If you need to watch your money, go for small, simple gifts, but always do quality! Showing class is always superior to tackiness and they will feel more special and associate you with quality. A cheaply made or cheesy gift is not likely to be favorably remembered by adults, but will soon become their clutter. Better to give one or two special flowers than a whole bouquet of common supermarket flowers. Inexpensive, tasteful, quality gifts might include: homemade preserves, four or more quality cloth napkins, a bottle of wine, a well made scented candle, a living plant, gourmet rice, a local item from a recent trip such as a wheel of cheese or a bar of handmade soap, or a small box or bar of gourmet chocolate.
To score a perfect match, choose items that most people use or that you know they in particular will use, and then just give quality. Avoid giving sweets to dieters and diabetics, wine to tea-totallers, books to non-readers, ties to casual dressers, and so forth. Secretly write down when someone mentions a small need or desire, because this could guide you to an excellent gift in the future. Surprisingly, most people have not gotten the item for themselves even half a year later.
Be careful giving gifts in the nature of the recipient’s expertise unless they have mentioned specifically what they want or you are certain of what will be well received. If they are an excellent gardener, you might wish to avoid giving plants or garden tools. If they are a wine connoisseur, it’s safest not to give wine. Their desires will be specific in these areas and it would be easy to miss the mark. On the other hand a quality, expensive gift in that area might be a great success if they don’t already have it.
If you are giving anything in media, such as a book, dvd, or music, it is safest to give items that have been published this year, unless you know the item is on their wish list.