Of course the best Christmas presents are things you cannot put under the tree, like a car. Just kidding. In all seriousness, I love getting new experiences in some form – a getaway, an animal encounter, or tickets to the Nutcracker. However, sometimes it’s nice to untie a bow and unwrap lively colorful paper to unveil a lovely thoughtful gesture. Starbucks gift cards are fantastic, but didn’t you spend some time getting to know your coworkers this year? I’m sure you know that special someone’s favorite movie, their passion, what makes them laugh. Why not use it?
The Foodie or Housewarming Gesture
I had a coworker who loved to cook. She just moved into her first apartment and her kitchen was looking pretty monotone. She had mentioned that she loved Frida Kahlo, so I bought a few yards of fabric, interfacing, and lace trim. The table runner and matching coasters looked beautiful on her kitchen table.
The Animal Lover
My former boss just loved her dog Dewey endlessly. From many late nights of working, I happened to know her favorite songs of all time from country to old school and everything in between. AND that she drove a car, which unfortunately only had a CD player. Hence, I photoshopped the love of her life into her favorite albums and a few mixed CD playlists, which were displayed in a visor organizer. I’m still not sure if Dewey looks better as Lady Gaga or a rapper.
The Frequent Traveler
Travel in itself is such an important part of my life. My brother loves to make me “Best of” picture books every year from Shutterfly, which I always appreciate. I wanted to create something Nate and I could build upon throughout our adventures, so I made the below. I found a spice rack and painted the base, gluing the engraved plate I made at Things Remembered. I then bought a pack of transparent labels at Staples, printing some places we had been and where we were longing to go. Since then we’ve filled the tubes with red dirt from Sedona, tea leaves from Japan, and Guinness barley from Dublin. Needless to say, it has become much more than just a spice rack to us.
The Movie Buff
You’ll be surprised how often you can find meet and greets or the perfect autograph signing. This magical hour I managed to get memorabilia signed by the talented voices of the Nightmare Before Christmas, Charlie Brown, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
The Extreme Gamer
Nate and I love to play games together from Final Fantasy RPGs to Rummy Championships to Connect Four. I let him win most of the time to boost his spirits, but don’t tell him that. On our wedding day, we exchanged presents we both had been working on for months. I received the best gift of my life – a custom board game The Adventures of Faith & Nate. Each board space, player piece, and action card tells a part of our story. One of my favorite action cards are, “Mountain West Financial loses your mortgage paperwork. Move back 2 spaces.” I can’t wait to receive “add on packs” as our adventures continue.
The Dedicated Writer
As writers, we can spend weeks crafting a single page. We put our passion into each line, which often can go overlooked. After months working with my editor on my book, she sent me the most special ornament I’ve ever received made out a book page – my book page. Even when the Christmas tree is down, the ornament sits on my beaureau as I can’t bear to put something so special in a storage box.
The Avid Reader
Alice in Wonderland is a story close to my heart. My husband found a few antique editions on eBay. He then carved out the pages, and glued in a lining and velcro enclosure. The book has become a cherished clutch I only use on special occasions.
Getting a gift for the beer, wine, or whisky drinker has never been easier. There’s endless accessories – ice cube trays, shot glasses, aerators, decanters, and clever ways to display all of it. A friend once bought me a badass globe wine holder. Last year I bought Nate an man cave liquor cart. How about personalized glasses or their favorite chardonnay with a custom label?
The Music Lover
Vinyl records weren’t just made for oldies. You can actually find most newer album records and the sound is incredible. I now have my favorite comedic and power house songs on vinyl. I’m forever grateful that I get to hear Sara Bareilles’s angelic vocals echoing throughout my house.
Your Dearest Loved One
A sentimental picture can mean the world to someone, like the day you were born or finally nailing a trapeze class with a friend. I gifted the below necklaces to my mother and BFF, hoping that they’d keep these moments and the good feelings associated with them close to heart.
I also love the idea of turning pictures into ornaments, bracelets, wood or metal prints. The incredible people in your lives are constantly having special moments so don’t let them go unnoticed. Let’s celebrate them!
The Fierce Humanitarian
I’m obsessed with keys, and I’m definitely not the only one I know intrigued in their mysterious allure. I recently found out about a product that will inspire your dearest friend and change the life of someone in need. The Giving Keys are a trendy organization, who work hard to make a huge difference in the lives of the homeless. Their website has some beautiful jewelry pieces and even better stories, encouraging us all to be a little more giving anytime of the year.
For anyone on your list
Christmas is the season to spread love and joy. I can’t think of a better way than to tell someone in your life how much they are appreciated. My family is big on giving letters for Christmas, and I’ve honored that tradition in my own circle. You might not have enough money for the newest Apple watch but believe it or not, it only takes $3.99 to touch someone’s heart.
Are you getting someone special a unique gift? I’d love to hear about it!
© Faith’s True Tales 2015. Featured image by Brian Kent. All other original images and words by Faith Brady.