Gift Guide #9: The Hard-to-Shop-For Crowd (You Know Who You Are)

Gift Guide #9: The Hard-to-Shop-For Crowd (You Know Who You Are)

Who’s left on your holiday shopping list? There are always a few people who are tough to buy for, so this week (on Instagram) we asked who was stumping you the most. Your answers: tweens and teens, co-workers, in-laws and teachers. Here are tons of ideas, most of which are under $30…


What’s going through those teen and tween brains can be a complete mystery, but what they want to unwrap doesn’t have to be. The softest faux fur blanket to cozy up with; a Rocket Book, which lets them scan and upload handwritten notes to cloud services to limit paper waste (Greta Thunberg would be proud); smartwool gloves to make texting hassle-free and gift cards to “Urban” (as the kids say) or a local restaurant, both no-brainer winners.


What to get the people you see every day… maybe even more than your family? How about empowerment socks or a gold pen that looks and performs much fancier than the price tag suggests; or a luxury balm to combat your dry office-building air; a hearty succulent for that coworker who claims to have a black thumb; or rich, chocolate-y brownies for, well, anyone.


For the amazing educators in your life, a genuine thank you note from you (or your child) can mean so much. Gift cards are also fantastic, “even if it’s $5 to a local coffee shop,” says Katie Larissa. Presents to skip? “TEACHERS HAVE ALLLLLLL THE MUGS,” Katie says, as well as “millions of apple and pencil and other teacher-themed ornaments,” adds Heidi.


For those hard-to-buy-for family members, consider a food gift, like Blue Hill jams (“these are sooo good,” says Jenny) or cheese chocolate bars. A cookbook is always useful, and we love Simple Cake, Midwest Made and the newly updated Joy of Cooking. Also, donating to a cause they believe in or making a personalized family memory game (to play with the grandkids!) both feel heartfelt.

Thoughts? Are these helpful? Any other stumpers on your list?

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P.S. Last year’s hard-to-shop-for guide, and the complete 2019 Cup of Jo gift guide!

(Charity donation photo by HKI/Ian Christmann.)