This week's IFB Project is to make a gift guide which stands out. I thought for a while about what I could do to make something different, and eventually came up with this: things which you can't exactly wrap up and hand over, but which make great gifts nonetheless. Some of these work as gifts on their own and others work in tandem with physical objects which you can make part of the experience. It's also a mix of ones which will cost you absolutely nothing or very little and ones which will probably be more expensive than a traditional gift.
1. Promise them a romantic home-cooked dinner
Obviously this can be one for your other half, but you don't have to be romantically involved with someone to enjoy a candle-lit dinner for two. They are a great way to catch up without any of the stress of finding a table at a restaurant and with the extra comfort of cooking your own food. Even if you're not an expert chef, there are so many simple recipes out there - I find Italian food to be particularly simple and delicious.
2. Write them a song, poem or short story
3. Take them on a tour of the area
Works especially well for friends visiting from somewhere else over the holidays, but I do think it's always possible to put a new twist on places you've both been countless times. Perhaps seek out the nicest architecture, or explore those side-streets you never really go down. If you live somewhere with an interesting literary history, you could take them on a tour of the literary sites then gift them a book at the end. In Winchester, where I live, there's even a website about the city's literary links, which is helpful!
4. Book tickets to their favourite play/a play with their favourite actor in
It doesn't have to take place around Christmas, in fact it could be months away, but they will be thankful for it and perhaps even enjoy the anticipation. The point is, an experience they won't forget is worth so much more than most physical gifts. Just make sure you reserve the date in their diary well ahead of schedule.
5. Buy them a web address
Know someone who has recently started a blog? Think that it has the potential to become somewhat of a success? Buying somone their own URL is simple to do but is a really thoughtful gesture.
P.S. Thanks Matt
6. Offer free use of your special skill
Web design, rigging electricals, styling, painting, fixing bikes, whatever you do, just offer to do it for free. It could be anything really, though preferably something that you wouldn't just do for them anyway because that's not much of a gift. This is a particularly good one for helping out people who have just moved into a new home, got a new job, had a baby etc. as it helps take some pressure off them.
7. Dedicate a blog post to them
This post is for Holly <3