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Friday, May 04, 2007

Gifting Outside the Box: Unconventional Gift Ideas

a-picnic-cooler-on-wheelThe bridal shower blender, the baby shower sleepers, the boring birthday tie—giving these and similar such gifts is fine and certainly will be appreciated, but sometimes a certain person just calls for a gift with more pizzazz. The following gift ideas will inspire you and your recipient with their unusual nature making for a gift experience far more memorable and exciting.

Considering that baby shower gift, make your offering something as practical as clothing but with more stylish flair. The gift of a quilted kimono for a little girl is a sweet fashion statement you can offer in an Oriental food container (previously unused, of course). For a boy, an Oriental robe will be the perfect accompaniment for anyone’s little emperor.

A time capsule makes a fun birthday gift. Know someone born in the fifties? Fill their basket with vintage items from that era. With the online shopping and auction sites out there, you can find vintage baseball cards, dolls, clothing, books—even candy (some sites specialize in old candy—still fresh but sold in hard to find places)!

Of course, vintage gifts are always a unique alternative to something brand new. Check out online auction sites for vintage celluloid ring boxes, book, music box, artwork, handbag, furniture, etc…

Clocks are not the most inspired of gifts, but giving a clock with a specially designed face can be great fun. From Betty Boop to Mickey Mouse, clocks can be found to suit children’s rooms, kitchens, dens—any room of the house. Consider your recipients décor and choose accordingly.

Sometimes a practical gift like a set of towels can be given added charm simply by having them monogrammed. Monograms personalize the gifts and bring them up to a more sophisticated level. Everything from dishes to handkerchiefs can be given a monogram. Even golf balls!

Giving a gift to someone at the office can be tricky. While there’s always the gift of a fine pen, consider something less usual like a designer glass paperweight or a personalized mug in a basket filled with a large sampling of teas.

The gift of a book may not seem extraordinary, but a book bag filled with books you’ve collected for them can be a thoughtful assortment. If they enjoy cooking, fill your bag with unique titles like The Truckstop Cookbook or the Exboyfriend Cookbook. If they prefer fine literature, amass some fine leather editions or vintage editions of their favorite classics.

Gifts that befit a person’s heritage or nationality will also be considered very thoughtful. From an Eiffel Tower candleholder to a London Bridge photo frame, these landmark items make an ordinary item into something quite unique. Consider an Egyptian chess set, an Irish woolen sweater, Russian nesting dolls, Venetian glass vase, an English china teapot, a Chinese lacquer jewel chest, a Peruvian poncho, a Japanese sake set and so forth.

Other out-of-the-ordinary gift ideas include: perfume bottle, table top fountain, personalized stationary, museum passes, day spa passes, gourmet food basket, exotic plant, singing bowls, aromatherapy baskets, beverage chiller (with USB cable), gemstone family tree, photo quilt, cashmere throw, herbal wreath, and so much more. Use your imagination to transform an ordinary gift into something both useful and unique.

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