We all love unwrapping a present to realize it’s something special, one-of-a-kind, sometimes even strange. Everyone likes to be-the-only-one-on-the-block or to be the first in their group of friends and family to have something special.However, being unusual always carries the risk of going too far, of being offensive, or just plain useless.
When giving a unique and unusual gift, please keep these things in mind:
- Who is the gift for? Is it for your conservative grandmother, or one of your buddies from college? What’s funny to one (and to the people that will be around when your college friend opens it) will most often not be as cool or funny for your grandmother or your grandfather or parents who will be around when she opens it.
- Gifts are for the recipient, not for you. Don’t buy yourself something you think is cool, but is something completely unrelated and irrelevant to the person it’s intended for.
- Don’t buy something embarrassing for the recipient.They’ll likely open the gift in front of others, so even something that could be funny to you and them in private might be devastating if they open it in front of their parents, or their children! This reminds me of the wedding gift I got from a high school friend – let’s just say I’m thankful my wife had the foresight to open it when no one was around!
- Unique doesn’t mean dumb! Ok, it can mean dumb, but it doesn’t have to! Instead of buying the wine glass that attaches to a wine bottle (to save the time of pouring glass after glass and allowing you to drink straight from the bottle), why not spend your money on something the recipient won’t just re-gift next year? Unique is better when it means thinking creatively, outside-the-box and getting something truly special for the recipient.
- Does the person like stuff or experiences? What gives the recipient the most joy? Do they love doing things with their friends and family, or would they rather stay home on a Saturday and play with a gadget? Some people, most people, actually, are both. During the summer, most of us like doing things, and during the dark and cold winters, most of us like staying inside.
- Do you have skills to do-it-yourself? If you have a special talent, like scrapbooking, wood carving, knitting, etc then consider using that creativity to build a gift for the recipient. There’s nothing more unique than a one-off gift that you created!
- Other Skills? Some skills don’t lend well to making a gift, but can be great as a gift of time. Almost everyone can use a helping hand every once and a while. Offer to watch their kids for a night, or walk dogs, or if you have the skills, help on their next home improvement project.
- Stuff you have that they don’t. For a really unique gift, let them use your ‘nobody touch this’ toy that they’ve seen in your driveway. You know, the ski-boat you haven’t invited them on, or that ATV they always see covered in mud? What about that specialty tool, like the 3d-printer or even your top-of-the-line video game system? You could give them a certificate that allows them a weekend of use. It’s the stuff friends and family are supposed to be doing for each other, but in our culture it’s long since been forgotten as everyone wants their own stuff. This is a great way to show them you care and it’s a unique option.