Apparently, there’s a lot of you people who want to finish all your Christmas shopping before Advent, i.e. within the next 15 days.
My Halloween decorations are still up.
But anyway, you need gifts, I provide gift guides. This month, I’ll be running a short series to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list before Advent starts. Today’s list is the most ambitious and I realize actually quite impossible so please don’t leave me a comment on how one year you bought someone something from this list and they died or what have you. This list is not meant to replace actual medical advice or common sense. Don’t buy the family member who’s allergic to paper a journal. (Click each picture to visit the item’s Etsy listing. Except for the awesome calendar artist, I am not in any way personally affiliated with any of these sellers. I just sincerely like what they’re selling.)
Next week’s guide will feature items for sale from your favorite bloggers (some of whom contributed their talents to Link-toberfest) so you can shop and support your friends, and my Black Friday guide will include gifts for all godchildren, godparents, Confirmation sponsors, CCD teachers, and anyone you might need to buy for that doesn’t want another plastic rosary in a genuine leatherette case.
1. Art Calendar – Everyone gets tons of free calendars every January; from your parish, your school, your local government, the funeral parlor down the street, etc. Sometimes you can use them, other times, they sit languishing in a junk drawer just in case you’re hankering a new ugly calendar sometime in July. Instead, gift someone a small calendar. It’s a great way to enjoy art without spending a ton of money on originals or prints and when the year is up, it’s easy trim off the calendar and frame the art if you so choose.
2. Knitted hat, scarf, gloves or mittens – Even if people already have these things, they wear out. Plus, I much prefer a high-quality hand-knitted scarf or hat over anything I could pick up at Target. People might not seek out hand-crafted winter wear on their own, so it is often warmly received. (Obviously, if the gift recipient lives in Hawaii, these suggestions might not work. Perhaps crochet swimwear would be more appropriate?)
3. A personalized blank notebook or tablet – So long as people can get over the initial fear of putting a mark on the page, notebooks and tablets are way useful. Sure, your family can rely on printer paper scraps and free promotional items that will remind them of that company’s poor customer service, or you can give them something nice to write their grocery list, to-do list or doodle on that they probably would never splurge on themselves.
4. A personalized pocket knife or multi-tool – Yes, even for you ladies! I carry a small Swiss Army knife with me and it’s been insanely useful. I don’t have a multi-tool yet, but given the number of impromptu wheelchair repairs and tweaks I’ve made through years, it would be a great addition to my handbag. Think of all the toys, gadgets and weird things that need repair at the most inopportune times. A pocket knife and multi-tool, even kept in the car, make total sense. Your gift recipient may look at you strange when they open the package, but the first time they’re able to fish a Lego out of a car CD slot with their gift, you’ll hear about it.
5 Tote bags – Most people rely on plastic grocery bags, or those cheap canvas bags any time they need to haul extra books, food, or kid’s stuff out of the house. Everyone loves cute tote bags, but most people just make do with the ugly ones they have on hand. Tell them to trash the dirty three-year-old bag from Whole Foods and totes enjoy a trendy tote. (No, seriously, you have to use the word ‘totes’. Otherwise, half the charm is lost.)
6. Pajamas – Everybody sleeps. Even if your friends don’t wear pajamas, they need something to keep near the bed in case a fire alarm goes off in the middle of the night.
7. A Mixtape – This is a handmade gift you’ll have to work on, but ohmyword is this not the coolest thing ever?!?!?? Put songs, pictures and videos on this mixtape USB drive.
What did I forget? You can see more of my suggestions on my Etsy board. Leave your favorite handmade gift suggestion in the comments below, then remember to link up your Quick Takes. Be sure to include a link back to this post so your readers can find the rest of the Seven Quick Takes!