12 Gifts for People You Don’t Know Well in 2022

These gifts for people you don't know well are perfect for that coworker you despise, your sister's new terrible boyfriend or that person you're not sure whether you're dating or not.

12 Gifts for People You Don’t Know Well in 2022
End Clothing, Nordstrom, Otherland

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Visit InsideHook’s Holiday 2020 gifting hub to find gift ideas for every person on your list this year. Also, who are we kidding? Find lots of ideas for yourself there, too.

No matter how fastidious and considerate a gift-giver you consider yourself, every holiday season there’s inevitably going to be that one person you don’t know what the fuck to get. Maybe it’s a new acquaintance or a promising love interest you’re in the early stages of dating, or maybe it’s that friend you always vow not to exchange gifts with, knowing full well you’re going to anyways.

Finding the right gift for that person is about choosing something that is neither too personal nor too impersonal. You want a gift that lets them know you have a general sense of who they are, without letting on that you’ve stalked not only their Facebook but their Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, too.

While a gift card seems like the most obvious option, for many it feels like a cop-out and should thus be used only as a last resort. But if you still find yourself drawing a blank, consider any of the 12 gifts below (including one gift-worthy gift card) all thoughtful options that aren’t so personal they’ll freak someone out. We recommend keeping a few on hand in the event you receive an unexpected gift (say from that coworker you kind of hate) so you’re not left gobsmacked and unprepared.

Gifts For Someone You Don’t Know


Otherland Old Fashioned Candle

A candle is a always a good fail-safe option, but go above and beyond with Otherland’s Old Fashioned candle from their Gilded Collection. The scent is marked by notes of plum brandy, warm leather and dried fruit, ideal for burning on those cold winter nights. Plus, the art deco inspired design will make a handsome addition to anyone’s home.


Le Labo Body Scrub

Forget the Starbucks gift card and instead opt for Le Labo’s coffee body scrub. Made from loose coffee grounds and blended with sunflower seeds and safflower oil, the cleanser works to re-energize dull, dry skin, leaving it visibly softer and smoother. It’s the perfect way to start one’s day, alongside a cup o’ joe.


Brightland The Pair

When gifting someone Brightland’s raw champagne vinegar and raw balsamic vinegar set, you’re not just gifting them fruit-forward, double-fermented and farm-to-table vinegars, but highly Instagrammable ones too. In a way, you’ll be responsible for upping their social capital, which is the greatest gift of all.

Crown Royal bottle and box
Crown Royal
Sponsored by Crown Royal

Crown Royal Canadian Whisky

As 2020 draws to a close, it’s safe to say the holidays will be a little different this year. Thus a bottle of top-shelf whisky is very much the name of the game when it comes to holiday gifting, and for that you should look no further than storied Canadian distillers Crown Royal. No matter who you’re shopping for, they’ve got an expression to mark the occasion — from the classic Deluxe to the velvety Reserve to the sophisticated XR. This holiday season, all are available with customizable labels and bags so you can give the ultimate gift with a personal message for the special people in your life. Our suggestion: “Happy holidays, may we raise a glass together again soon.”

The Sill

The Sill Holiday Cactus

When gifting someone, especially someone you don’t know too well, a plant, you run the risk of placing it in the hand’s of someone lacking a green thumb. Which is why if you’re going to go the plant route, err on the side of caution with a cactus, like this one from The Sill. However, this isn’t your run of the mill prickly succulent, but is a Schlumbergera cactus, known for its late-fall and early-winter blooms.

End Clothing

HAY Enamel Mug

Brighten up their daily coffee ritual with this speckled enamel mug from Swedish-design juggernaut HAY. Due to the design of the sprinkled pattern, no two coffee cups are the same, meaning you’ll be gifting someone a truly one-of-a-kind gift.

Coming Soon

Degen Face Vessel

The receiver of this gift will definitely have to have an affinity for things that are quirky, but they’ll no doubt appreciate the unique and unusual designs of these hand blown glass vessels by Neal Drobnis. Each glass features a unique shape, making the perfect cocktail conversation starter.

East Dane

Printworks Night Puzzle

Puzzles are cool again! Take this one from Printworks as a prime example, featuring a challenging motif of the changing night sky. With outdoor activities becoming less feasible as the temperatures grow colder, anyone would be grateful to have this 500-piece puzzle to keep them occupied indoors and stave off boredom.


Craighill Closed Helix Keyring

The sleekest way to stay organized and never forget your keys is with Craighill’s Closed Helix Keyring. The brass keyring features turned end-caps, so all one need to is unscrew the knurled side to easily add or remove keys

Milk Bar

Milk Bar Peppermint Bark Truffle Dozen Box

When in doubt, give someone food, specifically one of Milk Bar’s seasonal delicacies. The Peppermint Bark Truffles are delicious spheres of double chocolate chip cake and crushed candy cane bits, rolled in red and chocolate sprinkles and minty sand.

Alex Mill

Alex Mill Boiled Wool Scarf

You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who wouldn’t be thrilled to receive this understated yet stylish scarf from Alex Mill. Inspired by vintage shirt fabrics, the scarf offers more than style thanks to the boiled wool, which lends the scarf a teddy-bear like softness that’s warm without the itch.


Anonymous Ism Multi-Pattern JQ Socks

Whatever misconceptions you have about socks being a boring and uninspired gift, it’s time to grow up and rid yourself of them. Socks are an invaluable gift, especially this festive pair from the Japanese brand Anonymous Ism. The colorful design will look fun peeking out from a pair of boots while the thick wool composition makes them ideal for winter days spent lazing around the house.

Outdoor Voices

Outdoor Voices Gift Card

Normally we’re against gift cards, unless, of course, it happens to be a gift card to Outdoor Voices. Depending how well you know the person (or how much you like them) you can choose an amount as little as $25 or as extravagant as $300.

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