Everyone has those people who are hard to buy for. If you're like me, you have at least one person in your life who buys everything he wants for himself, leaving you pulling out your hair trying to find something more meaningful than the yearly gift card. Here are ten insanely easy holiday presents sure to please everyone on your list!
1. Cabin Fever: If your significant other won't give you any ideas, or like mine, buy the things they want instead of letting you get it for them, consider taking a trip together as your gift. Groupon and Living Social regularly feature cabin getaways and cheap vacations, so you don't have to worry about breaking the bank. Plus, it gives you and your special someone a chance to spend some time together, just the two of you. Be sure to read the fine print including additional fees not covered in the Groupon or Living Social price, so you're not surprised when it comes to booking.
2. Dreaming of a Wine Christmas: Need a present for the holiday gift exchange, or looking to bring a hostess gift to your in-laws for the holidays? Take it beyond the standard bottle of wine with a kit to make mulled wine. The recipe is so simple (find it here) and it's sure to be a hit with any wine lover. Just pick up your favorite bottle of red and a package of mulling spices, print the recipe out on a notecard, and throw some festive ribbon around all three! Voila, the perfect hostess present that doesn't say "I picked this up at the CVS two minutes before we walked in"
3. A Picture's Worth 12 Months of Words: Fact: everyone needs a calendar. Luckily, you came to the holidays prepared. Grandma, Aunt Sally, and cousin Tim are sure to love a personalized calendar with family pictures of all the cousins and grandkids, plus then they don't have any excuse to miss your birthday! There are lots of free sites with easy-to-use templates that let you drag and drop pictures into each month, add personalized dates, and rearrange to best fit your style. For your significant other or best friend, try featuring your favorite pictures of the two of you as a reminder of how much they mean to you.
4. A Gift From the Heart: DIY gifts are always crowd pleasers. A homemade gift shows you put some time and effort into it, even if it's something simple. I love decorating ceramic mugs for all my coffee-addicted friends and family members. Then I fill them with Hershey's kisses or similar candy, add a ribbon and ta-da! Or if you're feeling really generous, stuff the mugs with tissue paper and set a Starbucks gift card in the middle. Find step by step instructions here.
5. Dinner & a Movie? If you really aren't sure what to get someone, think about things that they like to do for fun, but don't necessarily want to spend money on. For example, my family is a movie family. We love going to the movies, watching movies, analyzing movies, talking about movies...you get the point. So in previous years, I've put together movie packages for my brother and sister who are in college and short on disposable cash. I'll throw in a movie theater gift card, a gift card to a restaurant, and maybe some popcorn or candy that they like. Stick it all in a festive container and you're done! It's quick and easy but doesn't feel impersonal.
6. Do Gooder: For your friend who insists they really don't need anything, make a donation in their name to their favorite charity. It shows you listened when they said they didn't want a gift, but that you're still thinking of them at the holidays. Plus, it's a great way to get involved in something they have a connection to. Maybe you've never considered their charity before, but this gives you a chance to learn a little bit more about what they do and why they do it. And to top it all off, all donations are tax-deductible, so it's a little gift for you too :) Most people have several causes they support, so do some research to figure out where the donation would be most meaningful.
7. Bookworm: Toys are all well and good, but books are even better. If you've got nieces and nephews or younger brothers and sisters, consider getting them a few of your favorite books to pass on. Think about books that left an impression or had an impact on your life. Once they've read them, it'll give you something to talk about at family dinners. Plus, their parents will thank you for not giving them that extra loud toy you were eyeballing in Target. Trust me! Check out a few of my favorite books here.
8. Shop 'Til You Drop: If someone on your gift list has asked for clothes but you're unsure what to get them, try turning into an all-day affair. That way, you get to spend some time with them, and you won't have to worry about the thing you pick out being the wrong size or a color they don't quite love. Even guys will go shopping if they don't have to pay for things and they get food at the end! I usually bribe the boyfriend with an Aunt Annie's pretzel at the mall or dinner at Brixx after shopping. Plus, if you're shopping for them and not yourself, you'll have their attention and learn more about their style for the next time they request clothes!
9. Check Yes to Subscribe: For a gift that keeps on giving, consider purchasing a short-term subscription for your friends or relatives. Companies like Birchbox offer 3-month trial subscriptions of their products intended to be gifted. That way your loved one can try out a service you think they'd love, without the commitment. Recently, a ton of companies have started offering subscription services, from wine, jewelry, make-up and clothes to movies, tv shows, and food. It's a unique and thoughtful gift, plus they get the benefit of a small present each month for the next few months!
Update: Check out this super cute and insanely easy "Morning After Christmas" basket, made by my friend Lindsey! Submit your gifts to be featured on the site!