Help me say Thanks! to a great friend
January 28, 2009 10:30 AM   Subscribe

I want to thank an awesome friend but I am vexed by the multitude of my options!

A friend I went to college with and who now lives in my town, Washington, DC, went truly beyond the call and selflessly gave me five silver tickets to Barack Obama's inauguration so I and my four friends from Birmingham, London, and Wolverhampton could go.

I am just eternally grateful to this woman for this incredible gift and want to do something really great for her to say thank you.

She likes massages, cooking, laughing, biking and short stories but what she is really interested in - beyond everything else - is social work and public service.

I want to give her a gift that upholds the message that I will support her as she transitions from her current job into a great career that is about human service.

Of course, I could just buy her dinner but smart, unorthodox, and topical ideas are appreciated and welcome.

Thanks in advance!
posted by parmanparman to Human Relations (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Give her something (like a massage gift certificate) that will truly be a treat for her—the kind of luxury she wouldn't do for herself. In a note that accompanies the gift, explain that the gift of personal pampering is so she'll be rested and ready to take on the work of the world.

By doing something like that, you're indicating your support of her passion, but you're giving her something that is truly just for her.

(While I've always admired the sentiment of the kind of gifts—like donations to Heifer International, etc.—that forward a cause, I must admit that I remember gifts that are truly for me much better, and enjoy them more.)
posted by ocherdraco at 10:44 AM on January 28, 2009

What about making a donation to her favorite charity in her name?
posted by Atom12 at 10:51 AM on January 28, 2009

Perhaps you could combine a massage certificate with a matching donation to an organization that she supports/works with? I suppose it depends on how much you're willing to spend, but I think that says you support her and her work both.
posted by MadamM at 10:51 AM on January 28, 2009

A written note?
posted by idb at 10:59 AM on January 28, 2009

Fully agreeing with ocherdraco. An indulgence, along with a wonderfully sweet note, would be perfect.
posted by KAS at 11:31 AM on January 28, 2009

since she is probably a social and sharing kind of person, a spa day for her and a friend?
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:52 PM on January 28, 2009

A framed photo/print/etc (along the lines of this or this) but related to her new career she could keep at home and look forward to having it at her office/desk at work? You could paste a thoughtful note or quote on the back (handwritten, dated, and signed, of course).
posted by variella at 1:14 PM on January 28, 2009

Best answer: I'm with ocherdraco and KAS. Something personal for her, that she wouldn't get for herself, would be a perfect thank you present.

But more importantly, let her know how her gift made a real difference to 5 people. An old fashioned thank you note, handwritten rather than emailed, that shows your appreciation for her gift (for which I'm guessing she wasn't expecting anything in return), will be even more meaningful than a material gift (though still think a massage voucher is a lovely idea). If you can include a couple of your photos from the day, and describe the event from your perspective, and what it meant to you and your friends to be there, then she'll realise how much you appreciated it. Include your friends in this, even if it's just their signature or a quote.
posted by finding.perdita at 2:58 PM on January 28, 2009 [1 favorite]

I just got a Giftybox, which is basically an experience you get for someone that they put together all nicely so that you can present it in boxed form. You pick the category and give it; they pick the specific activity.

It seems to me that you could take that idea and run with it without actually having to use Giftybox (unless you wanted to). If she likes Italian food, for example, give her a gift certificate to a nice Italian restaurant with a bottle of wine (a bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you're in tonight*), or if she's always wanted to scuba dive, get her dive lessons.

I like the idea of exchanging an experience that was particularly memorable for you (and your friends) for one that is memorable for her.

*Sorry, couldn't resist.
posted by misha at 3:43 PM on January 28, 2009

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