Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Gifts for People Who Are Hard to Shop For

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

A closeup of a blue box wrapped in a dark blue velvet piece of cloth and tied wih a medium blue ribbon. It’s been a fun year with all of you as always! Thank you for being such an interesting group of people to talk to each week.

Here are my ideas for gifts for people who are hard to shop for:

1) Experiences

For example, you could give a gift certificate for their favourite restaurant, a massage from a professional massage therapist, or tickets to a play, concert, sporting event, museum, or some other event that suits their tastes.

2) Donation to a Charity They Like

I have relatives who sometimes buy a goat or chicken for each other through certain charities in lieu of giving physical gifts for the holidays because they honestly already have everything they need.

(That is to say, you give the charity X number of dollars, and they use that money to buy a goat or chicken for a family living in a developing country who can use that animal as a recurring source of food and/or income. If your budget is huge, you could even buy someone an entire cow.)

If I were going to do this one, I’d be tempted to buy a little plastic or cloth chicken or goat to include with the certificate that says what sort of animal you’ve donated in that person’s name.

3) Time 

You decide how you give the time. Think a night of free babysitting so parents of little ones can have a break;  doing home or car repairs for them; deep cleaning the homes of those who can’t physically do all of that lifting, bending, and scrubbing anymore for whatever reason; organizing photos (and noting who is in each photo, roughly what year the photo was taken, and how everyone knows each other!); researching genealogical records for their family tree; sitting down to record stories from their life for future generations; or whatever else it is they’d appreciate that you have the time and energy to do.


4) Gourmet Food and Beverages

You could bake them some fancy homemade cupcakes, share your top secret family recipe for a dish they love, pick up a nice bottle of locally-produced maple syrup or wine (or whatever delicious food or drink your region is known for), or surprise them with favourite candies from other countries that are hard to find where you live.

I’ve done this one a lot. It’s a very economical way to give a physical gift that, allergies and medical issues aside, just about everyone loves.


5) Teaching Skills 

Not everyone knows how to crochet, troubleshoot a malfunctioning computer, run a professional social media account, create a thriving garden, speak multiple languages, fix a car, or do any other number of useful things. If they’re interested in learning and you know how to do X, this could be a great gift that also gives you a fabulous excuse to spend some quality time together.


6) Hobby Supplies

This is one of those cases where asking exactly what they want is an excellent idea, but you could give all sorts of things that people use up while doing various hobbies: yarn, paint, coloured pencils, canvases, ballet slippers/tap shoes, sports or hiking gear, tools, empty notebooks, heirloom seeds, a cutting or seedling from a plant you’ve grown that they’ve admired, fancy pens, shelf-stable baking supplies,  rolls of film (for traditional photographers), a higher quality or limited edition version of X that you know they would never splurge on themselves, etc.


See you all in January!


Filed under Blog Hops

10 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Gifts for People Who Are Hard to Shop For

  1. Time and teaching a skill are things I’d have never thought of, but I think they’re wonderful ideas.

  2. Thanks for coming by! I love the fact that, once again, we come up with answers that are close <3 I do love the extra suggestions, though, especially about the hobby supplies. I'm gonna keep that in mind!

  3. Beware the urge to “upgrade” after asking what someone wants, though.

    In grade six I was looking at a catalogue of posters the teacher was encouraging people to buy, for 10c or 15c. This was supposed to teach us to love Art.

    “Pick one and I’ll buy it for you!” the teacher said.

    I picked a print. The teacher started to order the big 15c size. No, I said. I couldn’t hang a poster on the wall at home; my baby sister was at the stage where she’d be likely to claw it off and eat it. I could put a plastic cover over the small poster and keep it in my binder at school–with luck until it’d be safe to put it on the wall!

    “Oh, then you can have two,” the teacher said, so I picked another picture.

    Then the pictures arrived…and the teacher, a *horrible* woman, had decided to “surprise” me with the big pictures I wouldn’t be able to keep and would be scolded for allowing her to order. I didn’t want to bother taking them home. I don’t remember whether I found someone to give them to, or not, before the teacher caught me trying to re-gift them.

    Well, she didn’t try to “do anything nice” for me again. I hated school in any case and think I preferred that teacher’s overt hostility to her “trying to do something nice” for me.

    • Oh, absolutely. That’s why I included the bit about asking folks first. Not everyone wants their stuff upgraded by any means, but it can be wonderful for those who do. 🙂

  4. Wow, you have it down to a science.

  5. I love the idea of experience gifts. Those always work for me.

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