8 Gifts to Give People Who Hate the Holidays

It’s no secret to my friends, family, and coworkers that I’m a bit of a Grinch. It’s not that I hate cheer, happiness, or laughter; it’s that I make a concerted effort not to accumulate excess stuff in my life and home (and I hate Christmas music). Christmases past have derailed that effort. What typically follows is that I return, regift, or donate the item (I’m sorry everyone, but it’s true), and subsequently feel guilty and like an ungrateful brat.

The truth is that I am content with spending quality time with people I care about around the holidays, and anything other than practical gifts are just unnecessary for my lifestyle. If you have someone in your life who is like me, and cannot help but hate the holidays, and they infuriate you to no end, and you don’t know what to gift them, here is a list of suggestions for you.

1. Nothing

Seriously. Don’t get them anything. If every time you ask them what they want for Christmas they say “nothing,” just roll with it. When you are together for the holidays, love on them, laugh with them, eat with them, and just enjoy your time. Don’t feel guilty for not giving someone something they won’t want or use.

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2. Cash or a gift card

Money has traditionally been seen as a lazy or tasteless gift, but these days everyone could always do with a little bit more. Rather than purchasing something you’re not sure they’ll like, give them money to spend how they’d like to and in a way that suits their needs. You could even deem it a “Rainy Day Fund” for a time when they find themselves in a financial bind.

3. Donate to a charity in their name

Grinches care, too! Find out if your Grinch champions a certain cause or organization and make a donation in their name. They’d much rather holiday money go to supporting those in need than to a new Keurig. (My brother did this for my birthday this year and it made me cry tears of joy over the phone. He knows me.)

4. Pay one of their bills

This one might sound weird, but bear with me. A lot of people around my age (*cough* millennials *cough*) don’t have extra money to spend around the holidays (or ever) because of crippling student loan debt, low wages, and the rising costs of living. Lenders and bill collectors don’t just let you skip that December payment out of the goodness of their hearts because it’s the holidays. On top of that, the cost of traveling to be with family for the holidays is tough to save for when you are living paycheck to paycheck. I would personally feel a lot more at peace around the holidays if there was a payment I didn’t have to worry about, much more so than if my parents bought me some electronic gadget (please don’t, you guys).

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5. Practical home items

I’ve gotten gifts like silverware and toilet paper for Christmas in the past, and I was so grateful to get them, because I was definitely going to use them. Everyone needs things like dish soap, laundry detergent, and toothbrushes, right? Save your Grinch a trip to the store, pick them up some useful basics, and make a care package of sorts (throw in a snack for good measure).

6. Frame a picture

This is my favorite gift to give when I have no idea what to get for someone who seems to have everything they could need or want. Go back through your archive of photos and find a special one of the two of you together, or from an experience you shared. If your photos are all digital, use a printing service to print that one, and put it in a frame for the recipient. It’s a pretty inexpensive gift that will remind them of you whenever they look at it. If you can’t pick just one photo, have a photo book made or put them into a photo album.

7. Gift them an experience

Nowadays, more and more people are opting to spend their money on traveling, concerts, and other experiences rather than on stuff to fill their homes. Have they been talking about a trip they want to take? Is their favorite musician on tour? Do they like to ski? Bonus points if you purchase something you can do together! They’ll be excited when you unveil the gift, and excited when they get to go do the thing. It’s literally the gift that keeps on giving!

Find the Ibex Valley Mittens by Cheryl Toy in Interweave Knits Winter 2018!

8. Knit a winter accessory in their favorite color

If your Grinch lives somewhere that has a winter season, they’re bound to need some warm winter gear. If you’ve noticed holes in the hat they wear every year, or that they don’t have mittens, spend a few hours knitting something basic—no need to show off those skills with cables, bobbles, or colorwork. Use a yarn that’s soft, easy to clean, and in a color that suits their style.

It’s understandable to be frustrated by folks who hate the holidays, especially if their grumpiness rubs off on others. All these people have their own individual reasons for not getting excited about something that most other people seem to enjoy so much, and you can’t do anything about that. It’s okay to still want to include them, and you should! But their gifts may look different from everyone else’s.

The main thing is not to stress about those folks and finding just the right gift. They aren’t yearning deep down for a flat screen TV and not telling you. They just want to make it through December without having to hear any Christmas music.

Happy gifting,

More of the quick and simple approach to gift-making and giving!

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