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Roundtable Discussion | Best Holiday Gifts

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Kate Stark
Avg. Reading Time: 3 min

This time of year it’s all about the gift giving. So I thought, “Hey! Why not use my turn as editor to get gift ideas for my friends and family?” And then I planned to post the results to ease your gift buying pains as well.

There are a couple good gift ideas below. Are these the best holiday gifts? Probably not. But you’ll want to read this anyway, even if it is just to see what Marie did when a friend asked for money. I don’t think she quite expected what she got…

Roundtable Discussion!


Kate Robinson

Well, I’m partial to “gifts of experience,” i.e., brewery tours (Road Dog’s Seattle Brewery Tour was great), overnight stay in a treehouse, a lesson of some kind (cooking, brewing, flying, etc), something you want but never buy for yourself (massage, dinner at that new restaurant, a set of matching glasses to replace the ones you continually break…).
And this sounded nice: a friend without kids gifted a friend with kids one night a month babysitting.


Christian Walker

One corny gift idea that can go over very well with parents or grandparents is to buy a classy picture frame and include multiple photographs inside that you know they would appreciate. At first, they see just the one picture on display, but then you get to bust out the classic: “But wait, there’s more!” They get the thrill of discovering the other photographs behind the first one like a Russian nesting doll.

Or if you want to go the extra mile, you can have a book of photos made through Apple that you can arrange in a visually pleasing way and caption yourself with clever copy. Obviously the theme of the book is limited only by your imagination, but one solid idea is to gather pictures of your parent(s) or grandparent(s) spanning from their childhood to present, capturing all the big moments in their lives or good memories you think they’d like to revisit. You design the book yourself and then Apple ships it to your door! This approach takes more effort and probably a scanner, but going off the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, you essentially wrote your loved one a novel. http://www.apple.com/mac/print-products/

If you know someone that values sentiment over a material possession, either of these options would go over very well.


Drew Troller

Christian… How can I work a macaroni painting into that plan?


Christian Walker

Drew, I’d recommend scanning the macaroni painting. But use someone else’s scanner because the weight of the lid can crack some brands of macaroni, which is a pain to clean up. Trust me.


Marie DeAeth

Not to brag, but I’m kind of the Leslie Knope of gift-giving. I recently went to a wedding where the couple just requested money to go toward their honeymoon in lieu of presents. I was all, “Oh you want cash?? I’ll give you cash.” So I made them a diorama of a beach scene complete with a boat, a pier, a hut, and palm trees, all origami-ed out of cash money dollar bills. It was awesome. I have a 20 second video to prove it but its stuck on my old phone…


Drew Troller

I suck at giving gifts. Anyone want to buy presents for my mom, dad, brother, and sister? I’ll bankroll it. Just make sure it’s sentimental and perfect for them. Thanks!


Kathleen Morton

I want to see this video!


Caitlin VanMol

Drew- I’ll do it. But you’re basically going to pay me a lot of money to make your family cross stitches of the phrase “You’re the Worst. Love, Drew.”


Drew Troller

CVM – I’m down with that. But can you make it “I’M the worst. Love, Drew” … they’d love it.


Marie DeAeth

I did it! I did battle with my out of service iPhone 3G and managed to recover all my pics and vids. So yeah, when someone says, “Eh, you can just give me cash,” you can do this!


Kate Robinson

Marie, that is stellar!


Erin Petrey

That brings back middle school memories of making book report dioramas! I was particularly a fan of Island of the Blue Dolphins. Fairly certain I wrote about a dozen book reports on that classic.


Drew Troller

Anyone else make their parents Christmas gifts in elementary school? I think I made a crappy ornament every year from first through fifth grade.


Erin Petrey

Macaroni EVERYTHING


Kate Robinson

pop-up cards. basically a variation on a frog every year.
i went to a kind of hippy school, so there were beeswax candles one year, hand-made paper journals another, a book of illustrated poetry, embroidered ornaments…


Chris Blanchard

For round table gift ideas I usually hand make something for my Mom and Dad, super cheesy but they love that. Great ideas on hand making stuff are on http://www.instructables.com/ . For my other siblings, booze, stuff from REI, or something cool from http://www.uncommongoods.com/.

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