There’s definitely an art to gift giving (and receiving!). As a little girl, I remember the joy of the surprise of wondering what was in the colorfully wrapped boxes. Back then my sister and I made our gift wish list by using a black marker to circle toys in the Sears catalog. But, many times we received items that were a complete surprise. Sometimes, I’d be disappointed because it wasn’t on my list, but I also discovered that usually those gifts were quite nice despite being outside of my interests and I learned to like them.
These days, it seems like a check or gift card has replaced a thoughtful gift. For me, I want to unwrap something that I know the giver spent time considering and chose to give me because they wanted to. Usually, it’s a representation of something that made them think of me—and that’s special. Being a good receiver means going beyond my initial self-centered impressions to consider that this person thought of me and wanted to gift this to me. At that point, the gift moves beyond that of an object to possess meaning.
As part of gift giving, I like to share with others those products and services that I’ve found to be enjoyable. As such, I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the items that I’ve either discovered this year that I especially like or those things I use often and would recommend to anyone. So, here it goes…a list of 16 gift ideas that may expand your horizons or stir up ideas when it’s time to give a gift (or even for your personal use!).
16 UNEXPECTED GIFT IDEAS (or not)
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- By Yadibeth hair care products. Made by a friend, I initially ordered to support her new business and have since reordered because I love the Leave-In Miracle Booster and the Nourishing Hair Oil Shine Drops. Shop her small business here.
- Gracelaced by Ruth Chou Simons. A book was recently given to me that I’ve deeply enjoyed. Full of creativity and meditations from scripture. Not to mention that it is interactive with prompts and places to draw or paint. Shop Gracelace here*
- Silver Coins (Talents). In addition to collecting for myself, I’ve now started giving real troy-ounce silver talents as gifts to children. Last year, I gave my son silver for Christmas. Think of it as a solid investment (and they are still quite affordable at the time of this writing). There are many places to acquire physical silver. Personally, I get my silver talents from Kingdom Talents. Order your silver or gold from Kingdom Talents here.
- Perbelle Cream. This is one of those products purchased from a social media ad that I actually really, really like. Lightweight, has good SPF, and evens out my skin tone. Did I mention that I REALLY like it? Shop Perbelle Cream here (Get $10 off with this link).
- LaCie Hard drives. After losing personal photos and work a few years ago, I’ve learned to use external hard drives. After trying a few, I’ve settled on the LaCie Rugged External Hard Drives. I move around quite a bit, switching between computers, and working in various locations. These brightly colored drives hold up wonderfully. I have a drive for each business. Shop LaCie Hard Drive here*
- Vintage Typewriters. Okay, okay. I know I’m biased being a vintage typewriter business owner, but it is the most profitable business I’ve ever had because vintage typewriters are, well…awesome! I highly recommend them for young writers, the curious, and the avid writer. They bring delight and a bit of fun. Even better, distraction-free writing! www.JotAndTittleTypewriters.com
- The God of the Garden by Andrew Peterson. My favorite book I read this year. Not what you expect. I devoured it in a weekend. Order your copy here*
- Celtic Films by Independent filmmaker, Rebecca Friedlander. Wow. These are so good. She has three of them. If you love history and docu-dramas, you’ll be delighted with these films! Order a DVD, Digital, or Stream here.
- Susan Allard Painting Classes. If you’ve read my magazines, you know that during the production of Issue No. 6: By Hand, I got the painting bug (I still paint nearly every day). I purchased many different courses but Susan Allard is, by far, the best instructor I’ve found for brand-new beginners. They’re affordable (she has sales all the time) and so easy to follow along. WARNING: can be addictive. Sign up for classes here.
- Warrior Notes School of Ministry. If you hunger for spiritual understanding by studying the Word of God, these are the best Bible courses, in my opinion. You can take them individually for your own personal study, or, if you want a degree, can pursue an Associate through Doctorate degree at your own pace. I am always working through one of the courses by Dr. Kevin Zadai. What a great way to bring healing to your soul and change a life by gifting classes or taking them yourself. I recommend starting with HOW TO STUDY EFFECTIVELY but they have many, many courses! Check them out here.
- Canvas Ring Light. I saw an artist use this and it took me two days to find it online! Seriously, the best purchase I made this year for my video and artwork. Shop Canvas Lights here.
- Symphony or Concert Tickets. Going to an event like a symphony, play, or concert often slips our mind until after the fact. They are such a delight to attend to and engages all our senses without the blue glare and impersonality of a screen. So plan now by searching for upcoming events and buy tickets early. Be sure to search at local colleges and schools, as as professional venues. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll find!
- Einkorn Wheat. Say what? Yep. So many people have issues with wheat but this is an Ancient Grain and many who struggle with sensitivities can tolerate this ancient wheat. I had my mom buy me large bags of wheat berries for Christmas last year. You can get them as berries or already ground. I store them in the freezer and make yummy bread and crackers throughout the year. Someone will appreciate this. www.einkorn.com
- Puzzles. I’ve loved puzzles since I was a child. I have stacks and stacks of them. They’re a heap of fun and involves something other than a screen or headphones. Great idea for date nights or to decompress after a long day or week. My favorite brand is White Mountain Puzzles.
- Laurel Denise Planner. I’ve tried so many planners for my businesses. I have a hundred things happening at once, along with notes from meetings, ideas, and tasks. I just ordered mine last month and so far, this is the only planner that can handle me. So it gets two-thumbs up! Shop her planners here.
- Paola Lane Magazine. Of course I must include Paola Lane in this list! Send someone a copy of our magazine or buy a subscription. A magazine is like a living book. You don’t just read it once, it’s meant to be used and read over and over. Also, they look so beautiful on your table in-between all the perusing! Check out our Christmas Bundles or Gift Subscription.
I hope you found this to be fun! Also, be sure to visit my LAURA’S PICKS page where I keep a list of those products and services I find useful in business and my personal life!