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Safe Presents: When you don’t know what to get for People

The holidays are all about giving or so they say. Gifts abound.

Gifts are the perfect example of how little you know about a person – too harsh huh? Years and years of mugs do that to you.

But it also comes to the point where sometimes, despite knowing someone so well, you still would not know what to get them. That, or you know exactly what they want or what they would want but it is somehow out of your reach (your father would like a posh diving watch for example, which costs just about the same as your car). So, how would you know what to get anyone that would make them happy, and be of substantial use to them at the same time?

For the artistic

Artistic and creative people are always itching to make something with their hands. Get them something to assemble. They may not be children but it will be perfectly fine if you get them some Lego bricks. You will ache to go to a crafts store and get them specific materials but you will have to be careful because they may already have those. Give them something you know they may not have worked with before or have not for some time (hence the Lego!). Origami paper also makes for a lovely present. Prepare to see your artistic someone littering all corners of a living space with little folded creatures.

For children

Long ago it was easy to get children toys. Nowadays, since they like computers and a hundred other gadgets, it has officially become substantially more difficult to get the supposedly easier-to-shop-for-people-in-the-world, presents.

One thing is to get them a good old fashioned board game. Or a huge sprawling puzzle. It would come in a big box, with a big ribbon. It would be addressed to all of the children in the household. It will be opened and the adults will teach them how to play and have a grand time with it that soon the children will be at it for hours even when the adults will be busy with their eggnogs and alcohol infused cakes in the kitchen.

For the quirky


Yep, get them the mugs and the silly hats and sweaters. They will be happy clams.

For the bookish

You would think that they are difficult to get presents for, since they love books so much, and it is difficult to get books since you have no idea what they read and the odds of you knowing what they would like to read improves significantly with your disposition towards books in general. But what if you don’t like books that much? And you don’t want your love and money wasted on a book that your bookish someone would thank you monotonously for, cringe inwardly at, and abandon in a dusty corner somewhere?

The solution for this is simple really. You should at least be familiar with the kinds of books they read. To know this, you should ask or sneak into their bedrooms to take a peek. And then, sift through all of the book sales and book stores and shops and get them an early edition copy of their favorite book. If none, get them a hardbound copy. How on earth does that make a difference, you ask? Oh it does. It just does. The recipient will possibly froth at the mouth with glee.

For the Sporty


But, you argue, there are so many sports! Get them a customized water bottle or tumbler. Put a picture of them in it, get one in their favorite color, put their name in it. Sporty people always need to be hydrated.

For the Neat Freak


This is known as those people in your life who seem to get seizures whenever something seems out of place.

Get them some color coded labeling tape and stationery. They would love labeling things out to make their lives and those of others, much easier.

For teenagers


Oh angst and hormones and indecisiveness.

Give them a pretty card with some money inside. They will love you for it. And it will be a win-win situation! This is also applicable to all recipient samples aforementioned and those who have not been.

Happy holidays!


Gift ideas and crafts are Joel Chang’s cup of tea. He also works as a marketing manager for Jaf Gifts, a gift store for all occasions based in Brooklyn, NY.





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