We all have those people in our lives. The ones who have everything, need nothing or want things that are simply out of the questions. They might not want to be the fussy ones or the ones that we all pull our hair out over, but some people are just impossible to buy for. It’s a fact.
Time and time again I’ve found myself floundering in a shop, holding a handful of things and just not knowing which way to take someone’s gift. Sure, it may not be the biggest issue one could have, but as a lover of gift-giving, nothing makes me happier than someone receiving a gift with true happiness and appreciation.
Getting it wrong sucks. Not only because of the physical item going to waste or being unwanted but because often it feels like we should be able to cherry-pick the perfect gifts for those closest to us – and when we can’t… well, we end up seeing the gifts we gave last year in
Over the last few years, I’ve really embraced the giving of mish-mash gifts or self-made hampers. The idea at its core is creating a full-sized gift out of little pieces that most people would appreciate.
The magic of this gift idea is that even if you don’t get every little thing right, you can still get it majorly right. Since the gift is made up of bits and pieces, if the giftee doesn’t love or need one of two of the elements, it’s not a massive blow. There’s plenty more for them to get stuck into and – wahey – you didn’t throw however much money at a completely unwanted object.
So, shall we get onto the elements of the perfect present for those impossible to buy for?
Gift or coffee-table book
I like to think of a book as the base of hamper gifts. They give the hamper some bulk and weight, they are packed with value and they can be as serious or as light-hearted as you like. I did write a whole post about some beautiful coffee table books to give as gifts – you can check that out here – but fiction books work well too. If you know what your giftee likes to read then go for it and take the risk of buying them a good read.
Doodle books, colouring books or workbooks are great ideas too. Things like The Happiness Planner are great hybrids between diary and workbook – making a great gift for your blogger friends, a writing mum or a friend who’s had a shit year.
It obviously all depends on who you’re buying for, but including some fancy tea (think TeaPigs) some upmarket coffee or deliciously smooth hot chocolate (Whittard’s have amazing packaging). Alcohol also works. Either those mini bottles of spirit, a mini bottle of wine or a few picks from the craft ale section – a cheeky tipple, alcoholic or not always goes down a treat and can make that standard morning cuppa feel a bit more special.
A plush toy, a Rubix cube, a board game or festive accessory – there’s room for a little humour and fun in every gift hamper. Little throw-away gifts also take the pressure off both parties – something to enjoy over the festive period and then forget about without worry makes a brilliant novelty gift.
A favourite pass time
For blokes, this could be a Blu-Ray, a nice vinyl record or a lego kit (I love the Architecture ones for the adult men in my life). For the girlies, a notebook and pen, a box set or some bath bombs are all useable and great presents, big time or small time. Mix it up and don’t just stick to my embarrassing suggestions for men and women.
If your giftee doesn’t have many pastimes then pop into Flying Tiger – they have a massive range of craft kits, all-age toys and bits-and-bobs. If you can’t find anything of merit in there, then your giftee might just be a lost cause… and in that case, a Costa gift card is always a safe bet.
Chocolate (or any treat)
Chocolate is the obvious bet, but Christmas biscuits, cakes or sweets are all delicious treats and wonderful presents to receive. You know that someone will always eat a treat but to play it safe find out what kind of thing your recipient would like.
Personally, I love some Pink Marc De Champagne truffles but could settle for some Hotel Chocolat, a bar of Divine choc, or the curveball of some nice brie and crackers (although the smell will probably give this one away).
You know I’m talking about socks here, right? For a lower-budget gift go for some slipper socks or novelty glitter socks from ASOS. If you’re splashing out then take a nosey at some cashmere socks – I hear they’re the dream. Of course, gloves, scarves, fluffy bobble hats all work equally as well – it all depends on who you’re buying for.
Something soft is completely apt for the festive season. Hats, gloves socks, scarves and blankets all have their use, they can be handmade, high-end or from Primark – whatever works.
Making it personal or themed
An easy way to get everything to feel as if it fits is to keep a general theme running through the hamper. You might be rolling your eyes at this but it’s not as hard as you think. It could be as simple as a spa theme – filling the hamper with smellies, a fluffy headband, a book and maybe even a ‘main’ gift of a spa voucher. It could be a man-time box (again, sorry to be so darn stereotypical), filled with silly gadgets, DVDs, and beer.
Even little touches like including a pretty mug alongside the fancy tea, some nail varnish alongside the gloves or a set of cheese knives alongside some top cheese picks. It’s the little things and even if the theme isn’t obvious, it might be obvious to the recipient (because the theme is all the things they love).
Do you love putting together a gift-hamper for the harder-to-buy-for in your life?
If it’s something you’ve never done before but you’re aching to try then let me know. Let’s get chatting in the comments and throw some more ideas around – we haven’t got long to tie up all these present-buying loose ends.
Did you know that I’m doing Blogmas this year? Check out my other festive posts right here.