Gifts For People You Don't Know, But Feel Obligated to Give

Gifts For People You Don't Know, But Feel Obligated to Give

You could get them a gift card or...

So it's the holiday season and you've got all your gifts bought, for your parents, siblings, significant other, and your multiple secret Santas. But there's always one or two that slip through the cracks, one person that you forgot to get a gift for. You might not really know them, they might be a new friend or mutual friend who's always around or maybe it's a gift for the hostess of a party. People you might not really know but feel obligated to get a gift for. Don't stress, I've got you covered. Here's a list of 15 gifts that you can get someone who you don't really know but feel obligated to get a gift for.

1. Book

Maybe it's just me, but I think books are great gifts. Here is Barnes and Noble's list of best-selling books of 2017. If you know something that they are interested in, whether it's military history, American history, sports or anything really, you can buy them a new book in that area, it'll be something they haven't read yet. You could also get them a coffee table book or a cookbook. You could also through in one of your own favorites. it's pretty touching when someone really enjoys something and wants to share it with someone else.

2. Candle

A candle is a great gift for anyone, it's a little something to make an area look and smell nice. You can even get one that is more lightly scented if you don't know if they are sensitive to smells, but other than that any candle will do.

3. Wine

You might want to be a little careful with this. Just that you might want to check if they drink or not before giving this gift. But if they do go for it, give them one of your favorites or what you have unopened. You can put a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and call it a day. This is a great gift for a host or hostess.

4. Chocolate

This is another great gift for a host or hostess, although it can be given to anyone. It can be nice chocolate all wrapped individually or something you spruced up from a drug store. Everyone loves chocolate. Or any other candy for that matter.

5. Journal

These are good to get for just this reason, giving gifts to people you don't really know that well. Everyone loves a great journal. And if they don't they can always regift it. Or they could use it for school or work or travel or just notes for the new year.

6. Baked goods

If you like baking this one is great! Everyone loves receiving baked goods, it shows you cared and spent time making them a gift. And if you have a few of these gifts to come up with or a few parties to go to then you could make a batch and break them into a few tins or baggies that are already decorated or that you decorated. You can get creative with it. Or you could get them just food.

7. Gift Card

Yeah, I know this one isn't that personal, but if you're really in a pinch it'll do. If they love books do Barnes and Nobles, if you know they like makeup try Sephora, and if you don't know or don't want to assume try Amazon. You can't go wrong with Amazon.

8. Gift Card To the Movies

It's the holiday season- the best time of year to see movies. Get them two tickets that they can redeem for any movie or a gift card for two to a movie theater! It's perfect, they can go with a friend or significant other and have a little free night out on you!

9. Pens and Stationery

This is a good one for anyone, friend, teacher, or coworker. Weather is a pack of blank letters and envelopes or a magnetic pad they can put on their fridge for to do lists, grocery list, and other reminders it's all very useful and will look nice. Pair it with a nice pen or two and you're golden.

10. External Phone Battery

Couple this with a pair of headphones and you've got a really good present. There are things that everyone will need at one point, so you know that they'll appreciate this gift eventually.

11. Soap

You could get body soap or body lotion for someone, or hand soap to put by a bathroom or kitchen sink with a paired hand lotion. This is another useful gift that they'll definitely use at some point.

12. Fuzzy Socks

Fuzzy socks are great when it's cold outside. You could get a few from a department store or drug store and give them two or three pairs. You can get them something else too or leave it at that!

13. Hand Cream

While body lotion alone would make a great gift so would hand cream. It's cold outside and skin can get dry and cracked. It could be a small one that they can have in their purse or a big one that they can have on their desk at school, work, or at home.

15. A mug

You could get them a mug with hot chocolate packs, tea bags, or a package of coffee grinds in it. You could probably buy this pre-made at Starbucks, Barnes and Noble's, Target, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond. You could also just get them a mug. Another good idea is if they like Starbucks is a Starbucks mug or tumbler. They get a small discount every time they use it at Starbucks or they could fill it with their own hot beverage and use it on the go. It's also eco-friendly and who doesn't love that.

So there you go I hope this helped. Happy Holidays!

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Where Have the Christmas Lights Gone?

A lament on our cultures insistence on taking down Christmas ornaments before March.

Every year around this time I go through what I like to term as post-Christmas blues. The world is wet, cold, slushy, and everyone seems to think that all Christmas ornaments should have been taken down weeks ago. Being somewhat of a rebel, I tend to passionately keep on playing Christmas songs well into July. I also might be guilty of having Christmas lights strung up in my room year round. I understand that some of you may get sick of the Christmas stuff after a little bit, but I honestly feel that as long as a chance of snow resides in our skies the Christmas ornaments should be liberally sprinkled across our houses. The overwhelming majority of people that I express this opinion to seem to disagree vehemently. Why is that? What is so objectionable about Christmas? It has good color schemes, is the only time of the year when playing non-auto-tuned music on the radio seems to be a widely excepted practice, and it celebrates what is for most of us one of the most exciting moments in human history. Stopping on that note of color schemes, why is it that we seem to like picking atrocious color schemes for most of our holidays? Valentines day, Easter, and Halloween all are offenders in this regard. Pink? Every neon color of the unnatural rainbow? Orange and Purple? Why? But I digress, the real question is,what makes us so eager to tear down the Christmas decorations the moment Christmas is technically over? I cannot personally think of a logical argument for such actions. After all, if we extended the Christmas season we could have eggnog and candy canes for months after Christmas. Twould be interesting to see a winter where we kept the ornaments up till spring. Alas, I have a sinking feeling that I won't be able to convince the rest of the world of the glorious splendor of such an idea. Something to think about though.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Home For The Holiday: A Short Story (Part 2)

Chloe's story continues.

She heard the door open and shut and hoped it was her mother coming to apologize

“It's cold out… you might need this” No such luck. Behind her, Ryan stood holding out her coat. It was freezing. Something Chloe hadn't thought about when she stormed out of the house but a thought that hit her as soon as the wind did. She had on a thin tee shirt, a pair of jeans and sneakers. But then again when she dressed to come downstairs she hadn't thought she would be storming out into the cold.

“Look just take the coat okay?” She hoped if she didn't respond the first time he spoke, he’d go away. That way she could follow behind and hide in her room until he left, but when he spoke the second time she knew he wasn't going anywhere. She should just take the coat. Or even turn around and go inside. Either way, she had to turn around and look at him.

And she did slowly. In the short amount of time between her leaving and him following, he had managed to put on a hat, gloves, and a coat. He had a concerned but amused expression on his face that annoyed her. He was probably laughing at her. He would no doubt try to make a joke or small talk. Both of which, she did not want. But because the wind seemed to be pushing her towards him, she found herself heading in his direction and taking the coat from him. She put it on and felt relief, it was fleeting and they really should go inside but she was happy for the shallow warmth.

He watched her the whole time, something she wished he hadn't done. She always left like his eyes could see right through her. Like he knew exactly what she was thinking at all times. She on the other hand never had the slightest clue as to what he was thinking. Especially now.

“You can go back in now.” She said. He seemed surprised she had actually spoken to him

“Aren't you coming?” He replied.

“Yes… I'm just giving you a head start.” This time he laughed.

“You haven't changed a bit... Well, I mean not completely…” Chloe rolled her eyes. Was he seriously trying to flirt with her? “I just meant you look older, not old, just mature.”

“Thank you.”

“But it also proves looks can be deceiving,” he said with a smile. A smile she wanted to slap right off.

“What's that supposed to mean?”

“When a mature adult sees someone they weren't expecting to see they might take a second but then they extend their hand and greet the other adult. Instead, you saw me and hightailed out of the house into the freezing cold like a teenager would have. Seeing as I haven't seen you since we were teenagers naturally I thought you would have had a different response.”

“I'm sorry, I don't remember asking you to follow me.”

“You didn't. Your mom was going to but seeing how it's 17 degrees out here, I insisted.”

“Why are you even here?”

“When it's warmer I'm going to be doing some work around your mother's house and I started shopping for things. I just wanted her input.”

“And it had to be today, huh?”

“You haven't been home in I don't know how long and I was supposed to know that you would choose now to come back? I can't read your mind Chloe. You've always been the biggest mystery to me. All I know is I'm not standing out here begging you to come inside. It's cold and I have to be home in an hour.” He turned to walk away, stopped and looked at her. “It's good to see you by the way.

Chloe was angry. Angry that her mother hadn't immediately warned her that she might see Ryan. Angry that her father had brought him around the corner in the first place. Angry that Ryan could have such a casual conversation with her and could find the nerve to say it was “good to see her”. But more than anything she was mad that she was glad to see him too. That she had replayed the conversation in her brain several times over the past two days. Angry that it was Christmas morning and she couldn't even enjoy it because she was thinking about Ryan.

And his stupid face.

She was standing in the kitchen, sipping a cup of coffee while Christmas music played in the background. Amanda was dancing around the kitchen preparing for the dinner that would happen later that evening and her father was setting up on of the many gadgets he had received for Christmas. She hadn't told her parents she was coming until she arrived on their doorstep just three nights prior. She hadn't planned on going home. She was supposed to be in Florida on a beach, drinking Martinis and enjoying warm weather. Carefree and happy. Instead, she was here, trying not to ruin her mother's cheerful mood. The day before Christmas Eve her mother went out to the store and bought her a few presents. Chloe opened each present not sure what to expect. She received a cookbook, a pair of slippers, and an exercise DVD. She smiled, at least her mother tried.

“I wasn't sure what you would want. When we visited you, you had a lot of exercise equipment and no slippers so I thought…”

“Thanks, mom.”

“I got you the cookbook for my future son-in-law and grandchildren’s sake.” Her father said with a proud expression. There was no point in picking a fight with him today. It was Christmas after all. Instead, Chloe thanked them both and handed them the gifts I had bought for them the day before. Her mother received a new apron and Kitchen Aid mixer and her father got a new cell phone and a FitBit for his walks around the neighborhood.

“Wow, these are some fancy gifts Chloe. They must pay you well.”

“Well, I only had you two to shop for.” Chloe mustered a smile and after they exchanged a look they both hugged and thanked her.

Clark was now connecting his FitBit to his phone and walking around the room, shouting out how many steps he had. Amanda would congratulate everyone as she blended and baked. She wore her new apron with pride and gave me a kiss on the cheek anytime she passed.

They were happy and life was simple. Chloe wondered why she missed that train. Just then her phone rang. She looked at it and immediately excused myself up to her room.

“What?” She answered.

“I wanted to know that you got home safely.”

“I'm fine. Goodbye.”

“Wait, please. Chloe, I know you're mad but you have to understand my predicament.”

“What I understand, Walter, is that you are a coward. I understand that you are a liar, and aside from the fact that we work together… For now anyway… I understand that I don't want to see you again.” she hung up then.

Feeling particularly proud of herself, she walked downstairs to rejoin in the Christmas cheer. Her phone rang again, but she didn't answer it this time. Instead, she turned it off and turned up the radio.

Cover Image Credit: cogdog / Flickr

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