Do you have friends and family who don’t really want anything? This holiday season, I have several: one husband, two in-laws, and two teenagers.  A few weeks ago,  I spent two hours at the mall looking for gifts for them and came home empty-handed,  frustrated and slightly panicked. I didn’t want to buy them “junk” but I wanted them to have a little surprise to open on Christmas morning.  So I searched Pinterest, Etsy and some of my favorite online stores to see if there were any interesting gifts for those who don’t really want anything.  I came up with three categories of gifts that never go out of style, aren’t likely to be re-gifted will at least bring out a smile.  Those are pretty good reasons to give gifts, right? 


1. Laughter

Did you know that laughter helps to create bonds between people? It also helps to strengthen the immune system and makes people relax.  What could be a better gift at this time of year? 

Humorous Signs

A couple of years ago, my husband renovated his workshop (a.k.a. his “man cave”), so the kids and I found him some funny metal signs to put up on the walls.  Etsy has some great options; just search for “humorous signs”.  Here are a few that I found:  

For a  workshop. 

To give to grandparents who entertain their grandkids all day.

A little bathroom humor for a teenager. 

Silly socks

I’m a firm believer that you can never have too many socks in the winter! Why not give a few pairs that are a little whimsical?  

Happy Socks has something for every area of interest. (They also make underwear if you want to make someone blush or cringe.)

This “if you can read this bring me wine” pair will also bring on some chuckles. 

My sons gave me Wonder Woman socks last year and they still make me smile.  

Wine Charms & Coasters (Gifts Too Silly To Give Away)

If you’re looking for a gift for a wine and old-music lover, these inexpensive guitar pick wine charms will amuse them.  

My husband received these party face coasters which double as photo props. (Add a favorite bottle of wine.) 

Wine Charms and Coasters

2. Photo And D.I.Y. Gifts 

There are so many more options for photo gifts than the photo mug or calendar, from playing cards to tea towels.  If you’re looking for something last-minute though, it’s time to use your own creative powers.  

If you have extra photos, decorate the cover of a journal or notebook with a photo collage.  This Creative Photo Explosion Gift Box is another way to capture a memorable year.  

Most of our Christmas ornaments represent memories from the year; favorite movie characters, trinkets that remind us of vacations, or the kids’ artwork from school.  

Ornaments 2018

I also love to make our own photo ornaments using cardstock, a photo, a circle craft punch, and some ribbon.  Take a look at this Pinterest board for many more ideas for D.I.Y. photo ornaments.  


3. Experiences 

A year ago, my husband and I surprised our kids by announcing a trip to London and Paris. Smaller (less expensive) experiences are wonderful too, and we plan to give more of them as the kids get older.  

Experiences can be as simple as one meal, so consider restaurant gift cards, a subscription to a delivery service or make your own gift basket.  I like to give samplers of oils, pasta, artisan sauces, and cheese for a quick meal for the tired cook.  

Olive Oils

Last year, my husband asked us to perform a song for him as his Christmas gift.  So the kids and I wrote a song about him (to the tune of Jingle Bells) and played our various instruments (some of us more proficiently than others!)  No wasteful wrapping paper.  No re-gifting.  It was laughter, an experience, and warm fuzzies all in one package.  It was one of his favorite gifts.  The only problem is that we have to figure out a way to top it in the years ahead. Wish me luck!


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