As I get older and everyone around me gets older (even babies), it gets tougher to come up with gift ideas. In my opinion, there is one “must” to gift giving:
The gift must reflect who the receiver of the gift is. It needs to show the person that you know them and that you acknowledge what is important to them. It is much more touching to receive a gift that is simple and inexpensive, yet deeply personal, than something random that was an impulse buy at the grocery store check out line (yes, of course I needed a six pack of double A batteries ((hmmm…)) and that Tide To Go stick!).
One of the best gifts I ever got was from Ken on our first wedding anniversary. The first anniversary is ….paper. How romantic. At that time, I was doing a lot of journaling, so Ken found a beautiful leather bound journal from Florence, Italy, at a small shop in Boulder. The paper was handmade in a 14th century paper mill. In my first entry on July 16, 1996, I wrote, “Somehow writing in here feels very indulgent, like I have to be writing something incredibly profound to warrant using these pages…I am impressed Ken thought to give me such a thoughtful gift….I am so touched by his insight.” (<I wrote as if I was very mature back then. Not sure what happened).
Clearly, that journal is why we are still married 18 years later. That and giving each other Dutch Ovens.
Below are 9 of my favorite things that I think would make outstanding and unique gifts for that special someone:
1. Inspirational Bracelets from Etsy – I ordered the “Believe” bracelet when I was training for Ironman Florida. Emma and I wore these for the month leading up the race and on race day. These are really inexpensive (~99¢!) and can send the perfect message to someone who needs that extra boost and reminder each day.
2. Coffee mugs from the Universe Knows – I actually do not own these…yet (my family thinks I have way too many coffee mugs so I will have to get rid of a few first). I do love the bold colors and the messages that these mugs display. I also love how huge they are – I don’t believe in drinking coffee (or wine) in anything less than 16 oz containers. $10/each.
3. Pearl Izumi Arm Warmers – I bought these several years ago and have almost completely worn them out. I have tried quite a few different arm warmers and these are the only ones that stay up and keep me warm. The best thing about arm warmers is that when you are running/cycling and it starts to warm up, you can just push them down onto your wrists. Brilliant! $20 with free shipping through December 17.
And…they now make Colorado-specific ones! I must have.
4. Customized Bobble Head – I won a contest a few years back and the prize was getting a personalized bobble head made of myself. I could choose from lots of designs and I almost went with the toilet. I can’t remember where mine was made, but you can get them from the link above. All you need is to send in a picture and give some comments. $89-$109.
5. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown – If you aren’t familiar with Ms. Brown and you struggle with your own imperfections, you need to read this book. Not only read it, but give it to someone you know who you want to encourage to take risks and to embrace his/her vulnerability. $13.50.
6. Wine Purse from Give Simple. Perfect for church, picnics, the pool, college classes.
7. Scratch Off Map from Uncommon Goods – This makes the perfect gift for anyone who loves to travel. My nephew is 15 and lives in the Ukraine (my brother is in the foreign service). He has been able to do so much travelling throughout his young life and is very proud of the many places he has seen. This is an ideal gift for someone like him. $20.
8. “Run Happy” visor from Brooks Running – I wear this on 99.9% of my runs (the other .1% I can’t remember) $18.
9. A race entry – This one goes without saying. If you have a runner or triathlete in your life, then you obviously know what a money pit it can be to run races (still cheaper than blood pressure/high cholesterol meds). $30-$800 (yes, an Ironman entry can be that much, but it’s all-you-can-drink chicken broth!).
Got any great gift recommendations?
What was the best/worst gifts you’ve ever received? My worst was used make-up.