This past weekend as I communed with other Risley brethren for the Thanksgiving holiday, we started making our Christmas wish lists. Like usual, Dad didn't know what he wanted or needed. If you're like me, you don't like just passing out impersonal gift cards or cheap fishing lures that he probably won't use anyway. Instead, I like to search out great gifts for everyone because I'm convinced that even if they don't know what they want, there's something for everyone and that I should be able to find something worth writing home about.
A big part of this process, I think, is really paying attention to those you're shopping for. Think about their hobbies: is there something related to their hobby they could use that they maybe wouldn't buy themselves? Are they taking a family vacation next summer to somewhere they've never been? Why not let them get started on planning by giving them a great guide book or handy carry-on? For the sports fan, look online early to find your loved one some tickets to see an upcoming game, or if you know they have tickets, try to see if you can upgrade them. Concert tickets are a hit for that friend of yours who's been dying to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, or why not offer to take your mom on a shopping trip for a weekend?
Still, even with my stellar ideas, you're bound to run into the inevitable of "but what do I get for ______?" Faced with my own dilemmas, I've found some fun websites willing to assist me in my giving woes. If you can't find anything on Google, eBay or Amazon, try out a couple more sites that encourage creativity. My favorites this year are Spilsbury, Gifts and Gadgets. I've found some semi-random things on here that are fun and sure to be one-of-a-kind gifts for some of my pals.
And, if all else fails, perhaps you'd be interested in buying a polar bear (at the discounted 20% off rate!) at Last Minute.