Every year at Christmas time, there are a few people in my life for whom I have absolutely no idea what to buy. They are pretty good about buying what they want or need throughout the year, and I don’t want to buy something random just to say I did… Something they didn’t want or need, that will end up in a drawer or closet.
Rather, I want to bless them and give them something they didn’t even know they wanted until they got it!
Here are 10 ideas for those people in your life who are just plain hard to shop for… Some of these cost money, and some are absolutely free!
1. Tickets to a performance of the Arts. Most people enjoy attending a musical, concert or play, but they don’t plan it for themselves. Check out your local guide for happenings in your area over the next few months, and purchase tickets for your loved one. There are symphony orchestras and Broadway musicals in most major cities. Or, a more budget-friendly idea might be to attend a comedy at a small theater in the area for a fun night out.
2. Along the lines of the above, a concert featuring a singer or band they love, or tickets to a game if they’re into sports. The seats don’t have to be front and center ($$) for it to be a good gift. Ticketmaster.com is a great source for this.
3. Handmade gifts from the kids. Great for grandparents who tell you they “don’t need a thing”.
4. Shutterfly.com (and other brands like it) make it super simple to create a memory book, and the cost can be as low as $20. Pull together 10-20 pictures from the last year and create a scrapbook. You can publish it with a hardback cover or a soft cover. The site provides dozens of templates and design elements, and promo codes and deals are easy to find online.
5. Quality time. For many people, planning a special day or evening together is all they want! For example, ask your Mother-in-law to go out for a fun girl’s day with you. Lunch, manicure and a movie. She will love that you carved out time just for her, and the effort on your part will mean more to her than another thing for the kitchen counter.
6. Herbs. Do you know someone who loves to cook, but the last thing they need is another cookbook? Give them an herb garden. There are indoor herb garden kits that consist of 3 or 4 small pots that can be placed right in front of the kitchen window. Anyone who cooks knows that fresh herbs are better than dried, but they are very expensive to buy on a regular basis.
7. Chores. Take a tough chore off someone’s plate. For example, offer to rake leaves for your Father-in-Law for the next month. Or for your very busy sister, offer to bring dinner over once a week for a few weeks. Believe me, she will treasure that more than another bottle of bath wash from Bath and Body Works.
8. A letter. For the person who directly told you to “save your money” and not buy them anything, write them a letter. Parents often say this…or spouses who agree to spend everything on the kids and not each other. Take a few moments to write down how grateful you are that they are in your life, and share a few special qualities about that person that you admire. You will probably induce tears and score major loved one points!
9. A magazine subscription. Let’s be honest – women love People magazine, but feel guilty buying it for $4.99 at the checkout counter, let alone purchasing a subscription. Or, maybe it’s a Home Decor or Cooking magazine, or a news source that your in-laws love. It’s the gift that keeps on giving all year long. This can be great for kids, too. I once bought my nephew a subscription to Highlights magazine, knowing he would get plenty of toys from everyone else.
10. A donation. Make a donation to a cause they care about. This is best for someone who is passionate about a certain cause, and truly doesn’t mind not having a tangible present under the tree. Or, register yourself and your friend/loved one for an upcoming event associated with that charity (i.e. a run/walk event). You’ll have fun participating together.
So what about Christmas morning? Many of these ideas are not something easily placed under a tree. Consider placing a note, letter, e-confirmation or printed tickets into a box, and wrap it as you would any other present.