34 great gift ideas for someone you don’t know that well

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We all run into it at one time or another. We need a gift for our Mother-in-Law or maybe need to give a nice “thank you” back to our neighbor for all those favors they did. The problem is we don’t really know them all that well and it’s tough to think of gift to give them. The following list can give you some ideas on what to give them, providing you know at least something about them. Best of all, most of these ideas you done in less than 10 minutes and you don’t even have to leave the house!

1. Give them a gift certificate to local dining establishment. It can be a local diner or a national chain, just make sure that it has some level of variety in case they have some allergy that would prevent them from using it.

2. Give them a Gift of the Month Clubir?t. Because of the variety of Gift of the Month Clubs, there’s bound to be something they like. Wine of the Month and Beer of the Month Clubs are very popular; however, can be very expensive for any more than one month. If you’re looking for something more affordable a a 6 Month Organic Coffee of the Month Club ir?t is only $60, and who doesn’t like coffee?

3. Netflix subscription. This is a nice safe one because you can give them the subscription and, unless they have an aversion to TV and Movies, they can pick what they like. It’s also nice because you can scale the amount to how generous you want to be. Or you can try a Blockbuster Night Movie Care Package ir?t, which is a little over the top in candy selection, but that’s just my opinion.

4. Here’s an old favorite: Sweet and Savory Snack Trayir?t. The nice twist on this is that it’s different from the same-old Whitman’s Sampler and you don’t have to leave your house to get it – just order and ship it online.

5. iTunes gift card – Just about everyone loves music and iTunes is the standard for online music.

6. A Burt’s Bees Head To Toe Kitir?t offers a lot of nice stuff that will make someone feel good about themselves and it’s organic (and who doesn’t like that?). This is more of a gift for a woman. Since we’re looking for women’s gifts you could try: Bath & Body Works Gift Set including Body Lotion, Body Splash, and Deep Cleansing Hand Soapir?t, Candle Gift Setir?t, or a Perfume Gift Setir?t.

7. For men’s gifts you could try: Magazine subscriptions such as: Men’s Health (1-year)ir?t or (2-year)ir?t (because every guy likes something from Men’s Health), for the investing type: SmartMoney (1-year)ir?t or (2 -year)ir?t or Forbesir?t or Fortune (1-year)ir?t, general interest magazines like: SPINir?t, TIME ir?t, or Newsweekir?t. Most guys like video games so a gamefly subscription would be good (just like Netflix). And most everyone nowadays has an iPod but I know I’m always looking for my head phones or like to have multiple Earbudsir?t in different places (work, home, gym bag).

8. If they’re the literary type a Book of the month club might be appreciated. Or you could take the safe route and get a Barnes and Noble or Amazon Gift Cardir?t

9. Lottery Cards are nice and impersonal but show you thought of them. And hey, maybe if they strike it rich they’ll share some with you.

10. Easily get a gift for ANYONE at Zazzle.com. They have tons of different shirts, shoes, cards, calendars, hoodies, you name it for just about any hobby or interest you can think of (is your mother-in-law a knitter? Do your son-in-law’s parents have a St. Bernard? Anything.)

11. Donate to charity in their name. This is one of those real cerebral gifts that you have to be careful with. George Castanza gave this gift a bad name.

12. For the more practical sorts try: solar powered radio lightir?t, AAA Emergency Road Assistance Kitir?t, Mobile Charger / Rechargeable batteries,ir?t, or The Weather Channel Wireless Weather Stationir?t

13. Indoor plants are a great idea because they provide oxygen and purify the air. You’re probably better off getting something locally but you could also check out Italian Herb Garden ir?t because it doubles as a cooking gift!

14. Here’s a grab bag of more ideas that didn’t fit anywhere else: Glass Picture/Photo Coaster Setir?t are pretty cheap and customizable so the recipient can put their own pictures in them, Snow Brushir?t varies by region (obviously) but I can tell you how much I appreciate mine, Tri-Axis Pocket Pedometerir?t – kind of foolish and hard to not come off as saying “Hey fatty, here’s your gift”, Silicone Pot Holdersir?t are really nice to have, Electric Wine Openerir?t or Stainless Steel Wine Saver Gift Setir?t for people who like to entertain (or just love wine!)

Hopefully you found something that you can give to that not-so-special someone. Most of these are nice because you can choose how much you want to spend on them and you don’t really have to go anywhere if you order it online. Amazon’s great because if it’s over $25 shipping is free. With any luck you’ll be able to get all of your shopping done quickly and easily. Even if you’re still frustrated about getting someone a gift, just remember it’s the thought that counts!


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