Alternatives to flowers
January 10, 2011 3:05 AM   Subscribe

I wanted to get some cupcakes delivered as a gift, but that's too highly dependent on when somebody is home to receive them. And flowers are too boring. What other sort of cool, lovely gift could I send somebody? (For ordering online, and this is in Australia.)

The occasion is actually a friend of my brother's, whose dog just died and she's really sad. He wanted to do something to cheer her up, in either a funny or cute (or just nice) way, and told me he "trusted my judgment". However, I'm drawing a blank - I really wanted to send cupcakes!

The gift could be anything. Amazing cookies. Mugs with moustaches on them. Lolcats fridge magnets. Etsy-type quirky things -- but we just need quicker delivery than etsy.

City in question is Gold Coast, Queensland.
posted by mjao to Shopping (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Although flowers might be too boring, would a plant be better? I gave a chili plant as a gift last year and it was well received!
posted by greenish at 4:30 AM on January 10, 2011

when a fellow expat went to South Africa to care for her dying mother and subsequently deal with closing her estate, the community she'd left behind here in central Japan put together a collection for a gift basket of gourmet foods...a simple thing, really, but they were all items she said she just never would have considered purchasing for herself, especially in her grieving state and she said later that she was touched that we'd thought of something that would give her sustenance rather than something (like flowers) that she would have to care for before they would inevitably die.

Also, every Aussie I know has an appreciation for fine food and wine. Something like this website, maybe?

That's hardly cool or quirky, though...have you tried the Etsy "shop local" function? Scroll down and on the left hand side of the font page you can choose that link and enter a location...a search for Gold Coast had 133 hits, so maybe there is someone right there with the perfect item who you could contact directly about delivery?
posted by squasha at 4:33 AM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Frankie subscription? I thik the next issue is due this week.
posted by Wantok at 4:51 AM on January 10, 2011

You asked for a mug with mustaches on it.

actually, looks like that's out of stock, but they have other great things!
posted by two lights above the sea at 5:55 AM on January 10, 2011

Seconding squasha on putting together a basket of gourmet foods, and sending it yourself. Ask your brother's friend if there's anything she particularly likes or dislikes, and go from there.

And if she's a drinker, find out what she most likes, and consider throwing a bottle of it into the basket. Give her the opportunity to knock a few back and say a toast for her mate.
posted by Ahab at 6:08 AM on January 10, 2011

these are amazing cookies, but you probably don't want to pay whatever they'll charge to ship from the US.
posted by sabh at 6:21 AM on January 10, 2011

I've done ok in the US with something called "Edible Arrangements" which is essentially cut fruit done up flower arrangements. It doesn't look like they have franchises in Australia, but there is a company called Edible Blooms that looks similar. Here's their page for the fruit arrangements:
posted by Karmakaze at 6:59 AM on January 10, 2011

I have received a bouquet of fruit cut to look like flowers, cookies on sticks, arranged to look like flowers, and flowers. Know what I like best? Flowers. There's a reason they're the goto gift. Or, a donation to the Australian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mostly, people remember your kindness.
posted by theora55 at 7:33 AM on January 10, 2011

In the spirit of theora55's suggestion, what about getting her a flock of geese from Heifer International? There was one year where my dad was really excited that they offered goats, and was really happy when my inlaws got him one for his borthday. Heck, how many people can say they got a goat, a flock of geese, or honeybees as a gift?
posted by ladypants at 8:01 AM on January 10, 2011

How about making a donation to a guide dog training organization in the name of the deceased dog?
posted by clever_username at 9:25 AM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

You know your giftee better than we do, but personally, I hate those Edible Arrangements. We've received them (as a group) at work a couple times and even with 20 people picking at them, they don't seem to be fully eaten. They're kind of like a giant bad fruit plate - all cantalope and honeydew and grapes with a few strawberries that get eaten first.

I think the idea of making a donation in the deceased pet's name is a great idea. My roommate's cat recently died and it's things like cards that have meant the most to her.
posted by maryr at 10:22 AM on January 10, 2011

This answer is simple: coffee. Send some killer coffee. Start here.
posted by dervish at 11:55 AM on January 10, 2011

If the concern is her not being home, could you send the cupcakes to her work instead? Although I guess then you might need to include enough for her coworkers.
posted by carolr at 12:06 PM on January 10, 2011

Response by poster: These are all awesome ideas, most of which I intend to steal in the future. Thanks, guys! I passed them onto my brother and he is still deciding. Your answers inspired me with another cool idea too -- (retro candy!)
posted by mjao at 5:33 PM on January 13, 2011

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