Gift Buying Guide for the Most Difficult Recipients


Dana – again this would be better updated with some ideas and amazon affiliate links. 

Every year as you wrap up your Christmas shopping, it happens. You’re double-checking your list and have almost everyone covered … except Uncle Tim and your best friend Jane. Again. We all have one or two of these folks in our lives, the ones who either seem to have it all or the ones who just don’t seem to like much of anything. It’s easy to get frustrated when considering gifts for either of these types, but don’t despair! Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning for some of these special people in your life.

Significant Other

Whether it’s a husband or boyfriend, buying gifts for the guy in your life can be a hard task. You want to give something thoughtful, but useful, valuable, but also cost-effective. And if you’ve been with your S.O. for many years, the job gets even more taxing since you have to come up with something new every single year! A great place to start is looking for discounts at outdoors stores like Cabela’s. Most guys like something related to the outdoors, so you should be able to find a few great ideas by perusing the “Bargain Cave.” Whether he’s into fishing, archery or camping, you’ll find a lot of options that are sure to please. And even if he’s the type who never steps foot outside, these stores have a great selection of high-quality clothing that can work for even the least outdoorsy man. The best part is you don’t have to spend a lot to get him something that will totally surprise him and maybe even motivate him to get out and enjoy nature!


Most moms of children in their early teens probably have a lot of ideas about what they like and don’t like. But every so often, there’s a young man who hasn’t developed hobbies or clear interests yet. For this type of person, your best bet is to go with a trendy, tech-savvy gift. The obvious choice would be to get him a new smartphone or tablet, but you can think even farther outside-the-box than that. Consider buying something like the Amazon Echo Dot, the hands-free, voice-controlled device that plays music, provides information, controls smart home devices and more. Most young men have at least a passing interest in technology, and are usually keen to find shortcuts for getting things done, so the Amazon Echo Dot (also known as Alexa) might be just the thing to put a smile on his face this year.


If you have a college-aged niece, she could very well be the person in your life who makes gift-giving a challenge. It’s true that most people around this age appreciate any gift, since they typically are strapped for cash. But what makes this type of individual difficult is that you want to give a meaningful gift that will actually be put to use and you you want to be more creative than resorting to clothes or gift cards. Enter the gift of wisdom and financial help! It might sound strange, but most college students need guidance managing their money and preparing to enter the “real world” after graduation. Give her the book “Love Your Life, Not Theirs” by Rachel Cruze (Dave Ramsey’s daughter) and she’ll be well on her way to a better understanding of money and contentment. Want to sweeten the deal even more? Add on the wallet specially designed by Rachel Cruze to help track cash and keep spending in check, available in two stylish colors. This gift is sure to be a winner and will continue giving for years to come.

Best Friend

And finally, the best friend. Who doesn’t have a BFF who is set financially and seems to need for naught? For this person, start by thinking about what she would never buy for herself. Women who have endless clothing budgets, nice cars and financial resources at their disposal are usually not thrilled by material gifts. Instead, think of one thing she has mentioned to you that she’d like to do but is scared to try. Maybe it’s rock climbing, boxing or cooking. Pick up a gift card from a nearby specialty gym or Sur La Table for a series of classes, and maybe some of the gear to accompany this new activity too! She’ll be on her way to conquering her fears, and she’s also sure to be tickled that you remembered something so unique about her.

As you look to find quality gifts that you can afford for your dearest family and friends, remember that the goal is to delight the other person. You don’t need to be flashy and you certainly don’t need to reinvent the wheel. With a little creativity, and a lot of heart, you will undoubtedly spread some cheer to your recipients this year!


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