November.  ’tis the season to be making your holiday gift lists.  Whether you keep your list in a notebook, on your computer desktop or in an app on your phone, there are bound to be one or two people who stump you. 

Used to be the puzzlers were people who had everything they needed—empty nesters who were downsizing, older adults who hadn’t yet taken last year’s scarves and gloves out of the boxes. But today, the people on your gift list with question marks after their names could just as easily be kids with indulgent parents, college students who live small and eschew possessions or young professionals with money
to burn.

Here are some gift ideas that will please people and let them know you care without wasting your money or creating much clutter. If you choose a gift card or gift certificate, consider wrapping your gift along with some inexpensive token, since opening a gift is half the fun.Gift Bag and Wine

A class—in photography, dance, cooking, horticulture, whatever nterests them, along with something appropriate like a framed black and white picture, ballet flats, homemade cookies or a potted plant.

Tickets to The Nutcracker, along with a colorful decorative nutcracker, or tickets to any upcoming musical or opera, perhaps with a DVD of the soundtrack.

Tennis, skating or golf
, and a new visor, helmet or hat

Movie tickets for The Galleria and gift certificate for lunch or dinner at Panera or another favorite restaurant.

Portable Mexican dominos (also called chicken foot dominoes), a great game for the whole family, and a decorative calendar with a date circled for several family get-togethers.

A MEMBERSHIP pass to the Carnegie MuseumS, with a pledge to go to each of the four museums together at least once in the coming year.

A certificate for a trip
to another city or a
historical site, along with a guidebook to read in advance.

An Amazon gift card and a
colorful new cover for the Kindle.

Lift tickets to Seven Springs or Hidden Valley, with cool ski socks or a neck gaiter.

A coffee shop gift card and a
colorful mug.

A donation to one of the Animal Rescue Organizations and a
collage of beloved family pet pictures.

A donation to the library in their name, along with a copy of the book.

A promise to “cater” a gourmet dinner for four, along with a menu.

Battery operated candles, with an outdoor lantern (or perhaps with brown paper bags to be used as

An artist’s painting of their house, along with the photograph to be used and the artist’s card.

A massage or a facial gift certificate, along with a favorite soap or moisturizer.Santa Nutcracker on Red

A beribboned pie or other baked goods that could be frozen, along with the recipe.

A one-year subscription to Gentleman’s Box, which sends a themed box each month along with a subscription to GQ.

A new travel makeup bag or dopp kit filled with small samples of everything from hair spray to toothpaste to aspirin.

A medium priced bottle of wine to share and a more expensive one for a special occasion to be determined, along with two stemless wine glasses.

A membership to Amazon Prime with a list of your top 25 favorite movies.

A gift card for the dog’s kennel or groomer, with a new kong or toy just for fun.

An autograph from their favorite sports figure or celebrity. Can’t hurt to write and ask. Even if they don’t sign an autograph, the publicity team will often send branded material that could make for a nice piece of a larger gift—maybe tickets to a game or concert.

Cutting or bulbs of unique plants, with detailed instructions on how to care for them.

  TWO RECIPE BOXES with some of your signature recipes and a request that they add theirs and return one box to you.