1. I bought my little nephew an animal at their local zoo. I adopted a snow leopard in his name. The zoo sends a certificate and a stuffed animal and I found him a book and another little toy to go with it.
2. I bought my ex-wife a full day spa package with massage. I wouldn’t normally had spent so much ($300+) but she is the mom to my two awesome daughters and she had a horrible summer fighting and kicking cancer’s nasty ass. I felt she deserved a day.
3. My sister had a shirt that she loved for over a decade. Two years ago, our mom cut it up to put it into a baby clothes quilt to give as a present. My sister was super upset but way too nice to say anything. You can’t even find pictures of this shirt online, so buying it was out of the question. I spent 20 hours remaking the design, and currently I’m working on transferring it and distressing it to make it look and feel exactly like that old shirt did.
4. I made pen pal kits for my parents and in-laws. We don’t live near my family and my husband’s parents are snow birds so they are gone all winter. We have a six year old who adores his grandparents and this will be a way for them to keep in touch and learn about each other. I bought blank cards and envelopes, wrote questions on some of the cards for the grandparents to answer and send to our son. And also included a game of tic tac toe which they will mail back and forth. I included postage and a note to let them know that my son wants to hear from them. It’s the first time I’m really excited to give gifts to our parents, because it’s something I know they don’t already have and it should be fun. I saw the idea on uncommongoods.com and made my own version.
5. We were cleaning out our storage room and my husband found three ratty old Larry Bird posters he’d been hauling from home to home for 25 years. He looked at them with a big smile, pointed out Bird’s hand position to our kids and then just hung his head and put them onto the trash pile – saying, ‘what am I going to do with them? They’re starting to fall apart.’ I pulled them from the trash and had them framed. They’ll be the start of the decor in his man cave.
6. My dad used to play Dungeons and Dragons when he was a kid in the 70s. He tried to get my sister and I to learn about 4 years ago and we weren’t really into it, so everybody kind of gave up. My sister moved out a year after, and this is my last year of high school, so I’ll be going to college in 8 months. For the last month or so I’ve been learning how to play, and for Christmas I bought him a set of his own really cool colored dice. After he opens it, there’s a letter which explains why I got him dice, and just tells him I hope we can spend more time together like he wants and how much I love and appreciate him. I can’t wait until he opens it!
7. You know those guided journals, that have prompts for what to write or what to draw? I’m making one of those for my twin brother, since we both like to draw and journal. It has prompts like “What are you grateful for today” and “Draw something in less than 5 minutes” and “Write something vulgar. Make it fucking fancy.”
8. I got my mom some private swimming lessons. She never learned how to swim. She’s retired now and going on a cruise next year, I thought she might like to swim in the ocean during her cruise.
9. I got my Dad a mug with my dog’s face on it. My sister went above and beyond and got socks with my dog’s face on them.
10. I had my wedding vows to him engraved on a wallet sized card. So he can carry them around all the time. He will cry.
11. I was actually really happy with my find. My mom really likes the show This Is Us, which I’ve never seen. I found a website that makes engraved bracelets, and one had a quote from the show: “Only good things are going to happen today.” I had it personally engraved underneath as well. It’s sterling silver, and for $100 I think it might be the best gift I’ve gotten her so far.
12. My boyfriend is a streamer on Twitch. He’s been dying to get more set up, so I bought him an Elgato stream deck, a boom stand for his mic, and a new L shaped desk (before he had his bulky custom built PC and 2 monitors balanced on a supersmall walking desk).
He told me once that nobody in his life ever supported him streaming and called it stupid, and I want to make it clear to him that if it makes him happy, I want to do everything I can to support it.
13. I bought my mom a car. It’s used but with only 7k miles. Small SUV with all the fixins.
She’s incredibly hard working. We were impoverished growing up, and she set aside career growth to raise my sibling and I and to take care of her sick father. But she never let us go without if she could help it. A few years ago she bought my sister and I (adults) a used older car when ours died and we were in dire straights.
Fast forward to today. I’m making six figures, and she’s driving that same clunker which got us out of an impossible situation. She generally refuses any financial help that I offer. But I’ll be damned if she goes without now that I have the means to take care of her.
14. I got my wife a Disney Magic Band with all the Disney dogs on it. It’s a limited edition, and it’s probably the best gift I’ve ever found for her.
15. It’s something I’m going to make. I came across peg doll family portraits on Etsy, and instead of paying hundreds for someone else to paint them, I decided to paint peg doll versions of my family myself. I’m having fun making them and I think my mom will enjoy it too!
16. Managed to find my girlfriend a physical edition of one of her favorite Kpop album which is pretty hard to find in the uk without ordering online paying way too much for shipping.
First time I feel I’ve done a good job gift shopping for anyone.
17. I got my sister and her fiance a bird feeder! Their third-floor apartment has the tiniest porch ever, but there’s a nice tree just beyond it with plenty of birds. I hope it’ll bring a little life into their home.
18. I got my BF a lot, but unique, I bought him a guitar pick that you can have engraved. It says “I’m glad I picked you name.“
Cheesy maybe, but I hope he likes it. The rest useful stuff he wants/needs.
19. I bought basically everyone I bought gifts for books or graphic novels tailored to their tastes that I am 99% sure they haven’t read before. I spent way too long figuring out what to get tbh. Then I got almost all of those people something else because odds are a few of them won’t get read but I want them to at least enjoy something I gave them.
20. My mom grew up with a lot of Elton John records but didn’t know how to properly care for them so they don’t play too well anymore. I thought I’d get her some new copies so she still has her originals but can listen to the songs without any scratches or hiss.
21. I hand sewed Christmas stockings for each member of my family!! I even got fluffy fabric and glued it around the top. I filled them with a few small gifts, but I am most excited for them to get the stockings!
22. My brother and I used to play Smash Melee together on the Gamecube when we were growing up. Now we live a few hundred miles apart but this year I got him one of the wired gamecube controllers for the switch and Smash and this Christmas we’re gonna re-live our childhood.
23. My dad’s mother’s family is from a tiny village in Switzerland. My dad has never had the chance to go, but I made a trip out there when I was in Europe last month. All of the stores were closed after I finished exploring the surrounding area, so I managed to grab him a rock from the village. I feel like if I had planned better, I could have gotten him something nicer, but I hope he likes it.
24. I have a friend who is having issues finding a good man and says she just needs her dog. She also works like 3 jobs, and spends ludicrous amounts of money on gifts, including for her dog. Her dog is one of the most spoiled pets I’ve ever met. She has a hamster for her dog. She got it a stocking and several presents. She gets it a toy Every time we go shopping basically.
I found her a mug that says, “I work hard so my dog can have a better life.”
She loves it so much (we gave out presents yesterday) and says it is now her life motto.
It just made me really happy that I found such a good fit, and I haven’t gotten to tell anyone how happy it made me.
25. Got a custom bobble head made of my step dad.
Half a year ago he mentioned something to my uncle about how he wishes one of his customers would one day get him a gag gift of a custom bobble head of him one of these days. Rather than gift baskets and all the other standard gifts he received.
He had no idea I was listening, and I think he’s going to love it when he opens it!
26. I’m making homemade hot sauces for my mom and friends. 4 types. Mango Habanero, Jalapeno, Fresno, and either Sweet Chili or Thai Chili lime.
27. I found my brother’s girlfriend (basically my sister-in-law) an encyclopedia of haunted places. She’s a spooky-loving ghost nut, and is going to want to road trip to every one of them.
28. Found a guy who types custom poems on a vintage typewriter for people about anything, or anyone!
29. I started at the beginning of this year and collected thrifted books for her. I put them in a large basket and will give it to her Christmas Eve. She loves to read so I hope she likes it.
30. My brother is a huge Star Wars nerd and finally got his own place this year, so he’s getting an R2-D2 that’s actually cleverly put together measuring cups and spoons, a Chewbacca themed cookbook, and a couple other quirky SW/kitchen things.
31. I reserved shares for each of my nieces & nephews to own a fraction of a Andy Warhol painting. I think it will be fun for them to all grow up together with the same fun and unique investment. Hopefully it will give them an appreciation for art, too.
32. It’s my first Christmas being spent with my SO. Wanted something that would make them laugh. I spent a couple hours photoshopping our heads on to regal oil painting portraits. Getting them blown up and framed to hang above the mantle.
33. I bought a Webster’s dictionary, edited the definitions of about 100 words then added “see also”…led my boyfriend to the next customized word…the last word (yours), included a photo of me in lingerie…
34. A stained glass window artist makes beautiful cat & dog window ornaments.
You hang them with a small suction cup against your window glass and let the sun shine through, illuminating the intricate colors and the skillfully done images of pets.
Since everyone in our family loves cats and dogs, it seemed a perfect, unique choice.
35. My wife and I spent our 30th anniversary in Florence, Italy. On our way back from dinner we stopped in a square to listen to a solo violinist. He finished a tune and started another just as we sat down. It was Pacabel’s Cannon. The very music that was played, on solo violin, when she walked into the church on our wedding day. It was amazing and very emotional for us. When we got home I found an artist on Reddit who does amazing watercolors. We connected, I sent him a photo of the square and he painted a wonderful picture of the square with us sitting on the stairs listening to the violinist. It’s being framed right now and I cannot wait to give it to her. It’s perfect!
36. I went on vacation to the ocean last month, and a friend asked if I could get her a sand dollar. I found nothing! Not even in the gift shops… I found every kind of seashell but no sand dollars. So, before I left, I put some sand in a bottle and stuck a dollar in there. Hope she likes her present, though it isn’t exactly what she wanted
37. My parents love classic cars. My dad just finished restoring the car he bought when he was 16 (about 40 years ago) and my mom just bought her first classic car after searching for the right one for about three years.
I got them each an original print ad that ran the year each of their cars were made. I can’t wait to see their faces.
38. I cross-stitched my dad a stylized family portrait, I crocheted a blanket for mum, I knitted a dragon for my sister and a tie for my SO. I think I made some pretty personal and unique gifts for them! And I was done before December 1st, also a unique happening.
39. My girlfriend is coming home for Christmas leave and I was too poor to afford a real ring so I’ve DIYed my own out of a polished birch veneer and crushed purple opal. Can’t wait to propose!
40. We’re a family of motorcyclists, so I have bought everyone a Gremlin Bell. It’s a small pewter bell you hang from your motorcycle to scare the road gremlins away. The ones that cause mechanical issues and accidents to happen. You can’t buy them for yourself as they need to be gifted with love to activate their power.
Now obviously I am a grown woman and I know this is a load of shite, but I thought they were cute as hell and a pretty unique gift.
41. I made a friend who loves LOTR a pendant based off of the leaves of lothorlian broaches the fellowship gets. It took ages to make, but it turned out amazingly.
42. I was going to get my sister something a bit expensive but then I was in line at the Dollar Store. I saw a little pineapple drawstring bag. She loves pineapples. It suddenly hit me to use it as a dice bag for her. I’m going to DM her first D&D game and give her some sparkly dice with the bag. She’s been wanting to play.
43. Went to one of the largest tea markets in South China to get some quality tea for my relatives who live in a country where tea isn’t grown and most of what you can buy is tea bags.
44. A friend I met recently has always dreamed of spending the holidays in New Zealand. No way can I make that happen… but I drew a nifty map of NZ, on tea-stained and frayed-edged paper, all shaded and accented to look like a super old map, and framed in one of those frameless “floating” frames. Hopefully it goes over well…?
45. Found my dad a set of mug coasters which are the shape of the ps1 Tombraider games from his youth. Hoping he’ll love it.
46. I made tiny watercolor paintings for each of my in-laws. Each had unique miniature frames I purchased from Micheal’s for $3, so I spent just over $30 on gifts for 10 people. Every painting is different and showcases an asepct of their personality!
47. Hot air balloon themed cufflinks, for my stepdad who is a hot air balloon pilot
48. This may not be unique, but I’m very proud of it. This summer I moved from Latvia to the U.S. for my studies. Throughout the semester, I worked, so I could save some extra money. Two months ago I realized that I need to do something for my parents, therefore I called my brother, and we bought them plane tickets to NYC (they have never been outside Eastern Europe). For the last month or so, I have been planning their “travel program”, and in an hour or so, my brother and I will call them and announce the surprise. My finals can wait, this seems more important!
49. I bought my boyfriend the legal right to use the honorific title of Lord. I basically purchased a 5×5 foot plot of land at the Hougun Manor Estate in the UK which came with a deed and a certificate stating his Lordship. He can now legally refer to himself as Lord his name.
50. My dad’s wife is a horse lady. I got her a horse wind chime and a mug that says ‘to neigh or not to neigh, that is equestrian’.
The mug sounds like a pun from Bob’s Burgers so I had to get it.