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16 Easy Gifts That Will Trick Your Friends Into Thinking You Tried

It's the illusion of thoughtfulness that counts.

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2. A cute and useful subscription box.

Subscribe your mate to a cheerful subscription box to remind them you're thoughtful all year long. I'm a fan of the Lucky Dip Club, which comes in at a very affordable £6.95 per month.

Check out some other themed subscriptions here.

3. A lovely watch gift set.


Something about pairing a watch with another accessory has these gift sets make me go "Oooohhh, yes please!" right out of the gate. They seem to say "you deserve something beyond the norm" which is all you really want from a thoughtful gift, isn't it? These offer that extra mile with literally no extra work on the buyer's end. A+.

Get the watch and cufflink set for £28, or the watch and phone case set for £28.


4. A gift inspired by their favourite booze.

5. A cinema light box., Amazon

Very generic at face value, BUT instantly raise the value by opening it and setting it up with a personal message in advance and presto, you've got a gift totally unique to your relationship.

You can get a miniature one like mine above for £12, or a larger version with three marquees for £15.99.

6. A really cosy blanket.


This is the kind of give where it's the quality and not so much the thought that counts in the end. A nice, soft, warm blanket of high quality is an ideal gift for someone you don't know very well but owe a nice gift. Because a nice blanket is just naturally cosy – it's personal without needing a big emotional attachment.

I like this thick cotton throw with a customisable embroidery option for £24.99, or if you need rushed shipping, there's this lovely recycled wool blanket for £30.

7. A piece of jewellery featuring their birthstone.


Say you're meeting your brother's new girlfriend at Christmas the first time – here's a brilliant little idea for something thoughtful and personal that only requires the tiniest amount of actual personal info: her birthday! This one is also a no-brainer for last-minute mum gifts.

Browse more birthstone jewellery here.


8. This nostalgic corkboard map.

A nice one for your wanderlust-y friends or, even better, anyone you've personally travelled with. Up the personal factor by including a couple of photos of you together on your adventures in the card for them to pin up from the start.

Get it for £16.99.

9. A luxurious aromatherapy candle.

NEOM Organics

I was given this tranquility candle for my birthday by my colleagues last year and I have now given the same to three other tricky-to-buy-for friends. High-quality, slow-burning, and available in three sizes at a range of prices, it's a very useful go-to gift that says "you deserve a legitimately luxurious treat".

Get a travel size for £12.80.

10. Or take it a step further with a candle that does double duty.


This is probably my favourite novelty gift idea ever, especially because it's actually two lovely gifts in one. As the candle melts down over time, it will reveal a package filled with a lovely piece of jewellery. A nice little story, and a gift that says "You deserve a little something extra" without putting to much pressure on the buyer.

Get it for £39.99.

11. This lovely copper flask – complete with matching shot glasses.


Typically I'd say a flask seems like a bit of a cop-out bargain-barrel gift – but something about the design and the addition of a cute carrier with matching short-glasses makes this a gift worth giving. It's generic but somehow also says: "I actually thought about this and how it would be most useful."

Get it for £15.


12. A really lovely vase.


It's just a classically nice gift, isn't it? When I've given vases in the past, I've also presented them with a bouquet already inside; there's just something about that extra touch. You think you're being given flowers, but no! You've also got a a lovely new piece of homeware and the flowers are just a bonus.

Get this one for £12.

13. A charming fill-in-the-blank book that does the hard work for you.

For last-minute budget gifts, I think these little things are just so damn delightful. There's loads of options specific to mums, dads, partners, and BFFs, along with the generic version pictured. They take the guesswork of how to get personal out of the equation, but are still, once completed, completely one of a kind.

Get one from £7.58.

14. This essential oil-diffusing necklace.

These necklaces are perfect for friends and family, and offer the option to customise based on their favourite scent, so you only have to do half the work of deciding. They're lovely, focused on calm and peace, and just a nice, unique gift to open.

Get ont for £9.99.

16. An art pass.

Chelsey Pippin / BuzzFeed

Here's a gift that requires absolutely no work on your part and puts your friend completely in the driver's seat of their own gift, yet still manages to seem like a crazily thoughtful thing to do. An art pass grants its holder a year's worth of free and discounted entry to museums all over the UK, and is basically a way more useful and less cluttered version of getting some generic but nice looking coffee-table book.

Get a standard pass for £65.