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Unique Gift Ideas for Hard-to-Please People

Hands holding leaves of pothos plant

Shopping for people in your life is an activity that typically falls into one of two categories. Either it’s really easy to find them the perfect gift because you know exactly what they love, or you have your work cut out for you because they’re pretty tough to please. Those that fall into the latter category can be genuinely tricky. You want to give them something they’ll enjoy and actually use—and you want them to be happy. Is it possible to nail all of these and get it right the first time?

Actually, yes! The best gifts for the hard-to-please are those that come slightly out of left field, that fill a gap in their lives, or that meet a need they didn’t realize they had. It could be a gourmet food they’ve never tried before, a bedroom plant that clears the air, or a piece of décor that transforms their living space. Sure, you might be taking a chance in giving them said gift, but the unexpected is part of the joy of the experience! Here are some ideas that will brighten up their day, no matter what the occasion might be.

Finding Unique Gifts for Hard-to-Please People

  1. For the Self-Care Enthusiast
  2. For the Self-Professed Homebody
  3. For the Botanical Enthusiast
  4. For the Voracious Reader
  5. For the Culinary Connoisseur

For the Self-Care Enthusiast

Ever wonder why it’s so hard to find gifts for some people? Usually, it's because they already have the item in question, or they’re just a little tricky to read. You don’t want to make a mistake, after all. If you know said person is a self-care guru, however, half the battle is already won. In a day and age where self-care means absolutely everything, you’ll find tons of options to give.

One option is to shape their gift around the greater good. When they know that their present is as beneficial to the world around them as it is to them, they’re bound to feel doubly delighted. A box of handmade beauty products, a bouquet of flowers like the Double The Juliet, and a pair of fuzzy socks made with a renewable material like bamboo is sure to delight. There’s a little bit of everything here, and all of it is perfect for bringing a smile to their face.

For the Self-Professed Homebody

What about those folks who prefer to spend the majority of their time at home instead of going out? The homebody life revolves around relaxation and can be totally rewarding—especially when they cultivate an environment that is especially nurturing and soothing. Bonus points if you can find items that offer something just a little different from what they might expect.

For example, the Kobo Sweet Sunflower Candle is anything but ordinary. Boasting a delightful scent, it comes packaged in a biodegradable box lined with sunflower seeds. Plant the box and watch the sunny stems grow! You can also contribute to their space by sending them a low-light bedroom plant like The Fresco. This fantastic pothos plant is easy to maintain and adds a pop of beauty to their home.

For the Botanical Enthusiast

You might think that the plant lover in your life has received just about everything at some point or another. You could be right, but it’s worth branching out and sending something that’s just slightly out of left field. What qualifies? Focus on details like textures, colors, containers, and even areas of origin.

The Corsen is a fantastic example. It invites a touch of island-fresh beauty into the home. Popular in Maui and points beyond, the anthurium is known for its distinctive heart-shaped leaves—and it makes a beautiful alternative to traditional roses when you’re treating the one you love to something special. It’s a pretty low-maintenance option, so it’s perfect for those who lack a green thumb but just love the look of a beautiful arrangement. It’s among the best plants for bedrooms simply for the rich color it adds to the space.

For the Voracious Reader

There’s nothing like digging into a good book and getting lost in another world for a few hours. For the person in your life who loves nothing more than sinking their teeth into a great read—a real hard copy that they can actually hold. There are tons of great gifts you might consider giving them for a special occasion.

What’s unique, though? Think outside of the box. If they love to loan out their beloved books to friends, consider giving them an at-home library kit. Inside are little cards—super old-school—and a stamp that they can use to note the cards with the “checkout” and “check-in” dates. It’s a great way to make them smile, especially if they’re true bibliophiles who appreciate the worthiness of a great book. If it’s their birthday, you could surprise them with a rare first-edition copy of their favorite novel, or personalize a hardbound birthday book filled with facts about the year that they were born.

For the Culinary Connoisseur

Cooking enthusiasts may be known for whipping up all sorts of delicacies in the kitchen, but that doesn’t mean you have to give them a bottle of olive oil every time. Mix things up and surprise them with great gifts they’re sure to appreciate, both in and out of the kitchen. The Hot Summer Bundle is a fiery choice for the season, incorporating both a bottle of flaming hot sauce and a jar of seasoning salt that they can use to spice up their specialties.

If they love a good whipping up treats while camping, they’ll be delighted by The Campfire. The aptly named gift kit includes everything that your recipient needs to whip up some s’mores—right in the comfort of their home. All they need are some roasting sticks, which you might also consider including to make life even simpler for them!

With a little thought, you can easily put together a thoughtful gift that is sure to please those you love—even if it’s often tough to find them the perfect present.


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