6 creative gift ideas to give to someone you don't know

October 16, 2014

Finding the right gift is hard, and even more so when you’re giving a gift to someone you barely know. Here are some gift ideas for those not-so-close acquaintances.

6 creative gift ideas to give to someone you don't know

We’ve all been there: a special occasion roles around and we’re struggling with gift ideas for those few people in our lives we just don’t know very well. Whether it’s a co-worker, distant relative, or friend you rarely see, finding a gift can be difficult and frustrating.

General gift ideas for those you don’t know very well

You know the deal – you’ve picked a co-worker you’ve never talked to for Secret Santa. You need to send a gift to new in-laws you haven’t met. Your kids’ teachers will need a thoughtful gift as the school year wraps up. Or you want to show your appreciation to a dedicated, hard-working boss. Whatever the reason you need a gift, but aren’t sure what to get someone you barely know. Here are some general ideas that work for just about anyone.

1. Gift cards

Gift cards are a tried-and-true gift to get for someone you don’t know very well. It saves you from accidentally getting something they might already have or don’t want. Pick a general gift card for popular big-name coffee places or bookstores. The best part about gift cards? They're never the wrong size or colour!

2. Mugs or other drinkware

Mugs and reusable drinkware are useful and eco-friendly! There are many specialty stores dedicated to tea and coffee where you can find cute and decorative mugs and cups. Consider looking for drinkware with the person’s initials to add a bit of customization.

3. Potted plants

Small potted plants are simple and elegant gifts. People can use them to brighten up a kitchen window or display them on their desk at work. This gift looks both impressive and thoughtful without being too expensive. Try a cactus or orchid from your local wholesale store. Both are easier to maintain than you'd think, with no green thumb required.

4. Skincare products

Various skincare products are an easy go-to gift idea when you’re not sure what to get. It’s popular with both men and women of all ages. Just pick a tasteful brand with neutral packaging for general skincare. Avoid buying deodorants or anti-wrinkle creams. Keep it neutral and fun.

5. Coffee table books

Coffee table books are an old staple when it comes to gift giving. There are so many beautiful books out there to choose from. Choosing the prettiest and sleekest book is important for presentation, and you can find some great coffee table books at museums, art galleries, and specialty bookstores.

6. More specific gifts ideas

Sometimes getting a gift based off of the person’s profession or recent life changes can work just fine. For example, consider a daily planner or ergonomic computer mouse for your boss in the office. New parents love to get gift cards for baby clothes and supplies. Perhaps your mail carrier would appreciate a nice travel mug and hand warmers.

Try out some of these gift ideas the next time you have someone on your list that’s difficult to buy for. Chances are they'll be pleasantly surprised and definitely delighted.

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