Money Buffalo

With Christmas always approaching faster than the year before, the perennial feeling of What do I get the person who already has everything for Christmas this year?  Can you relate?  Probably so.  Here is a short list of unique Christmas gift ideas that you can use for your family, spouse, or friends., you might be … Continue reading “Money Buffalo”

With Christmas always approaching faster than the year before, the perennial feeling of What do I get the person who already has everything for Christmas this year?  Can you relate?  Probably so.  Here is a short list of unique Christmas gift ideas that you can use for your family, spouse, or friends., you might be able to score some brownie points with your lady!   The items & ideas listed below, is not about gift cards or a list of stuff you can buy for a discount on thelargest shopping day of the year(Hint: Its not Black Friday or Cyber Monday) that will be covered in dust a year from now.

This is a list of 6 unique gifts that you, possibly, have never really considered.  Or something you did several years ago and this list will jog your memory.

One idea is to create a coupon book.  Because its Christmas time, you can have the theme 12 Days of Christmas.  You create a book with 12 coupons that can be redeemed, before next Christmas, for various experiences.  The coupons can be for things like a back massage or cooking supper.  You know what you can offer that will be appreciated by the recipient & what they might like to redeem the coupons for.

You can have some fun with this one & dont be afraid to make some coupons that might make you feel a little uncomfortable.  Remember this is a Christmas present and is a great opportunity for your special somebody to receive something that they would not get normally.

This idea is exactly that, an idea.  This is taken from a Christmas tradition from the Victorian-era.  An era that is somewhat noted for its modesty, with this gift-giving tradition theperson receives four gifts.This is something you can do with friends or family.

You draw names & only give gifts for the name that you draw.  The name you & the others draw is a secret from one another, so part of the fun is guessing who has your name.

You give one gift for each of the four categories below:

*Exception 1: In the digital age it might be a little tough to find something to read, if the person is so busy that they dont take the time to read a book or magazine.  It is acceptable to substitute a movie for this category, use your best judgment.

There is no suggested spending range to do a Victorian Christmas.  It depends on the general consensus of your group & what is budgeted for each family.  You can decide to spend no more than $30 or no more than $100 for all four gifts.

Depending on with whom you are doing Victorian Christmas, you might want to exempt the children from the game.  So it is just the adults that draw names & exchange gifts among each other.  This way everybody can still give a small gift to the children, nieces, and nephews.

**An additional way to save some money shopping is to use ashopping portal like Ebatesthat can help you save 40% on magazine subscriptions for instance & get cash back at most major retailers!**

The answer to which gift to give might be in your own hands.  Perhaps you can bake an awesome cake, paint a portrait, or whittle a wooden duck.  Homemade gifts can be easy & potentially cheaper than buying the same item from the store.  Plus your gift will probably be better quality & more appreciated because of your thoughts & skills invested.

You might not want to give a homemade gift if you always give the same thing.  Does Aunt Susan really want to get a fruitcake every Christmas?  This is just a hypothetical question, but something to consider.  It depends on the person & maybe you can get them to drop hints throughout the year.  Your Aunt might think that getting a homemade fruitcake is the best gift she receives every year.

For somebody that has everything or for somebody that purchases what they want through the year, maybe buyingthem an experience is the right gift.  It can be tickets to a Broadway musical or concert that is coming to your town.  Maybe you want to awake the inner daredevil & go skydiving.  If you want something a little more tame but still up in the air, you can go for a hot air balloon ride and soak up the scenery with a birds-eye view.

I know for one of my dads Christmas presents we said we would pay for him to spend a weekend getaway for a wood-turning class.  Woodworking is his hobby, so this made sense.  Its kinda like sending your child to summer camp for horse riding if they ride horses or music lessons if they play in the band.

You could also group the monthly clubs in this idea as well.  You can buy them a membership to the Coffee of the Month or Cheesecake of the Month Club.  It allows them  to try new things without leaving their house & its more than a one-time experience such as a concert or play.

Unique Idea 5: Give or Volunteer To Charity

I believecharity & volunteeringis an important part of life.  This idea piggybacks with unique idea 4 of buying an experience but for your child, small or tall.

Speaking from personal experience, my wife sponsored a Compassion Child where you can be a penpal with a child from a developing nation.  There is a monthly fee, but the money fee also goes toward feeding & raising the child.  At Christmas time you can also buy gifts for your child or a family.  For example, you can buy a goat or chickens, that can be raised for food or help the family earn income.

We have also participated in Operation Christmas Child by Samaritans Purse where you can pack a shoebox of Christmas gifts for children across the world or Action Packs that have clothing & bed linens and are distributed by Voice of the Martyrs to Christian refugees across the globe.  If you want your child to have the experience of packing & mailing the gift, you can do that with these two organizations with items that you buy and donate.  Both organizations will also a create a shoebox or Action Pack, if you simply make a cash donation as well.  The money that you would have spent on postage to mail the items you packed can instead be donated to the organization so that more items can be purchased.

If you want a more local organization to benefit from your charity & volunteering, you can always volunteer at the local soup kitchen.  They are always looking for volunteers year round, and not just the holiday season when people are more likely to volunteer.

Other ideas for volunteering or need supplies, are local animal shelters where you can help walk the dogs and donate much needed supplies.  Or you can volunteer at Habitat for Humanity, where you can help build a house & teach your child building skills simultaneously.

This idea is based on the premise of giving gifts of memories you had as a child.  With the recent popularity of terms like Throwback Thursday & Flashback Friday, retro memories and toys might be making a comeback in unexpected ways.   Your gift can be buying a classic board game that you used to play as a child such asCandyland,Monopoly (Junior Edition for the impatient or on a time schedule),orTrivial Pursuit.

You might be tired of your children always having a blank look on your face when you talk aboutSuper Mario Bros.Nintendo has made variations of the original games from the NES & Super Nintendo platforms.  Your children might be amazed at how such a simple video game can be so entertaining!  And you dont even need an internet connection to play.

Sub-idea 6A, is giving a savings bond.  Yes, I went there.  So receiving a savings bond is probably about as exciting as unwrapping a pair of socks or underwear as a child.

This might be more of a gift that is ideal for a grandparent to give to their grandchild or maybe an uncle to his nephews.  Or a unique stocking stuffer.

I listed it as an alternative so you might not have to feed the habit of just buying something like the latest video game or a gift card because it wouldnt be Christmas if you didnt put a gift under the tree to little Johnny with your name on it.

As this is a personal finance site, Savings Bonds can be a unique you great idea because they can eventually be redeemed for cash.  Long after the other gift you might have given has either been sold at a rummage sale, thrown away, or simply sat on a shelf due to disuse. Not trying to sound too pessimistic with this previous statement, but nobody really wants to give a gift that isnt valued.

I hope this list of ideas has helped with your Christmas gift process this year.   The gift-buying season can be stressful as everybody wants to give the perfect gift.  It doesnt make it any easier when you look at the catalogs and the perfect gift changes every year.  Thinking of childrens gifts, last year the must-have item was anything from the movieFrozen.This year, the best toy is a robot fromStar Wars.  What will it be next year?

The easy way out is simply buying a gift card to a restaurant or store.  I think this is better than just giving cash, because it looks like you put a little thought into what the person wants.  Plus it means the person might not spend it on groceries or laundry soap, assuming you give cash and they spend it on everyday items.

Remember that a gift doesnt have to be a thing.  It can be an experience that creates a lifelong memory.

I trust that you have enjoyed these unique Christmas gift ideas & I wish you a Merry Christmas.

What unique Christmas gift ideas have you given in the past?  What unique gifts have you received?

This is a great article with lots of creative ideas! I really like the Victorian Christmas idea-I have never heard of this before. Since I am leaning more towards a minimalist Christmas with less big-ticket gifts and more thoughtful, useful things, these ideas are very helpful! Now I just have to try and convince my extended family to tone down the Christmas gift-givingany ideas for that? 🙂

Thank you for your kindness. We are doing the Victorian Christmas this year with my wifes family, I had never heard of it before this year either but none of us hesitated as we normally buy what we need through the year our budgets are also a little tighter this year. Trying to convince the extended family of minimalism is easier said than done, especially if you have a very generous family. For us it really hasnt happened over night, but this Christmas the general consensus decided to purchase small gifts for the children. This decision was made easier with the increasing number of children in the family, but it still makes it tough (so you dont buy something that will just collect dust) to purchase for Christmas the childrens birthdays.

Another idea my wife surprised me with today is her version of the 12 Days of Christmas. She is giving 12 gifts, one a day, starting today that lead up to Christmas. Cool!

LOVE these ideas. We did something similar to the Victorian Christmas, but didnt have the four categories. That is really cool. In past years weve drawn names for homemade gifts, its fun to see what everyone comes up with. 🙂

Thanks! We like it because it is an easy way to still allow us to buy gifts for the adults, but, more affordable simple. We didnt want to stop exchanging gifts for each other this was a good compromise. Plus its fun trying to guess who has who what they got within the categories.

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Best Christmas Gifts

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The Best Christmas 2016 Gift Ideas for Friends

Even when you feel like you know them better than anyone else, your friends arent always the easiest people to shop for. Sometimes your tastes are very different and you dont always like what she does. Or, if youve been friends for decades, you feel like youve gotten her every gift under the sun. Or, maybe shes a new friend and youre just not sure what shed want or like. If you and your bestie are two peas in a pod and shopping for her is as easy as shopping for yourself, lucky you. But for those of you who need a little inspiration to get in the gifting spirit this year, check out the next 17gifts: Theyre pretty, fun, and thoughtful ideas for all the fabulous ladiesas well as the greatguysin your life.

Is the token photographer of your squad.Upgrade her phone (or selfie stick…) with this cute little camera that instantly prints your photos with a vintage Polaroid-like flair.Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera,

Has an Instagram-able coffee table.These crystal agate coasters are SO pretty, and would make the perfect gift for the girl who always finds her living room the gathering spot. Choose from several different colors (each geode slice is unique, though) and a few different metal finishes for the edges.Set of 4 agate coasters, m

Courtesy KirahleyKreations Etsy Shop

agram.Seriously, just go check. This cult-favorite beauty brand has a loyal following who love its innovative skin care and makeup products, and any friend of yours who already has Glossier on her radar would be thrilled to receive this set of some of their top-selling products curated to get that special occasion glow.The Black Tie Set (including a No. 1 Pencil eyeliner, Haloscope highlighter, clear Lip Gloss, pink nail polish, and a black ribbon (because, chokers, duh.)), $50,glossier.com

Has been talking about upping her jewelry game.Sometimes all it takes is having that piece you think youre not insert-aspirational-adjective-here enough to wear to actuallywearit. This tassel necklace is a bit of a statement piece if shes not used to wearing big jewelry, but the pretty blue beads and stone will go with a big chunk of her wardrobe.Tasseled Agate Lariat, $68,anthropologie.com

Is a walking boombox.A wireless Bluetooth speaker is great for taking her music with her wherever she goeswhether its to the kitchen, the shower, or the park. And this one comes in a shade of mint (plus four other options) that says, I know you like good technology, but you also want it to be pretty.Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker, $117,bestbuy.com

Takes some cheese with her wine.Theres no present like the gift of wine delivered to your door. Introduce the wine lover in your life to Winc (formerly known as Club W), a wine subscription service that will curate boxes of wine based on what she or he already likes while also introducing them to new types of wine in the least intimidating way possible. Gift cards start at $60 and will get your bestie four bottles of wine delivered to her doorstep; $150 will set them up for three months worth of deliveries. Cheers.Winc Gift Card, $60 and up,winc.com

Brings plants into her home like stray kittens.Upgrade the basic terra cotta pots your friend has been using with something a bit prettier. A new succulent in one of these cute and colorful pots would make a great gift for anyone, but the friend you already know has a green thumb will definitely appreciate it.Herringbone Porcelain Planter, $58,etsy.com

Has a really strong selfie game.This iPhone case is outfitted with LED lights that will give her the perfect lighting for a selfie anywhere, no filter required.LuMee Perfect Selfie iPhone 6/6s Case, $55,urbanoutfitters.com

Is always chic AF.Treat your bestie to a cute new weekend bag that shes bound to love. And at such a great price, you should totally snag one for yourself, too.Tassel Cross-Body Bag, $40,shop.mango.com

Loves a goodshelfie.You can never have too many coffee table books, so whether your friend is still getting settled in a new place or has been in the same apartment for years, a fresh book or three for her coffee table or bookshelf will always be appreciated. Theres something for everyones interests and hobbies.Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves, $23;Paris in Color, $12;1000 Record Covers, $15;The Dogist, $17, amazon.com

Has the prettiest makeup vanity.Give the makeup fiend in your life something not just useful but beautiful to display. This set of 10 gold snake-adorned brushesincluding a contour brush, foundation brush, eyeshadow smudger, and brow spoolieare the perfect fit for the glam lady in your life.Sonia Kashuk Holiday Brush Set, $40,target.com

Is always posting her own MondayMantra.This light-up box sign comes with 69 letters and symbols so your BFF can display whatever quote or message seems on-brand that week. Perfect for the industrial decor-loving guy or gal in your squad.Typo Black Light Box, $70,cottonon.com

Enjoys a cozy Friday movie night.Also for the friend who has a trendy faux fur rug. While her feet are satisfactorily cozy, the rest of her is missing out. Enter a big faux fur throw, perfect for snuggling up on the couch with a glass of wine and her favorite Netflix binge. And also a super chic addition to the back of her sofa or on her bed.Faux Fur Throw, $59 – $89,westelm.com

Is a big fan of Taco Tuesday.Spice up your girlfriends home bar with these low-cal margarita mixes in three yummy flavors: key lime, pineapple habanero, and mango passion fruit.Skinny Williams-Sonoma Margarita Mix Caddy, $30,williams-sonoma.com

Always says shes cold.Whether she lives in a colder clime or just works in an ice box of an office, a big, cozy blanket scarf is a no-fail gift shell undoubtedly use and love.Double-Faced Checked Scarf, $35,zara.com

Is looking for a new hobby.This set includes everything your friend needs to teach herself calligraphy, the perfect snow-day activity. Expect a personal, hand-lettered thank you note in return.Belle Calligraphy Starter Kit, $30,anthropologie.com

Takes her sparkle in small doses.This headband is festive without being flashy. Give her a pair (its less than $15) and suggest doubling up.Sparkle Stars Headband, $12.95,AEO.

Is the token photographer of your squad.Upgrade her phone (or selfie stick…) with this cute little camera that instantly prints your photos with a vintage Polaroid-like flair.Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Camera, $70,urbanoutfitters.com