Some of these folks are the people you see almost every day yet know nothing about. Others you do your best to avoid over the course of the calendar year, tradition and family be damned. Either way, this universal rogue's gallery forms a dark shadow over many a Christmas list, causing stress instead of joy as one tries haplessly to buy a gift reflecting the perfect combo of sincere-seeming, cheap, and appropriate. But picking out a present doesn't need to be a total shot in the dark. These ideas should make the process a little more painless.
For your nosy neighbor: Engraved, Personalized Coasters
Perhaps you've exchanged the odd pleasantry over the fence with the shadowy guy next door, but what do you really know about him and his creepy wife and kids (and why did they suddenly invite you over for holiday cocktails)? Why, his name and address, of course. Made from extremely dense concrete – the secret ingredients are recycled granite and marble dust from old countertops – this rugged set of four coasters can be engraved with up to 34 characters. Which is easily enough space to fit his last name or the latitude and longitude of his pristine quarter acre. Nothing says, "Please call the cops if you see someone breaking into my house while I'm away" better. [$69; culinariumkitchenware.com]