21 Gifts That Work For Everyone

Sometimes, the gift you thought was absolutely perfect doesn't go over so well. Sure, your giftee may seem happy, but, deep down, you know your present was a total dud, and they'll be exchanging it for something they actusllu want before that gift receipt expires. Well, we're letting you in on a little holiday-gifting secret; there are items that will work for everyone on your list.
Maybe, you're not 100% sure what to get the random coworker you drew for this year's Secret Santa or the aunt who is impossible to shop for. It happens. We found 20 fool-proof picks for all the people in your life you've got a big question mark next to. We also included a handy list of dos and don'ts to help steer you in the right direction. Sound good? Let's get started.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
1 of 21
DON'T pick up the first thing you see at Hallmark.

DO take into account your giftee's interests with a themed calendar. Pro tip for frazzled souls: Buy one for 2018, not 2017.
2 of 21
DON'T dump a ton of money on an unnecessary gadget.

DO give any phone-obsessed friend a change of pace with a fun instant camera.
3 of 21
DON'T try to guess someone's style with an out-of-the-box fashion gift.

DO give the gift of warmth with a cozy accessory that goes with everything.

Uniqlo Cashmere Scarf, $49.90, available at Uniqlo.
4 of 21
DON'T think too seasonal when you're gift shopping — red and green only look fun and festive for so long.

DO give gifts that can actually be used year round.
5 of 21
DON'T waste money on a gift set that'll go right to the garbage.

DO get one that'll be a life-saver this winter.
6 of 21
DON'T buy meaningless presents that carry no meaning.

DO shop while simultaneously supporting the causes that need it most, like art from this site where proceeds go to organizations that have been threatened since Trump came into office.
7 of 21
DON'T buy fine jewelry unless you've got ironclad knowledge about the person's taste — or they've bookmarked something specific for you to shop.

DO be personal. But, not too personal. A set of initial earrings is an easy (and cute) gift.
8 of 21
DON'T insult someone with a beauty treatment that might be taken the wrong way.

DO give out dad hats left and right, because everyone has bad hair days sometimes.
9 of 21
DON'T fall back on another candle or more chocolates.

DO scope out the giftee's phone size and surprise them with a brand new case (Bonus points if it's personalized!)
10 of 21
DON'T regift those eccentrically colored gloves grandma gave you last year at this year's Secret Santa.

DO take people's needs into account. These texting-enabled gloves have convenient slits on the thumbs and index fingers. Because, why should the cold keep your friends from staying in touch?
11 of 21
DON'T try to buy a framed print for the host if you don't know them that well.

DO arrive to the dinner party with a chic set of coasters that's sure to fit any personality.
12 of 21
DON'T buy any hat that's not one-size-fits-all.

DO scout out a beanie with a little character. Make sure it's super-soft, too.
13 of 21
DON'T buy lingerie for people who aren't your significant other.

DO shop for a playful sleep mask instead. It's something people don't always think to buy for themselves.
14 of 21
DON'T call up Dunder Mifflin and order your "favorite" aunt five reams of paper.

DO select a notebook with a fun, personal sentiment. Even if she's, well, not your favorite aunt.
15 of 21
DON'T give any gifts that take up way too much space in anyone's closet.

DO give a stylish present that takes up minimal real estate (mostly because they'll be using it so much).
16 of 21
DON'T buy generic socks.

DO find patterns that'll look cute styled with ankle boots.
17 of 21
DON'T give hand-me-downs to someone that's not your younger sister.

DO give a fun graphic tee, because everyone loves a good throwback.
18 of 21
DON'T shy away from shades.

DO keep them sleek and classic, and include the gift receipt for easy exchanging. If you ask us, no one can ever have too many sunglasses.
19 of 21
DON'T buy fine art for someone whose taste you aren't familiar with.

DO opt for an arfully printed scarf, instead — it's a safer bet, and they can either wear it or frame it.
20 of 21
DON'T let anyone's feet go cold this winter.

DO be the one who gifts fluffy-as-can-be slippers that no one will want to take off.
21 of 21
DON'T just give money in a card to someone you don't know that well.

DO give a classic wallet that anyone will appreciate.

More from Shopping


R29 Original Series