On the "Happier with Gretchen Rubin" podcast, Elizabeth and I have mentioned several items that might make good gifts. So, in case gift-finding is turning into a Happiness Stumbling Block for you, consider these:
Flying Wish Paper -- this is so fun to use. You see it fly into the air, and you get to make a wish. Very dramatic. Fun for the whole family, as they say.
Hard-boiled egg-maker -- how I love my egg cooker! I use it constantly. Hard-boiling eggs is a breeze.
Tabletopics Family: Questions to Start Great Conversations -- my mother brought this to the holiday table a few years ago, and we've really enjoyed the family conversations it has prompted.
Pads of paper, mugs, post-it notes, etc. personalized with a person's name -- I use Zazzle.com, but I'm sure there are many places to get this done. I learned this tip from Elizabeth's gift-giving habits: adding someone's name, or a personalized image, makes an ordinary gift seem much more special.
Book weight -- Admittedly, this is a very specialized gift, but for the person who can use it, it's wonderful. It's a weight that will hold a book open to a certain page -- great for people like me, who need to refer to books and take notes. Perhaps if you know someone who is writing a Ph.D., or has to write a lot of papers for school.
FREE VALUABLE GIFT to give or receive -- PODCASTS! If you already know how to subscribe to podcasts, you can teach someone who doesn't know how, and supply that person a few listening suggestions. In my experience, once people try listening a few times, they love podcasts. And podcasts are free! and easy to use!
Or, if you don't know how to listen to podcasts, write that on your holiday list. Ask someone to teach you. It's like getting a free subscription to cable TV.
And of course, I must put in a plug for my own books, journals, calendar, coloring book, mugs, and so forth. In January, I always get a big spike in email from people who received one of my books as a holiday gift -- that's always so fun.
What are some of your favorite gifts to give?