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What to Gift the 7 Pickiest People in Your Life

If you’re convinced they won’t like anything you get them, you probably haven’t read this gift guide.

By Caitlin Abber

There are some people in our lives who just make holiday shopping a breeze—my sister, for example. I never go wrong getting her a cozy sweater, a sparkly pair of earrings, or a really amazing smelling candle. Then, there are people who are absolutely impossible to shop for. You know the type: they’re rarely impressed, they only like very specific things (and they have all of them already), or worse, you really can’t discern their style or interests at all. These people come in all ages (because holiday shopping for teens is really the worst), and everyone has at least one or two of them on their list. 

Since this year has been hard enough, we thought we’d do some of the emotional labor for you and break down what to buy each type of complicated gift-receiver you might be shopping for. (Yes, you could just get them all Starbucks gift cards, but what if they don’t drink coffee?)

If you need more help, we’re offering 15-minute gifting assistant consultations with our virtual stylists. They’ll help you find just the perfect thing for that hard-to-shop-for someone. 

What to Give the Mother-in-Law You Can’t Get a Read On

One day she’s asking when she can expect grandkids, and then you don’t hear from her for two weeks. Whenever you’re together, she always brings up the same old stories about your partner and rarely talks about anything new or interesting. When you ask her if she’s read any good books lately, she says she doesn’t have time (but you have absolutely no idea what she does with her days!). Here’s what you’re going to get this enigma of a woman: a pair of cashmere socks and a Facebook portal. She can be cozy while looking at old photos, and you can casually hint that despite the fact that she’s kind of a weirdo, you really do want to get to know her better. 

What to Give Your TikTok-Obsessed Teenage Niece

Sure, you could offer to be in one of her TikTok dance videos, but chances are she’d rather you didn’t. Instead, show the teen in your life that you’re still hip by gifting her a totally on-trend pair of cashmere joggers. She’d also probably love a ring light (even if her mom says you shouldn’t encourage her).

What to Give Your Not-Very-Close Cousin as an Under-$100 Secret Santa Gift

You’re not sure why the family is bothering with Secret Santa this year, considering you’re not even getting together for Christmas, but whatever—it’s something to do. Unfortunately, you pulled the name of a cousin you haven’t seen in almost 10 years, and now you have to mail her a gift ASAP. The catch? It has to be under $100, and it has to be something she really likes, since you won’t be able to swap gifts white elephant-style this year. Quick—head to her Facebook or Instagram profile, and see if she has her ears pierced. If she does, grab these, these, or these. No piercings? No problem. Everyone loves a delicate necklace



What to Give Your Bestie Who Needs a Little Style Upgrade

We’ve all done that thing where we give someone something we think they need (or hope they use), versus something they actually want (case in point: I give my husband cologne every year, even though he’s “just not a cologne guy”). But every once in a while, you can strike that perfect balance of being helpful without being pushy. If you’ve got a best friend who hasn’t stepped out of leggings this year, is starting a new job, or for whatever reason, needs a little wardrobe overhaul, this is the gift for her: an M.M.LaFleur gift card. I know, I know, gift cards seem so impersonal, but hear me out. A gift card from M.M. is different. It says, “I support you being you, tackling your goals, being your best self, and maybe putting on some real pants for a change.” Plus, she can book a *free* virtual styling appointment to figure out exactly what her wardrobe needs.

What to Give the Work Wife You Know Everything About

If you have a coworker you’re particularly close with, chances are you know exactly what books they’ve read, what shows they’ve binge-watched, and even what cookie recipes they tried during shelter-in-place. You haven’t seen them in person for almost a year, and yet, you’re closer than ever before. So what do you get them that says, “Happy holidays! I couldn’t have gotten through this year without you.”? I recommend something to remind them of the Before Times and give them hope that you’ll be sharing desk salads in the not-so-distant future. How about a gorgeous cashmere sweater with an inspiring message on the sleeve? And since she used her cookie sheet to death this year to make endless batches of her favorite chocolate chip cookies, I’d also recommend this peppy replacement from Great Jones

What to Give the Mom Who Somehow Maintained a Full-Time Job While Supervising Her Kids on Zoom School

Unfortunately M.M. doesn’t sell a week at a resort in the Cayman Islands (which is what all the working moms deserve this year), but we do have plenty of pieces that will make her feel pampered (even though she says she doesn’t need anything). The Morandi sweater will have her mornings feeling luxurious and a little bit easier, and a cashmere hat, scarf, and glove set will make her feel taken care of. Throw in some high-end body wash, a DoorDash gift card, and the promise of a night of baby-sitting once it’s safe to mix households again, and you’ve got yourself a friend for life.

What to Give Anyone with a Birthday in December

As someone whose birthday is December 31st, I know first-hand how disappointing it is to have all of my Christmas and Hanukkah presents (we celebrate both in my house) double as my birthday presents. This is not the year for shortcuts! If you’ve got a friend, wife, girlfriend, or Brand Editor (ahem) who has a birthday in the month of December, make a mental note to send them an extra gift. You could have a cake shipped to them and sing “Happy Birthday” over Zoom or order them something cheery, like a silver Para sweatshirt or the nicest T-shirt they’ll ever own. Like the old saying goes, it’s the thought that counts—but this year, great gifts are really appreciated.

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and

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