There’s always one person on your gift shopping list, one absolutely impossible person, the one who has everything and who wants nothing. While it might be tempting to skip giving a gift to that impossible person, that usually isn’t an option — or if it is an option, it’s not a great one.
To help you find a great gift for the most difficult people, we scoured the internet and asked a few difficult-to-shop-for people in our own lives for insight to create this list of perfect holiday gifts for the person who has everything. Need more ideas? Check out our favorite gift ideas for men, gift ideas for women, Amazon gifts, Nordstrom gifts, ultra-practical gifts and gifts under $25.
Tempting though it may be to tell the difficult-to-shop-for-person on your holiday gift list to take a hike, we'd suggest delivering the message in a more subtle way, like with Homesick's "Gone Hiking" scented candle.
This is a super-fun gift to give to someone who has a wood-burning fireplace or fire pit in their home, or who is a frequent camper. Toss these packets into the fire and watch as the flames turn into a colorful display. Each pouch is filled with crystals that create a rainbow of colored flames, including dark and light blue, purple, red, green and yellow.
I was sent a Pura smart diffuser a few months ago but I set it aside because I already had a traditional plug-in diffuser and I figured there wasn't much difference. How wrong I was! When I finally set up the Pura I was absolutely WOWED by it. I love the scents, I love that you can program it to go on at certain times, I love that it allows you to adjust the scent's potency and I especially love the customizable night light feature. This thing is so cool, I'm giving one to everyone I know this year.
No one needs a $50 nail varnish, but gosh is this dramatic bottle of red polish in Christian Louboutin's signature shade ever an enviable gift!
Big blankets have become big business, and those super-plush-feeling oversized synthetic blankets are everywhere this year. However, for something truly luxurious, skip the Sherpa and opt for a 100% cotton knit blanket, like this one from Saatva.
If the-impossible-to-shop-for-person on your list has a pet, you're in luck! Buy them something for their pet, or in Fluffy's honor, like luggage personalized with a photo of their pet. Options range from the Drink Bottle to the Carry-On Trunk.
At some point, we will address the fact that no one — not a single one of you — is washing their reusable water bottles, travel mugs and hydration packs often enough. For now, because it is the holiday season and we are feeling generous, we will leave it at the fact that no one is washing their reusable drinking vessels enough and suggest that these bottle-cleaning tablets make a great gift for the person in your life who you know is not washing their reusable drinking vessels often enough. (That’s all of you.)
For a cat parent, this bed that adheres to any window to provide a hammock-like space for Kitty to survey the neighborhood makes a great gift.
We tested and loved the Dyson pet grooming kit
(some of our pets didn't love it as much!) and we think the attachment suite makes a great gift for the parents of a chill dog.
One way to approach giving a gift to a person who has everything is to get them something that is equal parts clever and useful. Thermacell's E55 promises to create a 20-foot safe space from pests without DEET or citronella. Our reviewer
loved that it's silent, scent-free and, most importantly, legitimately effective at keeping mosquitoes away.
CNN Underscored Best Tested
Another way to approach giving a gift to a person who has everything is to get them something that will truly improve their life — like the gift of better sleep! Mavogel's cotton mask is lightweight, comfortable and easily our choice for the best sleep mask of 2022
Another entry in the "clever and useful" category of gifts is the Lost and Found Labels from Tile. Just stick them onto jackets, lunchboxes, water bottles or anything else easily left behind and loseable. Activate the labels with the Tile app, and then if anything is lost, people who have found the item can (hopefully!) scan the QR code and access the return details.
This little guy is such a handy tool, anyone will thank you for it! It has a tiny ceramic blade that precisely and easily cuts through boxes and packaging tape but is safe to the touch, and a built-in magnet so you can stick it on the fridge for easy access.
It may not look like much, but our associate manager of business development, Hayley Kinne, says of this back and neck massage tool, "I truly don’t know how I endured my regular shoulder stress spasms before this magical, massaging miracle device entered my life."
For the fitness lover, a set of ultra-trendy Bala Bangles, which our reviewer calls "sleek, unobtrusive and downright pretty," is a great addition to an at-home workout routine and they're small enough to tote along to the gym.
It can be tempting to give the cheese lover in your life one of those “Cheese of the Month Club”-type things. As a great lover of cheese myself, I want to insist that you not do that! It’s just too much cheese, you guys. (I know, I know, “there’s no such thing!” Except…there is.) Instead, gift this one-off cheese gift box, which features a 6-ounce Point Reyes farmstead toma cheese, a Beehive Cheese Co. promontory cheese, a Caves of Faribault St. Pete’s blue cheese and a Sartori Bellavitano gold cheese.
The meat (or keto!) enthusiast on your list who maybe isn't so handy in the kitchen will love this jerky gift set. The jerky variety set includes jerky sticks, bagged jerky and beef jerky bits in three flavors (root beer habanero, whiskey maple and honey bourbon).
CNN Underscored Best Tested
In our review of coffee subscription services
, Blue Bottle was the clear choice for java enthusiasts. It got high marks for customizability, variety and outstanding taste, beating out every other coffee subscription we tested. If you want to give a gift that doesn’t keep on giving quite so much, we also love the $40 Blend Box
, which features Blue Bottle’s three most popular blends presented in a gift box.
Chocolates are a staple of holiday gift-giving, and for good reason: Almost everyone loves chocolate! The gold Godiva gift box is such a classic; we love the small 8-piece box for its $20 price point, making it the perfect gift to buy in multiples for everyone on your list, including a few extras to keep on hand for those who you might have forgotten!
Nuts are another big holiday staple — heck, there's a whole ballet centered around the importance of nuts to the Yuletide experience! We love this sampler for people who like it hot; it includes barbecue peanuts, buffalo hot peanuts, everything-seasoned mixed nuts, honey sriracha almonds, sweet ‘n spicy snack mix and traditional mixed nuts.
Kick things up a notch by gifting someone special the Fly By Jing Tis The Seaon(ing) Box. Your recipient will get some of the best Sichuan flavors to experiment with in the kitchen, from chili crisp oil to black vinegar.
We’re taking our advice to “burn it” literally. The Solo Stove Yukon is one of our favorite fire pits because it burns super clean, barely gives off any smoke and comes in multiple sizes
to fit any backyard or adventure. If you’re still on the fence, check out our full review
When we asked “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Lisa Barlow
to recommend premade mixers for at-home bartenders, this set of three craft cocktail syrups was her pick. The tequila maven recommends using her own Vida
Reposado with the Moscow mule mixer to create a Mexican mule, and Vida Blanco to elevate a spicy margarita.
Scented candles are a great and tricky gift to give, because scents are such a personal thing. During the holiday season, however, a fairly safe bet is to go with a balsam-fir-scented candle. This seasonal candle made of natural wax that is vegan, cruelty- and paraben-free and biodegradable has a 75-hour burn time.
For the home bartender who’s a bit more advanced, this 90-minute mixology class will help them level up their cocktail game. Experiences, in general, are also a good way to shop for the hard-to-buy-for person; Uncommon Goods offers all kinds of classes
, from tarot reading to pet portraiture, one of which is sure to be right for even the pickiest person on your holiday gift list.
Another way to get around the trickiness of scented-candle-giving is to give a super personalized candle. If you know your gift recipient’s birthday, this pillar candle — which combines elements of astrology, numerology and tarot to create a unique scent and messaging for every birthdate — makes a great gift.
If you have ever, even once, owned a pillar candle, you know that there is a very specific problem with pillar candles: Once they burn down to a certain point, it’s impossible to light them with standard-size matches or lighters. It is very frustrating! These extra-long candle matches solve that problem and, because they can be personalized, feel extra gift-y to boot.
Bath products are a popular gift, especially for people who are really hard to shop for, but they come with a pitfall: While it may be tempting to buy a gift set of bath salts or bath bombs, the reality is that one-time-use bath products tend to get shoved into a drawer and forgotten about. Instead, opt for a single bottle of a higher-end bubble bath, like this beautiful one from Library of Flowers.
Everyone needs to wash their hands, and while we know everyone is tired of hearing it, we can’t think of many people who would object to being given a bottle of Jo Malone’s gorgeously scented hand soap.
These under-eye masks got a “highly recommend!
” rating from our social media strategist, Stephanie Griffin, who praised their ability to mask (lol get it??) the telltale signs of a total lack of sleep. The 100% biodegradable eye masks help to reduce under-eye puffiness and the appearance of fine lines, while cooling and hydrating your skin.
As one hard-to-please friend who’s been working from home put it, “No one is ergonomic right now, and they’ll be feeling the pain soon.” Home office accessories are an excellent category of products to consider when it comes to giving an upgraded gift; other items to consider in addition to a wireless keyboard and mouse are a curved monitor, a small desktop scanner or a touchscreen monitor to make signing and annotating digital documents a breeze.
Our commerce editor, Chelsea Stone, says of this carryall
, “Now that I have this bag from sustainably minded brand United By Blue, I’m not quite sure how I lived without it.” It converts from a tote to a backpack and has pockets galore, including one for a laptop. Buy one for everyone you know.
A bidet attachment on its own is a great “upgrade” gift, but for people who already made the switch to the bidet lifestyle, the newest offering from Tushy takes that upgrade to a whole new level. Take it from our reviewer
, who says of the Ace, “There’s no doubt that the Tushy Ace is a huge improvement over the Tushy Classic and the Tushy Spa.” The Ace features endless warm water, a heated seat, remote control, adjustability and dryer and, in the words of our reviewer, “you’ll be wondering how you could ever use anything less.”
Even the person who has everything could probably use some new underwear, but giving someone unders is tricky. That’s why we love this gift subscription from Underclub that allows the recipient to pick out the styles and colors they like. We also love the fact that the gift subscription offers the option to share the gift via email or to print and customize a gift card for those who prefer giving a physical gift.
Gift cards or cash can be great gifts, but they can feel a little impersonal, which is why we love this inexpensive personalized card holder as an add-on to cash gifts or gift cards. Tuck the money or plastic into one of the slots or in the zippered section and you’re good to go — no gift wrap required!