I’ve got one, you’ve got one, we’ve all got them. I’m not talking about problems, although we all surely do, and I’m not talking about belly buttons, though most of us, um, should? I’m talking about difficult people. But, not “difficult” in the way you might think. They’re not necessarily pickier at restaurants, fussy about doctors or dentists, or particularly critical at the grocery store or the mall. (Are we still doing malls? I don’t even know anymore.)
These are folks who know what they like, and usually buy it themselves before we can get around to it. Or, they’re people who don’t require much, don’t buy much, and don’t ask for much. (They’re probably the worst of the two.) Who wants to be the one to skip buying them a gift, though? Not me — which is why you simply need a strategy. This list is your strategy, a compilation of the often unusual, sometimes strange, maybe comical but definitely practical list of gadgets and gizmos they’d never think of.
You will love our editor’s curated product picks! FYI: We are an Amazon affiliate partner and may get a share of the sale of your purchase (at no cost to you).
Is there someone in your life who can nap literally anywhere? I know a few and, believe me, I’ve been that sleepy at my desk before. This y-shaped memory foam travel pillow supports your head and neck wherever you decide to take a snooze, with 360-degree rotations and different heights and thicknesses for high-quality relaxation. You’ll get an eye mask, earplugs, and a travel bag to carry it all in with your purchase.
Amazon has a gazillion (scientific term) kitchen gadgets that’ll do practically everything for you except eat your food. This 12-in-1 vegetable chopper is actually so much more than just a chopper with eight interchangeable blades that’ll slice, dice, shred, grate, and more. This has a built-in colander basket and a large storage container so what you grate is immediately contained.
There’s nothing better when you’re cooking than having fresh herbs to choose from, which is precisely why I purchased a hydroponic garden for my own kitchen. This nine-herb window garden is a little less high-tech but no less spectacular at elevating your dishes. This set includes nine reusable pots, soil discs, bamboo ID markers, and nine seed varieties from dill to sage.
I am terrible at wearing jewelry when I travel. My Apple watch requires charging that I don’t want to do and my earrings, bracelets, and necklaces are just too much aggravation to take. This travel jewelry case could be exactly what I’ve been missing, with a handy roll-up design and snap and a velvet-lined interior that protects your investment. They’ll look put together wherever life takes them.
Here’s the deal with me: I’m usually freezing … until I’m burning up. There’s no happy medium with me, which means I have to keep both heating and cooling gadgets around at all times. This portable hand warmer always goes with me to the movies (it’s freezing in there). It heats up quickly and the battery life is insanely good. You can also use it to charge your phone.
Here’s another gadget I can attest to personally: I snagged one of these portable (and cordless) desktop vacuum cleaners, specifically to clean up the mess I make doing my nails. Short story? It works wonders. This would be a great little gadget to keep in the car, office, or even bathroom to pick up the tiniest particles. With only two batteries (that last forever), they’ll get a lot of use out of this.
Is there anything better than movie night? This set is bursting with flavor for the best at-home movie night and includes three types of popcorn kernels and a favorite of flavorings that’ll please everyone in the house: White cheddar, sweet and salty kettle corn, chili lime, buttery caramel, and sizzling siracha. Your favorite foodie will love this gift with seasonings that can be used beyond just popcorn.
Someone on your list professes to have everything they need but doesn’t have a set of tools handy to hang a picture frame. Solve that dilemma with their very own 39-piece tool set that comes neatly packed in a plastic storage case. This set is priced less than $20, comes in a variety of colors, and has the right combo of tools for most small repairs or projects around the house.
Got a gift recipient with a good sense of humor? Or, maybe you need the ultimate “white Elephant” present for an upcoming office exchange. This Squatty Potty bathroom stool will be the talk of the party but they’ll secretly love it once they get it home. If you have any doubts, just take a gander at the reviews: “Put on your business socks, cause it’s business time. No, you’re not on a Carnival Cruise; this is the SS Poop-tanic.” I rest my case.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you needed a magnet tool, telescoping handle, and flashlight all in one? Yeah, neither have I but this LED magnetic pickup tool is apparently what you need to survive. Pick up dropped bolts and screws, use it while completing automotive repairs, find things in the dark — there’s nothing it can’t do.
Most of us keep our cell phones within arm’s reach, even if we’re cooking, folding laundry, or using that Squatty Potty a couple of products up. This phone stand keeps your tech safe from spills, drops, and more and it has a built-in wireless Bluetooth speaker so you can enjoy your favorite tunes or podcasts. This is compatible with all types of devices — even an iPad.
Knives are a kitchen necessity and your “hard to buy for” friend or family member surely has a set they’re fond of already. But, they may not have a whetstone knife sharpener, which keeps their knives razor sharp for a long time to come. This has double-sided sharpening, an angle guide and instructions, and even a bamboo base that’ll stay in place while using it.
These Aesthetic Boho Photos Make Me Feel Hip!
This wall decor looks so expensive and chic, but it’s actually super affordable. I used to think I had to be a social media influencer to have this type of bedroom aesthetic but this boho photo collage kit has made my Pinterest dreams come true. They have tones of different themes to choose from too. I’m never taking these off!
If You’re A Gamer, You Need This Poster
I got this gamer poster for my brother and he loves it! It’s a list of all video game controllers from 1975 to 2020 and even comes with a picture frame to protect it. You can get it in a colored frame or unframed. Not a gamer? You can get this oak wood frame and protect any 12×16 picture you want!
Every Badass Mama Deserves This Bath Gift Set
Anytime I ask my mom what she wants for her birthday or Christmas she says, “Oh, I don’t need anything,” or “You don’t have to get me anything,” and I hate it! I want to spoil my mom and get her something she will actually use, but she makes it difficult. So when I saw this badass mama gift set I immediately added it to my Amazon cart. Even though I bought it for her, she let me try it and we both loved it!
I was on a tear for a while making pulled pork at home from a giant boneless pork shoulder. I was about 37 cooks in before I invested in a pair of meat claws, which shreds cooked meat about like I suspect a bear would shred its prey — quickly and violently (sort of). No more burned fingers or accidental cuts; just delicious shredded meat that’s perfectly portioned right away.
A lot of folks enjoy a good cocktail after dinner but most folks don’t have whiskey stones as cool as these bullet-shaped ones. These are more than just interesting to look at, too, because they genuinely chill your beverage without watering it down like ice does. These have cooling gel on the inside with a stainless steel exterior in a set of six.
You don’t have to be an environmental zealot to appreciate these reusable shopping bags. Just think about it: Throwing one or two of these over your shoulder is a lot better than loading your hands down with plastic bags that tear and break. This set includes six bags made from ripstop watertight nylon and comes in a variety of cute patterns. (That hedgehog, though!)
I know you know someone who can never find their glasses. For me, it’s my mom. This hard-carved rosewood eyewear holder is a clever take on glasses storage that is small enough to sit on a nightstand or work desk. But, it’s better, because when they’re stored here, they won’t be scratched, dropped, stepped on, or sat on — accidentally, of course.
Baths are one of my favorite “indulgences” on the planet; thus, I have a serious collection of bath bombs. Come to think of it, do I like baths or bath bombs better? I’ve never had the same love affair with showers … until now. This set of shower steamers melt as the water hits and come in a variety of scents from lavender and vanilla to watermelon and grapefruit.
I don’t know many people who wouldn’t stop everything they’re doing to get a delicious hand massage. With this cordless hand massager that has both heat and compression, they can alleviate minor pains as well as treat more serious conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. This uses batteries and has three massage modes, three strengths, and two heat levels. It’s a handy gift indeed.
If you’re buying for someone who has it all, you’re going to have to get really creative — and I mean “out of this world” creative, which is exactly what you get with this moon lamp. This is 3D printed to look hyper-realistic and has dual-color adjustable lighting that can be changed with just a touch. Everyone from little kids to space-loving adults will appreciate this one.
Here’s the thing: If you’re buying for the person who has everything, there’s a better than average chance that they don’t have the right place to put it all. This nightstand organizer is designed to put everything within reach from a wallet and keys to glasses, spare change, and electronic devices. The built-in drawer is great for storing valuables, too.
“Probably vodka?” It’s most likely vodka and they’ll get a kick out of sipping out of this mug every time they pull it from the cabinet. This campfire-style enamel mug holds 16 ounces of, ahem, something, and comes in other snarky varieties, too, like “Definitely not coffee,” and “Tears of my enemies.” Mugs like this are lightweight and durable and great for the jokester on your list.
Packing a picnic for the park, lake or beach sounds idyllic but lots of people do it, especially those people who have an all-in-one picnic backpack. This bag includes four sets of dishwasher-safe flatware and hard melamine plates, four wine glasses, a cheese knife and wine opener, metal salt/pepper shakers, and a bamboo cutting board. Just add wine and cheese.
Your “has-it-all friend” will get a kick out of using these extreme heat-resistant gloves from the grill to the oven, sticking their hand right in the literal heat of the action. These gloves are rated for heat protection up to 900-plus degrees and are packed with features including a breathable liner, a thick, textured surface, and sleeves that are long enough to protect your wrists and forearms.
If you’ve got a friend or family member who you’re always harping on to “drink more water,” give them a fruit infuser water bottle. This 24-ounce bottle is reusable and has an infuser chamber that sits inside it, adding the essence of whatever fruit or veggie you choose to your water. These bottles are leak-proof and even work well for carbonated water.
I’m 44 years old and I still haven’t found the right toiletry bag, and I’ve just about given up hope. This travel toiletry bag resembles a Dopp kit for men but works equally as well for women with a distressed finish and 100 percent leather. It’s compact yet spacious and has two zipper pockets to store smaller items and keep everything organized.
You’ve never truly experienced the shower of a lifetime until you’ve had a shower with your favorite beverage nearby. This shower drink holder will hold a standard-sized soda, beer, or energy drink can and installs super easily. It attaches simply to glossy surfaces using a patented grip technology … and now I have to buy it just to see what that is.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a massage, whether in the privacy of their home or at a day spa. This shiatsu back and neck massager relieves tension from your neck to your feet for less than $30. this version has heat built in and features loops you can rest your hands in for additional pressure. It even comes with a car charger.
Pack your bags, we’re going on a trip! (Just kidding, I have to finish this article.) If I were going on a trip, however, I’d snag one of these smart-looking striped weekender bags that has a built-in shoe compartment and a matching toiletry bag. Choose from stripes, polka dots, or solids; it won’t matter. Each bag accommodates two to four days of clothes with plenty of pockets for convenience.
If your gift recipient has a green thumb (or wishes they did), a giftable garden tool set is never a bad choice. This set includes a trowel, transplanter, hand rake, hand hoe and fork, pruning shears, sprayer, garden line, garden gloves, and handbag. These pieces are ideal for indoor or outdoor care of flowers and trees, and that bag is chic in itself.
If we’ve gotten this far in our list of unique gift ideas and nothing has jumped out at you, maybe this set of assorted notepads is just what you’re looking for. Do you know a single person who doesn’t need to write things down occasionally? From a grocery list to a “honey-do” note? … Precisely. These are adorned with animals and have clever sayings attached that anyone will get a chuckle out of.
I know buying small pieces of furniture and appliances seems risky but their eyes will light up over this bedside lamp. Why? Because not only does it easily shed or dim light with touch controls but it has a built-in USB port, too. The round shape is modern and the flaxen fabric shade will go with anything. The bulb is even included.
Cue the lights and cue the music! This two-in-one flame outdoor table lamp does both, delivering a warm yellow light with 96 LEDs and audio via a Bluetooth speaker that’ll let you connect your favorite electronic device to listen to your favorite tunes. The lamp has a built-in rechargeable battery that will give you up to 12 hours of playback time and nearly a full day of soft light.
Don’t you wish you could dust while getting other things done, too? (O.K., fine, maybe it’s just me.) These duster mop slipper shoe covers are funny when you first look at them but are highly effective at stemming the tide of dust, dirt, and debris on your floors. They’re even great for cleaning up spills. This purchase includes a set of four so there will always be a pair ready to go.
Neck massagers like the one a few products above are great but sometimes you need a little (or a lot) more power to target particular problem areas. This deep tissue massage gun has six interchangeable heads, six speeds, and built-in charging capabilities that will deliver four to six hours of massage on a single charge. Portable and wireless, this is great for targeting specific muscles in your legs, arms, back, and torso.
I need white noise when I sleep and, yes, this includes when I’m traveling which can be tricky. This portable sound machine delivers 24 soothing sounds in a lightweight nine-ounce size that’ll easily fit in your backpack or suitcase. The timer and memory functions are especially useful, as is the earphone support in case you’re in a room with a white noise hater. (And, honestly, you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.)
This is a judgment-free zone, O.K.? So, if you’re a smoker of nicotine or, cough, anything else that you (or your recipient) might have a use for an ashtray sitting around. Most of them look like they came out of a dank bar from the 1970s but this elephant-themed version with a lid is not only functional but attractive when not in use. Choose from seven colors.
Charcuterie is still a thing and, to be honest, I’d be OK if it’s always a thing. It’s easy to assemble, looks impressive, and satisfies a crowd. This cheese board has four included knives hidden beneath the initial layer and four bowls for corraling nuts or condiments. The generous 13-inch size will give them more than enough room for their meat and cheese favorites.