100 Gifts That Will Impress Even the Pickiest People on Your List
Top chef, too-cool teen, and everyone in between.
Updated Nov 2, 2023 3:32 PM
We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs.
It’s that time of year. You know, that time when you have to look into a crystal ball and ask yourself, “What does Uncle Jeff, who I see only once a year, want for Christmas?” And if you don’t have an Uncle Jeff, you certainly have a sassy best friend with expensive taste, a grandmother who keeps (and collects) everything under the sun, or a dad who always says he just wants a card.
Among Domino staffers, we’ve encountered every difficult-to-shop-for type out there. So consider this your editor-approved guide on how to keep even the most picky loved ones feel seen, with 100 specific yet crowd-pleasing gift ideas.
For the Host With the Most
Composing a photo-worthy table setting and making sure everyone is having fun, all while preparing a full-on feast, is no easy job. But we all have that one friend who manages to pull it off with aplomb every time. And while they might have their go-to pieces, gifting them the cookbook of the season or a graphic oven mitt is a wonderful way to show your appreciation, all while encouraging them to keep the parties coming.
For the Spa-Goer Who Leaves Yelp Reviews
Who could say no to a gift that promotes relaxation and respite? If your gift recipient loves a spa day and, let’s just say, knows what they like, don’t let that discourage you from gifting in their favorite category. A supersoft Skims lounge set, a plush Drowsy eye mask, and a hinoki bathtub caddy are fit for even the most particular of friends.
For the Green Thumb Who’s Already Planning Their Spring Garden
There’s nothing prettier than a lush plot of green, but the same doesn’t always go for tools to maintain it. Watering cans or clippers can quickly pass their prime, and replacing their dirt-coated ones with beautiful versions will make them love their hobby even more. If they’re really into gardening, a Lettuce Grow Farmstand will be the gift they truly never stop talking about.
For the Little One With an Already-Stocked Playroom
Especially for the nonparents out there, it can seem like the kids in their lives have more than enough toys cycling through. There are plenty of toys that can stand out in a playroom while sticking around for the long haul, from a wood espresso machine to bean-shaped chalk, as well as a potion-making kit and cookie-themed puzzle that will keep them occupied for hours. And if they have a passion for fashion, look no further than a Mini Rodini puffer jacket, which is bound to be a hit on the playground.
For the Home Cook Who Outshines You at the Potluck
Shopping for someone who would undoubtedly win Top Chef is intimidating to say the least. Whether you’re just looking to get them a little something like an olive oil upgrade or blow their mind with a pizza oven or an heirloom-worthy ladle, the below gifts are anything but amateur. There’s more where that came from in our gift guide dedicated to food-related buys.
For the Adventurer Who’s Always Planning Their Next Excursion
While we’re big fans of gifting housewares, spending time at home is last on the priorities list for some. Travel-related buys, like a graphic Italian leather luggage tag or fabulously retro binoculars, will make them even more excited for their upcoming trip. And when they get on their next red-eye with the luxurious silk neck pillow you got them, their good night’s sleep will be all thanks to you.
For the Decorator With an Appreciation for the Finer Things
There’s nothing wrong with high standards, but there’s a lot of room for error when shopping for someone who has a very clear idea of what they like. You can’t go wrong by keeping it classic, like with an Elsa Peretti Tiffany & Co. dish, but the real way to impress them? By introducing a new-to-the-market item like Diptyque’s seasonal candle or a just-released book on decorator Mario Buatta. If you’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, the Loftie lamp will spark joy on their nightstand while also improving sleep hygiene night after night (hello, sunrise alarm!).
For the Teen Who Thinks They’re Cooler Than You (and Is)
There’s no dancing around it: Teens are tough. They’re too old for toys but have no use for, say, an artisan-made tea towel. We went straight to the source and tapped the actual teens in our lives for gift-giving intel. And the result? A teeny-tiny projector, retro film camera, and tattoo pen that lasts up to two weeks. (Don’t worry, their parents will forgive you for that one eventually.)
For the Friend Who Says “Seriously, No Gifts!”
Some people just don’t want more stuff. But if we have anything to say about it, they’ll at least be receiving a thoughtful stocking stuffer. Everything in this category is under $45 but will bring them a priceless amount of joy, especially the artist-designed chocolate bar pack that will last for weeks of sugar cravings.