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 estranged nephew: NFL slippers
Sure, you were at the hospital when he was born, but you haven't seen him on a consistent basis since he was a tyke. Now that he's entered his most tumultuous years, why even pretend you can get into the mind of a hormone-filled tween? These days, the only thing that won't change by the hour for your emotional roller coaster of a nephew is his favorite football team, and that's why these logo slippers are fast, easy, affordable, and sure to be appreciated. Of course, you can also just be the wiseass who gives a diehard Eagles fan a pair of Cowboys slippers – hey, it's time he learned that's how uncles roll. [$29.95; hammacher.com]