14 Unique Gifts They’ll Remember This Holiday Season

The lead up to the holiday season can be difficult. It never seems like you have that many family members, until the time comes to make a shopping list for all your holiday presents. Then the number of gifts that you have to coordinate and buy can be overwhelming. Don’t fall into the trap of buying your gifts from those tempting end-of-aisle displays!

This holiday season, shop smarter, and spend your money on things that your friends and family will actually appreciate. Here are a few unique gifts ideas to start you off – hopefully, they’ll inspire a whole new approach to gift giving.

14. Enroll Them in a Class

The gift of life-long learning is appreciated by everyone, from young children to older adults. The next time you’re struggling to come up with a gift idea, give them a gift certificate for an interesting new class. This can be anything from sushi-making at the local grocery store to a more involved technical class if they have a skill that they’re already developing.

This is a great gift idea for kids. Between music lessons, sports, and other activities, parents often find their budget stretched pretty thin and the gift of a year’s worth of lessons will always be extremely welcome.

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13. A Membership to a Gallery or Museum

Another gift that will help facilitate life-long learning is a membership to a local museum or gallery. There are always new exhibits rotating through galleries and museums, and a visit to one of these institutions tends to be pricey. A membership allows unlimited visits every year, plus there are often special events that are curated for members only.

In addition to buying a gift that will actually get used, you can also feel good about supporting a local arts and heritage organization in a time when arts funding is dwindling more than ever.

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12. A Monthly Subscription Service

A great gift is something that will get used frequently, but generally tends to be more indulgent or luxurious than people would spend their own money on. A monthly subscription service like Birchbox, Barkbox, Book of the Month, or Rocksbox allows your loved one to try an assortment of different products that are specifically catered to their interests without having to leave the house.

Everyone loves a monthly surprise! All you have to do is find the one that’s right for them, sign them up, and wait for them to receive their box every month.

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11. A Magazine Subscription

When we think of magazines these days, we mostly think of the sad, 1990s-era magazines found in the waiting room of our doctor’s office, or the glossy celebrity gossip rags that cover the checkout aisle of our local grocery store. What a lot of people don’t realize is that there are still a huge variety of excellent magazine publications out there – think Wonderland for pop culture fans, Southern Living for homemakers, or Anorak, a hip kid’s magazine. All of these magazines are desperate for regular subscribers – support good journalism today by buying a year’s worth of excellent reading for your friends and family.

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10. A Distillery Tour

Another neat gift idea is a distillery tour for a tasting of a loved one’s favorite spirit. Visiting a distillery in person allows a deeper understanding of what goes into making their favorite drink.

Whatever spirit they’re into, there are tons of options locally for distillery tours, or you could splurge and buy them a tour and tasting at one of the country’s most famous distilleries, like Jim Beam in Kentucky or the George Washington Distillery in Mt. Vernon, Virginia, which is a recreation of a distillery once owned and operated by George Washington.

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9. A Personalized Cocktail

Another booze-focused idea for the culinary masterminds on your gift list is a personalized cocktail. Either you can make up the cocktail yourself, and provide them with a recipe and ingredients, or you can find an interesting cocktail online and tweak it to their taste. The best way to give this gift is to age their cocktail in a barrel before gifting.

Barrel-aging cocktails gives them a depth of flavor that’s impossible to replicate otherwise. Just make sure you use 100-proof spirits for barrel aging. Some cocktails that age really well in barrels are the Manhattan, Mai Tai, or Negroni.

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8. A Donation

A really great way to honor someone through your gift is to donate money on their behalf to a charitable organization. There are so many excellent organizations out there doing truly necessary work, and there’s never a shortage of places where your money is needed. The best way to give on someone’s behalf is to find an organization that matches their interests. If they’re an artist, give to an arts-focused charity like Arts Corps or Americans for the Arts, or if they’re a health professional, donate to Doctors Without Borders.

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7. A Night at a Hotel

A night away from home at a hotel, even if it’s a hotel in their home city, is a great present for both the couples and singletons on your list. A night at a hotel is definitely something that they would never buy for themselves. It’s an excuse to indulge in breakfast in bed, and gives them an opportunity to explore a different area of their home city. Plus, a day free from chores is always welcome! If you’re feeling super generous, put your card on the account and give them free rein of both room service and the mini-bar!

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6. Luxurious Bedding

One way to give someone the gift of luxurious comfort is to give them high-quality bedding. Focus on quality materials like breathable cotton, crisp linen, and whisper-soft silk. If you’re on a budget, pick out some new pillowcases, but if you’re willing to go all-out, you can buy them a brand-new matching sheet set.

There are plenty of online companies now that manufacture amazingly comfortable bedding at a fraction of the cost of store brands. Check out Brooklinen, John Lewis, or Parachute. Many of these sites offer free shipping.

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5. A Technology Crash Course

One holiday gift that you can give a technologically-challenged person in your life is a technology crash course. Hire an IT specialist to come to their home and work with them so that they feel more comfortable with technology. Even if they think they’re up to date on the latest devices, there’s always more to learn.

A few sessions with an IT professional won’t be too hard on your wallet, and the skills that it will give to your loved one will be invaluable. Plus, they can use their knowledge to streamline their technology so that it works better for them.

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4. Pay for a Post-Holiday House Cleaning

This practical gift will be a lifesaver for anyone who looks under their tree and sees a pile of dead needles, discarded wrapping paper, and half-eaten candy canes. This year, give your loved one the gift of a clean home by buying them a gift certificate for a local cleaning company. Better yet schedule it when you know they’ll be away, so they return to a fresh and tidy home.

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3. Tickets to a Live Show

Seeing a live show, whether it’s their favorite musician or a play put on by a local theater troupe, is a great gift because it’s a memorable experience and gives them an exciting night out. The thrill of seeing live performers is something that Netflix and TV just can’t duplicate.

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2. Artwork

Artwork is a great gift idea, provided you have a good sense of your loved one’s style. Don’t get them something that you aren’t sure they’ll like. In order to purchase a piece of art that they’ll love, you should first take stock of what else is hanging in their home. Check out their furniture and other home accessories, then pick something that fits in with their style.

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1. A Homemade Gift

When in doubt, a homemade gift will always bring a smile to your loved one’s face. It doesn’t have to be elaborate – a tray of their favorite cookies, a hand-knit scarf, or another fun DIY project that you’ve picked out especially for them will suffice. Spending your time making something perfect just for them is the best way to say that they’ve been on your mind. Plus, it gives you a chance to flex your creative muscles!

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Dec 4, 2017