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GIFT GUIDE: MEANINGFUL things to buy your friends, like EB did!

What kind of gift giver are YOU?! I was talking to my hUsBaNd about how the act of gift giving around the holidays is only meaningful/not superficial when you're picking gifts that have a little bit of thought behind them. Sure, you can use someone's wishlist, but there's a reason behind what you pick for them. Or, maybe you saw something that reminded you of them... you took notes sometime in the last year of something they could use or want... you had a special day that involved them and you want to commemorate it. There are lots of ways to make it more meaningful!

Over the last year, I've given some gifts that I'm pretty proud of, and will be hard to beat! Here are some ideas to get YOUR juices flowing, too!

First, the best... an illustration of my best friend and I at her wedding, and then at mine. You can choose generic tops/bottoms/hair etc, or get them to draw it for you on Etsy.

Crafting things always makes it more meaningful! I tend to use simple crafts for the in-laws and family members who will truly appreciate it. If you have a Cricut or Silhouette, here are some ideas for you that I've done in the past:

  • Frames with places they've lived, song lyrics, a quote, etc.
  • Candles! Get any candle, take off the label, and decorate it yourself!
  • Coasters are one of my favorite things to make because they're easy and I feel like people don't feel married to the same coasters forever
  • Shirts and sweatshirts
  • Ornaments

In my wedding gifts, I gave them t-shirts that had something that we were both fans of... someone got a beer shirt, someone had Dirty Dancing... Britney Spears, Forrest Gump... etc. I also gave them something that I loved, but I knew they could definitely use- a leather jacket. This is more of a "selfish" gift to some... but what I'm saying is- think of what you have in your life that you can't live without. Do they have it? Give it to them and explain how you're introducing them to something that you think could change their life! Another example of this is when I gave everyone in my family a sous vide last year because it changed my cooking life. The weeks following, they were all sending photos of what they were making and how impressed they were!

Elizabethany + Justin

Photo: Michael Freas

Some final ideas for you that I've done [and wish I could do all of the time but I guess people expect variety]:

  • Photo puzzle on Shutterfly [or a number of other places]
  • Shoedazzle shoes [I have extra credits, and they're SO CHEAP during the holidays, that I buy 1-2 pairs for everyone. Something that has a little extra flare to what they'd normally buy, but within their style]
  • Specially made items from Chestnut and Home. Even if you're not making it, it still counts as homemade, special, and supporting small businesses!
  • ANY kind of experience. Sure, some people need things.. but giving someone a set thing to do, with you or whoever they love most... is there anything better?! Just make sure it's not an "IOU this special day" without a planned date.... because then it'll never actually happen if you're anything like us.

So, that's what I've got for you! If you have any ideas for meaningful gifts to share with everyone, or at least just me, holler!

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