Holiday Gift Ideas for When You Don't Know What to Give

Let me share with you an unpopular opinion: I hate gift guides. Shocking, I know, in a season where everyone and their mother has a curated list of gifts slapped on their blog. It's not that these bloggers don't have great ideas because they do. It's not that these gift guides are terrible because most of them have a pretty good theme and solid ideas. What makes me dislike gift guides is the idea that they're not useful to me. A gift guide for my mom, my dad, the "man in my life" are all completely useless to me. Many gift guides are totally impersonal and I already know what I'm going to get the ones I love. You know where my gifting struggles are? What do I get the person I barely know? I'm always in need of gift ideas for those random holiday gifts like the office secret santa, your boyfriend's random aunt, or the new friend who totally surprised you and got you something. That's why I decided to round-up my favorite gift ideas that always work when you don't know what to give. Holiday Gift Ideas When You Don't Know What to Give

The holiday candle: I know you're probably saying, ugh, not candles, everybody gives candles. But here me out! We are currently undergoing a cozy revolution. Think pjs, pajamas, and rosé. The perfect addition is a delicious-smelling candle. My personal favorites are from Candelles. They have a holiday series that includes Christmas Orange, Blue Spruce, and the one I'm dying to add to my growing candle collection, Santa's CookiesWant to add more? Add a few holiday DVDs or some cookie mix and baking supplies. If you're giving it to a lady, you might add a bottle of wine!

A scarf: this is a go-to gift for basically anyone on your list. My caution to you before you gift a scarf is, do not go cheap. You don't have to drop a hundred on it but don't visit just any store. Believe me, the person who receives it will be able to tell if you're just getting any old scarf. Some of my favorite options for ladies are from J.Crew Factory like this plaid one or this chunky marled infinity scarf. Buying a man's scarf depends on the man but a plain knit one in a festive color will do. Want to add more? Of course, you can add a pair of gloves or a knit hat. Make it luxurious by going with that cashmere option. Or keep it for yourself like I would.

A gift to remind them of their favorite city/hometown: what could be better than a little memento of the place they call home? Or maybe their favorite city? One of the best gifts I ever received was a Cat Studio pillow of all things New Jersey to take away to college. Etsy's a great place to start and if you're looking for Philadelphia things, I'm in love with Open House Philly's site for jewelry, home decor, and more.

Coasters or a little cocktail set: a great office party gift is a set of pretty coasters. Only animals would let their coffee table get scraped up! But in all seriousness, you can get a beautiful set that's fairly inexpensive and looks really pretty tied up with ribbon or nestled in a gift box. I love this hammered brass set from Anthropologie or these fun Jonathon Adler face coasters. If you know your gift recipient drinks, skip the bottle of wine and go for a fun cocktail/barware set like this mason jar cocktail set.

A pretty mug: coffee drinker, tea drinker, it doesn't matter. A pretty mug will be appreciated, especially if you stuff it with specialty teas or a bag it up with locally roasted coffee. Anthropologie has the most gorgeous limited edition gold monogrammed mugs which will make it even more personal. Gift recipient a boss lady on-the-go? A gold coffee tumbler will be just what she needs.

A fluffy throw blanket: if you're not sure why a throw blanket would be another good "everybody" gift, refer to the reasoning for the candle. If you've been to the person's house or apartment and know their color scheme, get one that matches. Have no idea? Then keep it neutral. This blank and white plaid throw looks and feels luxurious (yes, I've tested it!). If you know people a little bit better, try something fun and funky like this big white faux fur throw or this multi-colored striped blanket.

Happy gifting!

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