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The Boston Globe

Lifestyle

G Cover

Buying gifts for the hard-to-please

They aren’t immortalized in rhyme, like the Grinch. Their names aren’t synonymous with misanthropy, like Scrooge. But every holiday season, untold numbers of these spirit-sapping characters appear in our midst.

They are the Hard to Buy For, and like the devil himself, they assume many forms: the hobby-less brother-in-law; the enthusiast so serious about her leisure-time pursuits that an outsider could never get a gift right; the dad who overnights himself whatever he wants; the teenager with unknowable preferences; the mom who insists she needs nothing; the baby with fussy parents.

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