Holiday shopping 2017: What to get that person who 'doesn't need anything'

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Here are non-traditional gift ideas to help you shop for that person who ''doesn't need anything.'' (Shutterstock)

We all have that person in our lives who, for whatever reason, won't write up a holiday wish list no matter how many times you ask.

"I just don't need anything," they insist.

Well, that may be true, but that doesn't mean you can't make their holiday one to remember. Before you submit yourself to buying them socks for the third year in a row, check out this list of non-traditional gifts they'll be happy to receive.

FOR THE SENTIMENTAL SOUL: Plan a group activity

If you hear things like "I just want to spend time with my family," then take that to heart. But don't just sit around the house, make memories! Go to a Christmas village you've never explored before or, if they love games, sign up for a more organized group activity like an escape room or Big City Hunt.


If the reason your loved one doesn't want any new items in their home is because they like the stuff they already have, try refurbishing a personal treasure. That old radio they have always listened to the games on or the sewing machine passed down from their great-grandmother will be even more cherished when it works as good as new. Search for service centers that will repair the item near you, and be sure to call ahead to ask whether they can repair your specific item and to get an estimate.

FOR THE PHILANTHROPIST: Do good in their name

Do you have a loved one who cares deeply about a cause? There are plenty of ways to donate to a charity in someone's honor.

Sites like tisbest and DonorsChoose (for classroom fundraisers) allow the recipient to choose the cause. Others, like Global Giving, still allow you to donate in someone's honor, but they ask you to choose the campaign you'd like to donate to first. You can also coordinate the gift through the charity directly.


AFTER BIG LIFE CHANGES: Make it personal

Has your loved one achieved a major accomplishment or gone through a life change this year? Show them you care about life's ups and down with something truly thoughtful.

For milestones such as a graduation, new home or new baby, try a personalized Christmas ornament from Things Remembered or a photo gift from Shutterfly. For those who have suffered a loss, there are Etsy shops that offer jewelry, prints and other gifts customized with a loved one's voice wave or signature.


If your loved one doesn't want any gifts because they are trying to reduce the amount of clutter they have in their life, then help them make that happen! Buy them a tote bag so they have fewer plastic bags lying around, or check out shops dedicated to helping you use less, like Package Free.

FOR THE PROUD PARENT: Make something special

If your partner just loves showing off your kid's school artwork, they'll be blown away if you help the little ones make something more elaborate for the holidays. Hearing them exclaim, "You made this?" will be all the reward you need. Check out DIY gift ideas from Babble here and here.


Does your loved one go to the same restaurant every week? Surprise them with a gift card so their next couple visits are on the house. If the place doesn't have its own gift card, sites like Gift Rocket offer customizable gift cards where you can "suggest" where they spend it.

FOR THE ADVENTUROUS: Find a new experience

If your loved one is the type that posts a photo on Instagram of the latest fun activity every week, then find a new experience for them to try. Whether it's a day of rock climbing, a historical walking tour or a night of painting, any adventurous soul would love to try something new over the traditional gift.

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