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Christmas Gift Ideas for People Who Hate "Things"

Updated on December 11, 2013

What Do I Buy For Someone Who HATES Stuff?

We all have that one person in our life who we dread shopping for. We usually save this person for last, hoping that some gift idea, any gift idea, pops into our head before the big day. This great strategy usually ends up in buying something lame we clumsily spout excuses for as Mr. or Mrs. Picky unwraps it with a frown.

Don't let this happen to you another year. There are great gift ideas for everyone--even those who seem to have everything (or hate everything)!

You REALLY shouldn't have... I'm serious.
You REALLY shouldn't have... I'm serious. | Source

Gift Idea #1: Nothing

This may seem mean, but sometimes "no" really means no.

For some, it's NOT reverse psychology or manipulation--these people really don't want anything! In this fast-paced world, spending quality time with family is the most important gift of all. Having the holidays warped into something that's only about presents can make people feel empty and sad.

Hugs, laughs and warm memories are all these people truly want.

Gift Idea #2: Stuff with an Expiration Date

Gifts that eventually go bad are great for a few reasons: they can't be re-gifted, they're not as expensive as a new car, and they're (usually) delicious.

There are far too many tasty morsels in the world to not try everything at least once. Help your loved one get to experience new things!

Wrap up these yummy things or gather them up for a personalized gift basket:

  • Assorted popcorn seasoning
  • Huge soft pretzels
  • Flavored pancake mix
  • Homemade candies
  • Fresh baked bread
  • Unique hot sauce
  • Homemade salsa

  • Booze
  • Cookies
  • Holiday-themed snacks
  • Dried soup in a jar
  • Flavored sea salt
  • Frozen cookie dough balls
  • Hot chocolate mix

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Holiday-themed snacks are yummier this time of year.Nothing is as delicious as freshly-baked bread!Cinnamon bread is another yummy choice.Wine can give warm and fuzzy feelings.Homemade cookies are the best.How about a rack of ribs?Trying out new hot sauces is lots of fun.There are lots and lots of flavors of popcorn.Bake some and FREEZE some so they can be eaten later!Assorted or favorite booze is nice...just put a bow on it!
Holiday-themed snacks are yummier this time of year.
Holiday-themed snacks are yummier this time of year. | Source
Nothing is as delicious as freshly-baked bread!
Nothing is as delicious as freshly-baked bread! | Source
Cinnamon bread is another yummy choice.
Cinnamon bread is another yummy choice. | Source
Wine can give warm and fuzzy feelings.
Wine can give warm and fuzzy feelings. | Source
Homemade cookies are the best.
Homemade cookies are the best. | Source
How about a rack of ribs?
How about a rack of ribs? | Source
Trying out new hot sauces is lots of fun.
Trying out new hot sauces is lots of fun. | Source
There are lots and lots of flavors of popcorn.
There are lots and lots of flavors of popcorn. | Source
Bake some and FREEZE some so they can be eaten later!
Bake some and FREEZE some so they can be eaten later! | Source
Assorted or favorite booze is nice...just put a bow on it!
Assorted or favorite booze is nice...just put a bow on it! | Source

When do you think it's okay to start decorating for the holidays?

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Gift Idea #3: Fun Experiences

Some people just don't like being crowded by objects. Why not give the gift of a unique memory?

Go ice skating together, letting your scarves sway in the breeze as you drift across the ice. Stay a couple nights in a new location, being tourists and taking pictures of everything. Get tickets to an opera, symphony performance, or Cirque du Soleil. Go horseback riding on a beautiful trail and watch the early winter sunset, ending the journey at a warm log cabin. Hop on a boat and go ice sailing or try your hand at ice fishing.

Or just ditch the cold winter altogether and drink piƱa coladas at the beach!

How can you not brag about someone giving you the gift of walking on water?
How can you not brag about someone giving you the gift of walking on water? | Source

Gift Idea #4: Necessary Things

Think of stuff that your loved one couldn't live without. Does s/he drive? Prepaid gas cards are a great way to take a bit of weight off of someone's shoulders during the expensive winter months.

During a visit, secretly (if you're the surprising type) jot down brands of toothpaste, shampoo, mouthwash, toilet paper and soap and create a gift basket full of useful things. You can stuff new towels, washrags, toothbrushes, cotton swabs and razor refills in there, too. No one would be sad to get a bunch of things they're definitely going to use in the future!

Gift Idea #5: Charity

Donating is a wonderful gift for all parties involved. Everyone deserves love during the holidays! Instead of wasting your money and time on something that isn't going to be appreciated, help out those who are less fortunate. Together, you can remember what's truly important.

A few examples of charity include:

  • Cutting off hair and donating to Locks of Love
  • Building homes for the homeless
  • Donating food
  • Conserving the environment
  • Advice volunteering
  • Tutoring
  • Assisting the elderly
  • Helping out at hospitals

  • Donating blood, marrow and/or plasma
  • Donating clothes
  • Helping unfortunate animals
  • Crocheting/knitting hats, gloves and scarves
  • Working in a soup kitchen
  • Donating money
  • Donating toys

No gift can beat the gift of charity!
No gift can beat the gift of charity! | Source

Creative ways to "gift" money:

  • Replace chocolates in a chocolate box with folded up cash
  • Put money in puzzles
  • Roll up money and put them inside ornaments
  • Make a cake (or some other sculpture) out of money

Gift Idea #6: Cash

Little needs to be said about this gift idea.

While it may seem cold to some, others would rather get the money it costed to buy a terrible gift instead of the gift itself. There's no such thing as "extra" money, right?

Get creative when giving the gift of money!

Gift Idea #7: Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets

This is a take on the cash thing with a gambling twist.

With a little luck, your gift of money can multiply and make someone very happy. If things go bad, at least it's fun to play and scratch off the tickets!

Gift Idea #8: Philips goLITE BLUE Light Therapy Device

Being grumpy during the winter months is a common thing, so help someone shake off those winter blues with this nifty device. Philips sells a few different kinds with tons of features, like an alarm clock and FM radio. It improves mood so, maybe after receiving this gift, Mr. or Mrs. Picky will be open to receiving more!

Gift Idea #9: Jokes

The holidays should be full of laughter. This is why pranks and gag gifts are awesome ideas for those who hate things. Wouldn't it be awesome to start an inside joke for years to come?

There are many sites that sell silly gifts, but Stupid.com is one that comes to mind. You can buy a bacon towel, a broad sword umbrella and an instant mullet, then wrap it all in paper showing Santa on the toilet.

These probably wouldn't get re-gifted.

Gift Idea #10: Subscriptions and/or Memberships

Subscriptions and memberships are long-lasting gifts that keep someone happy year-round (or for however long you choose)!

  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Video game store membership (usually includes a year of magazines, too!)
  • Medical discount cards
  • Amazon Prime
  • Umba Box subscription
  • Birchbox subscription

  • Warehouse club membership (Costco, Sam's Club, etc.)
  • Netflix membership
  • Pandora, Spotify or Last.fm membership
  • Reddit Gold
  • Crunchy Roll Premium
  • Fitocracy Hero membership

You've seen a list of great gift ideas. Unfortunately, there are tons of awful gift ideas for people who don't like stuff, too. Here are a few examples:

  • Figurines - Useless, sometimes ugly, and need to be cleaned. No one wants more chores.
  • (Surprise)Pets - The holidays always pass, but pets are around for years. Also, no one wants more chores.
  • Stuffed animals - Cute, but they don't really match an adult's...anything.
  • Holiday-themed items - These things will just go into storage.
  • Sausage and cheese gift box - Nothing says "I have no idea who you are" like this salty, fatty gift.

Gift Idea #11: Gift Cards

Ah, the controversial gift card. Some love them, some think they're a lazy last-minute cop-out.

The truth is that lots of people who don't like stuff actually really like stuff--they just can't (or won't) spare the money to buy it. By giving gift cards you're providing the opportunity for someone to experience the love of "things" free of charge!

If you're somehow still feeling guilty, arrange cards in creative ways. Buy a wallet and stick all the cards in it. Get a bunch of random gift cards so your loved one can go to all sorts of cool places. Use a photo tree clip stand and place gift cards in it.

No one would be sad with this kind of gift!

Comments

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  • prasetio30 profile image

    prasetio30 3 years ago from malang-indonesia

    Wow...these are great ideas. Thank you very much for coming. Take care and Merry Christmas :-)

    Prasetio

  • Majidsiko profile image

    Majidsiko 3 years ago from Kenya

    Great hub, I always prefer cash as a present.!!!:-)

  • neilcook profile image

    Neil Cook 3 years ago from United States

    Gift Idea #1! I love it LOL!

  • StellaSee profile image

    StellaSee 3 years ago from California

    Hahaha~ me and a few other people I know, we don't like getting "stuff" that we know we're not going to be using. These are some great ideas! For the last few years, I've been making handmade christmas cards in place of getting a gift. I'm hoping this way, I don't end up buying something my friends don't want, but I want them to know I still care. Congratulations and Happy Holidays!

  • heidithorne profile image

    Heidi Thorne 3 years ago from Chicago Area

    I am definitely NOT a "stuff" person for any holiday, birthday, anniversary, etc. Wish I could impress that upon certain people. ;) I go for experiences! Voted up & shared here & on Twitter. Congrats on HOTD and Merry Christmas!

  • DzyMsLizzy profile image

    Liz Elias 3 years ago from Oakley, CA

    Congrats on HOTD!! Well done!

    I have a couple of these folks in my circle; (don't we all?).

    I have to laugh at this year's Barnes and Noble ad, where the young fellow is doing all his shopping there, and ends up with a gift card for grandpa, because, "He's 'very particular.' " Code for hard-to-please! LOL

    We do have a tradition of gag gifts in our family, and one ongoing joke is the annual re-gifting of a lump of coal. I think it's my son-in-law's turn this year.. Hee hee hee...

    You had some great suggestions here, and I also got a chuckle out of this bit; it so hit home. Voted up ++

  • DreamerMeg profile image

    DreamerMeg 3 years ago from Northern Ireland

    Useful ideas here. Thanks

  • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

    Chitrangada Sharan 3 years ago from New Delhi, India

    Congratulations for the HOTD! Thanks for the great ideas, Voted up!

  • WiccanSage profile image

    Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

    Great ideas... I like the idea of going around and buying them shampoo, toothpaste, etc... there are people I know who really don't need or want gifts, they'd rather you make a contribution in their name but I still like to give them something they can personally use. Usually it's food related but I might do this next time.

  • mari93 profile image

    mari93 3 years ago

    Thank you for the amazing ideas! Now i know what to get for a friend who is amazingly picky haha =)

  • Nicole S profile image

    Nicole S Hanson 3 years ago from Minnesota

    These are awesome ideas! Definitely unique and different. Thanks for sharing, thumbs up!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @AvineshP -- I completely agree. I hate when people ask me to get them things that are decorative and useless......because I'm awful at picking out pretty things. :D Thanks for reading!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @rebeccamealey -- I hope they won! :) I'm planning on doing lottery ticket stocking stuffers this year!

  • AvineshP profile image

    Avinesh Prahladi 3 years ago from Chandigarh

    I have always believed in one thing, i.e. one should always choose a gift item that is beneficial, for the one who is receiving it, in some or the other way.

    Anyway, I really cherish the hub, Thx :-)

  • rebeccamealey profile image

    Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

    A great list of unique gift ideas. This reminds me of when we first got scratch-off lottery tickets. One year, I tied one on the bow of all my presents. I guess no one won!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @Londonlady -- No problem! I hope this hub helps you to buy gifts for those people in your life. ;)

  • Londonlady profile image

    Laura Writes 3 years ago

    Haha, I love the title of this hub! I know a few people like that, so thanks for this!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @vibesites -- It would be cool if they were big winners, too. :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @AUPADHYAY -- Thanks for reading!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @peachpurple -- I think so, anyway. :) Hugs are awesome!

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @notyouraverageal -- Thank you :)

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @NateB11 -- I love gift cards and I think I forgot to put it on this list... D:

    Some people think they're cold and lazy but some people also suck at giving gifts. :D

  • NornsMercy profile image
    Author

    Chace 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

    @W1totalk -- Thanks! :)

  • vibesites profile image

    vibesites 3 years ago from United States

    Lottery tickets are quite a novel gift-giving idea. Thanks for sharing :)

  • AUPADHYAY profile image

    ANIL KUMAR UPADHYAY 3 years ago from INDIA, UTTAR PRADESH STATE, KANPUR CITY

    Extremely well arranged info hub. Thanks for sharing it.

  • peachpurple profile image

    peachy 3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

    wonderful ideas. Give nothing but a huge hug, would that be sufficient?

  • notyouraverageal profile image

    Al 3 years ago from Florida

    Great ideas! Very nice hub!

  • NateB11 profile image

    Nathan Bernardo 3 years ago from California, United States of America

    Great list and great ideas. Stuff that everybody likes or needs. Some of it not physically tangible, but good. I like the food idea particularly. Gift cards are also great gifts, I think; let's the person decide; kind of fun.

  • Jodah profile image

    John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

    Good hub with helpful and sensible gift ideas.

  • W1totalk profile image

    W1totalk 3 years ago

    These are good gift ideas from the thoughtful to the extremely specific. Nice hub.