YOU Magazine - November 2007 - Making a List... Unique Gift Ideas for the Holidays
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YOU Magazine
Kathleen Petty     Kathleen Petty
AVP/Sr Mortgage Originator
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
Phone: (907)261-3458 Cell: 223-4440
Fax: (907)929-6699
License: NMLS Unique Identifier #203077
Alaska USA Mortgage AK#157293
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Making a List...
Unique Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Making a List... - Unique Gift Ideas for the Holidays

Shopping for the people who are close to you isn't very difficult. Most folks have at least one passion in their lives that lends itself to several thoughtful gift ideas. The problem occurs when you need a gift for someone you don't know so well. A business associate, a party host or hostess, a spouse's boss, even your mailman could fall into this category. If the thought of finding the "perfect" gift for such a person has you down, do not fear. YOU Magazine is here to help.

The Gift of Pampering
We all work hard, so when it comes to finding a token that will be much appreciated, look no further than the gift of pampering. The best part – it's a gift that works for both men and women, and it can fit into almost any budget.

A prepaid manicure and pedicure is a great gift for almost any female. And for the guys, how about a professional shave? Straight razor shaves are quite en vogue and can be procured anywhere from barbershops to high-end salons.

For a little more money, a prepaid massage is a great way to go. By setting aside an hour, the beneficiary of this gift can experience incredible relaxation, while also allowing their overworked muscles to receive a little TLC.

You can take this idea to an even higher level by prepaying for an entire day at the spa. You must know that such a gift will cost you, but it carries an awesome amount of bang for your buck. A spa day usually involves multiple treatments, including any of the various types of massages and skin care applications. Most often, the recipient also has access to pools, saunas, Jacuzzis, and steam rooms. Some spas may even serve lunch. Whatever day package you decide on, it is sure to be a great gift for anyone.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Instead of giving a person just one gift, what if you gave them one gift every month for an entire year? This sentiment can be a reality if you utilize any of the several hundred gift-of-the-month clubs that can be found online.

From potato chips and bacon, to houseplants and neckties, if it's a product that can be shipped, you can find an online club that features it as a gift-of-the-month. These gifts range in price depending on the product, with many of them being appropriate for both men and women. A great way to limit the money you spend is to purchase a 3- or 6-month membership, rather than an entire year.

For a glimpse at the potential options, you can log onto various sites that feature many different clubs.,, and are just three examples of this type of site.

For anyone purchasing a gift-of-the-month-club membership for a business associate, there is an added perk. If you haven't already guessed, we're talking about a monthly reminder that the recipient is an appreciated person. Every time a package arrives at their doorstep, it will serve as a memento of the business relationship.

The Gift in a Basket
While they may seem passé, gift baskets are the ultimate in unique gifts. One reason is that a gift basket can include almost anything. The trick to making it great as well as unique is to find out the recipient's favorite hobby. Give the basket a personalized theme by filling it with items relating to the hobby. Here are a couple of examples.

Let's say the recipient is a golfer. Your gift basket could include golf balls, ball markers, wooden tees, gloves, a gift certificate for a free round of golf, a subscription to Golf Digest, instructional DVDs, collared golf shirts, and the list goes on.

If the recipient of your gift loves to cook, your choices for filling the basket are nearly endless. From food items to kitchen gadgets, almost anything goes. One neat idea is to choose one of your favorite family recipes. Instead of a basket, use either a large colander, stock pot, or baking dish, and fill it with all of the ingredients to make the dish. Write or print the recipe onto an index card, have it laminated, and include it as well. Items like table linens, potholders, and oven mitts are great for lining your culinary gift basket.

The Gift of Spirits
While discretion is required, a nice bottle of wine or a high-quality spirit can make a really great gift. Even if the recipient doesn't consume alcohol, they may still find it useful to have on hand. Quality wine and spirits can be utilized at dinner parties, holiday gatherings, or for entertaining guests. A host or hostess who does not partake may have a difficult time choosing a great bottle for such an occasion.

If you're not sure how the person feels about having alcohol in their home, a great alternative is a high-end bottle of olive oil. Not only is this a unique gift, there aren't too many people who don't enjoy this product. One online purveyor of high-quality Italian olive oil is, where you can find over 70 of Italy's finest artisan brands.

For anyone attending a gathering where alcohol is sure to be served, here is an "Absolut" showstopper gift:

Start by purchasing high-quality vodka, a brand that's good enough to be enjoyed straight up. You'll also need to purchase 1 half-gallon of milk (in a cardboard carton)

Pour the milk into a pitcher, and reserve it for another use. Thoroughly wash the inside of the milk carton. Place the vodka bottle inside and fill the carton 3-quarters full with tap water. Place it in your freezer, and allow it to freeze over night.

Bring your frozen vodka, along with a few bar towels, to the party. Before exiting your vehicle, rip off the cardboard carton. All that's left is to make your entrance holding a top-notch bottle of vodka, perfectly encased in a block of ice. Not only will this gift serve a useful purpose, it will instantly make you the life of the party. Talk about an icebreaker.

The Gift of Greenery
While freshly-cut flowers make for a very nice host or hostess gift, we feel that potted plants are even better. Cut flowers will quickly go south, while a good potted plant can last forever. Every time the recipient looks at their plant, they will most likely think of you.

A unique twist on this gift is a countertop herb garden. Nearly every kitchen or dining area can accommodate one, as they brighten and freshen up a room instantly. They are also utilitarian as the herbs can be used in cooking. A countertop herb planter is the perfect gift for someone who does not have a back yard, or for someone who is simply longing to have a garden.

The Gift of a Getaway
We know what you're thinking; we're going to suggest that you shell out big bucks to send someone on a vacation. Well, you're wrong. The editorial staff at YOU Magazine believes that you should give yourself and your family a vacation before you send anyone else on an expensive trip.

What we're talking about is a much more subtle gesture. How about purchasing a one-night stay at either a local hotel, or at a hotel that's within driving distance? For a reasonable amount of money, you will be giving someone the ability to go out for an evening and not return home. This allows the recipient to recharge their batteries, without having to completely rearrange their schedule.

Now that we've put our spin on the subject of unique holiday gifts, it's time to wrap it up. Get it? In all seriousness, the point we're trying to make here is that finding a great gift for a "hard to buy for" person is not about spending a lot of time or money. It's about thinking outside the box.

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