Thursday, July 24, 2008

Gift Ideas

With several gift buying occasions coming up and Christmas around the corner (5 months), I have been pondering what to buy everyone. I don't want to contribute to everyone else's "closet clutter," and I don't want my gifts to end up in the "white elephant" stack or be shipped off to Hospice because they can't use it or already have a dozen of them. Personally, I think gift buying at Christmas has almost become ridiculous. People go into debt to buy gifts and then you have those people who have absolutely everything and no one knows what to get them so you end up purchasing junk. Does anyone have this problem? Oh, it's probably just me! I am on a mission this year to be creative, practical, a good steward (not go into debt,) and a non-contributor to someone else's clutter. With that in mind, below are some ideas that I have been coming up with the last couple of days. I'm sure you all have other ideas that you have done before in the past so please pass along the info and share with everyone.

For Women:
These following items will leave no junk laying around when used

-Bath goodies
-Stationary or note cards
-Gifts in a jar (cookies, soup, muffins, etc) I love these because when you need a quick dessert, just add your wet ingredients and Voila, you have a scrumptious dessert. A side note: You will have a canning jar left, but you can use it to store other things.
-Gift certificates for a pedicure, manicure, massage, hair cut, lunch for two with a friend
-Homemade goodies to eat, especially for the non-baker who doesn't have time or doesn't enjoy baking.
-Scrap booking accessories for the avid scrapbooker (only buy for the avid, not the people like me who have good intentions because it will end up on a shelf somewhere in my closet and become clutter)

Practical Gifts (Sometimes these gift aren't' fun, but people can use them)

-New underclothes (doesn't have to be frumpy; can be cute :)
-Steak knives (eventually, knives become dull or if you are my mom, you till have yours from 1985 and you're down to three good ones :) )
-Thread, yarn, material, or needles for the one who embroiders, crochets (not sure how to spell that), knits, or sews
-Replace kitchen stuff that has become broken, just needs to be replaced, or new things (glasses, wooden spoons, an additional set of silverware, new tupperware, etc) Several years ago, I asked for cooling racks because I didn't have any and I use mine all the time when I make bread or cookies. Also, I have been slowly doing away with most of my Teflon cookware so I ask for stainless steel pots, pan, bread pans, etc. I still have a few things that I want to keep for those tough jobs that will stick in stainless.
-For the hobbyist in your family, think of what to add to their collection that they will use: stickers and paper for the scrapbooker, new paints or brushes for the crafter, new box, thread, or needles for the sewer, beads and accessories for the jewelry maker, an i-Tunes gift card for the walker or exerciser who likes to listen to music. New trowel, gloves, and garden bench for the gardener. Be creative
-New clothes or shoes (Having 20 pairs of flip flops is practical for me because I wear all of them until they wear out, lol)
-New flowers for the yard, garden seed, or a new tree (one year, Joey's friend David bought him a Live Oak for his birthday which we have planted in the front yard. Very practical and pretty to look at all year)
-New hand towels for the kitchen or bathroom or replace worn out bath towels

Fun gifts to have fun with. (They may or may not be practical, but if the receiver likes them, then by all means go for it.)

-New cookbook they have been wanting
-A fun, cozy, or practical book to add to their collection. If they are interested in learning about something, buy them a book to further expand their knowledge (homeopathy, herbalism, gardening, raising chickens, canning, etc. ) Maybe you can add to a series they have going, a self-help book they want, or a neat book on craft ideas.
-Flip flops in every color under the sun
-New black purse (Can you ever have too many purses?)
-Cute decoration for the house if wall space permits :)
-Photo albums
-Picture frames
-New CD or DVD
-Pretty tablecloth
-Something to add to their collection if they wish to add to it. (western decor, country stuff, enamel ware, etc.)
-New earrings
-Gift certificate to their favorite store
-Journal for the avid journalist
-Subscription to a magazine they will read

For Men:
I will group all the categories together for men since there aren't quite as many options for them that don't cost and arm or a leg. These are gifts that don't have to cost a fortune.

-Magazine/Newspaper subscription
-CD-DVD for the music and movie lover
-New clothing (under and outer) for the men who refuse to buy for themselves
-Gift certificate to their favorite store (Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Cabella's, Fry's, etc)
-Gift certificate for a restaurant
-New hunting or fishing gear for the hunters
-Movie theater gift certificates
-Cologne for the smelly good men
-Fancy coffee for the avid coffee drinkers (My brother gets new coffee every year from my mom because he loves all kinds of different flavors...don't buy Folgers :))
-A sermon series on CD or DVD (These are a big hit for Joey)
-New tools (guys go crazy over tools...most of them do)
-New book for the readers of the family

Then there are gifts for men that do cost a fortune, but if your budget permits then go for it. (Guns, big tools, i-Pod, etc.)

There is so much more to add to this list. Put on your thinking caps and send me some good ideas that maybe you have used before or new ideas you have thought of. I definitely want to keep the right perspective when it comes to gift giving at Christmas. Our focus should be on Jesus and not on the drudgery of gift buying.

Happy Thinking!


Wendy said...

Well, this may be too simple for Christmas, but my Dad's birthday was yesterday. He has everything he wants/needs and plenty of clutter. We bought him fun induldences-some cool chocolate candy, his favorite ice cream and ingredients for a favorite dessert-strawberry shortcake. I just taped his card on the front door when no one was home and placed his gifts in the house (or in the fridge/freezer) with bows on them. He got home from work really late but called to say how tickled he was to stumble upon his surprises. It was a nice birthday surprise, I think.

Glad you got the gift ideas going. I chose quite a few for myself, lol. Oh, that probably wasn't the point now was it :)

Jennifer said...

It's ok to get ideas for yourself to give someone else.

Janice said...

These are great ideas and I am so glad you are discussing it!