No matter what your holiday traditions are, most people end up wracking their brains to come up with meaningful gift ideas for the special people in their lives around this time of year. Not to fear! The Language of Friendship has your back. Take a look at these suggestions and see if any of them might fit the bill for the important people in your lives. Let us know what you think in the comments below. We’re always open to new ideas, especially when it comes to giving.
- Memory Quilt/Blanket: If you have a little time before the gift is needed and a few special T-shirts or clothing items, how about a quilt? My friend Zoe makes gorgeous ones out of whatever you send her, from sports jerseys or sweatshirts, baby clothes or T-shirts from a favorite band. She provides a complementary fabric to fill in the gaps, and Voila! You will receive a uniquely beautiful and cozy gift made with love out of meaningful items.
- Photo Books: I recently received the most thoughtful and surprising photo book from a friend, and I was utterly delighted (Thanks Michele!). I’m never disappointed when someone creates a gift from our memorable photos together, and websites such as Shutterfly and Snapfish make it easy to put together memory books, as well as other photo gift items that are sure to wow your friends.
- Pet-themed Apparel: We all have friends who are beyond obsessed with their pets (Ahem, Julia??!). For the over-the-top animal lover in your life, check out these custom pet socks, masks and blankets you can make to order featuring your own favorite pet’s (or human’s) face!
- Gift Certificates to Small Businesses and Restaurants: Local storefronts have struggled to survive in the past few years, as the rise of Internet retail and Covid have combined to make things tough for them. By giving a friend incentive to shop and dine locally, you are not only supporting your friend’s well-being by encouraging them to go out and enjoy their own communities, you are also helping small businesses who need your support now more than ever. And small businesses like Tres Mimi and Aloha make gift giving across geographies simple.
- Donation to a Cause: In the effort to scale down on consumerism, lots of people are asking for donations instead of gifts these days. The great thing about charitable donations is that any amount of money is always fine whatever your gift budget, and there is no shortage of great causes–all with easily accessible donation buttons on their websites. Is your friend interested in literacy and at-risk youth? How about More Than Words or The International Book Project? For an animal lover, consider your local animal shelter, World Wildlife Fund or International Animal Rescue.