Gifts For Extended Family Members You Never See But Have To Buy Presents For

Hand lotion, throw blankets, waterproof speakers and more crowd-pleasing favorites.
From left to right: <a href=",aps,86&sr=8-6&sres=B077BQ6KZ7,B07FPCLPDR,B086Q36WDW,B06WWBTB3G,B08V5QB9B3,B07YCWDZG1,B0941ZKWWB,B08NWDTBXR,B095XF4HJ7,B07YNWMFLV,B091D8C7RC,B08NWD29K6,B092TT8Z45,B00FR85IRK,B09BZTTPPR,B08CFZW187&srpt=CAMERA_FILM&th=1&tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=6185407ae4b0c8666bdbde24,-1,-1,d,0,0,hp-fil-am=0" target="_blank" role="link" data-amazon-link="true" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="Fujifilm Instax camera" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6185407ae4b0c8666bdbde24" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id=",aps,86&sr=8-6&sres=B077BQ6KZ7,B07FPCLPDR,B086Q36WDW,B06WWBTB3G,B08V5QB9B3,B07YCWDZG1,B0941ZKWWB,B08NWDTBXR,B095XF4HJ7,B07YNWMFLV,B091D8C7RC,B08NWD29K6,B092TT8Z45,B00FR85IRK,B09BZTTPPR,B08CFZW187&srpt=CAMERA_FILM&th=1&tag=griffinwynne-20&ascsubtag=6185407ae4b0c8666bdbde24,-1,-1,d,0,0,hp-fil-am=0" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link">Fujifilm Instax camera</a>,<a href="" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name=" a reed diffuser from Paddywax" data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6185407ae4b0c8666bdbde24" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link"> a reed diffuser from Paddywax</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank" role="link" rel="sponsored" class=" js-entry-link cet-external-link" data-vars-item-name="PrimaLoft socks. " data-vars-item-type="text" data-vars-unit-name="6185407ae4b0c8666bdbde24" data-vars-unit-type="buzz_body" data-vars-target-content-id="" data-vars-target-content-type="url" data-vars-type="web_external_link">PrimaLoft socks. </a>
Amazon, Paddywax, L.L. Bean
From left to right: Fujifilm Instax camera, a reed diffuser from Paddywax, and PrimaLoft socks.

There are the family members you actually keep in regular contact with and then there is the holiday group. You know who I’m talking about. The cousins or aunts or aunt’s cousin’s boyfriend’s sister that you see once a year and have absolutely nothing in common with. While they make for perfectly nice yearly small talk, once the ham is eaten and the Champagne is flat, you cannot for the life of you remember anything personal about them. And yet, year after year, you are expected to get them a present they will enjoy for many more holiday seasons to come. That’s where we come in.

When shopping for extended family, the key is to keep it practical, but elevated. Think something most people could use, but may not buy themselves. Or a cuter version of something historically utilitarian. It is the holidays, after all.

While you may have the holiday spirit (and holiday budget) to splurge on everyone, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to snag something perfectly thoughtful yet not too assuming. If the name of the game is keeping things merry and bright, you probably want to stay away from anything political, provocative or petty. From a to-go coffee mug with a pretty pattern or a neutral pair of wool mittens that go with everything, there are plenty of gifts for people you see once a year. We rounded up some fun options.

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A mini Instant camera for your Gen Z cousins
A smart frame with rotating photos for your great-uncle
A waffle scarf or wrap for your always-chilly aunt
A personalized leather key chain for your cousin you know nothing about, other than their name
A waterproof speaker for your party animal brother-in-law
Warm wool socks for your boyfriend's dad
Wireless ear buds for your college-age cousin
A trendy cook book for your aunt who just redid her kitchen
A canvas tote for your cousin that just had a baby
This comes in four shapes and five colors. Get it at L.L. Bean starting at $24.95.
A cool-tone Hydro Flask for anyone who drinks water
These come in 12 different colors and four different sizes. Get it from Amazon for $26.89.
A scented reed diffuser for your second cousin that loves essential oils
This comes in seven scents, like fresh air and smoke. Get it at Paddywax for $20.
A set of bath bombs for your great-aunt
A funky cotton throw blanket for your partner's grandmother
This comes in 14 patterns. Get it from Amazon for $28.99.
A trio of hand creams for that older woman you have no idea how you're related to
This comes in seven sets like cherry almond, wild fig, winter flower and amber cashmere, coconut milk, and lychee bilberry. Get it from Amazon for $27.
Genderless wool mittens for your cousin's new boyfriend
A ceramic to-go mug for your uncle's husband's niece that you're not related to by blood
This comes in nine colors. Get it from Amazon for $19.99.
A Fit Bit Inspire band for your cousin that loves Facebook
A leather notebook for your sibling's partner who fancies themselves the next Bukowski
A portable phone charger for your step-grandma who just got a smartphone
A glass loose-leaf teapot for your uncle who's quitting coffee
Turkish hand towels for a safe gift-swap game
This comes in 14 colors. Get it from Amazon for $16.99.
"Ted Lasso" Holiday Cards