(NEXSTAR) – We’re all close with someone who claims they don’t need — and nor do they want — anything for Christmas.
“Don’t buy me anything,” these people often say. “I already have everything I need.”
However, it should be noted that these people are fully aware that you will be buying them a gift regardless of what they say and despite their lack of input.
But instead of taking a wild guess (and perhaps wasting your money on an unwanted necktie or scented candle), there are plenty of safe gift options for people who say they don’t want gifts, according to etiquette expert Lizzie Post.
“If they really are down on the idea of physical gifts, maybe talk about an adventure or activity you can do together,” says Post, the co-president of the Emily Post Institute and the great-granddaughter of its namesake. “Something experiential.”
In other words, take your parents to a play, or pick up tickets to a local car show for you and a friend. Is there a restaurant this person has wanted to try? A movie they’re planning to see? Get out your calendars and set a date for the new year.
“Just talking about it together, it helps these people recognize that this is a time of year that’s important for [both of you] to connect.”
If all else fails and you still have no idea what to buy, there’s always one option that rarely disappoints.
“Consumables, man. Consumables,” says Post, who suggests food or wine or even a pizza night, with takeout from one of their favorite spots.
Post, meanwhile, has a few words for people who insist they want nothing from you at Christmas.
“Please stop saying, ‘No, don’t get me anything.’ Because people are going to want to do something, especially those in your family unit,” she urges. “The people in your life just want to have that special feeling of togetherness.”