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Pittsburgh Parenting Blog by Sewickley Academy

Sewickley Academy's Private School Blog

Gift-Giving Guide for the Holidays

Gift-Giving Guide for the Holidays.jpgThe holidays offer plenty of opportunity to spend and give, but never enough time to shop or money to buy everything you want for everyone on your list. It's easy to fall back on the inevitable gift cards or last-minute drugstore candy or cologne specials. You can think and buy outside the gaudy, beribboned box and give thoughtful gifts. In our gift-giving guide we offer 10 ideas that grown-ups in your life will love.

  1. Good Housekeeping: Purchase several organic cleaning products to make a gift basket. The products smell wonderful, and they're safe for everyone in your home. But everyone could use a little extra time and a lot of extra cleaning. Package the products with a few hours of professional maid service. And for those in need of deep cleaning or moving and storage services, add the help of a professional organizer.
  2. Personalized Note Cards: In the digital age, people send fewer handwritten letters and cards, so it's special to send and receive one. It takes time, thought, and effort; things that lack in an email or text. This is a great way to send thank-yous as well. 
  3. Pamper Party: Create a gift basket of essential oils, a thick fluffy towel, and a gift certificate for a home visit with a masseuse. A few natural skin-safe oils, candles, and a one-hour massage in the comfort and privacy of one's home is a great gift idea. 
  4. Order Up!: Hire a personal chef to cook for friends with small children or a family member who cannot cook or grocery shop without assistance. The chef's work pays off in the form of a week's worth of meals, ready for reheating and enjoying. You can also provide a subscription to a food delivery service like HelloFresh or Blue Apron
  5. Make it Personal: Customize your family whiteboard, chalkboard, or cork board with space to write grocery and to-do lists and reminders, a spot to hang a calendar, a paper and pen or chalk holder, and a family photo or funny saying that makes your center of communication memorable.
  6. Dinner and a Show: Tickets to a concert or sporting event plus a limousine ride is a blessing for busy parents who are often too tired to plan a night out, considering the hassle of the drive, plus parking. You can add in a gift card to their favorite restaurant so they can grab a bite to eat before the event. 
  7. Food for Fun: Food is a welcomed gift because it leaves no clutter and is useful during or after the holidays. Instead of the usual crackers, sausage, and cheese products, get personal with these ideas.
    1. The Breakfast Basket: Pancake mix, maple syrup, coffee, tea, pancake flipper, jam, and honey, packed in a skillet or large measuring cup
    2. The Italian Job Basket: Pasta, sauce, garlic spread, and wine, packed in a colander or pasta pot
    3. The Healthy Start Basket: Nut mixes, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, nut butters, dark chocolate, and whole-grain pretzels, packed in a steamer basket
    4. The Spice of Life Basket: Various dried herbs and spices, flavored oils, and vinegar, packed with basting brushes and seasoning shakers on a cutting board.
  8. Landscape Away!: Pay for the services of a lawn company to trim hedges, weed, fertilize, and mow the lawn and edge the driveway/sidewalk. This gift makes the homeowner proud of the property and pleased to think of the giver every time he/she steps outside.
  9. Susie Homemaker: Home baked goods from a great cook are a loved and anticipated gift. Bake your specialty, wrap it in a reusable airtight container, and give the gift of fine food and storage. If the recipient bakes when time allows, give cookies or brownies in a jar - the dry ingredients need only eggs or another liquid ingredient to produce a quick dessert for unexpected company.
  10. Time is of the Essence: If you love the idea of a gift certificate, give the priceless gift of time. Put it in writing in the form of artistically made coupons (contact a calligrapher, order online, or ask a high school art student to create them for you). You provide the present money cannot buy and the coupon is a work of art.

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Topics: Holidays, Christmas