With the holidays coming up, you may have started to imagine the special things you’d like to gift your family and social circle. And while it’s tempting to gift the event planner in your circle items you think they could use for work, be less predictable this year and eliminate these five status quo items from your gift list. Here’s a list of what NOT to get your event planner friend this holiday.

1. A planner 

A planner for an event planner sounds too perfect, doesn’t it? What you might not realize is you and seven other people decided the same thing. Now your friend has all their commitments in their Google calendar in addition to the backlog of paper planners getting dusty on the shelf. Kudos to wanting to help them keep track of time, but what if instead you helped them take stock of their daily steps with a fitbit instead?

2. Another coffee mug 

Chances are the coffee mug collection is stashed away with holiday mugs from the last three years. Instead of buying yet another mug that will go unused, consider the impact of purchasing a gift card to their favorite coffee cafe. They can do all the ripping and running they need with a handy coffee expense card to use whenever they need a quick pick me up outside of the office. 

3. A business card holder 

Business card holders are overdone and getting to be a bit outdated. Now that you can search from your phone, or look someone up on instagram in an instant, it’s not so necessary to carry around tiny paper cards that often end up in the trash. Consider some sort of cool branded phone accessory instead, since it’s more likely they will be exchanging contact information by saving numbers in their phone and connecting on LinkedIn rather than passing out business cards.

4. Flat work shoes 

We get it, you’re trying to think of ways you can help your friend better navigate all the walking that comes from managing multiple events. But while this may be practical, it’s likely they already have their “go-to” footwear for the job. If you really want to help them take a load off, how about purchasing a spa day voucher that will allow them to truly relax after the event has gone off without a hitch. You can’t go wrong with certificates for pedicures and massages!

4. A standing desk

This is the equivalent of getting the wife a vacuum for an anniversary. It seems like a practical thing the event planner in your life would love, but it just screams responsibility. It’s not that you need to be frivolous when picking out gifts, but leave work related items in the shopping cart. Something multi-functional that would ease their day and provide joy is a new pair of wireless or noise cancelling headphones. They will appreciate the gesture and use those items seamlessly while working and while relaxing. 

4. Anything re-gifted

Re-gifting is a general no-no but reserved for Secret Santa’s and White Elephant parties. Please for the love of Festivus do not pull out the holiday socks your aunt knitted you last year and try to pass them off to your event planner. If you’re having trouble coming up with something original you could always get them a giftcard to a nice place to eat. Everyone loves a good meal, especially party planners who take time out to treat themselves.             

The goal for your holiday gift is to make sure your gifts have some appeal and practicality outside of your event planner friend’s primary work functions. Just because they plan for a living doesn’t mean they don’t need a break from it every once in a while. Think of what they could use for their leisure time and make sure your gift helps them put their feet up after a long week of planning and organizing.

Dating an event planner and want to send them a chuckle? Check out this post.