Don’t you hate when you have to buy an anonymous Xmas present, like for one of those gift swaps at work? It’s almost as bad as when you have to buy gifts for family members or friends you don’t know very well (like my goddaughter who I haven’t seen in 3 years). Who knows their tastes, preferences, and what they already have?
There’s a major art to finding an anonymous Xmas present that doesn’t turn into a joke gift. If your office or family is doing joke gifts, fine — but if they’re not, I promise you that giant novelty piggy bank will not be a hit.
Fortunately, while it’s hard to find great gifts that suit everyone, it’s not impossible. Here are some suggestions to carry you through the holiday season.
A basic Xmas present everyone will love
Here are my favorite simple Xmas gifts — the ones that always meet with a good reception, no matter who receives them.
1. Gift cards to big name stores.
Kids are surprisingly excited about these. They think they’re credit cards like their parents have, and they get very enthusiastic about doing grown up shopping. But even adults can appreciate a gift they give themselves. I say big name stores, and not restaurants, because tastes in food can vary, and different cities have different stores. Get a nationwide chain that carries almost everything and you’re safe.
Better still — a gift credit card.
2. Homemade goodies
I almost didn’t include this one because you do have to watch out for food allergies. If you know that your baking isn’t going to kill someone, however, then home baked goodies are always a hit. Don’t give boxes of chocolates — they’re clichéd, and people get dozens of them at Christmas. If you’re not a baker, hit a bakery. Just get something delicious and extravagant they’d never get themselves.
3. Gift baskets
The thing about a gift basket as an anonymous Xmas present is, you’re bound to include something they like. They may give away some of the stuff you offer, but if you include twenty different candy bars, or dozens of toiletries, you’re going to hit on at least a few things they enjoy and can use.
4. FOR KIDS: Art Supplies
Quick, what’s the most popular Xmas present for kids? If you said stuffed animals, give yourself a prize. Trust me, they have 5,000 of them, and they don’t need more. If you or your kids need to give Xmas gifts to children you’re not familiar with, go with craft kits, art supplies, or other consumable items. Kids really enjoy this kind of thing. It will keep them busy through the holidays, and won’t take up space afterwards.
An anonymous Xmas present isn’t as much fun to shop for as gifts for your nearest and dearest, but you can make sure yours isn’t the gift everyone wants to get rid of in a round of white elephant! Choose a simple Xmas present that appeals to everyone and the game will be that much more fun.