Christmas Gift Ideas - Choosing Something Special for Your Nearest and Dearest
Christmas is Coming (even in January)
What to Buy for Christmas Gifts?
Some people are are super-organized and buy all their Christmas gifts early. For many of us however, around November and December when Christmas decorations appear and stores start the countdown to Christmas Day, it comes time to think about what gifts to buy for family and friends. This can result in hastily purchased and possibly not-well-chosen gifts as can be seen in the large number of gifts that are returned or exchanged. The following ideas are some food for thought when setting out on the annual Christmas search for the perfect gift.
Subscriptions Don't Have to be Boring
A practical choice is a 12 month subscription to an automobile club. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions (on or offline) can be popular gifts. Yearly, seasonal or even monthly subscriptions to sporting events, video games, cable tv, zoos, museums, theatre and musical activities chosen according to the recipients' interests are a thoughtful gift.
Special Food and Drinks
Everyone has favourite forms of food and drink. These might be as simple as chocolate or cakes or could be something unusual from the far corners of the world. Perhaps your friend or family member has a taste for haggis, escargot, fish balls (there are Asian and Scandinavian versions), exotic spices, unusual coffee blends or hard to find wine vintages. There are few things that you can't find and order online. Of course it's also special to make your own gifts, such as homemade jam, cookies and chocolate. The beautiful thing about gifts of food and drink is that they are practical. If you choose according to the recipient's taste, you can be assured that your gift will be useful.
Many people find it fascinating to trace their family tree. If you know someone who has an interest in their family history there are several options. You can hire a geneologist, get a subscription to a geneology site or get software which helps to organise and display the research. Given that most families have a skeleton or two lurking in the closet, it's a good idea to gift the tools for the search rather than just presenting the outcome.
Alternatively, You Can Buy a Book About It
Contributions to organizations which offer social and environmental benefits can be a great choice of gift, particularly if you choose according to the recipient's interests. Is your friend passionate about the environment, social justice, feeding the world or even the local area? There are two options. You can purchase physical gifts (and greeting cards) from relevant organizations such as Oxfam. Alternatively you can make a donation which buys a goat, a chicken, faming tools, educational and medical requirements for those who need them. You can help Greenpeace save the rainforest by adopting a tree, or help them protect strange creatures such as the Blobfish. The recipient of your gift would then receive a card (which you can usually personalise) with the details of the gift made on their behalf. You can also look in your local community for opportunities and perhaps even offer the gift of your time to a local charity while you're there.
Photos, Videos and DVD's
For a really personal gift, create a framed collage of photos for your friend or family member. Alternatively, make a hard copy published book or an ebook of photos, drawings and text via sites such as blurb.com and lulu.com. Arrange for family photos, films and videos to be collated and stored on digital media - a great present for non-technically savvy parents or grandparents.
Purchasing experiences as a gift can be very welcome when the experience is tailored to the person. It may not be a good idea to buy a parachuting experience for someone who is phobic about planes or heights. If you choose well however, it can be the most thoughtful gift. It could be as simple as a morning on the golf driving range or a weekend away in the country. It could be a cooking class or driving a race car. It could be photography lessons or a luxury day being pampered at a spa. It could even be a consultation with a garden designer or home decorator.
You will probably need to set aside some time to look over all the possible Christmas greetings and gifts available for $5 on Fiverr.com. You can order a video of Christmas greetings from Santa, in hip hop style or virtually any style. You can order personalized gifts such as your friend or family member in caricature, as a jet fighter pilot on video or as a character in the Super Mario game. An album of Christmas rap music? A personalized fortune cookie? Christmas greetings delivered by Gandalf or Yoda? A Charlie Chaplin style comedy video with your greetings added? There are endless options to browse through on this site and you'll probably end up buying something for yourself as well.
While You are Shopping for Christmas Presents...
Remember that amidst all the rush and pressures of the end of the year, the spirit of Christmas, catching up with friends and family and spending time together is the real meaning of the season. Gifts are just the icing on the cake.