What are some particularly intelligent or well-written novels in the suspense/mystery/detective fiction genre? [more inside]
Yesterday, my gentleman friend brought home two cards from our community center "angel tree" - where you can buy holiday gifts for a neighborhood kid in need of some. The problem is, the cards are maddeningly opaque - they each just say the kids (boy age 13, girl age 11) want 'board games'. What should we get them? [more inside]
I really like holiday gift guides, which combine the illusion of thoughtful shopping with the ruthless efficiency of the internet. It's easy to find guides from popular websites and publications, but surely there are more and weirder out there on the web. What is your favorite 2013 gift guide? What are the most interesting gift guides from blogs and niche publications? [more inside]
Last Christmas I gave my parents a snowglobe with a family picture inside and they flipped their shit. What non-traditional photo-object can I get them this year? [more inside]
I'm looking for a fun gift for my mom, specifically one that she'd be excited to play with on Christmas morning. You know how when you were a kid there was always that one present you couldn't WAIT to play with? That's what I'm looking for. My mom is 52, likes puzzles and games (we were a big board game family growing up), is not tech-savvy at all but does have a Nintendo DS. I'll probably get a game or two for her but I'm wondering if anyone has any other neat suggestions. [more inside]
What non-obvious membership or tickets should I get my cousin who lives in Cleveland? [more inside]
A friend's first child arrived yesterday, and I'll be seeing him this weekend. Ideas for a small, useful gift? [more inside]
As a holiday gift for my mother, a friend of mine suggested buying a nice journal and writing a different question every few pages, so that my mother could fill it out and eventually give it back. I need some help coming up with questions to write. [more inside]
My family is moving from a warm (hot) climate to a colder one in a couple of months. I would like to get my heat-loving husband a fun Christmas gift to prepare him for a snowier habitat. Any ideas?
Continuing secret Santa filter: I'd like to buy socks in team colors for my secret Santa: Orioles, Ravens and the Maryland Terrapins. I know that she likes knee-high styles, as I've seen her wear them before. Aside from just searching for that on Amazon I'm not sure what to look for in terms of quality and comfort. Altogether I'd like to spend around $30 for all three. Physical retail locations would also be appreciated.
Please help me find grown up, monthly, gift subscriptions... [more inside]
I'm looking for an understated but nice ($20-30 or nice homemade items) gift for a boss who's hosting an in-home holiday party (so it will be for husband and wife). Boss is both quite serious and funny and not a fan of anything that appears to be obsequious. [more inside]
My dad has been recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. For many years, our family has played games when we get together and my mom and dad played games among themselves often; they especially enjoyed cribbage. My mom tells me my dad can't play that anymore because he can't sustain the concentration over the course of the game. I'd like to get Dad a game for Christmas that he can play with my mom, or with my mom and sister, who also lives in the town my parents live. It would have to be simpler than cribbage, but ideally something you could still play over and over with enjoyment. I found an earlier question about gifts for Alzheimer's patients and also some resources online for that general question--but haven't found any suggestions for games specifically.
My brother is a vagabond ski-bum, who lives in a tree house in the summer, cooks on a camp stove, and lives off of oatmeal, rice and beans, ramen, cans of tuna, and PB+Js. He does not like "owning things." I'm going to civilize him a little bit by sending him a selection of spices for Christmas. BUT they need to be able to kept in a backpack or in a shoebox or something, take up very little space and weight. Any suggestions on A. How to package them? and B) Which herbs and spices you think I MUST INCLUDE? [more inside]
I'd like to get a nice bottle of whiskey (whisky?) for my son to open in about eighteen years when he turns twenty-one. [more inside]
My sister wants/needs to stop smoking, so she's requested an e-cigarette for Christmas. But she's overwhelmed with choices and doesn't know which one she wants, other than that her doctor recommended she get one with no nicotine. And I know next to nothing about real cigarettes, let alone electronic ones, so I don't know where to begin looking. Can you suggest a good one? What even makes a "good" e-cigarette?
My parents love the beach. What beach gear can I give them that they don't already have? [more inside]
Tonight my 8 year old niece told me that for Christmas she wants a blanket for her bed that has a giant picture of Earth on it. I asked her if she saw this somewhere, and she told me that she just thought about how cool it would be in her own head. I tried doing a Google search, but I'm having no luck. Anyone have an idea of where I might find such a thing? Thanks!
I have a person that I know fairly well for a secret Santa gift exchange that has a soft 30 dollar cap on it. I have a few routes I can go down, but she's a baker by profession. She works at a grocery store's bakery department, and does some side work for weddings on occasion. For people who work as bakers / cooks, would you want to receive some sort of gift related to this or is that the last thing you want to think about after you're done with work? If no, then what's an awesome ~30 dollar gift that someone could give you?
Every year, each of my (8 or so, all adult) family members buys the same small gift for the rest of us and gives the gift anonymously (and to themselves, to preserve anonymity). With Christmas a month away, what silly or useful stocking stuffers can I give out to each of my family members across a wide variety of ages? [more inside]
My nephew is 6 years old and will be 7 in a couple of months. Looking for Christmas gift ideas. He's really interesested in becoming an actor/director. A few snowflakes though... [more inside]
Cooking is probably my main hobby these days. And, as a late-thirties professional, I have a fully outfitted kitchen. I'm being asked for gift ideas for Christmas, and I think I'll probably limit myself to 1) whisky and 2) stuff for the kitchen. Fellow advanced home cooks with fully stocked kitchens, what's on your wishlist this holiday season? Not looking for gimmicky stuff; rather something I'd actually use for years to come. [more inside]
Looking for fun ideas to wrap restaurant gift certificates for Christmas that will disguise what the gift is a little under the tree. Difficulty: less than $10. [more inside]
Some friends are throwing us a wedding reception and have requested "no gifts" on the invitation. Can I somehow ask them to change that or is that just the done thing now? [more inside]
I'm spending the holidays with my sister and her family and need gift suggestions for her son and daughter, ages 8 and 6 respectively. Bonus for gifts about animals! [more inside]
What would be a good scary "intro" book for someone who normally isn't into reading but loves scary movies and has recently decided he is open to reading scary fiction? [more inside]
Looking for a gift for my father, who loved the Tetris Cube puzzle, but is the kind of guy to get himself whatever he wants. So, I'm trying to be thoughtful and creative. [more inside]
My partner is facing some big life changes, including a new job and loss of a pet, and I'm wondering what small ways I can support him and make life easier for him. [more inside]
My nephew is one and a half years old. (He's a real toddler, not a baby anymore--runs around all over the place.) His grandparents (and other gift givers) inundate him with toys, and his parents are starting to feel beleaguered by the well-meaning deluge. Since he's not quite old enough to be put out if I give him something purely utilitarian, my primary gift this year is clothes. However, I'd like to give him one gift that is purely for his enjoyment, and which can be used up (but isn't food), so it's not just another thing that sits on the (increasingly crowded) toyshelf after the holidays are over. Do such things exist? Can you think of suitable gifts that fit those criteria? A couple more thoughts inside. [more inside]
Great, possibly homemade Hanukkah/Christmas gifts for a 4-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy? Homemade/crafty suggestions very welcome. [more inside]
Starting to think about holiday gifts, and I have received a request for one of my photos printed and framed. What is the best way to turn a photo into a gift? (Bonus difficulty: the original photos are analogue/film with a square aspect ratio.) [more inside]
Friends of mine will be new parents! I want to get them a sweet-ass gift. They have a wish list but say they welcome any other gifts not on it if especially good. Veteran parents, what did you wish you had when your baby came along? [more inside]
A very dear friend of mine (female, 56, was very physically active, runner, professor, etc.) had a stroke in late August. [more inside]
I know there's a strong 'burgh contingent here, so I'm hoping you can help me brainstorm a birthday present for my mom. She has had a busy year as a caretaker - she started the year on the west coast with me welcoming her new granddaughter & helping me recover from a c/section. There's been a few trips back to the midwest to help my grandmother with health issues and then cleaning out her parents house of 60+ years. On top of that my dad had surgery about a month ago. If that isn't enough on her plate she and my father have spent the last 3 years renovating a house, they finally moved in this summer but I don't think she's been there more than 2 weeks at any time. A lot of unexpected travel, some assorted business issues, trips getting extended due to unforeseen circumstances, etc. It obviously hasn't all been bad (new house! new grandbaby!) but I think she needs some time to recharge herself. Any ideas? [more inside]
There is a quote I'd like to cross-stitch for my aunt for Christmas. I have lots of experience with doing cross-stitch from patterns, but zero artistic ability when it comes to creating something from scratch that looks the way I want it to. Is there an easy way for me to generate a pattern? Like, something where I can choose a font and maybe some little accent details and put it together and it gives me a pattern? Mine is a Linux/Android household, but I could probably borrow something from a friend if there's a great Windows/Mac/iOS application. [more inside]
Got a gift card from my company and want to buy something that will... [more inside]
My best friend just got laid off from her new job and gave birth to premature twins. The twins can't come home for a month and she is understandably really depressed about that. She lives about 3,000 miles away from me so I'm trying to think of some ways to brighten her day and let her know I'm thinking of her. Some of her likes: movies, acting, makeup/beauty stuff, Dave Matthews.
What rules do you use for estimating the value of things you give to charity? The organizations we donate to ask us to estimate the value for tax purposes ourselves, rather than doing it for us. I know we obviously should not use the full price that we paid for the item. I am wondering if it is okay to value items at, for example, what we might get for them off Craigslist (sometimes say 1/3 to 1/2 or in rare cases even 2/3 what we paid, depending on the item and condition), or whether we should be valuing at more like what I'd use for a yard sale price of like 1/10th or lower. Does it matter? And is there a corresponding tax consequence for the recipient organization, such that if I declare the higher value on our taxes that organization realizes some proportionate tax or penalty? If so I should probably just estimate lower in order to further benefit the charity. Thanks!
My partner (m) and I (f) are celebrating our fifth-year anniversary this month. I am looking for inexpensive gift suggestions (or suggestions for romantic experiences) inspired by my pet name "birdie". [more inside]
I have a $50 gift card to spend at Brookstone. The choices are overwhelming! Help me decide based on criteria inside. [more inside]
What fun goodies can I put in a flat rate envelope headed for Japan? I'm sending my friend a care package and I want to cram it with as much happiness as possible. [more inside]
OK, here's the deal: My sister's birthday is Saturday and I need to get her something awesome and fun because her birthday happens to be the day of my grandmother's funeral. Awful, I know. [more inside]
Suggestions needed for gift/craft ideas that'd mark a friend's presentations at two academic conferences. [more inside]
I'm a stickler for thank you notes. I send them promptly (within a few days to a week). A big reason I like to send them promptly is so that the giver knows I received the gift and that it didn't get lost in transit. I do wonder, though, if I should also call or text the giver immediately (and sometimes I do). My question: is it ever rude NOT to acknowledge receipt of a mailed gift immediately - by phone, text, or email - when a mailed thank you note is imminent?
For a sentimental family occasion, my inlaws got me a very sweet present of some expensive jewelry-- after being told very clearly that I don't like expensive jewelry and don't really wear it. How terrible would it be (politically, ethically, relationally) if I were to return the item in question to the store? [more inside]
What is it and where can I find one? [more inside]
Lastminutegiftsfilter: My boyfriend's birthday is coming up soon, and I have no idea what to get him! We're both geeky but his interests run far more deep than mine do in terms of comic books and gaming and things like that. The problem is: he owns everything already! I plan on consulting with his roommate, who shares many of his interests, but I'd love some input from the hivemind on this. For reference, he's 28, works at a video company and we both live in Los Angeles. [more inside]
Hubby's going to Berlin for work. He wants to know what to bring back for me, (I know, so sweet). What are good gifts to bring back to the US? Suggestions? I did tell him jewelry is always accepted...
I am going to be away from home on business travel during my wife's birthday this year. I would love to get some ideas on any surprise/gift that I can get delivered to our house on her birthday. [more inside]
I need birthday and anniversary gifts for the wonderful man I've been dating for nearly a year. Complicating factors: He is extraordinarily practical, but if he wants something, he has the means to buy it, and usually does. [more inside]