No matter what you do, at some point in every holiday season you are going to have to get a gift for someone you don’t know that well. Maybe you got a new co-worker in the office secret santa (we play it safe and go through Reddit) or maybe you want to do something nice for your neighbor who hung out with you while you got the election results in 2012. Either way, sometimes you need to find a safety gift that you can get for someone where you’re not sure what they’re into. Here’s a list of some failsafes based on the little bit of information you can pick up.
Family Friendly – If the only thing you know about someone is that they have kids, the safest bet you can ever make is on a Disney movie. Also, take into account if you’ve heard them belt “A Whole New World” at karaoke. Monsters University was funny, poignant and damn entertaining. One of the few prequels to actually reward audiences with a backstory instead of do something to make the viewer think less of the original. And I don’t care who you’re buying The Little Mermaid for, if they don’t light up like the world is new again when they see this, take it back. Unless, of course, they are a child and just don’t know the magic they hold in their hands yet.
Classic Horror Cinephile – If the only thing you know about someone is that they’re a horror buff, I strongly recommend the titles coming out of Shout Factory and their horror imprint Scream Factory. The John Carpenter Blu-rays (They Live, Assault on Precinct 13, Prince of Darkness, Body Bags, The Fog) are incredible wealths of amazing and look spectacular.
Sandra Bullock Fan – Sandra Bullock is the crossroads of entertainment. We’ve all seen her in something we’ve loved and something we hated, but we always give her a chance. In honor of the fact that we can agree on Sandra, give the gift of The Heat with the equally charismatic Melissa McCarthy. Plus, there’s a commentary track where director and former podcast guest Paul Feig gives his own movie the MST3K treatment. That’s just a class act right there.
Asks You Instead of Googling Guy – We’ve all been guilty of it. At some point, instead of just typing in what we were trying to figure out we’ve asked a friend or co-worker. Some ask more than they should. Give that person The Internship. There is plenty to laugh at and the movie has a lot of heart. It also works great as an intro to Google. This way the next time he asks you something you can say, “I know you know what Google is. I gave you The Internship.”
They Went Through Something This Year – Everybody has a friend that went through something big or hard this year. Hell, maybe you did. The Way Way Back is a charming, funny and rewarding movie. It’s also ridiculously cathartic if you were a quiet or strange kid growing up. I can’t recommend this one enough. If you gave me this movie we’d be friends for life.
They’ve Quoted Star Trek Around You – You know all you need to if they’ve quoted or related something to Star Trek. Also, if you are any kind of engineer you have an 80/20 shot of nailing it with a Star Trek gift. This year all ten Star Trek feature films have been collected in a Star Date Collection on Blu-ray. Star Trek Into Darkness was liked well enough by the general populace, so even a passive fan could get down with its easy-to-jump-in plot. If they’ve gone a little deeper and you know they appreciate the Trek, hook them up with the Mr. Spock Logic and Prosperity Box.
You’ve Seen a Star Wars Collectable On Their Desk – First off, why do you only passively know this person, they sound like a great guy or girl. If you know them in a professional capacity get them a Star Wars business card holder from Kotobukiya. The recently released series 2 includes Darth Vader, Stormtrooper and C-3PO. The other option is to help them deck out their desk in true beauty with a figure from Hasbro’s 6″ Black Series figures.