7 Special Gift Ideas …

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I’m always on the look-out for cool new gift ideas. It feels like I’m endlessly rushing around trying to find a present for some occasion and I get super-bored picking up the same ‘thoughtful’ items over and over again. I like to give things that aren’t one-size-fits-all (nothing says ‘I can’t be bothered’ like buying everyone on your Christmas list the same pair of socks) but unique, original presents don’t exactly grow on trees. I’m sure some of you out there find it equally difficult to get inspired, so I’ve put together a list of 7 special gift ideas to help you with your shopping.

1. An Experience Day

This is a fab gift to give the person who has everything – you know the type; they’re impossible to buy for. Instead of giving yet another basket of designer bath products or adding more wine to that massive collection, consider booking them a memorable day out. Tailor the experience to their character: get specialist cookery classes for the foodies and bungy jumping for the extreme sports enthusiasts.

2. Handmade Chocolate

This is always a winner; I’ve yet to meet someone who didn’t appreciate beautiful chocolates, and, if you want your gift to be really personal, you could even have a go at making them yourself. If that sounds too much like hard work though, find a boutique chocolatier and ask them to package your purchase in something a little special.

3. Personalized Wine

A friend of mine gave this as a gift last year and it was an unparalleled hit. Not only was the merlot just gorgeous, she had had the name of every recipient professionally printed on the label. Browse the web for businesses in your area offering this service; it’s the perfect way to individualize a present that, while beautiful, is a little bit impersonal.

4. Engrave

A simple, classic piece of jewellery is something of a go-to present, especially if you can find one that won’t break the bank. Give your gift a unique edge by getting it engraved with a personal message. This isn’t too expensive and it turns a nice, if generic, gift into one with some sentimental value.

5. A Beautifully Framed Picture

This one might have become something of a cliché, but a well-framed photograph makes a great gift. If you really want yours to be something special, get the picture professionally printed (and enlarged if necessary) and have your framing done at a gallery. Use a gorgeous picture of the two of you, or, alternatively, take a photo of something meaningful. If your friend is an avid garden enthusiast, for example, snap a series of pretty shots of their favourite flowerbed …

6. A Customised Treat Hamper

This is one of my favourite things to give; the only downside to it is that’s it can get a little pricy. If you’re very strict with yourself about your budget, however, you should be able to pull it off without bankrupting yourself. Simply find a pretty box or, better, a basket, and fill it with your friend’s favourite things; wine, chocolate, t shirts, pretty underwear, novels ... literally everything goes.

7. A Spa Day

This is probably going to work best with your girl friends, although I do know a few guys who are keen on pampering as well. It’s best if you book a series of treatments for the two of you; this way you’ll get to bond while enjoying a little luxury as well.

Buying presents can be so difficult; we seem to live in an age where too many people simply don’t need anything. As you can see from my list of 7 special gift ideas, I‘ve decided that frivolity is the key to success; instead of getting people items I think they could really use, I go for things I don’t imagine they would buy for themselves. What are your thoughts? Do you have any more great ideas to share?

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