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Christmas Gift Giving for the Difficult People on Your List

The holiday season is well under way, and before we know it, it’ll be the morning after Old St. Nick’s visit and presents will be devoured under the tree. It’s so easy to find gifts each year that our kids, friends, and mother’s will love. However, when it comes to gift-giving for the people in your life who aren’t quite so close to you, like co-workers, distant relatives, friends, and the ever present difficult-to-shop-for dad or uncle, we agonize over what to give them.

It’s ironic that the people we have least intimate relationships with often cause us the most stress during the holidays. Office parties, grab bags, raffles, and the co-worker who just insists to buy you something generous every year are bound to make their way into your life over the coming weeks. Here are some ideas about how to be prepared with neutral gifts that most people will love.

ACCESSORIES: Fashion accessories like jewelry or scarves are a great gift for friends, whether they’re close to us or not. You can include them in office grab bag or secret Santa gifts; if a man happens to pick it out of the bag, he can always re-gift it to his wife or sister Christmas morning.

FRAGRANCE & BATH: Try to find sampler packs of fragrance or bath supplies that are already in a pre-packaged gift box or bag. Often, high-end brands will put together reasonably-priced holiday deals in compilation packages that give a little of everything to the recipient.

 HOME DÉCOR: Personal items like picture frames, photo albums, canvas prints etc. make for great neutral gifts for co-workers, neighbors, or friends whom you don’t expect to get something from.

WINE, BEER, & TREATS: Everyone loves alcohol or food gifts, particularly during the holidays. Most liquor stores will have pre-packed boxes of various beer selections from around the world and discounted bottles of wine. Better yet, rather than standing in line all day, simply order from an online voucher site and save money while you’re at it. Even discount sites online offer deals on food and alcohol packages and gifts.

DINNER GIFT CARDS: Everyonr needs to eat, if you can afford it, try giving a gift card for 2 to dine.

 Throughout the year if you see things on sale that are nice, yet not too personal, put together a collection of gifts you’ll choose from for when you receive the inevitable unexpected present each Christmas. Stash the items and products away in your closet, and come back to them when an unexpected aunt shows up on Christmas Eve with gifts for all the kids.

Don’t let gifts to the “secondary” people on your list cost you an arm and a leg.  While you’re at it, pick up some extra stocking stuffers for the people you love most, and gift yourself with a purchase or two this holiday season.