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We all have at least one person on our gift list who causes us to go crazy trying to find just the right gift. It can be intentional or unintentional on their part, but the end result is the same: sheer frustration and a lot of unneeded stress!

Before I show you a few gift ideas that are (almost!) sure to please, a few things you might want to consider:

1. Does that person have a strong aversion to anything? Cut flowers, animal products, non-organic, anything they didn’t choose themselves?

2. Does that person have a collection that you could maybe add to? Often the plates they bring out for special occasions (even if you hate them!) have additional pieces that can be added, for example. Or the cranky older gentleman who maybe doesn’t take care of himself properly might love a freezer of classic home-cooked meals instead of a tie and chocolates. This is not the time to get creative and give them your best spicy Thai meals – I’m talking roast beef, stew, pasta sauce – comfort food, in microwaveable portions with clear reheating instructions on each label.

3. Do they just hate everything on principal (I don’t know what principal, but we all know one of these people!) With this person, an act of service might be a better choice. A winter’s worth of snowblowing, 30 minutes of weeding each week, or biting your tongue all the way through the meal when you’d really like to jump across the table and throttle them with their own napkin.

If none of these apply, here are 5 ideas:

1. For the “Real Man”: Everything’s better with bacon! 
Put together a bacon-themed gift package – bacon lip balm, bacon toothpaste, bacon soap. Wrap it with a bacon tree ornament instead of a bow- and even bacon gift wrap!

2. For your favourite vegan: Earth-and animal-friendly scent!
A gift set with  a soy candle, cold-process soap and a soap dish smells great and is respectful of their beliefs.

3. For the Gluten-free Gourmet: gastronomic gifts are great!

Give them a basket filled with a selection of gluten-free deliciousness

4. For the Back-to-the-Land Crowd:
A quality grain mill is a long-lasting gift that’s sure to be appreciated, especially if you include a bag of grains that tell them the exact farm they grew on. 

Add a juicer and you may just become their favourite person.

5. For that kid you know who already has absolutely everything:
When in doubt, feed them!  A cupcake making kit complete with all the cute muffin tin liners and little flags can keep the little darlings occupied and hopped up on sugar all afternoon, giving their parents a chance to find a place to put the 8,000 new toys that Santa brought.

Got a gift-giving challenge that’s keeping you stumped? Email me, Erin, at TheUsualMayhem{at}gmail{dot}com and tell me about the person. I’ll send you some suggestions!

Erin writes about kids, family, life and homeschooling at her blog, The Usual Mayhem, and can also be found at the following social media sites far too often:


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