Presents for People You Don't Know Well
Finding Small yet Meaningful Gifts for People on our Christmas List - when we Have no Idea What to Get them!
For this Christmas Holiday season, I have decided to do something a little different (for me anyway). Usually I get the big stuff on Black Friday and spend the rest of the Holidays picking up smaller gifts for people on my list whom I don't know very well, or for whom I just want to get a nice little "happy".
But this year, I'm shopping backwards.
I'm compiling a perfect list of great things for the dozen or so people who aren't family or close friends I need to buy gifts for, and when I find my favorite "goal gifts" for Black Friday shopping, I'll post 'em here. Then the majority of my shopping is done, and I can spend the rest of the holidays shopping for those I love the most.
I think it'll be less stressful, and fun at the same time!
Since I figure my list is probably similar to many others, I hope I'm helping you out too!
photo credit: michaelholden
Compiling the List
The Hardest Part!
The tough thing about doing my shopping this way, is that a lot of these gifts are usually "last minute gifts". I don't think I've ever actually sat down and tried to think of every single person who needs a small gift from us.
Let's see: The teachers need a little something, then something for my work friends, choir master, and our neighbor who lives alone....
What I most fear is that I will leave someone out. (Don't we all?) So I think I'll add a couple of "generic gifts" to the list for those times when you just need an extra something laying around just in case, you get my drift?
I should get something for my son's best friend and maybe his little sister, then something for his parents too, then perhaps a generic "boy toy" for his Cub Scout den's Christmas name drawing/party. Oh that reminds me, the Cubmaster needs one too! Sheesh! No wonder we get stressed out during the Holidays! So many people we want to honor with a gift, so little money to spread around. Glad we're fixin' that problem this year! I'm gettin' a bargain on all of 'em!
Then I think it would be nice to include the types of toys we might contribute to charities such as toys for tots or in a care package for our soldiers overseas.
Toys for Tots! - Charity Giving at the Sweetest Level
I guess all charity giving is kind, but there's nothing sweeter than knowing you're giving a small child a little extra joy on Christmas Morning. The anonymity of it kind of makes it even more special. One can imagine all sorts of happy little moments....
A Christmas Poem
I bought you a little gift, from me.
I put it underneath my tree.
It's nestled there below the lights.
As it has been for many nights.
I wonder when you'll come by to see
Our tree and I can give you this gift.
Let's Start with the Hardest - Teachers - Something Special!
Teachers most certainly are tops on our "small gift" list, but they are tough because you're so likely to get her or him the same "small gift" half a dozen other kids did. Surely the teacher doesn't need more cheap clutter gifts... so what then? First thought is to go with something edible. Food is always nice in situations like this. Or, something personal they can use such as a picture frame or wearable with thier initials.
This zebra stripe lanyard is perfect for teacher. It's useful and trendy, and still unique and thoughtful at the same time. Plus at this price, I might get a couple! (remember the extra little something you need for those unexpected gift exchanges?)
Care Packages for the Troops - Ideas and Suggestions
Not just at Christmas time but all year long, our troops need our support. While we're out shopping for Black Friday gifts, why not think of our troops and stock up for several months worth of care package items for them too?
Another Toughie to Buy For - The Neighbor who Lives Alone
People who live alone likely appreciate us thinking about them, but the person who lives alone generally has pretty much everything they need, most of the time. Food again is fine, but here's something different. I bet they don't have this!
We need to be encouraging everyone we know to recycle. This grocery bag holder is a small way, and a kind way, to encourage someone who otherwise might throw away their garbage bags to try something new. It's classy looking and certainly a conversation starter for any would-be suiters for our single friend... "oh, you recycle!"
Real Tree or Fake?
This is a little more fun! - Gifts for Work Friends!
The only issue with buying for my friends at work is that they all get (basically) the same thing. Now it's only the girls who do this, so this is a bit of a girly idea. I found out that Owls are trending. I like owls. My Nana used to collect them. I remember one she had was a recycled aluminum can painted black and crushed in a position which made the top part the owl's head... now I'm not saying to go make that, but it was kinda fascinating as a kid to look at that thing next to her way more expensive Owl figures and wonder.... why?
So , here is my Owl pick for work friends.
This is a really cute set of 3 owl magnets..... and it's really not expensive... especially since my friends at work all get each other little gifts, so, I can buy two sets and split 'em up, everybody gets a couple of different ones! How fun!
Christmas SMS Text idea
No Greeting Card To Give..No Sweet Flowers To Send..No Cute Graphics To Forward..Just A LOVING HEART Saying Merry Christmas!
more ideas at Christmas 39
Time for something Completely Different! - For the Choir Master, Cub Master or any group Leader
Here's your chance to help your group leaders with a bit of tech savvy advice. Your group gets together occasionally to do things, right? And likely they belong to other groups, etc.
A great little 'happy" for group leaders on your list- spend nothing and email them this app to download. They will learn all about the group coupon experience and how it can benefit those who buy "together". Then get him/her a nice card with suggestions on ways to use these group coupon services. It's not just a gift to the group leader but to the whole group!
Even Clark Howard suggests these type of coupons are a good idea in his new book
I have used "living social" and love it! Convincing my friends to do something new though is proving sometimes to be a little harder to do. Go ahead and send them the app (everybody loves apps!) and let them play with it a little bit so they can better understand the joy of group couponing!
There is a sort of "Magic" in numbers - Sharing the Christmas Experience
While you're thinking of ways to use group coupons with your choir or cub scout group, here is another fun (and free) idea. Go to a public place such as a park or protected forest area that has a lot of trees. Choose a special tree for each person in your group and "name" the trees after them by placing a poster in front of the tree with their name on it and snapping a picture of the tree. Then give each person in the group a photo of their "tree". Nice free, environmental gift.
Stocking stuffers - Great finds on Ebay
Ebay, I have found, is a great place to find deals on fun stocking stuffers and other small gifts for people. Buy them in lots or little things separately. Check with the sellers to see if you can combine shipping for some items. Look for stores that sell in "lots" for tons of fun for the kiddos!
I Saved the Best for Last - Toys for Boys - Big and Small
So that leaves us with something for my son's friend, and then there is another gift I might need (don't you hate that?) not sure yet... has this happened to you? A single adult who may or may not bring his current girlfriend or boyfriend home for Christmas? What do you do? Do you go ahead and get something for them or not? Better safe than sorry, I say!
The Hoodie is great as a generic "in case" gift. Teenage boys wear them, but anybody can use them. If the "boyfriend" doesn't show up, give it to your brother or Dad, or teenage nephew!
For the big boy who's not quite a "tween" yet - my kid is nuts for Bakugan - and it's under 10 bucks! Perfect for party swap gifts!
Themed luggage tags are another cute Idea for teens and anybody who carries a backpack.