Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Gifts - It's a Package Deal

I love the idea of care packages.  How fun is it to receive a mix of treats selected with "care" especially for you?  My mom would often send care packages when I was in college around different holidays or during finals week.  I have mailed packages to my sisters after a tough break-up, at the beginning of the school year, or simply as a surprise.  After gathering various things like magazines, candy, nail polish, lip gloss, a CD, tank top or fun undies, I just tossed everything in a box and shipped it off with a little note.

When it comes to birthdays, weddings, or holidays, I find joy in choosing items that are matched to the recipient.  Plus, with multiple items, I can tailor the size and value of the total package based on what I choose to include.  To start, I usually come up with a theme based in the person's interests.

For example, a friend of mine recently got married and among the gift ideas on her registry was a book embosser.  As a lover of books myself, and as a sentimental person who appreciates personalized gifts (especially when it comes to using a new "married" name), I decided that my gift would be built around this fun item.  I did a quick Google search and ordered the book embosser from a little company based in the suburbs of Chicago - it arrived a few days later.  Then I stopped by Borders to pick up a booklight (perfect for when one spouse wants to go to sleep while the other is caught up in a page-turner), a small collection of love poems, and a gift card good for a couple new books. *I just mailed this gift a couple days ago, so hopefully I don't ruin the surprise with this post...

For another example, a couple of years ago, I assembled a movie-themed gift for Scott's parents since they liked to watch movies together.  I filled a large basket with candy (the kinds that come in boxes like at the theater - Milk Duds, Twizzlers, Dots, etc), a 6-pack of old-fashioned Coca-Cola in mini bottles, different types of popcorn and a Blockbuster gift card (nowadays, it might make more sense to add some movie tickets or DVDs).

As we head into these last few days before Christmas, if you're still looking for a thoughtful and personal gift, consider what the recipient loves and build a gift around that theme.  What's most important is including items that the person will actually use!  Here are a few thought-starters:

* lip gloss
* nail polish
* set of makeup brushes
* hair accessories (headband, sparkly barrettes)
* perfume
* hair straightener or curling iron
* beauty/fashion magazine

* mug
* variety of coffee blends
* flavored powdered creamer
* Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift card

Cozy Relaxation
* blanket
* slippers
* candles
* tea
* soaps
* lotion

* wine
* nuts
* cheese
* chocolates
* appetizer plates

* cookbook
* utensils (wooden spoon, spatula, grater)
* mixing bowl or cutting board
* potholder/apron
* staple ingredients such as olive oil or spices
* homemade cookies, muffins, breads
* restaurant gift card (for those nights she/he doesn't want to cook!)

* iTunes gift card
* CDs
* headphones

* team jersey or hat
* tickets to a game
* baseball, golf ball, tennis balls

These ideas are only a start - let your imagination run wild!  What are you giving to friends and family this year?  What's on your own Christmas wish list?

And as a heads up, the blog might be a little quiet over the next couple weeks as I head home for several days to celebrate Christmas.  Hope you all have a wonderful holiday and get a chance to relax and celebrate the season!


  1. Wow! We were definitely thinking the exact same thing!

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