The first idea I turn to is to give them something they can use up. Something consume-able, such as:
- Wine, or baked goods, or specialty cheeses
- A nice meat bundle for the oven and grill
- Restaurant or theater gift cards
Sometimes, though, those ideas have all been used, and I want a new idea. In recent years, I have tried a different gift-giving approach for people I care about who already have much: instead of giving them something, I’ve given a gift to a charity in their name.
If I know of a charity they really care about, then that has been a good option. But another fun option has been to buy a certain farm animal for people in a third-world country. This is an option I’ve found through a reputable religious organization. They offer a catalog with gifts available at many different price levels: ten baby chicks are inexpensive; a cow is quite expensive (I’ve never bought a cow). One year I “gave” my parents a pair of goats. These goats went to a developing country where they were designed to enable a family to improve their economic well-being. In addition to farm animals, I’ve also seen the option to buy school materials for communities in need, or malaria nets or malaria medicine. Many options exist.
A third idea that I really like applies to children who have everything. Sometimes the best gift is a gift of savings – for college or other education after high school. When you put money aside for a child, you are giving them the gift of a future. This is especially valuable for children whose parents are unable to save for the child’s future. When you put money away for education, you are saying to the child “I believe in you. I believe you will do something excellent when you grow up.” You might also help the child (depending on his or her age) think about saving some of their own money too. Helping them learn to plan and dream and save for the future is a great gift to a child.
What gifts do you especially like to give?