Unique Gift Ideas

By Mary Nicholson

What in the world do you get for someone who has everything? For many folks on your list, you probably already know exactly what you plan to give them – they’re the easy ones! But there are always a few who are a challenge. My dad was one of those. He wasn’t into having many material things, although he found things like Billy Bass amusing, much to my mom’s chagrin. What made gifts fun for Dad was the presentation. One year I bought him a big container of peanuts. Not too creative, but it was a suggestion from Mom, and it was something that he would use. It wasn’t much in the way of gifts, but the wrapping was the fun part. It was a round, tall container, sort of like a fat oatmeal box. I wrapped the outside with plain construction paper and found a perfectly sized picture of Paul Newman’s handsome face to put on it. I topped it off with a construction paper cowboy hat, and voila! (The cowboy hat was a critical part of the décor, as my parents had made several trips to San Antonio and my dad came back with a pair of cowboy boots and a few bolero ties).

Another way of making an ordinary gift extraordinary is wrapping it in several different packages. This works well for things that are small. It’s even more fun to make it like a scavenger hunt in a box. With each layer of wrapping, include a hint or poem about what might be in the next layer or package. This was a tradition in my family when I was growing up. My mom and Gus, an extended family member, took great fun in exchanging silly little gifts, things like a pack of gum or a harmonica. We would all offer suggestions on what the ultimate gift should be, along with clues to go along with it. I don’t know which was more fun – to be the giver or the receiver!

One unique gift we got many years ago – it was actually a wedding gift – was a pair of binoculars. Granted, it’s not your traditional piece of china or stemware, but it’s the gift we use most often and we always remember the giver. And it works whether the recipient is male, female, old or young. Include a bird identification book, and you have a complete hobby!

And there are always gifts you can make in your kitchen! Who wouldn’t like a batch of holiday cookies? Or brownies? The internet has a wealth of recipes for all kinds of baked holiday treats. Overwhelmed? Here’s a place to start: http://www.familycircle.com/holiday/christmas/cookies/favorite-holiday-cookies/

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