I spoke a bit about my “gifting philosophy” on the guys gifting post. Many of my gifts this year are knitted. I don’t make huge or complicated knitted gifts for people who could care less, but I do like saving money, so I have been trying to save money and stash bust on smaller gifts. My larger gifts will be appreciated. As I’ve yet to finish the Christmas gifts, I will save those for another post.
My pride and joy gift is the photobook from Mixbook that I made for my Mom. I just received it today (12/9) which was earlier than anticipated. I picked the matte hardcover in the largest landscape size (11 by 14 inches), and I added a couple of pages, but with all the discounts I paid just under $50 (and I think the girls will agree to help pay), and its SO professional looking. Mom will cry. I’m so pleased. I’m definitely going to make me one for our trip . . . and any other trip I go on.Here are some photos of the photobookOne of the example books featured a faded, softened photo of the Grand Canyon, and I loved that, so I shamelessly copied it. I cut off the top because it shows our last name.I matched the faded look for the backGrand CanyonMission Beach, San DiegoZion and Arches National ParksAfter I looked at all the photos as I edited them and after the girls looked at the book, several of us decided we are ready to go back. I loved just watching the landscape change through the windows, and standing in the waves, letting them knock me about.I bought from these from annual art festival I attend. I bought one for each of my sisters.More Gift Ideas for Women and Girls
Etsy is a treasure trove for gifts; I’ve bought so many nerdy gifts on there, and I bought a locket from TheBloomingThread for part of my sister’s graduation gift (I think I want to get us all a locket one year; I was thinking about it for this year). One year I bought a pearl cage Cinderella carriage necklace. I bought Princess Elsa earrings for myself from this shop; I don’t think they still have them, but they are lovely (you can probably view them under sales), and you could always see if you could request them.
And of course there exist all sorts of options for bookish people. The Modern Mrs. Darcy has a list, and Ginny Shellar has a list.
I love these mini nail polish kits; I’ve bookmarked this one, and I bought this one for my sister’s birthday (and now I want one), and I only paid about $4 because we had a ton of $5 and $10 off (the percentages off didn’t work for this brand).
Gifting for Guys
My family thinks that I’m good at gifting. I think that I’m good at buying for them. My style works with knowing people well and having a good frame of reference. Also, I can do “tough love” or “tough luck” gifting with close family. With extended family and friends, overthinking hasn’t always worked. Some people are just easier to buy for, too. And the less you know the person and the less you want to give a gift, the worse it becomes. I dislike buying gifts as a customary action; I need to want to give it (isn’t that really the point anyway?).
My brother gets a lot of clothes which is boring, and he doesn’t need us to get them, so for his birthday, I thought I would get him a few gifts that would let him branch out a bit but that were still related to his interests. We’ve joked about his “culture points” (we meant high culture) and mourned a bit about his lack of reading (he will read history and some other non-fiction though, which really is better anyway!), and I wanted him to branch out a bit from chain restaurants. So, I bought him Target Tokyo because it was listed as a Pulitzer history runner up, a model kit that could double as decoration, and a gift card to a local restaurant. All of it was a hit, and he hoped that I would draw his name for Christmas (I didn’t).
I drew my sister’s fiancé for our immediate family drawing and bought him a Groupon to a local restaurant. I also bought him Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl (I read the latter and greatly enjoyed it this year) because my sister (the one engaged to him) has said he liked reading but not really the hardcore history books that I’m getting for the other men of the family and he likes middlegrade like all of us girls. Dad likes reading about WWII and Papau likes many areas of history, so Dad is getting To Hell and Back (along with a coupon for all of us girls to watch The Martian with him) and Papau is getting Five Presidents (along with fruitcake).
I have come across a couple articles and videos that mention that guys like different genres; I know that sounds obvious, but I’m not talking about merely action versus romance, but fiction versus nonfiction. I knew that in my family they did, but I didn’t give it much thought. I like looking at history book award lists like the Pulitzer Prize for History (don’t overlook the runners up), the Francis Parkman Prize list, and the Bancroft Prize list. Dr. Moehler of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a good book list here.
I think that nonfiction, models (or even Legos, I almost got my brother some), activities (from movies to rock-climbing), knives and tools, board games (I’ll buy video games when pigs fly), and food are great basic ideas for guys, the ones in our family anyway. A lot of these categories appear on gift lists, but you have to personalize them, not just grab something if it is recommended, but if it is a category the gift receiver will like.