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Do you need to purchase a gift for the person who has it all? Are you trying to avoid the crush of busy stores? Or maybe you aren’t great at cyber shopping? If one of these describes you or you’re just intrigued, let’s look at a list of “Outside the Box” ideas for gifts this year.

  • Custom Photo Book – Put photos from the past year, a vacation, family events, or even family pictures over time in a custom book you design. These are available online or from pharmacy photo departments. This is a great gift for older family members who don’t really need anything and who perhaps aren’t as involved with social media. ($10 – $25)Bag of gifts
  • Make a Donation in their Name – Think about what really matters to your friend or family member – shelter pets, the local school, their church, the pee wee football program, cancer prevention/treatment, or a youth organization like 4-H or Scouts. Make a donation in their honor to sponsor a future event.
  • Pass on a Family Heirloom – Do you have cookbooks that belonged to Grandma or Grandpa’s military records? Often family or friends would like to have gifts of these items – and you as the giver can make sure they go to someone who really appreciates them.
  • Give the Gift of a Special Day – Present a certificate describing a day at the beach, zoo, water park, Geocaching, or learning to make their favorite cookies. You can pay the fee for you both to attend a sip and paint night at a craft center or some other activity they will enjoy.
  • Make Your Own Coupon Book – Present a coupon book with things your spouse, child, friend, or parent will like. It might include: a lawn mowing, a favorite meal, a back rub, control of the radio station in the car for the weekend, a trip to the ice cream shop, free babysitting or dog walking, a car wash, movie night, game night, nature walk, or a date night (even children enjoy this with just mom or dad).
  • Give a Game – Give the gift of a new game (or classic) with a package of local popcorn or some mini prizes. Play the game together over the holiday. (Both sides of my family do this and it is a great way to cut the kids’ screen time and it promises lots of laughs).

We can’t wait to hear unique gift ideas you have tried, so be sure to comment below with ideas you would like to share. While you try to think of an “Outside the Box” gift idea this year – remember that the gift of our presence just might mean more to your family and friends than the gift of presents.

Sources:

University of Arkansas Research and Extension – https://www.uaex.edu/health-living/personal-finance/Think%20Outside%20the%20Gift%20Box.pdf.

Iowa State University, Extension and Outreach – https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/scienceofparenting/tag/traditions/.

 

Writer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Reviewer: Misty Harmon. Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County.

 

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