I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a completely crappy thing to say to someone.
First is the obvious–it puts the responsibility for bad gift-giving on the recipient, not the giver. It can’t possibly be that the giver isn’t creative enough, or didn’t put enough time or thought into gift giving…no, it must be because there’s something fundamentally wrong with you, the receiver, that makes you the one impossible person in the world to shop for.
Aside from that, it’s insulting on several other levels. It’s worst when it comes from a close friend or family member. They may just as well say that they don’t know you, or anything about your interests, at all. I can understand gift-giving frustration from an acquaintance or co-worker…but from the people who are supposed to know you best? Talk about stomping on someone’s heart!
It’s also like telling someone that they’re boring, and must not have any interests or hobbies. Because that’s always a fall-back when shopping. If you know someone has a particular hobby, you can buy them a gift related to that. But the person that’s impossible to shop for? They must not do anything for fun, and have no hobbies in which they’re interested. No one wants the bother of shopping for a boring person.
Never mind that with gift cards available for everything under the sun, it’s theoretically much easier now to buy a gift than ever before, so even the laziest shopper, the most clueless giver, should be able to accomplish this task. Yes, I know some people gift cards impersonal. But I’ve never understood that. Knowing that someone likes to shop at a particular store or eat a certain restaurant shows that you *do* know them, and gives them a chance to indulge in something they might not otherwise buy for themselves. That’s a great gift on several levels!
Now that I’ve had the chance to ponder this, I’m going to be careful never to say it to someone, myself. It’s just not a nice thing to do on a holiday or special occasion!