I don’t want to spoil anyone’s presents I’ll be giving them by writing a comprehensive list of my favorite things I’m gifting for Christmas, but a general gift guide couldn’t hurt! Here are the type of presents I really enjoy giving my family and friends:
1. Something practical. It’s nice to be able to give someone something that they will use. I know this is the category that socks fall into, and some socks are lame, but others could make quite a good gift, like these cable-knit ones from Golden Tote. Another great practical gift is a subscription to Dollar Shave Club. They will send you great blades each month, so you always have a sharp razor! It’s a very affordable present, as well.
2. Something for their home. As college students/young “adults”, it seems that it takes about four people pooling their belongings in an apartment to come close having a full set of furniture/kitchen/bathroom stuff. That being said, we won’t always live with roommates, which means that someday we will find ourselves without a) a saucepan, b) a cheese grater, c) a TV, or d) a toilet plunger. Clearly, not all of these are things you can/ should get someone for the holidays (“Merry Christmas, Leila! We got you a plunger!”), but the idea is that you could gift something useful that they don’t have yet. I often receive kitchen goods from family members for Christmas and I think of them every time I use my cookie sheets, apron, casserole dishes, etc.
3. Something handmade. Something handmade is almost always a great gift. I knitted Ben a blanket for Christmas two years ago, and it was a huge hit. My mom often makes things for people as well. People (most people) greatly appreciate that you care about them enough to spend your time creating something for them! An added bonus, as pointed out to me by my friend Amanda, is that if you make something for someone, it doesn’t matter quite as much if it’s not something they will use all the time because it was so thoughtful that they made something for you at all.
4. Something unexpected. Unexpected gifts are fun because they’re surprising! Ben is very good at the unexpected gift. For instance, he gave me a kettlebell last year, which is not something I would have thought to ask for or buy for myself, but it’s awesome and I use it often! Ben also took me horseback riding for part of my Christmas present last year, which I loved! You have to know someone pretty well though, I think, to be able to get them something they never would have thought of but that you know they will like.
5. Something beautiful. There’s always room for more beauty in the world. Giving someone a piece of art, music, your favorite book, tickets to a museum or a concert, these are ways you can give something beautiful. Even if you don’t have a big budget, you can get nice prints of artwork or cheap tickets online. Sometimes giving someone an experience can be a far more valuable present than something material.
Happy gifting, everyone!