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We love the holidays, but perhaps one of the most annoying parts of the most wonderful time of the year is that it kind of comes with a homework assignment. That homework assignment, of course, appears in the form of a gift list. Shopping for your mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, favorite coworker, best friend, friendly neighbor, and your gaggle of cousins all at the same time? Yeah, it's pretty easy to run out of ideas quickly: especially when you're working with someone who is notoriously hard to shop for. The hard-to-shop for person can be difficult for a number of reasons. Maybe it's because they refuse to tell you what they want because they 'don't want anything this year.' Maybe it's because their taste includes Gucci, champagne, and other things well out of your budget. Or maybe it's because when they want something, they tend to buy it for themselves, so they never have ideas on hand. Whatever the reason is, you still need to get them a gift — and maybe you're tired of the same old soaps, socks, and candles (although I'm not sure I can relate). That's why we rounded up the best gifts for women who are hard to shop for, although of course these gifts will work for anyone and any gender. We wanted the gifts to be practical but unique and fun (because a USB cord is a practical purchase, definitely not a great gift) and we wanted it to be something that could be used all year round. After taking some time to remember all of the useful things we tried out this year, we have a pretty good list accumulated. Best of all, they're available on Amazon for easy purchasing. Happy shopping!
The Best Gifts for Women That Are Hard to Shop For: Under $25
These produce bags are an eco-friendly and affordable way to cut down on one-time use plastic: with two small, two medium, and two large bags, you can use them to carry fruits, vegetables, grains, rice, dried beans, and more as you shop in a store or farmer's market. They're made from cotton and come with a drawstring to keep things sealed tight.
These reusable under eye masks come in a tin and are made of 100% silicone — and they act as a vacuum to seal your serums and creams underneath, which allow them to work like eye masks that you can use again and again. We love that you can choose a serum you know won't irritate your skin and will provide the benefits you're looking for: try them with vitamin C to feel more awake, or a heavier night cream for intense hydration.
This fun gift is the most travel-friendly Bluetooth speaker we've ever seen, and the crystal clear sound will feel like it's coming from a much larger model. It comes with a charging cable, carrying case, and a micro-hook — it's perfect for camping, tailgating, and days by the lake or beach.
This BPA-free container is an easy and brilliant way to preserve the life of your fresh herbs for up to three weeks. You can even use this for asparagus. The clear plastic top prevents the herbs from being crushed, and the pour spout allows you to easily discard the water and replace with fresh water, which you only need to do every 3-5 days to keep them as crisp as the day you bought them.
Put this cup holder adapter by Seven Sparta in your car and you've just solved one of the most annoying problems for the well-hydrated: It will allow your 40-ounce wide water bottles to snugly fit by your side as you drive. This is notoriously a nuisance for coffee drinkers as well, and this will also accommodate larger mugs for your hot cup as you commute into work. It works for lots of popular brands, from Hydroflask to YETI.
The Best Gifts for Women That Are Hard to Shop For: Under $50
Portable chargers have been around for a while, but we had to include this one because of it's size and for convenience factor. It's the first one we've seen that doesn't need an annoying, bulky USB-C cord to work, so there's one less thing to pack into your purse in the morning. It has a built-in lightning connector is only the size of a lipstick. Note: it's made for iPhones, not Androids.
This magnetic wall organizer will work on on a fridge, door, or any other magnetic surface, and we love that it's as aesthetically-pleasing as it is useful. There's five key hooks and a place to store everything from your mail to chargers to hand sanitizers —- so you'll never leave the house without forgetting what you need most. Best of all, no installation required, and the magnet is strong.
These aromatherapy shower steamers are a fun way to bring the spa home to you: drop it in the shower and as the water heats up, the steam will allow the fragrant aromatherapy oils to fill up your bathroom. This pack has three citrus scents in grapefruit, citrus, and cocoa orange for an energizing boost whenever you need one. Readers say that you can stretch these out for two showers or more, and that the discharge doesn't make the tub slippery.
The eco-friendly brand BLUELAND has been getting some buzz for a while now (maybe you've seen the brand on Shark Tank), and this starter kit has everything one would need to try it out for themselves. Instead of having to repurchase bottles and bottles of cleaner and soap, just fill these up with warm water, drop the provided tablet in, and let it dissolve. You'll instantly have a bottle of bathroom cleaner, a bottle of multi-surface cleaner, and a foaming hand soap to last you until you need to add a new tablet in — no new bottle needed. The set comes with three bottles and three tablets, lightly scented with natural ingredients like eucalyptus and lemon. Find the refills here.
If you're looking to give a gift to someone who loves cooking but hates prep work, lives to entertain, or simply can't cook at all, this would be a hit for all of them. It's a manual pull chopper: add ingredients into the base, cover, and pull the string, and you'll have chopped ingredients in seconds. Use it for omelet ingredients, instantly make pico de gallo or guacamole, or use it to chop onions and garlic without having to get them on your hands.
If you're looking to gift someone something useful or practical — and they work from home or on a hybrid schedule — you need to see this portable laptop desk. It has a sleek surface to easily place a laptop on, a slot to keep a phone steady, a wrist rest for comfort, and a cushioned pillow bottom to allow the recipient work from the couch, the bed, or anywhere they want to. It even has a handle to carry it around and a small pocket to store things in.
Our executive commerce editor is obsessed with this handy bathroom shelf for her toothbrush and serums — but this attractive little organizer is not just for decoration. If it gets wet, the base instantly dries to eliminate water build-up from electric toothbrushes or products like facial oils. That means your sink is much cleaner, your bathroom is tidier, and things look and feel more organized. It has sturdy rubber stoppers on the base to keep it from moving, and the legs are made from stainless steel.
An Oprah's Favorite Thing from this year, this brilliant USB lighter is a must-have gift for anyone who has candles all over their house. It's an electric lighter that lasts up to 1,000 uses before it needs to recharge, and it has an indicator light to let you know when it's time to plug it in. There's also a handy LED light at the tip to double as a flashlight, and we love that it comes in so many unique colors to fit anyone's aesthetic.
The Best Gifts for Women That Are Hard to Shop For: A Few Splurge Options
A portable handheld vacuum cleaner comes in handy for so many reasons — and it's something nobody thinks to buy for themselves. It's perfect for the car, the desk, small messes, your keyboard, on carpet or furniture. We like the bright pastel color and that it's cordless. It's also lightweight and has a washable filter, too.
This is such a great gift that most people would love to receive, and if your budget is a little higher than $100, we promise you won't regret it. On its own, the ceramic, scratch-proof mug can be programmed to stay hot (up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit) for 80 minutes. Use the included coaster, however, and your mug will stay hot all day. It also has another smart feature: it turns off automatically after two hours of inactivity or when the cup is empty.
This beautiful alarm clock and night light is as helpful right before bed as it is in the morning. It features a number of light settings like a soft-glow reading light that help you wind down with a good book, as well as soothing sounds to help relax you into sleep. You can program your alarm clock to have sounds and a wake-up light naturally help you get up in the morning, and there's also tons of nature sounds and white noise to keep you deep in your REM cycles. Best of all, you can use the app on your phone to control every setting.
Another great splurge gift, this mini portable pocket projector from Kodak provides a clear, large projector image wherever you want to watch it. Connect it via a USB to a laptop or camera, or use it wirelessly by connecting to Airplay. It's a great gift for family movie nights or gaming enthusiasts, and one reviewer writes: "My boyfriend is a travel nurse and most Air BnBs have very small TVs and he's always complaining about that. I got this and he loves it. The picture quality is amazing and the fact that it's so compact sealed the deal! I wish I would have found this sooner!!! You will not regret this purchase." Note: It does take some learning to connect it to your iPad or iPhone, but reviewers write that you'll be fine if you carefully read the directions.