The holiday guide to giving gifts they’ll actually like

Stumped on what to get your roommate, the hipster in your life, or an older friend? Look no further.

The holiday guide to giving gifts theyll actually like

Heather Leith and Jeff Koch

Buying gifts can be overwhelming and stressful, but do yourself and your relationships a favor: Avoid giving a convenient but impersonal gift card to your friends and family. Use this guide to ensure that on Christmas morning, your loved one’s face is lit up with genuine joy and your face does not burn with embarrassment.

(Click on a picture to the right to be linked to where you can purchase the item.)

For your roommate

Treat your roomie to something they have been eyeing, but can’t afford after paying their massive school bill.

1. Faux Fur Trimmed Work Boots from Forever 21, $32.80
These cozy lace-up boots will be the perfect addition to her winter wardrobe. – HL

2. Up to Barcode Ring in Gold from, $11.99
A quick scan of this simple yet quirky ring will show that it’s a perfect gift for a gal with unique style. – HL

3. Mad Men-inspired Macbook Sticker from, $9.99
This is just one of several decals available to help your friend’s MacBook stand out from the crowd. – JK

4. Noise-isolating earbuds by Altec Lansing from, $24.99
Nothing brings less Christmas cheer than the thin crackle of music from standard-issue Apple earbuds; let your roommate listen to Ke$ha in all her sonic glory with these killer budget headphones. – JK

For an older friend

Give your mentor or friend with an apartment to decorate something to spice up their space.

5. Melt: 100 Amazing Adventures in Grilled Cheese from, $18.99
Newly-moved-out friend stuck making the same tired grilled cheese every night? Add some variety to his sandwiches with this innovative and savory cookbook. – HL

6. Sweet Olive Blossom Candle from Anthropologie, $9.95
Every apartment needs a growing candle collection — I’m obsessed with this one for the subtle and refreshingly clean scent. – HL

7. All My Friends are Dead Dinosaur Ornament from Urban Outfitters, $5.99
Because the ornament missing from everyone’s tree is a plush dinosaur who’s mourning the loss of his buddies … right? At only $5.99, this dino may soon have a replacement BFF — your wallet.  – HL

For a younger sibling

If you would be embarrassed to admit you secretly really, really want it, it’s probably the perfect gift for a younger brother, sister, cousin, niece or nephew.

8. Pixar’s “Brave” on DVD/Blu Ray 3-disc collector’s edition from, $24.96
Especially perfect for your red-headed familiars who never really identified with Ariel or her hoarding problem. – JK

9. “Scribblenauts Unlimited” video game for PC from Steam, $29.99
If you can imagine it, you can create it in Scribblenauts, a puzzle game with limitless possibilities. And yes, you can spawn the great Cthulhu. – JK

10. Nickelodeon Floam molding clay from, $6.99
Get your sibling the Nickelodeon toys you coveted as a kid, then offer to play “with” them for some nostalgia — the gift that truly keeps on giving. To you. – JK

A hipster holiday

Want to give a hipster something they’ll really like this year? Get them something they want before they wanted it.

For Guys:
11. Clubman deluxe moustache grooming kit, from, $22.50
Forget the housing bubble, this face-hair fad among the thrift store set has created a moustache wax bubble. Invest in your buddy’s homage to Freddy Mercury before it bursts with this complete care kit. – JK

For Girls:
12. Hair Wear MakeUp from Urban Outfitters, $14.00
If Nicki Minaj can do it, your friend can too. Encourage her free-spirited spontaneity by giving her this easy-to-use, temporary hair color that washes out in the shower. – HL

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