Birthday gift ideas
April 22, 2018 12:02 PM   Subscribe

I am trying to think of good ideas for a birthday gift for my sister. She will be 54. Her hobbies are cooking, nature photography and outdoor recreation She also runs and does other exercise regularly. She has a dog that she spoils. We live in the desert southwest. She works at a sporting goods store, so she already gets great deals on gear for outdoor recreation. My budget is up to $100.
posted by maurreen to Grab Bag (16 answers total)
A gift card to that sporting goods store wouldn’t be terrible, since the money would go that much farther when paired with her employee discount. If she has things on her list that she wants to purchase soon, that would be really useful.

If you prefer to give a tangible object, how about a gift box of spices from Penzey’s?

New camera bag, or a new microSD card with a lot of storage?
posted by Autumnheart at 12:11 PM on April 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

An annual National Parks pass?
posted by elsietheeel at 12:35 PM on April 22, 2018 [5 favorites]

A couple months of Barkbox to help her spoil the dog?
posted by charmedimsure at 12:35 PM on April 22, 2018 [4 favorites]

Also- does she run with the dog? Does she have a hands-free leash?
posted by charmedimsure at 12:42 PM on April 22, 2018

Is there a new type of cooking she's interested in learning more about (vegetarian, from a particular region/country/cuisine, sous vide, etc)? If so, a thoughtfully chosen cookbook or two and a basket of the foundational ingredients or tools she doesn't already keep around could be a nice gift.

Does she listen to music when she runs? A spotify subscription seems to be $99/year now, so just under your budget. (Plus, you could do a family plan and get access for yourself too if you want to make that a better value.)
posted by snaw at 12:47 PM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Six months of Bark Box?
posted by DarlingBri at 12:51 PM on April 22, 2018

A box of Rancho Gordon beans!!! Yes, I totally got this for my foodie husband for Christmas, and it was a hit.
posted by ellerhodes at 1:00 PM on April 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

Does she have an Instant Pot? They are brilliant.
posted by essexjan at 1:09 PM on April 22, 2018 [3 favorites]

Instant pot and sous vide are all the rage in cooking gear right now.
posted by greermahoney at 1:16 PM on April 22, 2018

Does she have a herb garden? You can put together a few pots of parsely, rosemary, chives and oregano if she has a sunny sheltered spot.
posted by b33j at 3:55 PM on April 22, 2018

Hey, I thought you were my sister looking for a gift for me until you got to the region!
There are some things I never tire of receiving, and those are books about my main interests and gear for them. If she already has easy access to sports stuff, then go for the cookware, or dog stuff. On my wish-list is a high quality leather dog leash to replace the cheap nylon one I currently use.
There's this cookbook, mostly because it looks beautiful.
I also like topographical books about my region a lot, and old-school paper maps, for when I wander off the grid.
Last year I bought a paella pan for myself that both works on the stovetop and outdoors on the grill or over a fire, because nobody got my hints. It's useful for much more than paella. Related to that, I would really like one of those Morrocan coal burners and a tagine to put on it, for cooking outdoors, either in the yard or in the semi-wild.
One of my friends once gave me a truffle-shaver. I never can afford truffles, but I love that thing and use it for all sorts of stuff.
I don't know if an instant pot is within your budget, or if your sister would like it, but I use my stove-top pressure-cooker all the time.
Beautiful and/or unusual serving vessels are another thing I love to receive. I like to have friends over, and serve food in big dishes, family style, rather than something formal and stuffy.
I also like things that expand my horizon, like a novel or a collection of poetry that I wouldn't have bought myself.
posted by mumimor at 4:48 PM on April 22, 2018

Like mumimor, this could have been an AskMe from my sister as well, because you're describing me.

Things I would love and never buy for myself include:

new excellent cookbooks
high quality running gear--like $90 running tights that will last forever
all the kitchen towels and spices and teas and coffees and placemats and tablecloths
my favorite albums for my record player.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:55 AM on April 23, 2018

If you share or are open to these interests as well, maybe the gift could go towards an experience you two could share together, like a cool hiking trip or a fancy picnic or something? With the caveat that, especially for experience gifts, it's advisable to check with the recipient if that's something they'd be into, or if they'd prefer something else.
posted by ITheCosmos at 7:33 AM on April 23, 2018

If she doesn't already have one, consider giving her one really good chef's knife. Like a Global or Shun. Having a great knife makes cooking, especially healthy food with lots of veggies, a joy.
posted by cross_impact at 12:11 PM on April 23, 2018

Cooking class that you can do together?
posted by vignettist at 9:18 PM on April 26, 2018

Thanks for all the great ideas. I have even had several I can use in the future. I gave her an herb garden some time back, as well as Barkbox. One time that I gave her an experience gift, she didn't use it.
posted by maurreen at 12:11 AM on August 5, 2018

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