Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Top Five Consumable Gifts

Consumable gifts include anything that the recipient can consume. Food and drink pop into mind immediately, but this category also includes art supplies, gift certificates, classes, magazine subscriptions, etc. Why are consumable gifts fun to give/receive? They are often something the recipient really enjoys and is constantly in need of (think: an avid scrapbooker will always appreciate more fun paper and stickers; a golf aficionado will enjoy taking a class or two to brush up on his skills); they show some thoughtfulness on the giver's part; they don't clutter up the house!

Here are the top five consumable gifts my husband and I have given/received:

  1. Classes: These are so much fun to receive. We've taken cooking classes and woodworking classes and given cooking classes and golf lessons. Photography classes, art classes, stained glass classes, cake decorating classes, the sky's the limit! Check out local hobby shops, cooking stores, and the internet. We've found that $40 is a good ball park number for most of these.
  2. Food and drink: Whether homemade, from a gourmet store, or simply a well put together basket of goodies, food and drink are always appropriate. Give a nice gift of Omaha steaks, put together your own scone mix and include a jar of lemon curd, buy a nice bottle of wine, make up some spice mixes, make your own jelly, .... the options are endless! This might be especially nice if you know someone on a restricted diet (gluten free, for instance). Hunt down something delicious that is on their allowed diet!
  3. Hobby Supplies: Consumable supplies are anything the recipient uses up. Batteries, film (does anyone still use film?), art supplies, scrapbooking supplies, cake decorating supplies, model train supplies--even "boring" items like tape, glue, and carpentry pencils come in handy for those people on your list who are in their "shops" all the time!
  4. Magazine Subscriptions: Does a child in your family love animals? Does someone love to cook? What about woodworking? Is your mother a gardener? There are endless magazines devoted to micro-specialties. If someone you know is interested in a particular area, a magazine subscription in that field might be the perfect gift.
  5. Stationary: It's easy to buy nice, blank cards from an invitation store and "monogram" them using your home computer. You can also buy handmade cards from someone you know who stamps or embellishes cards. Even a big variety box of birthday cards would be a welcome gift to a shut-in who enjoys sending people birthday greetings. Individual cards get very expensive. You might consider including some stamps or writing the return address or some other small favor if you are giving these to someone who could benefit from that assistance.

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