Let’s be totally honest. Few of us like receiving socks and shampoo for Christmas, birthdays, or other special occasion. And yet, when we’re stuck for ideas for a friend or family member, many of us can be guilty of buying generic present items. Sure, it’s the thought that counts and it’s practical, but how much thought really goes into getting a bottle of shampoo? So let’s put an end to these less than fun gift ideas, once and for all. Even if you’re strapped for cash, here are a few more exciting gifts to consider the next time.
Personalize It for More Exciting Gifts
Personalizing something instantly makes for more exciting gifts right away. That’s true no matter how small the present.
Many chocolate shops and online companies allow you to choose candy with a personalized message, for example. Alternatively, for personalized or monogrammed clothing, you can find it at Makaboo and other specialized online retailers. Another option is an engraved gift, such as jewelry.
Another option is a customized phone case. You can create a unique design that suits the recipient’s style and preferences. That will show how much thought you’ve put into the gift.
Don’t cut corners, and make sure that you put in the time and effort to learn their aesthetic preferences so you can create a design that they will love to bits. You could also get a stainless steel customizable pocket watch and engrave a special message or a date that is memorable and significant to them.
Embracing memories that the two of you share will strengthen your bond. What this present looks like is up to you. It could be an album full of photographs.
Or, a photo collage made using a program like Be Funky. You could even consider making a present around a private joke, such as a souvenir reminder of a humorous holiday event.
Having said that, if you want to truly make a collage that’s special, why not take it one step further with PicsArt. When you have the world’s leading name in photo editing at your fingertips, you know your end product will be nothing short of awesome.
The really amazing part about this is that you don’t have to stop with just collages, you can take your most precious memories, with a gentle touch of editing using any of PicsArt’s other tools, and then present them all together using PicsArt’s Collage Maker for the ultimate sentimental gift.
Save Money with a Joint Present
For those big presents, you can lower costs by getting other people to chip in with you on them. The more of you that share the cost of the item, the less you’ll each have to pay for it.
This method can be a great way of buying expensive more exciting gifts, such as a games console or a luxury handbag. Instead, maybe it’s a musical instrument or an experience package. It all depends on your loved one’s interests and preferences. But whatever it is, the more exciting gifts are ones that will mean a lot to them because you put thought into them.
DIY skills can go far toward putting together a fun gift for your best friend or someone else close to you. For example:
- Crochet a blanket
- Make a necklace
- Bake a cake
The time and effort spent hand-crafting more exciting gifts is sure to be appreciated. That’s far more so than simply buying something from a store already-made.
Give Them an Experience
For the person that already has everything, giving them an experience can be the best option of all. Maybe it’s a special girl’s night out!
Or, it could be tickets to the opening night of a film they’re wanting to see or a meal out together. Perhaps it’s a spa day instead.
As some experiences can be expensive, shop around for discounts and promotions online to get the best deal available. Companies such as Virgin Experience Days specialize in these kinds of gifts.
More Exciting Gifts: Feed Their Interests
Sometimes people with obsessive hobbies can be the hardest people to buy for on a special occasion. A sports enthusiast, for example, may already have hats and memorabilia for their favorite teams, leaving you wondering what’s left to get them? Alternatively, fueling their hobby may be expensive. Just think of that friend who likes to collect guitars.
If you’re facing this dilemma, don’t get them socks! I had to say it. There are more exciting gifts than that. Think outside the box.
What about creatively-shaped chocolates that relate to their hobby? Like football-shaped truffles? It can be a fun gift that embraces their interest without being too pricey. Make them yourself or buy them from a local shop. There are even store options online, with delivery right to your friend’s house!
Top photo via Flickr, CC BY 2.0.
20 thoughts on “More Exciting Gifts than Socks and Shampoo”
Great tips, Christy, especially since I’m already thinking ahead to the holidays. I have my husband’s birthday, our anniversary, as well as (Christmas?!) coming up in the next few months. Last year, I gave my husband, who is a motorcycle enthusiast, a Hallmark Harley Davidson ornament as a gag gift. He actually loved it and took it to work to display in his office. Just goes to show, sometimes the thought really counts.
Great ideas, I might just take up and little bit of craft again, I used to love making Cross Stitch items for loved ones xx
I think my favorite gift is socks. That or scarves. My now sister in law started the trend when my husband and I were just dating. It was Christmas and she had no clue what to get me. She ended up giving me fluffy socks and a scarf, both in my favorite color. I wear them ALL the time. And it’s become our thing. Every birthday and Christmas she finds these awesome socks or scarf to match what I like. I think if you can somewhat personalize the “thoughtless gift” it’s no longer a thoughtless gift.
I love the personalized way you broached this invaluable and clever list! I love receiving socks and yes, handmade socks are the best.xo
Huh I never got a notification re this post. Just coming across it now. Great post my darling x
Fantastic ideas Christy. I’ve always stayed away from the ‘generic’ gift. I try to put thought into all gifts. As a person who likes to ‘do unto others . . .’ I know I don’t feel any love when someone gives me a thoughtless gift, lol. :) xoxo
Great suggestions, Christy. Sometimes we look for the easy way out when shopping for that hard to buy for person (mostly men – my guys always give gift suggestions and then go out and buy what they want before the occasion),
My husband does this! He drops hints that he wants something and then just goes out and gets it for himself!
I think it’s a male thing. I know several women who complain of this.
The idea of shaped chocolates is great
Great suggestions. Those football strawberries look fantastic!
What great ideas. Any of these would be much better than socks or shampoo. And I have a new term, “Naff”!
Great tips, Christy! I love the sharing memories idea.
You’re absolutely right, Christy. Gifts of socks, soap or shampoo etcetera can be really boring and so impersonal. You’re also right in saying that many of us resort to such presents when pushed for time (or inspiration). Your ideas for personalising them are lovely and, as you say, they can make any gift much more memorable.
All great ideas, Christy! I like the chip in prospect. I love cooking, so the friends can chip in for the wine and food. I’ll do it all up for the guest of honor. Good friends and a great meal are a winner in my books!
Nicely written. Great ideas 🙂
Too good to eat! Nah, too good not to !! LOL my sister buys me socks with the cutest designs and every time I put them on I honk of her! Best gift ever!
I definitely like giving experiences, so much more memorable = bigger bang for the buck!
Cool ideas! I could have a lot of fun with Be Funky.
I once got socks as a gift, but I loved them because they were SmartWool, very high quality stuff. You might know the brand, being from BC :)
Great ideas Christy