There's always ONE. You've pretty well got your gift list buttoned down except for that *one* person who either has EVERYTHING or is incredibly hard to please. Here are a few gift ideas for people who are hard to buy for:
A set of four aromatherapy Anti-Bad-Mood Sprays
would be a good gift (not just because I sell them) because they are something no one else has. These are fresh, clean, scents that will appeal to most people and the copy on the labels is really, really funny. The recipient can always stow them in the office restroom or guest bedroom or even...[sucks breath in]...split them up and re-gift them. You'd want to buy all four for a person you don't know very well - because you want it to be received as a joyous, funny gift, versus a direct message about their personal behavior. Put one of each in your shopping cart then use the coupon code ALL FOUR in the checkout area and you'll get $25 off a set of four. Great value. If you know someone well enough to choose a specific bottle - that works too.
Gift cards are terrific presents - but only give them to poor people who will spend it (not hoard it) or rich folks that are the frugal kind of rich*. Choose a major retailer like Amazon; iTunes; Starbucks, or Target that sells a diverse group of products in every price range. You want to give a person lots of fun items to choose from vs. forcing them to spend their own money to make up the difference on something they'd actually want.
A set of 3 premium car washes or even a voucher for a detailing service is something every car owner -- rich or poor -- will appreciate. EZPass, Metro, bus, and gas cards are also great gifts.
A few years ago, my friend Sue gave me this Edible Arrangements
package on my birthday. Not because I'm hard to buy for -- I don't think -- but because she's AWESOME. It was my first experience with the company and I was really impressed - the fruit and the chocolate were both very high quality. It is entirely possible, by the way, to suck all the chocolate off the fruit without eating it. Not that I tried that. <-----shifty eyes-----> Some of the well-known brands are actually kind of...stale or yuck. If you're going to send food gift, stick with companies that you have tried and enjoyed.
The secret to every great party is repetition and excess. Do one thing -- even a small thing -- over and over and over again and choose one element and do it to EXCESS. You can use these concepts in gift giving as well. A handmade Advent calendar is a great idea - and there are bajillions of ideas on Pinterest to spark your imagination. It doesn't have to be expensive or complicated. The gift is in providing someone with a small, daily surprise. What about Eight Crazy Nights of Technical Running Socks? Use repetition to make a simple thing more powerful and fun. You might send twelve different coffee roasts, or hand-selected artisan vegetable boxes - but whatever you decide? Hand-pick it yourself. Subscription services are expensive and what's inside is often pretty lackluster. I once spent a bunch of money on a year of "emerging wines" subscription and I think the recipient pretty much hated everything in there.
Throw your concerns about your favorite person's dietary needs aside (except I would tell you to skip anything with nuts) and send a batch of beautifully wrapped homemade cookies, cordials, fudge, jams, whatever. Consider making an old family recipe for a relative. One year I made my Uncle a couple of loaves of my grandmother/his mother's homemade bread. A batch of homemade Chex Mix will go over really will with folks in Minnesota. Martha has lovely pre-made cookie boxes
and gift wrapping ideas
to help you up your game. Even if they don't like it or can't eat it, there will always be someone they can share it with and everyone will be amazed by your handiwork.
*My experience has been that giving gift cards to people who can buy themselves whatever they want aren't the best choice. Someone once told me that the $100 gift card I gave her wasn't "enough to buy anything" at the store I chose. (Yes, the person really said that.) Other times I know the gift card has just been thrown on a pile; unused. Don't try to compete or spend at the same level as the other person. Don't buy wine for a wine snob or cheese for a cheese snob. Consider what they don't have - gifts that take time and care to make - or use repetition (see above) to make turn a simple gift into something of luxurious excess.
Do you have someone in your family that is hard to buy for? What gifts have gone over well? What gifts have met with a confused silence? What suggestions do you have for the person who "has everything?"