Christmas present ideas for people who are hard to buy for

My husband is always a tricky person to buy presents for. There is nothing he needs and he generally buys the things he wants for himself. He’s not the only person I struggle to buy for though; the same is true for my mum and a few other people in our families. Giving money or gift cards is one way around this, but for me it feels like these lack the thought behind the gift which is part of the joy of giving. I’m gradually getting better at thinking outside the box though. Here are some of my previous Christmas present ideas that have worked well for those tricky people to buy for.


(top) A box of envelopes labelled for each month with notecards showing family time ideas; (bottom) a hamper full of chocolates, wine, and food treats - "Christmas present ideas for people who are hard to buy for"


1) A personalised voucher for a gift that lasts throughout the year

My mum absolutely loves having fresh flowers in the house. For the last few years, my gift to her has been a bouquet of fresh flowers each month. For the first year, I would send her flowers. Now she prefers to go out and choose them herself; that way she gets the flowers she likes best and usually gets more for the money. I have a direct debit set up for her to pay for them and each year, I give her a little handmade gift voucher promising her another year of fresh flowers each month.


A vase full of yellow, white and blue flowers


2) Namesake flowers

Each of our children have a namesake rose in the garden. We have a Pretty Jessica rose, a Sophy’s Rose and a Thomas à Becket rose. We also have a couple of other roses with names that have significance to us. If you have friends or family who love gardening they might love a rose that shares a name with someone special to them. I find the David Austin website very useful for roses. You can also look up names for other plants through the RHS Plant Finder.


3) The gift of family time

Last year’s Christmas present for my husband was a box containing envelopes for each month of the year. Each envelope contains a promise to do something together – either as a couple or as a family. Last year’s envelopes ranged from simple family time ideas like having a pizza night or a movie night through to something a little more special, such as a spa day for our 10th wedding anniversary.


I write a little note inside the envelope to give a clue about what we’ll be doing that month and keep a note elsewhere so I don’t forget. Most things are just ideas rather than being planned in advance. Later in the year, I might slip in a second envelope for a particular month which contains tickets for something, or more details about what is planned. It’s been a lovely way of making sure we have focused family time together. My husband loved it so much that this is going to become my annual Christmas gift to him.


A box of envelopes labelled for each month with notecards showing family time ideas


4) Things I love about you

A couple of years ago, I made a little book for my husband for Christmas. On each page was written one thing that I love about him, along with a little drawing to illustrate it. It’s been one of his favourite gifts from me and cost very little to make, apart from the time involved! If drawing isn’t your forte, you could just write a little message on each page, share memories, or use photos to make something similar.


A page in a notebook showing a drawing of me looking cross and hubby looking lovely with the text "#21 You love me even when I am tired and grumpy"


5) A personalised picture or print

One of last year’s Christmas presents to my husband was a watercolour drawing of the five of us together framed along with a copy of the only one of Jessica’s drawings that featured all five of us. We’ve also received some beautiful personalised pictures from friends, such as this lovely sketch of the five of us together from ladybirdsandlambs.


A drawing of me, hubby, Jessica, Sophie and Thomas by ladybirdsandlambs


Other ideas for personalised prints include personalised maps, prints with a quote that is special to you and the recipient, song lyrics or picture of pets.


6) Photo gifts

There are lots of options when it comes to photo gifts. From photo books filled with family snaps, or pictures of the children’s artwork to mugs and mousemats and big canvas prints. We have a beautiful photo blanket that was sent to us by blogger friends – it’s filled with photos of Jessica and it’s a treasured possession. If you’re good with photo editing software, you can also get a bit creative with your photos. One of my recent gifts to my husband was a canvas print featuring all three of our children together – something that can only be achieved thanks to the magic of photo editing software.


A photo of Jessica sitting next to Sophie with Thomas in front of Sophie


7) A hamper full of little treats

I love putting together a hamper of little treats as a Christmas gift. The best thing about this is that it’s such a versatile gift. You could do a food hamper, or a hamper of bath treats, or craft stuff. You can get lots of pre-made hampers but if you do it yourself then you can include little things that you know the recipient will really love. Plus you can adjust the size of hamper to fit your budget.


A hamper filled with coffee, chocolate, wine and some other food treats


8) Handmade treats

If you’re good at baking then a jar of cookies, homemade fudge or a Christmas cake is always a lovely gift. We like to decorate our jars using paint pens.


A decorated glass jar of cookies


9) Experiences

For us, the best gift of all is being able to have quality time together. We love getting out and about so gift vouchers for days out, a nice family meal at a restaurant or a cinema trip are always nice to receive. There are so many things to choose from with experience vouchers.



Hopefully this list has helped provide a few ideas when it comes to gifts for those people who are harder to buy for. Some of the ideas on this list have become regular Christmas gifts for us. I don’t think it really matters that the surprise element is lost if you’re giving something that the giver really loves. For me, it’s about the love and the thought that goes into it.


All links shared are those that I have used in the past and found helpful. I have not been paid to share this post, or gifted anything; nor are any of these links affiliate links.


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9 thoughts on “Christmas present ideas for people who are hard to buy for

  1. These are such wonderful ideas, I love the book you made for your husband. A couple of years ago we gifted the kids Grandma a magazine of photo’s every month in the post. We just added the photos from our phones to the app. and they were printed off and sent for us.

  2. Some great ideas here. I got sidetracked putting family names into the RHS plant finder and found a lovely plant for my mum – thank you for the inspiration 🙂


  3. The gift of family time is something I do quite often for Grandparents. There isn’t much they don’t have, but I know they always love spending some quality time with the girls #WedsBlogShare

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