3 Christmas gift ideas for those “hard to buy for” people in your life

Photographer Tracey Morris holding an album of family photos

Let’s face it, we all seem to have people in our lives that we love to buy Christmas gifts for, but we can never think of anything they don’t already have. It might be Grandma or a best friend, heck it might even be yourself when your significant other asks what you’d like for Christmas.

For me it always Nana who was tricky to buy for. I loved to buy her really thoughtful gifts, that she would actually use. But I must admit in recent years (before she passed away), I had been running out of ideas on a regular basis. And despite my best intentions, I would invariably resort to another pretty looking gift basket of food and goodies that I am sure they probably never ate.

If you have someone like this on your list and you need some really meaningful Christmas gift ideas for them, here’s some suggestions from three Whangarei-based small businesses:


My kids loved jigsaw puzzles when they were younger, but gone are the days where they are just for kids! There are some amazing 1,000 piece puzzles available now and they make perfect presents for Grandma & Grandad.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Jigsaw Puzzle from Thomas Online.
Mickey and Minnie Mouse Jigsaw Puzzle from Thomas Online.

There’s lots of research out there that shows doing jigsaw puzzles is great for keeping our brain working and relieving stress. And they are cool because you can do them on your own or share the puzzle solving with others. In fact, we usually have a puzzle set up on a table at the co-working space where I work. People are always stopping around it to chat and work out where a few pieces should go.

Thomas Online is a Whangarei-based online toystore and owner Kylie Armitage has a great selection of 1,000 piece puzzles on her website if this appeals as a Christmas gift idea this year.

Find Kylie’s puzzle selection here: https://thomasonline.co.nz/product-category/toys/jigsaw-puzzles/  


If you are tired of buying gift hampers full of weird sauces that you know most people stick in the cupboard and never eat – give the budget friendly options at Salt and Oil a try.

If your other half likes to arrange something for you “from the kids”, these are a great option as he can have fun with them picking which colour and blend they think you will like.

Dionne has a great range of relaxing bath salt gift boxes which are a lovely, natural way to relieve stress and soothe muscles. I am a huge fan of the So:Active blend for my Sunday afternoon baths after a week of boxing and lifting weights. I also gave my Mum some for her birthday last year and she really loved the SO:Relaxing bath soak which contains lavender and bergamot essential oils to calm and soothe your mind and body.

​Dionne also has options for your $20 Secret Santa gifts and ones to thank your children’s teacher as well.

Check out her gift box options as Christmas gift ideas this year:  https://www.saltandoil.nz/gift-boxes


If there’s one thing I see people posting on their social media accounts time and time again, it’s how your kids are growing up so fast. And it’s so true, I can hardly believe that we are looking at an “Empty Nest” next year with our youngest off to Canterbury Uni.

If you are like lots of people I know, you might have been meaning to get your family photos updated for ages and time has just seemed to have got away on you. So, I have put together a Special $250 Christmas Gift Voucher Package which is the perfect Christmas gift idea.

Normally valued at $495, I have 5 Christmas Gift Voucher Packages available
for only $250.

You can use it for your own family or gift it to the grandparents and organise an extended family session with them. If you are a grandparent yourself, you could also gift it to your kids and set up a session to capture yourselves with the grandchildren on the beach.

It includes a complimentary make-up voucher for you to treat yourself on photo day, a $50 print credit to put towards buying images at your Viewing and Ordering session after the shoot, a beautiful A4 print when you purchase any digital collection, album or framed print and your session fee.

Normally worth $495, this Special Christmas Gift Voucher Package is available $250.
(I have just 5 of these sessions available for purchase before 21 Dec).

Check the details here:  https://traceymorrisphotography.nz/specials

Hopefully that’s given you a few ideas. From all of our small businesses, we wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.