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2020 Update: We still think these are some fun gift ideas, but you may also want to check out our latest gift ideas.
We talk a lot about buying stuff for ourselves on this blog, but we thought we’d start a thread about what to give the others in your life.
Personally, we tend to get a few small things for close friends and girlfriends, and bigger gifts for close family members (and, usually, a large cash gift for our secretary paired with some token physical gift, like flowers). Some of our suggestions, after the jump — please chime in with your own gift ideas in comments.
|For the Girlfriend Who Likes To Drink: The BUST store has these great martini glasses with one of Dorothy Parker’s (in our opinion) best poems ever: “I like to have a martini, Two at the very most,Three I’m under the table, Four I’m under my host!” (They have a lot of other great kitschy gifts for girlfriends, also.) The glasses are $23 at BUST.
|For the Philosophical “I Don’t Need Stuff” Friend: Get them something small from the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild store (such as the Scream Little Thinker, pictured, $17.95) and a charitable gift, such as something from Heifer.org, which uses your donation to purchase animals for families in need.
|For the Prankster: The Onion Store has a ton of great gifts. We’re particular fans of the Decoy Gift Boxes — for those of you who reuse boxes for gifts, it’s a great funny alternative. Set of 4, $22.95 (was $30).
|For the Sports Fan: There are a variety of companies that offer screenprints of jerseys and shirts from years past. For example: Ebbetts Field Flannels specializes in now-defunct leagues and teams (such as the 1953 Hot Springs Bathers, t-shirt for $24).
|For the Internet-aholic: One of the really cute new lightweight, small laptops, such as this Toshiba Mini NB205-N312/BL — these lightweight, cute laptops (yes, there is one in pink as well) are only $368, and ideal for the constant traveler who just wants access to the Internet and to some word processing in a pick-up-and-go form.
|For the person you really, really like who has something to celebrate: Send champagne. Especially if you can’t be there in person to raise a glass with her in person. (We would even argue that this would be an appropriately festive gift for a mother-to-be — she could just keep it on ice until she and her husband can drink it.) Our favorite kind is the reasonably priced Veuve Clicquot Brut Yellow Label – Champagne & Sparkling, available at Wine.com for $44.
|For the Constant Traveler: The Kindle, available at Amazon.com for $259. Books in 60 seconds, and it works internationally. Our friends who have this rave about it for it’s easy, readable screen, and the ease with which they can buy books. You can even get them an Amazon gift card to get them started.
|For the New Parent: An amazing camera, such as the Canon PowerShot SX200IS. A friend of ours just got this one (after a lot of careful research) and the pictures are a-ma-zing. And it’s a point-and-click, the best part. This one is $291 at Amazon.
Gifts to Avoid
We love our friends, but we would argue that the following gifts are never appreciated:
- Soap — we’re not alone here: stop giving us soap. Unless you’re trying to tell us something…
- Other bath products — Unless we have proclaimed a love for bubble baths… otherwise, let us choose our own personal products.
- Perfume — This always stinks of a re-gift.
- Pajamas — Does anyone do this anymore? We went through a phase a few years ago where everyone gave us pajamas.
(We would argue that the only exception to this is when you’re buying something from a store with a great return policy — in which case the gift really serves as a slightly more thoughtful gift card.)