Who needs another Christmas tie or holiday sweater? Who needs another set of wine glasses, scented candle or a funky throw? This year, give a gift that keeps on giving (sometimes all year long) to the loved ones on your holiday gift list. Give something meaningful and useful. Here are seven ideas for gifts that keep on giving:
Give a membership to the local zoo, history museum or arts center that will allow unlimited visits or at least a discount on special events during the year. Many entities offer special free programs for kids and families who are members, too.
Give a movie pass for a local theater to that film buff on your list. Many movie theaters offer small discounts on package deals that include concessions. AMC Theaters, Fandango, Cinemark and others supply gift cards that can be used like credit cards and can be “reloaded” when they run out.
Give a bookstore membership. Have an avid reader on your holiday gift list? Get her a Barnes & Noble membership. It’s $25 annually, and members get 40% off hardcover bestsellers, 10% off every purchase, plus coupons on a regular basis with additional discounts. They also get free express shipping on online orders. Local or regional bookstores may offer similar discounts – check them out and see.
Video: How to Buy Eco-Friendly and Fair Trade Gifts
Give a discount club membership. If you belong to Costco, BJ’s Warehouse or Sam’s Club, you know that you can find some great bargains there (not all the time, but much of the time). Share that shopping pleasure with friends and family who may not yet be members. Right now, new sign-ups can get a Gold Star membership to Costco for $55. Currently, a Sam’s Club Advantage membership is $40. A BJ’s Inner Circle membership will set you back $50. You could save those fees up front on one big-ticket item, like a TV. And remember that discount warehouses sell some of the cheapest gas in town.
Give the gift of learning. Know someone who would love to learn to paint or draw, knit or crochet, work with glass or leather? Check out the hobby stores in your area, or your local arts center or perhaps your community college, and give a class for Christmas. Caveat: Make sure the class is at a time when the recipient can attend. Michael’s, for example, offers everything from craft parties for kids’ birthdays to painting classes for adults.
Give a grocery store gift card. Times are tough. Who wouldn’t appreciate a grocery store coupon to a favorite local store? Maybe he can splurge on something he wouldn’t ordinarily buy, like prime steaks or fresh shrimp? This is an especially great gift for college students, newlyweds stocking a pantry or an elderly person who might be skimping on the nutrition to make a dollar go further. You can choose your amount at the register.
Give a meal or two on you. People living on a tight budget (and who isn’t these days) might really appreciate the treat of a night out. Most chain restaurants have gift cards you can give and some of them reward the purchaser with an additional gift card of their own. Look for those deals especially around the holidays.
The trick is, think of the person who is getting the gift and figure out what really might be appreciated. That’s what gift-giving is all about, right?
What are your ideas for gifts that keep on giving? What would you like to receive?