What can you get for the hard-to-shop-for people for Christmas?

When I was married I would buy a nice sweater for my husband every year and usually a watch. He collects watches and appreciated them and he acted like he liked the sweaters. He eventually told me to stop getting him sweaters as he had too many. Plus he loves shopping and prefers to pick his own sweaters. One year I got him those whiskey stones that are on every “what to get guys” list. They’re just square rocks. It can be hard to shop for guys. Here are some ideas for hard to shop for people. I put “people” in the title but I mean primarily men.

A t-shirt from their favorite show, book, place or movie
This is my go-to present for loved ones. Almost everyone loves t-shirts of their favorite things (if they’re a t-shirt wearer) and they show that you care and pay attention. Do they love the movie Bohemian Rhapsody (who doesn’t) or Queen? Get them a vintage look t-shirt. Are they a huge Breaking Bad fan? Get them a Los Pollos Hermanos shirt. Are there movies they regularly quote lines from, like Napoleon Dynamite, Monty Python and The Holy Grail or The Big Lebowski? Are they from a state or city that they talk about often? There are so many t-shirts to choose from which would make nice gifts!

A coffee table book or calendar of their favorite thing
Another easy present is a coffee table book or calendar. Are they really into a specific kind of motorcycle? Get them a photo book about it. Do they have a favorite band? Do they love a certain breed of dog? Do they post a lot about mermaids? Are they into shoes or sneakers? There’s a calendar for that. I know some professional organizers say not to buy calendars for people but I love them and put them all over my house. It just helps me stay organized and remember what day it is.

A cozy cashmere scarf
Ok now we’re into the standard gifts. I love scarves, especially when they’re cashmere, and there are so many options on Amazon which will come in time for Christmas. A scarf is perfect for anyone in that it seems personal like you care if they’re warm but not too intimate. This one has great reviews, it comes in so many colors and patterns and it’s less than $25. If you’re unsure of their style just get them solid gray it goes great with everything.

A merino wool sweater that can be worn alone or layered
I also love getting sweaters, that’s why I always give them, and some people actually appreciate that! This merino wool sweater comes in eight different colors and reviewers love it (some got it free but the non-free reviews are positive too). They say it’s not itchy, it’s comfortable without being too loose, and it’s better than a similar sweater from The Gap. If you want to splurge on a cashmere sweater for someone this one looks good.

A slim multitool card that fits in your wallet
I’ve had my eye on a wallet ninja for a while and I’m going to buy one for my son. I’m sure I will use it too! Reviews say it fits well in your wallet and that it has so many uses you don’t consider until you need it. You can even use it as a cellphone stand! Sold.

An powerful ceramic knife set
Knives are something most people need but don’t think to buy. People rave about these knives and they’re less than $18! You can also get a large individual knife as an easy gift. Keep one or two on hand for guests for whom you don’t have a present.

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17 Responses to “What can you get for the hard-to-shop-for people for Christmas?”

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  1. Nikki says:

    Thanks! I needed this, and will definitely order a few of these!

  2. Esmom says:

    I love these posts! Great suggestions. I actually have gotten a number of these items for the guys in my family. Graphic tees are always a hit and it’s fun to look for ones that people will really like. Funny socks are still pretty big, I think, too.

    I want to get the wallet ninja for a coupe but I’ve spent too much already. I have a list going for upcoming birthdays, though, so I will refer back to this.

  3. Helen says:

    donations in their names to charities or people/organizations in need.

    • Milla says:

      Or buy a present from that charity. They all sell shirts, cups, small but sweet stuff.

    • Juliette says:

      We do that in our family. We have a very large family so we just do quite small gifts (aunts, cousins etc.) but also donate to charity. Last year, we donated chickens, roosters and goats to a village in our family’s name through World Vision. This year, we are collectively donating a water pump and bed nets.

      Love these sorts of gifts.

  4. Natalie S says:

    Nice socks. Smartwool etc.

  5. ariel says:

    Sneaker coffee table book? I know the exact person who would thing this is the BEST GIFT EVER!!

  6. KidV says:

    That Ninja wallet reminded me of the Ridge Wallet I bought for my husband. He loves it, and it’s such a great idea I bought one for myself and rarely carry a handbag anymore, unless I need extra carrying space for gloves, lipsticks, etc. But usually I just stick my Ridge Wallet in my pocket and off I go.

  7. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Out of all the guy gifts I’ve had to buy for the four males that surround me CONSTANTLY, these have been the favorites:

    Leatherman multi tools
    Guitar pick punch
    Bluetooth beanie
    Retro game systems (NES, Sega, N64…)
    Remote control multi-colored light bulbs
    Wall-mounted holders for guitars
    Special effects for guitars lol
    Tech car gizmos like Vizr that turns your phone into a cool navigation contol center
    Wireless anything for the home…especially awesome speakers
    Cups, mugs, canvases, anything from favorite shows. For example, I’ve given Viking horn mugs, Dragonstone wine glass, pewter mug sets, a huge beautiful canvas of Middle Earth, an umbrella from, “The Umbrella Corp” in Resident Evil…
    Novelty hats and scarves from Etsy…my middle son loves bacon and eggs so frakking much. When I started creating these huge egg, bacon and cheese sammis on croissants, I thought I’d have to rush him to the ER he was so excited. So I bought him an elaborately crocheted scarf comprised of repeating bacon, eggs and bread with a matching hat. He still wears it.

    The young one loves these comic and game knee-socks now, probably get him more of those. Every year I repeat certain gifts cuz I know they won’t buy like nice cologne and body spray, headphones, sonicare toothbrush refills, various gift cards for restaurants during work weeks, Xbox and PlayStation, and of course Starbucks. Gotta throw in Home Depot in case they need to fix something!

  8. Milla says:

    I love buying presents for people who are difficult, cos it’s a challenge. It’s not mindless shopping when you have to think. And that borhap t shirt is one I’d get for anyone who loved the movie. Scarf is always a good idea. And PJs.

    I got my sister handmade jewelery and hoodie with cheeky writing. I’ll get her more, our xmas is two weeks after Catholic.

  9. BeanieBean says:

    I love calendars, too! And I hit on the perfect gifts this year for my brother & my dad: Omaha Steaks meals. Finally! I got something right for those two!

  10. cannibell says:

    I have college-age nieces and nephews I don’t see often enough to shop for with confidence, so I find a small business in the community where they live and buy them a gift card to that place – a coffee shop, restaurant, bookshop, theater, etc….

    They seem to appreciate it.

  11. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    And any monthly gift club because for an entire year, there’s a special gift waiting to be delivered! My youngest loved 1up Box… Lots of cool game loot, but there’s a lot out there. Plus monthly meals to prepare, wine, flowers, fruit, candy, meat and seafood… What about cheesecakes? Nuts? Makeup, razors, perfume. It’s endless and it’ll remind them of you at least once a month lol!

  12. Rise above says:

    One year someone got me a gift certificate for a professional massage. Best gift ever. Ever since then I’ve been giving people gift certificates for massages. I usually get a call or text after the certificate has been redeemed (usually a month or two later) about how it was the best experience for them and how they’ve already scheduled another appointment for themselves. The best part is that gift certificates for massages are discounted during the holiday season and if you are buying them in bulk the therapist will give you an additional discount which helps because 10+ certificates gets pricey but it is money well spent.

  13. Winnie Cooper's Mom says:

    This may be more of a practical gift rather than “romantic,” but I would be a fan of a get-well basket, even when not sick. Sudafed, Claritin, Mucinex, cough drops, tissues, vapo rub and chap stick all in a basket, maybe throw in an essential oil like eucalyptus. I’d really be down for receiving something like that bc I know I’d appreciate the heck out of it once I needed it.

    • janice says:

      Ok, now that’s creative. I’ve never heard of anyone make a gift basket like that and it would be perfect for a student living in a dorm. Which I knew of this idea a few years ago!