I’ve been told I’m a notoriously hard person to buy presents for. Who woulda thought? I didn’t realize until my 25th birthday rolled around and I got…. a bag full of granola? Thanks Mum. lol. Turns out that my carefully curated, storage conscious, logical buying is too complicated for my own family to figure out, let alone friends or strangers. It got me thinking- OBVIOUSLY gifts are not expected and anything would ultimately be appreciated (or donated to someone who’d appreciate it more) but what are some things I actually would love to receive as a gift? If it’s something thoughtful, or something that I’d use often, EVEN BETTER- because there’s no room for impractical clutter.
Maybe my favourite gifts to receive list will inspire you in your search for the ‘hard to buy for’ person in your life.
-I love receiving Crystals. They are such a beautiful little gift and if you pick the right one, it can be a very thoughtful present. My favourite spots online are from a shop my pal Courtnay runs on etsy called BastionGems… or another Canadian, Martina who runs Spirit Nectar or this etsy shop. While I don’t know if my crystals are physically helping my ailments, I do know they are a beautiful meditation companion and a great mindfulness tool. I absolutely love clear or smokey Quartz, Amethyst, Citrine or Flurorite. They bring peace and a joyous energy for me. Are you interested in what each crystal type means and is supposed to help with? Check out this list.
– If you know the style of artwork the person you’re buying for enjoys- consider purchasing a print or card. You can support a local artist, OR try Etsy or Society6. However. I do have a few suggestions for bohemian/ weird/ nature style art that you or your loved ones may enjoy…
DreamyMoons aka Annie Tarasova is a very talented Australian artist- she has such cool stuff available on her site! Check out her prints, gorgeous collection of posters and affirmation cards. I own several pieces and they are pretty and well printed- Click to follow on Instagram.
Martina Gutfreund – OH my goodness her surrealism and characters are incredible. I have a large framed piece in my living room called, “Diving With Jellies” that I’m asked about often. Click to follow on Instagram.
Dylan Kaiser is also a local Vancouver Artist whom I found at Shambhala Music Festival last year. His spooky, etherial forest goddess pieces are haunting and beautiful and I’d LOVE to own an original one day. Click to follow on Instagram.
– PLANTS. I am always super duper happy to receive a new cutting, succulent or plant. Bonus points if it was named, given a backstory and presented with a handy little note on how to include it in our family and care for it. BONUS bonus if it’s in a nice pot that matches my existing home decor.
– Gift Cards – Some people may think gift cards are impersonal, but I think if you get creative with how you present it, they are something that EVERYONE would use and appreciate. If you know I am a gardener and you took the time to grab a gift card from the garden center & stuck it in a cute succulent- WHAT A GIFT! So thoughtful and sweet. Think of where the person shops or is a regular. Some suggestions I’d personally love would be Starbucks, Whole Foods, Save on Foods, Home Depot, Winners, Nordstrom, CB2, Pottery Barn, Amazon, Chapters/ Indigo, Urban Outfitters, The Bay etc.
Other ideas for gift cards could be more activity based and could include a ‘date’ together with your gift. I’d love to receive a gift cards and go somewhere to enjoy it with that friend! Ideas could be to go to the movies, their favourite restaurant, an escape room, yoga classes, the nail salon, couples massage or even float tank therapy. Get creative- what does the person enjoy doing? By either presenting the gift card in a clever way OR giving the gift of your time along with the gift card, I feel it makes something like that go from ‘meh’ to thoughtful and personal very easily.
– Good chocolate- like I’m taking proper artisan brands. Some of my local favourites include Purdys (who just actually released a Vegan version of their classic dark chocolate bar which is SO FLIPPIN GOOD & the same same as their regular dark chocolate and makes me question why they bother using actual dairy at all… lol). Another Canadian brand I love is Rogers chocolates or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.
** If you’re giving chocolates or other food as a gift, please make sure any pets can’t get at it. We learned the hard way one Christmas when Lola unwrapped a present under the tree and puked up Purdys Haystacks all evening- dare I say, great chocolate choice though.
– Another great gift to receive is Essential Oils. There are so many choices at different price points, but I would ALWAYS recommend getting good quality pure natural oils. Some of my staple scents are Lavender, Eucalyptus or anything Forest-y. I wrote an entire blog post about essential oils, how they work, why I use them as well as shared some of my favourite brands, so click here to read.
– Gourmet things from specialty sellers. Things like infused oils, spices, honey, sauces, jams & preserves etc. I’m not talking bulk gift basket items like ones at box stores… think farmers markets or pop up shops. They are one of those things that you rarely treat yourself to, but usually really enjoy. I love being introduced to a new local favourite- like a salad dressings or sauces etc. Remember to check the spice level/ flavour if the person you’re gifting to is a wimp 😛
– If they are into Cannabis (and of age)… anything cannabis related is a fun gift to receive. I love Stigma activewear they have great workout gear & clothing, or there are very cute smoking accessories on sites like Tokyo Smoke. Etsy also has some great Cannabis related items, you could grab a classic pairs of socks or GldLeaf’s posters & grow books, or these eclectic little Troll roach clips. How fun. There is also really pretty Cannabis jewelry these days like dainty rings – check out this one, or THC molecule necklaces or if you reallllyyy love your stoner friend, gift them a piece from Jax Sweet Leaf– basically the Tiffany’s of Cannabis jewelry.
– Teas are always a great gift to receive! I love pretty much everything other than berry/ super sweet teas- I’d recommend buying from T2 or Davids Tea- great quality and pretty packaging. Pay attention to what brands or flavours the person likes, because it’s no fun receiving something you wont drink. It’s always nice to receive a re useable mug too – check out this gorgeous stainless steal spill proof travel mug OR maybe your friend is like me and collects cat cups…. here’s my most recent purchase.
– If you know what kind of books the person likes- buy em a book! I love receiving a book with a personal inscription from friends (just make sure they haven’t read that one yet hahaha or you’re not able to return it if you’ve written in it already). I have a ton of book suggestions for you here or here 🙂
– If you can draw/ have a skill – MAKE SOMETHING! Omg, I adore when friends draw me cards, or take the time to make a little something for me. A mix tape, a DIY bath balm, Christmas Decoration or whatever hand made item goes a LONG way. This also applies to baking- if you can bake… why are you reading this list you crazy person- GO MAKE YOUR FRIEND COOKIES. You’ll officially have the best gift to give. Young Padawan, I have nothing more to offer you.
I hope this list sparked some ideas for your hard to buy for person! At the end of the day, most of us often make gift giving way more complicated or stressful than it needs to be. As long as you show you care and put thought into it, they will LOVE it. Above all, your time is the most important present. Be there for them and you’ve already done enough 🙂
P.S Please be responsible with how you wrap your gift! Re useable bags are great and can be passed back and forth for years. Or, consider including a nice box or cookie tin that can be re used over and over as part of the gift. I also love Furoshki style fabric wrapping and usually that’s how I wrap most presents (example below)