Sometimes gift-giving is easy. Your best friend’s favorite electro-bluegrass band, Watson & Daughters, is playing at The Dancing Scone on his birthday? Click “buy tickets” and you’re done. But what if you need to get something for someone you just met, or someone you don’t know all that well? That can be a problem. Until now.
Here’s a handy guide for what you should get each of five different people with whom you’re probably not all that close. Keep these in mind next time your coworker Jerry (or was his name Gary?) has a birthday.
What says “we have a solely professional relationship” like a backup phone battery? Nothing! It’s vaguely work-related, simple, inoffensive, affordable (this one’s just $14), and actually useful. Plus, every time your boss uses it, he or she will remember you. (OK, probably not, but still.)
I always want to get something for whoever just moved in next door, but it’s hard to think of what says “Hey, welcome” with absolutely no weird overtones. So I asked my coworker, Catherine, for an idea, and she perkily replied, “A plant!” She said it immediately, like it was the most natural thing in the world. And it is. Duh. A plant. You should get that for your new neighbor. Not sure why I hadn’t thought of it before.
I’m going out on a limb here, but many moms like to hand-write birthday greetings, thank-you notes, and other things. So why not get her some personalized stationery? All you need to know is her name. Your significant other will warn you if this is a terrible idea, but it’ll be fine. I can almost guarantee it. #notallmoms
Dads, man. How do they work? Science has not yet determined an answer to this question. So ask your significant other what her dad is into, and get him a big, beautiful, conversation-starting coffee-table book about it. Because no matter the subject, there’s a coffee-table book out there for it. Golf? Check. Stamps? Check. The life cycle of the common termite? Maybe not yet, but you know it’s on the way. And someone’s dad will be into it.
There are many reasons to get something for your coworker: maybe they just got a raise, maybe they just got promoted, maybe it’s Tuesday. Whatever the occasion, DEWAR’S 12 (about $30) is the perfect gift. Sumptuous, fruity, and smooth, DEWAR’S 12 is aged in oak casks for 12 years (you could probably tell that from the name).
That should get you started. You can probably come up with some additional gift ideas for these people, and many more. Share your go-to option in the comments! Come on, help us out here!
Tony Carnevale is a senior writer for Studio@Gawker.
Photos by Jake Inferrera.