First, are all wine-related products out of consideration? What about a bottle of non-alcoholic wine, or a bottle of spiced or mulled wine?
Still on the theme of “giving a bottle”, how about giving a bottle of a really nice luxury olive oil? The kind of olive oil with the large sprig of herbs inside the bottle, for example?
Luxury nuts could be suitable. How about macadamia nuts (raw, roasted, salted or chocolate-coated – they’re all delicious), or perhaps mixed nuts in a presentation box.
Book or DVD gift tokens are good old standbys, although a little unimaginative. What about movie or theater tickets? Young people can probably use iTunes gift cards, and a photographer might appreciate a memory card or a Flickr pro gift account.
Lots of people don’t get around to updating things when they wear out. Perhaps the recipient needs a luxurious new bath towel? Or a replacement for their broken bike light? Just about everyone can use a pack of batteries, if you want to give something utilitarian. More interesting would be a house plant, preferably with a nice pot.
Gadgets don’t always make successful gifts. Sometimes they fail to satisfy, or they break soon after they are given. Having said that, it can be appropriate to give “the gadget of the moment”. At this time, for example, you could do worse than a wind-up phone charger, although by next year that’s sure to be passe as a gift.
A small piece of original art or craft can work well, but not something mass-produced. Dare I suggest it, you could even give something you made yourself. Why not a carefully calligraphed thank-you card? Even if you’re not the best artist in the world, the card is a disposable item that doesn’t need to be kept long-term.
And, after all, it’s the thought that counts.
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