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The Best Gifts For Stubborn Giftees Who Swear They “Don’t Want Anything”

·7 min read
Photo: Scouted/The Daily Beast/Retailers.
Photo: Scouted/The Daily Beast/Retailers.

Whether it’s your father-in-law who insists he just wants “quality time” with the family—and who also seems to already have literally everything imaginable—or a new coworker you suspect might be gifting you with something but insists they’re not going to anyway, we’ve all experienced the pain and agony of trying to find gifts for people who don’t want anything.

Sure, you can honor their wishes and show up empty-handed to your holiday gathering (after all, it’s technically what they wanted, right?), but the fact of the matter is that most of us don’t feel comfortable arriving at a celebration or holiday party without at least something tangible in tow—even if it’s a generic greeting card and some random chocolates you picked up last-minute on the way there.

I’m all too familiar with the struggle of finding gifts for people who don’t want anything. Each year, my father—bless his heart—staunchly insists he will not be accepting a gift for the holidays, his birthday, and any other event that warrants gifting. Usually, I arrive at these gatherings with a mid-tier bottle of Sauv Blanc knowing that he’ll at least drink it (and maybe even enjoy doing so?), thereby dodging the investigative guesswork it would require to unveil what he actually wants.

But, you certainly don’t have to resort to generic go-to’s like wine, candy, flowers, and gift cards to soothe your anxiety over gifting someone who “doesn’t want anything” or who seemingly already has everything. There are plenty of other universally appealing gift ideas that will dazzle and delight even the most stubborn (or spoiled) giftees on your list. From personalized gifts from small businesses on Amazon to luxury candles that literally no one wouldn't like, there are plenty of under-the-radar gift options to choose from, so you really don't have to stress.

Now, it goes without saying that many of the gift ideas I’ve come up with below will also be suitable for people you don’t know super well, like your boss and coworkers, a distant cousin you haven’t seen in over a decade, or a new sister-in-law. Alas, we know it’s frustrating AF trying to figure out what to get people who claim they don’t want a gift, but these foolproof gift ideas below have got you covered.

Bearaby Tree Napper Weighted Blanket

Bearaby Weighted Blanket Tree Hugger
Bearaby Weighted Blanket Tree Hugger

If you know me at all, you know how obsessed I am with my Bearaby Tree Napper Weighted Napper Blanket (I own three). Naturally, I've gifted them to a slew of different people—my mom, ex-boyfriends, and a former boss. This chic and cozy blanket is a true crowd-pleaser that the giftee in question won't know how much they needed until you gift them with one of their own.

Buy Bearaby Tree Napper Weighted Blanket at Bearaby, $199

Casper Silk Pillowcase

A silk pillowcase and matching sleep mask aren't usually things one would buy for themselves, but trust us, they will never go back. Casper's ultra giftable silk pillowcase and mask set is the perfect introduction to the luxury of sleeping on silk—plus, it's better for your skin and hair. They're also available as separates too.

Buy Casper Silk Pillowcase at Casper, $119

Diptyque Candle

Diptyque candle gift idea
Diptyque candle gift idea

Any old candle as a gift may feel like you didn't really think about it, but a Diptyque candle is a major exception. I've never met anyone who doesn't love a luxe scented candle by Diptyque. I also love them because when the candle has burned, you can stick it in the freezer and reuse the glass jar as an extra-chic drinking or shot glass.

Buy Diptyque Candle at Nordstrom, $38

Bose Frame Audio Bluetooth Sunglasses

Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses Amazon
Bose Frames Audio Sunglasses Amazon

While they probably already have a pair of wireless headphones or AirPods, they probably don't have cool sunglasses equipped with Bluetooth and audio functionality. Bose's unisex audio frames are actually universally flattering, and they allow you to take business calls and listen to music when you're on the go.

Buy Bose Frame Audio Bluetooth Sunglasses at Amazon, $199

Our Place Always Pan or Perfect Pot

Our Place Perfect Pot gift
Our Place Perfect Pot gift

You've probably already heard of the Internet-famous (and impossibly chic) Always Pan by Our Place, but you may not be familiar with their newer (and equally as pretty) Perfect Pot. Either of these luxe kitchen sidekicks make a perfect gift for anyone who loves to cook—and an even better gift for those who ~don't~ love to cook. Plus, the Always Pan is actually on sale right now for just $99.95.

Buy Our Place Always Pan or Perfect Pot at Our Place, $165

The Crafty Cocktail Smoking Kit

Crafty Cocktail Smoking Kit Huckberry
Crafty Cocktail Smoking Kit Huckberry

Smoking kits are probably one of the coolest bar cart accessories I've ever seen. Chances are, the stubborn giftee of yours in question doesn't already have one, but how could they not be in awe over this magical cocktail smoking kit? Plus, it also just looks so neat sitting in a home bar doubling as decor. By the way, Huckberry has curated a stellar gift guide specifically for the "impossible to shop for." Check it out for more great ideas.

Buy The Crafty Cocktail Smoking Kit at Huckberry, $109

Aesop Adventurer Roll Up Set

Aesop Gift Set Bundles
Aesop Gift Set Bundles

Just like Diptyque candles, I've honestly never met anyone who doesn't like all things Aesop—their luxe soap bottles practically double as a piece of art for your bathroom or kitchen sink. This super giftable Aesop bundle comes with all of the brand's best-sellers, and you can't beat the presentation.

Buy Aesop Adventurer Roll Up Set at Aesop, $65

Truff Hot Sauce Holiday Gift Pack

Not only are Truff's truffle-infused hot sauces the tastiest on the market, but their packages are so chic that they honestly look more like designer perfume bottles than a condiment. I gifted one of these to each of my favorite neighbors last year for the holidays, and it's safe to say they're all addicted to Truff now. You truly can't go wrong with this holiday set.

Buy Truff Hot Sauce Holiday Gift Pack at Amazon, $77

Birthdate Co. Brithday Book & Candle Bundle

Birthdate Co. Birthday Book and Candle set
Birthdate Co. Birthday Book and Candle set

If you know the giftee's birthday information, this is one of the best gift ideas I can think of. This Birthdate Co. bundle comes with a personalized birthday book that gives a detailed account of the person's birth chart ("crafted for the day [they] were born"), as well as a candle with their birthdate pictured on the front, along with their accompanying traits. You can also buy the Birthday book and Birthday candle separately as well.

Buy Birthdate Co. Brithday Book & Candle Bundle at Birthdate Candles, $106

Jamby's Unisex Long Underwear Pajamas

This is yet another gift pick I've had personal success giving to a hard-to-shop-for-person. If you can figure out their size, Jamby's unisex long underwear are a game-changer. I've truly never felt a softer, more cozy fabric in my entire life. There's just no way someone wouldn't enjoy the heck of these.

Buy Jamby's Unisex Long Underwear Pajamas at Jambys, $73

Coop Home Sanctuary Dog Bed

Coop Home Sanctuary Dog Bed
Coop Home Sanctuary Dog Bed

If you're absolutely clueless when it comes to what to give someone and you know they have a pet, gifting their pet with something cozy or fun is always a safe bet. Coop home's premium pet bed will give the pup or kitty in question the best naps of their lives thanks to memory foam cushion, and it's also machine washable so it won't be a hassle for its owners either.

Buy Coop Home Sanctuary Dog Bed at Coop Home Goods, $170

Olio Per Il Corpo Body Oil

I've been a huge fan of Jordan Samuel's luxe skincare line for over four years now, and I've turned on many friends to his products via gift-giving. Best of all, I've only ever gotten rave reviews as feedback, so I trust the stubborn giftees on your list will enjoy his gender-neutral products too.

Buy Olio Per Il Corpo Body Oil at Jordan Samuel, $32

Please Repeat Deco Hoop Earrings

When it comes to jewelry, it can be a category that's difficult to gift—rings require knowing their size, and necklaces and bracelets often require knowing someone's taste keenly well. But, a pair of versatile gold hoop earrings will fit any ear and will most likely please any jewelry-wearer. Plus, the mid-range price point is appropriate for people you know well or barely know at all.

Buy Please Repeat Deco Hoop Earrings at Please Repeat, $59

Let Scouted guide you to the best gifts to give this year. Shop Here >

Scouted selects products independently and prices reflect what was available at the time of publish. Sign up for our newsletter for even more recommendations. Don’t forget to check out our coupon site to find apparel deals from L.L.Bean, Lands’ End, Gap, and more. If you buy something from our posts, we may earn a small commission.

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