You look up gift guides when you’re a little stumped on ideas. But for some reason, the ideas in guides are almost always repetitive and often, they’re really questionable. Turns out coming up with a bunch of “unique” ideas without regard for the recipient is a recipe for weird results.
This year, read only one gift guide and be done. The Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides contains everything every other gift guide was going to tell you. And it’s probably funnier about it. So trek forward through these *extremely* distinct and personally relevant ideas…
The Gift Guide to End All Gift Guides
A Weirdly Expensive Version of an Everyday Item
What’s that? You have someone in your life that’s hard to shop for? They have few (or low maintenance) hobbies and didn’t give you a list? Just buy them something really normal and everyday… except expensive. Like a $43 shower cap, a $195 wine tote, or a $125 piggy bank. At least you know it’s not something they’d buy for themselves.
Most people don’t wear watches anymore, which makes this even more popular on gift guides somehow. And unless it’s a guide aimed at a really specific demographic, the watch will probably be a really classic leather or metal look.
An Expensive Niche Tech Gadget
A drone! Apple watch! Fitbit! Whatever the newest gadget is, it’ll be on every gift guide list. Usually under some kind of “For the Tech Junkie” header. For some reason it doesn’t seem to matter what the use for the gadget is, or whether that fits the person; it’s just important that it’s the newest gadget.
A Fancy Candle
Don’t question it. Just buy a fancy candle.
A Subscription Service
So you know at least one thing that your giftee likes. Just buy a TON of that, I guess. Just a whole bunch. Enough for the whole year, and you don’t have to know anything about it or pick it. Your friend likes cheese? Welcome to the cheese-of-the-month club buddy, your body should be 30% cheddar by the end of the next calendar year. It’s the Extreme Home Makeover version of a Christmas gift.
Gift guides really support good smelling items, or something. This is extra likely to show up on guides that purport to be local, crafty, or luxurious.
Something with a Cheesy Joke, Saying, or Pun
The classic here is mugs, but t-shirts and socks are both options this year as well. If it’s aimed at a “young” audience they might even substitute a joke with a random hashtag like #blessed or #girlboss.
Carry On Cocktail Kit
This one‘s on so many gift guides this year. They may vary in which particular cocktail they suggest, or who they suggest it for (out of town sibling, business traveler dad, etc.) but they’ll regularly include this for someone. Most will fail to mention that these kits don’t even contain the appropriate alcohol, so it’s $24 dollars plus whatever you’re charged for the bulk of the drink itself. And you’ll probably have to ask if you want a lemon or lime wedge.
Gift guide writers are really excited about pretty packaging.
DNA Testing, Apparently
This gift has the chance of alerting your giftee to genetic diseases in their family… which is fun… somehow. The marketing is more focused on finding unknown relatives, but don’t you already have enough Christmas obligations?
A Beard Kit
Lately there’s occasionally been other high-key personal grooming options in place of this, but you’ll still see fancy razors, shaving brushes, beard oil, and little trimmers on almost every list for men.
An Obvious Plug for their Own Product
Do you know the perfect gift for everyone on your list? The Sporcle Calendar. It’s a little bit of joy for every day of the year, which makes it at least 12 times as fun as an advent calendar. Old, young, close friend or new acquaintance, this gift will impress them all. In fact, we recommend buying a few extra in case you end up at an unexpected White Elephant or something. It’s that good.
Haley is a Content Moderator at Sporcle. She’s likely to walk into the office with a pastry and a book in hand, and a couple weird blog post ideas in her back pocket. Working at Sporcle is a constant learning experience, but she’s probably never mastering the capitals of the world.