Gift-buying for a roommate can be a daunting process, but the art is to know their personality and the types of things they would either use, or they would find funny or thoughtful. Since the roommate probably has little space, smaller gifts are best. The basic aim is to put a smile on his face.
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Girls more than boys would like ornamental gifts, such as picture frames to put boyfriend or family pictures in. Other ornamental gifts include posters of their favourite teen heartthrob (in a highly ironic way), life-size cardboard cutouts of Johnny Depp or someone equally hot, enamelled jewellery boxes or funny refrigerator magnets.
People who share rooms or houses probably do not have cash to fritter away on spoiling themselves. A female roommate might appreciate a gift set of her favourite cosmetics or haircare products, that she otherwise wouldn't buy for herself because of the expense. These items may be available on auction websites for much cheaper than in a store. A male roommate might like a remote controlled truck to indulge his childish side, and if the truck bed can also hold a few cans of beer, it'll save him having to walk to the fridge every time he wants a drink.
Since roommates spend a lot of time together, they usually share information about their preferences in movies, music and games. A suitable gift for a roommate that shows you appreciate his tastes is a box set of his favourite actor's movies, some of his favourite music, or a video game he likes playing. If the roommate has a music player with earphones but no speakers, a set of small speakers would be a thoughtful gift for her to study along to. A webcam can also come in useful for a roommate who misses her family and would like to see them more regularly.
Sometimes what someone wants does not fall neatly into a traditional gift category. For example, a roommate from Canada might miss a particular brand of maple syrup that the gift-giver can source from an Internet company or a specialist food store. A male roommate who extols the virtues of a particular but rare brand of coffee would like a bag of that coffee wrapped up in a bow. A roommate of a certain age might like a bag of candy that he associates with his childhood, and an enthusiastic cook could use a rack of unusual spices in his culinary concoctions.
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