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We’ve all been there when we ask our best friend/lover/mother/sibling what they’d like for their birthday, and they reply: “Oh, don’t buy me anything. I don’t want any gifts this year.”
If someone has recently said this to you, you may feel like you’re facing an uphill task.
Nine times out of 10, it’s our opinion that deep down, there’s probably something that person would just love to receive from you, they just don’t want to say so, whether it’s because of modesty or shyness or for whatever other reason.
This is where gift shopping anxiety kicks in.
That’s why we’re here: to help you choose the perfect gift for the person who really does say, “don’t buy me a gift, I have literally everything.” Your experience of buying a gift for the woman who wants nothing doesn’t have to be a challenge. Instead, we’re going to help you transform it into a fun experience.
Continue reading for a much-needed dose of inspiration…
How do I Find and Pick a Gift for the Woman Who Wants Nothing?
Let’s operate on the assumption your intended recipient will be delighted to receive a thoughtful gift, and that when she says, “I don’t want anything,” it’s merely a polite turn of phrase. By buying her a present, you’re showing you care. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate you’ve paid attention to her throughout the year.
By buying her a gift that’s truly personal to her and reflects who she is. In other words, a gift that will bring her joy and remind her of you each time she sees, wears, or uses it.
Hopefully, our selection below provides something to suit all budgets. But, the main thing to remember is – focus on the woman you’re buying for. Think about the kind of person she is and how she sees herself.
For example, if you know, she’s not a sports lover, and you are, don’t buy her tickets to the next game! If she’s a committed vegan, it stands to reason that leather is out of the picture. If you follow this simple path, you shouldn’t go too off-piste. Simple, right?
So let’s take a look at some of the ideas we have to put a smile on your loved one’s face. To make things easier, we’ve categorized our gift ideas according to the type of personality your intended recipient may best fit.
Whether your friend/mother/lover/sister is super busy and in need of some downtime, or simply a woman who loves to chill out, there are plenty of personalized gifts to choose from.
Here are some examples:
Taking the time to pick a range of carefully selected toiletries is the perfect way to show her you care. You can even have them customized to suit the specific need of the recipient.
How about custom-made shampoo, conditioner, and/or a hair mask from Prose? All their ingredients are ethically harvested from around the world, and each product tailored to the individual.
Just answer a few quick questions about your loved one’s hair, and they’ll craft a set of hair care products she’ll adore.
A Spa Day
There’s nothing that says, “you deserve some downtime” than a voucher for a spa day at your loved one’s favorite retreat.
If you think she’d enjoy some spa time with you, make it a ticket for two. If you’re unsure which resort to go with, check out Groupon’s offers. Or some of the better hotels in your area that have spas attached. Also, here check some great Stress Relief Gifts that might help you decide too!
There’s nothing like sinking into a great book, whether it’s modern fiction, a biography or a self-help book, take a look at your loved one’s bookshelves or e-reader to what kind of literature she’s reading.
Maybe she’s mentioned a book she’d like to read or an author you know she loves. Do they happen to have a new release out? Sometimes authors sign their latest editions. If you can manage to swing a personally signed copy of their latest novel, you’re bound to put a smile on her face!
If the special lady in your life is a big independent bookstore lover, find the closest shop to her and head on down. It’s important to support small businesses, especially at the moment. Perhaps you could get her a voucher? Or, if you do buy a book, get a gift receipt so she can see you went to the effort of supporting her local bookstore.
Alternatively, maybe your book-loving friend doesn’t have a Kindle but would like one for trips and commutes? In which case, head to Amazon and grab the latest version.
A Personalized Sleep Kit
Yes, really – these exist!
Check out these fabulous sleep masks and earplugs from The Sleepy Cottage. You can have them custom made or choose from one of their many funky designs such as this Powder Blue Mask with gold or black lashes. We love that this product also comes with added cooling gel!
Or, there are their Golden Tassel Earplugs, which come complete with a brocade case. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a good night’s rest; whether she loves her beauty sleep or is an insomniac, she can still rest in style.
Whether you’re buying something to celebrate a big birthday or a special anniversary, there’s nothing like a personalized gift that really means something to the woman you love.
Here are a few pointers…
Framed Song Lyrics
How about taking the lyrics from your song, maybe the one you danced to at your wedding and having them framed? It’s a one of a kind gift that’s sure to bring a tear to her eye.
We liked Emma and the Bean’s version on Etsy, where you can choose the font and frame color.
Yes, we know flowers aren’t exactly original. Still, if your loved one really does adore flowers and rarely receives them, a bouquet of her favorite blooms will never disappoint. This is especially so if you include a thoughtful and meaningful message to accompany them.
If she doesn’t have a favorite flower, think about what the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Victorians did. They gave meanings to different flowers to convey a particular message. You may be surprised at what some of them represent!
A Birthstone Necklace
This is a keepsake that can be given at any time of year and doesn’t have to mark an occasion; it’s just a simple way of saying you care. If you know your loved one really likes their birthstone, it’s easy. If they really don’t, you can still buy them a personalized necklace.
For example, you get a pendant engraved with a beautiful message or both your names. These are just a couple of examples, but you get the idea!
We love Irin Skye’s selection of delicate birthstone necklaces – they’re as affordable as they are attractive. You can also choose from birthstone earrings and bracelets, or opt for the whole set if you’re feeling super generous!
Is the lady you’re buying for super active? Does she love sports and adventures? Is she always on the go looking for the next thrilling experience? If so, she may even have a bucket list. If you know what’s on it, why not pick something active for her to enjoy?
Of, if your budget’s low, but your intentions, plentiful, why not treat her to a long country hike together in her favorite forest or canyon? After all, you can’t put a price tag on the gift of your precious time!
If, however, you want something to wrap up in soft tissue paper or a fancy envelope, here are a few ideas…
A Yoga Mat
Before you move on thinking, “that’s just a really boring idea,” stop.
We’re not talking about getting her a yoga mat to replace her slightly tired looking one. Instead, how about a Smart yoga mat? This works with your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or tablet. So, when she’s donning a yoga position and if she’s out of alignment, the smart mat detects this, and will help to correct her posture.
Our favorite is the SmartMat. This particular mat makes it easy for you to connect with your mobile or tablet via the SmartMat app.
Alternatively, check out the self-rolling yoga mat. This comes in handy after a sweaty workout when she’s in a rush to get home. These mats are designed to curl up perfectly each time you finish using them. No more messy mat unfurling!
If you think this might be something she’d love, try Backslash Fit’s self-rolling yoga mat. This particular model stays rolled up tightly, is extra-long, and super light. It even works with an Alexa command that transforms your Alexa device into a yoga teacher with a routine specially created by Women’s Health. How cool is that?!
The Give-Something-Back Gift
If the woman you’re buying for is a great lover of the outdoors, and she especially enjoys camping, hiking, or visiting parks, then a gift from the Parks Project store is ideal.
For the uninitiated, this project’s dedicated to preserving and maintaining US parks such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Joshua Tree, and the Rocky Mountains.
Our favorite product was this beautifully compiled set of Campfire Stories with tales from America’s favorite national parks. It’s written by authors including Bill Bryson and John Muir, and features pioneer diaries and stories passed down throughout generations of indigenous peoples.
No, we don’t mean a bottle of Tequila, but a water bottle for the woman who’s always on the run.
Of course, she doesn’t have to be a fitness fanatic to have a water bottle. For example, a bottle that contains her daily recommended water intake, such as the BuildLife 1 Gallon Water Bottle is embossed with motivational messages and comes in a range of colors.
Alternatively, if you want to buy a water bottle that not only rehydrates your loved one but also donates a percentage of profits to water.org, look towards the Mukama water bottle range. Here every purchase helps to provide disadvantaged people around the world with safe water for a year.
4. The Party Goer
If your loved one’s the Prosecco Queen and enjoys nothing more than partying with family and friends, there are some great gifts out there that will help her on her way.
Mini Makeup Products
No one wants to cart a brick-like makeup bag around with them on a night out. Instead, choose a few mini products from her favorite makeup range. Usually, these are the perfect size for slipping into an evening bag!
We liked this mini lip and face set from Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. This is a perfect kit for any lady that wants to be selfie-and-party-perfect wherever she is.
A Crossbody Bag
We’ve all been there. It’s been a great night of dancing, hanging out with friends, and then the lights go up, and you can’t find your stuff. How about buying your loved one a cute crossbody bag that’s small enough to stay out of the way while she’s dancing, but big enough to fit her keys, phone, wallet, and mini makeup set?
There are literally hundreds of designs to suit small and large budgets alike. But, if you can’t stretch to a designer bag, take a look at this silver crossbody that’s currently on sale.
For Parties at Home
Whether she enjoys hosting after parties back at her place or loves a good ol’ girly night in, the disco ball party light LED is the perfect accompaniment to getting any house party started. This particular make comes complete with a Bluetooth connection, speaker strobe, and remote control.
Is the woman who wants nothing, who you’re gifting too, super thoughtful? Does she always puts others before herself – remembers every birthday? Is always first to volunteer to help in a crisis? If so, she sounds like the perfect friend and person to have in your life.
However, even selfless people need gifts, right? Here are a few unique gifts to show her you see how thoughtful and kind a friend she really is.
A Friendship Bracelet
Formerly, friendship bracelets come from Central and South America, and you’re supposed to tie them onto the wrist of the recipient. Made from strands of embroidery floss that are woven together, you can either make your own for your loved one or opt for a more modern take on this old tradition.
A delicate and personalized friendship bracelet will go a long way to showing your loved one that although she doesn’t want gifts, she deserves to be pampered. We loved these bracelets from the Lovassion store, where they combine jewelry with poetry for a genuinely personal friendship bracelet.
Alternatively, check out the Kate Spade Heart of Gold engraved on this inside bangle to show your friend that you love her because she really does have a heart of gold.
This really is a truly personal gift, after all, each time your loved one sprays herself with the perfume, she’s going to think of you. If you already know what her favorite perfume is, it’s simple; you can just buy her a fresh bottle and maybe even a bottle of body lotion in the same scent.
But, if you feel she’d love something new, then try a scent that suits her personality. We like this Anthropologie Pharmacia Eau de Parfum. It’s inexpensive and comes in four fragrances. Our favorite is Fleur D’Oranger, which smells of orange blossom, rose, and warm woods. Just perfect.
Should I Spend a Lot on Someone Who Says They Want Nothing?
Short answer: no.
The point of buying a gift for anyone is to show you care about them. If you don’t have a lot of money, then opt for something truly personal that your loved one will enjoy and treasure because it came from you. You don’t have to splash the cash to show how much you care. Focus on the intended recipient and what kind of personality she is, what she likes and loves, and what her values are.
I’m Pretty Sure She Really Really Doesn’t Want Anything, Help!
If you’re confident that she genuinely means it, then how about donating on her behalf to her favorite charity? If she doesn’t have a preferred charity but does champion particular causes such as animal welfare, you could sponsor or adopt an animal for her instead. The World Animal Foundation has lots of ideas.
I’m Still Stuck for Ideas, What Else Can I Do?
You could try talking to some of her close friends and loved ones for ideas and inspiration; maybe they remember something she said, a throwaway remark about liking a particular item she saw online or in a store, or a piece of music she was moved by. Alternatively, you could always check out some of our other articles like The Top Gifts for People with Anxiety! We suggest gifts for all sorts of occasions, and something may spark there!
We hope you had read this article and that we’ve fuelled you with some much-needed inspiration. We’ve done our best to provide an array of wonderful gifts to suit all personalities and budgets. Did any of these jump out at you? If so, let us know in the comments box what you’re going for!