We all know someone who simply has it all. My husband is a prime example: If he wants something, he goes out and buys it, leaving me scrambling for gift ideas when it comes time for special occasions.
Whether it’s a car accessory, the latest tech gadget, or new clothes, people who already have everything don’t leave a lot of choices for well-meaning gift givers. The trick to getting the perfect presents for the people who have it all is to think up things they wouldn’t purchase on their own – and that can be a challenge.
But even if someone seemingly has everything, you can’t just skip a gift altogether. A low-cost present is still a token of love and appreciation, so try wrapping up some of these surprises.
Gift Ideas for the Person Who Has Everything
1. Gift Cards or Certificates
My father-in-law is notoriously difficult to shop for, since he works long hours and doesn’t actually participate in a lot of leisure activities. So, every time his birthday or Christmas rolls around, I buy him a certificate to our local movie theater. He loves to go to the movies, but won’t really do so unless he has a reason, so it’s the perfect way to get him to relax and stop working – at least for a couple of hours.
Some folks might feel gift cards are a cop-out, but consider this: People who have everything clearly have a picture of what they want, so there’s no shame in getting a gift card or gift certificate for a favorite store or activity. It shows you’re paying attention to their preferences while acknowledging the fact that they may want to shop for themselves. Whether it’s a gift card to a favorite clothing store or a certificate to a restaurant for your foodie friend, gift cards can actually show a lot of love and thought.
If someone already has enough stuff, think beyond items and give an experience instead. When you prepay for an event or experience, your friend or family member gets a fun adventure to remember and possibly gains new skills and memories – all of which are much more valuable than a new iPhone speaker or pair of shoes.
Consider some of these experiences:
- Hot air balloon ride
- Cooking class
- Staycation in your area (you can be the escort as you check out museums, restaurants, and tourist attractions)
- Theater tickets
- Photography class
- Whitewater rafting
- Tickets to a gallery opening at a local museum
- Wine tasting
3. Prepaid Service
There’s something to be said for anticipating a recipient’s need and paying for it. It proves you’re thinking beyond an item, and considering ways to make someone’s life easier.
You could, for instance, pay for a full car detail, or a few hours of housecleaning. If you’re short on cash, you could be the one to give service – babysitting for a friend who hasn’t had a night out in a while, or making a few freezer meals to keep on hand. Sometimes, the best gifts aren’t things, but the willingness to pitch in and lend a hand.
4. Subscription Service
One of my favorite gifts to give those challenging people in my life is a subscription. Whether it’s to a magazine or a beauty sample box, subscription services can suit any budget and offer the recipient something to look forward to all year long.
The majority of these services offer gift subscriptions at a variety of price points, so you can toggle the number of months your recipient receives something to meet your spending preferences. Here are some of my favorite subscription services to give to others, based on their potential interests:
My Subscription Addiction is a great resource to find boxes for just about any interest and budget. Who wouldn’t love a box of goodies, samples, and products at their door?
If you prefer to gift a magazine subscription, choose one within your recipient’s area of interest, and always check for a discount code or discount subscription – in my experience, ordering from a third-party site and not the magazine itself is usually the best bet for savings. You might not know it, but even Amazon offers low-cost subscription options and tons of different magazines to choose from.
Consider it the gift that keeps on giving. Gifting a membership means your recipient gets access to certain perks, usually for a year. One of my go-to gifts for friends with kids is a membership to a local children’s museum, but a membership to anything from Costco, to AAA, to Netflix could mean the world to someone with few needs.
Not sure where to start? Choose a club or association that would mean something to your recipient, and then contact that association to ask if there’s a gift membership available for purchase. Every time recipients access those membership benefits, they’re going to think of you.
6. Something Personalized
When a friend or family member already has everything, a personal touch might mean the difference between just another gift and something truly meaningful. When you order something that is engraved, embroidered, or otherwise designed specifically for your recipient, you prove that you’ve put a little extra thought and effort into finding the perfect gift.
It doesn’t even need to be very big. For our first anniversary, I gifted my husband a metal key chain stamped with all of the important dates for our family, like anniversaries and birthdays. To this day, he says it is one of his favorite gifts, because it’s something he keeps with him all the time.
Think about stuff that you can personalize, from a leather journal embossed with your recipient’s name, to a piece of jewelry with an initial. Those personalized touches mean a lot to someone who already has everything else.
7. Daily Luxury
There’s nothing like gifting something that simply makes your recipient’s day a little more comfortable, and some of those little luxuries can be surprisingly inexpensive. I routinely find mink-soft blankets at discount stores like Marshall’s and Ross, which are perfect when gifted with a DVD and a box of popcorn for a night in. I also love giving slipper socks wrapped with a few fun treats along with a pedicure set.
Think about your recipients and what little luxuries can make their days more comfortable. A down-filled pillow might be your best bet for the nap-obsessed, while your luxury brand-loving friend might appreciate a fragrance sample box. Even a soft scarf could be a sweet gesture for a family member who’s perpetually cold. These little luxuries can be found for less than $50, and they show that you’re paying attention and want the people in your life to feel both special and comfortable.
8. Charity Donation
The idea of donating to charity in lieu of a gift has come a long way in recent years, thanks to services like GoFundMe and IndieGogo. There are enough charities and causes out there that you can choose one near and dear to your recipient’s heart.
The trick to making a donation really personal is to ask yourself this: What would your friends donate to if they were choosing the organization? A friend who’s passionate about cancer research would probably love a donation to the American Cancer Society, while a family member might think a donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation is sweet. You can also use crowdfunding sites to find causes that hit closer to home, like giving money for a friend’s medical treatment or gifting a veteran via the Wounded Warrior Project.
Check out JustGive.org for a list of organizations perfect for gift donations.
When someone already has everything they want and need, perhaps the best gifts aren’t material at all. The real challenge isn’t in selecting the perfect item, but finding a way to show your love and appreciation in other ways. After all, if it’s the thought that counts, putting extra consideration into services, experiences, and gifts that show you care are much more valuable than even the priciest present. Think outside of the mall and come up with a gift that is truly meaningful.
What do you give to friends who have everything?