Below, you will find my ideas for Christmas gifts. If you are looking for a gift for a specific person (e.g. your sweetheart), go to a relevant page in the RECOMMENDED section (e.g. anniversary).
Links to detailed gift descriptions are going to be added along with relevant blog posts. Nevertheless, I decided to present the full list of my suggestions for this year as soon as possible because preparing some of the gifts may take you a while.
- Short story with the recipient as the protagonist – A gift that doesn’t cost a dime, and gives a lot of pleasure. It may be presented by kids to their parents, but also to friends or a sweetheart. A similar idea that requires less talent for writing and more for visual arts is to create a photo comic.
- Photo calendar – Just like most photo gifts it’s a perfect present for grandparents. Especially if there are small children in the family, whose photos may adorn subsequent pages.
- Photobook – A slightly more time-consuming gift that I recommend especially when you have a memorable event to share. It will be a perfect gift for your relatives if you got married this year and have already received your official photos. A photobook will also make your parents and grandparents happy when you have small children, whose each year of life is worth recording.
- Personalised board game – A board game created from you from scratch, inspired by a well known board game or a slight modification of an existing game that will make it unique. Another example of such a personalisation is Jenga with texts on bricks.
- Theatre ticket – At first sight this gift doesn’t seem creative, but I believe you will change your mind after you read how my Santa Husband gives me my tickets.
- New skill – A gift that you may profit from at least as much as its recipient. While fulfilling someone’s dream of a violin-playing wife, a rapping grandfather or a ballet-dancing daughter, even for the sake of a single performance , you may acquire an entirely new skill!
- Poem – Some people write letters to Santa, which makes buying presents for them much easier. This shouldn’t prevent you from making them creative. A regular gift may be e.g. accompanied with a poem written by yourself.
- Photos from a dream journey – Instead of pondering on what you find a nice present, think of what would make another person happy. Even if you don’t feel very talented in a certain field, it is highly probable that the recipient will appreciate your efforts. That’s how I once came up with a creative gift for a visual artist.
- DIY lip balm – A self-made lip balm may be a perfect gift not only for women, but also for a man. The only thing you need to do is to make it appeal to him.
- Word cloud – I have already recommended it to you as a great anniversary gift. I believe, though, that it may also be given for Christmas. The word cloud may take the form of a bauble, a reindeer or someone’s initial. The words inside may be your best wishes or your associations with a given person.
- Coupons – An idea for a last minute gift, when you have no idea what regular gift could make someone happy or when you run out of means to buy one. Coupons are supposed to be cashed in the future, which may be a better time to sponsor a present. Moreover, they may offer something intangible that doesn’t require any expenditure on your part. These promises of favours and pleasures, also known as Valentine’s Day coupons, may also be given from children to parents and offer e.g. a delicious meal prepared by the offspring, house cleaning or a day without quarrels between siblings.
An absolute classic and my favourite children series, which I keep coming back to now and again. The book transports us to a magical land on the other side of a wardrobe in order to help Aslan, a lion and the Emperor’s son, to defeat the evil reigning over Narnia. Meanwhile, in an unobtrusive way, it familiarises the readers with the pillars of the Christian faith. ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ are a perfect gift for the First Communion, or for Christmas for children aged 5-12. You may present them with a teaser in the form of the first book: ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe‘ or with the entire series (preferably as separate slim books and not a single weighty tome with small letters, which may discourage young readers). Some of the books have also been filmed.
‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’
A must-have for all Harry Potter fans. It is the text of a theatre play written by Jack Thorne and approved by J.K. Rowling. The new adventures take place 19 years after the end of the last ‘Harry Potter’ book, and feature Harry’s son Albus. ‘The Cursed Child’ will undoubtedly delight both teenagers, who know Hogwart only from the movies, and the present-day twenty- and thirty-year-olds, who started reading the series long before all the books were published.
WASGIJ = extraordinary jigsaw puzzles
If your friends or relatives enjoy jigsaw puzzles, they will definitely fall in love with Wasgij: a puzzle concept where you don’t just recreate a picture printed on the box, but need to guess what a character from this picture is looking at, what happened before or after the presented scene took place. WASGIJ will also enthral all those who consider ordinary jigsaw too boring and would rather face a tougher intellectual challenge. We have already solved several of them and exchanged them with relatives and friends who received different WASGIJ puzzles from us.
Why is it a perfect gift idea for Her? For two reasons. Firstly, women love talking and can talk on the phone for hours. A wireless headphone reduces the negative impact of mobiles on the human body. Secondly, some of us would love to talk longer, but we can’t because we have to do the housework. With a wireless headphone you have your hands free to do other things while talking. I recommend this gift especially for young mothers, who spend long hours on walks with their child sleeping in a pram.
‘Time Traveller’s Wife’ by Audrey Niffenegger
A moving and amusing story of a charming Claire and Henry, who struggles with an unusual disorder: chronoimpairment. When they meet, Claire is 6, and Henry is 36. When they get married, Claire is 23, and Henry is 31. The book is a real page turner that is not easily forgotten (I have already read it twice). Its highly original plot and way of presenting events make it stand out among other remarkable love stories. And, what is more, it is rather little known, so there is a huge chance that your sister, girlfriend, mother or aunt haven’t heard of it yet.
Short stories by Eric Emmanuel Schmitt
The master of concise writing and one of my favourite authors speciaising in short stories and theatre plays. His most famous work ‘Oscar and the Lady in Pink’ is a very short story told in the form of letters to God written by a boy dying from cancer. It is definitely worth reading although other Schmitt’s works may be more suitable as presents. For people interested in spiritual matters (not necessarily Christians): The Cycle of the Invisible (encompassing Milarepa, Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Koran, Noah’s Child and Oscar and the Lady in Pink). For people who enjoy stories of love (not necessarily romances): collections of short stories ‘Concerto in Memory of an Angel’ and ‘Invisible Love’, as well as the theatre play ‘Enigma Variations’. Owing to their modest length and number of words per page, these books will appear inviting even to those people who would never be considered bookworms.
‘The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind’
This slim book on finances and how to organise them was the first that I read related to this topic, and I believe it was a good start. T. Harv Eker tries to convince his readers that we may all become rich if we change the way we think about money. The book includes real-life stories, proposals of actions to be taken, as well as practical advice as to how to plan our budget. Even if your friends or relatives are currently not interested in the topic, this book will definitely give them food for thought.