Thoughtful Gifts That Require No Thought

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There are two important things to remember about gifts: 1. They are most loved when they are things that people think are too extravagant to purchase for themselves. 2. They always look more expensive when nicely wrapped. So this holiday season, when you’re stumped about what to give someone at work who you’ve said less than 5 words to or are conned into attending your boyfriend’s-sister’s-friend’s holiday dinner party, keep in mind these fabulous gift options. Each one is easy to locate, available in every price range, and somehow, looks incredibly thoughtful when gifted.


There’s a reason why bakeries stay in business. With gifting sweets, you’ve got your selection of artisan truffles, cupcakes, selections of gourmet chocolate bars – anything goes. And really, they will go. Fast.

Gourmet Foods

Fact: everyone eats food. So, try and find gourmet options to bring to the table (literally). Look for authentic olive oils, imported balsamic vinegar, and top-shelf honeys. And don’t be afraid to fill a basket with an assortment of teas, coffee, and possibly a mug. It’s cute, simple, and a great gift.

Coffee Table Books

Oversized books are great gifts because they make any subject intriguing. So while you may not know your recipient well – if at all – it’ll seem like you do. Check out this list to get a few good ideas of which page turners to schlep to the gathering.


All wine is good wine. Period. It doesn’t matter if it’s an expensive bottle from a renowned vineyard or a cheap red blend you picked up at the gas station on your way over. It will always be consumed.


Get a growler of locally crafted beer or 6-pack of your favorite microbrews. It looks like you put a lot of thought into it and your recipient will likely be exposed something they’ve never tried before.


Flowers are gorgeous and all, but their lifespan isn’t always the longest, which is sort of depressing – especially during the winter months. That’s why plants are better. Try for a simple, elegant orchid, which is beautiful and always well received or herb gift sets, which are unique as well as useful.


Instead of buying them two seats at the Russian Ballet (which there’s a decent chance they won’t be enthusiastic about), try purchasing tickets that can be used at a venue or playhouse for any number of shows. That way, they get to see something that they’ll actually like. And don’t rule out film passes, either. Forget baseball: watching movies is hands down America’s favorite pastime – and it’s not as cheap as it used to be. At $10+ for one person, movie tickets are certainly a welcomed offering.


Again with the whole “local thing” – people really love it. Check out and look for artists in your area (or if you see cute, quaint shops on side streets – pop in!). Try and purchase things that are mostly universal like handmade soaps, delicate jars, and possibly ornaments.

Office-y Stuff

Obviously if you don’t know your recipient at all, you have no idea what they do for work. However, nice journals and stationary sets are great gifts because people always use them. If you do know what their work is, perhaps try and get something that they can use during their time at the office. I.E. if they’re a writer (ahem) gift a nice fountain pen.

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