2015 Holiday Gift Ideas for When You Run Out of Ideas

It’s that time of year again; time to start making that list. Not a wish list, or even a list of who’s naughty or nice…the holiday shopping list. I know it can get long, and the longer it gets the more tempting it is to give up and go for the gift cards. If you’ve run out of 2015 holiday gift ideas and still have to get something for your friend’s dog or army of cats, I’ve got you covered. I searched the Internet for the top non-gift card ideas for the people (and pets) that tend to be at the bottom, if they even make the list at all.

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Your Best Friend’s Dog

Help your friend's pup brave the elements image: alona rjabceva

Help your friend’s pup brave the elements. image: alona rjabceva

We all have those friends in our lives whose dogs are very important to them. One of the best ways to show your friends you care is to buy their dogs a gift. But what do you get the dog that has everything? I found this Pet Life “Pour” Protection Leash Holder Pet Umbrella ($21.99), perfect for keeping the furry guy dry during a rainy walk. It even comes in a variety of colors, so this doggie’s umbrella won’t look like every other one on the block.

If you’re feeling a little generous, I also found these adorable Canine Styles Classic Raincoats ($45), so he or she stays stylish even in the pouring rain.

If you do want to go with a toy, why not make it one no dog will ever tire of? The Busy Buddy Football ($14.95- $18.95) is available in different sizes and slowly releases a treat as it is chewed, guaranteeing it will always be the favorite.

Your Best Friend’s Cat

Make a kitty comfy image: igor skrbic

Make a kitty comfy. image: igor skrbic

Maybe your friend loiters in “Crazy Cat Lady” territory. For all of the spoiled cats in her life, I recommend the Catty Stacks Designer Cat Boxes ($29.99 for a pack of two). Most every feline loves to climb, and you can pick the color that best matches his or her personality.

A chill kitty might appreciate an upgraded bed. The Petco Round Cat Bed ($11.99) is an affordable option and looks like the perfect place for a furball to sleep the day away.

Nail Technician/Hairdresser

Your hairdresser gives the gift of great hair all year long. Give her something extra this year image: vgajic

Your hairdresser gives the gift of great hair all year long, give her something extra this year. image: vgajic

Sometimes an extra generous tip isn’t enough for your favorite nail technician or hairdresser. Appointment books are a practical gift that every beauty business owner will use. Quill.com has more than 100 different varieties to choose from, which can be filtered by price, brand and format ($9.99+).

Etsy is a great place to find unique business card holders that are both pretty and practical. I love this one for a hairdresser ($25), and the nail polish bottle details on this one make it a perfect fit for any nail salon. A simple keyword search reveals more options.

Art is a great way to liven up a shop. I found these affordable vintage-looking Stylist Dictionary Prints ($14.50 each) that any shop owner will love.

Personal Trainer

For a personal trainer, you can’t go wrong with a water bottle. Nordstrom has a variety of S’well ones ($25- $45) that vary in price depending on the size.

Your Work Frenemy

Score some nice points by gifting your work frenemy image: halfpoint

Score some nice points by gifting your work frenemy. image: halfpoint

The work frenemy is the most tempting person on our list to re-gift a candle. I understand, but I’m trying to think practically for at least one option. So how about a pen? Things Remembered tends to have a variety of pens on sale. You can even personalize it if you feel like putting in the effort to pretend you really care.

If this person has a sense of humor, or if you simply need them to take a hint, “Emily Post’s Etiquette” ($24.47) is always an option. (I couldn’t resist.)

The Surprise Guest

Did your second cousin forget to mention her best friend, whom you’ve never met, had no place to go for the holidays? No problem, I’ve got some thoughtful gift ideas that will work for most anyone who shows up unexpectedly.

Barnes & Noble has a huge classic literature collection ($3.55+ for paperback editions). Keep a few of your favorites on hand during the holidays. Even if you can’t figure out which title they’d like best before it’s time to open gifts, at least you’ll be gifting a title you love, and your unexpected guest won’t be twiddling their thumbs awkwardly while everyone opens gifts.

Not a bookworm? Order a few of these classic board game key chains ($4.95+). There are games everyone knows and loves, plus everything is more fun to play when it’s miniaturized.

Your Sibling’s New Boyfriend/Girlfriend

If flasks are a necessary accessory for family gatherings, give your sibling's SO one image: lechatnoir

If flasks are a necessary accessory for family gatherings, give your sibling’s SO one. image: lechatnoir

Welcome your sibling’s new partner to your family’s gathering with a flask (they might need it). Eflasks.com has a large assortment of flasks for men and for women at a variety of price points. They come in many different colors and styles, and some can be engraved for a more personal touch. If you’re feeling generous, include a bottle of his or her favorite liquor.

If this person is more of a beer drinker, this Beer Cap Map ($34.95) is a unique way to help someone keep track of the breweries they’ve visited, or even just remember a specific vacation. The map is also available in the shape of all 50 states.

For someone who wouldn’t enjoy an alcohol themed gift, take a few frames from this Umbra Snap Frame Set (in white) ($20) and find some embarrassing pictures of your brother or sister to include in them. They have a dry erase board surface so you can add captions, and at least a few people will get a laugh out of it.

esme mazzeo

esme mazzeo

Esme Mazzeo is a freelance writer and TV junkie who enjoys writing arts, culture and lifestyle pieces. Follow her on Twitter @EsmeMazzeo