Ah, the annual gift exchange. They can be so fun but it can be a challenge to shop for. Whether it’s for a coworker or family member, you always seem to pull the name of someone who you have no idea how to buy for. Luckily, I have found some great ideas over the years that I can’t wait to share with you!
The Homemade: Do you have a gift for baking? Great at crafting? Put these skills to use making something one-of-kind and homemade for them. If you are a great baker, giving someone a tin of warm homemade cookies, might be a great gift! People like receiving homemade goods, it shows that you care, you spent time and effort, and you know enough about them to make them something that they will like. It is a ton of work, but can be a great way to show off some skills. Are you a secret brew master? Give your friends a 6 pack of your own blend. Do you knit better than your grandma? Make some festive hats and gloves and scarves for your co-workers. The possibilities are endless, and if you have the time and the talent, then make use of them! If you are lacking on ideas, thank goodness for Pinterest! Here are some of our favorite, you may recognize them from our blog!
Spiced Coffee Blends
The Quirky: These gifts are a personal favorite of mine, because how often do you actually use your gift exchange gift? Quirky gifts are something that you purchase intending not to really use all that much, or if you do, it is for a specialized reason. This is a great option for that one friend who is so hard to shop for, or especially in surprise exchanges, something a little funky can be a great conversation starter. I love the store Uncommon Goods. they have things in all price ranges, and their selection is vast and awesome. The Man Candle and Portable iPhone chargers are unique and fun!Candles for the man in your life. Scents include natural, nostalgic and savory scents like dirt, fresh cut grass, sawdust, campfire, pizza, and coffee. 100% renewable and made from a soy and vegetable wax blend.
You can find household goods, stocking stuffers or even scratch off maps to show where you have been. Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters generally have great books that would be fun to give. Once you start looking around, you will start adding items to your own holiday lists. We love Old Dogs Are The Best Dogs from Anthro and The Cities Book from Urban Outfitters.
The Assortment: This one is a fun gift idea as well. Are you having a girl’s night exchange? Go to Bath and Body Works and stock up on the smaller size items! Put them in a make-up bag from Target add a few things of nail polish and viola, a great gift! You can do this with almost anything you can think of which makes it nice and customizable. I had a friend give me a scarf, and then some jewelry that matched that I still wear to this day! Pack some essentials for a night out, lip gloss, breath mints, and into a cute clutch for the social butterfly friend and you will have given her the gift she will be able to use always!
Wine & Spirits: This is one of the universally most desired gifts at exchanges. The great thing here is that you can do something creative to add-on, like personalized wine glasses with chalkboard paint covering the bottoms that can be used at parties. That doesn’t take much time, but pairing it with some wine can make it the desire of your exchange. Or get a nice bottle of whiskey and some tumblers. There are also these great stone ice cubes from Uncommon Goods. These are fairly inexpensive and the recipient can use them again and again!
If you aren’t sure how to choose the wine or spirit, refer back to our post by Red Red Wine Bar for awesome tips!
Make sure you know your audience and find gifts that are appropriate to the group. Be bold, try new ideas, and don’t worry about what people think, especially for silly exchanges! People love to laugh and get something silly that will be a memory for them instead of more stuff. Happy Holidays!