Great Gift Ideas for Anyone on Your List

Make shopping for gifts easy on yourself this holiday season with these crowd pleasers.

By Lorraine Allen

It might be the season to be jolly, but if you’re a parent, that means your to-do list probably just tripled, too. There are holiday events to plan, meals to prepare, family get-togethers to attend, and teacher gifts to organize. There are decorations to hang, cards to mail, cookies to bake, and of course countless gifts to chose, buy, wrap, and present to your loved ones. And with everything else going on, who really has time to think of the absolute perfect gift for each person on our list? Here to help you save some time and frustration is a list of great gift ideas for just about anyone.

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A potted plant

Plants are great for kids and adults because they breathe life, beauty, and joy into a home, and foster responsibility and an understanding of nature in kids. Make it a potted herb if you want something that smells nice and can even add flavor to countless meals, too. Or perennial bulbs, which will grow back each year. Not sure if the recipient has a green thumb? Stick to easy-care succulents like the Christmas cactus pictured above.

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When the weather’s nasty and cold, anyone will enjoy a new pair of soft, comfortable slippers.

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A fluffy robe, wrap, or throw

They’re perfect for cuddling up with loved ones and keeping cozy all winter long.

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Give the Gift of Pampering

Who doesn’t want to indulge a little at this time of year? Treat someone on your list – or yourself! – to an Olay gift bundle.


A high-quality pen

We all know that feeling of never having a pen when you need one. But when someone gives you a really nice pen, you pay attention to it, and carry it around with care, like a watch—so you always have it when you need it.

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A baking mix

Instead of doing the baking yourself, why not provide them with the ingredients (and the tools, too – you can add a mixing bowl and spatula, for instance) in a homemade or boxed mix? That way they can treat themselves to something sweet after the other holiday cakes and cookies have all been devoured.

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Everyone spends loads of time traveling places these days, to school, work, sports practices, and relatives’ and friends’ homes. An audio book is a fun way to pass the time, and everyone enjoys hearing a great story. You can even buy someone a gift card or code for a super-convenient digital download.

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Noise-cancelling headphones

For those audiobooks, or times when a person just wants to listen to his or her own devices, watch a movie on the go, or block out background noise and sneak a nap.

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Personalized notepaper or stationery

Order custom sets online, or look for initial notecards or paper in greeting-card stores. Everyone needs paper for thank-you notes, letters, and jotting down ideas, and a personalized gift is always extra special.

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A framed photo

These days, thanks to smartphones, everyone is always taking a million pictures. That’s great because it allows us to record so many wonderful memories—but what’s even better is having one of those special photos framed and giving it to someone who can enjoy looking at it every day.

What are your go-to gifts for everyone on your list?

Lorraine is a freelance parenting and food writer, and she shares her cooking adventures and family recipes at She lives in New York with her family and one squirrel-obsessed dog. Follow her

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