This time of year many of us have pretty good ideas of what to give the most important people in our lives as gifts. We know our spouses, children, closest friends and siblings well enough to be able to pick out the perfect holiday presents. But what about the other people in our lives — our kids’ teachers, the co-worker who invites you to their holiday party, the neighbour who always stops by with a homemade fruitcake — who also deserve a little something? Here are some ideas that you can easily keep on hand or pick up at the last minute when you want to bring someone a little holiday cheer.
Flowers aren’t just a spring pick-me-up — having a fresh arrangement sitting on your table can also really brighten up a frosty winter day. It’s easy to grab something from Safeway’s flower department while you’re picking up your groceries. A poinsettia is a traditional choice, of course, but most people are happy to be presented with plants or flowers of any kind.
There’s something special about accepting a gift and then hanging it right on the Christmas tree. Tree ornaments not only can be used immediately, but will also remind the recipient of your time together every year when they unpack their ornaments and get their house ready for the holidays.
If you know the person you’re giving to well enough to be familiar with any allergies or food insensitivities they may have, give them an edible treat. Chocolates, nuts, fruit baskets, homemade cookies, jars of artisanal preserves, fancy salts, macarons, tea, hot cocoa mix are all good picks for foodie gifts. Choose something that your giftee will truly enjoy and may not likely be buying for themselves on a regular basis.
Socks have become such a generic Christmas gift that giving them can almost feel like a gag. But there are so many stylish and unique socks on the market right now, the perfect pair makes for an ideal tongue-in-cheek gift that the recipient will actually love and be able to use.
Gift cards may seem impersonal, but they are almost always appreciated. Cards for bookstores, groceries and coffee shops are safe choices, or for something more personal, go for a gift card for a nice restaurant, a favourite clothing store or a music or movie downloading service.
Something special for the kitchen is another good idea for a hostess gift. Decorative cheese knifes, wine stoppers, a one-of-a-kind piece or pottery, or a set of napkins or tea towels are all great tokens of holiday cheer.
Candles and soaps
Things that smell nice are always a good bet and while candles and soaps are fairly ubiquitous gifts, they’re another one of those special treats that people rarely buy for themselves. Whether it’s a peppermint-scented candle or a jar of bath salts, these gifts give people permission to pamper themselves a little bit.
What do you get for the person who really does have everything? How about something that will help those who are not so fortunate? Making a donation to a charity that means something to your friend and family member can be a thoughtful and poignant gift.