My daughter is leaving the daycare where she has spent the last 4.5 years. These people have done so much in raising my daughter, from potty training to developing character and teaching moral values. I want them to know how much I appreciate them and I want to give them the most wonderful gift(s) possible, but without spending beyond my means. There are about 20 workers in total although some have spent more time with her than others. [more inside]
I have a family member with Alzheimer's and I would like some help with gadget or engineery birthday presents for him. I always bought him books before as he was a reader and a novelist, but he says he can't concentrate enough to read now and I'm stuck! [more inside]
Because we all have busy lives, I don't often get to see my family on their birthdays or at xmas. I love sending email gift cards, but I'm running out of good stores to send cards from, and it won't be as fun if I just send the same ones every year. Share your awesome gift card secrets with me! [more inside]
I'm in charge of favors at a baby shower, and I'm stumped. I've been to 1 million baby showers but I don't think I got favors at any of them. It's going to be a boy, and the theme is quite loosely travel since both parents like traveling. They are very progressive people who will not be too into "boys are like THIS, girls are like THAT" type stuff. [more inside]
I'd love to get my family meaningful and nifty gifts along the lines of (Red) and TOMS, where you buy a thing and proceeds are given to charities. My family is passionate about dog rescue, helping women become self-sufficient, fighting poverty and children's rights. A high level of gift niftiness is essential so the presents should lean more towards fabulous bracelets or scarves and lean far away from a letter of thanks.
For years I gave gift cards to my nieces and nephews. Then they grew up, married and had kids of their own and I switched to giving to my great-nieces and -nephews. How to stop with minimal awkwardness? [more inside]
I'm planning this year's company holiday event with a White Elephant gift exchange included as part of the festivities. I’d like to encourage fun, unexpected items through an appropriately open-ended theme. Themes such as those suggested in this previous Ask MeFi comment are exactly what I’m looking for. Please help me come up with the Ultimate White Elephant theme for our snowflakey crew! [more inside]
I have step brothers & sisters, whom I only see at Christmas every year. We aren't close but always exchange gifts anyway. [more inside]
I am looking for book suggestions for my partner. He enjoys the historical and comical nature of Rabelais and Casanova's memoir. He also enjoys the style/ambition of Vladimir Nabokov. [more inside]
A relative will soon be leaving for West Africa on her first assignment with the US Foreign Service. We would like to get her a nice holiday/going away gift, but what on earth is appropriate? [more inside]
What type of food (savory, doesn't need to be eaten right away) should I make for people this Christmas? Details, including allergies, below. [more inside]
I have this friend I'd like to buy a gift for Christmas... Except I'm stumped on what they'd actually like. Difficulty level: eats only for sustenance, no scents or things that involve dealing with strangers, politely flees from novelty. Mends clothing and not due to lack of funds; refuses to throw out or change anything remotely functional. [more inside]
If I give someone a pile of 10 presents, to be opened individually at various later dates, can you think of a clever method by which I can ensure that they don't cheat, and open them whenever they want? [more inside]
My parents' anniversary is coming up, and once again I'm stumped. I never know what makes an appropriate, welcome gift to parents from their kids. Outside of big-anniversary gifts like parties, crystal, silver, and super handcrafted scrapbooks and the like, what are some good ideas for anniversary presents in an affordable, say $25-50 range?
After a long wait a lovely friend of mine has just become foster Mummy to two children who will be staying for the foreseeable future. Yay! I'm meeting them in a couple of days and would like to bring them each a present, but I don't know what to get them. The girl is 8 and the boy is 6 and I have no clue what these age groups are into. I don't want to ask my friend as I'd like it to be a surprise (and also she'd just try and talk me out of it). So I'm asking you lovely people instead. [more inside]
One of my favorite little and silly gifts to give people is adopting a lobster from the UK's National Lobster Hatchery. What are other similar inexpensive and slightly silly -- but ideally also socially/environmentally conscious -- gifts you like to give people? Ideally it's a similar deal where they don't actually get more stuff to deal with, or if they do it's some sort of small acknowledgement that they won't feel bad about throwing out or recycling.
The Grandparents sent our kids gifts that are ridiculously wrong for them. Do I return them ASAP and buy things they would actually like? Do I address this with them? [more inside]
Inspired by this thread, I'd like to go all out wrapping Christmas gifts for my wife this year. What ideas, concepts, methods, etc. have you used in the past, or seen online that are sure to impress? [more inside]
I need to figure out a delightful holiday gift for my travelling brother (and perhaps his girlfriend as well). Help me earn Awesome Big Sister Points! [more inside]
Hi, yes it's one of those pre-Christmas questions from a desperate gift-giver who's out of ideas. [more inside]
In the past year I've become very close with two people in my book club, let's call them A and B; the other two, C and D, are great, but have not shown capacity or interest in keeping in touch between monthly meetings. It's nearing Christmastime and I want to make gifts for A and B to express my affection and gratitude for their friendship. BUT I'm worried about it coming up later ("Oh, those ___ are so cute!" "Thanks, anonymous gave them to me!") and it resulting in hurt feelings. [more inside]
What is the best service or method for designing and printing about a dozen copies of a cookbook? Lulu? Amazon? iPhoto? Kinkos? [more inside]
I'm coaching a team of 3rd graders for the Math Olympiad. They're a bit young to compete, so it's all about fun this year. Every week they get a packet that is, essentially, extra homework. I want to find some small rewards to give them for finishing the packet. [more inside]
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?
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]
We are moving to Seattle in August. I'm looking for recommendations for "quintessentially Seattle" attire to get my husband for his birthday. [more inside]
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]
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]
We're thinking of getting a friend of ours some kind of Tea of the Month club subscription as a (slightly belated) Christmas present. We're not big tea drinkers ourselves; can anyone recommend a particular company to get it from? [more inside]
My parents, both in their 60s, have recently gone "mostly-vegan" for health reasons. I'd like to get them some Christmas gifts that support this decision (and their overall commitment to more healthy eating). I've already gotten them some kelp noodles (they loved them at a vegan restaurant we went to). Other thoughts about basics/add-ons/general useful and inspiring stuff for a couple of vegan noobies? [more inside]
My beloved dog walker has been battling with cancer - and it sounds like she's losing. What can I give her and her partner as a Christmas/New Year's gift in the midst of this? [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]
My knowledge of kids' books has an epic gap between "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Harry Potter". I want to buy a couple books for an 8 year old boy. His mom says, "He likes Geronimo Stilton and Flat Stanley; specifically books that mention Japan and/or ninjas." I know he likes Star Wars too. Any suggestions? Thanks!
So I need help with Christmas shopping for my awesome sister. I got her hooked on Battlestar Galactica when pregnant with Baby #1 I got her hooked on Doctor Who when pregnant with Baby #2 I got her hooked on The State Within last Christmas I need a new DVD series to get her started on with Baby #3 and Christmas. [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]
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]
My dad is turning 60 on Saturday. Yay, good for him! I left it way too late this year and I have no ideas - he is very tough to shop for. My price range is $40-80, lower is better (could swing up to $100 if I really thought he'd like it). [more inside]
Looking for a vendor to make me a metal case for a pack of floss as a gag gift. Importantly, it is for a new beau. Thanks in advance! [more inside]
My downstairs neighbors are two of the sweetest people I know. They've done me many favors, from bringing food to inviting me for dinner to watching my cat. I would like to do something in return, but can't think of anything I could do that's equivalent to their generosity. [more inside]
LondonCommerceFilter: Business trip to London (from US) coming up, and I've got a free initial jetlag day that I'd like to spend shopping-- preferably for cool, unique, not-too-expensive, suitable-for-gifting items I'd be unlikely to find in the US. I'm specially interested in women's accessories (scarves, jewelry); toys and games; (travel-friendly) foods; tchotchkes; and used/antique books. Any must-visit shops? [more inside]
I'm involved with a college radio station, and we'd like to get presents for or do something for the graduating folks. The problem is, none of us have any ideas. What are some awesome music or radio-themed things we could buy or arrange? What sorts of things would you have loved to get or do as a graduating senior?
Is there a way to approach unequal staff Christmas presents at my workplace that will not come off as me being jackassy?
Is there a way to approach unequal staff Christmas presents at my workplace that will not come off as me being jackassy? [more inside]
GiftFilter: Gifts for an outdoorsy teenager trapped in the burbs. [more inside]
Holiday gifts at the workplace: incredibly small business edition. [more inside]
What's a good gift for a World War I history buff? [more inside]
How do I become better at buying presents? I procrastinate every xmas because I can't decide what to buy people, the biggest obstacle, I worry the recipient won't like it. Need a breakthrough, what's your super gift-buying workflow? [more inside]
What are some workplace holiday gift ideas for my two hip, cultured, smart, (and imo underpaid) mid-20s employees? They're full-time employees and I work with them very closely. I want to get them really great gifts that aren't wildly impersonal and aren't for the workplace, in the $75-100 range and not food- or drink-related. All I can think of is spa gift cards. Surely there are better ideas, right?
My brother is going to prison in December, possibly for a decade or more. What can I do for him, both emotionally and practically? [more inside]