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: teenagers, co-workers, in-laws and teachers. Here are tons of ideas, most of which are under $30…


Curious about what the cool kids want these days, I asked four teenagers to reveal what’s on their wishlists. Their text replies came quickly and included “skincare and masks,” “Urban gift certificates,” and “LED lights for our bedrooms.” Other fun ideas are laptop stickers and the always fascinating Guinness Book (remember the dude with the longest fingernails?!). We love you, teens! You’re doing a great job.


How much do you miss the people you used to share an office with? I’m even nostalgic for the broken printer and leftovers in the fridge. For your favorite co-workers, consider a sun lamp to keep spirits up this winter or a sweet tray to remind them that even from a distance, you always have their back.


This year, more than ever, I want to weep when thinking about all the incredible teachers out there. A genuine thank you note from you (or your child) could mean so much. Gift cards are also fantastic, “even if it’s $5 to a local coffee shop,” says Katie Larissa. Keep in mind: “TEACHERS HAVE ALLLLLLL THE MUGS,” says Katie, 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 crowd-pleasing food gift, like creamy burrata with salty olives and prosciutto. To help keep them warm, something soft like this lambswool cap that comes in six colors — and to warm their heart, a photo book of the grandkids who miss them so much. 

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 2020 Cup of Jo gift guide!

(Charity donation photo by HKI/Ian Christmann.)