Gift Guides: A Christmas Gift Guide for Difficult People
We’ve all got that someone on our holiday list, you know the one: the person who seemingly has everything, which in turn makes it impossible to buy them something useful let alone meaningful. Lucky for you, instead of stressing out while scrolling endlessly online or wandering the mall for hours, we’ve done the hard work for you.
The gift ideas on this list will make finding that special something for that equally special someone who’s difficult to buy for easier than ever.
Read on to discover 16 gifts for those difficult to-buy-for people.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Custom Pet PinsIs this difficult person obsessed with their cat or dog? If so, a custom-made porcelain pin depicting their beloved four-legged pal will be a hit. All that the Peruvian artisan needs to make it happen is a clear photo of the animal in question and a few weeks’ time.
Custom Pet Pins, $18 at Etsy
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Gifts for Difficult People: New York Times Custom Birthday BookEvery wonder what was happening in the world on the day you were born? The New York Times offers an incredibly unique service where it creates a coffee table tome that’s filled with the front pages of its paper on the date that you request. It’s a cool keepsake.
New York Times Custom Birthday Book, $190 at NY Times Store.
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Gifts for Difficult People: First-Edition BooksAnother item that you don’t have to feel guilty for buying new: first-edition books. Figure out what title or series is meaningful to your special someone and start scouring. Again, this requires some work, but that’s part of the fun. Still, there are many spots online where you can score original paperback titles.
Charlotte’s Web First Edition, $54 at Alibris.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Reusable Beeswax WrapsThe reason some people are harder than others to buy for because usually those tricky folks don’t like collecting unnecessary stuff. These beeswax wraps, however, are actually handy, especially for those conscious of their plastic consumption. Plus, the price is right.
Buzzee Reusable Organic Beeswax Wraps 4-Pack, $18 at Amazon.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Handmade Bottle OpenerHandcrafted by Quebec-based artisan Thomas Lefebvre, this metal bottle opener is a statement in itself. Pair it with a six-pack of the giftee’s go-to beer or cider and enjoy cracking a cold one together.
Handmade bottle opener, $30 at Simons.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Smart ThermostatIf it’s your dad who’s the trickiest to buy for and he’s one of those patriarchs who is particular about the thermostat staying at a certain degree, a smart thermostat will be a winner. These devices can be used manually, of course, but also come with built-in wifi and can be spoken to the same way you’d summon Alexa.
ecobee SmartThermostat with Voice Control, $274 at Amazon.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Ancestry TestDoes this hard-to-buy-for individual not only have everything, but think they know everything, too? A DNA test, which can be done through a company like 23 and Me, can be an incredibly powerful way for someone to learn more about their ancestry as well as overall health. Prices vary, but entry-level options start at $99.
Ancestry Test, from $99 at 23andMe.com.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Fogo Island InnRather give experiences, not things? A once-in-a-lifetime stay at Newfoundland’s Fogo Island Inn should be considered. All of Fogo Island is spectacular, but the folks behind this architectural masterpiece really went above and beyond to make it a world-class accommodation.
Nightly rates starting from $1,975 at Fogo Island Inn.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Customizable Family PrintLet artist Shelly Klein illustrate your family or friends crew into lovable 2-D artwork. Her design aesthetic is minimal and quirky and it’s a one-of-a-kind gift that that hard-to-buy-for someone surly doesn’t already have.
Customizable Family Print, starting at $99 at Uncommon Goods.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Made-in-Canada Oyster ShuckerIf booze isn’t your person’s forte, maybe oysters are. Another handcrafted, made-in-Canada item that’ll be a win for the foodie who’s got it all: a wooden oyster shucker. Master woodworker Stéphane Dumont, who is based in Quebec, handmakes these shuckers from maple, which are designed to help safely open shells. Wooden Oyster
Shucker, $45 at Simons.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Cricut MakerYes, this present comes with a hefty price tag, but hardcore DIYers on your list will lose it if they unwrap a box and see the Cricut Maker branding. The high-tech device can expertly cut over 100 different material types from leather to tissue and uses a variety of tools to cut, score and decorate.
Cricut Maker Machine, $469.99 at Costco Canada.
Gifts for Difficult People: Shakespearean Insults PosterFor those days when modern-day swears just won’t cut it, this Shakespearean insults poster, designed by a creative husband-and-wife duo, offers creative ways to verbally release the building frustrations. English or history buffs will be into this quirky art.
Shakespearean Insults Poster, $33 at Uncommon Goods.
Gifts for Difficult People: Coordinate BraceletsThese handmade bangles are sleek, dainty and customizable. Pick a place that’s special to you both, like the place you met, an apartment you shared together, your favourite bar or where one of you got married, and the Texan artisan will engrave the coordinates into the yellow, white or rose gold bracelet.
Metal Coordinate Bracelets, $80 at Etsy.
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Gifts for Difficult People: Hand-Embroidered City PillowAnother personalized present for that tricky gal or guy: an eclectic hand-embroidered throw pillow. Choose from TK cities and pick the one where you both share fond memories.
Hand-Embroidered Pillow, $260 at Uncommon Goods.
Gifts for Difficult People: Pre-Paid Service SubscriptionMaybe it’s not the most exciting thing for someone to unwrap, but pre-paying for a six- or twelve-month digital subscription service that you know they use on the daily (think STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, Netflix, iCloud, Spotify) is not only useful and will be appreciated, too.