Practical but wonderful gifts?
November 3, 2010 5:10 PM Subscribe
'Tis the season, yet again. Please recommend some lovely holiday gifts I can give that are useful, not wasteful. Picky specifics inside!
posted by anonymous to shopping (25 answers total) 115 users marked this as a favorite
I love finding the perfect gifts for people (and yes, I start early), but after years and years of gift-giving I'm starting to run out of ideas. And as I've gotten older, I've started to prefer giving and receiving practical gifts, rather than frivolous stuff. Most of my friends and relatives are not really into gadgets or tchotchkes anyway. They're just not "stuff" people, if you know what I mean.
So I'd like to give them things they can either use regularly, or consume, but that still feel gift-y. I've given lots of books, snacks, and bubble bath, and I'd like to branch out.
A few specifics:
-I'm flying for Christmas and so are some of my relatives, so travel-friendliness is a must. Nothing bulky, heavy, leaky, or fragile. Small is good.
-No strict price limit, but under $50 is preferred.
-I'm open to making gifts, but I haven't found anything I want to make. Most of the things I've seen are decorative or ornamental, which my friends and family aren't into. They wouldn't use things like infused vinegars or those cookie-mix-in-a-jar things, either.
-Since I don't live near my family I haven't had much luck finding local "experience" gifts like museum memberships, cooking classes, pedicures, etc. On the occasions I have given them, they've gone over well.
-Everyone on my gift list lives in a mild climate, so winter accessories aren't an option.
-I have given gift cards and donations for birthdays in the past, and they've been appreciated, but we usually give physical objects for Christmas, so I am on the fence about this.
-I know I'm being vague here about the people on my gift list, partly for the sake of anonymity but partly because I don't want to give them themey "I know you like _____" gifts. But to give you a general idea, everyone I'm shopping for is in their mid-20s or older, smart, slightly nerdy. More men than women. We're all fans of stuff like The Onion and The Daily Show and I wouldn't be surprised if any of them read MetaFilter. (And that's why I've chosen to post this anonymously. Hi Mom!)
I've looked through past gift-idea threads but haven't struck gold just yet. I could have sworn someone asked a similar question last year, but I can't find it, so I won't mind if you throw me some previouslies.