This page is a list of things that you can give as a gift or present to someone. If you have an idea of a thing that has worked well as a gift in the past before, please add it to the bottom of the page. It can be really generic works-for-anyone, or a bit more specific to a person. All ideas welcome.
Practical gift for anyone who lives in an area that gets rain sometimes. They make all sorts of really cool different kinds of things, so it can be a silly duck-shaped novelty thing or a good quality sturdy one.
Books are great gifts. If you know the person a little, get them a book that is relevant to their interests. You can also give them your personal favourite book. Or it could be a fancy big coffee-table book about something that might be generally interesting to leaf through. Or one of those small silly gift books, that's a very non-committed fun-for-a-moment kind of gift. Or you can get a small book (like those Mr. Man type things) and personalise it with photos and anecdotes of your friendship. Also a nice blank notebook can be a practical gift.
A basketful of strange, exotic fruit can be a fun gift for anyone, the idea being that they can experiment and try out these new fruit things. Also won't ruin anyone's diet, most likely.
It's time consuming, but usually a lot cheaper than buying anything. If you are crafty you can make hats, socks, cuddly toys, scarves, small wall-hanging embroidery pieces. Baked goods of any kind also make a good gift. If you grow things in your garden you can make wines, jams, cordials, butters, general preserves, pickled onions, Sloe gin (good one for Christmas, given that it tends to be ready just in time). Butters, jams and cordials are actually all fairly quick to make as well, so you can expand to a hamper quite easily if it's someone you love more than 2 jars of jam. Also an extra bonus thing for yourself: you learn to make things.
-Temporary dinosaur tattoos
Ones that you put on the side of your hand and they go along your index finger and thumb, so when you move them the dinosaur's mouth moves.
A box with a lot of different little things inside (possibly individually wrapped for extra surprise). Can be practical things like kitchen/garden utensils or things that are generally useful to have around the house (light bulbs, band-aids, Q-tips, tissues, etc random useful things), or pointless knick-knacks, or a mixture of both.
A semi handmade gift. You can also personalise sweets/candy, or anything else that would be made more interesting via personalisation.
CDs (and LPs to an extent) are not all the way dead, despite what some people think. Alike the book, you can either give them something you know they'd like, or something you personally like as a way of sharing a part of you with them. And for the intense music folks who are into the LPs, this is really a gift worth considering. LPs just have something going for them, as objects.
-Mixed Tape/CD/youtube playlist/bunch of mp3s on a memory stick
Sharing the music you love the most, the gift-receiver loves the most, or the songs that have defined your friendship. Another possibility - if you like to listen to podcasts like RadioLab or This American Life or any such fabulous examples of radio artistry - is a mixed tape of your favourite episodes.
Scarves can work for anyone (possibly more of a lady-thing unless it's like a woolly scarf), hats, gloves and socks have a bit of a size-consideration (so first check out if they have humongous or tiny head, hands or feet), and with most other things you need to know the person's size more or less. Consider keeping your spouse-type person's sizes written down somewhere, in case you see something that you know would just be perfect for them. Though it's also good to keep in mind that sizes vary a lot these days, so keeping the receipt so that the item can be changed is a good idea.
Girls/women who have long hair and use hair ties, clips or such a lot can actually go through a lot of them in a short time. And having lots of different colour ones makes it easier to colour-coordinate hair accessories to outfits. They also make hair accessories in such wildly varied forms and shapes that you can make it either a practical "here's some more hair stuff" kind of gift, or an experimental "here's some hair stuff you wouldn't have bought for yourself so you can try them on" kind of luxury thing.
Assuming you have a vague idea of the size of the person, a new cool belt can be a pretty good present.
There are plenty of really gift-y chocolate things out there. Either for party-sharing or as a taster of something new, fancy or interesting.
Kind of a generic gift - for that generic don't-really-know-you-well kind of friend (or the candle lover you do know well). They come in all sorts of cool kinds of configurations. Avoid the strong smelling ones if you don't know whether the person is sensitive to strong smells.
-A movie (DVD or whatever the latest thing is)
Another good way to either give someone a thing you really like, or something you know they like (if you know them well), or something ridiculous as a joke :P Just remember that DVDs have regions and that is stupid, so make sure to get their region if ordering online or something.
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