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This year I’m condensing my holiday gift guide to one day – today – and the spotlight is on unusual gifts. Because as it turns out, you already know sweaters make nice gifts. (Last year’s multi-day gift guide was not the slam dunk I had hoped.) I hope this guide to unusual gifts makes your holiday shopping easier.
9. Etsy.com is home to an unending array of homemade jewelry, crafts, handbags, and unique home decor, all made by individual members of the Etsy community. If you buy a gift on Etsy, you can be sure it is one of a few dozen in the world, if that. Prices and shipping vary.
8. The GoVinci Backpack is a kids backpack that displays their latest artwork, reducing the urge to scribble directly on the carrying case. Pack extra paper and crayons for quick entertainment on the go. $30 plus shipping at Giggle.com.
7. I reviewed a book on homemade beauty recipes a year ago, and the tips from Return to Beauty still linger. Elegant enough for the coffee table, this book is devoted to homemade, cheap, and all natural beauty recipes for your skin, hair, and body. Ideal for do-it-yourself’ers, make up fanatics, and anyone interested in taking care of their appearance.
6. Growing Stuff: An Alternative Guide to Gardening is full of wacky, but practical, projects to improve the health of your garden and plants while getting your hands dirty. Learn how to build your own root cellar, make a plant bed out of a suitcase, and grow a worm farm. I like to read about the zany projects in my copy of Growing Stuff as much as I like carrying them out. Great pictures, too. $16.50 plus shipping on Amazon.
5 & 4. Two kitchen devices I miss are the easy garlic peeler and this easy meat defroster. I used both products many times because my previous roommate owned them. The garlic roller manages to remove tough skins with a few gentle rolls, while the defroster quickly brings rock hard meat to room temperature. For once, the infomercials are telling the truth!
On Amazon, the roller is $8 plus shipping and the defroster is $12 plus shipping.
3. The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is unusual in that you don’t have to worry about testing a recipe before a party. These folks love food even more than I do and have the money and time to try every minute variation to reach perfection. This book has three-ring binding so every recipe lays flat (they really do think of everything) and category tabs for quick reference. $23 plus shipping on Amazon.
2. A subscription to American Cowboy magazine is sure to raise eyebrows, but I’m just using this as an example of the many interesting and unusual magazines you might consider buying as a gift. There is a magazine for every passion and interest, and with the struggles of the industry, plenty are priced between $5-$15. Every month the recipient will think of you as they enjoy fun reading time.
1. The most unusual gift I am recommending this year is a book I read cover to cover over many, um, sittings. What’s Your Poo Telling You? gives new meaning to the genre of bathroom books. It is entertaining, edifying, and very funny. $10 plus shipping through Amazon.