Hello my babies! If you are like me & don't live near your family - you are not around day in & out to hear them say subtle things like "there are no good pot-holders in this house!" or "buy me a damn watch". So, I am here to post things that might help you be inspired to give. This list leans towards adults (think: friends, aunts, cousins, parents, babysitters, teachers, siblings). The thing with kids is that usually if you ask them what they want, they will tell you. Adults always say "I don't need anything"- or you are too polite to say. And sometimes, as an adult, you don't even know what you want.
This takes a little bit of thought, but for someone who you won't see- this is a fun/easy/cheap alternative. Go outside and find something local & mail it in a padded mailer to your loved one. Once my friends mom mailed her some orange blossom leaves from Arizona, my mother once mailed me some Cherries from our backyard tree. Or simply gather fall leaves, or melted snow in a tiny bottle. I know, its kinda weird, but trust me, it will make whoever gets it feel closer to you then they have in a long while.
Book Hook Wooden Book Mark
Sleek, smart, and preserves your read. You can buy it here, for $50 + shipping (note: ships from Germany) or I am certain you could make it yourself quite simply. Get to home depot!
Star Projector or Pinhole Planetarium
Dreamy. I can't imagine anyone not wanting this pinhole planetarium ($22). You have to build it yourself, but no big deal. For a fun design, try this 3-D option. ($40) If you'd like a little more accurate/fancy you can splurge on this one instead for the real astro-buff. $100
Useful or collectible. Encourages communication, they also last forever. I showcased the Maritime stamps- but they offer many more, everything from Edward Hopper for the art fan, to Indy 500 for the nascar fan. $2-8 for packs.
Cheese Making Kit
First of all, cheese is delicious. Part science project, part foodie gift. Mozzerella Kit. $18.50 from Amazon.com - I have also seen these on sale for cheaper at my local Harris Teeter in their speciality cheese case.
Inspire an kid or help an adult fulfill a designing dream. I could see a man working on this while watching his nightly news. Lego Architecture Kits. $20-$199 depending on size and intricacy. Sears tower shown, $20. Other options include: Frank Lloyd Wright houses, Guggenheim Building, and more.
Night Hike Compass
Could be practical. Could be used as a paper weight on a desk. Could be fun for a kid to play with. Glow in the Dark Compass. Found from American Science & Surplus, which has a ton of other fun items. $10 once shipped.
Its a modern rag doll. It's cute & looks easy to clean. $30 average... $6 for a mini-$50 for a doll & accessories. A boy & a girl, a girly girl, You can buy pretty much anywhere in store too (target, walmart, toys r us, FAO).
Two Bonus Gift Ideas:
Make or buy baked good- brownies, cookies, or a whole cake.
Give an addict their vice- a 12 pack of diet coke, a bulk pack of chapstick, scented candles, whatever they use often and in repetition. It's nice to not have to buy your normal loot.