Yup, at first glance these gifts seem a little lame and a little boring, but hear me out. I have first-hand experience giving and receiving all of these gifts and they have the honor of being some of the most cherished and useful gifting I've experienced. They all encompass that perfectly magical aspect of gifting - something someone probly wouldn't buy for themselves. And they're all generic enough that you can give them to really anyone (and under $100, not too shabby), but let's stay on the safe side and say the over 30 crowd, including that annoyingly tricky category of hard-to-buy for parents, in-laws, and grandparents. Here we go:
Bird-Feeder: For reals, my roommate hung one up in a sidewalk tree outside our house and porch bird-watching became a favorite past-time for all of us. I got one for my parents' backyard and they are so into it, they got binoculars and a whole set of bird-identification charts. Just make sure they don't have outdoor cats, because, bloodbath.
Robe: There is nothing better than a cozy cozy fleece robe, but most people don't buy a nice one for themselves. And the best part is, robes are typically one size, so no (possibly offensive) size guessing game.
My suggestion: This is the amazing one I've had for years.
Pine Cone Hill Fleece Robe, $92
Puzzle: Surprisingly, I was first introduced to puzzling in my 20's by a beer-drinking gym rat boyfriend (yeah, I know). He would always have a puzzle out on the table and everyone that came over would immediately sit down and start working on it. It's the perfect social activity that can be done while chatting or not, and picked up and left off at any time. I've given these out a lot and had several friends gift to their parents and in-laws and they're always a hit.
My suggestion: Liberty puzzles hands down. Yes the first time I saw one I laughed at the price, but they are definitely worth it. They're made of wood, laser-cut into thematic shapes based on the puzzle image. The one above is a vintage ocean animal puzzle with pieces cut into the shapes of crabs, mermaids, and other aquatic creatures. They carry an awesome collection of images - we have a vintage Christmas one and we put it together every year. You can also submit an image and they'll personalize it, rad (I 'm not getting paid for this, I swear).
Liberty Puzzles, Ranging from $44+ for small and $85+for large
Fancy Candles: Hear me out on this one. The first time someone gave me a nice candle was in Paris, where for some reason it's a pretty common gift. Yes, I initially thought it was kinda weird, but once I lit it I was hooked. I've gotten a lot of friends into them, and I'm telling you there's nothing that makes you feel more like you're in a relaxing spa, than a nice candle. But I'm talking nice candles here, none of that Yankee Candle crap.
My Suggestion: Diptyque candles are kind of the gold standard. Again, expensive, but worth it. The Baies candle above is sort of the signature scent.
Diptyque Baies Candle, $34 for small, $64 for large
Hammocks: This is a bold gift, and of course requires a yard, but giving a hammock with a stand is a sure fire way to ensure that the receiver will be able to use it (who has two perfectly equidistant trees to hang one up?). I got one for my parents, and they relax in it just about everyday.
My suggestion: These ones are really reasonable priced for two people (two slim people, or one normal-sized human).
Island Bay 11 ft. Cotton Rope Double Hammock with Stand, $99.98