Every year I end up going to the store at the last-minute or frantically searching on Amazon for a gift…just to get a gift.
On Thanksgiving, my brother-in-law approached us with some true honesty. “Let’s buy gifts for the kids but not each other this year. I don’t want gifts that don’t have meaning and I have no use for, no offense.” And I most definitely agreed with him, no offense taken. While I am appreciative of gifts, receiving a gift that has zero meaning or thought put into it is the worst. I would much rather have a handwritten card or handmade item (preferably food, I LOVE FOOD) because it’s thoughtful. It’s meaningful. Or better yet, donate $5/or whatever you can contribute to a charity in my name. I’d dig that!
So I took a bit of time to look up some stuff or share things I have done. Things that have meaning. Things that have impact. Things that aren’t just random crap you picked up in a random aisle at a random discount store that was 50% off. Things that might save you three hours of your life wandering the mall like a drunk old man looking for a hot dog and instead being offered a hair straightener. “That’s not what I wanted! None of this is what I wanted for cousin George! Screw it! He gets one of those sand raking squares from that place that smells like a new car!”
PS: I don’t make money off these links. My blog is so not advanced like that. I just dig their stuff or their cause. Maybe one day when I have a million followers, I’ll
get really rich with all your clicks!! be really appreciative of all my adoring fans!!
Charitable and yet you get stuff, too.
Buy a beanie, help fight pediatric cancer. 50% of profits go to non profits. Made in USA, so it helps our economy, too. Easy!
I know, I know. Socks? Okay, hear me out. You know you have that one family member that doesn’t want anything. But everyone could use a pair of socks. My 86-year-old Grandpa usually gets socks. This year, buy a pair that also then donates a pair to a homeless shelter. Plus, they designed them so they actually keep their fit and comfort.
I don’t cook but I love these themed boxes since it makes it a unique gift. I bought the Teachers Care boxes for the classrooms and scored a good deal on them. They have some pretty good sales and make for a tasty gift.
Consider a rescue gift. A card is sent to your recipient after you choose what kind of rescue gift to be made in their honor. For Mother’s Day this past year, I gifted a newborn baby kit and emergency care for a child to my mom and I can’t describe how meaningful it was.
This is just a specific example of a rescue gift! There are so many other options. Sponsor a child locally through a Giving Tree. Sponsor an adoption fee for an animal at any local rescue. Make a donation to any charity* that is meaningful to the person you can’t figure out what else to buy for – they not only know a donation is made in their honor, but it helps make the world just a smidge better. And we need all of that we can get right now.
I have never gotten tired of this site. It’s the place where you see all the wacky yet SUPER COOL videos on Facebook or IG of some product and think “Man, that’s a perfect gift for so-and-so!” Look no further than this gem of a website. Beer cap map? Got it. Couch coaster? There. It is the ultimate gift guide for the friend or family member that loves ingenious gadgets.
If you like monthly subscriptions and have kids, this is the route to go. We order the Tinker Crate for our 13-year-old and she loves it. She’s really into STEM so every month she gets her crate that has taught her to build (thus far) a hydraulic claw, light-up planetarium, paper circuits, and a camera obscura. They offer different crates for different age groups as well.
Google subscription boxes. Most offer a one month gift option so you don’t have to rob your local Chipotle to afford a monthly craft beer subscription. There is a themed box for everyone in your life, I promise. We subscribe and have gifted/been gifted: monogrammed themed trinkets, a sock of the month, makeup, and even one of those fruit box things. They send some delicious fruit from I don’t know where. I wish someone would send me one of those again. I could go for some juicy oranges…
Or…Support Small Businesses
Just take a look around a local downtown square and find some boutiques or unique stores. You’ll more than likely find the perfect gift for someone you didn’t even know you were looking for, while also supporting a local business. Visit a craft fair. There you will find hundreds of handmade items that support someone’s small business AND gets you something to wrap. Or there’s Etsy. They have a zillion items with all sorts of price ranges. Just remember to order earlier than two days before you need it.
Here’s a few pointers to figuring out what to get someone.
- Stalk their social media. This shouldn’t be a surprise, but literally the entire point of social media profiles is to talk about all the things you like about yourself and what you do. Argue all you want, but your profile is basically a shrine to yourself and all the things you’ve accomplished or seen. Take a gander at their “Likes” or check ins.
- Don’t have social media or they keep their information like the Pentagon? Ask their spouse. Or kids. Or parents. Or their dog or weird neighbor.
- Don’t know their parents/spouse/kids/dog/weird neighbor? Ask THEM. That’s it. Wow. Hard. Such work. Much difficulty. If they say “nothing”, revert back to the whole charitable gift idea and MOVE ALONG! Win-win.
And, if all else fails, just buy yourself a soft, fuzzy blanket and take a nap. Happy gifting!
Additional links for gifts that have an impact:
Additional links for gift ideas when you can’t think for yourself:
*Friends don’t let friends do charity the wrong way. Check Charity Navigator before giving your hard-earned money. It’s the smart thing to do.