Wednesday, December 4, 2013

SUAR’s Favorite Things Gift Guide

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.

Believe Bracelet,Dream Bracelet,Hope Bracelet,LOVE bracelet-Wax Cord Bracelet-Best friend Bracelet BFF-Choose Your Favourite Color -

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.

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mug_follow-your-heart_red_s[1]mug_cherish-the-journey_pink_s[1]

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. undefined

And…they now make Colorado-specific ones! I must have.

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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.

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bobble2

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.

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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.

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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!).

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Got any great gift recommendations?

What was the best/worst gifts you’ve ever received? My worst was used make-up.

SUAR

31 comments:

  1. I love all of these! Wine purse for the win! haha

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  2. Someone gave used makeup? Lol, so gross!

    Worst gifts to me are gift cards to places I don't even shop at! I like gift cards, but not some random store that's like teenager clothing. I figured it was probably a regift!

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  3. Great gift list. How hilarious is the bobblehead!?! Love! I also have the Pearl Izumi arm warmers and would second that gift. I wore mine at the Beach2Battleship Half Iron Triathlon this year (which was really cold) and they kept me perfectly warm. Fun list! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I love your list because you cover things that even the non-runner would like and I have a hard time buying for those weirdo's. And used makeup, really? That's not even re-gifting, it's like....recycling! I would have given them a beautifully wrapped present with a gorgeous card that read...."in keeping with your tradition of recycle gifting, I present to you, this beautiful box of used kleenex, Happy Holidays Beeyotch!" But then, I don't have the cooth that you do.

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  5. You had me at wine purse! Haha:) All great gift ideas, thanks!

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  6. you are insanely hilarious-found you recommended on women's running's fb page...I loved the list and already msged everyone with pictures of my wine satchel!

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  7. We gave my youngest a bobblehead of his football playing self. It looked amazingly so much like him. But it arrived broken off at the ankles. Hmm......

    Worst gift? My sister, who has "issues", gives stupid gifts. One year I got the Whisper 2000--a device for spying on people. My husband got the Clapper (not the clap).

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  8. Oh I love that wine purse! What a great idea!

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  9. This is a great list! Those coffee mugs are really neat, and I hadn't heard of that book but am going to check it out. I created a list on my blog with some of my favorite gifts for runners. One item was coasters made from an old race bib - there are some stores on Etsy that make them - I do not have any yet but think they are really cool and would make a fun gift!

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  10. Ok. I just ordered Daring Greatly on Amazon. I might get an orange coffee cup too...just because I need a change. Glad I found you SUAR.

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  11. I love the bracelets! I have been looking for some great new running books too - Thanks for all the ideas!

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    Replies
    1. Too bad the bracelet shipping is so expensive. Does anyone in the Denver area want to go in together to save on shipping?

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  12. One of the best gifts I received was a necklace with my kids' names on it a few weeks after they were born. A neighbor gave it to me and it was incredibly thoughtful. I wear every single day. Thanks for this list - I MUST check out that book!!

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  13. I had to laugh because I want that wine purse and when I clicked on your link a link to Amazon calorie cuvee wine glasses came up instead. I love those and have ordered them. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Ooops...thanks for letting me know! Both great products.

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  14. well, since i just started running this March, my sweetie got me some great new winter running clothes for Hanukkah this year. tights and a jacket and socks and a hat. no excuses for not running outside... even in Vermont!

    worst gift? my poor mother... gave me the same sweater and coat 2 years in a row!

    ReneeW

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  15. I am a huge fan of Inspiration Wear, Daring Greatly (best book ever) and RUN HAPPY/BROOKS gear! I knew I liked you for a reason ;)

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  16. Dear SUAR, this week I read a race report that made me think of you immediately - a perfect combo for you. Marathon, in France and you get a wine at the service stations :) You even get a bottle of wine at the finish line! http://www.marathondubeaujolais.org/

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    Replies
    1. WHAT??? Yes, yes. That is perfect for me.

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  17. Worst gift ever- Chocolate covered peanuts, because I'm allergic to peanuts. I still wonder if that coworker was trying to kill me... Kidding. Sort of.

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  18. Wine purse. Just when you think there is no more innovation.

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  19. Love the bracelets especially, but everything else is great, too. Worst gift? Maybe not worst, but strangest is the Southwest print fabric poncho thing from my sister-in-law. Nothing I have or would ever wear, and never have figured out what the thought process was for that one, especially since it was the only thing from her that year.

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  20. I just picked up some Bani Bands at the Honolulu Marathon Expo for people who don't like to wear hats - http://www.banibands.com/ The owner is a veteran and I really like how they work:
    Wondering where our headbands are sewn?
    We make some in China and some in the US. All of them are made by home-sewers though! Our China crew is manned by a friend there whose relatives sew the bands. Our US crew is headed up by our sister Bonnie and assisted by our mom- aka 'Grandma Julie'. We have a whole network of home sewers who are stay-at-home moms, veterans, college students and grandmas who make our Bani Bands. You are supporting a true cottage industry and helping moms stay home with their kids, grandmas earn a little more on an otherwise fixed income, and students eat more than Ramen noodles (they probably buy beer too!)

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  21. These are all great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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  22. Good Ideas. Like you said the best gifts are the sincere ones. The one that comes to mind was actually a flop gift. I had a girlfriend only for about a month and a half before Christmas. She knew that I loved chocolate milk, so she got me a huge container of sugar free chocolate milk. I don't love the sugar free kind, but for the month and a half that we had know each other that was the kind that I had in my pantry because it was cheeper. I was really impressed with the details that she paid attention to with the gift.

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  23. Thanks for this thoughtful list! The wine purse is awesome. My ideas are a) for runners (esp those stuck in cubicles every day), the 2014 Tribute to the Trails calendar $23 http://gjtach.wix.com/tributetothetrails/ , b) for outdoorsy people, any Juniper Ridge product http://juniperridge.com/collections/all , c) for everyone, annual membership to a nearby museum or a national/state/regional park pass.

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  24. I had an elderly aunt who used to wrap up things around her house and give them as Christmas gifts (thankfully, she didn't have a cat...ala Christmas Vacation). One year she gave one of my brother's a nice men's wallet set - and she gave my OTHER brother a women's set! LOL!

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  25. Love that you were able to insert the "when I was training for the Ironman."

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  26. I hand make ear warmers or burn music for my family and friends- This year everyone is getting cool soap and a handmade fabric ornament with their photo on it!

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