What do you want for the Holidays?
Sometimes finding the perfect gift is easy, but more often than not it turns into a treasure hunt as you search store after store for just the right trinket, book or houseware item.
We have some suggestions that might help you knock a few things off your shopping list, and please those family and friends who are a little harder to buy for in the process!
- Think one-of-a-kind. Venture into small, independent stores that are more likely to have unique items that can’t be found in larger chain stores. Not only is it great to support small local businesses, but also you’re more apt to find something the intended recipient has never seen before.
- Buy handmade. If you can’t knit or sew, ask around and see if anyone you know is willing to do the job for you. A pair of handmade mittens, a cozy scarf or even a small painting would be a priceless and much appreciated gift, especially if the recipient knows it was custom made just for them. Christmas craft shows, which often run through November and December at local churches and community centers, are a great source for beautiful and inexpensive handcrafted gifts.
- Fill their tummies. If you know the intended gift recipient well, you probably know all their favorite treats. Get a charming basket and fill it with special things they might not splurge on all the time, like exotic teas, their favorite chocolates, fancy crackers and cookies, jams, sauces, and candy. Visit small fine food stores for the best selection of splurge-worthy treats. This is a particularly good idea for someone on a restricted diet. Gluten-free and sugar-free foods can be pricey, so a basket filled with these items would be very much appreciated.
- Get them hooked on a hobby. The tools and information to get started on an exciting new hobby is a great gift for someone who has everything. You could purchase a gift certificate for a class at a local community center, or buy an instruction book and a few key materials to get them started on woodcarving, crochet, model shipbuilding or pottery.
- Shop online. You can certainly cover a lot more ground when you shop online versus trudging from mall to mall, plus the selection of interesting gifts is virtually endless—and right at your fingertips. As long as you’re shopping with a reputable merchant, it’s a safe and efficient way to hunt and shop for a huge variety of interesting gifts. Just watch out for shipping times so you’re not surprised by late arrivals!
- Give a gift card. This is a particularly good idea for people you may not know that well, and for teenagers who have very particular requirements for their clothes and music (which means it’s best to give them the opportunity to choose exactly what they want). Far from being cold and impersonal, a gift card allows the recipient the fun of a shopping spree, so you’re really giving both a gift and a fun experience! Consider iTunes gift cards for teens who are into music, or cards for stores like Target or Walmart where the purchasing choices are wide and varied.
If you have a lot of people to buy for or your gift-giving budget is modest, remember that it really is the thought that counts. No one wants you to spend more than you’re able, so determine what you can afford and stay within that budget.
Consider these lovely but inexpensive gifts:
- A potted plant, especially if you know the recipient’s favorite!
- A book of stamps and some pretty stationery.
- A dozen homemade cookies on a decorative plate (check dollar stores for attractive but inexpensive china).
- A mug and a box of tea, jar of specialty coffee or selection of hot chocolate mixes.
- A magazine subscription—a great idea for young readers! Check out Owl Kids for a list of magazines for children ages 3 – 13).
- A makeup bag with a few cosmetic products tucked inside.
- A gift certificate for an afternoon of mini-golf or a couple of hours at the driving range.
- A Christmas tree ornament.
- A selection of your favorite family recipes handwritten in a pretty journal that can be used to collect and record even more treasured recipes.
If you still want a little more help, visit The Gift Insider where you can request unique gift ideas based on who the recipient is, what their interests are, the gift-giving occasion, the type of gift, and your budget.
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