Expert QA

I have a relative who’s impossible to buy for, and tends to return gifts. Have any holiday gift ideas for picky recipients?

By Elizabeth Brownfield for Life & Beauty Weekly


This year, take the guesswork out of choosing a gift for that hard-to-please family member. Start by asking her for a wish list; research shows that people actually prefer to receive gifts they’ve requested, rather than being surprised. If she isn’t comfortable giving you suggestions, do a little reconnaissance by looking at her social media accounts. If she’s on Pinterest, that will show you specific items she has her eye on. If your relative is social media-savvy, you can also look for the hashtag “#want” on her Twitter account.

Facebook can also be a helpful tool. Check out which retailers she follows and look for presents there; if you don’t see anything that inspires you, go the gift-certificate route — paired with a small item like a candle or inexpensive jewelry — so she can choose something suited to her taste. Or get inspiration from the authors, musicians and movies she’s liked on Facebook and create a “themed” present. Group movie tickets with fun treats, or a novel with some tea and a book light.

Michelle Madhok

is an online shopping expert and the founder
and CEO of She’s also the author of

Wear This Now: Your Style
Solution for Every Season and Every Occasion.

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