Impossible-to-Buy-For Gift guide

Where do you start with these folks? They already have everything, they don’t want anything, they’re difficult and picky… We have some in our family too. What to do? Ignoring them is not a sensible option, whether the “impossible” person in question is the mother-in-law or the boss. So, then, we thought that these types should probably be receiving virtual gifts. No, not a virtual Facebook cupcake, but rather something that is meaningful, of interest to them and that, more importantly, won’t gather dust.

Let us know what you think of these ideas…

Catalog Choice Unlisting Service – “The gift of less”. For $20, you can allow your scrooge-type gift recipient to opt out of catalog lists, unwanted mail and help protect their personal information. It works for home or office addresses. We love this service and wrote about it here.  The basic service is free while the $20 unlisting service allows for four names and address combinations to be submitted for unlisting and CatalogChoice will contact companies involved in trading personal information for marketing purposes and request that your information be removed from their databases. Worth every dime. Plus it’s green. Love. Sign up here.
Liberate a girl from servitude – In Nepal, impoverished families have been forced to sell their daughters to work far from home as bonded servants. Some are as young as six. The Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) provides a humane alternative for these families, by compensating the families for their daughters’ lost wages and by supporting the girls as they attend school. Support a rescued daughter for six months ($50), a year ($100), or for six whole years ($350), taking her through 10th grade and the start of an independent life. A gift to make anyone smile and cry at the same time. Sign up here.
Kiva – “Loans that change lives”. We wrote about Kiva here and have just reinvested our Kiva loan for the third time. Kiva one of the first popular micro-lending sites. We think it’s pretty incredible that a sum as small as $50 can completely change someone’s life in an impoverished country. The money is not given. It’s a loan and there’s a pretty good chance that it will be paid back entirely so that the lending cycle can start all over again with other entrepreneurs. Give a Kiva gift card in any denomination to allow your recipient to choose the entrepreneur that they wish to support.
Kickstarter – Make someone else’s dream project come through & true. We also wrote about Kickstarter a while ago and my son even had his own project funded on it (travel to the Congo). Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and projects. It’s called crowdfunding and anyone can become a benefactor with this system. Buy your gift recipient participation in a project that you think would be of interest to them: arts, movies, music, writing, design, exploration… to name a few of the project types on Kickstarter. Plus, pledge gifts are often promised. They all vary by project and the amount of your pledge. Pretty cool. Take a look here.
Catwalk Genius – “Giving a whole new meaning to investment buy”. For the style minded, Catwalk Genius  is a another variant on the crowdfunding model, this one focusing on fashion design. Here, you can give your gift recipient the opportunity to support a fashion designer by buying shares in a specific designer’s business. Funding helps designers invest in design, production, samples and a photo shoot. The collection is then sold on catwalkgenius.com. Investors share in the revenues from sales. This website is still new but could be promising. Investigate here.
Quirky – Yet another spin on crowdfunding, this one with a special appeal to the inventor/geek type. At Quirky, a pre-sale commitment to purchase a product will help create, launch & fabricate that brand new product. Initiate your gift recipient as a member (who will perhaps become an influencer who can earn actual commissions dollars) of the Quirky community through a first purchase, preferably of an item still in presale. This will enable them to participate in the whole bring-to-market process. See how the concept works here and shop for Quirky products here.  We love the uniqueness of Quirky products and have featured quite (and bought some too) in our gift guides.
Heifer International -  This is a great gift-that-gives for the humanitarian type. We’ve all heard how a family in an impoverished country can be rescued from famine with the simple presence of a goat. Indeed, a dairy goat can supply a family with nutritious milk. Extra milk can be sold or used to make cheese, butter or yogurt. Goat manure is used to fertilize gardens. And goat kids can be passed on to another family in need. It’s the gift of a self-sustaining cycle. With a goat, families can lift themselves out of poverty by starting small dairies that earn money for food, health care and education. A goat is one idea. See the others here.
JustGive.org – of course, giving a charitable donation as a gift has always been popular. But which to pick? JustGive.org wades through all the charitable organizations to bring us 1,000 charities that have met stringent public requirements. They are organized in 19 categories such as disaster relief, women’s issues, human rights, children, education, animal rights and more. Your gift will allow your gift recipient to choose the charities that they want to support. It’s a beautiful thing. Here is the JustGive Guide.

Do you have other ideas that fit this guide. Let us know and we will add them. And give you full credit for the idea, bien sûr. Just because we’re cool like that.

This guide was inspired by fellow blogger, Dr. T at TheDecadeofShe, who asked us for ideas for her shall-remain-unnamed difficult-to-buyfor person. Dr. T, I hope this provides some direction?

In the meanwhile, if your gift recipients prefer to open a real gifty-gift and you haven’t gotten to that yet, you will want to check out our numerous gift guides here.

7 Responses to Impossible-to-Buy-For Gift guide

  1. Mrs/Dr T says:

    Thank you, thank you! I never would have thought of any of these gift ideas on my own. So different, so meaningful, so perfect for those hard-to-buy people! Thanks to The Succulent Wife for making my holiday shopping so much easier!

  2. Shari says:

    When I read the title of this blog post, I came running. I totally stress at Christmas time. I have a father in law with no hobbies, has everything, anything you buy for him, he doesn’t use. Last year I donated money in my mother-in-law’s name to the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. That was I think a great gift for him. This year, I’m stuck again. Thanks for these ideas. I may just use one.

  3. Mallory says:

    I’m already a big fan and user of some of these (Kiva and Kickstarter are faves of mine!) but I hadn’t heard of the Nepal Youth Foundation – that is amazing. I love organizations like this!

  4. Suzanne says:

    What to give as a Bat Mitzvah gift to a young girl whose parents can afford to buy her everything she needs or wants? By our giving money to World Vision, she can buy a goat for $75 for instance. Goats nourish hungry children and families with healthy milk, cheese, and yogurt. Goats also give a much-needed income boost by providing offspring and extra dairy products for sale at the market. A healthy dairy goat can give up to 16 cups of milk a day. Or you can give a goat and two chickens for $100. Five fruit trees are $30 and will provide the vitamins and nutrients growing kids need. A Clean Water Fund gift is $50, hope for Sexually Exploited Girls is $35, and so on and so forth.
    Our Bat Mitzvah girl was thrilled with being able to choose which gift to give and follow it up with World Vision. And they have a beautiful catalogue too!

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