Like you, I enjoy giving wonderful, thoughtful gifts even more than I like receiving them. Here are some of the gifts I plan on giving this year; perhaps the best gifts you can give for Christmas. Maybe it will inspire some gift ideas for your loved ones. (Or not.)
Friends and family: NO PEEKING!!!
Before I get started, if you are in the market to buy your friends and family (or yourself) a house for Christmas or as a “Happy New Year” gift, please call me, John Conca, at 530-306-3494 and we can discuss your options. You may also want to browse listings on my website which is helpful for both home buyers and sellers.
The BEST Christmas Gifts You Can Give
1) Really COOL Techie Gifts
- Google Glass will be much appreciated. This is especially appropriate for the ones who don’t actually want to have to look at anything in real life. This way they’ll have the internet right in front of them, wherever they look. It’s like we’re one step closer to the future, just like in the movies. Certainly better than the hunched over, head down look everyone gets on our smart phones. Perfect Segway.
- Smart phones! Like the Google Glass, I have no problem giving gifts that require, sometimes seemingly unrealistic, monthly service fees. It helps keep people ambitious and always striving for higher goals in their industry. Am I worried that those recipients will grow dependent on their smartphones and keep their entire list of contacts and every precious photo on their device and then lose it or drop it and break it in 6 months causing high levels of anxiety and loss? No, again, I’m teaching them personal responsibility to have them deal with these possibilities when they accept the gift. They could always trade it in for a typewriter and phonebook if they don’t feel they can handle the responsibility of the best gift ever.
- Cassette tapes and VHS tapes. These are SO AFFORDABLE!!!!! You can usually find these at discount stores for around $3 each so they’ll fit any budget. They’re so affordable you don’t even have to know their favorite music genre, just get them an assortment of classical, hip-hop, heavy metal, jazz, country, and techno. Who wouldn’t love that?!
- A Romantic Mix-tape of the best songs that come on the radio within a span of several hours. I know my wife will love these songs, and it’s such a thoughtful gift. I don’t think she’ll mind that the beginning and end of each song is cut off or has snippets of the radio D.J. talking. I spent so much time on it thinking of her all the while.
- A mouse pad for the one I know has all the best techie toys already. I’m sure they burn right through those mouse pads using that thing they were bragging about last year…what’s it called again? I want to say…tablet?
- Socks, underwear, scarves, snow boots, flip-flops (for next summer)…no one wants to have to think about these things throughout the year. It’s the best gift because now they’re all stocked up and can focus on other things! I don’t worry about sizes, giving one specific size might make them feel locked in to their current image. Why not let them feel like they have the flexibility to gain or lose a few pounds by getting them a range of sizes.
- Luxuriously soft cashmere sweaters with fun, festive Christmas designs embroidered on the front are always well received. Who says it’s not practical for the whole year? You can look forward to Christmas and get everyone else in the mood to plan their gift lists early when you wear your Christmas wreath sweater on a snowy February day or on the lake one chilly morning in May.
- Nothing says “I think you’re great” like the gift of a unitard. It shows that you accept them and want them to be comfortable with expressive motion in any setting.
- For those with outgoing personalities, you can never fail with a t-shirt that has a bikini printed on it. Trust me. Smiles all around!
Gifts For The Home
- I have a friend who doesn’t eat bread. No grains of any kind. I think that’s a little strange and possibly unhealthy, so I’m going to try to encourage her to branch out and appreciate America’s culinary staple with this useful, iconic appliance: an Oster 2-slice bread toaster. She will be so appreciative when she discovers the joy of toasted bread!
- A set of musical blinking elves for the front lawn. These are so much fun. The songs they sing are in that chipmunk voice. Beats light up deer any day!
- Fruitcake! I love the kind my grandma made, but I don’t have the time to put all of that together. Luckily they sell them in tiny loaves at the grocery store. They’re so colorful, it puts me right in the Christmas spirit. Since they’re so small I make sure to buy at least 4 for each recipient.
Self Help Helpers
- I know a lot of people worry about gaining weight around the holidays. I don’t really think about that kind of thing, but I like to be helpful so whenever I buy or send food-gifts I make sure it’s low-fat or low-calorie. I want people to enjoy the gifts I give and not have to worry about their health.
- Gym memberships are always a thoughtful gift. After the holidays most people are ready to get back in shape. Some years, if I’m on a tight budget, I set my friends up on the deals where you get the first few months for free. They can always cancel before it starts charging them if they don’t want to continue.
- Ladies like to receive special cosmetic products. I like to take care of those items that people don’t really look forward to buying for themselves. I know women like picking their own favorite makeup colors and perfumes so I just stick to getting them the acne treatment products or the wrinkle cream I think they might use. Saves them the hassle.
- Self-help books are a favorite of mine! Especially when someone needs a little nudge in a better direction. I think helping someone help themselves is one of the best gifts you can give.
- My daughter wants a pet bunny for Christmas. I’ve had bunnies before and they are stinky and not all that friendly, plus we already have a dog and two cats. I’m getting her a pet rock. So much more practical. I’m even saving her the trouble and naming it for her since it always takes kids so long to decide on a name for a pet. What do you think? Fluffy?
- Sometimes I need a little help determining someone’s mood before deciding whether or not to talk to them so I’m giving mood rings to the people I communicate with most often. I know it’s kind of a cheap gift, so I’ll make the extra effort and get ahold of some Tiffany ring boxes to dress it up for Christmas so they’re not disappointed.
- Princess Leia ear muffs. I mean, it speaks for itself, doesn’t it? It’s practical and great for any fan of Star Wars.
- For all my relatives under the age of 16 I’m getting stuffed snowman that sings “Frosty The Snowman”. Kids love stuffed animals.
- I have a niece that’s about 17 and she dresses pretty dark and seems pretty gloomy. I’m going to give her a bedazzler so she can channel her creativity into brightening her wardrobe which will probably cheer her right up.
- Big Mouth Billy Bass has remained a favorite gift of mine to give out. It’s a classic!
Words of Caution
I’ve learned a few things in my many many years of gift giving and to spare you the pain of having to learn them yourself, I thought I’d share them with you here:
- One-way plane tickets are expensive AND will probably be taken the wrong way when given to a family member with whom you have difficult relationship. Even if you try to explain you wanted to help them with the expense of holiday travel, they’ll take it to mean you want them to go away and not come back. Especially if your families all live nearby.
- If someone gives you a gift you don’t particularly like, such as a Christmas ornament that is better suited to their tastes, it’s really not as well-received as you’d think to give it back to them the following year.
- I once received a summer sausage, cheese spread,, and crackers gift from a competitive realtor across town. I looked over the package and there was some evidence that a needle had been poked into it and I thought it was possible that he may have injected it with poison (he’s very competitive). I went back and forth on what to do and finally, the next year, I just dusted it off and sent it back to him with a bow. I figured if it was poison, he’d know it didn’t work and I’m still alive and if it wasn’t poisoned then he’d get to enjoy the lovely food gift this year. Well, good news, it wasn’t poisoned. Originally. He did spend the New Year in the hospital with severe food poisoning. Who knew those things could go bad?
Merry Christmas, my friends. I hope you got a good laugh out of that. Thank you to the following not-so-nice-Christmas-gift-idea Elves for your especially creative ideas: Amber Abeyta, Tony Pattius, Kris McAninch, Lana Noble, Seth Yokley, Antonio Conca, Alex Nyc and Melissa Nyc.
Have any other great Christmas gift ideas? Any major stinkers? Please tell me about them in the comments.
Thanks so much for stopping by! If I didn’t completely scare you off and you think you might be looking to buy or sell a home in the coming year please contact me, John Conca, at 530-306-3494, visit my website and follow my blog (at the top of the page) for updates on local events, timely home maintenance tips, real estate news and advice for home buyers and sellers.