I make quite a lot of handmade gifts for the holidays. My chocolate covered pretzels are such a hit that friends look forward to them each year.
However, there are people in my life to whom I want to give something more significant than a pretzel, however tasty. Let’s face it, a sugar coated carb stick is a fun treat, but not one that says “I Love You.”
What can you give that will last a year but not break the bank to someone special? Here are my five best ideas:
- Open up a PaperBackSwap account for them and load it with credits and postage money. For about $40 they will be able to get several books of their liking. You can do the same thing with CDSwap and DVDSwap if your friends are more into movies and music than books.
- If they live in the New York City or Los Angeles area, buy them a year subscription to Theater Extras ($99), which offers free tickets to members to help fill the house. You pay for the subscription with your credit card, then the site sends the recipient a letter requesting their credit card info for the $4 per ticket service charge. Or, you can arrange to pay the service charge for any tickets ordered throughout the year. A gift membership needs to be purchased by phone at (914) 304-4093. I’ve used this service and it really works. Put my email address Bobbisbargains at hotmail.com as the referral and then you’ll also be giving me a present of a few free tickets.
- Restaurant.com sells prepaid gift cards to restaurants that make a great gift. Bargain Babe runs special discount codes frequently. The latest Restaurant.com coupon gets you 80% off with coupon code GOBBLE, good through Nov. 25, 2010. You can pay for the gift certificate and also give the recipient cash to cover alcohol, tax, and tip.
- Plant a container garden and give it as a gift. Several months ago, my friend gave me a small rose plant when she came to my house. It cost under $5. I planted in my garden. Every time I water my garden and see this plant, I think of my friend and smile. This gift can be large or small, but make sure it’s easy to maintain and they will think sweet thoughts about you every day.
- Purchase a AAA membership for a loved one. This is truly a gift that gives every day of the year. Your gift recipient will think super-kind thank yous each time they use their card for a free tow or help with complex DMV paperwork.
These are my ideas. What gifts have you given or received that keep giving?