldn't enjoy the heck of these.
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