gift guide

We Asked If You Needed Help Finding Holiday Gifts. 1,607 People Responded.

Photo: 2017 Getty Images

The trouble with wanting to give someone the perfect gift is that first you have to find the perfect gift. The search can be fun, at the beginning. You think of everything you know about the person, what they love and what they need, and where those two might intersect. You check out curated lists of the best gifts for dads, moms, kids, teens, tweens, co-workers, gamers, tool-lovers, hikers, and priests.

But sometimes, despite all that work, you still can’t find the perfect gift. That’s why we offered to help. Just before Thanksgiving, we asked our newsletter subscribers to tell us who they were having trouble finding a great gift for, what that person was like, and how much they wanted to spend. More than 1,600 readers responded, asking for help finding gifts for moms, dads, and grandmas. For conservative uncles and 2-year-olds that like throwing rocks. For a 16-year-old daughter who likes hoodies, soccer, discord, and music.

Below are our gift picks for 79 of the 1,607 challenging giftees you sent in. We’re sorry that we couldn’t help everyone, but for those of you who didn’t get specific answers, hopefully these will provide the inspiration that you need. (If they do not, we suggest visiting our 2019 gift-guide hub for many, many more ideas.)

‘My 30-something fiancé who’s into baking, hiking, cycling, beginner carpentry, and reading.’ Budget: $100-200

‘My longtime partner/girlfriend of 11 years, whom I want to propose to, and who’s into a modern engagement ring in gold, with an understated diamond or other jewel, and maybe kind of artsy.’ Budget: $3,000

‘My wife, who’s into the Procreate app.’ Budget: $250

‘My 18-year-old nephew, who’s into I don’t know!’ Budget: $25

It’s a little more than $25. But he’ll love it!

‘My 17-year-old son who likes spicy potato chips.’ Budget: $20

‘My daughter who’s into long-distance hiking.’ Budget: $200

‘My 27-year-old daughter who likes cats, cheese, concerts, and storage.’ Budget: $100

Order the cheese and put it in this basket, which she can later use for storage!

Order the cheese and put it in this basket, which she can later use for storage!

‘My husband who’s into tech, film, music, the outdoors and weed.’ Budget: Less $$$ than a transeuropean flight.

‘My 23-year-old girlfriend who is originally from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and likes designer clothing, eating food, her dog, all things Harry Potter, horror movies, and the color black.’ Budget: $200

‘My mom who’s into coffee, live-laugh-love paintings, and family.’ Budget: $150

‘My sister who likes clothes and cooking, and is allergic to everything’ Budget: $100

‘My 12 and 15-year-old granddaughters who enjoy cooking, swimming, music, photography, dogs, and cats.’ Budget: $100 (each)

‘My 34-year-old daughter with eclectic taste who likes rainbows, sparkles, and high-end clothing.’ Budget: $400

‘My childhood friend whom I haven’t seen since I was 13. She just had a double mastectomy and likes the color green, travel, and parties.’ Budget: $50

Breast cancer survivor Hil Moss told the Strategist that button-down shirts are an essential part of her post-operation wardrobe. She noted that Madewell’s shirts are “comfortable and stylish,” and we think this one (in green) could be worn on a plane, or to a party—plus, it’s on sale.

Breast cancer survivor Hil Moss told the Strategist that button-down shirts are an essential part of her post-operation wardrobe. She noted that Madewell’s shirts are “comfortable and stylish,” and we think this one (in green) could be worn on a plane, or to a party — plus, it’s on sale.

‘My brother who likes pot, and vaping.’ Budget: $50

A few dollars over budget for this artisan-made one hitter.

‘My 38-year-old brother who’s into ’80s and ’90s nostalgia.’ Budget: $75

‘My boyfriend who likes baking, sports, and public transit.’ Budget: $100

‘My assistant who’s into being politically correct and finding her purpose.’ Budget: $50

‘My book-loving friend who’s into plants, crystals, and essential oils.’ Budget: $50

‘My sister who just moved into a new apartment with her boyfriend and likes minimalist design.’ Budget: $100

‘My fiancé who likes untucked shirts.’ Budget: $200

‘My mother-in-law who enjoys decorating her house.’ Budget: $50

‘My girlfriend who’s into computers, cooking, and woodworking.’ Budget: $100

‘My mother who likes truffles, fancy olive oil, and great bread.’ Budget: $50

‘My 30-year-old brother who loves the Keto diet and his infant daughter.’ Budget: $80

Editor’s note: the small version of the lamb will be back in stock December 18, but you can buy the large version now.

‘My wife who’s into skin care.’ Budget: Sky’s the limit

‘My 27-year-old daughter who lives in Los Angeles and is into skin care.’ Budget: $200

‘My girlfriend who’s into candles.’ Budget: $100

‘My 10-year-old son who’s into video games, ’80s TV shows, basketball, sports uniforms of all kinds, and did I mention video games?’ Budget: $150

‘My dad who’s into not a lot, but maybe journalism?’ Budget: $50

‘My wife who would like a warm, waterproof coat.’ Budget: $200-600

‘My 26-year-old twin sister who is about to go into medical residency and likes cozy things, the color gray, giant sweaters, Ryan Murphy shows, minimalism, looking cute, and skin care.’ Budget: $50

‘My boyfriend’s mother who likes I don’t know.’ Budget: $30

‘My 2-year-old daughter who’s into trucks, Daniel Tiger, and Elmo.’ Budget: $50

‘My 19-year-old son who’s into hipster minimalism, entrepreneurial pursuits, and weight lifting.’ Budget: $500

‘My 3-year-old son who likes cars, trains, and planes.’ Budget: $50

‘My co-workers, all 25 of them (help!), who are into music and life hacks, or would like something that makes them giggle or helps them prep for 2020.’ Budget: $5 (each)

‘My 55-year-old sister who just lost 100 pounds, has a PhD in religion, and is a marathon runner.’ Budget: $222

‘My husband who likes to golf.’ Budget: Whatever

‘My boss who likes I have no idea.’ Budget: $100

‘My 7-year-old niece who’s into L.O.L. dolls.’ Budget: $40

‘My mother-in-law who likes anything that Oprah or Dr. Oz endorses.’ Budget: $150

‘My mother who has no hobbies, but is interested in books about slavery.’ Budget: $100

‘My husband who is obsessed with board games but I do not want to buy anymore of those.’ Budget: $200

‘My friend who’s into biking, the outdoors, cooking, podcasts, women’s health, dancing, and social justice.’ Budget: $40

‘My 2-year-old son who likes throwing rocks into water.’ Budget: $40

‘My 65-year-old dad who’s into motorcycles, eating, and scotch.’ Budget: $100

‘A teen girl in my life who’s into quirky design.’ Budget: $200

‘My daughter who’s into looking professional and social issues.’ Budget: $100

‘My 15-year-old daughter who enjoys driving, skin care, and photography.’ Budget: $100

‘My sister who’s into being pregnant.’ Budget: $50

‘My wife (we just got married) who’s into True Crime, Doctor Who, Astronomy, the Sims, and making books.’ Budget: $25-100

‘My husband who likes working out, deer hunting, Big Green Egg products, and the Whole 30 Diet (he’s annoying).’ Budget: $20-150

‘My grumpy father-in-law who enjoys fishing, hunting, food, cheap beer, and complaining.’ Budget: $100