October 09, 2008

white elephants.

n & i went shopping at target this week and were so surprised to see all of the holiday & christmas decorations up already! made me & auntie l start talking about our annual thanksgiving festivities. every year for the past, well, several, we've had our "secret latke" (think secret santa for the religiously challenged). we were thinking of ways to spice it up a little, so this year we're going to do a white elephant gift exchange.

we have 2 rules:
  1. "typical" gift cards are discouraged. the entire gift cannot be comprised of a gift card or subscription.
  2. each gift much be about $50.

to help everyone out, i've put together some gift ideas:

  • a photo gift: shutterfly or ritz camera photo calendar (make online w/ family pictures -- 18 months for $25 plus a $25 gift card for photo prints at shutterfly or ritz camera)... what i really wanted was a calendar in a jewel cd case, but i couldn't find one!

  • an entertainment gift: netflix subscription (1-at-a-time unlimited – 6 months for $54 or 5 months for $45) plus the most amazing popcorn ever ($8 from williams-sonoma).

  • a spa gift: elizabeth arden red door spa (locations in richmond & arlington) “red door signature manicure” 40 min, $42 along with the ginger bar, $14 from origins (which even h loves).

  • a wine gift: 1 or 2 bottles of a bit nicer than everyday wine (try punto final malbec from argentina) with some accessories like a neoprene wine bottle holder, $15 from the container store; or a wine bottle opener like the rabbit, $40 from amazon.

  • a “green” gift—reusable shopping bags, $10 from amazon along with a whole foods gift card or gift basket (prices variable) made by you or from a gourmet shop like dean & deluca.

  • a coffee gift: a few pounds of a favorite roast (mine are the thunguri, kenya roast from peregrine espresso in washington, dc and the bluegrass blend from moonbeans in aiken, sc) paired with some cute mugs like these personalized ones from l.l. bean on sale for $10 (thanks a!)
  • a dvd gift: flight of the conchords season one; freaks & geeks complete set; or planet earth. everyone loves those.
  • an outdoorsy gift: the patagonia synchilla fleece ¼ zip is my favorite, although over the price range. i wear a men’s small & i'd gladly own 8 more -- $80 from patagonia; another option is the north face tka 100 -- $50 from rei (and everyone’s close to an rei to exchange sizes or colors).

  • a bookworm gift: a magazine subscription to newsweek – order from barnes & noble online or a few books from the top 100; my dad recommends the last lecture by randy pausch; and all the women in my family have fallen in love with jeanette walls’ the glass castle and anita diamont's the red tent.

  • a charitable gift: shop from the breast cancer site or find a swanky gift from elsewhere – the komen candle, $15 from pier 1; a pink pony tote, $45 from ralph lauren; or the bracelet (and more charitable gifts), $25 from the body shop.

  • a car gift: a car care set. even i like a clean car! or, ideas from the container store.

  • a creative gift: look online if you can't get to a craft fair! etsy.com is like ebay, but for the creative spirit. some of my favorites from their website: reversible tote bag purse, $55; pearl pendant, $33; simple lunch plate, $35 (i saw her at crafty bastards and fell in love); and, tofu for obama, obvi. $10.

happy shopping! ( :

1 comment:

Colleen said...

hahaha what good ideas! We typically do a NO GIFT CARD rule. Which makes it extra tricky. Another idea I had this year was the slanket - a giant fleece blanket with sleeves so you can still use your arms - and the color you choose comes with a donation (i.e. greens give to the environment, pink to breast cancer, etc).

But I like all your ideas. I will be back for my xmas shopping.