What To Get The Person Who Has Everything (Without Breaking The Bank)

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Do you know who has been naughty and who has been nice?

‘Tis the season to fight for a parking space at your local mall to dealing with unruly people as they battle the aisles to find the perfect gift for those that they love. There are few people who love this part of the holiday season. If you’re grappling with what to get that person who has everything, here are some suggestions that may be a little bit off of the beaten path:

  • Write. Get them a nice notebook (my preference would be a larger hard-covered Moleskine) with some Pilot Precise V5 pens. Let them know that this notebook is meant for inspirations, ideas, thoughts and other starters to help them build a better life. As cool as Evernote is, there’s something about writing down one’s thoughts in a great notebook with some fine ink.
  • Read. There are tons of great new books out there for you to buy (just check out Amazon or your local bookseller), so why not get them something that they probably wouldn’t buy for themselves? A subscription to some magazines. Fast Company, Wired, The Economist, The New Yorker, The Atlantic or even The Paris Review (if they love to write and read). The idea here is to buy them a subscription (or many) to a magazine that they like, but that they would never subscribe to. Plus, they’ll think about you every time a new issue arrives!
  • Mobile. If they use their smartphone all of the time, consider getting them a Mophie Juice Pack or some other kind of additional power pack. Most people complain about how bad the battery life is on their smartphone, but won’t spend the bucks to buy one of these battery rechargers. I’ve enjoyed my Mophie, and it has been there for me when my battery was fleeting. If they already have an additional power pack, buy them a handful of cases for their smartphone. This way they can change up their look whenever they like. I’m also  a big fan of the Belkin docks for iPhones and iPads. These docks are great for keeping by your bed or on your desk. They not only charge your smartphones and tablets but you can replace your traditional clock radio with these.
  • Computer. Whether their main computer is a laptop or a tablet, get them an extra charger (or two). Most of us bring our devices to work or we travel with them, but we only have one power supply. If you buy them a couple of these, they can leave one at home, one at the office and have an extra one to keep in their briefcase for travel. They’ll love you for it. Trust me.
  • Travel. If your loved one travels, get them the ultimate carry-on bag (I stand by my Eagle Creek Tarmac 22), but if that’s too steep of a gift, get them some of Eagle Creek’s amazing Packing Folders and Pack-It Specter Sac Set. If you want to do something really loving, enroll them in either Nexus or Global Entry so that they can breeze through the security and custom lines at airports all over North America.
  • To go. Buy them another backpack for their computer. They can use it on the weekend or to take to the coffee shop instead of having to carry around their day-to-day briefcase (which is usually stuffed with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t need for a quick jaunt on the weekend). Check out the incase line of backpacks or Ogio. The trick here is to keep it light, small and compact. It’s just for running to the cafe with a laptop/tablet, notebook and not much else. Let them know that this is their weekend pack.
  • Give. Most people don’t really need anything. Make a donation in their name to a cause that matters to them. Sometimes the best gift is the gift of helping those who need it more than most of us do. Not being preachy here, but it’s true.

Any other ideas? Feel free to share some of your better/different ideas…


  1. It’s funny how the Pilot pens have such a following (though I strongly prefer the V7 myself). I’ll be in a meeting and someone will say, “Is that your pen?” They’re a fellow Pilot user and are very worried I’ve accidentally swiped theirs. I’ve never seen such devotion to an item that you can pick up in any drug store. It’s not like a Mont Blanc or something!

  2. I’d be happy to carry your bag down the stairs after a full afternoon. I’m stronger than I look:)
    Happy holidays!

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