I first encountered the concept of the standard gift in the very first organizing book I ever read: Totally Organized.
As I recall, the author mentioned that she had a standard gift for weddings: first, monogrammed pillowcases, and, since she wrote the book, a copy of her book! What a good idea.
When my children were little, the great bargain mecca in my area was a Scholastic Book warehouse sale. This was sort of a secret and open only to teachers. Someone told me about it; I called; and yes, college teachers were eligible. In truth, the sale was open to anyone who knew about it.
One feature of this sale was the "Fill Your Box for $25.00" area. You can get a lot of books--not to mention small educational toys--in a box. These treasures filled our gift shelf for years, saving us time and money.
Since I am not a gift-giving diva like my blogfriend Duchesse or my real-life friend Brigitte, both of whose choices amaze me with their brilliance, I must rely on the one or two sure-fire gifts in my repertoire.
For youngish men, I've already recommended (AT LEAST 5 TIMES) the great pen.
For youngish folk in general, I recommend the Rick Steves travel pack. I got one for Frugal Son a few years ago and may get one (shhhhhh) for Miss Em. Perfect for going abroad.
Garnet Hill, a catalog I've been mooning over for many years, has a good deal for folks of all ages: a cotton fleece throw. At the moment it is half price ($30) and has free monogramming. It comes in yummy colors and would be a wonderful gift for children, teenagers,and so on. It would even be a wonderful gift for ME. That's saying a lot, since I hate getting gifts as a rule.
Do you give standard gifts?