30 Tried and Proven Gift Ideas to Surprise a Relative
Everyone loves getting unexpected gifts, whether it’s during the holiday season, on a birthday, or just as a pleasant surprise. Buying gifts for relatives can be tough, though. Everyone’s tastes are different, and what might seem like a tasteful gift to one person would be outlandish and impractical to another. When in doubt, go for one of the tried and proven ideas listed below.
1. Tasteful Flower Bouquets
There’s never a wrong time to give a mother, sister, aunt, or another female relative a bouquet. For truly special occasions, a Rose bouquet will be sure to wow any woman.
2. Unique Coffee Table Books
Buying books is a challenge since most people don’t know what their relatives have already read, or even what they might like to read. Coffee table books provide a perfect solution. They’re cute, affordable, and highly visible, so it’s easy to tell if someone already has a copy.
3. Tasty Chocolates
Who doesn’t love unwrapping a box of fancy chocolates and digging in? Unless the relative has food allergies or a particularly restrictive diet, chocolate is always a safe bet.
4. Family Games
There are few things better than family game nights. Those who are close enough to their relatives to know what’s already in their game collection can help them expand it by gifting fun new games to liven up get-togethers.
5. Wall Art
Art lovers will really appreciate an original painting or drawing. For those on a budget, a well-chosen print will also make a thoughtful gift.
6. Magazine Subscriptions
A magazine subscription is a gift that keeps on giving for up to a year. There are so many options available that it’s easy to find one to fit the recipient’s interests or tastes.
7. Cell Phone Cases
These days, just about everyone has a smartphone. A smartphone case that suits the gift recipient’s personality can make an excellent personalized gift.
8. Throw Blankets
Have a female relative who prides herself on keeping a beautiful, comfortable home? A throw blanket that matches the decor will show that the gift giver pays enough attention to appreciate it.
9. Button-Down Shirts
For men and tomboys, a creatively patterned button-down shirt can make a great gift. Just keep in mind that the pattern should complement his (or her) general wardrobe choices.
10. Custom Photos
Not everyone loves fine art, but who wouldn’t like to receive a framed print of one of his or her best Instagram pictures? While Instagram may be new, celebrating relatives’ artistic skills is a time-honored tradition.
11. Knitted Sweaters
Receiving knitted sweaters as gifts in childhood and hiding them in the bottom of the drawer is like a coming-of-age tradition. The good news is, they’re back in style, so it’s a tradition that’s worth revisiting for adult relatives.
12. Colorful Socks
Just like knitted sweaters, socks are one of the most feared gifts among children. That said, creative adults love showing off their personalities with colorful socks, and they make perfect gifts.
13. Coffee Mugs
There’s no such thing as too many mugs for a true coffee lover. For those who are all about getting their mornings off to the right start, go for an extra-large mug.
14. A MasterClass Subscription
Learning is a lifelong pursuit and doesn’t require spending tens of thousands of dollars on a college degree. Give that relative who’s always interested in something new a subscription to MasterClass or another adult learning service.
15. Spicy Honey
Have a foodie in the family? Chances are, he or she still hasn’t tried spicy honey. It’s all the rage these days, though, so help the gift recipient catch up by buying some to try.
16. A Purse Organizer
Modern women don’t have time to waste digging around in their purses to find what they need. Help mom keeps track of her keys by giving her a purse organizer.
17. Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Smartphones are great because they let people carry all the music they want and listen to it wherever they go, but the sound quality isn’t great. Fix the problem for a music-loving family member by giving him or her a portable Bluetooth speaker.
18. Jigsaw Puzzles
Not everyone loves playing games on their phones. Some people still prefer the traditional appeal of jigsaw puzzles, which makes them great gifts.
19. Photo Collages
Want to celebrate shared memories? Put together a photo collage and have it professionally printed and framed.
20. Neck Ties
Ties make fantastic gifts for fathers, brothers, and other male relatives. More playful parents may even enjoy a good, old-fashioned bowtie.
21. Necklaces and Bracelets
Women of all ages love to show off their favorite pieces of jewelry. Pay attention and buy another piece that’s in a similar style so that it will make a good addition to her collection.
22. Vacuum Insulated Water Bottles
Come from an active family? Vacuum insulated water bottles are perfect for day hikes since they can keep liquids cool for up to 18 hours.
23. A Travel Pillow
With people starting to plan trips abroad again, now is the perfect time to encourage family members to travel. A travel pillow will make upcoming airplane rides more comfortable.
24. A Dictionary Safe
Dictionary safes, or book boxes, look like books, but they’re designed to camouflage valuables. They’re also available in multiple sizes and colors.
25. Memory Foam Slippers
Everyone deserves a little comfort. Help relatives up to their game by giving them memory foam slippers.
26. Unique Cookbooks
Not everyone likes to find new recipes online. For more traditional home chefs, a unique cookbook makes the perfect gift.
27. Touchscreen Gloves
Few people are excited about receiving normal mittens. However, anyone would be excited to get a pair of new touchscreen gloves, so gift away.
28. Essential Oil Diffuser
Have a family member into aromatherapy? A portable essential oil diffuser will make a very thoughtful gift.
29. Funny Sweatshirts
Funny sweatshirts will never go out of style because they’re designed to be loungewear. Plus, they’re easy to size.
30. Gift Certificates
When in doubt, don’t just send a card. At least take the time to pick out a relevant gift certificate.
Finding the right gifts is tough. Don’t go too far out on a limb or spend a fortune. Stick to tried-and-true favorites for relatives who aren’t that close.