20+ Awesome Gifts For The Impossible To Shop For

Update: This post was originally published on December 1, 2016.

Shopping for holiday presents follows a simple flow — identify the giftee, then find a gift that works. But sometimes, it happens the other way around. Making our way through store after store, we end up gravitating toward something without a person in mind, but putting it back on the shelf isn't an option. Yes, some gifts are that good.

It's easy to dismiss potential presents-to-be if there's no obvious future owner. But, sometimes all the fun is in buying the item, then figuring out the lucky winner who gets to have it. Ahead, we’ve rounded up all the eye-catching goodies we've come across this season, and the perfect people to give them a home for the holidays. They may seem quirky, but we swear — there's a bow-wrapped soulmate for everyone on your list.


1 of 24
The Gift: An artsy scarf for a cause.
The Giftee: The philanthropic art-lover you love, but can't afford to buy an actual framed piece for.

Luxe + Lens 'D' Words Silk Scarf, $160, available at Luxe + Lens.
Advertisement
2 of 24
The Gift: A keychain declaring its owner's mental state.
The Giftee: Your Craigslist roomie who could use the pick-me-up.

Various Keytags Dream Life, $15, available at Various Keytags.
3 of 24
The Gift: Cool-girl drop earrings.
The Giftee: The acquaintance who's been telling you she wants to change up her look, but doesn't know where to begin.

J.Crew Petal Cluster Drop Earrings, $48, available at J.Crew.
4 of 24
— PAID —

The Gift: An understated timepiece with smartwatch capabilities.
The Giftee: Your office pal who always shows up to meetings five minutes late. This chic watch will keep 'em right on time.
5 of 24
The Gift: A super personal graphic tee.
The Giftee: The college bestie who still cures hangovers with a pot of pasta, and is down for a "fuck everything" spaghetti-and-wine night whenever, wherever.

Katie Kimmel Fettuccini Alfredo T-shirt, $28, available at Tictail.
6 of 24
The Gift: Friendship avocado pins.
The Giftee: Your awesome personal trainer who you've just started hanging out with outside of the gym, too.

Madewell x Pintrill Friendship Pin Set, $20, available at Madewell.
Advertisement
7 of 24
The Gift: A phone lanyard.
The Giftee: The friend who notoriously drops and shatters her phone multiple times a year. Not anymore.

Chaos Zip Charm, $85, available at MatchesFashion.com.
8 of 24
The Gift: Sleek wireless headphones.
The Giftee: Your grown-up sibling with a family, who may just want to tune out everything once in a while, but can NOT trust cords around their kids.

Master & Dynamic MW60 Over Ear Headphones, $549, available at Master & Dynamic.
9 of 24
The Gift: A fancy bar of soap.
The Giftee: Your S.O.'s parents, who you're spending the holidays with but only meeting for the second time. It doesn't hurt to remind them how important they are to you, too.

Joya Composition No. 1 Soap and Tray, $48, available at Net-A-Porter.
10 of 24
The Gift: A set of the essentials.
The Giftee: Your best guy friend who swears he "doesn't want anything this year," every year.

KOTN The Weekend Kit, $258, available at KOTN.
11 of 24
The Gift: A customizable ring that says it all.
The Giftee: Your close friend who isn't usually a jewelry person, but you think would appreciate something this personal.

Ariel Gordon Name It Ring, $695, available at Ariel Gordon.
Advertisement
12 of 24
The Gift: A trendy leash.
The Giftee: The neighbor who you've become friends with just to chill with their awesome dog.

Free People The Rooper Leash, $78, available at Free People.
13 of 24
The Gift: Instagram-worthy furry slippers.
The Giftee: Your younger cousin who's going to college in cold, cold Minnesota.

Abercrombie & Fitch Faux Fur Boot Slippers, $38, available at Abercrombie & Fitch.
14 of 24
The Gift: A cute sleep mask.
The Giftee: The new boss you don't know too well yet (but hopefully this will slyly discourage those 2 a.m. emails).

Warby Parker ZZZZZ mask, $15, available at Warby Parker.
15 of 24
The Gift: A cute deck of cards.
The Giftee: Your friend who's always nannying between jobs — these should make afternoons a little more fun.

Antti Kalevi Pairs Game, $38, available at Yoox.
16 of 24
The Gift: A faux-fur scarf.
The Giftee: Your very vegan, very stylish sister. Way better than a pair of socks, no?

Charlotte Simone Candy Cane Fur Stole, $260, available at Nordstrom.
17 of 24
The Gift: A quirky notepad that'll turn heads at meetings.
The Giftee: The ultimate #girlboss in your life.

Word For Word Factory Feminist To-do List, $10, available at Wildfang.
18 of 24
The Gift: Gel pens forever.
The Giftee: Your fun coworker who still prefers a paper planner over Google Cal. Nothing wrong with that.

Poppin Assorted Gel Ink Pens, $10, available at Poppin.
19 of 24
The Gift: Bug-eye shades that take a certain type of person to pull off.
The Giftee: Your teen half-sister who just decided she's going to study fashion design in New York City.

Krewe Iris Absinthe 24K, $295, available at Krewe.
20 of 24
The Gift: A ceramic pink phone vase.
The Giftee: The long-distance pal who lives on the opposite coast, but you know you can call any time (and we mean, any time).

Wyatt Little Pink Ceramic Phone Vase, $90, available at Ban.do.
21 of 24
The Gift: A scarf that speaks to the world-traveler.
The Giftee: The friend who's Instagram looks like a page out of The New York Times travel section.

CJW Plane Mini, $195, available at CJW.
22 of 24
The Gift: A purse-customizing kit with a fun strap and pom-pom to make any bag feel new again.
The Giftee: The high-school age cousin who you love dearly but, wait, what are teens even into these days?

Les Petits Joueurs The Star Kit, $307, available at Les Petits Joueurs.
23 of 24
The Gift: A "hopeless romantic" beanie.
The Giftee: The friend who falls in love too easily, and secretly re-downloads all of their dating apps even when they swear they've deleted them for good.

Houghton Hopeless Romantic Beanie, $95, available at Houghton.
24 of 24

Shop your inbox!

yay! get ready for the good stuff!