My mother... she has no hobbies to speak of and makes her own clothes... her 'hobbies' are crossword puzzles and jigsaw puzzles... and she prefers buying the JS puzzles at Goodwill and then donates them back... so it's not something she'll keep. And a crossword puzzle book... done that... also got a crossword puzzle dictionary... years ago...
Now I try making her stuff... things she'd never make for herself... but it's still so hard. She doesn't like anything... she's also 'going' mentally, whether it's Alzheimer's or senility, don't know... so asking her what she wants is impossible. She doesn't wear jewelry, they don't go out to eat, she doesn't buy her clothes, etc... you name it... and if I got her a gift card, she'd try spending it on someone else in the family! She's done it.
I can at least guess for everyone else... and I'm easy to shop for, I have an Amazon.com wishlist!! I just have to train my dad to stop telling me he got me something from there before it arrives... because i can go check the wishlist (yes, I was one of THOSE kids)