1. Magazine subscriptions: I always get this for my in-laws, who seem to have a new hobby or adventure each year. Mom knits? Vogue Knitting ($20). Brother-in-law's a dapper gentleman? Esquire ($15). Best friend's working on a novel? Poets&Writers ($16). It's thoughtful, and every month when they get a magazine in the mail, they'll think of you. The only downside is that it takes FOREVER to get that first issue. I think if you sign up now, you'll probably get the first issue in 6 weeks or more--so this is good for your family that lives in another state, or get a card letting them know to expect their first issue in January or February.
2. Donate in their name to a cause they believe in. I have one family member who loves owls and another who loves tigers, so I think a virtual adoption in their name with the World Wildlife Fund would be nice. $25 includes a photo, adoption certificate, and information on the animal. Check with your local zoo to see if they do something similar!
|for a $55 donation, you get a stuffed animal!|
4. DIY is obvious, but only if you're good at something! Don't know what to DIY? Make something holiday-related. One year, I made snowflake doilies:
5. Something that smells nice: My mom's a hard person to shop for because she's not a materialist and doesn't like to own things. She does, however, love the smell of lavender, so I get her salon-quality shampoo in lavender or other bath products, so she's not going to own them forever. Scents are tied to memories and emotions, so they'll think of you. Bonus points if you know what they like, otherwise go for seasonal.
6. Premium versions of cheap things. One year I got my manager a gift that checked a few boxes: it was holiday-related and smelled nice--premium tea bags similar to this tree one from Tea Forte (pictured below). $10 for 4 tea bags is stupid expensive and not worth it for everyday drinking, but for your boss who drinks the free company tea, it's a taste of luxury in cute packaging. One year I bought cashmere socks for an in-law--a luxury item that they'd never normally purchase. If you are spending $10-$20, best to think quality over quantity, indulgence over practicality.
What was the best inexpensive gift you've given/received?