Stuck for an idea for a great Christmas Present? Read On!
Need something thoughtful for that special someone this Christmas? Or do you need a gift for a friend or co-worker, but you don''t want to give them the same boring box of chocolates everyone else does? Here''s a list of thoughtful gifts that you can get for any guy or girl. From cheap (but sweet!) presents you can make at home, to those cool but potentially budget buster gadgets, you''re sure to get extra brownie points from your loved ones this holidy season (not the point during this extra special time of year, but it sure doesn''t hurt!)
1. an Apple iPod (or other MP3 multimedia player)
This can be one of the more expensive gifts on this list, but I know what you''re thinking - "it''s nice, but how is it special?" Apple is one of the world''s most renowned companies in regard to style and presentation of their product. Take your cue from them! Make sure that the iPod you give is filled to (almost) capacity with meaningful things that really say something about the relationship that you have - whatever that relationship may be. For example, if you''re going to be giving an iPod to your adult brother, fill it with songs from your childhood, or perhaps a favorite TV show that you watched while growing up. The possibilities are endless (depending on the storage size you purchase), but if you''re stuck, here are some ideas:
Favorite Songs, or albums
Songs from concerts you''ve attended together (better yet, if you have a CD of a live recording, iTunes will import those tracks so you can put them on the iPod)
TV shows you enjoy together
Are you both excited about a movie that will be coming out? Find the trailer and download it!
Speaking of movies, you can put one (or two) of those on there too!
a Photo album of pictures of the two of you (or a trip, or some other theme!)
Going even further, if you get your friend or loved one an iPhone or iTouch, download them a game you know they''ll like!
There are many, many possibilities for this one, and don''t forget, presentation is key, as it shows that you put a lot of thought and effort into selecting the gift. Here''s a tip: A big bonus from ordering one of these from the Apple store online means that you can get your iPod customized with a special engraving! Have a favorite saying, a nickname, or simply "I love you" engraved onto the iPod and it''s sure to be a hit.
2. A "Mix Tape" (CD or DVD)
A bit cheezy, but a really neat present if you treat it a lot like the "iPod" option above. In fact, this can be considered the inexpensive alternative! Just refer to the list above for some ideas of what you can put on your mix CD or DVD. Plus, a really fun feature with DVDs these days is that you can get software to create a DVD menu to organize all your files!
Remember, presentation is important, so don''t simply label the CD or DVD "Mike''s Stuff" with your black sharpie. Instead, create a cool label - if you''re handy with Photoshop, you can find instructions on how to do that at http://www.photoshopbuddy.net/cdlabel.html , or find an online label maker program that will do the work for you. Better yet, find funky pre-made (pre-printed) labels at your local bookshop or office supply store, or from online stores like eBay! Stick the CD/DVD in a custom case or gift box, and you''re done!
Ifyour gift is for co-workers at your office, why not create an officemix CD? Have everyone contribute a favorite song to your playlist. Locate and download the songs, create the label, and hand them out. Instant hit!
3. Scrapbook It
There are two ways to do this, the traditional way and the online way.
The traditional way, with paper, scissors, glue and paper can actually get a bit expensive, and is somewhat time consuming (depending on your effort), so you''ll have to plan ahead for this one. However, it''s fun, and creates a SUPER sentimental gift that will be cherished YEARS from now! This is especially great for parents, grandparents or your significant other. Scrapbooking is easy, and there is no right or wrong way to do it. Scrapbooks can be made out of stapled sheets of paper, or you can buy a scrapbook from any craft store (or even places like Wal-Mart!). Just be sure to include any pictures and paper memorbilia you have, and make sure to write a bit about what you''re scrapbooking in the pages. Essentially, that''s it! One note of caution however - if you''re intending for the book to last a long time and are including paper memorbilia like tickets, programs, receipts, newspaper, etc, make sure to spray your pages with an archival mist (which takes the acid out of the paper. Acid is the thing that causes paper to yellow and crumble over time. It''s also called an acid deadifier).
The other way to create a scrapbook is to go to any number of online photo printing services - for example, Snapfish.com, Kodak.com, or even your local grocery store (if they give print photos there) or Wal-Mart, and look for the memory or photo books option. That will bring up a selection of pre-made templates, where all you have to do is select your theme, upload photos, and type in any journaling. Presto! Just have the company print and ship your book and you have a wonderful keepsake to give.
4. Make an Ornament
Do you have any old toys, pretty containers, or little baubles lying around? Make an ornament! The best part about this gift is that it's completely customizable, yet, super easy to make! Simply drill a hole near the top of the item that you wish to use, or string ribbon through any loops that there may be on the item. Presto! Need a quick present topper for your best friend from childhood? What were some of their favorite toys? If you still have any, just turn them into a snazzy ornament to place on their Christmas tree! They'll be touched that you took the time to make them something and impressed that "oh, you still have that!?" tiny item that two were loved so long ago!