Are you struggling to find the perfect gift for someone who seems to have everything?
We asked professionals for some recommendations that might help you out.
I’ve been very fortunate to work with some high net worth individuals, whether teammates or associates outside of our organization. In the course of both business and building personal relationships with these individuals, I find myself running across the same challenge time and time again.
How do I choose a gift that won’t be without worth, for someone whose net worth in dollars is more than I’ll ever be able to compete with?
Choose gifts tied to the receiver’s personality
I finally settled on a gift from the heart. I wait for a gift idea that I know is directly tied to their personality, before I ever try to gift someone anything at all.
If I can’t identify a single of their hobbies, who their closed loved ones are, or even whether or not they have a pet, then I probably don’t know them well enough to gift anything personally.
Of course, there are instances where culture demands we make a gift to a total stranger. In these cases, I try to give them something that will be almost immediately usable, so they aren’t forced to hold onto it while being a highly mobile/busy individual.
Perhaps a gift card to a local (to them) experience, or even something redeemable online. Maybe I’ll offer the gift of my time such as to personally pick them up from / drop them off at the airport, etc.
Personal gifts make for the most cherished!
Related: Best Gifts for Your Boss
Associate Prof. of Management & Human Resources (Retired)
A bottle of good wine
Even if that person isn’t much of a drinker, most folks will appreciate receiving a bottle of vintage champagne that’s appropriate to open on a special occasion (e.g., an anniversary, birthday, or even New Year’s Eve) to share with friends during a toast!
Perrier-Jouet Champagne Belle Epoque is an excellent choice. If that seems a bit too ‘pricey’, Perrier-Jouet Champagne Grand Brut is also an alternative.
Director of Customer Engagement, SOLO Laboratories, Inc.
Here’s what I do for people who have everything. This included friends and aging family members who didn’t want stuff.
Make a donation
You can support a cause that is meaningful or consider a donation to a destination/historical place that you enjoyed together. Perhaps you visited a national park together or a historical site. Consider supporting that and share in a note that tells them that the memory you have was meaningful and you’d like to help maintain that place so others have the same experience.
Pay it forward
Consider making a meal or doing a random act of kindness for someone. Then share that story with your friend telling her how much you know she would appreciate the act of kindness on her behalf. You are reflecting her kindness and compassion in your act to others.
Create a scrapbook
Take the old photos of her and make a scrapbook of memories.
Write a letter
Have you really shared why this person means so much to you? Write it as if you were telling people at her funeral. Share it as if you were confiding in a friend. Tell her now, while she can appreciate it.
Offer your help
Instead of giving a gift, give the gift of your time. Perhaps she would appreciate help organizing photos or posting items for sale on the internet or needs someone to take items to the homeless shelter, Goodwill or animal shelter because she never has time. I know I’d appreciate that type of help more than any gift.
Public Relations Officer, Settlers Bank
I find myself in this dilemma all the time. My parents are 70, my boyfriend is 61, my kids are young adults and don’t like what I buy them anyway and my girlfriends buy themselves what they want as soon as they want it.
So, I’ve devised myself a strategy. I asked myself, self, what’s most important to you in this world? It’s to give back to others. So, I thought about it and came up with this strategy:
Buy from resale shops with a cause
I wanted to give gifts, real tangible items that I could gift-wrap all nice that likely you couldn’t order on Amazon or walk into a store and purchase.
In addition, these purchases need to be made at a place that gave back to the community in which I live. The answer was simple – resale shops. St. Vincent De Paul, Goodwill, A Grace Hospice Thrift Store, Door Creek Church’s Boomerang’s Resale Store, Dane County Humane Society Thrift Store and many more!
Now, whenever there is a holiday that requires a gift – I purchase something at one of the local thrift/resale stores in my area plus I purchase a gift card for the recipient!
So far I’ve found some pretty unique items that I haven’t seen other places for less than $10 and everyone is always excited to receive not only the item but the gift card as well.
Here are a few examples of what I’ve given:
- Fancy gift boxes with unique decorations
- A WTF (Wine Time Now) olive green, cloth jean material gift bag
- A weird wooden box that when you slide the top over a small wooden head of a snake creeps out
- Japanese dining set for two with bamboo placemats and chopsticks
- A variety of really old books with beautiful covers
Christine Scott-Hudson, MA, MFT, ATR
Licensed Psychotherapist | Marriage and Family Therapist | Owner, Create Your Life Studio
Give a gift from your heart like handmade pieces
Make a list of 10 things you truly love about them. Handwrite it and frame it so they can look at it often. Or, get a few of your favorite pictures together and frame them in a double frame, or put them in a photo album.
Write out what you enjoyed about those times together and seal it in an envelope with stickers and glitter. Write them a poem, a haiku, or a few memories of your favorite times together.
Gift them something irreplaceable, like something they already love of yours, or something silly like a handmade T-shirt you’ve written a private joke between the two of you on, or bake them a homemade cake, brownies, or their favorite cookies.
Related: Best Thank You Gifts
Give them an experience
Take them to a drive-in movie, or on a picnic. Take them to a museum, or bowling, or to the zoo. Spend quality time with them. Make new memories. Let them know how much they truly mean to you!
Mary Beth Reeves
Owner, Porch Swing Publishing
My father is one of those people who is impossible to buy gifts for. He has everything he wants or needs and always insists that no one get him anything. After years of feeling guilty, I finally found something he would want, that I could give him and it was right under my nose.
Give something that highlights good memories
A custom photo book of his pictures. It is what my company specializes in, doing all the work for you, taking your pictures and mementos and creating an archival-quality photobook.
This time though, I didn’t give him a book of the grandkids, that one I had done several times, I gave him a book to commemorate his epic Route 66 road trip. It was a trip he had been wanting to take since he was a boy, and he planned the trip for over a year with his friend the first year of his retirement.
With the help of his travel partner, I got their pictures, and some stories, and made it into a book. He loved it and I finally found something personal to him that he would never have done for himself.
Managing Director, Traverse Bay Farms
The only thing to get something who has everything is great tasting food
Food is more than a gift. It is an experience and many with hectic schedules really appreciate the experience of enjoying a good meal or tasty snack.
Personal Finance Blogger, Swift Salary
Instead of giving them a physical object, create a memory with them that will last forever. Do something that you’ll both enjoy, something new and exciting. Rock climbing, white water rafting, find something that will bring you both to life!
Even a person who has everything may not yet have a memory doing something new and exciting with you.