Shopping strategy: Specialty stores like Spencer Gifts, arts and craft stores, big box stores, local antique stores or local gift boutiques will likely have the kinds of gifts you're looking for. Online, you can count on Archie McPhee and Baron Bob.

Examples: A fez, a package of googly eye stickers, elf ears, reproduction post cards ("Greetings from...," or pulp novel covers), "World's best" mug, household utensils shaped as animals.

The host and hostess

Gift-giving philosophy: Party! Food and drink or holiday décor-related gifts are perfect.

Shopping strategy: Kitchen and cook supply stores, gift boutiques, high-end department stores, lifestyle and clothing stores like Anthropologie or big box stores will likely have the gifts you want.

Examples: Look for intricate Christmas tree ornaments, whimsical corkscrews, themed stacking measuring cups, cocktail picks, fine candlesticks or embroidered holiday tea towels.

For Christmas pick gift foreveryone else

Gift-giving philosophy: Pick up the tradition of the Christmas pickle ornament -- it's a well-known game in German households. Parents hide a pickle-shaped ornament on the tree, and the children (or adults!) must find it. Whoever finds the pickle gets a gift -- and usually it's wacky!

Shopping strategy: Drugstores, As Seen on TV stores, local specialty shops and joke stores are excellent hunting ground for this kind of gift. Online stores like ThinkGeek or could also serve your needs.

Examples: Start the tradition by giving the pickle ornament, or relish in giving a ceramic nose pencil sharpener, a scarf that looks like a piece of bacon, a talking soap dispenser, perhaps a retro singing "Billy Bass" fish trophy.