I feel great gift givers are not always the ones who devote the most time or money to this art - so what are their secrets? I'm happy to consider wisdom derived from science, literature or anecdote. Likewise I am interested in advice centred on observation, triage, shopping, timing, wrapping and so on. What makes a ninja gift giver?
I don't know the guest of honor. Should I buy a gift for a 50th birthday party? [more inside]
I'd like to give someone a bottle of strange/rare/gross booze (it will be appreciated, I promise!). Do you have any suggestions? I'm NOT looking for unusual versions of standard spirits, like rare vintages of bourbon or gross-flavored vodkas, but rather liquors or liqueurs that are themselves weird or unusual. The recipient is very well-versed in booze, so things like genever and Fernet are not quite weird enough. I'm in a major US city and willing to go through some effort for this, so don't hold back!
I will be leaving to France in exactly two weeks to visit my large extended family and I would like to bring gifts but can't really afford to spend big bucks. Candy? Food? Easy personalized ways to keep track of everything and say "thank-you" after the trip also appreciated. And of course, a question regarding dollar to euro conversions. [more inside]
I was hoping to find something like this but less expensive and maybe more authentic (?) to Japanese culture, somewhere online. [more inside]
I want to get to work ASAP on holiday gifts and am looking for your favorite DIY gift ideas that have fairly broad appeal. Would prefer they not be holiday themed, so that they're gifts people can enjoy year round, or at least longer than the holiday season. They will also need to be tailored to my shoestring budget, but still reflect a sense of 'expensive taste' (I like things to look and be nice, and know this can be done without spending much money). Details on my personal DIY and crafting skills inside, as well as examples of DIY gifts I've made in the past, inside. [more inside]
Yes, this is ridiculous, but I'm stumped. My son's 12th birthday is coming up and I have no idea what to give him. He loves Minecraft, Kahn Academy, putting together Spotify playlists, and reading. He doesn't know what he wants, either. Suggestions? [more inside]
I'm looking for a gift for an 80 year old man, well-traveled, cultured, published poet. Any ideas?
I'll be spending a few days in the San Francisco Bay Area this coming weekend. My wife will be remaining at home. What gift should I get for her? [more inside]
When we were in London we saw a fun craft-toy called Sticker Scratcherz at both Hamleys and Harrods. We figured we'd find something like it elsewhere as well, but haven't had any luck, so I'm hoping maybe a mefite knows of something else like this. Preferably, it would be not as expensive, for a bit less content (if it were half price for half the amount of stickers it would make a great casual gift). [more inside]
We've invited some people to our wedding reception that aren't close family or lifelong friends, but good friends and colleagues whose company we enjoy, and have been warm and enthusiastic about celebrating with us. We would like to convey that our invitations to them absolutely do not come with the expectation of gifts. [more inside]
So I love giving gifts and, if I've committed to 'Giving Someone A Gift' instead of just 'Checking off the Box' I tend to put a lot of time and energy into them. However I've noticed that my pleasure in giving gifts is directly tied to how the recipient responds. MeFis, teach me to give unconditionally. [more inside]
One of my best friends is getting married to a totally fantastic awesome guy. They already live together and don't have a registry yet. We are all artsy types (read: broke). I want to get them a kick-ass gift. Drown me in ideas, hive mind! [more inside]
Due to family tragedy, last Christmas felt more like a never-ending marathon than a fun and meaningful holiday. I resolved that Christmas 2014 would be a more mellow, loving holiday that didn't involve hundreds of dollars flushed down the drain on disposable gifts. What are your ideas for meaningful Christmas gifts for family that take some time to make (or not!), don't cost much and might be actually appreciated and used? [more inside]
Our UX designer is leaving for a new job, and we want to get her a going-away gift. Any ideas for something design-related that is somewhat geeky but cool and trendy?
I have a wonderful boyfriend and I want to do something really special for him, just because. His favorite thing on earth is Mystery Science Theater 3000. He already owns all of the episodes and watches them constantly, so I am looking for REALLY SPECIAL merchandise or home made MST3K items to buy for him. Can you guys point me in the right direction? Google and Etsy aren't turning up anything interesting.
I'd like to give an inexpensive token of thanks to each of around 40 people. They are physicians and nurses who are helping on a project. It needs to be something I can get quickly, travel with easily, and ideally no more than $4 US. My ideas so far are Amazon gift cards or Starbucks gift cards. What token gift would you like to receive if you were one of them?
I'd like to get my step-mother a gift for her 50th birthday - we're not particularly close, but I'd like to make a nice gesture. She's a psychiatrist, and a lot of her identity is bound up in that, so I'm thinking some kind of classic psychiatric text in a nice edition would be appreciated, but I don't know where to start. Can spend up to $200 or so. Any suggestions?
Someone I work with is Turkish and in Turkey for the summer. He asked me to let him know if I would like something from Turkey. I do! But do I take him up on it? [more inside]
My grocer is awesome! We chat every time I go in and he always throws in something extra with the food I buy. What would be a good thank-you gift to give to him for all this greatness? [more inside]
Our 4th wedding anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks and I want to give the traditional gift of fruit. I'm thinking of something like those crazy Japanese melons (although not SO expensive). A couple of steps up from Harry and David. Does such a service exist in the SF Bay area?
I want to get birthday gifts for two liberal, active outdoor people. Ideas? Hoping for real objects to give under $50. [more inside]
Boyfriend has been in a funk for the past couple weeks - stress about work, money, an injury, etc. I haven't seen him in a couple days so I want to surprise him with something special / out of the norm, but I'm not feeling super creative, help! [more inside]
One of my very best friends has a birthday coming up. Over the last year he has thrown himself into game design as a hobby with his eyes on the horizon of possibly pursuing it professionally down the line. My friend is incredibly practical and intelligent so I am not so much interested in a gift that is very "how to" but instead I would love a book that looks at games on a critical level and deconstructs how they craft narrative. I've seen some questions on the green suggesting guides on a practical level and one a from a couple years ago of material that was mostly excellent blogs/posts but can anyone think of good gift books that explore ludo narrative in this way?
Subject is a mature lady who about four years ago took up the violin and has progressed into fiddling. Probably at the early intermediate stage of expertise. Birthday coming up and I'd like to surprise her with unique and wonderful gift(s) that go along with her joy of fiddling. Violins/fiddles are out as are bows. Thank you and I'll return the favor when the question comes up for something I'm qualified to provide an opinion.
My Dad just got "home" from the hospital in Singapore ("home" in quotes, because he's only there for a temporary assignment). He is completely bedridden, and probably should have stayed at the hospital but refused. I'd like to send him a care package of sorts - snacky food, beer, maybe even some movies to watch or something, but I don't know how to go about doing that (I'm in the USA). I would mail something from here, but he's going to be on a plane back to the states as soon as he can reasonably lay on a plane, and I don't know if it would be there in time. What are my options?
What are your go-to craft projects for gift giving? What handmade goods do you like to receive? [more inside]
It's time to buy a new waffle maker. It will be a Mother's Day gift. I want to give the best waffle maker in the world to the best wife and mother in the world - which waffle maker should it be? [more inside]
I want to make my good friend a fancy list of 20 things I really like about her. If I made such a list and gave it to her would that be nice and thoughtful or kinda creepy and overwrought? [more inside]
Mother's Day is around the corner and I want to get something nice for my mom. The problem? She has most everything she knows she could want, and unless I threaten horrible gifts she won't give me any suggestions. So I could use help in thinking of something nice for this Mother's Day. Details about the mother in question are inside. [more inside]
I am looking for a gift for a Lutheran seminary student, who is very awesome and who is doing a very large service for us soon. I am not Lutheran, and I do not know a lot about thoughtful gifts that would be good for someone still in seminary school. Please help! [more inside]
A family friend is graduating from high school and I would like to give her a gift. She is going to study literature at university so I would like to get her a book. I'm looking for recommendations for something special. Details inside. [more inside]
My dad's birthday is coming up. He is a special scone. Can you help? [more inside]
I'm going to a murder mystery dinner party next Saturday, yay! I'd like to bring a hostess gift for the couple putting on the event. But the hostess has several major allergies/issues, which leave me stumped as to figuring out what to bring. [more inside]
My cousin is getting married in a couple of weeks on the east coast. I'm traveling there from Seattle. Both bride and groom (my cousin is the groom, if that matters) are active musicians in the Boston scene. I don't know them very well. They're in their mid 30s and were impressionable teenagers when grunge was just becoming an enormous deal. I was thinking they might appreciate a small wedding gift that had something to do with Seattle's musical history, but I myself am not very familiar with it all, with what's actually cool and what's just tourist junk. My budget is less than $50 (less would be better) and I need to be able to fit it in my suitcase and have it be modest looking at the wedding itself. My cousin plays guitar, drums, is a lead singer, and writes lyrics as well as music. His genre, as far as I can tell, goes around a central pillar of "rock". I'm looking for a token kind of gift. They have a registry but also stipulate they don't need or require gifts multiple times, it's going to be a super small wedding and I'm not sure I'm even going to be at the ceremony itself. Just something that will make them go "cool! I never would have asked for this but it's a neat thing to have!" Do you have any ideas?
My landlord has been subletting his apartment to an elderly Japanese woman for a couple months, and I've been acting as sort of a superintendent while the landlord's away, helping her out with navigating the language barrier, our building's eccentricities, and other issues that would normally be brought to the landlord. When she moved in she brought me a lovely gift of Japanese rice crackers, and during the time she's been here she's brought me a few other small gifts (fruits from the farmer's market, pastries from a local bakery), presumably in thanks for my help. She is incredibly sweet and I've enjoyed interacting with her, and I'd like to get her a small gift when she leaves next month. But I'm at a loss for what! I'm thinking something non-perishable she can take back with her, but alcohol doesn't seem appropriate, and I'm not sure about chocolate, either, which is my usual go-to after booze. Any ideas? We're in Berkeley, CA if that helps.
I will be staying with a friend and his family, in their mother-in-law unit. I want to give them a nice host gift, with the following stipulations: (a) I don't think they drink; (b) They have various dietary restrictions; (c) They are urbane, smart Bay Areans. I am paralyzed. Any hints or recommendations would be very welcome.
I'm putting together some gift bags for a group trip to Portland, OR. I want to fill the bags with local goodies. Can you recommend some great Portland snacks (locally made chocolates, chips, candy, etc.), as well as any other appropriate Portland-themed items? Thanks!
I have a friend who is turning 30 at the end of this week. She's still quite a new friend, but I really like her and I think we'll probably have quite a long-lasting friendship, and so would like to get her a thoughtful gift. The thing is, I absolutely SUCK at choosing gifts, even for my closest friends/family, and the thought of it stresses me out. Ideas? [more inside]
Last week, a friend-of-a-friend let me crash on his couch after my late-night flight home got cancelled at the last minute. I don't know him very well, but I'd like to get him a small gift as a token of my gratitude. I'd like to get something that's a bit more unique (and less "corporate") than a fruit basket, and would rather avoid cash or cash-equivalents. Any suggestions? [more inside]
My nephew's birthday is coming up - this summer he will be travelling by rail in Europe with friends then starting university (degree in Chemistry) in September. I want to get him two birthday gifts - one for each. My first thoughts were something like a decent stationery set or laptop bag for college, and maybe a multi-language phrase book (if such a thing exists) for his summer adventure. But these seem obvious and I would appreciate more ideas before I go shopping. If it were you, about to turn 18 and excited about the future, what would you appreciate? [we are in UK and he will be studying here]
I am getting married in the middle of July 2014, and have a link to our gift registries on our wedding website. We sent out "Save the Date" cards in January that had the URL for our website printed on it. So it is now the end of February, and we are already starting to receive giant parcels of food processors and other household items which we have put on our registry. Should we wait until after our wedding to start using these items, or should we treat these items in the same way one would treat a wrapped Christmas gift, and wait until the actual event for which these gifts were purchased for has transpired? What's the normal etiquette for a thing like this?
My dear friend got married late last year and I'm a little behind on sending him and his new wife a wedding present. I'd like to find them something ~$50, related to cheese (like a cheese smoker or a really cool cutting board—they love cheese and will be opening a small cheese shop soon). I'm having a very hard time finding such a thing. They also like vintage, retro, rockabilly, steampunk and the like. They are in California and I am in England; sending them something from the US would be preferable but if there's something uniquely British here and not too much cost to ship I could manage that too. Any ideas for specific items to purchase would be most welcome, thanks!
My Mum turns 60 in early March. I live in Canada and she lives in the UK. Rather than return home to celebrate with her, she will be visiting me in July and we will attend the Calgary Stampede together as her birthday treat, but I still want her to actually be able to open something from me on the big day. What unique gift can I send to ensure her day is memorable? [more inside]
I'm going to Turkey from the US, and have a ton of friends there- some that are quite close and I'll be getting nicer presents for (perfume, nice American brand named clothes), and others that I'm not as close to but will still see and need to give a small gift to. Please help me figure out what that small gift should be. [more inside]
Ideas needed for a low-key sneak attack expression of "I'm glad you're in my life and I adore you, even if this holiday is for the birds (according to you)"? I expect no reciprocation (really) other than verbal acknowledgment + kisses. This relationship is good--fabulous, really--but scheduling/logistics and his stubbornness against "Hallmark holidays" mean that Valentine's will likely pass unmentioned. And yet...I love any excuse to do something special with/for him, so I'd like to leave something sweet on his doorstep. [more inside]
Hello, My brother and Sis in law are expecting twins in a couple days. What gifts can I send them? It has to be able to ship to Singapore, around $100 (USD) or so, and best if it can ship through Amazon Global. [more inside]
[Gift Filter] I have been scratching my head for weeks in search of a thoughtful birthday gift for my husband. He is about to turn 29 on Tuesday and I still have not come up with anything. [more inside]
A work colleague and all-round good bud of mine is leaving the country (Australia) to do some travelling before returning home to England (Liverpool). There are a lot of things I'd love to buy her as a farewell present, but as she is backpacking for a few months through various places I am limited on my selection of physical gifts to buy her. Help me think of/make something awesome for her! [more inside]