Tired of the Same Old Gifts? (Try These Ideas)

by David Pollock, Wellness Contributor

Is it just me or does it get more and more difficult every year to find those special gifts that stand apart from the traditional mall fodder as unique or original?

A candle even for a candle lover seems predictable, overdone and just plain blah after so many seasons of giving. The same can be said for bath sets, food baskets, calendars, etc. For many of us the decision to “keep it modest this year” means that we find ourselves giving and receiving the same sorts of things over and over again, even when those items aren’t even on someone’s list. Why not break the pattern and try something original this year with these holiday gift giving tips and tricks?

A DIY Beauty Gift Basket Or “Beauty Cocktail”
Why not make some homemade beauty recipes online, purchase the ingredients, package and label them in jars or containers that could be reused, and present them along with the recipe cards in a bath or shower basket? For a smaller stocking stuffer type gift, you could also make “beauty cocktails” by putting the finished recipe in inexpensive wine or cocktail glasses, painting or writing with permanent ink markers the recipe on the glass, and then decorating it with a fun design. Most craft stores carry stocking stuffer-sized treat or apothecary style jars as well as all the bits and baubles you will need to personalize to your heart’s content. Pinterest is a great source for crafty DIY projects. Check out www.pinterest/justaskdavid for some great DIY beauty recipes.

Use Re-Usable Grocery Bags In Place Of Gift Bags
Re-usable grocery bags are inexpensive (.99 at many local supermarkets), come in various sizes, and now feature a variety of patterns and colors that change seasonally. Instead of using a traditional gift bag that will just be discarded or stored after the gift is opened, package gifts in environmentally friendly re-usable gift bags that can be used throughout the year.

Give Someone The Gift Of Youth…Literally
Everyone loves beauty and skin care products. Here’s a creative idea that will take them back to their childhood days and they’ll love you for it. Package a favorite moisturizer, anti-aging serum, and/or eye cream in a lunchbox with a throwback logo or design and include a childhood candy, toy or game, and t-shirt or socks that feature pop icons from her childhood days. These days, it’s easy to find superheroes, 80’s video game characters, and popular cartoon characters on merchandise at many big box stores. Amazon, eBay, and even vintage stores are also great resources for finding such items. A quick internet search for your local comic shop may lead to a treasure trove of nostalgia for you. My local shop is like a wonderland. Aside from the modern comics and cartoons the place is stocked to the brim with items featuring the Thundercats, Ghostbusters, Mario Bros, Jem and the Holograms and even She-Ra! Tuck a card inside the case or lunchbox that discloses the theme of the gift “forever young.”

Have a Christmas Crafting Party!
Invite your friends to bring enough supplies and instructions for a craft they love to distribute to everyone at the party. Then spend the day crafting away. When you’re done, you’ll have a variety of interesting and, more importantly, original gifts and stocking stuffers. If one of your friends has a certain craft forte that you don’t or vice versa, you can each make your specialty project for one another then exchange them at the end of the day. If your friends aren’t the crafty type you can search for local artists and craft festivals online – many of the artists will happily do custom work or teach their craft and it’s a great way to expand your social circle.

All of these ideas will put a fresh spin on your gifts and make your gift original enough to stand out among standard holiday gift giving fare!

Thank you to our friends at Wellness.com for contributing this piece.

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