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Posted by: notanymore ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 11:17AM

Loved reading everyone's worst gifts, so what are the best gifts to give. Every year we do a $30 family gift exchange & it can be so stressful looking for something for $30 that anyone would love. Does anyone have any great ideas?

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Posted by: Lethbridge Reprobate ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 07:08PM

$30 gift card to a restaurant....everybody likes to go out to dinner.

Ron Burr

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Posted by: matt ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 07:14PM

Check out bargain book section at Amazon, and buy them $30 worth of book you think they'll love.

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Posted by: MJ ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 07:25PM

There is no way to buy a generic gift that will be good for everyone unless you do something like a Visa gift card. Even if you get a gift card to a restaurant it may be to one the receiver does not like.

I generally don't but much effort into such exchanges for just that reason.

I might do something like 2 or 4 mugs and an assortment of premium cocos.

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Posted by: Serendiptiyhappens ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 07:31PM

for $30.00 you could get a really fabulous vase on clearance at an outlet store or online.

Something unique like a pink Himalayan salt block or a beautiful wood salad serving bowl also run around 30 bucks and it's something that most people don't have and if they do, they can always use a second one!

I know a lot of people say gift certificate, but I think that it's so much more exciting to give gifts with a bit of personality.

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Posted by: CA girl ( )
Date: November 03, 2012 08:40PM

Food gift baskets are good if you know what they like. My FIL likes ice cream so a basket of interesting, original ice cream toppings would be good for him. My daughter is lactose-intolerant so it wouldn't work for her. One year, my mom sent my in-laws, who lived in the orient for several years, a basket of all kinds of different rice and they loved it. My MIL sends boxes of mixed nuts to my mom who has a ton of food allergies but weirdly, is OK with all kinds of nuts.

Anyway, food is good because at least it gets used, unlike some other gifts. But it has to be something the person is known to like. And it has to be NICE - not a case of PB and J or a #10 can of dehydrated broccoli. If you think about it though, you probably know at least one favorite food for each family member so it isn't as hard as it sounds.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/03/2012 08:41PM by CA girl.

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Posted by: quebec ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 11:39AM

If you can't find anything and decide to use a gift card you can put emphasis on the presentation.

I once gave a gift card from Dynamite Boutique to my SIL (one of her favorite shopping boutique). And to put a bit of character to the gift, I transformed small rounded wooden sticks into dynamite with colored paper and somekind of strings. Then I placed them in the kind of pile that you often see in movies.

She was happy with the card but truth be told I think she liked the presentation even more. She couldn't stop talking about how the presentation amazed her.

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Posted by: twojedis ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 11:46AM

I agree about gift baskets. It's fun to receive a basket full of goodies, maybe a movie with treats, soda, and popcorn, a chocolate lovers, beach goers, just pick a theme. I'm sure you can find ideas online. To build the basket, you fold or roll up cardboard inside to make everything the right height, then cover it with tissue paper. A cellophane wrap and bow makes it professional.

I also like the gift card idea but presented creatively. Fabulous suggestion.

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Posted by: PinkPoodle ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 12:14PM

Are they Mos or NO? If not, I have seen scratch off lottery tickets go over well at gift exchanges. Of course, the mormons would not appreciate that kind of gift.

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Posted by: Journey ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 12:48PM

A gift card for movie tickets is good. Prices are so high these days, that a lot of people just want to wait for it to come out on DVD. Having prepaid tickets would make me more likely to get out and see a movie in a theater.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 01:39PM

Pretty napkins, a nice serving piece or holiday spreaders could be included.

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Posted by: Lily not logged in ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 08:01PM

I have a few go to gifts I keep in my back pocket.

Back when the standard white elephant gift was about $10 I would give Far Side tear away calanders. Those always got traded over and over and everyone wanted it.

A nice bottle of wine (when appropriate) can do the trick, as well.

Or godiva chocolates.

For $30, you could do some of the above, or just find something they really like. :)

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Posted by: ballzac ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 08:24PM

Here is the best I ever did. I am required to do Christmas at my inlaws and have resigned myself to that fact. The majority of them are TBC(Catholic) and very full of themselves. Always talking religion yet very hypocritical on certain things. Anyways, I had gotten a bunch of crap one year for opting out of the gift exchange($100 these people are crazy). So the following year I begrudgingly agreed and low and behold I get my MIL's name(the most uptight, holier then thou of the bunch).

So I thought long and hard and I came up with the most self righteous gift I could think of, to blow my own horn and passive-aggressively allude to how I despise the commercialization of Christmas (which I have made my opinion known on several occasions). So, I took a picture of someone and put it in a card. On Christmas evening when my MIL opens it she sees a picture of some grungy looking middle aged man. Then I give her another card and it's a picture of the same guy, after a clean shave, haircut, and with nice threads. I proceed to tell MIL how I took the $100, found a homeless guy, bought him a room for the night($45), bought him a haircut($15), bought him some food($20) and bought him some clothes($50ish). I closed the story by telling my MIL that my gift to her, was helping someone who was truly in need.

Out of the 25 or so adults there 90% thought that was the coolest gift ever(including my MIL), but my sister in law made some bitch fit which I found hilarious because she was trying to tell me I didn't follow the rules, blah blah blah...

So I got to enjoy doing something that was truly in "the spirit of giving" and piss off another in-law which I take additional pleasure from doing. All in all, the best Christmas ever.

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Posted by: notamormon ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 06:48PM

That was a truly great gift idea.

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Posted by: honestone ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 09:24PM

ballzac, impressive. I love what you did. Made my heart sing.

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Posted by: elfling_notloggedin ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 03:01PM

Ballzac, Kudos!

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Posted by: SusieQ#1 ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 08:06PM

Who doesn't like SEES Candy? (If you can get it, or something similar.)
Sometimes it's nice to get a gift of candy that you would not normally buy for yourself!

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Posted by: 2humble4u ( )
Date: November 05, 2012 08:50PM

Buy a Book of Mormon... best work of fiction I ever read, and it sure would make a nice addition to your fantasy collection!

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Posted by: wine country girl ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 10:50PM

Gift certificate to a local coffee roaster.

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Posted by: jiminycricket ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 11:21PM

I like SusieQ#1's idea of Sees Chocolate.

However if you want folks to have something unusual, order one of those giant 10 pound blocks of Guittard's milk chocolate. They're huge and heavy. There are different cocoa mixtures to chose from. I just priced them out, yikes. They're around $60 now at on-line stores. I paid $18 each six years ago at Trader Joe's. You could check at cake decorating supply companies etc. and get one much cheaper than on-line.

Watch 'em fight over it!

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Posted by: fluhist ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 11:32PM

Because I am older and a lot of the older people I give to have dietary restrictions etc, I try to find out what they use in their day to day life. For example I know of one lady who is allergic to all but one kind of soap. So I bought several bars (they wren't cheap) and did them up in a basket with a washer (facecloth American??) and some body lotion made by the same company, with cellophane and LOTS of ribbons. She LOVED it.

I also find food is great especially when older people are involved and can't afford some luxuries. BUT I have also given simple things like dishwashing liquid and washing up brushes and wiping cloths, because the cost of those ordinary everyday things add up, and if they don't have to buy them, they can buy themselves a treat. I am a GREAT decorator, so I agree with the whole presentation thing, it MAKES the gift and doesn't have to be expensive.

I alos love t make crafts, so often whoever is on my list will get my latest craft item, and NO ONE has even been anything but grateful.

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Posted by: madalice ( )
Date: September 19, 2013 12:12AM

Great idea!

Anything that is a little luxury to someone is always a hit.

It may be soap, wine, coffee, tea, a plush towel, or a kitchen gadget.

I sometimes give those graters that grate hard cheeses, along with a block of parmesan from Costco. People LOVE that.

Most people forget to treat themselves to some of the small things in life that they love. If you can find out what that is, you can't go wrong.

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Posted by: releve ( )
Date: September 18, 2013 11:52PM

Gift certificate to a car wash.

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Posted by: Levi ( )
Date: September 19, 2013 12:04AM

For $30 ish u can get a lot of fun stuff on ebay. Silly things like a sterling silver bookmark or sterling pen. Just a thought

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Posted by: madalice ( )
Date: September 19, 2013 12:13AM

Don't forget to check out ETSY. They have some fabulous handmade items that are unusual and wonderful gifts.

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Posted by: The StalkerDog™ ( )
Date: September 19, 2013 12:34AM Xmas. She found one shaped like a finger ("thumb drive") and another one like a gun for a gun nut, a teddy bear, etc. Anyone with a computer can use one!

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Posted by: reinventinggrace ( )
Date: September 19, 2013 01:11AM

How about some Polygamy Porter?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/19/2013 01:12AM by reinventinggrace.

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Posted by: elfling_notloggedin ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 03:04PM

Or 5-wives Vodka (yes, made in Utah)

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Posted by: Iuhyggt ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:12PM


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Posted by: wastedtime ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:20PM

A $20 dollar bill with a $10 dollar bill in an envelope.
You're welcome!

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Posted by: wastedtime ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:21PM

Gift cards are heavily promoted because a percentage of them are never redeemed. Pure profit the second it is sold. Why limit the gift recipient to what YOU think they would like? CASH!!!!!!!!

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Posted by: wondering ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:30PM

I received a gift card for the grocery store. It was great, I can get what I want and they knew where I shopped so it was great.

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Posted by: wastedtime ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:46PM

I agree. For instance, you can't go wrong with a gift card to a major retailer like Sam's Club, Costco, Walmart. You can buy gasoline, TP, whatever, to use it up. The problem is with gift cards for obscure retailers. I still have one from 4 years ago.

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Posted by: Alpiner ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:34PM

Mini LED Maglites are my go-to when I have no clue who might be getting things.

Cash, for better or worse, makes you look a little lazy. For $15, you can "share the light" at Christmas and give somebody something that is somewhat useful.

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Posted by: wastedtime ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:49PM

I wonder if it might be that the giver doesn't want you to know how much they spent. Wedding gifts are famous for that. Looks fancy. You return it and it cost 10 bucks.

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Posted by: paintingintheWIN ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 02:41PM

or a set of water drinkers with filtration systems in them (with pop out and replace) comes in a box from Costco, pop up drink tops- if they live with rather polluted water

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Posted by: Richard Foxe ( )
Date: December 20, 2013 03:21PM

Sometimes called "gifts given twice." Maybe these may seem to some like 'apologies for gifts,' but actually in these hard financial times, charities are big losers for seasonal giving. This is a great boost for them as well as a way to encourage others in being philanthropic.

The best gift is to help meet someone's need. If you don't know the needs of your particular recipient--or you don't even know yet who that recipient will be--at least charity gift cards will help meet somebody's needs.

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