So this is late by a few weeks (I've been busy) and some of you reading this will probably hate me for posting this just after Christmas but I have discovered a brilliant app: Ask the Gift Genies. The brains behind the operation are the lovely people at peoplelovepresents.com, who ask you a few simple questions about the person you're buying for and then trot off across cyberspace to find you the perfect present within your budget.
Yes, actual people do it, which means that the request I put in for my mother on Christmas Eve hasn't yet been fulfilled (everyone needs a break right?!) but before Christmas responses were speedy. I have only tried this for a few people and I haven't actually purchased any of their recommendations. Name, age, relationship and brief info isn't really enough for them to know a person completely (and present buying should include your own thoughtfulness) but they can definitely inspire you. Of course the more you give them to work with the better. i.e. "she is a girl and likes pretty things" is never going to be as good as "she loves blue candles". Yes my examples are appalling but you get the gist...put in something more structured and you get a better result.
Here's the best bit though: It's entirely free. Watch this little video by Lady Geek TV to give you a better idea and then head to the App Store pronto.